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Three Mile Island Effects

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The Impacts of Three Mile Island on the Nuclear Industry as a Whole At four o’clock in the morning, on March 28th, 1979, reactor two at the Three Mile Island nuclear power plant overheated due to a cooling pipe that was mistakenly closed. After a series of mechanical and human errors, reactor two partially melted down. To release pressure in the chamber radioactive gasses had to be released into the atmosphere. Residents of nearby town Londonderry, Pennsylvania, were not evacuated as they were never exposed to unsafe levels of radiation. It was not for hours after the incident at the power plant had been of concern that the mayor of Londonderry was alerted. Citizens of Londonderry and the nearby areas were unaware of evacuation and contingency…show more content…
Demonstrations against nuclear power after the accident grew in intensity, leading to a march in New York City with over 200 thousand participants.
A week prior to the Three Mile Island accident, “The China Syndrome” was released to theaters. While critics lauded the movie, the plot itself was considered unrealistic, never to happen in real life. A week later, the events that transpired mirrored the plot of the movie: “When you went and you reviewed the steps at Harrisburg at Three Mile Island it was staggering how similar that they were to the steps that we had recreated in our script,” said Michael Douglas, producer of the film in an interview (The China Syndrome).
When looking at the events that transpired, it is clear that the priorities of the nuclear power industry, which were mirrored in “The China Syndrome” did not lead the industry to success. Because of the rush of development, and lack of consideration of safety, nuclear power in its first iteration was bound to fail. "This movie [The China Syndrome] is about greed,” said Douglas, and because of the wrong priorities by the regulatory bodies, private utilities, and private equipment producers, nuclear power was not a good
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"Expert Discourages Conversion Of Three Mile Island Plant to Coal." New York Times. Accessed November 12, 1979. http://www.nytimes.com/1979/11/12/archives/expert-discourages-conversion-of-three-mile-island-plant-to-coal.html?_r=0.
This article explains the conversion plan briefly.
The China Syndrome. Directed by James Bridges. Produced by Michael Douglas. Performed by Jane Fonda, Jack Lemmon, and Michael Douglas. IPC FIlms, 1979. DVD.
This movie led to some of the anti-nuclear sentiment at the time.
The China Syndrome. Directed by James Bridges. Produced by Michael Douglas. Performed by Jane Fonda, Jack Lemmon, Michael Douglas. Los Angeles: Columbia Pictures, 1979. DVD.
This movie provided powerful social and political commentary about nuclear power at the time.
The Editors of Encyclopædia Britannica. "Atomic Energy Commission." Encyclopædia Britannica. Accessed February 07, 2017. http://www.britannica.com/topic/Atomic-Energy-Commission-United-States-organization.
Funk, Cary, and Brian Kennedy. "The Politics of Climate." Pew Research Center: Internet, Science & Tech. October 04, 2016. Accessed February 07, 2017. http://www.pewinternet.org/2016/10/04/the-politics-of-climate/.
This statistic provided helpful insight into the public perception of nuclear power
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