Nuclear Accidents List

Just saw this list in an Earth Island Journal post by Gar Smith that you can read here Please read it!!

This is just the list, lifted from the post & pasted in. But you need to read the whole blog post item, so please do!!

  • United Kingdom (1957): Windscale reactor fire contaminates 35 workers. Radioactive cloud covers Northern Europe and causes at least 200 cases of cancer.
  • Soviet Union (1957): Radioactive explosion at Mayak reprocessing site forces evacuation of 10,000 people. Radiation contributes to deaths of 200.
  • USA (1975): Alabama’s Browns Ferry plant catches fire and burns for seven hours with two reactors running. Meltdown feared as fire destroys controls.
  • USA (1979): Partial core meltdown at Three Mile Island. Radiation released. Thousands evacuated.
  • USA (1981): California’s San Onofre plant closed for 14 months to repair 6,000 leaking steam tubes. During restart, plant catches fire, knocking out one of two back-up generators.
  • United Kingdom (1983): Beaches near Sellafield (formerly Windscale) nuclear processing plant closed due to radiation contamination.
  • Soviet Union (1986): Chernobyl explosion. World’s worst nuclear accident – so far. Estimates of associated deaths run from 9,000 to nearly one million people.
  • Japan (1997): Chain reaction at Tokaimura reprocessing plant exposes 37 workers and surrounding neighborhoods to radiation.
  • Japan (1999): Two workers killed at Tokaimura during unplanned chain reaction.
  • Japan (2004): Steam explosion kills four at Mihama reactor.
  • Sweden (2006): Short circuit disables emergency power at Forsmark reactor. Catastrophic core meltdown barely averted.
  • France (2008): Tricastin nuclear facility accidentally releases 18,000 liters of irradiated water.


As the article/post states, the above list is only a partial one.

Sobering as heck, isn't it?


p.s. 2 accidents at Chalk River (Ontario, Canada) in the 1950s, btw, are not even included in the list above!

p.s. years later:  much longer collection of nuclear accidents here! (be sure to check out ALL the decades, not just the 1940s one…)

'Quote of the day' with this post: “Is the minor convenience of allowing the present generation the luxury of doubling its energy consumption every 10 years’ worth the major hazard of exposing the next 20,000 generations to this lethal waste?” – David Brower


** Gobs of excellent nuke-related quotes here