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Gov Thornburgh and Lt Gov Scranton March 30 1979 - 600x340.jpg

Pennsylvania Governor Dick Thornburgh, left, announces the closing of schools in the area around the Three Mile Island PWR, on March 30, 1979, in Harrisburg, Pa., after an accident at the nuclear power plant led to the release of radioactive gas from the reactor into the atmosphere. Standing at right is Lt. Gov. William Scranton. (AP Photo)

This month marks the 40th anniversary of the partial meltdown at the Three Mile Island nuclear power plant. PA Post is collaborating with WITF 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. 

(Undated) — In the immediate aftermath of the partial meltdown at Three Mile Island nuclear power plant in Dauphin County, reporters, government officials and the general public were trying to make sense of inconsistent information.

“We’re getting conflicting reports too,” Gov. Dick Thornburgh said in response to a reporter’s question at a press conference March 30, two days after the accident. “What we’re trying to do is give you our best estimate of what the accurate facts are.”

The governor was joined at this press conference by Lt. Gov. William Scranton III, press secretary Paul Critchlow and Thomas M. Gerusky, director of the Bureau of Radiation Protection at what was then known as the Department of Environmental Resources.

Watch this WITF archival footage: