Three Mile Island


noun

an island in the Susquehanna River, near Middletown, Pennsylvania, SE of Harrisburg: scene of a near-disastrous accident at a nuclear plant in 1979 that raised the issue of nuclear-energy safety.

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Cultural definitions for Three Mile Island (1 of 2)

Three Mile Island

The location of an accident in 1979 in a nuclear power plant in Pennsylvania. The plant underwent a partial meltdown that resulted in some radiation leakage into the atmosphere, panic among nearby residents, losses of billions of dollars, and intense criticism of nuclear power programs in general.

Cultural definitions for Three Mile Island (2 of 2)

Three Mile Island

The location of an accident in 1979 in a nuclear power plant — an electrical generator powered by a nuclear reactor — in Pennsylvania. The plant underwent a partial meltdown that resulted in very little leakage of radiation into the atmosphere, panic among nearby residents, losses of billions of dollars, and intense criticism of nuclear power programs in general. (Compare Chernobyl.)

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.