Three Mile Island: A Case of Too Little Information. Myths of TMI debunked

For Immediate Release

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Linda Gunter, Beyond Nuclear: 301.455.5655

Three Mile Island: A Case of Too Little Information. Myths of TMI debunked

TAKOMA PARK, MD - March 28 will mark 35 years since the disaster at the Three Mile Island nuclear power plant in Pennsylvania but myths persist about the true extent of harm the event caused. Beyond Nuclear examines the facts and concludes that both the radiation releases and the resulting health impacts were far more significant than traditionally reported or believed. The authors of these findings are available for interview. Their report can be found at with backgrounders at: Beyond Nuclear author contact:

Paul Gunter (reactors), 301-523-0201,

Kevin Kamps (radioactive waste), 240-462-3216,

Cindy Folkers (health), 240-354-4314,

Linda Gunter (international), 301-455-5655,

Some key findings:

  • Lung cancer and leukemia rates were two to 10 times higher downwind of the Three Mile Island reactor than upwind.
  • Onsite radiation monitors went off scale because radiation levels exceeded their measurement capacity.
  • Human ailments; plant mutations; animal stillbirths consistent with exposure to radiation and similar to findings at Chernobyl and now Fukushima.
  • Evacuation plans, which failed at TMI, are unrealistic. There was too little information too late.
  • The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) did not then — and still does not — make potassium iodide (which protects the thyroid) readily and widely available to communities in the event of a nuclear disaster despite a law requiring it.


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Beyond Nuclear aims to educate and activate the public about the connections between nuclear power and nuclear weapons and the need to abandon both to safeguard our future. Beyond Nuclear advocates for an energy future that is sustainable, benign and democratic.

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