Grade: Senior
Subject: Science

#2009. Science Friday: Three Mile Island

Science, level: Senior
Posted Tue Nov 14 08:04:15 PST 2000 by Frank Virzi (
Mar. 26, 1999, Hour 1: TMI Anniversary
North Middlesex Regional High School, Townsend, MA
Materials Required: Computer connected to internet, RealAudio
Activity Time: approximately 45 minutes
Concepts Taught: Discussion of 1979 Three Mile Island nuclear plant accident

Here are a set of questions that I ask my students to answer as they
are listening to the program. Feel free to copy and use with your

This radio program was aired on National Public
Radio on March 26, 1999. It is available at the
Science Friday Archives (RealAudio required) at


Three Mile Island - Questions

1. About what % of electricity in the U.S. is generated by nuclear

power plants?_____________

2. About how much of the fuel melted when the coolant escaped?


3. Who was the Governor of Pennsylvania on March 28,


4. Whom did the Governor advise to evacuate the area around TMI?


5. Why were water levels a problem for nuclear plant workers during

the crisis? __________________________________________________________

6. What color was the submarine used in the clean-up?


7. What does NRC stand for?


8. How many operating nuclear power plants are there in the U.S.?


9. What U.S. company designed nuclear reactors being used in France?


10. Who ran the SL-1 reactor? ______________________________________

11. Where are escape routes published in areas around nuclear power

plants? _____________________________________________________________

ANSWERS: 1. 20% 2. 90 - 95% 3. Thornburgh 4. women & children
5. couldn't monitor them 6. yellow 7. Nuclear Regulatory Commission 8. 103 9. Westinghouse 10. Army 11. back of phone