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From the Vault: News from the Wednesday, Oct. 24, 1979 edition of the Press & Journal

Posted 10/24/17

Citizens respond heatedly to Unit 1 reopening at TMI

Last Wednesday, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission held the first in a series of technical hearings involving the restart of Three Mile Island …

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From the Vault: News from the Wednesday, Oct. 24, 1979 edition of the Press & Journal


Citizens respond heatedly to Unit 1 reopening at TMI

Last Wednesday, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission held the first in a series of technical hearings involving the restart of Three Mile Island Unit One.

The gathering was at the Liberty Fire Hall in Middletown. The NRC Board was formed to take the subject of the TMI Unit I restart to the public. From these hearings they would draw final conclusions that would be submitted for consideration on the restart of the undamaged Three Mile Island reactor.

Split into two parts, the daytime session Wednesday was primarily centered on the technical aspects of the restart. The evening session was held to enable the public a chance to voice opinions, ask questions on the restart of Unit I, and other pertinent issues. A five-minute time limit was allowed per speaker,

Some 300 people crowded into the local fire hall while only a handful were able to address the board. The following are brief excerpts of some of the statements made that evening.

A young female employee of the Hershey Medical Center stated: “While Met-Ed & GPU are so eager to open up Unit One, how come they haven’t figured out how to clean up the mess from the reactor that was involved? After endangering the lives and homes of the people who live in the area, Met-Ed hasn’t accepted any responsibility for the accident.”

Regarding radio ads she heard that stated that conserving energy is vital while Met-Ed is temporarily closed, she said, “I take exception to that word.”

The second speaker, Marvin Lewis of Philadelphia, received a most enthusiastic response from the audience. He stated that he is attempting to be a full intervener in the TMI restart but is being opposed by the staff and committees as far as being allowed to fully intervene.

He stated how he had read the reports on the relief valve and how it was tested and failed. “This valve has been tested for years. It failed. Do you want it to fail (again) and everyone die? They (NRC) won’t die. They’ll be in Washington. Washington’s 137 miles away. I’m only 90 miles away. They get a breach of containment and I watch television update and they tell me I have a good chance of getting it (radiation).”

He continued by saying that the amounts of radiation that did escape the plant without a breach of containment represent a whole new set of class nine accidents that have never been looked at.

Susan Barley, a resident of Hershey, questioned the men of the board, asking, “who killed Karen Silkwood?” Silkwood worked at a plutonium processing plant and was killed in a car accident on the way to a meeting with an atomic workers union. It was believed she had documents of discrepancies in the way some fuel rods were fabricated and doctored X-rays.

Barley asked: “Are these rods ... used here at TMI?”

Second $1,000 reward is now offered in rape

Middletown Detective Donald Foreman has informed the Press & Journal that a second local businessman has notified Middletown police that an additional $1,000 reward will be offered for the information that leads to the arrest and conviction of suspect(s) involved in a September 22, 1979, rape of a Middletown female.

The businessman, according to the local police, desires to remain anonymous. The reward for information regarding the crime now stands at $2,000. An initial $1,000 reward was offered by a local businessman several weeks ago.

Regarding the investigation of the crime, Detective Foreman explained that action by the Middletown Police Department is continuing with the assistance of the Pennsylvania State Police. Foreman said that investigators now believe a car was present at the rape scene, that is at the rear of the Espenshade Feed Mill located on East Main Street in the borough. Authorities believe that the vehicle might have scared the assailant off. Police are requesting that any additional information on this matter be given to Detective Forman or Trooper Glenn Martin of the State Police.

Foreman further explained that confidentiality of all in-formation given to both the state and local police will be respected and is assured.

1979 LD Homecoming queen crowned

The crowning of Patricia Marie Stare as the 1979 Lower Dauphin Homecoming queen highlighted the annual Homecoming festivities celebrated Oct. 19-20.

Elected as queen by a vote of the Lower Dauphin student body, Patti is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Stare of Pine Street, Hummelstown.

Patti serves as president of Student Council. She is a varsity cheerleader and has been varsity baseball statistician.

Headlines from the edition

• Raiders stun Wildcats in 21-7 victory

• LD school board is apprehensive of trips

• Reading is Fun Day was great

Hot buys

• 11th anniversary specials. Steak, baked potato and hot vegetable of the day, $3. Spaghetti special with two meatballs, salad bar and garlic bread, $3.50. Marabella’s Restaurant and Lounge, Highspire Plaza, Route 230, Middletown.

• Entire stock of dresses, sizes 3-24 1/2, 20 percent off. New shipment of Fairfield slacks, $13.90. The Gladell Shop, Olmsted Plaza, Middletown.

• When you open or renew a Homestead Savings 5 1/2 percent Christmas savings account, we’ll give you a special Christmas gift to ring in the holiday season. Homestead Savings Association, 120 S. Union St., Middletown.


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