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Three Mile Island burst into the nation's headlines twenty-five years ago, forever changing our view of nuclear power. The dramatic accident held the world's attention for an unsettling week in March 1979 as engineers struggled to understand what had happened and brought the damaged reactor to a safe condition. Much has been written since then about TMI, but it is not easy to find up-to-date information that is both reliable and accessible to the nonscientific reader. TMI 25 Years Later offers a much-needed "one-stop" resource for a new generation of citizens, students, and policy makers.
The legacy of Three Mile Island has been far reaching. The worst nuclear accident in U.S. history marked a turning point in our policies, our perceptions, and our national identity. Those involved in the nuclear industry today study the scenario carefully and review the decontamination and recovery process. Risk management and the ability to convey risks to the general population rationally and understandably are an integral part of implementing new technologies. Political, environmental, and energy decisions have been made with TMI as a factor, and while studies reveal little environmental damage from the accident, long-term studies of health effects continue.
TMI 25 Years Later presents a balanced and factual account of the accident, the cleanup effort, and the many facets of its legacy. The authors bring extensive research and writing The authors bring extensive research and writing experience to this book. After the accident and the cleanup, a significant collection of videotapes, photographs, and reports was donated to the University Libraries at Penn State University. Bonnie Osif and Thomas Conkling are engineering librarians at Penn State who maintain a database of these materials, which they have made available to the general public through an award-winning website. Anthony Baratta is a nuclear engineer who worked with the decontamination and recovery project at TMI and is an expert in nuclear accidents. The book features unique photographs of the cleanup and helpful appendixes that enable readers to investigate further various aspects of the story.
Preface and Acknowledgments
1. Nuclear Energy Basics
2. The Accident
3. The Cleanup of TMI Unit 2
4. Media Coverage and Public Understanding
5. The Effect on the Local Community
6. The Impact of Three Mile Island
7. Energy for the Future