Three Mile Island
March 13, 2011 by staff
Three Mile Island, In the aftermath of the devastating earthquake in Japan, fear and uncertainty on the international state of emergency in two plants of the country’s nuclear power – and the possibility of a merger of the heart to the factory Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power – have already drawn comparisons inevitable with America from 1979 accident at Three Mile Island.
Three Mile Island, where partial melting took place, was indeed the worst commercial nuclear accident in U.S. history, that those of us who have covered this frightening event I remember well. Who could forget the threat white cooling towers that became the iconic image of a nuclear disaster?
The media coverage of Japan during a nuclear emergency has highlighted the danger of a collapse of the Fukushima Daiichi plant damaged miles north of Tokyo. But largely lost in coverage at the beginning, is that the collapse does not necessarily correspond to massive radioactive release into the environment unless the containment structure surrounding the core also fails. The big unanswered questions in the Japanese emergency measure in which hazardous materials are safely contained in the nuclear plant and the control operators have over the process.
In the case of the accident at Three Mile Island partial meltdown of a major base of the plant reactor unit 2, after a loss of coolant, has been largely contained in the American nuclear plant near Middletown, Pennsylvania. Only very small off-site releases of radioactivity occurred during the accident, which resulted from mechanical failure and human error. Extensive studies later concluded that the levels of radioactivity involved were not considered of concern to public health or the environment.
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