Three Mile Island Thirty Year Later: Accident Without An End; Industry Without Answers


(Harrisburg, Pa) - The core meltdown at Three Mile Island Unit-2 (TMI) beginning on March 28, 1979 ignited a fierce debate about the role of commercial nuclear power. 


Eric Epstein, Chairman of TMI-Alert said, “In the three decades following the melt down, Americans have been exposed to a mercurial flow of misleading information relating to nuclear power. Nuclear energy is not a safe, secure or economical source of energy.”


Andrew Stein, TMIA’s economist, stated: “Three core problems and unresolved questions associated with nuclear power production continue to bedevil the industry: 

“Where is the waste going to go?” 

“Where is the water going to come from?”

“Why is 'Wall Street' sitting on the sidelines?”

Stein added, “In the last decade, costs associated with security, fuel, labor and nuclear waste disposal have priced nuclear power out of the marketplace.”


For more information on events, press packets and energy curriculum,  please view Three Mile Island Alert’s 30th Anniversary Web site at or contact.  

• TMIA’s archives are located at Dickinson College, Special Collections:


• Oral Histories can be accessed at Dickinson College, Community Studies Center:  

           TMI Events Calendar: March 2009 


March, 2009:  “The People of Three Mile Island” with author and photographer, Robert del Tredeci.

Location: PSU-Harrisburg, 777 Harrisburg Pike, Middletown, PA.

Contact: Heidi N. Abbey,


Wednesday, March 11, 2009: “The Economics of Nuclear Power:” Policy forum and lunch featuring Jerry Taylor, CATO Institute,   Eric Epstein, Three Mile Island Alert, Inc., and an industry representative.  Moderated by Matthew J. Brouillette.

Lunch hosted by the Commonwealth Foundation. 

Location:  25 State Street, Harrisburg, Pa.

Contact: CF at (717)-671-1901 or


Wednesday, March 18, 2009: Covering the TMI Crisis: A  Reporters First Hand Account” presentation by R.B. Swift and “State of Security” presentation by Scott Portzline.

Lunch hosted by TMI-Alert, 11:30 am to 1:30 pm. 

Location: Main Capitol, 60 East Wing, Conference Room, Harrisburg.

Contact: Andrew Stein, (610)-310-1048 or or Eric Epstein, (717)-541-1101 or


Thursday, March 26, 2009: “TMI & Health Effects”

Dr. Steven Wing, epidemiologist and “Accident Dose Assessments” Arnie Gunderson, nuclear engineer.

Lunch hosted by TMI-Alert, 11:30 am to 1:30 pm

Location: Main Capitol, 39 East Wing, Conference Room, Harrisburg

Contact:  Andrew Stein, (610)-310-1048 or or Eric Epstein, (717)-541-1101.


Saturday March 28, 2009, “Community Event and Dinner”  Dinner: Tickets are $10 and available at the door. Doors open at 7:00 pm.  

Location:  American Legion, 137 E, High St., Middletown, 717-944-4797

Contact: Please RSVP to TMIA at (717)-233-7897 or Marlene Lang at (717)-701-1979 or

  Tickets and t-shirts are available at Transit News Harrisburg Transportation Center, 717-232-7775.


• Vigil at TMI 4:00 am: Gene Stilp, No Nukes PA,, (717)-829-5600.



 * Additional events:


•  February, 2009 Energy Curriculum and Historical Timeline* 


Contact: Eric Epstein, 717-541-1101,


   “The Environmental, Historical and Industrial Timeline of Pennsylvania”  can serve as a poster for middle and high school students. The posters are free of charge.


   The energy curriculum featuring lessons on coal, nuclear, solar, and wind energy as well as an Emergency Planning training manual for workers and support staff.


The lesson plans are available off the Web site and in hard copy.* The objective of the following lesson plans is to educate elementary through high school students about the practices in developing energy resources.  The information is balanced and  aligned with National Science Education Content Standards and Pennsylvania Academic Standards. Teachers are encouraged to be neutral facilitators, allowing students to formulate their own conclusions and opinions. This balance will allow students to analyze and interpret their findings.  


*  Lessons and Timeline available free of cost upon request at


• January - May, 2009Nuclear Power and Communities”

              Carnegie Mellon University


Contact:  H. Keith Florig, Ph.D.  Senior Research Engineer , Dept. of Engineering & Public Policy,, 412-268-3754


  Each semester the Engineering and Public Policy runs two project courses in which a team of about 25 juniors and seniors tackle some pressing issue involving technology and policy. The objective is to give students experience in framing and analyzing a real-world policy problem under a one-semester time constraint. The outcome is a class report in which students collectively articulate their analyses and make policy recommendations. Last year, CM offered  course in which students evaluated the integration of unmanned aircraft into the national airspace system.


          February, 2009: 


  Relaunch of EFMR radiation monitoring 


The network will provide real time mounting ion and also support emergency planning  as well as the distribution of KI. 


The EFMR Radiation Monitoring Network provides real-time monitoring of alpha, beta, and gamma radiation.  Each monitoring node consists of a geiger counter connected to an embedded computer.  Every minute, the computer transmits a reading back to the server, which in turn immediately passes the data to the backup server.  All readings are permanently stored and are available immediately for real-time analysis. Alerts are automatically sent when radiation reaches dangerous levels.


The network is designed with reliability and security as its highest priorities.  If a monitoring node cannot contact the main server, it immediately attempts to send its reading to the backup server.  If neither server can be contacted, it stores the reading locally, and attempts to resend every minute.  By storing data on its internal solid state drive, each node can continue to log radiation levels for over two years, without any outside contact.  Our primary server is hosted locally, so that we can be quickly repaired in the event of a hardware failure.  Our backup server is at a data center in New Zealand to ensure that it will not be affected by any regional disasters.


All readings that a monitoring node generates are cryptographically signed with a unique encryption key that exists only on that node.  When a reading is transmitted to the server, the server checks the digital signature to ensure its authenticity.  Every signature for every reading is permanently stored in the database, so that we can prove the origin and authenticity of every single reading.  Even if the server is compromised, the data is not, because the server cannot generate the signatures that it stores.  Whether providing real-time data for emergency decision-making or millions of readings for long-term historical analysis, this network will provide the reliability and security necessary to ensure that this data exists, is immediately available.