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In re TMI
United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
67 F.3d 1103 (1995)
An accident at the Three Mile Island (TMI) nuclear facility released radiation into the atmosphere, injuring thousands of area residents and businesses. More than 2,000 personal injury claims were consolidated in the Middle District of Pennsylvania. The parties disputed whether the operators violated off-site exposure standards. The injured argued that the radiation-dose standards only applied under normal operating conditions, not during accidents. The operators conceded that the amount of radiation at the edge of TMI exceeded the federal permissible levels. However, the operators argued that none of the excess radiation reached any areas inhabited by the injured. The district court held that federal regulations set the standard of care by defining the maximum permissible levels of human exposure to radiation and requiring radiation releases to be as low as is reasonably achievable (ALARA). The court granted petition for interlocutory appeal as to whether 10 C.F.R. § 20.1(c), which is the ALARA principle, or whether 10 C.F.R. §§ 20.105 and 20.106 govern the standard of care.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Scirica, J.)
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