Flashback Friday — A Presidential Visit

cartertmitourHere, President Carter visits the TMI-2 Control Room in April 1979, joined by Pennsylvania Governor Richard Thornburgh, and the NRC’s Harold Denton. Since this visit, what other sitting president visited a nuclear power plant and at which site?

 Photo courtesy of the Jimmy Carter Library

Author: Moderator

Public Affairs Officer for the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission

19 thoughts on “Flashback Friday — A Presidential Visit”

  1. Glad the NRC is flashing back to America’s near catastrophic nuclear accident. Over the years since TMI, the NRC and the nuclear industry have grown complacent with nuclear technology in my opinion. A cavalier approach to safety is setting us up for another accident I am afraid. But the Chinese may be even more of a threat.
    What if a Chinese Reactor Melts Down?
    It will be a miracle, or a tragedy (depending on your perspective), if a new nuclear power plant is ever brought on line in the US. The nuclear industry in the US has been on the decline for decades. Even with massive, age-old government (that is taxpayer) subsidies, nuclear plants cannot compete economically with gas, coal, or oil-fired power plants. This while China has rapidly built and operated over 30 new nuclear power plants with plans underway for over 30 more. Now China wants to export its nuclear power plant technology to other countries. Trouble is that technology is substandard just like the ill-fated Russian design that gave us Chernobyl. We probably need to fear the melt-down of a Chinese reactor plant more than we do the melt-down of an American reactor. And what will the Chinese call such a melt-down? Probably “The America Syndrome” as opposed to “The China Syndrome”.

  2. Carter was at TMI to ease tinton from the public that could not trust that they were being told the truth.

  3. Yes I am talking to myself again! The nuclear power industry has been in decline for a long time in this country, thank goodness. The focus has been on wringing out every blessed MW from existing ancient nuke plants. (Doesn’t sound very safe as I think about it). Despite government incentives, like taxpayer-funded insurance, these plants simply cost too much to build and operate and cannot compete with other sources of power. On a level playing field nuke plants would never have been built in the first place decades ago. No private insurer would take the risk and neither should we.

  4. Dang it Steven! If Obama hears about that visit he will blame Bush for that too! And Steven just how many new nuclear plants in the US have been started up since Bush’s historic nuke plant visit almost 10 years ago?! Boy, like everything else those government incentives, well, they really do the trick. How about a little friendly wager on when the next new nuclear plant comes on line? I’d say about the time a permanent spent fuel repository is constructed in the US or when pigs fly whichever comes first.

  5. Great! Thanks for that information. We’d consulted the NRC’s previous historian, but he’d not recalled that visit.


  6. As an Exelon Employee, I know that in May of 2006, President Bush promoted nuclear power with a visit to the Limerick Generating Station Wednesday as part of his answer to energy and environmental problems as more companies consider taking advantage of government incentives to build the nation’s first new nuclear plant in decades.

    Steven P. Hutchins
    Senior Project Manager
    Nuclear Energy Institute

  7. Yes, President George W. Bush visited Calvert Cliffs, in Maryland, in 2005. Thanks for the reminder that he also visited Browns Ferry.


  8. It was just an offiicial visit. The plant is close to Washington, D.C. There was no accident.


  9. Anyone else notice that President Jimmy Carter is looking at not onen but two meters (2nd and 3rd up from lower left) that are “pegged”… something he did not see too often in the Navy, unless it was in nuclear engineering training.

  10. Dr. A. David Rossin – – Charming picture of Jimmy Carter at TMI. But he had already killed the future of nuclear power with his poorly reasoned and very poorly researched Executive Order to stop programs cor reprocessing and later recycle of spent fuel. This killed the breeder reactor and generated fear and distrust among the general public. And today we still are stuck with no repository for radioactive civilian power plant nuclear waste.

  11. What was the occasion? What brought the Pres to Calvert? Don’t recall another nuke plant accident.

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