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Regulation and retrenchment

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The waning months of the 1970s left a nasty legacy for the 1980s. The overheating of the reactor core at the Three Mile Island (TMI) power plant in March 1979 reordered the future for nuclear power at a time when 70 plants were in operation and 92 were under construction in the United States. The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, stunned along with the rest of the nation, would take measures to assure that such an accident did not happen again. From then on, state and local governments would be more cautious in supporting nuclear power plants, despite their promise of lucrative tax revenues. And opponents of nuclear power, no longer confined to the radical fringe, entered the mainstream.

Published in:

IEEE Spectrum  (Volume:24 ,  Issue: 11 )