University of Pittsburgh
March 7, 1999



Sharon Blake


Cell: 412-277-6926

PITTSBURGH, March 8 -- Twenty years after America awakened to what would become the worst nuclear accident in its history, three key players in the 1979 Three Mile Island accident will take part in a panel discussion Friday, March 26 from 1:30 - 3:30 p.m. at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law, Forbes Ave., Oakland. The event is in the Teplitz Memorial Courtroom, Room G6 on the ground floor, and is free and open to the public.

"Three Mile Island: A Nuclear Crisis Revisited" will feature Dick Thornburgh, former Governor of Pennsylvania, whose handling of the situation became a model for crisis management; Harold Denton, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission representative sent to the site by President Carter, and Robert Dvorchak, chief Harrisburg correspondent for the Associated Press at the time, now a reporter for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Pitt Provost James V. Maher will serve as moderator. The panelists will discuss and answer questions on their integral roles in the crisis, how information was gathered and disseminated, and how a complex investigation was carried out in the midst of intense scrutiny and public hysteria.

At noon, "Meltdown at TMI," a Public Broadcasting System program from the "American Experience" series that aired in late February on WQED-TV, will be shown in the Teplitz Memorial Courtroom. In addition, materials from the Dick Thornburgh Archival Collection will be on display throughout March and April in the lobby of the Hillman Library. (Enter from Schenley Drive.) The exhibit includes a portion of Thornburgh's log of the phone calls, developments and decisions that unfolded the morning of March 28, 1979 as well as photos, notes, original AP wire copy, newspaper clippings and magazines.

MEDIA AVAILABILITY/PARKING: All panelists will be available to answer questions immediately following the discussion, at approximately

3:15 p.m. To park, reporters are advised to use the large outdoor public lot on Forbes Avenue between the Hillman and Carnegie Libraries.