Remembering TMI 40 Years Later

In late March 1979, south-central Pennsylvanians were startled to learn of an accident that had occurred at Three Mile Island (TMI) nuclear power plant in the Susquehanna River near Middletown, Dauphin County. In my own experience, the initial news came to me at Dallastown Elementary School in York County after a teacher shouted out to my fifth-grade class to come back inside the school building...
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Letters to the Editor

Three Mile Island Brent D. Glass’s column [“Executive Director’s Message,” Spring 1999] on Three Mile Island (TMI) brought back many memories. I was a young, enthusiastic Westinghouse Nuclear Energy Systems employee based near Pittsburgh at the time of the accident. I had the opportunity of being sent by Westinghouse to TMI as part of the repair and recovery crew. I spent...
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From Chaos to Calm: Remembering the Three Mile Island Crisis, An Interview With Harold Denton

Thursday, March 28, 1979, is a day forever etched in the memory of most Pennsylvanians and, indeed, many Americans. During the pre-dawn hours, events swiftly unfolded at a nuclear power plant on an island in the middle of the Susquehanna River near Harrisburg that would lead to the worst commercial nuclear accident in the nation’s history. In the days that followed, Three Mile Island (TMI)...
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Born a Leader for Pennsylvania

The essence of life is unconditional, non-judgmental love,” explains George Michael Leader when asked to sum-up his philosophy. He writes poetry, models and advocates wellness, leads community humanitarian projects, reads extensively, and oversees a family corpora­tion he founded that includes nursing facili­ties and retirement communities. In his ninth decade he is, as he has always been,...
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Bookshelf

Down the Susquehanna to the Chesapeake By Jack Brubaker Pennsylvania State University Press, 2002 (288 pages, cloth, $34.95) As the largest river on the East Coast, the rolling Susquehanna River is the indispensable tributary of the Chesapeake Bay, the nation’s largest estuary. Gathering strength from the scores of streams along its four hundred and forty-four mile journey – ­three...
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“Atoms for Peace” in Pennsylvania

In 1957, Shippingport, along the Ohio River in far western Pennsylvania, became home to America’s first commercial nuclear power plant under President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s “Atoms for Peace” program. Just two decades later, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) converted the Beaver County plant to a light water breeder reactor that successfully demonstrated the feasibility...
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Photograph at Shippingport Atomic Power Station

A photograph labeled “Installation of the Final Closure Head,” taken at the Shippingport Atomic Power Station, Beaver County, on October 10, 1957, is part of an important new accession documenting the construction and evolution of the world’s first full-scale atomic power plant devoted exclusively to peacetime use received by the Pennsylvania State Archives (PSA) on April 14, 2009. The facility...
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Harnessing the Power of the Wind: A Contemporary Use for a Historic Energy Source

Much like the oil farms of the last century were for drillers and riggers, Pennsylvania’s wind farms are proving grounds for engineers and technicians as they harness wind power. The long-standing use of wind power that for centuries propelled sailing vessels has been transformed throughout the world to produce electricity. Farmers used wind power in the late nineteenth and early twentieth...
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Aiming for the Stars: The Forgotten Legacy of the Westinghouse Astronuclear Laboratory

Before his death, renowned science fiction writer, inventor, and futurist Arthur C. Clarke (1917–2008) confidently declared the space age had not yet begun, and would only commence when reliable nuclear-powered space vehicles become available to drastically reduce the cost of moving humans and heavy payloads from the surface of the earth to the farthest reaches of the solar system. It is a...
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