Generation, Nuclear

Millstone nuclear plant’s future uncertain after legislative wrangling

The future of the Dominion Energy’s Millstone nuclear facility in Connecticut is up in the air after the state’s legislative bodies came to different outcomes over how to help the plant financially.

The state senate approved a bill that would allow the state to buy power from the Millstone plant. The House, however, did not vote on the measure and withdrew it before the end of the session, Reuters reported Thursday morning.

Parent company Dominion Energy said it would consider closing Millstone if some kind of financial remedy isn’t found.

Like many other nuclear power plants in the U.S., Millstone is under financial pressure due to the plant’s age and the availability of cheaper forms of power generation—especially natural gas.

Republicans said legislation to subsidize the plant would save jobs, while many Democrats said they feel bullied by Dominion, and said the impact of passing the bill is uncertain.

Built on a former quarry in the mid 1970s, Millstone is the only multiple unit nuclear power plant in New England and has a nameplate capacity of 2,037 MW.

Due to multiple safety issues, the plant is currently under enhanced safety scrutiny by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Dominion bought Millstone units 2 and 3 from Northeast Utilities in 2000.