Top 10 Nuclear Disasters

Top 10 Nuclear Disasters

Nuclear

The long term effects of Nuclear disasters can often spread over thousands of years. It is estimated that Chernobyl wont be inhabited for at least another 20,000 years.

Despite the threat of  Nuclear disasters, believe it or not, Nuclear Power Plants are prominent and provide approximately 5.7% of the world’s energy and 13% of the world’s electricity.

With 437 Nuclear Power Plants worldwide, there are bound to be incidents every now and again. Small incidents occur and can be rectified, but when there are large incidents, the impact can often be catastrophic.

Each Nuclear disaster has been given a level on the International Nuclear Event Scale (INES).

Click on the header of each nuclear disaster for a detailed look at each event.

Process Industry Forum have scrawled the web and created a Top 10 for the worst Nuclear disasters of all time:

Japan

10. Tokaimura, Japan 1999 – Level 4

When a group of unqualified workers decided to put more highly enriched uranium in a precipitation tank than was permitted, disaster struck. Two of the workers eventually died with another fifty six plant workers also being exposed to high levels of radiation. To make matters worse, 21 civilians were also exposed to high doses of radiation and residents within a thousand feet of the plant were evacuated.

argentina-flag

9. Buenos Aires, Argentina 1983 – Level 4

An operator’s errors during a fuel plate reconfiguration lead to him dying two days later. There was an excursion of 3×10 fissions at the RA-2 facility with the operator absorbing 2000 rad of gamma and 1700 rad of neutron radiation. Another 17 people outside of the reactor room absorbed doses ranging from 35 rad to less than 1 rad.

france_flag5

8. Saint- Laurent, France 1969 – Level 4

On the 17th October, 1969 50 kg of uranium in one of the gas cooled reactors began to melt. This was classified as Level 4 on the INES and to this day remains the most serious civil Nuclear disaster in French history.

american-flag1

7. SL-1 Experimental Power Station, Idaho USA 1961 – Level 4

On 3rd January, 1961 a USA army experimental nuclear power reactor underwent a steam explosion and meltdown killing its three operators. The cause of this was because of improper removal of the control rod, responsible for absorbing neutrons in the reactor core. This event is the only known fatal reactor accident in the USA. The accident released about 80 curies of iodine -131.

BRASILflag

6. Goiania Accident, Brazil 1987 – Level 5

On 13th September, 1987 a radioactive contamination accident occurred in the Brazilian state of Goais. An old radiotherapy source was stolen from an abandoned hospital site in the city. Subsequently it was handled by many people, killing four people. 112,000 people were examined for radioactive contamination’s with 249 having significant levels of radioactive material in or on their body.

american-flag1

5. Three Mile Island Accident, Pennsylvania USA 1979 – Level 5

28th March saw two nuclear reactors meltdown. It was subsequently the worst disaster in commercial nuclear power plant history. Small amounts of radioactive gases and radioactive iodine were released into the environment. Luckily, epidemiology studies have not linked a single cancer with the accident.

UNITEDKINGDOM

4. Windscale Fire (Sellafield), UK 1957 – Level 5

The worst nuclear disaster in Great Britain’s history occurred on the 10th October, 1957 and ranked at level 5 on the INES scale, The Windscale Fire. The two piles had been hurriedly built as part of the British atomic bomb project. The first pile was active from October 1950 with the second close behind in June 1951. The accident occurred when the core of Unit 1’s reactor caught fire, releasing substantial amounts of radioactive contamination into the surrounding area. 240 cancer cases have since been linked to the fire. All of the milk from within about 500km of nearby countryside was diluted and destroyed for about a month.

russian_flag

3. Kyshtym, Russia 1957 – Level 6

The Kyshtym Nuclear disaster was a radiation contamination incident that occurred on 29 September 1957 at Mayak, a Nuclear fuel reprocessing plant in the Soviet Union. It measured as a Level 6 disaster on the INES, making it the third most serious Nuclear disaster ever recorded behind the Chernobyl Disaster and Fukushima Daiichi Disaster. The event occurred in the town of Ozyorsk, a closed city built around the Mayak plant. Since Ozyorsk/Mayak was not marked on maps, the disaster was named after Kyshtym, the nearest known town.

