Three Mile Island meltdown 34 years ago today — “America’s Forgotten Nuclear Terror” — Pregnant women, small children told to leave area (VIDEO & AUDIO)

Published: March 28th, 2013 at 5:13 pm ET

17 comments The Three Mile Island accident resonates, 34 years later

CBS 21 News (VIDEO): […] worker error led to the partial meltdown and very small off-site release of radioactivity. However, at the time none of that crucial information was known. In nearby Middletown, residents were updated by the fire department. “No need for evacuation. Stay in doors with your windows closed.” With each successive day, officials became more aware of what happened and how to respond. For instance, then Governor Dick Thornburgh, in office less than two months offered the advice following conversations with the NRC. “We’ve advised those who may be particularly susceptible to the effects of radiation, that is pregnant women and pre-school children, to leave the area within a five mile radius of the TMI facility until further notice,” Thornburgh advised. “We also ordered the closing of any school within the area.” […]

Business Insider: MELTDOWN ON THREE MILE ISLAND: What Happened On The Day Of The Nation’s Worst Nuclear Disaster

Nuclear Hotseat: THREE MILE ISLAND SPECIAL: America’s Forgotten Nuclear Terror (AUDIO)

Published: March 28th, 2013 at 5:13 pm ET


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17 comments to Three Mile Island meltdown 34 years ago today — “America’s Forgotten Nuclear Terror” — Pregnant women, small children told to leave area (VIDEO & AUDIO)

  • PavewayIII PavewayIII

    Don't forget that the feds freaked out last time when people started evacuating on their own. Marine Reservists were called up and deployed to the area.

    THIS time, DHS will be there early – with their road blocks and hollow-points – to *ensure* people shelter-in-place.

  • Mad Scientists Mad Scientists

    To learn the REAL health and environmental effects of Three Mile Island

    1. Watch the award-winning video "Three Mile Island Revisited"

    2. Watch this 1999 PBS documentary called "Meltdown at Three Mile Island"

    3. Listen to Dr. Steve Wing speaking at the Fukushima Symposium:

    A few points from Dr. Wing

    — initial symptoms after Three Mile Island included reddening of skin, nausea/vomiting, hairloss — and were told this was due to stress
    — he studied this and said their symptoms did not fit 'stress' diagnosis
    — out of 160,000 people within 10 miles of Three Mile Island meltdown, there were 5,493 cancers — 1975-1985
    — Lung Cancers rose dramatically in the direction of the plumes
    — deaths of pets/animals

    4. Arnie Gundersen said there was a 50% increase in lung cancers in Susquehanna River Valley after TMI

    5. Local resident Mary Osborn wrote and spoke a lot about the effects of TMI.

    • AGreenRoad AGreenRoad

      Consistently the same lies are ALWAYS told after a nuclear incident or accident.

      It is ALWAYS the victims fault…

      too much stress, worry, negative thinking.

      Mothers with deformed babies? it is all THEIR fault.

      No problem with radiation or the nuclear industry; they are pure as snow, and have virgin like innocence and truth on their side, right? They are very sure that they are all going straight to Heaven, through those radioactive metal pearly white gates.

  • Time Is Short Time Is Short

    "Peters soon developed diarrhea and nausea, blisters on his lips and inside his nose, and a burning feeling in his chest. Not long after, he had surgery for a damaged heart valve. When his family evacuated the area a few days later, they left their four-year-old German shepherd in their garage with 200 pounds of dog chow, 50 gallons of water and a mattress. When they returned a week later, they found the dog dead on the mattress, his eyes burnt completely white. His food was untouched, and he had vomited water all over the garage. They also found four of their five cats dead — their eyes also burnt white — and one alive but blinded."

    "Where the Columbia study found a 30 percent average increase in lung cancer risk among one group of residents, for example, Wing found an 85 percent increase."

