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This month marks the 40th anniversary of the partial meltdown at the Three Mile Island nuclear power plant. WITF is collaborating with PA Post and PennLive on a multimedia, month-long look at the accident, its impact and the future of TMI and the nuclear industry. That includes new documentary television and radio programs, long-form audio stories, photos, and digital videos. The work will include the voices of people affected as well as community events to engage with listeners, readers and viewers.It’s been four decades since Three Mile Island’s Unit 2 nuclear reactor ran hot and partially melted down.


Those central Pennsylvania residents who lived through the moment-by-moment, white-knuckle suspense of America’s worst nuclear accident say they will never forget.

But since those tense days of confusion, fear and panic, numerous new generations find themselves totally removed from the surreal atmosphere that permeated the days-long nuclear crisis.

For that reason, WITF and PennLive have collaborated on the “Three Mile Island: As It Happened” podcast series, which invites listeners to relive those dark days of spring 1979.

Check out the making of the podcast in this preview video:

The audio production includes archival sound of media reports, press conferences and statements by government and plant officials from throughout the tensest four days of the crisis.

The three-part podcast series was specially produced for the 40th anniversary of the TMI disaster as part of a collaboration between PA Post, WITF and PennLive.

Your host on the podcast series is Tim Lambert of WITF. The series was written and scripted by John Luciew of PennLive. And the podcasts were sound-designed and mixed by WITF editor Mitch Mathias.

Fittingly, the podcasts will premiere 40 years to the day after the TMI accident this Thursday, March 28.

Look for each of the three parts to be released Thursday morning on WITF, PA Post and PennLive. Then, relive or experience for the first time some of what it was like when central Pennsylvanians were left to wonder whether something far more sinister than steam was spewing from those signature cooling towers at Three Mile Island.