Nuclear Energy

What have been some notable nuclear accidents?

Date Site Description of Incident
October 7, 1957 Windscale plutonium production reactor (near Liverpool, England) Fire in the reactor; released radioactive material; blamed for 39 cancer deaths
January 3, 1961 Idaho Falls, Idaho Explosion in the reactor; radiation contained; 3 workers killed
October 5, 1966 Enrico Fermi demonstration breeder reactor (near Detroit, Michigan) Partial core meltdown; radiation contained
January 21, 1969 Lucens Vad, Switzerland Coolant malfunction; released radiation into a cavern; cavern sealed
March 22, 1975 Brown’s Ferry Reactor (Decatur, Alabama) Fire causes cooling water levels to become dangerously low
March 28, 1979 Three Mile Island, Pennsylvania Partial core meltdown; minimal radiation released
April 25, 1981 Tsunga, Japan Workers exposed to radiation during repairs to nuclear plant
January 6, 1986 Kerr-McGee nuclear plant (Gore, Oklahoma) Cylinder of nuclear material burst; 100 workers hospitalized; 1 death
April 26, 1986 Chernobyl, Ukraine (USSR in 1986) Fire and explosions; radioactive material spread over much of Europe; at least 31 dead in the immediate aftermath; tens of thousands of cancer deaths and increased birth defects
September 30, 1999 Uranium-reprocessing facility (Tokaimura, Japan) Container with uranium is overloaded; workers and nearby residents exposed to extremely high radiation levels


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