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TIME Magazine on TMI at 30: Nuclear Power's Pitfalls

 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."

The day we held our breath: Berks man looks back 30 years to his part in Three Mile Island calamity

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

Reading Eagle

 

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.

Video: TMI and Community Health

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.

 

Is Three Mile Island a Good Neighbor?

 

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?

Three Decades After Accident, Resident Remains in Pursuit of Truth

 

 

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. 

 

 

NRC Holding Open House Regarding Beaver Valley Nuclear Plant Performance Assessment

Nuclear Regulatory Commission staff will conduct an informational open house on Tuesday, March 31, regarding the agency’s annual assessment of safety performance for the Beaver Valley nuclear power plant.

 

The open house, which will take place from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at the Shippingport Community and Municipal Center, 164 State Road 3016 in Shippingport (Beaver County), Pa., will provide members of the public with an opportunity to learn first-hand from NRC staff members about performance at the plant during 2008. Unlike the standard meeting format, the setting will allow citizens to discuss plant-related topics on a one-on-one basis with NRC inspectors assigned to the plant and their NRC Region I supervisor.

U.S. Senate Hearing on “Three Mile Island: Thirty Years of Lessons Learned”

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.   

 

Nuclear Alternatives Organization Remembers Accident

 Remember TMI, March 28, 2009: Thirty Years since the Atomic Accident

 

The NRC and the nuclear industry are attempting to revise the history of the Three Mile Island accident on March 28, 1979. They say no significant amount of radiation got out and nobody got sick or died. The nuclear industry's sophists-for-hire call TMI a nuclear industry success story.  Nothing is farther from the truth.

 

Please visit our TMI Accident 30th Commemoration link at www.beyondnuclear.org

Vermont Yankee Decommissioning Fund Declines, Again.

 

By BOB AUDETTE, Reformer Staff

 

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

 

BRATTLEBORO If you've been keeping an eye on Vermont Yankee's decommissioning trust fund, it has had so many ups and downs in the past year you might need to take some anti-nausea medication.

 

In just the past year, the fund has lost $80 million, from $427 million in March 2008 to $347 million by the end of last month. Since September 2007, the fund has lost $93 million.

Beyond Nuclear Bulletin

 

March 20, 2009 

Top Stories

TMI Accident 30th Commemorative, March 28, 2009

Background: It will be 30 years ago on March 28 since the Three Mile Island nuclear power plant had a radioactive accident near Harrisburg, PA.There were no sirens in place to warn communities around the melting reactor. Instead, the warning came with early morning sightings of an iridescent cloud billowing out of the cooling tower, people downwind experiencing a metallic taste, sunburn-like symptoms and loss of hair. Birds fell in large numbers from the trees and the insects fell silent. X-ray film became mysteriously fogged in a local dentist's office vault. After two terrifying days, tens of thousands of area residents had spontaneously evacuated before then-Governor Thornburg advised pregnant women and young children within five miles of the reactor to leave the area.

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