Three Mile Island begins testing new siren system

HARRISBURG, Pa. -- Officials at Exelon Corp.'s Three Mile Island nuclear facility in central Pennsylvania are beginning to test a new emergency siren system.

The first test is scheduled for 12:30 p.m. Thursday and will last for three minutes.

Exelon says the sirens have improved sound and better battery backup to ensure they'll work during an electrical outage.

Ninety-six sirens are scattered throughout communities within a 10-mile radius of the facility near Harrisburg. Three more tests are planned through mid-November.

Sixteen sirens in Lancaster County did not sound during a test last year due to a timing glitch, which was later remedied.

The partial meltdown of a Three Mile Island reactor in 1979 is considered the worst commercial nuclear power plant accident in U.S. history.