This week marks four decades since the partial meltdown at Three Mile Island in Dauphin County that caused the worst nuclear accident the nation has ever seen, writes Ron Southwick for the Harrisburg Patriot-News.
The events on March 28, 1979 left an indelible mark on Pennsylvania. At the time, 144,000 people evacuated from the area for fear of radiation.
The partial meltdown of the Three Mile Island’s Unit 2 nuclear reactor, which had been running for only 90 days at the time, not only caused a local panic, but pumped the brakes on the country’s movement toward nuclear power.
While government officials and scientists have long maintained that no one died or was harmed due to the nuclear accident, many residents in central Pennsylvania disagree. They cite cancers and the early deaths of family members as proof of the adverse effects.
Now, 40 years later, Three Mile Island is due to close. However, a number of lawmakers and lobbyists are working feverishly to convince Exelon to keep the facility open and thus avoid the potential negative impact the closure would have on surrounding businesses and communities.
Read more about Three Mile Island in the Harrisburg Patriot-News here.