Causes of the Three Mile Island Accident


Most incidents on earth are linked to a small hand of human error, as was the case in the Three-Mile Island disaster that left the Dauphin County ecosystem and some of its surroundings with catastrophic consequences. In accordance with the calamity that influenced the faults in the system, there were also many mechanical and technical defects.

Causes of the Accident

The accident in Three Mile Island may have been a minor incident, given the presence and adequate training of relevant staff to control the plant operations. According to The Report of The President's Commission on The Accident at Three Mile, the accident started as a result of the equipment failures that were largely not able to be controlled before they got out of hand (Report Of The President's Commission On The Accident At Three Mile Island 10). The report further explores the idea that most of the staff, both the operators and supervisors, failed to keep the emergency cooling systems of the plant running due to a lack of proper training and competency to handle such incidents. Moreover, the lack of proper equipment and systems that were used in the plant is also said to be among the main issues that caused the Three Mile Accident. These systems and equipment used for the plant were designed and commissioned for use by the persons responsible for the plant operations. Additional blame can also be attached to human error for the lack of proper emergency procedures that were to be used in the case of major accidents to prevent the excessive damages to the plant and its environs.

Role of Human Error

Human error is to blame for the Three Mile Accident for the negligence that is shown to have taken place in the build-up to the accident. The lack of properly educated and trained staff involved in the day to day operations of the Nuclear plant was an erroneous calculation by the top management of the plant who are involved in staff recruitment. The employees were not able to identify the problem that had taken place and formulate the appropriate procedures to follow to minimize the potential damages. However, placing sole blame on the personnel at the plant would not be correct as the equipment used in the plant were also at fault. An example is the safety and monitoring systems, which triggered most of the alarms in the plant without being able to distinguish priority to moderate the danger in the plant.


In conclusion, the Three Mile Island Accident was a catastrophic occurrence that would have been properly handled should the human error have been uninvolved in the equation. The errors in the accident point towards human error, and as a result, the accident was tragic, thus destroying the plant and leaking radioactive elements into the ecosystem. Nonetheless, the Three Mile Island Accident provided a blueprint towards the importance of safety in Nuclear plants and created the need for amendments to legislation in the Nuclear Energy Sector.

Work Cited

"Report Of The President's Commission On The Accident At Three Mile Island." Three Mile Island, 1979,

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