Three Mile Island: a civilian accident:
The mass evacuation following the TMI accident in 1979 coincided with the release of ‘The China Syndrome’, a nuclear disaster movie starring Jack Lemmon, Jane Fonda and Michael Douglas. In the film, journalists report on events in a top secret nuclear reactor while the authorities attempt to suppress the story. The title comes from a belief, humorously referred to in the film, that if an American nuclear reactor melts down it will melt through the Earth and come out on the other side, in China! In the real-life accident, fusion did take place in the reactor’s centre, but the surrounding layers remained intact. The circles on the map above show the extent of the feared fallout that never took place.