Incident Chronology at TMI from NRC: 1979-2014

March 28, 1979, 4:00 a.m. - Beginning of the Three Mile Island (TMI) Unit-2 loss-of-coolant, core melt accident. The plant came within 30 minutes of a full meltdown. The reactor vessel was destroyed, and large amounts of unmonitored radiation was released directly into the community.

March 28, 1979, 4:30 p.m. - Press conference of Lt. Governor William Scranton:
This is an update on the incident at Three-Mile Island Nuclear Power Plant today. This situation is more complex than the company first led us to believe. We are taking more tests. And at this point, we believe there is still no danger to public health. Metropolitan Edison has given you and us conflicting information. We just concluded a meeting with company officials and hope this briefing will clear up most of your questions. There has been a release of radioactivity into the environment. The magnitude of this release is still being determined, but there is no evidence yet that it has resulted in the presence of dangerous levels. The company has informed us that from about 11 a.m. until about 1:30 p.m., Three-Mile Island discharged into the air, steam that contained detectable amounts of radiation.

March 30, 1979 - Governor Richard Thornburgh recommended an evacuation for preschool children and pregnant women living within five miles of the plant. Out of a target population of 5,000, over 140,000 Central Pennsylvanians fled the area. Schools in the area closed...

The U.S. House of Representatives committee examining reporting information during the accident concluded:

The record indicates that in reporting to State and federal officials on March 28, 1979, TMI managers did not communicate information in their possession that they understood to be related to the severity of the situation. The lack of such information prevented State and federal officials from accurately assessing the condition of the plant. In addition, the record indicates that TMI managers presented State and federal officials misleading statements (i.e. statements that were inaccurate and incomplete) that conveyed the impression the accident was substantially less severe and the situation more under control than what the managers themselves believed and what was in fact the case.

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Incident Chronology at Susquehanna Steam Electric Station in Berwick: 2010- 2011

This chronology does not include the cost to the rate payer
to build Susquehanna-1 and -2. PP&L asked the Public Utility
Commission (PUC) for $315 million to recover the cost of
building Unit-1. The PUC granted $203 million on August 22,
1983, or a 16% increase to the customer. The company asked for
$330 million for Unit-2 but was allowed $121 million in April,
1985; an 8% increase to rate payers. In addition, PP&L
consumers have “contributed”  approximately $4.6 million
annually (since 1985) to the decommissioning fund.
(Also,  refer  to  May  15  and  August  13,  1998,  for  information
on  “stranded  costs” passed on to  “hostage” PP&L  rate payers.)
Moreover, in the Winter 1999/2000, PPL unilaterally
devaluated the combined PURTA and Real Estate tax
assessments for the SSES. Prior to the Negotiated Settlement,
the nuclear power generating stations were assessed by PP&L at
approximately $1 billion. PPL is now claiming that the the SSES
is only worth $74 million or the same amount as the valuation of
the Columbia Hospital. If PPL prevails, the Berwick School
District and Luzerne County will experience revenue shock. PPL
is not paying or escrowing any moneys they owe to Luzerne
County and the Berwick School District.

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Peach Bottom Atomic Station, Units 2 and 3 - Staff Assessment of the Flooding Walkdown Report Supporting Implementation of Near-Term Task Force Recommendation 2.3 Related to the Fukushima DAI-ICHI Nuclear Power Plant Accident (Tac Nos. MF0261 and MF0262)

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Three Mile Island, Unit 1 - Staff Assessment of the Flooding Walkdown Report Supporting Implementation of Near-Term Task Force Recommendation 2.3 Related to the Fukushima Dai-Ichi Nuclear Power Plant Accident (Tac No. MF0290)

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Susquehanna Steam Electric Station, Units 1 and 2, Staff Assessment of The Flooding Walkdown Report Supporting Implementation of Near-Term Task Force Recommendation 2.3 Related to The Fukushima Dai-Ichi Nuclear Power Plant Accident (MF0288 and MF0289)

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San Luis Obispo Mothers for Peace among 34 organizations demanding the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission consider new and significant information on the environmental impacts of high-density pool storage.

For immediate release: July 2, 2014


Linda Seeley, Spokesperson
Jane Swanson, Spokesperson

San Luis Obispo Mothers for Peace (SLOMFP) is among 34 organizations filing an amended rulemaking petition on June 26, 2014.  The amended petition supplements the rulemaking petition filed on February 18, which asks the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) to revise its environmental analysis of “spent” fuel storage impacts based on new and significant information generated in the NRC’s Expedited Spent Fuel Transfer proceeding.  In that proceeding, the NRC admitted for the first time how devastating the impacts of a pool fire could be, i.e., thousands of square miles contaminated, millions of people relocated.  It also conceded that transferring spent fuel from high-density pools to dry storage could be a cost-effective mitigative measure.  The 34 organizations, represented by SLOMFP attorney Diane Curran and Mindy Goldstein of Emory Law School, argue that this information must be considered before licensing or re-licensing any nuclear reactors.

