Check out this 1979 CBS news report of the incident.
reader D writes: "Twenty-seven years ago today, America experienced its worst commercial nuclear accident - an "impossible" partial meltdown of the reactor core at the Three Mile Island nuclear power plant near Middletown, Pennsylvania. During the tension-packed week that followed, sketchy reports and conflicting information led to panic, and more than one hundred thousand residents, mostly children and pregnant women, fled the area."
Gary Hart, who at the time was head of the Senate Subcommittee on Nuclear Regulation discusses the event on today's Democracy Now.
AMY GOODMAN: Today is the anniversary of the near meltdown. Can you talk about it?
GARY HART: Well, it was scary. I think it was -- we were a lot closer to a major nuclear catastrophe than, I think, most people realized. Im trying to reconstruct the timing of this. It seemed to me that the plant went critical on about a Thursday -- Wednesday or Thursday. I got an Army helicopter to take me and the minority member, Alan Simpson of Wyoming, to fly over the plant and be briefed up there...read on