1. 1947, October -U.S.A., ATLANTIC OCEAN

A retired navy pilot Lieutenant-Commander George Earl IV has claimed that he dumped radioactive Waste off the Atlantic seaboard on three flights in 1947. Lt-Commander Earl said he disclosed the radioactive dumping because of the U.S. Government’s apparent lack of concern over the possibility of the cannisters leaking. (“The West Australian” -3rd January 1981)



2. 1950, 13th February -U.S.A., PACIFIC OCEAN

A B-36 which developed serious mechanical difficulties on a simulated combat mission, dropped a nuclear weapon from 8,000 ft. over the Pacific Ocean before crashing. Luckily only the weapon’s explosive material detonated. Nothing is known of attempts to recover the nuclear weapon and presumably it is still in the ocean. (The Defence Monitor Vol.X No.5 1981 Washington D.C. “The National Times” 15th March 1981)



3. 1950, 11th April -NEW MEXICO, U.S.A.

A B-29 crashed into a mountain on Manzano Base approximately three minutes after take-off. The bomb case was demolished and some high explosive material burned. The nuclear components of the weapon were recovered and returned to the Atomic Energy Commission. (The Defence Monitor – Vol.X No.5 19981 Washington D.C. “The National Times” 15th March 1981)



4. 1950, 13th Jul. – OHIO, U.S.A.

A B-50 on training mission crashed killing 16 crewmen. The high explosive portion of the weapon aboard detonated on impact. No nuclear capsule aboard the aircraft. (The Defence Monitor -Vol.X No.5 1981 Washington D.C. “The National Times” 15/3/1981)



5. 1950, 5th August -CALIFORNIA , U.S.A.

A B-29 carrying a nuclear weapon crashed on take-off and the high explosive material detonated. (The Defence Monitor -Vol.X No.5 1981 Washington D.C. “The National Times” 15th March 1981)



6. 1950 -10th November -U.S.A.

Due to an in-flight aircraft emergency, a weapon containing a capsule of nuclear material was jettisoned over water from an altitude of 10,500 feet. A high-explosive detonation was observed. No specific location was reported. (The Defence Monitor Vol.X No.5 1981 Washington D.C.)




A uranium mining disaster desolated an area in N.W. Australia when heavy rainfall breached the earth wall of a mine’s tailings dam and radioactive material was released into surrounding water systems. To date details are still secret. The mine was connected with the British and

U.S. Nuclear Weapons Programs. Safety standards were rudimentary. As a result Australia has become extremely cautious about uranium mining according to Dr. Charles Kerr of the Department of Preventative and Social Medicine, University of Sydney, when testifying to a Royal Commission on uranium mining in Vancouver. (Source: AAP-AP, “The West Australian” -11th January, 1980).


8. 1950-1977 -WINDSCALE, U.K.

Between 1950 and mid-1977, there were 194 accidents at Windscale, 11 involving fires and explosions, 45 release plutonium (Sources: Nucleus -25th July, 1979, P.17; “The New Ecologists” March/April, 1978)


Martha B. Laird’s husband and son developed leukemia. Son died. Other children developed rashes. Sister reported burns to the eyes.

“During this time, our cows got white spots on them and developed cancer eyes,” Mrs. Laird wrote to the Government. “One letter came back saying I was Communistically inspired” Another said: “Persons in fallout path were a small sacrifice.” (Source: The Herald. -Tuesday 24th April, 1979)

10. 1952, 12th December -NRX CHALK RIVER, CANADA

First major reactor accident. Human error. Technician opened three or four valves and the resultant heat release melted some of the uranium fuel and boiled some of the coolant. The reactor core was nearly demolished by the explosions and much radioactivity was emitted. (Sources: Penelope Coleing for M.A.U.M./S. Novick. The Careless Atom, Delta books, NY 1969).

11. 1955, November -IDAHO FALLS EBR-1, U.S.A.

The EBR-1 reactor had a partial core meltdown which destroyed it with ensuing low level contamination. (Sources: Eco, Atomic Reactor Safety Hearings, 1973 p. 56/Webb p.187)

12. 1956, 10TH March -U.S.A., MEDITERRANEAN SEA

A B-47 carrying “two capsules of nuclear weapons material. from MacDill Air Force Base to an overseas bases, disappeared in clouds. “An extensive search failed to locate any traces of the missing aircraft or crew”. A nuclear detonation was not possible. (The Defence Monitor ­Vol.X No.5 1981 Washington D.C. “The National Times” -15th March 1981).

