March 28 will mark the 30th anniversary of the accident at the Three Mile Island Unit 2 (TMI-2) nuclear power plant near Middletown, Pa. The TMI-2 accident had the greatest impact on nuclear regulation of any single event in history. Although there were no deaths or injuries, the accident is a reminder for the NRC and those who operate plants to remain vigilant in watching over the 104 operating reactors in the United States to ensure their safe operation.
A special Facing South investigation by Sue Sturgis
On the 20th and 30th Anniversaries of the Exxon Valdez
and Three Mile Island Accidents, Respectively, We Do
Friday, Mar. 27, 2009
Three Mile Island at 30: Nuclear Power's Pitfalls
By Michael Grunwald
If the Three Mile Island atomic reactor near Harrisburg hadn't melted down 30 years ago this Saturday...well, there probably would have been an accident somewhere else. The entire U.S. nuclear industry was melting down in the 1970s, irradiated by spectacular cost overruns, interminable delays and public outrage. Forbes later called its collapse "the largest managerial disaster in business history, a disaster on a monumental scale."
Thirty years ago today, Temple resident Robert M. Dreibelbis Sr., a Met-Ed executive, was plunged into uncharted territory by the worst nuclear accident the U.S. had ever known.
By Jason Brudereck
Nearly four hours into the accident, Bob Dreibelbis was getting ready to leave his Temple home for work like any other day.
Then the phone rang.
Robert M. Dreibelbis Sr., purchasing manager for the electric utility Met-Ed, answered and found himself speaking to a Met-Ed engineering supervisor whose responsibilities included Three Mile Island.
It was 7:45 a.m. March 28, 1979, when the engineering supervisor called to tell Dreibelbis he had to quickly procure a helicopter to fly two men from the nuclear plant on an island three miles down river from Harrisburg because they had been exposed to radiation.
Accident Dose Assessments
Nuclear engineer and long-time industry executive, Arnie Gundersen gives a talk on his calculations of the amount of radiation released during the accident at Three Mile Island. Mr. Gundersen's calculations differ from those of the NRC's and official industry estimates.
By Ad Crable, Lancater New Era
The irony is that 30 years after the most infamous U.S. accident since the splitting of the atom, there is talk of a nuclear-power revival, driven by greenhouse-gas concerns.
A separate reality is that three decades after the iconic partial-meltdown at Three Mile Island, the nuclear plant's surviving Unit 1 reactor is almost assured of soon receiving government permission to continue operating through 2034.
Is that a good thing?
By Marlene Lang
Mary Osborn Ouassiai still calls it home. Her house behind the WITF television station building in Swatara Township, Dauphin County, Pa., overlooks a valley that slopes down several miles toward the Susquehanna River.
She can see the cooling towers on Three Mile Island from her driveway; the same driveway she walked across on March 28, 1979 to put her 9-year-old daughter on the school bus. She looks out the same windows she looked out of that day, and the days following, holding her son, 2, and wondering if her family and neighbors were being told the truth about the danger to which they had been exposed.
Testimony of Peter A. Bradford
Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works
Subcommittee on Clean Air and Nuclear Safety
March 24, 2009
I’d like to begin with a review of the status of nuclear power and nuclear regulation the day before the
accident at Three Mile Island. As of that time, the NRC’s licensing process, maligned though it often was,
had issued more licenses than the next five nations combined, though half of the construction permit
recipients did not complete their power plants.