    "Exactly how much radiation was released is impossible to say, since onsite monitors immediately went off the scale after the explosion. But Gundersen points to an inside report by an NRC manager who himself estimated the release of about 36 million curies — almost three times as much as the NRC's official estimate. Gundersen also notes that industry itself has acknowledged there was a total of 10 billion curies of radiation inside the reactor containment. Using the common estimate that a tenth of it escaped, that means as much as a billion curies could have been released to the environment."

  • Time Is Short Time Is Short

    "It was not until the third day of the TMI disaster that Pennsylvania's Governor Thornburgh decided to recommend that pregnant women and preschool children leave the region within a 5-mile radius of Three Mile Island and to close all schools within that area."

    "And while numerous other countries see the benefit of stockpiling stable iodine to protect people up to hundreds of miles from a major accident, it is not felt to be cost-effective by many U.S. policy-makers who have read or heard generalized studies (with very questionable assumptions and little public mention of the risks) that do not factor in the cost of things like: (1) human suffering associated with sickness (like cancer and hypothyroidism) and deaths caused by preventable thyroid irradiation, (2) lawsuits against the utilities and the government should thousands to millions of people have their health needlessly damaged, especially after studies have shown that KI could greatly diminish people's risks and have recommended KI's stockpiling/distribution, and (3) having to evacuate much larger portions of the U.S. population around a nuclear power plant than would have been needed if KI pills were available to make in-place sheltering a more viable option in large outlying areas."

    Very interesting Distance/Thyroid Dose/Probability of Thyroid Damage to Exposed Children chart, too:

  • PavewayIII PavewayIII

    For the 100% honest truth, look no further than the NRC. They have an *animated diagram* proving there was hardly any release. Only 1,590,000,000,000 becquerels of krypton-85 and 740,000,000,000 becquerels of iodine-131.

    Radiation causes cancer? Hrump! Let's see an animated diagram then.

    Interesting that they would even mention Kr-85. It's a ground-hugging heavier-than-air gas. Fission only yields a quarter of one percent as a product, so 'clouds' of it anywhere after an accident means other bad things in much greater quantity. Unit 3 spewed quite a bit when it blew up on the 14th. WSPEEDI simulations done the next day showed Tokyo got blasted. Of course, the government withheld this from Japanese citizens until three months later. SKF published the secret WSPEEDI five-sequence Kr-85 model. Note the amounts in Bq/m3 on the maps are for illustration – the actual amount would have been billions higher.

    There are no actual measurements, but the model is accurate for *any* dense gas dispersion on those dates.

  • Voices from the Three Mile Island Nuclear Accident

    "This clip is a collection of voices from press conferences, radio shows and interviews after the accident…"

    ABC News
    Walter Cronkite Reports

  • Sickputer

    I was a young man, three years out of college. Listened transfixed to radio reports about the "hydrogen bubble" they feared was going to blow the reactor roof off. We were lucky… Could have been ten times worse. But locals downwind paid a heavy price. Their health was never the same.

  • ion jean ion jean

    Funny I happened to be reading about TMI today…

    A few days later, the two-inch-thick document entitled "Assessment of Offsite Radiation Doses from the Three Mile Island Unit 2 Accident TDR-TMI-116," dated July 31, 1979, arrived in the mail. And there, in the second paragraph, was the proof that the evacuation ordered on the third day had indeed been too late:

    Based on techniques used in this analysis, dose estimates are consistent with the release of seven million curies of noble gases in the first one-and-one-half days of the accident, two million in the next two days and one million in the next three days, and a relatively small amount thereafter.

    Secret Fallout by Ernest Sternglass on

    • ion jean ion jean

      TMI was NOT a small release and Fukushima is more than 25% of ALL atmospheric bomb test fallout Worldwide! (

    • AGreenRoad AGreenRoad

      Of course, the evacuations are ALWAYS too late or never happen at all.

      No immediate health effects.

      Do not question authority.

      Believe and trust your government, church, nuclear industry and huge corporations blindly.

      They always tell the truth. 'snicker'