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Everybody remembers where they were the day of JFK’s assassination and the day the towers fell in New York City.
Some of us also remember where we were in March 1979 when the Three Mile Island nuclear power plant suffered mechanical failures.
At the first news, a PNM coworker and I dashed down the street to read the reports clacking out of an Associated Press teletype machine. PNM was and still is part owner of a nuclear power plant.
The furor decimated the nuclear industry with plant cancellations and new regulatory hurdles, and it was particularly painful for New Mexico. Grants, the uranium capital, slipped from boom to bust as mine after mine closed until they were all shuttered.
Watching the horrifying scenes of destruction in Japan and the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant, I also wondered if, just as nuclear is making a strong comeback, we would see another economic tsunami, with new impacts on New Mexico.
So far, construction of new reactors has slowed, and regulators are studying safety requirements, but the industry is still standing.
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