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Nuclear Plants / Pennsylvania Accident #262880

CBS Evening News for Friday, Mar 30, 1979
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(Studio) Possibility of massive release of radioactivity in Three Mile Island nuclear plant situation cited; accident said worst in nuclear energy history. NRC announcement with regard to potential for meltdown.
REPORTER: Walter Cronkite

(DC) Details given with regard to gas bubble in reactor presenting dangers both in removal of bubble and cooldown of reactor given. [Ofc. of Operating Reactors Brian GRIMES - comments with regard to meltdown risk; evacuation.] [Nuclear expert Dudley THOMPSON - explains bubble dilemma.] Manual release of pressure noted as impossible due to danger to worker.
REPORTER: Robert Schakne

(Studio) Confusion with regard to statements from plant officials; Governor Richard Thornburgh's acceptance, then rejection, of evacuation plan for 4 surrounding counties; governor's closing of schools and evacuation of pregnant women and preschool children in immediate area; and governor's orders re: remaining indoors. Hershey and York mass care centers said established. President Carter's offer of federal assistance and establishment of emergency task force noted.
REPORTER: Walter Cronkite

(Harrisburg, Pennsylvania) [Sound TRUCK - announces instructions.] Most recent developments with regard to uncontrolled release of xenon gas cloud of radiation into atmosphere detailed. Films shown; radiation levels noted. Civil Defense authorities' recommendations with regard to precautions to be taken by residents given. [MAN - says not to evacuate at this time.] Revision of Civil Defense plan by Gov Thornburgh after talking with Carter and NRC officials reported [Governor Richard THORNBURGH - advises evacuation for pregnant women and preschool children and closing of schools in area of Three Mile Island nuclear plant facility.] Power company officials quoted with regard to intentional release of xenon cloud into atmosphere; NRC noted as saying release was uncontrolled. [Metropolitan Edison Company spokesperson Jack HERBEIN - says Civil Defense wasn't warned because levels of emission weren't considered serious.] 2 more occasions of xenon gas release and contamination of workers in incidents stated. Company officials' admission with regard to continued nuclear reaction noted.
REPORTER: Gary Shepard

(Middletown, Pennsylvania) Gathering of evacuees at Hershey Park Arena near Harrisburg cited; films shown. Preparations for evacuees by local officials and number of refugees noted. [MAN - entertains children.] Attitude of evacuees noted by reporter Jim Kilpatrick. [Rebecca PHILLIPS - thinks not told everything.] [WOMEN - comment.] Indefinite closing of schools and business cited; Middletown given as example [Cheryl HAWK - won't take chance with children.] [John KOVALIC - comments.] Indefiniteness of situation noted.
REPORTER: Richard Wagner

(Studio) Middletown officials' declaration of curfew reported.
REPORTER: Walter Cronkite

Cronkite, Walter;
Schakne, Robert;
Shepard, Gary;
Wagner, Richard

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