See the Amended Petition  at


An Update To The On-going Revision to NUREG-0654/FEMA-REP-1

Development of draft Revision 2 of NUREG-0654/FEMA-REP-1 continued during the 1st quar- ter of calendar year 2014 in preparation for the formal public comment period, which is scheduled to start in Octo- ber 2014. A preliminary draft of Section I was developed and changes to the evaluation criteria in Section II were com- pleted after considering feed- back from the stakeholder engagement sessions held in October 2013. Prior to holding another stakeholder engage- ment session, the document was provided to NRC and FE- MA staff for comment in April 2014. During May 2014, the lead NRC-FEMA writing team made further changes to Sec- tions I and II based on staff input.

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NRC kicks evacuation plans back to state
June 21, 2014
A response to the governor from the country's top nuclear regulator has stirred reaction from Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station foes who say it opens the way to close the plant on the basis that "there's no escape from the Cape."

Last week, Allison Macfarlane, chairwoman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, responded to a March letter from Gov. Deval Patrick, in which he expressed concern over Pilgrim's recent performance downgrade as well as the absence of a "viable evacuation plan," in case of an accident.

"The unique geographical relationship between Pilgrim and the communities comprising Cape Cod and Southeastern Massachusetts could put those residents at serious risk should there be an accident," Patrick wrote.

The governor called for closing the plant if it failed to comply with "all health, safety and environmental regulations."

In her letter, Macfarlane assured him Pilgrim's performance complies with public health and safety standards. And she reiterated that the responsibility for an evacuation plan is on Patrick's shoulders.

"The commonwealth of Massachusetts has the overall authority for making protective action decisions (e.g., sheltering and evacuation) to ensure the safety of Massachusetts residents during a radiological event," Macfarlane said.

Plant critics say that authority would allow the governor to demand Pilgrim be closed because it's impossible to come up with a viable evacuation plan should the plant have an accident.

"The current evacuation plan for Pilgrim nuclear power plant is highly unrealistic, discounting the impacts of such basics as weather, traffic and human behavior," wrote Giselle Barry, a spokeswoman for Sen. Edward Markey, D-Mass., in an email.

Until the plan is revised, Barry called it "a disaster waiting to happen."

Diane Turco, founder of the Pilgrim watchdog group Cape Downwinders, said Macfarlane's statement has exciting ramifications.

"She identifies the state as responsible for the public safety," Turco said. "Now the governor needs to reject the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency's evacuation plans because the plans have the Cape trapped."

Currently the emergency response plan developed by local and state emergency management officials covers only the 10-mile radius around the Pilgrim plant, the area defined by the NRC as the Emergency Planning Zone. Under that plan at least one of the Cape's two bridges would be closed in a nuclear accident to stop an exodus of Cape residents from slowing the evacuation from the 10-mile zone.

The only plan developed for the Cape is a generic traffic plan MEMA has put together for all emergencies, such as floods, hurricanes and severe storms.

Meanwhile, Cape leaders and Pilgrim watchdogs have clamored for years for an evacuation study.

Seth Rolbein, senior adviser for state Sen. Daniel Wolf, D-Harwich, noted that MEMA officials have said sheltering in place would likely be "the best and maybe the only option" for the Cape.

"Given that, from a public safety point of view, the responsible position is to begin on a plan for the decommissioning of the Pilgrim plant, that transitions the workforce and revenue, and protects the public safety," Rolbein said.

Last summer, KLD Engineering, a New York firm specializing in traffic patterns and evacuation planning, was hired by Entergy, Pilgrim's owner, and MEMA to survey Cape residents to determine how many would try to evacuate in a nuclear incident. They found more than half would race for the bridges.

MEMA spokesman Peter Judge said Wednesday that nothing has been done since KLD completed its survey last summer.

"Obviously there has been concern about the folks on the Cape," Judge said. "We're meeting with the Barnstable County Regional Emergency Planning Committee to discuss what the next steps in the traffic plan should be, and we'll go forward in conjunction with them, working on a plan if the worst case did occur."

Kevin Morley, public information officer for the county emergency planning committee, confirmed the plan for a meeting, but added solutions to the "no escape from the Cape" won't easily be found.

"The physical limitations of the geography make it a difficult situation," Morley said.

Follow Christine Legere on Twitter: @ChrisLegereCCT

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Susquehanna Steam Electric Station, Units 1 and 2, Staff Assessment of The Flooding Walkdown Report Supporting Implementation of Near-Term Task Force Recommendation 2.3 Related to The Fukushima Dai-Ichi Nuclear Power Plant Accident (MF0288 and MF0289)

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