Engineering Library helps with nuclear crisis in Japan

May 12, 2011

University Park, Pa. -- Penn State's Engineering Library helped with the recent nuclear crisis in Japan by supplying information on the Three Mile Island (TMI-2) cleanup to U.S. engineering firms who are working with Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) and the Toshiba Corporation.

The nuclear power plant accident at Three Mile Island near Harrisburg garnered world concern when it happened in 1979. Today, Penn State University Libraries houses the Three Mile Island (TMI-2) Recovery and Decontamination Collection which contains several thousand videotapes and technical reports detailing the work done during the decade-long cleanup project at the plant.

The DVDs sent to Japan provided images of the early decontamination work done at TMI-2 and the methods and equipment used to remove the damaged fuel from the reactor vessel. A number of technical reports covering similar operations were digitized and placed on the Web to support the planning efforts for the damaged Fukushima reactors. The TMI-2 collection web site ( also contains a streaming video that summarizes the entire TMI-2 cleanup project and has a searchable database that indexes the contents of the collection.

In 2004, Thomas Conkling, head of the Engineering Library, Engineering Librarian Bonnie Osif and Professor Emeritus of Nuclear Engineering Anthony J. Baratta, coauthored "TMI 25 years later: the Three Mile Island nuclear power plant accident and its impact."

For more information, contact Conkling at 814-865-3698.

Last Updated May 19, 2011