Never Before Published TMI Photo
This picture was taken on March 28, 1979, the day the Three Mile Island (TMI) meltdown began, and this picture – like many others, has never been shown before. This young woman was bicycling that day in Middletown, about 4-miles from the TMI atomic power reactor during its meltdown. She was traveling on a route she had travelled often and had no knowledge that she was biking through clouds of radioactive gases released as the disaster unfolded.
When she returned home later that day, she noticed this strange “rash” all over her body. A friend took these pictures. Arnie noticed these same symptoms in photos of Fukushima Dai-ichi evacuees he has met during his trips to Japan. Coincidence? We don’t think so!
On Saturday March 25th, Arnie traveled to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania to give a keynote presentation on the 38th anniversary of the nuclear meltdown at the Three Mile Island Nuclear Power Plant. This is the presentation he gave. In it he discusses his time working for the nuclear industry and the moment he realized the industry was trying to cover up the truth. He also discusses new scientific findings about the disaster and why higher rates of radiation weren't recorded. You can also listen the audio below.
View the Presentation Here
Demystifying Nuclear Power Blog: The Bellefonte Boondoggle
by Arnie Gundersen
The Bellefonte Atomic Power Plant in Hollywood, Alabama was designed in 1968 at the height of the Vietnam War. Engineers used slide rules back then; I know, I was one of them. Construction of Bellefonte was authorized to begin in 1974, but Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) missed that deadline by a mile. In fits and starts TVA continued to build Bellefonte between 1974 and 1988 until it was 80% complete, then TVA decided to stop any semblance of construction and put the reactor in mothballs.
Read more on our Demystify Blog
Last week, Westinghouse Electric Company in the United States (U.S.) received approval from their parent company Toshiba in Japan to file for bankruptcy protection after major setbacks on their U.S. nuclear power construction projects. In a scene reminiscent of what we witnessed with the failed construction of the Bellefonte atomic reactor, Toshiba now faces losses of more than $9 billion USD due to poor design, planning and mismanagement at the power plants it was constructing. None of the reactors are capable of generating the electricity that was promised to its ratepayers and stakeholders. This is not new problem however, as there have been many signs pointing to spiraling costs and delays with each of the projects dating back to 2012. Historically, Westinghouse played a central role in the early construction and expansion of nuclear energy, and as this industry giant falls and Toshiba looks to cut its financial losses, this failure proves the inability of the atomic power industry to compete in the current energy world market.
A recent study by the Japan Center for Economic Research found that the total cost of the Fukushima cleanup will likely total as high as USD $449-$628 billion. Since the 2011 Fukushima disaster, TEPCO has continued to increase its cost estimates (now nearly USD $400 billion larger than it originally stated), as it continues to struggle with its post-meltdown burgeoning waste. Back in 2012, when TEPCO and the Japanese government were claiming cleanup costs would only reach $50 billion, people called Arnie crazy when he told the Japanese Press Club that the cost of cleanup would be closer to $500 billion dollars. Who's crazy now?