AUTHORCantelon, Philip L. / Williams, Robert C.
TITLECrisis Contained: The Department of Energy at Three Mile Island
PUBLISHERSouthern Illinois University Press
CITYCarbondale, IL

This book offers a detailed account of the Department of Energy’s (DOE) involvement in the nuclear power accident at Three Mile Island near Harrisburg, Pennsylvania on March 28, 1979. A foreword states that the importance of the event in the eyes of the frightened people living close to the power plant was that a mechanical breakdown nearly led to a nuclear meltdown; however, the main consequence was the loss of public trust in the government and the nuclear industry. Based on the extensive written material available, and interviews of key participants, the events are presented in vivid detail. The authors discuss choices made on the basis of inadequate and changing information about conditions in the plant and communication breakdowns. Human factors are predominant in the account of an intersection of technology, technocracy, containment, emergency response, evacuation, politics and mortality at Three Mile Island. A synoptic chronology of the DOE's involvement in the incident is included.

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