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Three Mile Island emergency indelibly written into memories – 12/31 iconic photos

Bil Bowden captures a placid scene at Three Mile Island, published two weeks before the near meltdown at one of the nuclear power plant’s units in late-March 1979. TMI is located in the Susquehanna River, opposite Goldsboro in York County, Pa. Background posts: Publishing legend Gitt vocal about nuclear power, When the rings of trees give history lessons and Readers can view best of Bil Bowden’s photos on new blog .

Continuing the series of telling York County, Pa.’s, history through images: … .

In plain view: This 1979 photo of Three Mile Island shows steam rising from TMI Unit 2’s cooling towers. Today, the steam plumes are reversed. Steam comes from Unit 1’s towers, and Unit 2’s stacks are partially dismantled.
Behind the scene: A combination of human error and mechanical failure led to the accident. Fearing radiation leaks, scores of people in York County and else in Central Pennsylvania evacuated the area. That moment remains frozen in the minds of many local people who made snap judgment decisions about whether to evacuate. The accident led to reforms in the nuclear power industry worldwide. Interestingly, a York Daily Record series just weeks before the accident found that TMI had serious safety defects that should have been repaired.
For memories of TMI, see: “Panic at TMI”, part of the Remember series.
Posts in this series:
400 years ago, John Smith explored Chesapeake Bay – 1/31 iconic images
Declaration signer James Smith tops York County patriot list – 2/31 iconic images
Going to market a longtime York County pastime – 3/31 iconic images
William C. Goodridge: From slavery to success story – 4/31 iconic images

Rebs’ short York visit creates long memories – 5/31 iconic images
Artist Horace Bonham captured everyday life – 6/31 iconic images
York County farm vs. factory tension relieved in overnight raid – 7/31 iconic images
York County stood firmly behind Allies on all fronts in WW II – 8/31 iconic images
Downtown thrived in post-WW II York – 9/31 iconic images
After WWII success, Farquhar sells assets to out-of-town outfit – 10/31 iconic images.
Sears, York County Shopping Center in the middle of things – 11/31 iconic images
Three Mile Island emergency indelibly written into memories – 12/2 iconic images.
People of varying religious groups founded York County – 13/31 iconic images
President Reagan: ‘Harley is back and standing tall’ – 14/31 iconic images
York’s mayor: ‘We are no longer unprotected’ – 15/31 iconic images
Grange Hall represented past way of York County life – 16/31 iconic images.
York County Honors Choir product of proud moment – 17/31 iconic images.
Meeting of riot victims brought hope for racial accord – 18/31 iconic images.
Property rights foundational factor in Lauxmont dispute – 19/31 iconic images.
New baseball diamond serves as York cornerstone – 20/31 iconic images
Season 2 of York’s campaign to come back – 21-23 of 31 iconic images
York on knees as its men storm Normandy beaches – 24-25 of 31 iconic images
One image illustrates two long-neglected subjects in York area – 26-27 of 31 iconic images
Images explain changes in York County factories, farms – 28-29 of 31 iconic images
York County still home to unvarnished beauty – 30/31 iconic images
Latinos most recent migrant group to call York County home – 31/31 iconic images

To see the full series of iconic photos in a special York Daily Record/Sunday News publication, click here.