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Radiation Leak at Three Mile Island
There was a radiation leak at Three Mile Island on Saturday afternoon. According to TMI spokesperson Ralph DeSantis, employees were working in a reactor building around 4:30. It was part of the process of removing TMI's old steam generators and installing the new steam generators, that just last month rolled into TMI.
DeSantis told abc27 that workers were cutting a large number of pipes. A radiation alarm sounded. According to DeSantis, about 150 employees were inside the reactor building. They were wearing protective suits, but about 100 were still contaminated.
As of 11pm, DeSantis reported that all workers had been decontaminated. He said that the contamination was not at a threatening level and was contained to one building at Three Mile Island. He stressed that the public was not in any danger.
DeSantis told abc27 that the cause of the radiation leak is not yet determined. The entire plant is now shut down. Once operating again, work will remain shut down in the reactor building.
Updated: 11/22/2009 01:15:00 AM EST
One worker received 16 millirem of exposure, and other workers received lower levels of contamination. The annual limit for nuclear workers at Exelon plants is 2,000 millirem, according to the release
According to Exelon, all 175 workers were checked for exposure, but none of them approached or exceeded any exposure limits.
Exelon Nuclear says that there was no contamination identified outside the reactor building.
Surveys conducted outside the reactor building indicated a slight increase in radioactivity, but levels have since returned to normal, TMI officials report.
County and state EMA officials did not learn of the exposure until Middletown Mayor Robert Reid contacted the county's 911 Center at 9:30pm, 5 1/2 hours after the radiation release.
Denials that anyone was serously exposed despite the above post.
But I still find it unsettling that the cause of the exposure is "unknown" and that it took 5 1/2 hours to alert emergency personnel via the mayor.
Originally posted by C0bzz
I'm guessing that it was too insignificant to alert emergency personnel. 16 millirem needs investigation, and prevention, but it is by no means significant. About one and a half of a single X-ray scan.
Moreover, someone thought something significant happened, or the entire plant would not be shut down.
Originally posted by loam
reply to post by makeitso
The mayor had to call 911????
Is that for freakin' real?!?!?!
I'm surprised styrofoam cups and string weren't used!
[edit on 22-11-2009 by loam]
So I wonder what really happened? Will Exelon ever tell us? After what they did covering up the truth during the "incident" back when there was a near melt down, I don't believe one word that comes out of that company via the news media for the public to know what is going on there. It is but by the grace of God that they didn't kill us the first go round there at TMI! My stomach knots up every time I see some headline or news article about that damn plant! I was a young mother when that happened, with two small children under five back then. I will never forget the terror I lived during that time and I am sixty years old now!
I believe 1 Gray = 100 RADS of Radiation.
After what they did covering up the truth during the "incident" back when there was a near melt down, I don't believe one word that comes out of that company via the news media for the public to
It is but by the grace of God that they didn't kill us the first go round there at TMI!
16mr of contamination is quite a bit.
Twenty workers received exposure to contaminants, but the exposure did not exceed U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission limits, said John White, a branch chief at the commission's Region 1 office, who visited the Londonderry Township, Dauphin County site Sunday to follow-up on the incident.
This sounds to me like more radiation could be released, or am jumping ahead to fast?
I feel it's more likely that the 5.5 hr delay in communications was just them getting their story together.
Both CNN and ABC News were blatantly wrong; there was not a “radiation leak” from the plant. What happened was a minor spread of radioactive dust and particles during maintenance activities inside the reactor building. Some workers in the vicinity got material on their clothes and skin that had to be washed off. The material was easily contained and there was no leak from the plant into the environment.
I first learned about this from April Schilpp, who I follow on Twitter. April is a communications specialist in Lancaster, PA.
In this podcast April and I discuss what happened, how the social media helped get the word out, and how the companies and other stakeholders could have used social media to keep the mainstream news sources honest.
29 people died in coal mining accidents in the US last year. Over 3000 people died in coal mining accidents in China last year. And coal plant pollution kills more than 30,000 Americans annually. Yet no one seems to care!
About 150 employees working inside the shut-down Three Mile Island Unit 1 containment building were sent home about 4:00 p.m. EST Saturday after an airborne radiological contamination alarm inside the reactor building sounded.
The unit has been shut down since Oct. 26 for refueling, maintenance and steam generator replacement.
No contamination was found outside of the containment building. Radiological surveys showed that the contamination was confined to surfaces inside the containment building.
The event posed no threat to public health and safety.
A monitor at the temporary opening cut into the containment building wall to allow the new steam generators to be moved inside showed a slight increase in a reading and then returned to normal. Two other monitors displayed normal readings.
TMI Incident was not even close to a disaster. It was caused mostly by improper training. The BAD thing that it caused was the radiation released.
I'm guessing that it was too insignificant to alert emergency personnel. 16 millirem would probably cause an investigation, and future prevention, but it is by no means significant. About three quarters of a single X-ray scan (but this varies on the context (whole body average, or just the area irradiated) which is not clear in the OP).