Report Of The President's Commission On
The Accident At Three Mile Island           > TMI-2 > Kemeny

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The Accident




During the time that our Commission conducted its investigation a number of other reports appeared with recommendations for improved  safety in nuclear power plants. While we are generally aware of the nature of these recommendations, we have not attempted a systematic analysis of them. Insofar as other agencies may have reached similar conclusions and proposed similar remedies, several groups arriving at the same conclusion should reinforce the weight of these conclusions.

But we have an overwhelming concern about some of the reports we have seen so far. While many of the proposed "fixes" seem totally  appropriate, they do not come to grips with what we consider to be the ' basic problem. We have stated that fundamental changes must occur in organizations, procedures, and, above all, in the attitudes of people  No amount of technical "fixes" will cure this underlying problem. There have been many previous recommendations for greater safety for nuclear power plants, which have had limited impact. What we consider crucial  is whether the proposed improvements are carried out by the same organizations (unchanged), with the same kinds of practices and the same attitudes that were prevalent prior to the accident. As long as proposed improvements are carried out in a "business as usual" atmosphere, the fundamental changes necessitated by the accident at  Three Mile Island cannot be realized.

We believe that we have conscientiously carried out the mandate of the President of the United States, within our limits as human beings and within the limitations of the time allowed us. We have not found a magic formula that would guarantee that there will be no serious future nuclear accidents. Nor have we come up with a detailed blueprint for nuclear safety. And our recommendations will require great efforts by others to translate them into effective plans.

Nevertheless, we feel that our findings and recommendations are of vital importance for the future of nuclear power. We are convinced that, unless portions of the industry and its regulatory agency undergo fundamental changes, they will over time totally destroy public confidence and, hence, they will be responsible for the elimination of nuclear power as a viable source of energy.