FUN WITH MAPS ISSUE 2024-059

Originally published 3/28/2022

By Steve Kovacs (Introduction by Chuck Gibson)

LOVELAND, OH (March 28, 2024) – In this special “REWIND” edition of Fun with Maps we look back to the challenges of nuclear power originally published March 28, 2022.

MELT DOWN

The largest and, fortunately “only” partial, meltdown of a US nuclear power plant occurred in 1977 on this day.  Three Mile Island near Harrisburg, Pennsylvania was the site.  

It was much less severe than Chernobyl, but still scary.

Both incidents, however, were largely due to the trifecta of operator errors, design flaws, and equipment malfunctions all occurring at the same time.

Three Mile Island set back the use of nuclear power production in this country, while some others, notably France pushed ahead with improved designs and much safer nuclear power plants vs. the designs of the 1950s through 1970s.

Today, in the US there are 93 nuclear power plants, producing nearly 20% of the US electric power.  Over 70% of France’s electricity is produced in its nuclear power plants.

On a side note, without significant and complementing electricity production that can be titrated at will (currently achieved using nuclear and/or fossil fuel-based power plants and somewhat with hydroelectric) and relying only on renewables (wind, solar, etc.) be ready for blackouts on calm windless days or when the sun goes down.   No easy answers.

Here is an 1886 folding map of Pennsylvania by Matthews.

Map of Pennsylvania (Credit Steve Kovacs)

Steve Kovacs and his wife Theresa reside in Loveland, Ohio where they raised their two children. He is a passionate collector of antique maps.

Visit his antique map boutique world-on-paper online. Watch for his daily feature Steve Kovacs: Fun with Maps here on Loveland Beacon.