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THURSDAY, MARCH 28: THREE MILE ISLANDProfile America — Thursday, March 28th. One of the most frightening industrial accidents in the U.S. occurred on this date in 1979 at the Three Mile Island Nuclear Power Plant on the Susquehanna River, south of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. A cascade of alarms and emergency responses started when someone mistakenly cross connected air and water lines in the plant's number two reactor. The plant reportedly came close to a hydrogen gas explosion and a meltdown of its uranium core, which would have caused extensive radiation contamination. The incident sparked a large-scale review of nuclear power safety. Today, there are 65 such plants operating 104 nuclear reactors across the country, and employing about 38,000 workers. You can find more facts about America from the U.S. Census Bureau, online at
Sources: U.S. Energy Information Administration2007 Economic Census, NAICS 221113
Profile America is produced by the Center for New Media and Promotions of the U.S. Census Bureau. These daily features are available as produced segments, ready to air, on a monthly CD or on the Internet at
http://www.census.gov (look for "Multimedia Gallery" by the "Newsroom" button).
SOURCE U.S. Census Bureau