13. 1956, 26th July -U.S.A., ENGLAND

An American B-47 with weapons aboard crashed into a storage igloo containing several nuclear weapons. The bombs did not burn or detonate.-(The Defence Monitor -Vol.X No.5 1981 Washington D.C. “The National Times. 15th March 1981). This air crash at a United States Air Force base could have turned the area into a nuclear “desert” according to new details which have emerged in the U.S. The crash, occurred when a B-47 bomber skidded on the runway after a flight from Nebraska and burst into flames. Blazing jet fumes gushed towards a shelter housing three nuclear bombs, each containing eight tonnes of T.N.T. and a quantity of uranium, according to the new details. Had the fire ignited the T.N.T. it is possible a part of eastern England could have become a desert, while the uranium could have exposed the area to contamination. (“The Age” 10th August 1981)

14. 1957, 22nd May -NEW MEXICO, U.S.A.

A B-36 ferrying a nuclear weapon from Biggs Air Force Base, Texas to Kirtland accidentally discharged a bomb in the New Mexico desert. The high explosive material detonated, completely destroying the weapon and making a crater approximately 25 ft in diameter and 12 ft deep. Radiological survey of the area disclosed no radioactivity beyond the lip of the crater at which point the level was 0.5 milliroentgens. Both the weapon and capsule were on board the aircraft but the capsule was not inserted for safety reasons. A nuclear detonation was not possible. (The Defence Monitor Vol.X No.5 1981 Washington D.C. “The National Times” 15th March 1981)

15. 1957, 28th July -U.S.A. , ATLANTIC OCEAN

A C-124 aircraft en-route from Dover Air Force Base, Delaware, lost power in two engines and jettisoned two nuclear weapons over the ocean. “No detonation occurred from either weapon”. The nuclear weapons were never found. (The Defence Monitor Vol.X No.6 1981 Washington D.C. “The National Times” 15th March 1981)

16. 1957, 11th October -FLORIDA, U.S.A.

A B-47 crashed shortly after take-off with a nuclear weapon and a nuclear capsule on board.

“Two low order detonations occurred during the burning.” -(“The National Times” 15th March 1981)

17. 1957, October -WINDSCALE No 1, U.K.

Fire caused by human error and defective procedures resulted in eleven tons of uranium being ablaze, relossing a vast cloud of radio-isotopes from the melted fuel. Milk from an area of more than 500 square kilometers (approx. 2 million litres) was poured into the rivers and sea as unsafe for human consumption. Farmers were compensated by the Government, but how many people living near Windscale were affected is not known. Nor is it known how much radioactivity descended over Westmoreland and Cumberland. Local inhabitants any there is a high incidence of cancer deaths in the area, but the Government did not carry out any medical or statistical checks. Both Windscale reactors have since been filled with concrete and entombed. The radioactive cloud reached up to Denmark. In London, 500 km from Windscale the radioactivity reached 20 times the normal level. Report of enquiries into safety was never published. (Sources s A. Gyorgy p.1198/S. Novick). However a previously classified report released in 1989, revealed that the Mc Millan Government invented large amounts of money to finance a concerted pro-nuclear campaign which included scientists traversing U.K., assuring people that the accident was insignificant. (W. Australian May 1989).



32 people died as a result of a fire at the Windscale Plant in 1957. The toll rose when the National Radiological Protection Board considered extra cases of cancer researched by a scientist who examined the effects of Polonium released in the accident. Polonium was used in atomic bombs at the time of the accident. (“West Australian” 1/4/1983)


SUPPLEMENTARY 1987, December 1987 -U.K.

Official documents about a fire at the Windscale reactor in 1957 were released. The accident was much more serious than was then admitted and it was due to defects in the organization of the British Atomic Energy Authority and in the instrumentation at Windscale. Information on the fire was ordered kept secret by Harold Mc Millan, the Conservative Prime Minister of Great Britain and has been published now under the 30-year Rule which allows formerly confidential government documents to be declassified.

