C.C. reader. ([Middletown, Pa.]) 1973-1982, December 06, 1982, Image 7

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Question: Do you feel threatened by the possible re-opening of
the Unit One reactor at Three Mile Island?
"No. I don't think there have
been enough facts established
on the dangers involved. We
need an alternate source of
energy—and nuclear power is
this alternate source."
—Danita Coogan
Business Administration
"No, I don't feel threatened.
Many people do feel threatened,
however, because they do not
look at the entire picture.
Every method of power
production has advantages and
—Dean Lapp
Behavioral Science
and Education
"Yes, I would feel threatened
because of what happened
—Marlene Vescovi
Engineering Technology
"Yes. I would feel threatened
because if it happened once, a
nuclear accident can certainly
happen again."
—Mark Flannery
Who's afraid of Three Mile Island?
By Donna Kirker
As a student here you are
within 5 miles of a potentially
hazardous nuclear power plant,
but you don't care, you don't
worry, or perhaps you don't
even know about Three Mile
Well, don't feel guilty,
because you are not alone.
For the most part, students at
Capitol Campus no longer think
or worry about Three Mile
Island (TMl)—the site of the
worst nuclear accident in the
nation's history.
Of students polled, the ma
jority had heard of Three Mile
Island, but many were not
aware that it was located so
close to Capitol• Campus.
One student from New York
said, "I knew it was in Penn
sylvania somewhere, but I
didn't know where." Another
said, "I had no idea it was so
Even when students knew
that Capitol Campus was close
to TMI, it did not affect their
decision to attend classes here.
"It didn't bother me one way
or the other," one student
replied, while another said, "I
thought it would be interesting
to see."
Immediately following the ac
cident in March of 1979,
however, Capitol Campus-suf
fered some repercussions,
Director of Capitol Campus
Admissions, Mary Gundel, said
enrollment "was affected right
after it happened, for a year or
so afterwards."
"There were married
students in particular who were
concerned about TMI at the
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"No. I don't think the unit
would be re-opened if it wasn't
safe. There are so many
regulatory precautions. "
—Dave Malloy
Engineering Technology
time and shortly afterwards,"
Gundel said.
It has been three and a half
years since the accident, and
Gundel reports no students ask
or show any adverse concern
about TMI when applying to
Capitol Campus.
"It's something that's ac
cepted at this point, and there
has been nothing negative in
the last year," Gundel said.
She added, "this was the first
one (accident) and it got a
great deal of publicity." "There
are reactors in Philadelphia,
Pittsburgh, Berwick and they
are an accepted fact
now...students realize there are
other reactors in their own
backyards," she said.
Dr. James South, Director of
Student Affairs, agreed that
time and media coverage has
dampened student interest in
the subject.
"There has been a time lapse,
and its not national news as it
was at the time of the incident.
People's attention has moved
on since," South said.
However, South stressed that
several Capitol Campus pro
fessors are personally involved
with TMI, and that personal in
volvement is the only way
capitol Campus can address the
issues surrounding TMI.
Capitol Campus was not
represented at the last Nuclear
Regulatory Commission hear
ing held on November 9, in Har
risburg, even though the
school's close proximity to the
plant would suggest an active
role in such a hearing.
South said Capitol Campus
"didn't feel a need to be
represented or present
testimony at the NRC hearing,
because it's a case of people vs.
"No. In nuclear power
systems, as in any mechanical
system, failures are inevitable.
No system is completely
infallible. This issue is
naturally controversial because
a failure in the unit concerns a
great number of people."
—Joyce Susa
Engineering Technology
Photographs by Kim Gu7zi
"You as a person should take
advantage of such a hearing,
but as an institution that would
not be a proper role for us to
take," South said.
As an institution, however,
Capitol Campus does have a
responsibility to provide its
students with every possible
safeguard against any possible
danger that TMI may present.
To keep a check on radiation
levels, South explained, "our
police officers carry dosimeters
which are checked every once
in a while."
Also, South said Capitol Cam
pus has just created and ap
proved an evacuationtlan that
will be distributed to students
during winter term.
"The plan will give written
instructions of traffic flow up to
the airport connection then over
to 83," South explained, adding,
"it works in conjunction with
local and city evacuation
plans...and includes where
children of students can be
picked up."
"The main goal is to get peo
ple off campus and that's where
our responsibility ends...we
don't have any control over
what happens after students get
off campus," South said.
The complete evacuation is
estimated to be an hour or an
hour and a half.
The evacuation plan is
designed to be placed next to
student telephones, so that
students will have immediate
The evacuation plan may
serve to calm parental fears
about their children attending a
university so close to Three
Mile Island. As one student put
"TMI doesn't bother me, it
bothers my parents."
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