Mile Island: The Inside Story
The principal sources of information about the accident and the
crisis and the cleanup are volume 87 (1989) of the journal Nuclear Technology, with all four issues devoted to technical articles
on TMI-2; the technical history of the cleanup by Holton, et al.
(ref. 12), and the recent book by J. Samuel Walker (ref. 32). A
brief but comprehensive technical account of the reactor and the
accident is given by Knief (ref. 15).
References (referred to by number in texts)
1. Bechtel Northern Corp. “Quick Look inspection” (GEND-030),
vol. 1 (1983 March), abstract; vol. 2 (1983 April), abstract.
2. Beller, Larry S., and Harry L. Brown. “Design and operation
of the core topography data acquisition system for TMI-2”
(GEND-INF-012, 1984 May).
3. Beller, Larry S., and Michael R. Martin. “Ultrasonic mapping
of the postaccident TMI-2 core configuration,” American Nuclear
Society, Transactions, vol. 46, p. 482 (1984).
4. Broughton, James M., Pui Kuan, David A. Petti, and E. L. Tolman.
“A scenario of the Three Mile Island unit 2 accident,”
Nuclear Technology, vol. 87, pp. 34-53 (1989).
5. Burton, H. M., and R. L. Freemerman. “Reactor disassembly
activities at Three Mile Island unit 2,” Progress in Nuclear
Energy, vol. 17, pp. 141-174 (1986).
6. Cole, Norman R. “Assessing the damage at TMI-2,”
TMI-2: a learning experience. ANS Executive Conference,
1985 (MPR Associates report MPR-889, 1985).
7. Cole, Norman R., T. Friderichs, and B. Lipford (MPR Asssociates).
“Specimens removed from the damaged Three Mile Island reactor
vessel,” pp. 81-91 in Three Mile Island reactor pressure
vessel investigation project (1994).
8. Eidam, G. R., “Core damage,” pp.87-107 in Toth,
ed., The Three Mile Island accident (1986).
9. Franz, W. A., R. L. Rider, W. A. Austin, N. Cole. “TMI-2
‘Quick Look’ examination.” American Nuclear Society,
Transactions, vol. 43, pp. 4-5 (1982).
10. Garner, Richard W., Dennis E. Owen, Michael R. Martin. “An
assessment of the TMI-2 axial power shaping rod dynamic test results”
(GEND-INF-038, April 1983).
11. Greenlee, D. W. “In-vessel inspection before head removal:
TMI II, phase II (tooling and systems design)” (GEND-010),
vol. 2 (1981 July), abstract.
12. Holton, W. C., C. A. Negin, S. L. Owrutsky. The cleanup
of Three Mile Island unit 2. A technical history: 1979 to 1990.
Electric Power Research Institute (report NP-6931), 1990.
13. Institution of Electrical and Electronic Engineers. IEEE
Spectrum, vol. 16, nr 11 (Nov. 1979). Special issue on Three
Mile Island accident and the nuclear power industry in the United
14. Institution of Electrical and Electronic Engineers. IEEE Spectrum,
vol. 21, nr 4 (April 1984). Special issue on “Nuclear power:
in the wake of Three Mile Island.”
15. Knief, Ronald Allen. Nuclear engineering: theory and technology
of commercial nuclear power, rev. ed. (Taylor and Francis:
Washington, D.C., 1992), pp. 420-450.
16. Marley, Alan W., Douglas W. Akers, and Charles V. McIsaac.
“Sampling and examination methods used for Three Mile Island
unit 2,” Nuclear Technology, vol. 87, pp. 845-856.
17. Olsen, Charles S., Steven M. Jensen, and Eric R. Carlson. “Materials
interactions and temperatures in the Three Mile Island unit 2 core,”
Nuclear Technology, vol. 87, pp. 57-77 (1989)
18. Osif, Bonnie A., Anthony J. Baratta, Thomas W. Conkling. TMI
25 years later : the Three Mile Island nuclear power plant accident
and its impact. Pennsylvania State University Press, 2004.
19. Owen, D. E., and M. R. Martin. “TMI-2 core examination:
first results,” American Nuclear Society, Transactions,
vol. 43, p. 5 (1982).
20. Parlee, K., J. Weissburg, W. A. Austin. “Axial power
shaping rod insertion test.” American Nuclear Society, Transactions,
vol. 43, pp. 3-4 (1982).
21. Patterson, Rayford L., Michael L. Estabrook, and D. C. Wilson.
“Data acquision methods used at Three Mile Island unit 2,”
Nuclear Technology, vol. 87, pp. 571-596 (1989).
22. Stacy, Susan M. Proving the principle: a history of the
Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory, 1949-1999.
Idaho Falls, Idaho: Idaho Operations Office of the Dept. of Energy,
2000. Available at http://www.inel.gov/proving-the-principle/.
23. Standerfer, F. R. (GPU). “Three Mile Island unit 2: plant
recovery,” Nuclear Technology, vol. 87, pp. 54-56 (1989).
