On This Day…

The China Syndrome

March 16, 1979

The movie The China Syndrome about about a nuclear plant disaster is released. It told the fictional story of TV reporters who uncovered major safety violations and filmed a nuclear accident at a power plant. The nuclear power industry derided the film, claiming it was absurd and nothing like that could ever happen. However, twelve days later, life imitated art when the Three Mile Island nuclear reactor had a melt down, resulting in the release of radioactive gases and radioactive iodine into the environment. The Three Mile Island accident was due largely to operator error, inadequate training, and design flaws, much like the move story line.