Three Mile Island and thyroid cancer: Debates continue over health issues after nuclear plant accident. On March 28, 1979, Chris Achenbach-Kimmel was a 14-year-old freshman at Cedar Cliff High School in Camp Hill, Cumberland County. Fourteen miles away, on the Susquehanna River, staff at Three Mile Island Nuclear Generating Station were trying to contain the damage from an accident at one of its reactors. For Achenbach-Kimmel, the accident became merely one more high school memory. She graduated in 1982 and went on to a career in occupational therapy. It wasn’t until her thyroid cancer diagnosis in 2010 that she thought again about Three Mile Island. Her doctor wasn’t surprised when Achenbach-Kimmel mentioned TMI. “She said, ‘oh yeah, we see an increased incidence in the area compared to what my colleagues see around the country.’” Pennsylvania has had one of the highest thyroid cancer rates in recent years, according to Centers for Disease Control. For those who grew up in central Pennsylvania, Chris’s story is a common one. People blame TMI for their illnesses, and some doctors accept it could have been the case. Yet, the nuclear industry’s position has been that there has been no conclusive link between the accident and adverse health effects.
Penn Live 15th March 2019 read more »