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Radiation Emergencies
Emergency Response:

EPA's Response to the Three Mile Island Incident

Ready to Respond
Arial view of nuclear power plant featuring a hyperbolic cooling tower

The Federal Radiological Emergency Response Plan was not yet in place when the accident at Three Mile Island nuclear power plant occurred in 1979. During the initial response, EPA deployed offsite radiation monitoring and assessment teams from its labs, and provided onsite and Headquarters assistance to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission - the Lead Federal Agency for the response. These actions formed the genesis for today's Federal Radiological Monitoring and Assessment Center and the FRERP.

For eight years after the incident, EPA maintained a continuous environmental radiation monitoring network in the area surrounding the plant. The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania took over the responsibility of maintaining the permanent radiation monitoring network in January of 1988.

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