The echoes of Three Mile Island, 31 years later

Editor of the Brattleboro Reformer:

The following quotes come from "Three Mile Island: In Their Shoes 3/28/1979:"

"I stepped outside into the heat and rain. Soon after, my skin became red and itchy as if badly sunburned. About three weeks later, my hair turned white and began falling out. Not long after, my left kidney ‘just dried up and disappeared. ‘" -- Trimmer family, Lisburn, Pa.

"The day after, we, like most area residents, were unaware of what was unfolding nearby, as we worked in our garage with the doors open. Then we developed what we thought was a bad sunburn. We also experienced burning in our throats and tasted what seemed to be metal in the air. That same metallic taste is commonly reported in cancer patients receiving radiation therapy. I soon developed diarrhea and nausea, blisters on my lips and inside my nose, and a burning feeling in my chest." -- Peters family, Etters, Pa., four miles away from TMI.

"Seventeen years old, I was out playing tennis with a friend. I heard the sirens and ignored them. Likely it was a drill of some sort. My folks came to get me an hour later. It was hot out. We drove away. Now 31 years later, I have had cancer 3+ times. I have been there for many friends as they had stillbirths, children born deformed, as they have been sick. What a nightmare." -- Coble family, Lancaster Pa., 15-20 miles from TMI.

The nuclear industry claims no one was hurt or injured. I guess I am no one. I guess all my friends with the metallic taste, the burning in the throat, the hair loss, the erythema, the diarrhea, the burning in the chest, the nausea, the blisters on our nose and lips, the burned white eyes on our dead pets, I guess we are all no one.

Or maybe Arnie Gundersen is right once again. He states that the exposure at Three Mile Island Unit 2 was underestimated by a factor of 100 to 1,000.

The nuclear industry did not tell the truth 30 years ago. They continued lying about Three Mile Island for 30 years. Thus many affected neighbors died before settling.

Gary Sachs,

Brattleboro, March 24