America came close to losing it, 40 years ago. But losing what exactly? Harrisburg, Pennsylvania? The whole eastern sea-board?
Thanks to the automated systems set in place, complete catastrophe was diverted–within one second. But are there lingering effects? In those that were there? Those that were nearby? What about the environment?
Fishermen in Córdoba, Argentina caught a three-eyed wolf fish in a reservoir fed by a local nuclear power plant, which will surely hinder the plant’s owner’s attempt to run for local office.
The fishermen say their discovery, which actually bears no resemblance to Blinky the three-eyed fish from The Simpsons, has begun to worry local residents who live near the reactor. And instead of feasting on their catch, and presumably gaining superpowers from its probable high levels of radiation, the men have decided to let it be tested to see if the mutation was actually a result of it being exposed to the water from the nuclear plant. After that they plan to have it embalmed for posterity, or sell it to Fox as a promotional item for their long running, and eerily prophetic, animated series.
And yet there are reports that clearly say that nothing bad ever happened. At least nothing worse that hugging a bag of potato chips. Wait what??
Several independent groups also conducted studies. The approximately 2 million people around TMI-2 during the accident are estimated to have received an average radiation dose of less than 1 mrem above the annual background dose of about 250 mrem, less than eating a bag of potato chips a day.
(Yes, potato chips are the most radioactive food because of the beta-emitting K-40 that is concentrated when you dry out the chip during cooking. However, like TMI, that’s still nothing to worry about)
Hmmm, but can science really calculate all of the tendril effects that this accident has caused? What still lies underneath the American psyche?
Conspiracies began to swirl around and to grow. Like the radiation cloud??
Investigators suspected sabotage at Three Mile IslandTMIA.com
There is evidence to suggest that sabotage played a role in the “accident” at Three Mile Island. (This publication details only the evidence that has been documented by official government or NRC investigations.) Several days before the emergency, an unannounced NRC inspection of the plant’s physical protection discovered access control infractions. Previous announced inspections found TMI to be in compliance with regulations. At the time of the accident, Three Mile Island was not required to enforce the then new “two-man rule.” The two-man rule was designed to prevent a worker from being alone in vital areas. Additionally, TMI had not met the deadline for other newly required security upgrades.
But what was the cost? In dollars and cents? In human lives??
This is important. Nuclear turns out to be the safest form of energy there is. Period. By any measure – rate of human error, worker injury or death, equipment failure, effects on surrounding populations and the environment, number of unplanned shutdowns and level of occupational exposure.
Including all nuclear accidents in history, even wind and solar still kill more people per MWh of electricity produced than nuclear, although all non-fossil deaths involve accidents like falling off a ladder, roof or turbine. Hydro kills more than all other non-fossil systems. And fossil fuel kills way, way more than all the others combined.
Golly, someone should write all of this up in a thrilling novel. Oh well…
Anyway you see the data, we just wanted to wish you a happy anniversary and to all a good night.
If you can sleep that is… Wuuhaahaha!