Democracy in Decline: Three Mile Island

By Vinas Patel

In March, 1979, the nuclear plant at Three Mile Island, Pennsylvania became a scene of national and global attention. Technical malfunction and administrative negligence led to a core meltdown, releasing radiation into the air and forcing thousands to evacuate.

The incident at Three Mile Island has contributed to a large societal change in the region of south-central Pennsylvania. Both residents and activists have been extremely disappointed with the government’s response to the incident. The General Public Utilities Corporation, owner of Three Mile Island, has been forced to change its name, merge with other companies to survive, and recently sold Three Mile Island to Exelon (Exelon plans to shut down Three Mile Island in 2019).

Public trust in the government has eroded as a result of Three Mile Island. People no longer have faith in the democratic institutions built to facilitate change. People no longer believe that public and private institutions of the United States are there to serve them; instead they have been taken over by the elites.

This significant shift and the erosion of American democracy  in Pennsylvania has been acted upon by Three Mile Island.