William Scranton Quotes

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William Scranton
13th United States Ambassador to the United Nations
In office
March 15, 1976 â€“ January 19, 1977
President Gerald Ford
Preceded by Daniel Moynihan
Succeeded by Andrew Young
38th Governor of Pennsylvania
In office
January 15, 1963 â€“ January 17, 1967
Lieutenant Raymond Shafer
Preceded by David Lawrence
Succeeded by Raymond Shafer
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Pennsylvania’s 10th district
In office
January 3, 1961 â€“ January 3, 1963
Preceded by Stanley Prokop
Succeeded by Joseph McDade
Personal details
Born William Warren Scranton
(1917-07-19)July 19, 1917
Madison, Connecticut, U.S.
Died July 28, 2013(2013-07-28) (aged 96)
Montecito, California, U.S.
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Mary Lowe Chamberlain (1942–2013; his death)
Children Susan
William
Joseph
Peter
Alma mater Yale University
Religion Presbyterian
Military service
Allegiance  United States
Service/branch United States Army Air Forces
 United States Air Force
Rank Captain

None of us knew what this power plant looked like. We had no schematic drawing.
William Scranton
When I started walking and I looked down and I saw on the floor this water, which looked like, you know, water in your basement except it happened to be in the auxiliary building of a nuclear power plant.
William Scranton
It took me 45 minutes to get in all of the suits and putting all the dosimeters on me so that they knew how much radiation I got and the protective boots and everything.
William Scranton
And I remember walking in there and, I must say, I was quite unnerved the closer I got to it.
William Scranton
My time inside there was very short compared to the amount of time it took to take on and take off this suit and to test me for how much radioactivity I have.
William Scranton
There are allowable limits for radiation going – I mean there’s radiation all around us. There’s radiation from your television set. There’s radiation from your computer. There’s radiation actually occurring in the ground.
William Scranton
They’re calling their Washington sources at the NRC or in Congress and they’re not hesitating to give their opinion, but their opinion, frankly, in those early days was not very well informed.
William Scranton
But the issue became, how long do you keep the press waiting so that you can gather more information?
William Scranton
Nobody could tell us or really had a very good idea, if there were a massive release of radiation, what kind of medical treatment people were going to need and this or that, or, indeed, whether there would be medical personnel around.
William Scranton
What I had said in the morning was that this is what we know has happened, but there has been no significant off-site release. Only to find out moments later that, in fact, there had been an off-site release. I still haven’t gotten over that.
William Scranton
The value of government to the people it serves is in direct relationship to the interest citizens themselves display in the affairs of state.
William Scranton
There were schools and hospitals who were ready to take people with undescribed injuries, but not necessarily ready to take people with severe radiation poisoning.
William Scranton
The first one, obviously, was walking into my office at eight o’clock in the morning on Wednesday, and being told there was a telephone call saying that there was an incident at Three Mile Island, and that it had shut down and that beyond that we didn’t know.
William Scranton
Obviously, I’m not looking in the core of the reactor, but I am looking at what, at that time, was considered the source of the trouble, which was the water and where it was.
William Scranton
All of the information that we were getting up to that time from the NRC people, from our people who knew something about nuclear power, was that the breach of the core was not a likelihood to happen.
William Scranton
Another very strong image from the first day was giving my initial press conference in the morning – going down and finding out that everything I had said, the essence of what I had said, was wrong.
William Scranton
By Thursday morning, we'd gotten over the worst of it.
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission and EPA, et cetera, had worked out what allowable releases are.
William Scranton
And it was at that point that I realized, in fact, our whole administration realized, that we could not rely on Metropolitan Edison for the kind of information we needed to make decisions.
William Scranton
And if you’re not going to have a clear health threat, you don’t want to panic people.
William Scranton
You need a graphic understanding of a situation to make a complete judgment and we didn’t have that.
William Scranton
None of us are nuclear experts, but we know that if there is a melt-down and breach of containment, that’s clearly the most odious thing that could happen.
William Scranton
And at ten, or whatever time, in the morning we had the press conference, what we knew is there had been an incident at Three Mile Island, that it was shut down, that there was water that had escaped but it was contained.
William Scranton
I was scheduled to give my first official press conference that morning anyway, ’cause I was chairman of the Governors Energy Council and I was making a press conference with regard to energy policy.
William Scranton
You’re feeling the responsibility for hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of people on your shoulder in a way that I couldn’t feel as lieutenant governor.
William Scranton