WGBH Openvault

American Experience; Meltdown at Three Mile Island


License Clip

More material is available from this program at the WGBH Archive. If you are a researcher interested in accessing the collection at WGBH, please email archive_requests@wgbh.org.

Undigitized item: Request Digitization

Untranscribed item: Request Transcription

American Experience
Meltdown at Three Mile Island
Program Number


Series Description

Premiered October 1988 As television's longest-running, most-watched history series, American Experience brings to life the incredible characters and epic stories that helped form this nation. Now in its eighteenth season, the series has produced over 180 programs and garnered every major broadcast award. Series release date: 10/1988

Program Description

At 4:00 a.m. on March 28, 1979, a reactor at the Three Mile Island nuclear power facility near Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, suddenly overheated, releasing radioactive gas and water. During the following tension-packed week, scientists scrambled to prevent the nightmare of meltdown, officials rushed in to calm public fears and thousands of residents fled to emergency shelters. Equipment failure, human error and bad luck would conspire to create America's worst nuclear accident, which dealt a crippling blow to the nation's nuclear power industry.



Asset Type

Broadcast program

Media Type


Chicago: “American Experience; Meltdown at Three Mile Island,” 01/15/1999, WGBH Media Library & Archives, accessed October 22, 2016, http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_8596C807F13C48BDB410D8979A5247F5.
MLA: “American Experience; Meltdown at Three Mile Island.” 01/15/1999. WGBH Media Library & Archives. Web. October 22, 2016. <http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_8596C807F13C48BDB410D8979A5247F5>.
APA: American Experience; Meltdown at Three Mile Island. Boston, MA: WGBH Media Library & Archives. Retrieved from http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_8596C807F13C48BDB410D8979A5247F5
If you have more information about this item, we want to know! Please contact us, including the URL.