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Discrepancy

In response to:

Nuclear Pollution: An Exchange from the January 18, 1990 issue

To The Editors:

In his response to my letter [“Nuclear Pollution: An Exchange,” NYR, January 18, p. 52] M.F. Perutz understated by a factor of ten the total radioactivity released at the Windscale nuclear plant. (Evidently his table should have read either 130,000 units, or 103,000 units, not 13,000; otherwise, his table doesn’t support his own statement that the release at Three Mile Island was “three times greater.”) I suppose this was simply another “typo,” but isn’t that just the point? Human errors will occur, causing occasional typos in magazines and occasional disasters at nuclear facilities.

Alan Day Haight
Bates College
Lewiston, Maine

M.F Perutz replies:

The table is correct, but by an oversight I wrote that the total radioactivity released at Three Mile Island was three times greater than at Windscale, when I should have written that it was twenty-four times greater. I am grateful to Mr. Haight for pointing out the discrepancy.

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