Meltdown: Three Mile Island chronicles what was described as the worst nuclear incident on mainland USA. The plant was 30 minutes away from total meltdown.
To be honest, I went into the documentary expecting it to be another mellow Netflix production. And to my surprise, it’s not!
In 4 episodes, the limited series goes into deep details on what happened on March 28, 1979 and how the many levels of government and corporate owners reacted to it. In addition, we get a first-hand account on how greed might have triggered an even bigger disaster.
So, what exactly happened? The accident saw a partial meltdown of the Unit 2 (TMI-2) reactor at the plant. The incident was caused by a series of mechanical failures. Sadly, the incident came nine years before Chernobyl in 1989, and 32 years before the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster.
At the end, the 4 episodes add up to a compelling and chilling viewing. I’m kind of shocked at how bad the multiple levels of government reacted to a potential disaster that might obliterate the whole American east coast. But also, I’m not. When you’re motivated by money, I’m almost never surprised when companies take shortcuts without any consideration for safety.
The series highlights how the plant’s parent company, Metropolitan Edison, downplayed the crisis claiming that no radiation had been detected off plant grounds. However, scientists tracked increased levels of radiation as well as a contaminated water leak. In addition, many residents who were in the 3-5 mile radius have later had cancer and many other side effects of radiation poisoning. Coincidence? Watch and see what you think.
Should you watch it?
Yes! Instead of rehashing an event that could be easily researched, the documentary takes a familiar event from the past half-century, and fills in people’s gaps in information while debunking commonly held beliefs about the event.
Where can I watch it?
You can stream the documentary limited series Meltdown: Three Mile Island exclusively on Netflix.