Windscale (later named Sellafield) was producing Plutonium for military use. The fire broke out at one of its atomic piles -primitive reactors in which containers of uranium were irradiated to produce the Plutonium. It raged for 16 hours. The Windscale cloud contaminated large areas of Britain and Ireland, and contained more than 600 times as much radioactive iodine as was released during the Three Mile Island accident. Authorities at the time decided not to evacuate local people even though they were exposed to radiation levels 10 times the allowed LIFETIME dose -within a matter hours. The only one safeguard taken to health was the destruction of two million litres of contaminated milk from farms around Windscale. However, it has now been revealed that milk with contamination up to three times the official danger limit was released for human consumption. (“Swedish News Service”, “Financial Times” 2 Jan. 1988, “Observer” (U.K.) 3 Jan 1988, “Daily Telegraph” (U.K.) 2 Jan 1988, “Guardian” (U.K.) 4 Jan 1988, WISE 285.

18. 1958, 31st January -U.S. OVERSEAS BASE

A B-47 crashed and burned during take-off with one nuclear weapon “in strike configuration…” There was some contamination in the immediate area of the crash. (“The National Times” -15th March 1981)

19. 1958, 5th February -GEORGIA, U. S. A.

Midair collision between an F-86 aircraft and a B-47 on a simulated combat mission out of Homestead Air Force Base, Florida. The B-47 jettisoned the nuclear weapon, which was not found and considered irretrievably lost. (“The National Times” 15/3/1981)

20. 1958, 11th March -SOUTH CAROLINA, U.S.A.

A B-47 left Hunter Air Force Base, Georgia with three other B-47s en route to an overseas base. The aircraft accidentally jettisoned an unarmed nuclear weapon which impacted in a sparsely populated area 6-1/2 miles east of Florence, South Carolina. The bomb’s high explosive material exploded on impact.(“The National Times” 15/3/1981)

21. 1958, March -KYSHTYM, URAL MOUNTAINS, U.S.S.R.

Explosion occurred in radioactive stockpile at a nuclear plant, presumably a weapons centre at Fyshtym, 43 miles from Chelyabinak. People “grew hysterical with fear with the incidence of unknown ‘mysterious’ diseases breaking out. Victims were seen with skin ‘sloughing off’ their faces, hands and other exposed parts of their bodies.” (source: Pollock p.9) “Hundreds of square miles were left barren and unusable for decades and maybe centuries”. Hundreds of people died, thousands were injured and surrounding areas were evacuated. (Source: Dr. Medvedev “The Australian” 9th December 1976). The area is now a wasteland. Drivers must pass through with their car windows closed and are not to stop. The C.I.A. knew of the accident all along but kept it secret so as not to affect the fledgling US nuclear industry.

Information was obtained under the Freedom of Information Act from C.I.A. files. (Source: Gyorgy p.128). “Ralph Nader surmised that the information had not been released because of the reluctance of the C.I.A. to highlight a nuclear accident in the U.S.S.R., that could cause concern among people living near nuclear facilities in the U.S.” (Pollock p.9)

The accident was confirmed by published Soviet research into the effects of radioactivity on plants and animals by Professor Leo Tumerman, former head of Biophysics Laboratory at the Institute of Molecular Biology in Moscow. (Sources: Gyorgy, A. et al “No Nukes: Everyone’s Guide to Nuclear Power” South End Press. 1979. “New York Times” -7/11/76 p. 18. “Sydney Morning Herald” -8th/12/11/76. “New Scientist” -30/6/77. “The Australian” -9/12/76). Richard Pollock “Soviets Experience Nuclear Accident” in “Critical Mass Journal” -Jan 78, Vol.3 No.10 p.9. Clyde W. Burleson “The Day the Bomb Fell”) -Sphere Books Ltd. 1980 p.37)


Nuclear reactor overheated. Six scientists were irradiated, transported to France for treatment. One death. (Sources Work Circle Environmental Protection; “Les Amis de la Terre”. Agence de Presse Rehabilitation Ecologique, Repertoire den accidents Nucleaires, Paris 1974, 1976. “Accidents Near Accidents & Leaks in the Nuclear Industry”, Penelope Coleing for Sydney M.A.U.M.)

23. 1958, 4th November -TEXAS, U.S.A.

