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Life Imitates Art: The Three Mile Island Nuclear Accident

March 28,1979

My last week as an employee of the Clamshell Alliance was drawing to a close. I was preparing to move back to Gloucester, depressed & uncertain about my future & the future of the anti-nuclear movement.Our attempted blockade at Seabrook had been unsuccessful. A Jane Fonda film seemed to be causing more discussion about nuclear safety than months of hard work by hundreds of activists. A freak occurence at a nuclear power plant in Pennsylvania would soon change all that.

As fate would have it, the hours of tireless conversations with folks from newspapers and TV stations around America would pay off big time that week. For several years while we engaged in protests, lobbied congressmen, went to jail and did countless acts that appeared ineffective we were educating people, asking the scary “what if ” questions that most people didn’t want to think about. With Harrisburg, Pennsylvania on the verge of a nuclear disaster, people began to take seriously the safety concerns we had raised.

What do you think?

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    • Three Mile Island was a less significant accident than Chernobyl & the still unfolding drama in Fukushima. Pennsylvania was fortunate in that it could have been much worse. Three Mile Island served as a wake up call to the American public that its Atomic reactors were not accident proof and that the dangers of radiation needed to be evaluated when communities considered the construction of nuclear reactors.

    • Absolutely. The last 8 years has seen a significant growth of solar energy usage in the USA. I fear the current administration does not share the same support for renewable energy sources that has led to that growth. Hopefully public pressure will result in continued support for solar and other safe. renewable energy technologies.

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