>> 40 years after the worst nuclear accident in US history, Three Mile Island is set to close. The owner of the Pennsylvania power plant Tuesday said it will shut down operations in 2019 as low natural gas prices make the costs of atomic energy uncompetitive.>> It was the first step in a nuclear nightmare.
>> The plant's very name has been synonymous with public fears over the risks associated with nuclear power since the plant suffered a partial meltdown in 1979. No one died during the meltdown and a federal review found minimal health effects in the 2 million people who live nearby. Still, the incident sparked sweeping new rules for handling emergencies at nuclear sites.
>> Adjustments undoubtedly will be made in plant design and plant procedures.>> The plant currently employs nearly 700 people and produces enough electricity to power 800,000 homes. But nuclear reactors are having trouble competing with an abundance of natural gas. Since 2013 the nuclear industry has shut six reactors for economic reasons, and plans to shut at least six more over the next five years.