B-47 caught fire on take-off and crashed, killing one crew member. The high explosive in the nuclear weapon on board exploded leaving “a crater 35 ft in diameter and 6 ft deep”. Nuclear materials were recovered near the crash site. (Defence Monitor -Vol.X No.5 1981 Washington D.C. “The National Times” -15/3/1981)

24. 1958, 26th November -LOUISIANA, U.S.A.

A B-47 caught fire on the ground. The single nuclear weapon on board was destroyed by fire. Contamination was limited to the immediate vicinity. This was the eighth and last acknowledged B-47 accident making it the most accident-prone of the nuclear capable systems reported. (The Defence Monitor -Vol.X No.5 1981 Washington D.C. “The National Times” -15/3/1981)


25. 1958 -LOS ALAMOS, U.S.A.

One death caused by radiation in the uranium enrichment plant. Plutonium had been allowed to accumulate inside a mixing vessel. When a new batch of plutonium was transferred to the vessel, all eight pounds of plutonium dissolved off the walls and came together in the centre of the vessel. The person working on it received ten times the lethal dose in less than a second. He died less than 35 hours later. (Sources: Walkatein “The Myth of nuclear Safety” The Ecologist July 1977. World Health Organisation, 1961 “Contingency Plan”

1.       1958, WALTZ MILL, U.S.A.

2.       1958 – CHALK RIVER, CANADA MRU


Cooling System failed. (World Health Organization “Contingency Plan”) Irradiated fuel element broke and plant caught fire. Two months of intense contamination followed. 400,000 square metres around the building were contaminated. (sources: “Accidents, Near Accidents And Leaks in the Nuclear Industry”, Penelope Coleing for Sydney M.A.U.M.; Jean Geue A.A.B.C. “Les Amis de la Terre” L’escroquerie nucleaire. Stock 1978 France.)

28. 1958-1959 -COLORADO, U.S.A.

Animas River near uranium mills at Darango, Colorado measured three times safe maximum dally level for radium. Crops on farms in area irrigated by river had twice radioactivity of other crops. (“Nucleus” -25th July, 1979 p.11. SABNS/LANS Uranium Kit no 2 Aus. Autumn 1975.)

29. 1959, 18th January -PACIFIC BASE, U.S.A.

An F-100 caught fire on the ground while loaded with unarmed nuclear weapon. There was no reported contamination or clean-up problems (The Defence Monitor -Vol.X No.5 1981 Washington D.C. “The National Times” -15th March 1981)

30. 1959, 6th July -LOUSIANA, U.S.A.

A C-124 on a nuclear logistics movement mission crashed on take-off. The aircraft was destroyed by fire which also destroyed one weapon. Limited contamination was present over a very small area. (The Defence Monitor -Vol.X No.5 1981 Washington D.C. “The National Times” -15th March 1981)

31. 1959, 25th September – PUGET SOUND, WASHINGTON, U.S.A.

A U.S. Navy P-5M aircraft ditched in Puget Sound off Whidbey Island, Washington. It was carrying an unarmed nuclear anti-submarine weapon containing no nuclear material. The weapon was not recovered. (The Defence Monitor, Vol.X No5/1981 Wash. D.C.)

32. 1959, 15th October -KENTUCKY, U.S.A

A B-52 and KC-135 operating out of Columbia Air Force Base, Mississippi collided during refueling. Two unarmed nuclear weapons were recovered undamaged. (“The National Times” -15/3/1981)


Radioactive genes were slowly and deliberately released into the air after a serious accident in a reactor just north of the populous San Fernando Valley (Sources “From under the Rug”

F.O.E. La Trobe University Vic.)

34. 1960, 7th June -NEW JERSEY, U.S.A.

A Bomarc air defense missile in ready storage condition (permitting launch in two minutes) was destroyed by an explosion and fire. The warhead was also destroyed by the fire although the high explosive did not detonate. “Contamination was restricted to an area… approximately 100 ft long.” (“The National Times” -15th March 1981)

35. 1961, 24th January -GOLDSBORO, NORTH CAROLINA, U.S.A.