24. Thomas, Garry R. “Description of the accident,”
pp.2-25 in Toth, ed., The Three Mile Island accident (1986).
25. Three Mile Island reactor pressure vessel investigation
project : achievements and significant results : proceedings of
an open forum sponsored by the OECD Nuclear Energy Agency and the
United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Boston (USA), 20-22
October 1993. Paris : Organisation for Economic Co-operation
and Development ; Washington, D.C. : OECD Publications and Information
26. Toth, L.M., ed., The Three Mile Island accident. American
Chemical Society, 1986.
27. United States. Congress. Senate. Committee on Environment and
Public Works. Subcommittee on Nuclear Regulation. Nuclear accident
and recovery at Three Mile Island : a report. Washington :
U.S. Govt. Print. Off., 1980.
28. United States. Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Office of Nuclear
Reactor Regulation. TMI-1 restart : evaluation of licensees
compliance with the short-and long-term items of Section II of the
NRC Order dated August 9, 1979, Metropolitan Edison Company, et
al., Three Mile Island Nuclear Station, Unit 1, Docket 50-289
(NUREG-0680). Reprinted in United States. Congress. House. Committee
on Science and Technology. Subcommittee on Energy Research and Production.
Lessons learned in utility management and the status of the
R&D program following the accident at Three Mile Island: hearing
before the Subcommittee ... May 22, 1984. Washington : U.S.
Govt. Print. Off., 1985.
29. United States. Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Special Inquiry
Group. Three Mile Island : a report to the Commissioners and
to the public. Washington, D.C.: Nuclear Regulatory Commission,
Special Inquiry Group, 1980. 2 vols. in 4. [Aka “Rogovin report.”]
Available at http://www.threemileisland.org/
30. United States. President's Commission on the Accident at Three
Mile Island. The need for change, the legacy of TMI : report
of the President's Commission on the Accident at Three Mile Island.
Washington, D.C. : The Commission, 1979. [Aka “Kemeny Commission
report.”] Available at http://www.threemileisland.org/
31. United States. President's Commission on the Accident at Three
Mile Island. Office of Chief Counsel. Report of the Office of
Chief Counsel on the role of the managing utility and its suppliers.
Washington, D.C. : The Office of Chief Counsel ..., 1979.
Available at http://www.threemileisland.org/
32. Walker, J. Samuel. Three Mile Island: a nuclear crisis
in historical perspective. University of California Press,
offers by far the largest amount of documentation relating to the
accident. Prepared by a group of faculty at Dickinson College, in
Carlisle, Pa., assisted by many students, it reproduces in full
the reports of the two principal investigative commissions, the
"Kemeny" and "Rogovin" reports, and many other
documents, as well as transcripts of interviews with persons experiencing
the accident from different situations.
The single best website for links to other sources of information
is the ECHO Science & Technology Memory Bank on the Accident
at Three Mile Island, where you may also read the recollections
of people who lived through the TMI crisis and may record your own
recollections of that event. http://echo.gmu.edu/tmi/index.html
Beyond those two websites, the following are suggested for further
information about the accident at Three Mile Island and about nuclear
Dramatic account of first stages of accident with good, brief technical
U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, "Fact Sheet on the Accident
at Three Mile Island." This updating adds to its list of sources
J. Samuel Walker, Three Mile Island: A Nuclear Crisis in Historical
Perspective (University of California Press, 2004), an excellent,
extensively researched account of the crisis as experienced by the
public and dealt with by public officials.
Website of Three Mile Island Alert, "a non-profit citizens'
organization dedicated to the promotion of safe-energy alternatives
to nuclear power and is especially critical of the Three Mile Island
nuclear plant." Site includes "What's Wrong With the NRC's
2004 Fact Sheet on the TMI Accident?"
Description of the Three Mile Island (TMI-2) Recovery and Decontamination
Collection in the Engineering Library of the Pennsylvania State
University, with references to books, journals, and bibliographies.
The website of the Idaho National Engineering and Environmental
U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Environmental Management,
"Nuclear Age Timeline," contains much information and
sources for more.
U.S. Department of Energy, Energy Information Administration, offers
much information about nuclear, as well as other forms of energy.
The Nuclear Energy Institute: "The purposes of the Institute
are to foster and encourage the continued safe utilization and development
of nuclear energy."
The American Nuclear Society, an association "to develop and
safely apply nuclear science and technology for public benefit."
A great deal of information on nuclear power plants around the
world may be found at:
The website of Living on Earth, a weekly environmental news and
information program distributed by National Public Radio, has a
helpful set of Three Mile Island related links as well as transcripts
of its many programs relating to nuclear power.
Lastly, the serious researcher seeking a deeper understanding of the import of the accident must turn to the archived papers of the Governor of Pennsylvania, Richard ("Dick") Thornburgh, http://www.library.pitt.edu/thornburgh/collection/series11.html, and of the President of the United States, Jimmy Carter, http://www.jimmycarterlibrary.org/library/arc.phtml.