Cover image for TMI 25 years later : the Three Mile Island nuclear power plant accident and its impact
TMI 25 years later : the Three Mile Island nuclear power plant accident and its impact
Osif, Bonnie A.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
University Park, Pa. : Pennsylvania State University Press, [2004]

Physical Description:
xiv, 158 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
TK1345.H37 O85 2004 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



Three Mile Island burst into the nation's headlines twenty-five years ago, forever changing our view of nuclear power. The dramatic accident held the world's attention for an unsettling week in March 1979 as engineers struggled to understand what had happened and brought the damaged reactor to a safe condition. Much has been written since then about TMI, but it is not easy to find up-to-date information that is both reliable and accessible to the nonscientific reader. TMI 25 Years Later offers a much-needed "one-stop" resource for a new generation of citizens, students, and policy makers.

The legacy of Three Mile Island has been far reaching. The worst nuclear accident in U.S. history marked a turning point in our policies, our perceptions, and our national identity. Those involved in the nuclear industry today study the scenario carefully and review the decontamination and recovery process. Risk management and the ability to convey risks to the general population rationally and understandably are an integral part of implementing new technologies. Political, environmental, and energy decisions have been made with TMI as a factor, and while studies reveal little environmental damage from the accident, long-term studies of health effects continue.

TMI 25 Years Later presents a balanced and factual account of the accident, the cleanup effort, and the many facets of its legacy. The authors bring extensive research and writing The authors bring extensive research and writing experience to this book. After the accident and the cleanup, a significant collection of videotapes, photographs, and reports was donated to the University Libraries at Penn State University. Bonnie Osif and Thomas Conkling are engineering librarians at Penn State who maintain a database of these materials, which they have made available to the general public through an award-winning website. Anthony Baratta is a nuclear engineer who worked with the decontamination and recovery project at TMI and is an expert in nuclear accidents. The book features unique photographs of the cleanup and helpful appendixes that enable readers to investigate further various aspects of the story.

Author Notes

Bonnie A. Osif is the Engineering Reference and Instruction Librarian at the Engineering Library at The Pennsylvania State University.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

Penn State has an extensive collection and archive of Three Mile Island (TMI) materials. Osif and Conkling (engineering library, Pennsylvania State Univ.) and Baratta (emer., nuclear engineering, Penn State) made good use of these materials. They have produced a very good book not only about TMI but also as an introduction to nuclear power and radiation effects and as a primer on the interaction of the media, the public, and the community in the development of governmental policy. They include a number of very helpful appendixes including a chronology of the TMI accident and cleanup; a glossary; TMI facts; and a short list of common misconceptions about TMI. The 31 photos and sectional drawings, 11 figures, and 5 tables are all quite useful. The last chapter, "Energy for the Future," is a very good survey of energy production techniques and resources. This book will appeal to those interested in TMI, in the general area of energy, and even to those who like a good story. ^BSumming Up: Highly recommended. All levels. A. M. Strauss Vanderbilt University

Table of Contents

Preface and Acknowledgmentsp. vi
Introductionp. viii
1 Nuclear Energy Basicsp. 1
2 The Accidentp. 21
3 The Cleanup of TMI Unit 2p. 33
4 Media Coverage and Public Understandingp. 49
5 The Effect on the Local Communityp. 60
6 The Impact of Three Mile Islandp. 76
7 Energy for the Futurep. 91
Conclusionp. 114
Appendixesp. 120
Bibliographyp. 144
Indexp. 150