A B-52 crashed during an airborne alert mission and dropped two nuclear weapons near Goldsboro, North Carolina. “A portion of one weapon containing uranium, could not be recovered despite excavation in the waterlogged farmland to a depth of 50 feet. The Air Force subsequently purchased an easement requiring permission for anyone to dig there. There is no detectable radiation and no hazard in the area”. The Department of Defence summary does not mention the fact that five of six interlocking safety triggers on the bomb failed. “Only a single switch”, reported Dr Ralph Lapp, head of the nuclear physics branch of the Office of Naval Research, “prevented the 24-megaton bomb from detonating and spreading fire over a wide area”. (“The National Times” -15th March 1981)

36. 1961, 14th March -CALIFORNIA, U.S.A.

A B-52 carrying two nuclear weapons crashed. The high explosive did not detonate. No nuclear contamination. (“The National Times” -15th March 1981)

37. 1983 September -WASHINGTON, U.S.A.

Robert McNamara, U.S. Defence Secretary under Presidents Kennedy and Johnson, said the

U.S. and U.S.S.R. were close to war in 1967 at the time of the Middle East War. He also said a nuclear bomb almost exploded in 1961 when a B-52 crashed. Five of the six trigger devices had been activated. (“Daily News” 15th September 1983)

38. 1961 – IDAHO FALLS, SL1, IDAHO, U.S.A.

Reported as first MAJOR reactor accident in U.S.A. An explosion occurred, cause of which is still not known. Three men were killed instantly -their bodies were so severely irradiated that their exposed hands and heads had to be severed from their bodies and buried in a dump for radioactive waste. It took years to disassemble the wrecked plant and the burial ground will have to be guarded forever. Rescuers received high radiation doses. (Sources Goffman -Taplin, Poisoned Power, Rodale Preen, 1971; “Accidents, near Accidents and Leaks in the Nuclear Industry” Penelope Coeling for M.A.U.M.; “Les Amis de la Terre”; Jean Geue A.A.E.C.)

39. 1962, 7th October -McNURDO SOUND, ANTARCTICA

Flash hydrogen fire in nuclear plant containment tanks. (Source: “From under the Rug” F.O.E. La Trobe University Vic.)


Turbine failure resulted from inability to locate piece of steel shot which should have been visable to the naked eye in the steam lines. (Charles Wakstein, “The Myth of Nuclear Safety,” The Ecologist, 7/1977).

41. 1963, April -NUCLEAR SUBMARINE U.S.A.

Submarine disappeared on a deep test dive; 112 navy men and 17 civilians on board. “No-one knows what happened but the loss underlines the implications of substandard quality control in nuclear systems, both military and civil. There are an estimated 129 nuclear attack submarines and S.S.L. submarines (those capable of launching ballistic missiles). The substandard quality of these submarines is borne out by the high number of accidents and incidents related to nuclear submarines. (Since 1963 when the first mishap was reported there have been 32 accidents and incidents involving nuclear submarines up to October, 1976). The dangers of nuclear submarines are incisive with horrific consequences. There are no evacuation plans for cities whose ports are used by these ships. There only needs to be one accident or malfunction while a nuclear submarine is in port and the consequences would be disastrous. Large resources are being used by the U.S. and U.S.S.R. in the development of anti-submarine warfare. When A.S.W. (Anti-Submarine Warfare) is perfected, there would be, needless to say, “an exceedingly dangerous development with respect to world security”.”

(S.I.P.R.I. Year Book 1977 p.6)

42. 1963, 13th November -TEXAS, U.S.A.

An explosion involving 123,000 lbs of high explosive components of nuclear weapons caused minor injuries to three Atomic Energy Commission employees. There was little contamination from the nuclear components stored elsewhere in the building. The components were from obsolete weapons being disassembled. (The Defence Monitor -Vol.X No.5 1981 Washington D.C.)

43. 1945-1963

Austrian Engineer Erich N. Schulz notes that during this period there were more than 1,000 accidents in the nuclear industry. (Source: Vorkomnisse and Strahlenung Falls in Kerntechnischen Anlagen” K. Thiemig ed 1966 Munich).

44. 1964, 13th January -MARYLAND, U.S.A.

A B-52D, en route from Westover Air Force Base, Massachusetts, to its home base at Turner Air Force Base, Georgia, crashed with two unarmed nuclear weapons on board, which were recovered “relatively intact”. (“The National Times” -15th March 1981)

45. 1964, February -WINDSCALE, U.K.

