Reactors are closing
There are presently 93 commercial nuclear power reactors licensed to commercially operate in the United States.
While U.S. nuclear power stations were originally licensed to operate for a 40-year period, the bulk of the U.S. nuclear power fleet is now relicensed by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) to operate for an “initial” 20-year license extension period from 40- to 60-years. The NRC is now proceeding with the review and approval for an additional 20-year “subsequent” license renewal from 60- to 80-years of reactor operations.
However, despite extended relicensing, U.S. reactors continue to close due to technical safety issues, adverse economics and shifts in energy policy.
Nuclear power is economically failing in an electricity market dominated by more competitive energy generation and increasing demand-side management. This includes record breaking increases in wind and solar power capacity and generation that are also outpacing environmentally controversial, climate damaging coal and natural gas. More energy conservation and greater energy efficiency use in homes, businesses and industry continue to drive electricity demand down. An inherently dangerous nuclear industry is aging and unpredictable accidents will continue to recur. As a result, atomic power reactors are facing more costly inspections, maintenance, repairs and generic backfits that drive costs up and force more reactors into permanent closure.
That said, the polarized politicization of nuclear power policy has already shifted many announced closures to continued operations through controversial legislated bailouts and production tax credits that are playing out on the state and federal level.
U.S. reactor closures since 2013
Palisades (MI) closed 05/20/2022
Indian Point-3 (NY) closed 04/30/2021
Duane Arnold (IA) closed 08/24/2020
Indian Point-2 (NY) closed 04/30/2020
Three Mile Island-1 (PA) closed 09/20/2019
Pilgrim (MA) closed 05/31/2019
Oyster Creek (NJ) closed 09/17/2018
Fort Calhoun (NE) closed 10/24/2016
Vermont Yankee (VT) closed 12/29/2014
San Onofre 2 & 3 (CA) closed 06/12/2013
Kewaunee (WI) closed 05/07/2013
Crystal River (FL) closed 02/20/2013
(See Link to NRC Information Digest Appendix C for previous closures and decommissioning)
Presently announced U.S. closures
Diablo Canyon 1 (CA) Scheduled to close by 11/02/2024
Diablo Canyon 2 (CA) Scheduled to close by 08/26/2025
Canadian power reactors closed on the Great Lakes and U.S. border
Gentilly Unit 2, Quebec, Canada, closed and defueled, 12/28/2012
Pickering Units A-2 and A-3, Ontario, Canada, closed 12/31/1997, now permanently defueled
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