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

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The Commission

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The Accident




In announcing the formation of the Commission, the President of the United States said that the Commission "will make recommendations to enable us to prevent any future nuclear accidents." After a 6-month investigation of all factors surrounding the accident and contributing to it, the Commission has concluded that:

To prevent nuclear accidents as serious as Three Mile Island, fundamental changes will be necessary in the organization, procedures, and practices -- and above all -- in the attitudes of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and, to the extent that the institutions we investigated are typical, of the nuclear industry.

This conclusion speaks of necessary fundamental changes. We do not claim that our proposed recommendations are sufficient to assure the safety of nuclear power.

Given the nature of its Presidential mandate, its time limitations, and the complexity of both energy and comparative "risk-assessment" issues, this Commission has not undertaken to examine how safe is "safe enough" or the broader question of nuclear versus other forms of energy. The Commission's findings with respect to the accident and the regulation of the nuclear industry -- particularly the current and potential state of public safety in the presence of nuclear power -- have, we believe, implications that bear on the broad question of energy. But the ultimate resolution of the question involves the kind of economic, environmental, and foreign policy considerations that can only be evaluated through the political process.

Our findings do not, standing alone, require the conclusion that nuclear power is inherently too dangerous to permit it to continue and expand as a form of power generation. Neither do they suggest that the nation should move forward aggressively to develop additional commercial nuclear power. They simply state that if the country wishes, for larger reasons, to confront the risks that are inherently associated with nuclear power, fundamental changes are necessary if those risks are to be kept within tolerable limits.

We are very much aware that many other investigations into the accident are under way. There are several investigations by Congress, the NRC self-investigation, and a number of studies by the industry. Some will examine individual issues in much greater depth than we were able to do. And, no doubt, additional insights will emerge out of these various investigations. It is our hope that the results of our efforts may aid and accelerate the progress of the ongoing investigations, and help to bring about the required changes promptly.