Argument: Three Mile Island was actually a nuclear safety success

Issue Report: Nuclear energy


Mark Brandly. “The Case for Nuclear Power”. Virginia Viewpoint. October, 2001 – “Nuclear power is safer than alternative methods of electricity generation. The famous Three Mile Island accident is often cited as proof of the danger of nuclear power. In that incident, the reactor core was compromised, but the safety devices worked as they were designed to. The radiation was safely contained and not one person was injured with the possible exception of Dr. Edward Teller, a physicist, who worked himself into a heart attack refuting the anti-nuclear propaganda that took place after the accident.”

Max Schulz. “Nuclear Power Is the Future”. Wilson Quarterly. Fall, 2006 – “With regard to the incidents at Three Mile Island and Chernobyl, these objections don’t quite seem fair. Opponents of nuclear energy seized on these episodes to argue that nuclear power is inherently unsafe, and they found a receptive audience in the United States and Europe. But a closer examination of the two events tells a different ­story.

God willing, Three Mile Island will be remembered as the worst nuclear accident in American history. But nobody died. Nobody was even injured. Despite the ­scary-­sounding partial core meltdown that occurred, the nearby community was never really endangered. The massive concrete containment structures that are standard on almost all nuclear reactors did their job and ensured that no radiation ­leaked.”

Patrick Moore. “Going Nuclear A Green Makes the Case”. Washington Post. April 16th, 2006: “Three Mile Island was in fact a success story: The concrete containment structure did just what it was designed to do — prevent radiation from escaping into the environment. And although the reactor itself was crippled, there was no injury or death among nuclear workers or nearby residents. Three Mile Island was the only serious accident in the history of nuclear energy generation in the United States, but it was enough to scare us away from further developing the technology: There hasn’t been a nuclear plant ordered up since then.”