Three Mile Island: On the Closure and Decommissioning of a Nuclear Power Plant

Lunchtime Lectures
Wednesday, April 28, 2021
1:00 p.m.–1:45 p.m. EDT (UTC -4)

Five U.S. nuclear power plants (NPPs) are scheduled to close in 2021, possibly setting a record for the most single-year nuclear retirements ever in this country. What does the NPP decommissioning process involve and why is it important to understand?

This talk will examine the shuttered Three Mile Island NPP near Middletown, Pennsylvania, as a case study. In doing so science writer Hannah Pell will discuss TMI’s unique history and environmental challenges for the decommissioning of the Unit 2 reactor, as well as the predicted local socioeconomic consequences of Unit 1’s 2019 closure.


Hannah Pell headshot

Courtesy of Hannah Pell

About the Speaker

Hannah Pell is a freelance science writer interested in the energy industry and history of nuclear power. She holds degrees in physics and music, and is an alumna of the Fulbright program. She is currently serving on the community advisory panel for the Three Mile Island Unit 2 decommissioning.

About the Series

Now combined with our Saturday Speaker Series, Lunchtime Lectures take a rigorous and entertaining approach to exploring topics for scholars and anyone interested in stories about the history of science. The talks help expand perceptions of the nature of science and how it’s done. This season, we’re showcasing historians and scientists whose work analyzes the past, present, and future of environmental science.