The US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has approved the transfer of the licence for the Three Mile Island Generating Station (TMI) unit 2, from FirstEnergy Companies to TMI-2 Solutions.

FirstEnergy Companies, comprising Metropolitan Edison Co, Jersey Central Power and Light Co, Pennsylvania Electric Co and GPU Nuclear Inc, requested the transfer for TMI-2 Solutions to complete the decommissioning of the unit. TMI-2 Solutions is a wholly owned subsidiary of Utah-based EnergySolutions.

The TMI 2 reactor operated for approximately six months before suffering reactor core partial meltdown in 1979.  Subsequently, about 99% of the fuel and damaged reactor core material was removed and

shipped to the Department of Energy’s Idaho National Laboratory, and in 1993 the plant was placed in a Post-Defuelling Monitored Storage status. The licence currently authorises only possession of by-product and special nuclear materials remaining at the reactor.

The NRC review determined that the proposed transfer complies with regulatory requirements, provides reasonable assurance that public health and safety will be protected, and is not detrimental to the common defence and security. The approval was effective from 2 December, and the licence will be amended to reflect the new ownership once the sale of unit 2 is completed, NRC said.

In addition to the NRC approval, the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (BPU) approved the sale of TMI 2 to TMI-2 Solutions.

FirstEnergy Corp and EnergySolutions submitted the request for the licence transfer in November 2019. NRC and BPU review processes confirm that EnergySolutions meets all regulatory, legal, financial and technical requirements to acquire the NRC licence and transfer the plant.

“This is a major milestone in the nuclear industry and for the central Pennsylvania region.” stated Ken Robuck, EnergySolutions President and CEO.

He added: “We currently have four decommissioning projects, two of which will be completed by the end of the year. These four projects have provided valuable experience with best practices and lessons learned that we will incorporate into this project.”

To perform the decommissioning work on this project, EnergySolutions and Jingoli, a construction company headquartered in New Jersey, formed a joint venture called ES/Jingoli Decommissioning. Jingoli successfully managed and executed nuclear projects on behalf of numerous utilities in the USA and Canada with experience in the nuclear field from pre-construction, construction management, project controls and decommissioning.