FirstEnergy Solutions (FES) has formally notified the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) its plans to permanently deactivate all its three nuclear power plants with a combined capacity of 4,048MW due to "severe economic challenges."


Image: Aerial photograph of the 1,872MW Beaver Valley Nuclear Power Plant near Shippingport Pennsylvania. Photo: courtesy of United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission/

The company, which is a subsidiary of FirstEnergy, has filed a Certification Letter with the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) in this connection.

FirstEnergy Solutions notified the regulator that it will retire the 908MW Davis-Besse nuclear power station and 1,268MW Perry nuclear power plant, both in Ohio, and the 1,872MW Beaver Valley power station in Pennsylvania over the next three years.

The closure of the three nuclear plants will impact nearly 2,300 employees, said FirstEnergy Solutions.

The company’s letter to NRC follows its last month’s notification to PJM Interconnection (PJM) regarding the plants’ closure, which will be subject to review by the regional transmission organization for any possible reliability impacts.

FES generation companies president and chief nuclear officer Don Moul said: “We are actively seeking policy solutions at the state and federal level as an alternative to retiring these plants, which we believe still have a crucial role to play in the reliability and resilience of our regional grid.

“What also is at stake for the region is 4,048 megawatts of zero-emission baseload generating capacity, an all but irreplaceable resource.”

Moul added that as early as mid-2019, the company will start taking decisions on the three plants on whether to refuel them or to close them.

FirstEnergy Solutions notified that the $2.22bn Davis-Besse nuclear power station in Oak Harbor, Ohio will be retired in 2020.

On the other hand, the $8.52bn Beaver Valley nuclear power plant in Shippingport, Pennsylvania and the $6.02bn Perry nuclear power plant in Perry, Ohio, will both retire in 2021.

Last year, the three nuclear plants had accounted for nearly 65% of the power generated by the FirstEnergy Solutions’ fleet.