Japan

2. Fukushima, Japan 2011 – Level 7

The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster was a series of equipment failures, nuclear meltdowns and releases of radioactive materials at the Fukushima, Nuclear Power Plant, following the Tohoku Tsunami on 11 March, 2011.  It is the largest nuclear disaster since the Chernobyl disaster of 1986 and only the second disaster (along with Chernobyl) to measure Level 7 on the INES.

ukraine_flag

1. Chernobyl, Ukraine 1986 – Level 7

The Chernobyl Nuclear disaster is widely considered to have been the worst power plant accident in history, and is one of only two classified as a level 7 event on the International Nuclear Event Scale (the other being the Fukushima, Daiichi disaster in 2011). The battle to contain the contamination and avert a greater catastrophe ultimately involved over 500,000 workers and cost an estimated 18 billion rubles.  The official Soviet casualty count of 31 deaths has been disputed and long-term effects such as cancers and deformities are still being accounted for.

chernobyl

 

 

Alex Wall

Engineering & Manufacturing Blogger & Writer.

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  • jared

    cool page

  • jared

    nice page

  • jared

    hi jake

  • bledi

    Thanks very much. It helped me alot.

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  • russp

    If you add up all the deaths that resulted or will result from all of these nuclear “disasters” combined (excluding Chernobyl), it will be less than the number of deaths that occur EVERY SINGLE DAY from coal-fired power. Stop falling for this ridiculous lack of perspective when it comes to nuclear power.

    • Daniel B.

      What about the sections of our planet that become useless for thousands of years after these disasters occur? Does coal do that as well?

      • MrL0g1c

        So coal and nuclear are the only forms of energy generation, that’s funny, I could have swore there were more.

        • HeWhoIsDisgustedBySciencDniers

          There are, especially the clean, safe, reliable and renewable sources of energy, including–and not limited to–solar power and wind power. All of which are available for successful use NOW.

          Coal, oil, and lethally radioactive materials are definitely not clean nor safe.

          • SA Kiteman

            But nuclear is cleaner, safer, MORE reliable and more affordable than any renewable source able to replace the petro-carbon fuels.

          • HeWhoIsDisgustedBySciencDniers

            Goodness gracious, you are anti-science.

            Dangerously radioactive material is neither clean, safe, reliable, affordable nor renewable.

            Energy sources which are clean, safe, reliable, affordable and renewable–including, and not limited to, solar power and wind power–are already available for successful use NOW.

          • SA Kiteman

            Harharharhar.
            CleanER, safER, MORE reliable. They are all comparatives. Surely you know English well enough to understand those?

            The “dangerously radioactive material” is well stored away from people and presents no plausible harm.

            The dangerous, dirty, deadly effluents from wind and solar manufactury are just spewed out into the environment. Just how many hundred square miles of Chinese farmland do you want to poison to make your windmills?

          • HeWhoIsDisgustedBySciencDniers

            In order to be “CleanER”, safER”, “MORE reliable” and “more affordable”, lethally dangerous radioactive material would have to be clean, safe, reliable and affordable.

            Lethally dangerous radioactive material is neither clean, safe, reliable nor affordable.

            As for your CLAIM that dangerously radioactive material “is well stored away from people and presents no plausible harm”, get real!

            “The dangerous, dirty, deadly effluents from wind and solar manufactury are just spewed out into the environment.”

            Yeah, you who constantly advocate against using safe, clean, reliable and renewable energy sources–including, and not limited to, solar power and wind power–are very fond of CLAIMING that clean, safe, reliable sources of energy are very, very bad and dangerous. Never a surprise.

          • SA Kiteman

            But …SciencDnier., No rational person is talking about “lethally dangerous radioactive material”. So your entire dogma is moot. Taataa.

