US & Canada

Three Mile Island anniversary marked in Pennsylvania

Three Mile Island, shown early morning 28 March
Three Mile Island's Unit 1 continues to generate electric power

Dozens have gathered at Three Mile Island to mark the 32nd anniversary of America's worst nuclear accident.

On 28 March, 1979, a combination of mechanical failure and human error led to a partial meltdown at the nuclear power plant in central Pennsylvania.

The accident caused no injuries or deaths but provoked widespread fear and mistrust among the US public.

The anniversary comes as Japan grapples with radiation leaks from its quake-damaged Fukushima nuclear plant.

People gathered at the plant near Middletown in the US state of Pennsylvania early on Monday morning, offering prayers for those in Japan affected by the disaster at Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, local television reported.

Among the roughly 30 people there were anti-nuclear power demonstrators.

The accident occurred about 4am in the Three Mile Island plant's Unit 2. The plant's Unit 1 continues to generate electric power.

The vigils came as Japan announced that highly radioactive water had been found for the first time outside one of the reactor buildings at the Fukushima nuclear plant, which was severely damaged by an earthquake and resulting Tsunami on 11 March.

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