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Prayers Mark 32 Years Since Three Mile Island

This file photo from March 30, 1979 shows a cooling tower of the Three Mile Island nuclear power plant near Harrisburg, Pa. , as it looms behind an abandoned playground. The partial meltdown at Three Mile Island nuclear plant in 1979 routed more than 180,000 people living within 50 miles of the plant, a five-day evacuation nightmare that residents are reliving as the nuclear plant crisis unfolds in Japan (AP).

This file photo from March 30, 1979 shows a cooling tower of the Three Mile Island nuclear power plant near Harrisburg, Pa. , as it looms behind an abandoned playground. The partial meltdown at Three Mile Island nuclear plant in 1979 routed more than 180,000 people living within 50 miles of the plant, a five-day evacuation nightmare that residents are reliving as the nuclear plant crisis unfolds in Japan (AP).  (AP1979)

MIDDLETOWN, Pa. -- The 32nd anniversary of the partial meltdown at Three Mile Island is being marked at the plant with prayers for Japan.

WGAL-TV reports about 30 people gathered early Monday outside the nuclear plant near Harrisburg, Pa., for a vigil to remember the worst commercial nuclear power plant accident in U.S. history.

An equipment failure and operator errors led to partial core meltdown at the plant's Unit 2 reactor around 4 a.m. on March 28, 1979.

Those gathered outside the plant offered their prayers for tsunami-devastated Japan, especially people forced from their homes by the crisis at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear complex.

Three Mile Island spokesman Ralph DeSantis says the Unit 2 disaster has taught plant operators many valuable lessons.