          • Michael Mann

            Ironically, in this case you are the science denier and SA Kiteman is correct! You should do more research into nuclear science before making such anti-science statements.

        • SA Kiteman

          Remember the iron rule of 24/7.

          To replace a 24/7 source (coal) you need a 24/7 source.

          The only 24/7 source that can grow big enough to replace coal and has a Carbon Intensity Per Kilowatthour (CIPK) less that the IPCC goal of 50g/kWh is nuclear. So, yes, the only two that really count ARE coal and nuclear.

      • SA Kiteman

        So far, there has never been a section of the planet rendered useless for thousands of years due to a nuclear power plant accident except the area covered by the Chernobyl sarcophogus itself. And that was due to an epically bad decision by the Soviets.

        Except small areas, Chernobyl is habitable now.

        Fukushima will be ~100% habitable in about 50 years, even if they stopped cleaning up. If they used appropriate phyto-remdiation it would be closer to 15 years.

        • HeWhoIsDisgustedBySciencDniers

          “So far, there has never been a section of the planet rendered useless
          for thousands of years due to a nuclear power plant accident” . . . Whoops! Strike that, can’t say never.

          • SA Kiteman

            Nope, don’t strike that. Can say “never” since it refers to PAST activities as in “HAS never BEEN”. Duh.

          • HeWhoIsDisgustedBySciencDniers

            Like I said, not even you can say “never”.

            “So far, there has never been a section of the planet rendered useless
            for thousands of years due to a nuclear power plant accident except the
            area covered by the Chernobyl sarcophogus itself.”

          • SA Kiteman

            I said “has never been” correctly.

          • HeWhoIsDisgustedBySciencDniers

            Indeed? Is that before or after you said “except”?

            “Never” is an absolute. Absolutes have no exceptions.

          • SA Kiteman

            Never is an absolute except when there is an exception. Duh.

      • greenthinker2012

        Yes coal and the other fossil fuels are killing our planet.
        Scientists expect 1/3 of all species to go extinct as a result of our fossil fuel burning.
        Expected human deaths from climate change number in the hundreds of millions.
        Our coastal cities are expected to be flooded.
        So yes indeed coal is many many times worse than nuclear power.

    • SA Kiteman

      Let us compare nuclear to carbon fueled deaths.
      The WHO claims ~7,000,000 deaths/a from carbon based enery use. That means about 20,000/d. That is more than all the deaths expected from all commercial nuclear power plant accidents, incidents, and activities, EVER. Get tat? We could have a Chernobyl every day and not kill as many as carbon fuels.

      • HeWhoIsDisgustedBySciencDniers

        So, is that one Chernobyl every day?

        One Chernobyl each in the towns and cities in one county every day?

        One Chernobyl each in the cities and towns in every county in one state every day?

        One Chernobyl each in all the cities and towns in every county of one state every day?

        One Chernobyl each in all the cities and towns in every county in all 50 states every day?

        What if we add a Chernobyl in the District of Columbia every day?

        Plus one Chernobyl each in all cities and towns in Puerto Rico?

        . . . in Guam?

        . . . in American Samoa?

        . . . in U.S. Virgin Islands?

        . . . in Northern Mariana Islands?

        Wow, lethally dangerous radioactives are safe to use in the middle of every inhabited area in every continent on Earth?

        I am so impressed!

        C’mon, let’s dig up all the lethally dangerous radioactive materials on which we can get our hands!

        With a Chernobyl happening everyday in all the Chernobyls on Earth, we’ll all survive long enough to be killed the same ways by which all the people in the original Chernobyl were killed!

        Oh, that would be so cool, Brewster!

        • SA Kiteman

          So the disgusting science denier can’t parse a simple sentence. Too bad it is so confused by simple English.

          And apparently it doesn’t know the difference between lethally dangerous and MORE lethally dangerous. What a dingleberry!

          • HeWhoIsDisgustedBySciencDniers

            “What a dingleberry!”

