Ethics Case Study: Three Mile Island Accident

Jun 21st, 2015
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On March 28, 1979, the TMI-2 reactor at the Three Mile Island nuclear power facility underwent technical issues that caused several portions of the system to malfunction. The reactor eventually partially melted down due to improper human intervention.

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Ethics Case Study: Three Mile Island Accidentby Max RegoOn March 28, 1979, the TMI-2 reactor at the Three Mile Island nuclear power facility underwent technical issues that caused several portions of the system to malfunction. The reactor eventually partially melted down due to improper human intervention. This paper will outline the events that led up to and followed the incident, and will include information on the results of the investigation performed by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), as well as the policy changes made by the NRC to prevent future accidents. Also included will be the implications of the ethical guidelines forgone in the design of specific portions of TMI-2 and by those who worked at the Three Mile Island facility. Prior to the beginning of the accident, which occurred at 4:00 A.M., three separate problems had been encountered at the TMI-2 facility which led to the start of the accident. First, a coolant leak, known to the operators, had been occurring the previous day and in the early hours of the morning. The leak was normal, as several relief and safety valves were implemented to allow some coolant to leak to release large amounts of pressure from the coolant system. Without these valves, the coolant system could rupture. According to the NRC, the amount of coolant leaking was within regulation; however, the leak actually exceeded the standardized limit. This leak, although not serious enough to cause issue, did cause fo

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