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Vigil marks 32nd anniversary of TMI accident - abc27 WHTM

Vigil marks 32nd anniversary of TMI accident

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MIDDLETOWN, Pa. (WHTM) -

Anti-nuclear activists held a candlelight vigil early Monday to mark the 32nd anniversary of the accident at Three Mile Island and to show support for Japan during its nuclear crisis.

A moment of silence at 3:53 a.m. marked the failure of TMI's Unit Two, a malfunction that led to a partial meltdown of the reactor and the release of radioactive gases.

With much of the world focused on Japan's nuclear crisis, the activists questioned the safety of nuclear energy.

"Shut these plants down," activist Gene Stilp said. "It always seems to take a disaster to wake people up in the world, and that's very sad. Somebody must get injured before action is taken to correct a major mistake."

Plant officials said there were no injuries or illness directly related to the TMI accident, and Exelon Nuclear spokesman Ralph DeSantis said that U.S. safety regulations have improved since 1979, making nuclear power a safe and clean source of energy.

"We've taken some immediate actions already to re-evaluate that all of our safety systems are in great shape, which they are, " DeSantis said. "So, as things come out of Japan in the future, there might be some lessons for all of us."

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