Three Mile Island 'normal' after incident

Nov. 24, 2009 at 3:02 PM
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MIDDLETOWN, Pa., Nov. 24 (UPI) -- Conditions have returned to normal at Pennsylvania's Three Mile Island nuclear plant after a weekend radiation incident, utility officials say.

No contamination was found outside the Exelon Corp. plant near Middletown, Pa., after a Saturday incident in which workers replacing two massive steam generators stirred up small amounts of dust-like radioactive particles, which were blown around inside the facility by its ventilation system, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported Tuesday.

All 150 workers that had been stationed in Three Mile Island's Unit 1 have returned to work, site Vice President Bill Noll told the Inquirer Monday.

But Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell has criticized the utility in a letter sent to Exelon chief executive John Rowe, calling a five-hour delay before the state was notified of the incident "totally unacceptable."

Rendell noted that state emergency officials first heard of the incident secondhand from Dauphin County, Pa., officials more than five hours after it occurred, while Exelon itself did not contact state officials for more than an hour after that.

An Exelon official said the company is "committed to continuing to work with federal, state, and local officials to ensure that we have open lines of communication."

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