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Meltdown: Three Mile Island centres on the 1979 partial meltdown of a reactor at the Three Mile Island plant in Pennsylvania, featuring new interviews on what is considered to be the worst nuclear incident in US history.
A significant testimony in the four-part docuseries is from chief engineer at the plant and whistleblower Richard Parks, who describes how cover ups and intimidation tactics were used to downplay what had really happened.
Interviews with the local community add to the story, recalling how they received mixed messages on the level of threat in the fallout from the accident in order to avoid evacuation and cut costs.
The reaction to the many revelations in the series has been strong, with many people drawing comparisons to the Chernobyl nuclear disaster of 1986.
In the first episode, nuclear physicist Michio Kaku describes how a hydrogen gas bubble formed in the Unit 2 reactor core, creating the possibility for an explosion to occur at the Three Mile Island plant.
Three years after the incident, a survey on the damage to the core showed that it came ‘less than half an hour from fully melting down’ – a scenario that would’ve released lethal levels of radiation into the atmosphere.
As said by one viewer on Twitter: “Having been fascinated by [all] things #Chernobyl over the years the Netflix doc on #ThreeMileIsland in the USA has really opened my eyes.
“Years before Chernobyl the US and the capitalist Energy companies were prepared to risk meltdown and silence whistleblowers.”
A second wrote: “Watch three mile island documentary on Netflix. We have been lied to about how much radiation was released. We are damn lucky. We were 30 minutes away from having a Chernobyl. We need clean energy. Damn the costs.”
A third chimed in: “Three Mile Island was just 30 minutes from becoming Chernobyl. Think of 100 mile radius of Central Pennsylvania being a nuclear wasteland forever.”
“I'm watching this documentary on Three Mile Island and it is terrifying that incident was literally 30 minutes away from the reactor exploding and killing so many people in PA,” added another.
“The whole upper half of the core melted down. I'm still in favour of nuclear power, but that's scary af.”
If you want to learn more about the incident and the controversies that followed, Meltdown: Three Mile Island is available to watch on Netflix now.
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