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TMI I chose to write my paper on an article about the near meltdown of a nuclear facility near my home Three Mile Island It was about 22 years ago on March 28 1979 in Middletown Pennsylvania when TMI almost had the worst commercial nuclear power accident in the history of the United States Uranium was melting in the reactor and hydrogen gas was exploding around the facility No one knew whether to evacuate people in nearby towns or to tell them to stay put Evacuation could cause chaos on the roads while keeping people there could have grave effects whether right then or in the future Since this 60 nuclear power plants across the US have been shut down or abandoned No new plants have been built since 1973 103 reactors were still operating at the time this article was published After Three Mile Island new regulations have been made like better trained plant operators and more workers these requirements have made nuclear power more expensive than burning coal or hydroelectric power In 1999 TMI still had one functioning unit Operators said it was a model of efficiency and safety But in a deal that summer the plant was to be sold for 100 million just one seventh of its book value The reason for this price was that TMIs Unit 2 was dismantled just enough to reveal a steel skeleton under its cooling towers Never to reopen it cost 700 million to build and 973 million to run At the time of the accident the people of central Pennsylvania were the focus of everyones attention Robert Reid the mayor of Middletown tried to get to someone in the plant but with no luck He called TMIs corporate owners in New Jersey and was assured that no radiation had escaped into the air but radioactive gas had been released to relieve pressure inside
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