Nov 24, 2009

TMI for You :o)

No, this entry is not about personal or too much information.  It is about Three Mile Island (TMI), a nuclear power plant in Pennsylvania (for you youngsters, site of the one and only nuclear accident in the US, circa 1979).

I know that yesterday, when I stopped by my folks place, they had been watching CNN and asked if I had heard about the "event" at Three Mile Island".  I indicated I had (we had a summary sent to management explaining the details), and gave them the scoop.  Below is the official release that came out today.  For reference, a routine chest x-ray is about 10 mrem per film. Smoking 1.5 packs of cigarettes daily exposes the individual to about 1300 mrem per year. 

TWELVE WORKERS AT THREE MILE ISLAND-1 WERE CONTAMINATED NOVEMBER 21 with "detectable" but small amounts of radiation, Exelon Nuclear said in a November 23 statement. The radioactive particles were confined to the containment building and posed no threat to workers or the public, it said. About 150 workers at the reactor were sent home the afternoon of November 21 "when monitors detected small amounts of airborne radiological contamination inside the containment building" at a temporary opening cut in the building to allow new steam generators to be installed, the company said. The contamination "was caused by a change in air pressure inside the containment building that dislodged small irradiated particles in the reactor piping system," it said. The highest estimated dose to a worker was 38.4 millirem, less than 1% of the annual federal occupational exposure limit of 5,000 millirem, the company said. Work has now resumed at the unit, which has been shut since October 26 for refueling and maintenance. Exelon Nuclear spokesman Ralph DeSantis said November 23 that the event will extend the outage schedule, but declined to say when Three Mile Island-1 is expected to return to service. NRC Region I spokeswoman Diane Screnci said November 23 that the event had "no effect on public health and safety." A health physicist and a manager from the agency's regional office were on site November 22 and 23 "to independently review and confirm the company's technical assessment" of the event, Screnci said.


  1. I hope this won't slow the already snail pace of other projects. It has been a long time since anyone has gotten a permit to even build a new plant.

  2. I saw that on the news, and figured out that the amount of radiation released wasn't anything to be worried about, thankfully :)

  3. I am so glad didn't get wider attention in the news media, because I know it would have been misrepresented in many media outlets.


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