‘Three Mile Island: As It Happened’ — a three-part podcast

Relive the moment-by-moment tensions as the nation's worst nuclear accident unfolded

  • Tim Lambert

This March marks the 40th anniversary of the partial meltdown at the Three Mile Island nuclear power plant. PA Post is collaborating with WITF and PennLive on a multimedia, monthlong look at the accident, its impact and the future of TMI and the nuclear industry. That includes new documentary television and radio programs, long-form audio stories, photos, and digital videos. The work will include the voices of people affected as well as community events to engage with listeners, readers and viewers.

 

(Undated) — All this month, we’ve joined with WITF and PennLive to look back 40 years at the partial meltdown at the Three Mile Island nuclear power plant near Harrisburg.

Now, our three-part podcast “Three Mile Island: As It Happened” aims to take you through the chaos and confusion as the nation’s worst nuclear accident unfolded.

It’s hosted by PA Post editor Tim Lambert of WITF and he guides you through the first few days of the crisis, almost moment-by-moment.

The podcast is a collaboration between WITF and PennLive. It was written by John Luciew and produced by Mitch Mathias.

AP

A safety official checks a worker from the Three Mile Island PWR for possible exposure to radioactivity, on March 28, 1979, in Middletown, Pa., shortly after an accident at the nuclear power plant led to the release of radioactive gas from the reactor into the atmosphere. (AP)

Episode 1:

At 7:24 a.m., on Wednesday, March 28, 1979, something goes terribly wrong at the Three Mile Island nuclear power plant in Middletown, Dauphin County. What unfolds over the next few hours is chaos and confusion as people are confronted with a partial meltdown in TMI’s Unit 2 reactor.

PennLive

People are seen inside Three Mile Island on Feb. 28, 1979. (PennLive)

Episode 2:

By mid-afternoon on March 28, 1979, people who live near the Three Mile Island nuclear power plant aren’t getting much information as they wonder if they’ve been exposed to too much radiation. Many find themselves facing a difficult decision: Wait out the crisis or evacuate.

 

Jack Kanthal / The Associated Press

FILE PHOTO: Newsmen and spectators stand in front of the main gate of the Three Mile Island Nuclear Generating Station in Middletown, Penn., April 2, 1979.

Episode 3:

Stepping back from the precipice: When April Fool’s day rolls around, people across central Pennsylvania aren’t in much of a joking mood. The crisis at TMI threatens to turn into a full-scale disaster. But, a visit from President Jimmy Carter and some good fortune appear to turn the tide.

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