Leak of radioactive waste. (Charles Wakstein “The Myth of Nuclear Safety” The Ecologist, July 1977).


Inadequately designed new steam generators were installed but the pipes to them could not carry the new load. As a result “hangers” were installed to hold the pipes. The hangers broke and fortunately a worker noticed the sagging pipes. If he had not and the reactor had started operation the worst loss of coolant (L.O.C.A.) would have occurred. (N. Thieberger, p.2; Webb, R.E. p.192).

1.       1964 -WOOD RIVER, U.S.A.

2.       1964


One death from radioactivity in the uranium enrichment plant. (Sources Work Circle Environment Protection Contingency Plans).

Mrs. Mary H. Waeik, Secretary of the American Committee on Radiological Dangers, compiled a list from the official statistics of mortalities in the U.S.A. for 1962 (published 1964). She established a disquietening correlation between living in the area of nuclear installations and the increase -sometimes quite large – in deaths by various causes (The percentage shows the increase as compared to the national average)

Leukemia: Garfield, Montana 600% Scaia, North Dakota 290% Mohave, Arizona 270%

Miscarriages: Norten, North Dakota 215% Garfield, Montana 230% Shorren, Oregon 162% Nassac, Illinois 240%

Malformed Babies: Shorman, Oregon 310% Carroll, Missouri 273% Nassac, Illinois 240%

49. 1964, 5th December -SOUTH DAKOTA, U.S.A.

The LGM 30B Minuteman 1 missile was on strategic alert when a “retrorocket” accidentally fired during repairs. There was considerable damage but “no detonation or radioactive contamination”. (“The National Times” -15th March 1981) 1964.

50. 1964, 8th December -BUNKER HILL AFB., INDIANA, U.S.A.

A B-58 crashed while preparing for take-off on an icy runway at Bunker Hill Air Force Base, Indiana. “Portions of the nuclear weapon burnt; contamination was limited to the immediate area of the crash and was subsequently removed.” (“National Times” -15/3/1981)


High radioactivity. Fuel elements failed. Plant shut down to replace rods. Continued high radioactivity forced the company to run at 40% capacity. (“Les Amis de la Terre”).

52. 1965 -INDIAN POINT U.S.A.

According to J. Laurent, a Swiss researcher, infant mortality within 15 kms of the reactor complex rose from 1961 to 1965 while it dropped nationally (Source: Energia Nucleare, No5)


P.H.D. evidence suggests excessive leukemia deaths amongst Utah residents. Report shelved.

From 1950 to 1964, 28 leukemia deaths in the South West counties of the State of Utah. Only 19 cases would have been expected to occur among the 20,000 residents of the area.

1959 and 1960 -7 people with acute leukemia, 5 of them children and teenagers. (Source: “The West Australian” – 10th January, 1979).


Ferdinand Janeaens, a Belgian physicist was irradiated and treated at the Curie Hospital in Paris. Reactor underwent a criticality incident which affected critical assembly. (Sources Jean Geue A.A.E.C.; Work Circle Environment Protection Contingency Plans. “Accidents, near Accidents and Leaks in the Nuclear Industry” Penelope Coeling for M.A.U.M.).


Fire exposed 400 workers to high levels of plutonium released in the atmosphere. 25 people got 17 times the permissible radiation dosage; 325 workers contaminated since 1953, 56 developed cancer, 14 have since died. The plant makes plutonium triggers for h-bombs and missiles. (Nucleus -25th July 1979).

1.       1965 – HOLY LOCH, SCOTLAND

2.       1965, 12th October -OHIO, USA


A fire during aircraft refueling on ground burnt the “components of nuclear weapons and a dummy training unit… The resultant radiation hazard was minimal.” (“The National Times” ­15th March 1981)

58. 1965, 5th December -PACIFIC OCEAN, U.S.A.

An A-4 aircraft loaded with one nuclear weapon rolled off the elevator of a U.S. aircraft carrier and fell into the sea. The pilot, aircraft and weapon were lost. (The Defence Monitor ­Vol.X No.5 1981 Washington D.C.)

