03/21/2011 - 10:30

From the Bulletin archives: Selected readings on Three Mile Island

Lisa McCabe

Lisa McCabe

McCabe was named director of finance in September 2009. With 18 years of experience in not-for-profit financial management, McCabe manages all aspects of the Bulletin's finances including...

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The nuclear crisis in Japan following the 9.0 earthquake and tsunami on March 11, has brought the past tragedies at Three Mile Island and Chernobyl into the spotlight again. To offer a more thorough understanding of Three Mile Island, the Bulletin has compiled this reading list from its archives. Dating from 1945 to 1998 and 1998 to present, the Bulletin's archives are a valuable resource for those interested in additional materials.

Three Mile Island: The battle of Unit 1 PDF
BY EDWARD J. WALSH, BAS MAY 1985
What began as a brief refueling pause has stretched into six years as the restart of Three Mile Island's other reactor has become the focus of charges against the utility and the NRC.

Three Mile Island: Meltdown of Democracy? PDF
BY EDWARD J. WALSH, BAS MARCH 1983
As the government considers restarting the Three Mile Island Unit 1 reactor, local opposition remains strong. This case raises fundamental questions about democratic decision making in the age of high technology.

Containment of a reactor meltdown PDF
BY FRANK VON HIPPEL AND JAN BEYEA, BAS AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 1982
Was the nuclear industry concerned that accident mitigation techniques, such as off-site preparations for emergencies and retrofitting with filtered venting systems, could be interpreted as tacit admissions that serious accidents can happen?

Excerpts from the President's Commission Report on the Accident at Three Mile Island PDF
BAS JANUARY 1980
"Wherever we looked we found problems with the human beings who operate the plant; with the management that runs the key organizations; and with the agency that is charged with assuring the safety of nuclear power plants."

Commentary from London: Harrisburg ist überall PDF
BY WALTER C. PATTERSON, BAS JUNE 1979
"No soothsayer reading the entrails for the nuclear industry ever found a more unambiguous omen. . ." As Carl Friedrich von Weizsaecker opened hearings in Hannover, West Germany on March 28, 1979, on a plan to build the world's largest civil nuclear installation, a feedwater pump failed on TMI.

Three Mile Island: Health Study Meltdown PDF
BY JOSEPH MANGANO, BAS SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2004
A quarter century after the accident at Three Mile Island, remarkably few questions about the health effects of that near-catastrophe have been asked-let alone answered.

The Kemeny Commission Report PDF
BY WILLIAM LANOUETTE, BAS JANUARY 1980
The final report on Three Mile Island offered within its voluminous pages almost any message an attentive reader wants to find.

Commentary from Washington: No longer can the NRC say . . . PDF
BY WILLIAM LANOUETTE, BAS JUNE 1979
Future prospects for nuclear power suffered a severe blow at Three Mile Island. Did the accident portend a "new beginning or "the beginning of the end"?

Institutional responses to Three Mile Island PDF
BY JEAN X. KASPERSON, ROGER E. KASPERSON, C. HOHENEMSER, AND R.W. KATES, BAS DECEMBER 1979
Public fears of nuclear accidents raise difficult problems for democratic institutions. Who can judge the risk? Who can fashion an energy policy?

Environmental liabilities of nuclear power PDF
BY JOHN HOLDREN, BAS JANUARY 1980
The message from Three Mile Island that rightly received the most attention in almost every post mortem: Beware of human frailties.

The impact of Three Mile Island PDF
BY VICTOR GILINSKY, BAS JANUARY 1980
The accident at Three Mile Island presented the U.S. nuclear power industry with very serious problems but, writes Commissioner Gilinsky, the industry was already in serious trouble.