Three Mile Island is a nuclear power plant island in Dauphin County, Pennsylvania. On March 28th, 1979, in the Number 2 reactor, there was a partial nuclear leak. It was a cooling malfunction within the reactor. This accident ended up being the worst nuclear hazard in United States history. Fortunately, no workers or civilians were injured. Many toxic gases were released into the atmosphere and this caused fear for many people and several plants were shut down immediately after the accident.
There were many causes of the accident but they were all from humans. The plant was started by humans and it had an accident by humans
- One cause from humans was that the reader for water level was not correct. Therefore, the staff assumed that if the level was high, it was fine. They were wrong, and the water that was supposed to cool the core flowed out and was gone.
- Another main reason was that the pressure relief valve stayed open when it should have closed. The valve was pilot-operated and staff did not check the parts to make sure it was running correctly. Therefore, the valve did not shut and it caused all of the cooling water to flow out.
Because of these human-made accidents, the core overheated and the metal and structure melted around it, causing a leak.
There was not a very major environmental impact from Three Mile Island but there were multiple animals that were affected.
- On a farm near the power plant, 290 duck eggs never hatched after the leak.
- about 30 rabbits and guinea pigs died due to radioactive poisoning.
- Away from the farms, many snakes were killed and some dogs were affected as they gave birth to dogs with defects such as not having eyes.
Overall, Three Mile Island did not have a crazy impact but some animals were affected and may still be affected.