            I don’t know what you have against a person who lives in a dell and eats small fruit with lots of small seeds, but don’t take it out on me.

            I do know how to parse a sentence. I am thoroughly disgusted by science deniers who try to paint nuclear disasters as being harmless incidents which do not make the disaster area dangerously radioactive for decades afterwards.

            Lethally dangerous is lethally dangerous, no matter how you try to present it as otherwise.

            “We could have a Chernobyl every day and not kill as many as carbon fuels.”

            Well, that’s true. A Chernobyl everyday would kill a much larger number of people.

          • SA Kiteman

            And I am disgusted by the anti-science Anti-NuPow agents of Big Petro-Carbon (BPC) who try to terrify the public about accidents that in fact are much less harmful than portrayed by themselves.

            In Fukushima, the Anti-NuPow fearmongery has resulted in about 1700 deaths. The maximum plausible death toll from the radioactivity is in the low dozens.

            We have known for cenuries that:
            “The dose makes the poison” {Paracelsus}
            So in fact “lethally dangerous” is only part of the scale from no effect thru potentially beneficial effect to no observable adverse effect to stochasticlly harmful to lethally dangerous. Implying that lethally dangerous is all there is is a filty, rotten, MURDEROUS lie.

            A Chernobyl a day wouldn’t kill as many as coal does currently. Do the math yourself if you don’t trust mine. Use corrent models.

          • HeWhoIsDisgustedBySciencDniers

            “And I am disgusted by the anti-science Anti-NuPow agents of Big Petro-Carbon (BPC) who try to terrify the public about accidents that in fact are much less harmful than portrayed by themselves.”

            So, you think that the Big Polluters don’t include the Big Lethally Dangerous Radioactive Material crowd?

            And, yes, radioactive disasters must never be looked upon as a whole very dangerous problem. After all, no individual radioactive disaster causes harm of any kind. Correct?

            “In Fukushima, the Anti-NuPow fearmongery has resulted in about 1700 deaths. The maximum plausible death toll from the radioactivity is in the low dozens.”

            Yep, the air is completely safe to breath, the water is completely safe to drink, the food is completely safe to eat. If more than low dozens of people are killed by the disaster, it’s only because someone scared them to death.

            “A Chernobyl a day wouldn’t kill as many as coal does currently.”

            That’s true. A Chernobyl a day would kill a much larger number of people.

            I am thoroughly disgusted by science deniers who continually try to paint nuclear disasters as being harmless incidents which do not kill people, do not harm those who weren’t killed immediately, and do not make the disaster
            area dangerously radioactive for decades afterwards.

            So, what are the beneficial effects of lethally dangerous radioactive contamination?

          • SA Kiteman

            Why do Anti-NuPow yack-tivists always go for reductio ad absurdum? Don’t they realize it shows themselves to be absurd?

            Whenever they lose a comparative contest they reply with absurd absolutes. Quite being a jackass, …sciencedenier..

            To answer “absurdum”‘s final question, there are no benefits to lethally dangerous radioactive contamination (LDRC). But LDRC is EXTREMELY difficult to find among the civilian areas, even after a nuclear accident. Most of what is there is probably in the hormetic range, though caution is always advised until real knowledge of the groundshine rate is available.

    • http://progchik.com/ ProgChik

      How about we just shift the argument to sustainable energy vs. nuclear & coal instead of coal vs. nuclear.

    • MrL0g1c

      If you add up all of the deaths from the production of toffee, it will be less than then number of deaths that occur mining iron ore for steel production every month. I hereby propose we make all cars out of toffee because it’s safer.

  • Dr. A. Cannara

    Amazing how some folks personally benefitting from science and democracies committed to fact, pump out misinformation as well as the Kochs, when they’re ignorant of, yet biased against, something for personal pique or profit.

    There
    was an excursion of 3×10 fissions at the RA-2 facility – See more at:
    http://www.processindustryforum.com/hottopics/nucleardisasters#sthash.A8AVpxK2.dpufThe Argentinian example reveals the writer’s malicious ignorance: “excursion of 3 x10 fissions”

    There were 30 fissions? There were actually a gazillion fissions.

