If you can't hear From the Vault in your area, contact your local Pacifica affiliate station and request From the Vault from the Pacifica Radio Archives.

From the Vault Airs On:

CJUM 101.5 FM Winnipeg, MB
Geneva Community Radio Geneva, NY
KAOS 89.3 FM Olympia, WA
KBOO 90.7 FM Portland, OR
KBRP-LP 96.1 FM Brisbee, AZ
KKFI 90.1 FM Kansas City, MO
KMUD 91.1 FM Redway, CA
KPFT 90.1 FM Houston, TX
KPVL 89.1 FM Postville, IA
KRFP-LP 92.5 FM Moscow, ID
KSVR 90.1 FM Mount Vernon, WA
KYRS-LP 92.3 FM Spokane, WA
KZGM 88.1 FM Cabool, MO
The Detour Network 105.3 FM Knoxville, TN
WBAI 99.5 FM New York, NY
WDRT 91.9 FM Viroqua, WI
WESU 88.1 FM Middletown, CT
WPFW 89.3 FM Washington, DC
WOMR 92.1 FM Provincetown, MA
WPRR 1630 AM / 95.3 FM Ada, MI
Free Radio Santa Cruz 101.3 FM Santa Cruz, CA
KXCR 90.7 FM Florence, OR
WGXC 90.7 FM Catskill, NY
KOWA 106.5 FM Olympia, WA
Free Speech Radio News Tampa, FL
KHOI 89.1 FM Ames, IA
WXOJ-LP 103.3 FM Northampton, MA
KGNU 88.5 FM / 1390 AM Boulder / Denver, CO

KURU 89.1 FM Silver City, NM
KPFA 94.1 FM Berkeley, CA
KPFK 90.7 FM Los Angeles, CA
WAZU 90.7 FM Peoria, IL
WGDR 91.1 FM Plainfield, VT
WRFI 88.1 FM Ithaca, NY and 91.9 FM Watkins Glen, NY
WRFN 107.1 FM Pasquo, TN
WYAP 101.7 FM Clay, WV
WERU 89.9 FM Blue Hill, ME and 99.9 FM Bangor, ME
WORT 89.9 FM Madison, WI
KUGS 89.3 FM Bellingham, WA
KYBU 96.9 FM Covelo, CA
WGOT-LP 94.7 FM Gainsville, FL
KFCF 88.1 FM Fresno, CA
WZRD 88.3 FM Chicago, IL
From the Vault is looking for a few dedicated volunteers to help with scheduling, research, digitizing, transcribing, website support, and more. If you're interested, please contact From the Vault.

FTV 012 Global Meltdown

“…The accident did not occur within the nuclear reactor. The accident did not occur inside the reactor in the slightest. It was a feed pump connected to the turbine outside of the reactor area. Now, that was a failure of a piece of machinery and therefore it was an accident of a — with regard to — it wasn’t an accident. It was just a failure of a piece of machinery. There’s no relationship between that and what is thought of as a nuclear accident.”
~Don Curry, chief spokesman for Metropolitan Edison, working the media spin on the morning of March 28, 1979.

Twenty four hours later, under intense public pressure:
“We concede that it’s not just a little thing,” ~Don Curry

At 4:00 am on Wednesday, March 28, 1979, the worst commercial nuclear accident in the history of the United States began to unfold amidst the unsuspecting residents of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. As the event progressed over the days, it became clear that Americans had serious questions about the safety of nuclear power, the ability of the government to effectively regulate the nuclear industry, and the long term affects of nuclear energy on the enviroment. Fallout from this nuclear accident, both literally and figuratively, continues to radiate throughout political, environmental, and moral concerns to this day.

It all began when a single water pump failed in Three-Mile Island’s Unit 2, a malfunction that precipitated a catastrophic chain of events in which massive amounts of radioactive matter were released into the atmosphere surrounding the facility. The ensuing widespread public panic quickly turned to outrage as residents of the area and government officials demanded answers from within a dark of cloud of misinformation and confusion. The event itself witnessed a meltdown of its own: complete communications chaos.

This week on From the Vault, we’re featuring the chilling documentary Accidents Will Happen, an uncompromising look at the miasma created by Three-Mile Island nuclear facility. Produced by Alan Snitow and Aileen Alfandary, this incredible piece includes actuality on ground, statements by public relations staff for the utility company, physicists, politicians, President Carter, and consumer advocates — on what actually happened and what the effects were locally and nationally. Accidents Will Happen challenged the conventional nuclear wisdom of that day, and layed the foundation for a heated debate that is still very much a part of politics today.

We’ll also hear renowned nuclear activist and Dr. Helen Caldicott weigh in on the issues of nuclear energy and global warming. Dr. Caldicott co-founded the Physicians for Social Responsibility, an organization of 23,000 doctors committed to educating their colleagues about the dangers of nuclear power, nuclear weapons and nuclear war. While we do have many older recordings of Dr. Caldicott in our vault, we sought to record a fresh interview in April of 2006 because of the rapidly escalating environmental crisis, and Dr. Caldicott’s ability to speak so poignantly about such issues.

Archival programs used in this week’s episode, Global Meltdown:

AZ0193 Moscow Press Coverage of Three Mile Island Accident / produced by William Mandel BUY NOW!!

AZ0192 Accidents Will Happen / Produced by Alan Snitow and Aileen Alfandary BUY NOW!!

SZ0018 Early Warnings: Voices from Three-Mile Island BUY NOW!!

Click here to purchase a copy of this program or learn more about and purchase copies of the historic archival recordings used within this episode. To purchase a CD copy of this program by phone, please call Pacifica Radio Archives at 800.735.0230 x 262.

Click here to send an email to From the Vault.


Comments are closed.