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A Three Mile Island-commissioned public-opinion poll that favors the continued operation of the plant will not influence a pending federal decision to renew the site’s operating license for 20 more years.

“The poll means nothing to (the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission),” NRC spokesman Neil Sheehan said. “We don’t base our decisions on polls that are put out by companies that operate plants.”

In July, TMI in Dauphin County hired Susquehanna Polling and Research to ask 800 area residents their opinions about topics such as whether they believed the plant produced electricity in a safe manner and whether people supported the station operating for an extra 20 years.

But the poll didn’t simply focus on the future of TMI.

One question asked residents if they had lived in the area at the time of the partial meltdown of TMI Unit 2 on March 28, 1979. A majority of the respondents had, according to the survey.

In the survey’s sampling of 400 residents in the eight counties that surround TMI, including York County, 87 percent said they supported

the plant’s operation past its current 40-year license.

The operating license for TMI Unit 1 is to expire April 19, 2014.

Of the remaining 400 respondents, or those who live within 10 miles of the plant, 84 percent supported running the reactor for 20 more years.

Plant employees and members of the media were excluded from the survey.

“The survey just confirms our belief that the vast majority of