Wednesday, November 16, 2011
Nuclear Reactor Attacks & Radiation Accidents
Nuclear Reactor Attacks
Nuclear reactors become preferred targets during military conflict and, over the past three decades, have been repeatedly attacked during military air strikes, occupations, invasions and campaigns:.
In September 1980, Iran bombed the Al Tuwaitha nuclear complex in Iraq.
In June 1981, an Israeli air strike completely destroyed Iraq’s Osirak nuclear research facility.
Between 1984 and 1987, Iraq bombed Iran’s Bushehr nuclear plant six times.
In Iraq in 1991, the U.S. bombed three nuclear reactors and an enrichment pilot facility.
In 1991, Iraq launched Scud missiles at Israel’s Dimona nuclear power plant.
In September 2003, Israel bombed a Syrian reactor under construction.
Serious radiation accidents include:
1952 - AECL Chalk River Laboratories, Chalk River, Ontario, Canada. Partial meltdown, about 10,000 Curies released.
September 1957 - a plutonium fire occurred at the Rocky Flats Plant, which resulted in the contamination of Building 71 and the release of plutonium into the atmosphere, causing US $818,600 in damage.
September 1957 – Mayak nuclear waste storage tank explosion at Chelyabinsk. Two hundred plus fatalities, believed to be a conservative estimate; 270,000 people were exposed to dangerous radiation levels. Over thirty small communities had been removed from Soviet maps between 1958 and 1991. (INES level 6).
October 1957 - Windscale fire, UK. Fire ignites plutonium piles and contaminates surrounding dairy farms. An estimated 33 cancer deaths.
1959, 1964, 1969 - Santa Susana Field Laboratory, Los Angeles, California. Partial meltdowns.
July 1961 – Soviet submarine K-19 accident. Eight fatalities and more than 30 people were over-exposed to radiation.
1962 – Radiation accident in Mexico City, four fatalities.
January 1969 – Lucens reactor in Switzerland undergoes partial core meltdown leading to massive radioactive contamination of a cavern.
July 1979 - Church Rock Uranium Mill Spill in New Mexico, USA, when United Nuclear Corporation's uranium mill tailings disposal pond breached its dam. Over 1,000 tons of radioactive mill waste and millions of gallons of mine effluent flowed into the Puerco River, and contaminants traveled downstream.
March 1984 – Radiation accident in Morocco, eight fatalities.
August 1985 – Soviet submarine K-431 accident. Ten fatalities and 49 other people suffered radiation injuries.
September 1987 – Goiania accident. Four fatalities and 249 other people received serious radiation contamination.
December 1990 – Radiotherapy accident in Zaragoza. Eleven fatalities and 27 other patients were injured.
April 1993 - accident at the Tomsk-7 Reprocessing Complex, when a tank exploded while being cleaned with nitric acid. The explosion released a cloud of radioactive gas. (INES level 4).
1996 – Radiotherapy accident in Costa Rica. Thirteen fatalities and 114 other patients received an overdose of radiation.
September 1999 - Criticality accident at Tokai nuclear fuel plant (Japan)
February 2000 - Three deaths and ten injuries resulted in Samut Prakarn when a radiation-therapy unit was dismantled.
April 2010 - Mayapuri radiological accident, India, one fatality.
March 2011- Fukushima I nuclear accidents, Japan (current event).
March 2011- Fukushima Daichi Power Station - radioactive discharge.