    But, as the writer tries to hide, none of these, except Three Mile Island, were commercial, regulated, nuclear accidents. And in TMI. no one was hurt. No containment breached, etc.

    The event led to establishment of industry co-operation on training & safety procedures, and WANO, and all that raised the uptime of nuclear plants from ~65% to today’s ~90%. Think of all the coal plant obviated by that — thank you TMI!

    Anyone, using Fukushima or Chernobyl against nuclear power is just fibbing. Chernobyl’s RBMK reactors were/are illegal everywhere outside the Soviet Union. They were known to be unstable and were simply intended for making weapons Plutonium. Anyone, like this author, listing Chernobyl as equal to a western, nuclear accident is simply ignorant and/or lying. If someone want facts, go to knowledgeable, honest writers like Mahaffey and his “Atomic Accidents”.

    The other way this author demonstrates his untrustworthiness is by omitting basic facts, such as that the SL-1 accident was at a small Army reactor manned by a poorly trained individual. It was in no way a part of commercial nuclear power.

    Then we have Fukushima. Why does this author not explain that despite the greatest quake recorded in Japan, all Fukushima reactors shut down properly and were cooling properly until after the tsunami arrived? Remember, TEPCO had about 17 reactors in the region, yet could only ruin 3. And why does this author hide the reality of Fukishima Dai-Ini and Onagawa? Those all properly reached safe shutdown and Onagawa actually housed hundreds of tsunami refugees… http://tinyurl.com/o852xg5

    The ~18,000 dead and billions in property losses weren’t due to nuclear power. They were due to something simple: poor govt. land-use policy in a known tsunami zone. Why no discussion of the largest tragedy wrought by the Japanese own govt? Doesn’t have the scare mongering value of nuclear?

    Why no mention of Onagawa, TEPCO corruption and govt. collusion here? Too inconvenient a truth? This piece is modelled on the same ploys climate deniers use — avoidance of facts.

    But, at least we now know this forum can’t be trusted. As Mark Twain said: “A lie gets half way around the world before the truth can get its boots on”. The fibbery here has gone around several times.

    Shame, The graphic shows the facts of nuclear power safety, even including the accidents mentioned above. This author apparently likes coal diseases & deaths, oil-transport destruction, gas explosions, wind workers’ deaths, etc. Shame.

    Dr. A. Cannara
    650 400 3071

    • Dr. A. Cannara

      What… phony name — My “agenda” is facts. Yours?

      Do you not know why folks like Koch, Aussie coal groups & the Oil Heating Institute… have supported anti-nuclear protesters over the years? You really don’t know?

      Check out the ads paid for by the combustion industry attached…

      Now, check out the facts about nuclear safety being better even than windmills…

      And maybe that the cause of Fukushima Dai-Ichi’s failure was known even before it started up, years ago…
      http://tinyurl.com/o852xg5

      Yet, its reactors, and all others in Japan, shut down properly upon the record Tohoku quake.

      And Chernobyl — you must have carefully studied it and learned that it’s RBMK reactor design is/was illegal everywhere outside the old Soviet Union, right “What…”?

      So, thanks for bringing up “Nuclear Disasters”. They all show the safety of properly-regulated nuclear power.
      ;]

      • WhateverDunce

        So, Koch prefers fossil fuels. He may have an agenda, but you still do, as well. Everyone does. I don’t think it’s relevant to the ‘greatest nuclear disasters of all time’ list, though. Koch didn’t cause any of these. You should push your politics in a different forum.

        • Dr. A. Cannara

          Sigh. “Whatever” I don’t “push politics”. I convey facts, unlike you.

          What “greatest nuclear disasters”? You mean the disasters created by the combustion folks and the naive anti-nukes like you, who have kept coal alive & well for decades, despite emissions of ‘minor’ pollutants like Arsenic, thallium, Mercury… that never decay away?

