Nu­clear events

Herald on Sunday - - WORLD -

Wind­scale Nu­clear re­ac­tor (UK)

Oc­to­ber 7, 1957: Bri­tain’s worst nu­clear ac­ci­dent. A fire in the graphite-core re­ac­tor burned for three days, re­leas­ing ra­dioac­tive con­tam­i­na­tion that spread across the UK and Europe. Milk sales from nearby farms was banned for a month.

Three Mile Is­land (US)

March 28, 1979: When the core of the nu­clear re­ac­tor in Penn­syl­va­nia partly melted down, it was the most sig­nif­i­cant in­ci­dent in the his­tory of the Amer­i­can com­mer­cial nu­clear power-gen­er­at­ing in­dus­try. There were no deaths or in­juries to plant work­ers or neigh­bours.

Ch­er­nobyl power plant (USSR) April 26, 1986: The re­ac­tor ex­plo­sion in Ukraine re­leased 1000 times as much radioactivity as Wind­scale. It is thought to have caused 47 work­ers’ deaths and killed nine chil­dren with thy­roid can­cer. WHO also es­ti­mates there may have been up to 9000 fur­ther re­lated can­cer deaths.

Fukushima Dai­ichi power plant (Ja­pan)

March 11, 2011: A 15m tsunami af­ter a mag­ni­tude-9.0 earth­quake damaged four of six re­ac­tors at the site. Fuel in three of the re­ac­tor cores melted, and ra­di­a­tion re­leases from the damaged re­ac­tors con­tam­i­nated a wide area and forced the evac­u­a­tion of nearly half a mil­lion res­i­dents.

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