The Battalion. (College Station, Tex.) 1893-current, March 29, 1979, Image 1

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    The Battalion
Vol. 72 No. 123
24 Pages 2 Sections
Thursday, March 29, 1979
College Station, Texas
News Dept. 845-2611
Business Dept. 845-2611
uclear plant emits
dioactive steam
United Press International
ApiUSBURG, Pa. — A possibly seri-
cAling system leak in a nuclear reac-
i\fdnesday released radiation in the
pliere, triggered an automatic shut-
nlof Three Mile Island plant and
scfevacuation of workers at the facility,
aine Fabian, spokesman for Met-
Edison Co., part owner of the
|)cated near Harrisburg, said some
Itive steam escaped and was vented
the atmosphere.
'here was a small off-site release of
ation reported at a possible 10
tgjens per hour, which is very mini-
tin «
en JLay on, Macduff
There are 2,350 dues-paying
Members of the Society for Creative
Ijiaehronisms, the organization that
sponsors this odd entertainment. Its
members preserve medieval cus
toms in various ways, including
dressing in armor and whacking
iach other with swords and axes.
Why? “I like to bash people’s heads
in,” says one Aggie. Not a frequent
occurrence — the weapons are
made of light wood. See today’s
iityihm tops in
vthpe, number
i Q(. K From staff and wire reports
Ingroup of Texas A&M University pro-
lors has added another element to the
las brag list — the state leads the nation
w U Ihe number of highway potholes.
Recording to Robert Callaway, head of
(iexas Transportation Institute’s high-
j materials division, Texas has 8.2 mil-
i potholes, give or take a few. He said
p California, with 4 million, isn’t even
Hlaway says that, based on sampling
l|stimates, the Texas pothole’s average
16 inches in diameter and 5 inches
mal,” said Charles Blaisdell, a Civil De
fense spokesman.
In Oak Ridge, Tenn., Dr. C.C.
Lushbaugh, chairman of the medical and
health sciences division of the Oak Ridge
Associated Universities, said the off-site
release of radiation reported at a possible
10 roentgens an hour “is nothing to worry
He said the probability was that “when
the measuring device saw this cloud of
steam go by it, it probably peaked at 10
rph. That would disperse now as the steam
Lushbauch said “another way to look at
it is in even the worst situation and if the
cloud had 10 rph, if you took a lungful of
the cloud and held it for an hour, you’d get
10 roentgens.
“That would be the equivalent of twice
the amount of radiation you’d get in one
year if you were a worker at the plant.”
Lushbaugh said there also was some
good news from the accident.
“The damned safety system must have
worked—maybe these nuclear reactors
aren’t as bad as some people say.”
In Washington a Nuclear Regulatory
Commission spokesman said details were
sketchy but the accident appeared to have
been a very serious one, knocking out the
main reactor cooling system and forcing
the use of the emergency backup cooling.
“From what we know now, it would
sound like one of the most serious acci
dents we’ve had,” the spokesman said. But
he said it was not the first time a reactor’s
emergency core cooling system had been
Met-Ed officials said there also was a
leak of radiation inside the plant. Fabian
said only a minimal staff of essential work
ers was present during the shutdown and
those reporting for work Wednesday
were kept away from the plant.
Lt. Gov. William Scranton III, who
monitors energy matters for the state, told
a news conference that “everything is
under control. There is and was no danger
to public health or safety.”
However, William Dornsife, a nuclear
new field:
of potholes
And Galldway says 35 years of study of
asphalt and other highway surfaces has
lead him to conclude the prime cause of
potholes is — you guessed it — cars.
“The continuous hydraulic ram efiect of
car tires running over the asphalt loosens
the material underneath the road and
causes pavement over and around the
crack to fragment away,” he said. “If the
right steps are taken in advance, we won’t
go into winter with streets we know will
develop potholes. Then we won’t have to
do expensive hand repairs.”
Battalion photo by Lee Roy Leschper Jr.
(eith Grimwood of “St. Elmo’s Fire” throws himself into a song. The
[jazz-rock” band performed for a very appreciative capacity audience in
Basement Coffeehouse Wednesday night. For Campus Editor Steve
ee’s review of the performance, see page 5.
engineer with the state Department of
Environmental Resources, pointed out
that the state is depending on the com
pany for its information on the accident.
