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William Scranton Quotes

All of the information that we were getting up to that time from the NRC people, from our people who knew something about nuclear power, was that the breach of the core was not a likelihood to happen.

And at ten, or whatever time, in the morning we had the press conference, what we knew is there had been an incident at Three Mile Island, that it was shut down, that there was water that had escaped but it was contained.

And I remember walking in there and, I must say, I was quite unnerved the closer I got to it.

And if you're not going to have a clear health threat, you don't want to panic people.

And it was at that point that I realized, in fact, our whole administration realized, that we could not rely on Metropolitan Edison for the kind of information we needed to make decisions.

Another very strong image from the first day was giving my initial press conference in the morning - going down and finding out that everything I had said, the essence of what I had said, was wrong.

But the issue became, how long do you keep the press waiting so that you can gather more information?

By Thursday morning, we'd gotten over the worst of it.

I was scheduled to give my first official press conference that morning anyway, 'cause I was chairman of the Governors Energy Council and I was making a press conference with regard to energy policy.

It took me 45 minutes to get in all of the suits and putting all the dosimeters on me so that they knew how much radiation I got and the protective boots and everything.

My time inside there was very short compared to the amount of time it took to take on and take off this suit and to test me for how much radioactivity I have.

Nobody could tell us or really had a very good idea, if there were a massive release of radiation, what kind of medical treatment people were going to need and this or that, or, indeed, whether there would be medical personnel around.

None of us are nuclear experts, but we know that if there is a melt-down and breach of containment, that's clearly the most odious thing that could happen.

None of us knew what this power plant looked like. We had no schematic drawing.

Obviously, I'm not looking in the core of the reactor, but I am looking at what, at that time, was considered the source of the trouble, which was the water and where it was.

The first one, obviously, was walking into my office at eight o'clock in the morning on Wednesday, and being told there was a telephone call saying that there was an incident at Three Mile Island, and that it had shut down and that beyond that we didn't know.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission and EPA, et cetera, had worked out what allowable releases are.

The value of government to the people it serves is in direct relationship to the interest citizens themselves display in the affairs of state.

There are allowable limits for radiation going - I mean there's radiation all around us. There's radiation from your television set. There's radiation from your computer. There's radiation actually occurring in the ground.

There were schools and hospitals who were ready to take people with undescribed injuries, but not necessarily ready to take people with severe radiation poisoning.