Three Mile Island: Exposing the Government's Cover Up of Our Most Infamous Nuclear Accident
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Some 2400 area residents have long-since filed a class action lawsuit demanding compensation for the plague of death and disease visited upon their families. In the past quarter-century they have been denied access to the federal court system, which claims there was not enough radiation released to do such harm. TMI's owners did quietly pay out millions in damages to area residents whose children were born with genetic damage, among other things. The payments came in exchange for silence among those receiving them.
But for all the global attention focused on the accident and its health effects, there has never been a binding public trial to test the assertion by thousands of conservative central Pennsylvanians that radiation from TMI destroyed their lives.
So while the nuclear power industry continues to assert that "no one died at Three Mile Island," it refuses to allow an open judicial hearing on the hundreds of cases still pending.
As the pushers of the "nuclear renaissance" demand massive tax- and rate-payer subsidies to build yet another generation of reactors, they cynically stonewall the obvious death toll that continues to mount at the site of an accident that happened thirty years ago. The "see no evil" mantra continues to define all official approaches to the victims of this horrific disaster.
Ironically, like Chernobyl, Three Mile Island Unit Two was a state-of-the-art reactor. Its official opening came on December 28, 1978, and it melted exactly three months later. Had it operated longer, the accumulated radiation spewing from its core almost certainly would have been far greater.
Every reactor now operating in the US is much older -- nearly all fully three decades older -- than TMI-2 when it melted. Their potential fallout that could dwarf what came down in 1979.
But the Big Lie remains officially in tact. Expect to hear all week that TMI was "a success story" because "no one was killed."
But in mere moments that brand new reactor morphed from a $900 million asset to a multi-billion-dollar liability. It could happen to any atomic power plant, now, tomorrow and into the future.
Meanwhile, the death toll from America's worst industrial catastrophe continues to rise. More than ever, it is shrouded in official lies and desecrated by a reactor-pushing "renaissance" hell-bent on repeating the nightmare on an even larger scale.
Harvey Wasserman has been writing about atomic energy and the green alternatives since 1973. His 1982 assertion to Bryant Gumbel on NBC's TODAY Show that people were killed at TMI sparked a national mailing from the reactor industry demanding a retraction. NBC was later bought by General Electric, still a major force pushing atomic power. This article originally appeared at http://freepress.org.