What were you doing?
The phone call came in sometime in the mid-afternoon of
Wednesday, October 5, 1966. The exact time is not recorded,
because it was never entered officially on the log of the
sheriff of Monroe County, Michigan. Sheriff Charles
Harrington, known as Bud, a lanky man with a lean, craggy
face, received it. An unidentified voice on the other end of the
line spoke sharply and briefly, saying it was Detroit Edison
calling-the major utility company in southeastern Michigan.
There was something wrong at the new Enrico Fermi Atomic
Power Plant, which Detroit Edison operated at Lagoona
Beach just a handful of miles away from the town of Monroe.
The cause of the problem was uncertain, but the caller said
that the situation should not be publicized, that no public alert
should be given. More information would follow.
Sheriff Harrington hung up the phone in his tiny office,
over-crowded by just one desk and his radio-communications
equipment. He went directly into the next door office of the
chief of police of the town of Monroe. Both agreed they
would not enter the information on the blotter, and would
keep it to themselves. Both men knew that a nuclear power
plant contains within it more potential radioactive fallout than
dozens of Hiroshima-type A-bombs. The Fermi plant was no
exception: It was new, it was untried, it was being tested. And
both knew that the ultimate action in case of a major atomic
plant accident was evacuation. Yet, if the public was given
any hint of the problem there could be mass panic. The two
officers decided to wait it out.
Read more here: http://wsrl.org/pdfs/detroit.pdf