59. 1966, 17th January -SPAIN (U.S. Air Force)

A B-52 and XC-135 collided during midair refueling and both aircraft crashed near Palomares, Spain. The B-52 was carrying four nuclear weapons. One was recovered on the ground and one was finally found in the sea after an intensive four month search. “Two of the weapons, high explosive materials exploded on impact with the ground, releasing some radioactive materials. Approximately 1,400 tons of slightly contaminated soil and weapons were removed to the United States for storage at an approved site.” The Department of Defence has reported that the cleanup operation has cost $50 million and that the Palomares area is still being monitored for radiation today. (“The National Times” -15th March 1981)


Partial meltdown. Reactor successfully shut down. It took 1-1/2 years to work out the cause of the accident. Several pieces of sheet metal had broken off the bottom of the reactor vessel and were swept up in the coolant flow, causing a blockage. The reactor had been operating at 15% of full power and was afterwards de-commissioned. Four million people lived within a mile of the site. (“Les Amis de la Terre”; Penelope Coleing for M.A.U.M., Jean Geue A.A.E.C.)

61. 1966 -U.S.A.-NUGGET FILE, U.S.A.

The Nugget File, containing excerpts from the U.S. Government’s special internal file on nuclear power plant accidents, was obtained by the Union of Concerned Scientists under the Freedom of Information Act. The file lists 3 accidents in nuclear power plants in the U.S. for 1966.

62. 1967, January – WINDSCALE, U.K.

Leak of radioactive waste at Windscale after tank overflowed and contaminated beach. (Wakstein, May 1977; Nucleus -25th July 1979, p.11)

63. 1967 -U.S.A. NUGGET FILE, U.S.A.

The Nugget File lists 2 accidents in U.S. nuclear plant for that year.

64. 1967, 7th November -GRENOBLE, FRANCE

Leak of 55,000 curies (Iodine 131, caesium 138) into the reactor pool and 2,000 curies into the atmosphere via the chimney. (La Guele Ouverte -April 1974)

65. 1968, 21st January -GREENLAND (U.S. air force)

A B-52 from Plattsburgh Air Force Base, New York, crashed and burnt some seven miles south-west of the runway at Thule Air Force Base, Greenland. “The Bomber carried four nuclear weapons, all of which were destroyed by fire… Some 237,000 cubic feet of contaminated ice, snow and water, with crash debris, were removed to an approved storage cite in the United States over the course of a four-month operation.” (“The National Times” ­15/3/1981) Comment from Scott Portzline, Three of the four bombs were destroyed by fire. A fourth bomb sank to the ocean bottom when the intense heat melted the Arctic ice. Many Danish workers who cleaned up the radioactive contaminated snow and ice suffered adverse health effects or died in the following years. The bomb on the ocean floor was finally recovered in 1979 by US Navy Seals and Seabees. I was not a witness. I have pictures of some of the equipment. Workers involved in the initial cleanup died later from the exposure to radiation, according to their relatives testimony.

66. 1966, 7th May -KELEKESS, U.S.S.R.

Power excursion in the 62-mw prototype BWR at Kelekess. A health physicist and a shift supervisor are irradiated. The chain reaction stops when two sacks of boric acid are thrown on the reactor. (“Nucleonics Week” (31/5/90); WISE-334 22/6/90).

67. 1968, May – ATLANTIC OCEAN (U.S. Navy)

Although this incident remains classified, the Centre for Defense Information suggests it probably refers to the nuclear powered attack submarine U.S.S. Scorpion. The Scorpion was last heard from on May 21, 1968. It sank 400-450 miles south-west of the Azores. Initial suspicion that the Soviets were somehow involved was allayed when the research ship Mizar photographed the wreckage lying at 10,000 feet on the sea floor. Ninety-nine men were lost. The nuclear weapons aboard may have been either SUBROC or ASTOR, or both. (The Defence Monitor -Vol.X No.5 1981 Washington D.C.)

68. 1968 -ELK RIVER, U.S.A.

Emission of high levels of radioactivity from leak in primary circuit. Reactor had to be closed down. (“Contingency Plan”)

69. 1968 – LA CROSSE, U.S.A.

Failure to control system. Reactor had to be closed down. (Source: “Contingency Plan”)

70. 1968, February -SAN CLEMENTE, CALIFORNIA, U.S.A.

Major cable fire. Failure to shutdown equipment at Edison’s San Onofre Plant -(a Westinghouse operation). (Penelope Coleing for M.A.U.M.)


