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The American Experience

Three Mile Island: What Happened


screen shot of What Happened On March 28, 1979, a series of malfunctions, mistakes, and misinterpretations led to the worst nuclear accident the United States has ever seen, and nearly led to the worst of all possible disasters: total meltdown.

What exactly happened within Pennsylvania's Three Mile Island plant?

This feature is divided into two parts. The first, How a Nuclear Reactor Works, is a brief description of Three Mile Island's reactor design. The second, What Happened: Step-by-Step, is an interactive timeline, showing the series of events that took place during the first 16 hours of the incident.


How a Nuclear Reactor Works

What Happened: Step-by-Step (Shockwave -- 105K)
A copy of the Shockwave plugin is needed to view this timeline. You can download the Shockwave plugin from Macromedia's Web site.

Text version of "What Happened: Step-by-Step"



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