          You mean the oil/gas/coal industries your naivete aids that are allowed to emit more radiation than all nuke plants put together, because combustion folks lobbied for their NORM Exemption?

          Is hiding from that what your “agenda” is, “What”?

          Are you contributing to our environment & descendants by not studying the facts about energy sources, “What”? Maybe you picked the right gumptionless name, ending in “dunce”?
          ;]
          But, keep it up. Like climate deniers, you simply provide opportunities for others to get the facts you fear.

          • WhateverDunce

            I’m not the one penning an agenda on a fluff piece here.

          • Dr. A. Cannara

            ” penning an agenda ” — how metaphorical!

          • Dr. A. Cannara

            “WhateverDunce” is not of an “agenda”? Maybe showing gumption to use a real name would give reason to think otherwise, eh?
            ;]

          • WhateverDunce ✓ᴺᵃᵗᶦᵒᶰᵃˡᶦˢᵗ

            Responding to me 10 months later? I can’t believe that. I owe you almost a year’s rent for the time I spent in your head. hahahaaa…

          • Please_enter_your_name

            and this draws the difference between smart and smart-@$$… you should be able to come across as intelligent without having to stoop low enough to give attitude… come on i mean this is shallow. You’re comments are unprofessional and immature

            ugh

            ;]

    • takrim abrez

      Congratulations, you just won largest reply ever…

    • MrL0g1c

      Doesn’t change the fact that conventional nuclear is expensive and every other type is more expensive and reprocessing fuel is hideously expensive, without which uranium won’t last long. Ocean reclamation of uranium also hideously expensive and requires vast amounts of oil be used.

  • Tim Johnston

    Fukushima measures 7, but the toll might be much larger than Chernobyl, when all is said and done.

  • Michael Constable
  • ladonichais

    All you who are saying no problem with nuclear power, tell that to the little children who each year are sent to countries all around the world for a month to help the bodies with fresh air. These children were not even alive when Chernobyl happened but they are suffering and many of them die prematurely of cancer. Compare that with solar energy which will harm nobody and will not damage the earth. I would make all those who think Nuclear is o.k to go to one of those countries and live there. Can just imagine what they would be saying if one was going to be built close to your home.

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  • BillyRay999

    as usual most commenters (on both sides) don’t let the REAL FACTS get in the way of their opinions.

  • nab

    there’s a recurring theme here……..I know why don’t we build another in Britain……..dopey prats

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  • Lyudmila Zatsepa

    I totally agree with the statement that hazardous radioactive materials, may impose a negative impact on their residents. Moreover the result of this may cause a variety of diseases from exposure to harmful substances and even death. Heads of the enterprises should be concerned about the safety of operation of its plants. There are various ways to protect human health from radiation exposure, such as radiation monitoring equipment – http://ecotest.ua/. As I know, Its a wireless equipment for measuring radiation with ISO Quality Management System certificate. They are the newest types of ionizing radiation detectors with high-tech and ergonomic solutions. And these instruments contain no radioactive elements and are not hazardous to health.And, as for me, its very important for plants.

  • SA Kiteman

    How ridiculous: Chernobyl is hbitable NOW. Chernobyl is a small town near Pripyat after which the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Station is named. Chernobyl is habitable now.

  • SA Kiteman

    An interesting factoid re coal. Because Japan shuttered their NPPs after Fukushima, they have spent ~4X as much on the coal as they have on the clean-up. AND that coal has (or will soon) cause more deaths than the Fukuhima and Chernobyl accidents together.
    Japan used to get more than 300TWh of electricity from nuclear every year. That has been replaced by Petro-Carbon (PC) fuels. Averaging the deaths/TWH for PC fuels is ~10 for western style emission controls. So, ~3000 deaths per year, ~4 years = ~12,000 deaths. Fukushima effectively zero. Chernobyl ≤9000. The PC (mostly coal) in normal operation is deadlier than nuclear accidents.

    Japan should just turn on their NPPs NOW and use the money saved, half to hurry the certification process and half to hurry up the clean-up.