It happens this coming Thursday ... the 40th anniversary of the worst nuclear power plant accident in U.S. history.
A series of mishaps had created an emergency at one of the two reactors at the Three Mile Island plant near Harrisburg, Pennsylvania – a partial meltdown, causing the release of a small amount of radiation into the atmosphere.
Public health officials later declared the radiation leak inconsequential, but the damage to public confidence in nuclear power had been done.
The damaged reactor was shut down for good, and tighter regulations were imposed on the entire industry. The construction of new plants stalled across the land.
Now, four decades later, a punctuation mark: Three Mile Island's current owner says it will be shutting down the plant's only other reactor by the end of the year.
- (CBS News, 3/19/11)
- (CBS News, 3/28/99)
For more info:
- Backgrounder on the Three Mile Island Accident (U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission)
- Three Mile Island Nuclear Power Planet (Exelon)
Story produced by Charis Satchell.