Dornsife said the radioactive material
could possibly contaminate the milk of
cows that graze in the area.
There is a population of about 15,000
people and about 15 dairy farms within a
five-mile radius of the plant.
Dornsife said the state was relying on
Metropolitan Edison Co. for its informa
tion on the accident until officials from the
Nuclear Regulatory Commission arrive
later to conduct tests.
In Washington, the commission re
ported that by 11 a. m. its monitors showed
no detectable signs of radiation off-site.
Pennsylvania environmental officials
confirmed that some radiation escaped
into the atmosphere. They said the
amount of the release, which they could
not measure specifically, was not enough
to cause radiation damage through inhala
tion, although some radiation on the
ground could affect milk supplies in about
a week.
A Met-Ed spokesman said the 906-
megawatt nuclear reactor No. 2 automati
cally shut down at 4 a. m. due to leak in the
secondary cooling system caused by a
value that broke.
“This resulted in some kind of de
pressurization within the reactor. Then,
according to all the emergency and backup
systems we have in the plant, the plant
shut down,” he said. “It was as simple as
In Washington, the Union of Concerned
Scientists, a nuclear safety interest group,
said it received preliminary reports that
indicated the plant would have to be shut
down for a period of time for decontamina
The Union said the accident occured at
4 a.rn., plant officials declared a site
emergency at 7 a.m., meaning there was
some danger at the plant itself, and at 7:45
a.m. called a general emergency because
of a potential danger outside the area.
The plant is located near Harrisburg
International Airport 10 miles southeast of
Harrisburg along the Susquehanna River
in Dauphin County. A spokesman for the
Harrisburg airport said it would remain
Metropolitan Edison Co. owns 50 per
cent of Three Mile Island. Twenty-five
percent of the shares also are owned by
Jersey Central Power and Light Co. and
Pennsylvania Electric Co.
Five hundred employees are required
to operate the Three Mile Island plant.
It has been in operation for four years.
Thomas Lyon, spokesman for the
Pennsylvania State Police, said Met-Ed
requested state police assistance for the
emergency and authorities said the plant
site was evacuated.
Lyon said four state troopers were sent
to the power plant site to expedite traffic
through the area.
He said a state police helicopter was
provided to Met-Ed for use by a “monitor
ing team.” Nuclear Regulatory Commis
sion representatives were on the way to
the scene from Philadelphia.
Deadline for
candidate pix
7-9 tonight
Today from 7-9 p.m. is the last chance
for candidates for campus offices to be
photographed for The Battalion’s special
election tabloid, “For the Voters.”
Candidates should come to Room 216 of
the Reed McDonald Building and bring
their completed questionnaires.
The tabloid, which will appear next
Wednesday, will also contain information
about city council and school board races.
Profiles will be included of candidates
for yell leader, student body president,
the five student government vice presi
dents, Residence Hall Association presi
dent, and Off-Campus Student Association
In the interest of allowing replies to ac
cusations, The Battalion will not accept
letters that raise questions about a candi
date after Wednesday.
Everett Johnson, who will retire Monday after
working for Texas A&M 23 years, has seen a lot of
Battalion photo by Lynn Blanco
changes here. He likes the increased number of
students but admits, “I got more rest back then.”
Retiring after 23 years,
employee wants no fanfare
Battalion Reporter
Coffee-drinkers in the chemistry de
partment will have to make their own
brew Monday morning for the first time in
10 years. Everett Johnson is retiring after
23 years here.
Johnson has been at Texas A&M Uni
versity since 1950 when he started as a
supervisor of the housecleaning staff at 84
cents an hour. He remained at that posi
tion until 1964, when he quit to work at
the Ramada Inn for four years. He then
returned to Texas A&M and has worked
here ever since.
In addition to the nine hours he works at
Texas A&M every day, Johnson puts in
eight hours every evening at the phone
“I like to work,” Johnson said with a
slow grin. “My daughter thinks I’m crazy
but I really love to work.”
Johnson is retiring because he makes
too much money to collect Social Security
payments. “I asked them if I could just
work a couple of hours a day here but they
said no,” Johnson said.
At 62, Johnson has seven grown chil
dren and a wife who stayed at home raising
them while Johnson worked his 17-hour
workdays. “I don’t really know how long
I’ve been married,” Johnson said. “You’ll
have to ask my wife about that.”
