Mar-28-1979: Three Mile Island
On March 28, 1979, a nuclear meltdown occurred in reactor number 2 at the Three Mile Island nuclear plant near Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. The incident was rated a five on the seven-point International Nuclear Event Scale: Accident With Wider Consequences and remains the worst accident in U.S. commercial nuclear power plant history.
The partial meltdown resulted in the release of unknown amounts of radioactive gases and radioactive iodine into the environment. Total cleanup costs from the accident were approximately $1 billion.
The accident came two week after the release of the Jane Fonda-Jack Lemmon film, “The China Syndrome,” about an accident at a nuclear plant.
It is important to remember, however, that the Three Mile Island accident is not the only significant nuclear accident to occur within the United States.
After the tsunami induced meltdown at Fukushima, questions remain as to whether US plants are prepared for such an event.