TMI-2 Accident: What Happened and What Didn't

TMI-2 Accident: What Happened and What Didn’t

What Happened

What did not Happen

  • There was no “China Syndrome,” the supposed scenario in which a nuclear plant accident creates a mass of molten reactor fuel so hot that it burns though a steel reactor vessel, through the plant’s reinforced concrete foundation, into the Earth and exits through the opposite side of the planet.
  • There were no injuries or detectable health impacts from the accident beyond the initial stress.

Long-Term Impacts

  • Several health studies found there were no long-term adverse effects on the health of the population living around TMI.
  • Applying the accident’s lessons produced important, continuing improvement in the performance of all nuclear power plants worldwide, emergency response preparations, and communication with the public.
  • The accident also fostered better understanding of fuel melting, including improbability of a “China Syndrome” meltdown breaching the reactor vessel or the containment building.

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