From a statement this month by Pennsylvania Gov. Richard Thornburgh:
It has beeen consistently my view that commercial nuclear power can and ought to play a positive role in meeting our nation's present and future energy needs, and I have never been opposed to the restart of the undamaged Unit 1 reactor at Three Mile Island on an ideological basis.
For these and other reasons, especially those relating to public health and safety, I continually have sought from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and the courts public hearings on unresolved issues of management competence and integrity to which I believe the residents of Central Pennsylvania were entitled.
It has been my concern that without the assurances that such hearings could provide . . . public support for commercial nuclear power would be seriously eroded and undermined for the next generation.
The courts, however, have now ruled that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission acted within its authority to order restart without the additional hearings we have requested.
I believe the only responsible course now is to work with the plant operator, the NRC and other officials to ensure that the plant is operated under the tightest possible supervision and stringent standards of safety. . . .
Thanks in great part to the efforts of the Commonwealth, steps have been taken to make Three Mile Island safer today than at any time since the accident at the companion Unit 2 more than six years ago. . . .
As governor, I now expect all citizens of the area, regardless of their views on TMI, to respect the decision of the highest court in the land, as well as the laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.