Remember the Three Mile Island nuclear power plant accident in the United States that had two nuclear plants and one of them was shut down immediately in 1979 but the other one was allowed to continue.
Now even the second one will shut down in 2019, almost 40 years after, in view of financial constraints and no rescue plan coming from the state of Pennsylvania, said its owner Exelon Corp.
In a press release, Chicago-based Exelon said the infamous plant located near Harrisburg, Pennsylvania is facing financial problems due to natural gas boom fueled by a rise in fracking.
The Three Mile Island, the site of a partial nuclear meltdown on March 28, 1979, led to outrage among the environmentalists over the nuclear plants. Ironically, the meltdown happened just 10 days after the release of a Hollywood film “The China Syndrome,” depicting a fictional meltdown at a nuclear reactor.
William Whittock, a resident of Harrisburg, told ABC News later that there was a geyser of steam rising up in the air. It took 14 years to clean up the site. Pregnant women were immediately evacuated from the area. The accident has led to worldwide uproar against the nuclear plants per se. It led to a massive demonstration culminating in New York City that saw participation of 200,000 people.
It was found that a combination of stuck valves, misread gauges and poor decisions led to a partial meltdown of the reactor core that had released radioactive gases into the atmosphere. An investigation by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission determined that the amount of radioactivity released in the air was not a health hazard but few were convinced about it.
The authorities have imposed a moratorium on the licensing of new reactors that has choked the growth of nuclear energy industry for several decades in the US.