TMI at high alert- : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

Two jets scram after commercial plane leaves Harrisburg International airport. Planes were heard for 2 hours in local airspace.

HARRISBURG, Penn., Oct. 18 — The Three Mile Island nuclear power plant in Pennsylvania was on high alert Thursday after receiving a “credible threat” against the installation, plant officials said. Airspace around the site was briefly suspended.

-- Edge of Night (LOCAL@DOT.COM), October 18, 2001


-- Edge of Night (, October 18, 2001.

“WE WERE notified last night that a security threat had been made against Three Mile Island. That threat was deemed credible. We took extra security measures and we remain at that heightened state of alert,” said David Carl, spokesman for operators Exelon Nuclear. Nearby Harrisburg International Airport and Lancaster airport were shut down for four hours late Wednesday because of the threat, which came a week after the FBI issued a warning about possible additional attacks on U.S. interests at home or abroad following the Sept. 11 assaults on New York and Washington by hijacked commercial airliners.

Local TV stations said temporary flight restrictions were put into effect for a 20-mile radius around the airport and military aircraft were dispatched to protect Three Mile Island — the site in 1979 of the worst nuclear accident in the United States.

Carl said work continued overnight at the plant and that none of the 800 or so workers was evacuated. He declined to give details of the specific nature of the threat, but said Three Mile Island had activated its emergency response facilities, including a technical support center and information center, as a precaution. “We did not reach a level where we had to declare a formal emergency,” Carl said. He said no incident had taken place overnight but that heightened security measures would remain in place “as long as are needed.” The FBI and Federal Aviation Administration could not be reached for comment.

-- Homer (Deaf, October 18, 2001.

October 18, 2001

Three Mile Island Placed on High Alert After Receiving Threat By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS HARRISBURG, Pa. -- A "credible threat" against Three Mile Island prompted federal officials to put the nuclear power plant on a high state of alert and shut down airspace around it.

Harrisburg International Airport and Lancaster Airport were reopened Thursday morning after a four-hour closure while military aircraft patrolled area skies and the FBI and state police watched over the plant.

Officials said there was no timetable to lift the additional security measures at Three Mile Island. The power plant had already taken additional security measures after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, but Wednesday's alert tightened security further, they said.

Ralph DeSantis, a spokesman for Three Mile Island, confirmed the plant's high state of alert, but declined to discuss the type of threat or the additional security measures that were taken.

He said Three Mile Island was the only nuclear power plant threatened.

Nuclear Regulatory Commission spokeswoman Diane Screnci declined to discuss the type of threat, or how and when the agency received it.

The airport shutdown had been part of a "temporary flight restriction" that extended for a 20-mile radius around the Harrisburg airport, FAA spokeswoman Laura Brown said.

Three Mile Island is located just outside Harrisburg.

In 1979, the plant was the site of America's worst commercial nuclear accident when about a third of the nuclear fuel melted inside a reactor and radiation leaked into the atmosphere.

-- Martin Thompson (, October 18, 2001.

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