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It began before dawn with a plumbing glitch in the cooling system. At the Three Mile Island reactor shut down. But the heat from radioactive decay kept the temperature inside the reactor high to cool the core. A small valve was opened to relieve the pressure. But unknown to plant operators the valve became stuck open. Too much water escaped partially uncovering it for and it began to overheat. Technical failures were compound by human error. Plant operators shut off the Amerge. The water system would have cooled the core. If the operators had not intervened in that accident at Three Mile Island and shut off the pumps. The plant would have saved itself. So the operators thought they were saving the plant by cutting off the emergency water when in fact they had just sealed its fate. Within minutes the control room console lit up company by blaring
horns and sirens. By early morning temperature in the reactor was already reaching 40 300 degrees. At 50 200 degrees. The nuclear core would melt down. And then. They get the alarm. Radiation in the control room. Well that's got to be a heart stopper. Pumps removing the hot contaminated water had overflowed releasing radioactive gases inside the plant and increasing radiation dose raids outside the facility with radiation threatening to escape into neighboring communities. Supervisor Gary Miller announced the first general emergency ever to be declared a nuclear power plant in the United States. The radiation level inside the containment vessel had reached 10000 REM's per hour. The dose high enough but only minutes because both are. Good. Fatal. There had never been anything
like this. It wasn't something you could see or feel or feel or taste or touch this we're talking about radiation which generated an enormous amount of fear. Sixteen hours after the first alarm pumps were restarted and water began moving through the core temperature and pressure begin to drop. But there was still danger that hydrogen in the reactor would mix with oxygen and explode. Physicists and engineers pored over data while one hundred forty thousand people were evacuated. Officials prepared for the worst. Finally a calculation flaw was discovered. In the threat of explosion. It was put to rest. After five days of fear and anguish. Residents felt safe enough to return to their homes but they would be plagued by doubt for years to come. I don't see how you could ever erase the memories of frustration of uncertainty. Punctuated by moments of
stark terror that attach to an incident like Three Mile Island. And the eternal sense of relief and deliverance when that was finally over. Three years later the robotic camera was lowered into the nuclear core. It was the first look at the magnitude of the accident. And I remember vividly seen this videotape of a camera coming down into the top of the core. And you hear the voice of the mechanic who's who's lowering a sane one foot. To foot two feet into the car. We're approaching three things and as he's going. As I'm watching the tape my stomach's churning is more approaching four feet we're now five at something and that recognition for the first time. Five feet of the core was gone.
That's when we really saw. That the cord been severely damaged. We had a melt down it's reminding we melted the core down. Fifty percent of the Corps was destroyed or molten and we saw something on the order of 20 tons of uranium found its way by flowing in a molten state to the bottom head of the pressure vessel. That's a core meltdown. No question about. Remarkably very little radioactivity was released into the environment because unlike Chernobyl containment was factored into the Three Mile Island reactor design. And following the accident nuclear power industry introduced you safety and training standards as well as new and improved nuclear reactor designs.
Vietnam: A Television History
Raw Footage
Peace March Scenes, United Nations
Contributing Organization
WGBH (Boston, Massachusetts)
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Raw Footage Description
Raw news material includes narration by CBS's Chris Borgin and video clips of the April 15, 1967 Peace March in New York City. The march included 300,000 protestors led by Martin Luther King Jr. and Dr. Benjamin Spock to demonstrate against the United States and United Nations' involvement in the Vietnam War. Organized by the National Mobilization Committee to End the War in Vietnam (MOBE), a coalition against the Vietnam War, the protest occurred alongside a simultaneous protest of 75,000 in San Francisco and raised national awareness of anti-war sentiment. This footage includes scenes of protesters carrying signs reading "Vietnam Veterans Against the War" and "Children are Not For Burning" alongside clips of counter-protesters.
Asset type
Raw Footage
Global Affairs
War and Conflict
Vietnam War, 1961-1975--Protest movements--United States; Civil Rights; Protest movements; Peace movements--United States; Spock, Benjamin, 1903-1998; King, Martin Luther, Jr., 1929-1968; Demonstrations
Rights Note:,Rights:,Rights Credit:CBS News,Rights Type:,Rights Coverage:,Rights Holder:CBS News
Media type
Moving Image
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Distributor: CBS News
Wardrobe: Spock, Benjamin, 1903-1998
AAPB Contributor Holdings
Identifier: 72ec9e6779b3e503ea46e1bbe7888fa1546e4300 (ArtesiaDAM UOI_ID)
Format: video/quicktime
Color: Color
Duration: 00:02:51
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Chicago: “Vietnam: A Television History; Peace March Scenes, United Nations,” 1967-04-20, WGBH, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed July 21, 2024,
MLA: “Vietnam: A Television History; Peace March Scenes, United Nations.” 1967-04-20. WGBH, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. July 21, 2024. <>.
APA: Vietnam: A Television History; Peace March Scenes, United Nations. Boston, MA: WGBH, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from