Today marks the worst accident in the history of the U.S. nuclear power industry – the nuclear accident at Three Mile Island. At 4 a.m. on March 28, 1979, a pressure valve in one of the reactors failed to close, allowing large amounts of coolant to escape. Cooling water, contaminated with radiation, drained from the open valve into surrounding buildings, and the core began to overheat. In addition, operators at the plant failed to recognize the situation as a loss-of-coolant and didn’t react properly. The reactor was eventually brought under control, but it took months for all the details to come out after an extensive investigation. The cleanup lasted from August 1979 through December 1993, and cost $1 billion.
I often, maybe unhealthily, contemplate post-apocalyptic scenarios. Whether it be caused by nuclear fallout, pandemic, or a zombie invasion, it’s important to have a plan in place on how we are going to survive. Thank goodness we’ve got a great collection of Post-apocalyptic fiction to help guide you. Our Science Fiction guide has a set of Far Future Sagas. You can also search our collection for end of the world fiction. If you’d rather think more systematically about this, you can look up Doomsday Scenarios from our online database, Gale Opposing Viewpoints in Context.
It is the year 2012 after all.