28 Mar '15, 6pm

#OnThisDay in 1979, a coolant leak at Three Mile Island led to the worst accident in US nuclear power plant history

#OnThisDay in 1979, a coolant leak at Three Mile Island led to the worst accident in US nuclear power plant history

A coolant leak at the Three Mile Island's Unit 2 nuclear reactor outside Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, led to the worst accident in US commercial nuclear power plant history when the core overheated and a partial meltdown occurred on March 28, 1979 – an occurrence that could have been avoided by better user interface systems. The accident began at 4 am that morning with failures in the non-nuclear secondary system, followed by a stuck-open pilot-operated relief valve in the primary system, which allowed large amounts of nuclear reactor coolant to escape. This loss of coolant resulted in the release of radioactivity, estimated at 43,000 curies of radioactive krypton-85 gas (half-life 10 years) but less than 20 curies of the especially hazardous iodine-131 (half-life 8 days), into the surrounding environment. Inadequate staff training and human-computer error compounded the situ...

Full article: http://www.edn.com/electronics-blogs/edn-moments/4410861/...

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