He speaks proudly of putting all the
children through school. “It’s just the
same as raising two or three, except it
takes a little longer,” Johnson said. He de
scribes his children as “some married,
some divorced, some good, some bad” and
shrugs his shoulders as if to say he had
done his best and that was all he could-do.
Johnson was born and raised in this
area. And he lives in the same house he
paid cash for in 1935. “You can’t buy any
thing for cash these days,” he said. “When
I bought my house you could get one for
$3,500 or $4,000. Money just doesn’t go
anywhere any more.”
Although Johnson has never been out of
the state and has rarely traveled out of this
area, he is well aware of what is going on in
the rest of the world.
“Things could be worse. We still have
peace,” he said. “We don’t need to be in
volved in war.”
Johnson’s desire for peace carries over
into his home life. He is happy with his
little house in the country, he said, where
he has “fresh eggs, chickens and hogs.”
Every Sunday he spends most of the day
in church and he and his wife have a tra
ditional Sunday dinner with family and
Johnson has seen a lot of changes here
since 1950. He likes the increased number
of students but admits, “I got more rest
back then.”
He is well-liked by those who work with
him. Every Christmas he gets more than
20 cards from “Old Ags” all over the coun
try. He and his wife answer all of them,
Johnson said.
“It really makes me feel good to know all
those people still care about how I’m do
Johnson feels that the campus is much
improved with the addition of women.
“There are a lot of women bosses around
here these days. There is one woman who
is the head of keeping the grounds nice.
She keeps the campus a lot cleaner than
the men ever did.”
Johnson, who has been known to hide
behind doors in his efforts to avoid re
porters, wants no going-away parties. “I
just couldn’t take it,” he said. “I’m afraid
I’d have a heart attack or something, say
ing goodbye to all my friends. It already
hurts too much right now.”
Monday morning Everett Johnson can
sleep as late as he wants to, but he will
probably get up early as usual. After he
does all the work he can find around the
house, he will think of his friends at Texas
A&M and remember the “good old days”
when someone who loved to work could
work as much as he wanted.
AggieCon brings strange sights
Battalion Reporter
If anyone sees extraterrestrials wander
ing around campus this weekend, the
Martians have not landed. AggieCon X
starts today at 2 p.m. and will have a cos
tume party Saturday night, so the possibil
ity of seeing some strange sights is proba
AggieCon is the annual science fiction
convention sponsored by the Cepheid Var
iable Science Fiction-Fantasy Committee.
Cepheid Variable is a student-run organi
zation and is a member of the Texas A&M
University Memorial Student Center
Council and Directorate.
AggieCon features many attractions for
science fiction-fantasy buffs, not the least
of which will be the dealers’ room which
will be open today.
The dealers’ room is a place where a
person can buy science fiction and fantasy
related books, posters, and other
paraphernalia, and to quote the definition
in the AggieCon program, it is a “roomful
of maniacs fully intent upon selling you
anything and everything.”
Other attractions are art displays, both
professional and amateur, and two NASA
exhibits. Science fiction movies will also
be shown throughout the four days, either
in the Basement Coffeehouse or Rudder
Auditorium. Some of the movies to be
shown are “Exorcist,” “The Stepford
Wives,” “Barbarella” and “Flesh Gordon.”
Guest of Honor will be Theodore Stur
geon, who has won numerous awards in
cluding the Hugo, the Nebula, the Inter
national Fantasy Award and the Golden
Scroll Award. He has contribute to the
“National Review,” “The Rolling Stone,
“Sports Illustrated” and “Playboy.” Stur
geon will speak at the guests of honor ad
dress Saturday afternoon.
Another part of AggieCon will be a star-
ship design contest, an amateur art contest
and a costume contest. Entries in the art
and starship design contests must be in by
4 p.m. Friday, and the winners will be
announces at the banquet Saturday night.
The costume contest will be held during
the costume party Saturday night and
winners will be announced there.
Tickets for non-Texas A&M students
cost $5 for the full Con if purchased before
March 1, and thereafter will cost $6. Stu
dents, faculty, and staff may purchase full
Con tickets for $4. These tickets may be
purchased at the MSC Box Office. One
day tickets will be $2 and may be pur
chased at the door.
All of the events will take place in the
MSC where programs will be distributed.
The programs will contain the times and
exact locations of all the events.