We are working on a project which involves documenting differing perspectives on what most observers agree was the worst reactor accident in American history.
Within the next few weeks, by the date of the actual anniversary of Three Mile Island itself, we will make available to internet listeners an archive of interviews that we have collected. These conversations proffer varying points of view, yet each participant faces the same 11 questions about the March 28 event thirty years ago. Our focus though, instead of the past, is what, if any, of TMI’s ramifications are relevant now. We will not edit these in any way, so that all interviewees have precisely the same chance to state their points.
We intend to document as many different points of view as possible: academic and scientific voices, community voices, political organizations on both sides of the nuclear debate, as well those of some actively involved in the business of creating nuclear power will appear. In addition, some of the folks who shied away from participation will show up, when we read their e-mails or otherwise document how we tried to include their input.
So far, we’ve captured more interviews from nuclear critics than from atomic energy supportersr. In spite of my own views on the subject, which are decidedly skeptical of the utility, safety, and general beneficence of nukes, I intend to include as many nuclear advocates on tape as I possibly can. After all, people can only reach an informed decision about complex matters when all the information is present. As Thomas Jefferson stated it,
“I know no safe depositary of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves; and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them, but to inform their discretion by education. This is the true corrective of abuses of constitutional power”.
We hold with those who, even in matters of the most arcane policy, find a place for and insist on advice from the people who are the leaders of any republic.
The most critical point to recall, perhaps, is that the Three Mile Island accident has profound resonance and importance to contemporary reality. In fact, as long as nuclear reactors here and elsewhere continue to produce electricity, radiation, and waste, the Three Mile Island episode will mark a milestone from which we must continue to learn, and upon which we must continue to reflect. Honest brokers on all sides of this issue agree with this conclusion, and this agreement is the basis for our efforts in this matter.