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Bridgers, Bill; Tyunaitis, Sue (ed.) / Wisconsin engineer
Volume 83, No. 4 (April 1979)

Three Mile Island,   p. 2


Page 2


Three Mile Island
   As we go to press, the Three Mile
Island accident is grabbing headlines
and making new anti-nuclear converts
out of a lot of fencesitters. Perhaps
it is stating the obvious, but it is
clear that this will be one of the most
significant developments for the fu-
ture of nuclear power throughout
the world. The best that the propo-
nents of nuclear power can do is
curse the sensational press coverage
that the accident is receiving and
suggest that the seriousness of the
situation has been exaggerated.
Meanwhile, the ranks of the anti-
nuclear forces are feeling vindicated
in their claim that it was only a mat-
ter of time before just such an acci-
dent would occur.
   In Madison, opponents of nuclear
power were on the streets almost as
soon as the news was out, throwing
up a picket line in front of the
offices of Wisconsin Power and Light
(see photos on page 1 7). That same
day saw the pro-nuclear forces that
had been distributing leaflets warn-
ing about possible misinformation
in the film The Chinta Syndrome
conspicuously absent from' the post
they had set up in front of the thea-
ter showing the film. Everyone has
an opinion on the matter, and those
opinions are charged with emotion.
The Consensus seems to be that,
"It just goes to show that you can't
design for human error. Maybe we're
better off spending more money
and going with some other source
of power."
  One thing that is certain is that
in the wake of the Three Mile Island
incident no electric utility company
is going to be able to propose con-
struction of a nuclear power plant
without expecting to meet even
stiffer opposition. Safety regulations
will certainly be tougher. The eco-
nomic picture for the power compan-
ies is surely going to change. By the
time the legal and insurance entan-
glements are straightened out, the
price of the electricity that the
Three Mile Island plant generated
is not going to be considered cheap.
lJPI Photos
The infamous Three Mile Island Nuclear Power Plant
2
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