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The Nation

February 05, 1989

The Atomic Safety and Licensing Board gave the operator of the Three Mile Island plant in Pennsylvania approval to boil off 2.3 million gallons of radioactive water--part of the legacy of the nation's worst nuclear accident. About 260,000 gallons of the water has been sitting in the reactor building basement since the 1979 accident. The rest of the water has accumulated during cleanup operations. General Public Utilities Nuclear, the plant operator, proposed to get rid of all the water by boiling it into steam released from a 100-foot-high stack, and packaging impurities for shipment to a waste dump. Pennsylvania citizens' groups have challenged the decision, expressing concern about the release of radiation into the atmosphere.

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