March 28, 1979, there was a cooling system malfunction that caused a partial melt-down of the reactor core. This loss of coolant accident resulted in the release of a significant amount of radioactivity, estimated at 43,000 curies (1.59) of radioactive krypton gas, but less than 20 curies (740 GBq) of the especially hazardous iodine-131, into the surrounding environment. The nuclear power industry claims that there were no deaths, injuries or adverse health effects from the accident, and a report by Columbia University epidemiologist Maureen Hatch agrees with this finding. Another study by Steven Wing of the University of North Carolina found that lung cancer and leukemia rates were 2 to 10 times higher downwind of TMI than upwind. The Radiation and Public Health Project reported a spike in infant mortality in the downwind communities two years after the accident. The incident was widely publicized nationally and internationally, and had far-reaching effects on public opinion, particularly in the United States. The China Syndrome, a movie about a nuclear meltdown, which was released just 12 days before the disaster, became a blockbuster hit.
- Worst Nuclear Accidents in History (socyberty.com)
- What happen in three mile island (wiki.answers.com)
- Radioactive bananas (geneveith.com)