Another major cable fire. Shutdown equipment at Edison’s San Onofre Plant failed. (n. Thieberger)


The nuclear submarine “U.S.S. Scorpion” mysteriously sunk in the Atlantic near the Azores. (WISE NC 262 31/10/86)

73. 1968, 2nd/3rd October -THE HAGUE (ON THE CHANNEL), FRANCE

Leak of 18 curies per second Iodine 131 from UP 2 reprocessing plant. (“Les Amis de la Terre”)

74. 1968, 8th October -JAPAN U.S.S. SWORDFISH, U.S.A.

High readings of radiation near U.S. nuclear submarine “Swordfish” indicated a discharge of reactor coolant near Sasobe, Japan.(“The Sun” 8/10/76 p.23).

75. 1945-1968

Ten workers died as a result of over-exposure to radiation from experimental reactors or in laboratory work connected with the development of nuclear power. (Source: D. Mignon and

D.W. Crancher, Atomic Energy October 1976 p.3)

1.       1968 -NUGGET FILE, U.S.A.

2.       1969 -IRISH SEA


The Nugget File lists 5 accidents at US nuclear power plants for 1968.

Leak of plutonium. Unknown origin (C. Wakstein)

78. 1969, 21st January -SWITZERLAND

Partial meltdown of reactor core. Release of radioactivity, reactor destroyed. Reactor was in a rock cavern and has been converted into storage area for waste disposal. (Penelope Coleing for M.A.U.M.; Webb, R.E. p.201)

79. 1969, March -U.S.A.

Three uranium hexaflouoride shipments lost in transit in U.S. (Nucleus 25/7/79)

80. 1969, 10th April -U.S.A.

An 8,500 lb. shipment of enriched uranium in transit from Goodyear Atomic Corp. to New York turned up in Cleveland, Ohio. (Nucleus -25/7/1979)

81. 1969, July -WINDSCALE, U.K.

Leak of plutonium at Windscale reprocessing plant. Beaches contaminated. Not made public until 1974. (Nucleus -25th July, 1979)


Repeated ruptures in the vanes of the turbines became worse due to radioactivity and eventually broke. (Bulletin A.T.E.N.) 1969,

83. 1969, 17th October -SAINT LAURENT-DES-EAUX, FRANCE

Fuel meltdown in reactor core. Repairs took three months. (Bulletin Info. C.E.A. No.157 ­March 1971)


Leak in the primary circuit. Effluent was discharged into the River Ems resulting in a radioactivity level 13 times over and above the permitted ANNUAL Quantity. (Contingency Plan)







Cracks occurred in the main cooling conduits of all above reactors. (Contingency Plan)

90. 1969, 11th May -ROCKY FLATS, COLORADO, U.S.A.

Plutonium spontaneously ignited in a container of nearly 600 tons of combustible material. The fire burned 2,000 kgs of plutonium giving off plutonium oxide, causing approx. $45 million worth of damage. Soil samples from around the plant were contaminated with plutonium. (Private investigation by Dr. Edward Martell was necessary because the Atomic Energy Commission, which owned the plant and Dow Chemicals, which operated it under contract, refused to do the sampling in the area.) (N. Thieberger, P.3; Simpson, J.W. “Nuclear Accidents: A Look at the Record”)


Employees at the plant became concerned at the high level of radioactivity in their drinking water fountains. Investigations uncovered a hose connecting the drinking water system to a tank of radioactive waste. The ARC concluded The coupling of a contaminated system with a portable water system is considered poor practice in general. (“Rolling Stone” (Aunt) -28th July, 1977)

92. 1970 -WINDSCALE. U.K.

Criticality accident. Uncontrolled release of radiation caused by neglect of an accumulation of plutonium in a vessel. Engineers did not know there was any plutonium residue in the vessel as the reactor did not feature the necessary neutron monitoring devices. (Sources: C. Wakstein, P.212)

93. 1970 -BENZNAU, C.S.R.

10 workers exposed to radioactivity. (Sources: Work Circle Environmental Protection)


Strontium 90 in the soil at the end of the site of the Shippingport nuclear reactor (claimed to be the safest in the U.S.) reached a level 100 times greater than the national average. The radioactivity in milk was 4 times greater. (N. Thieberger Op.Cit.p.5)

95. 1970, April -U.S.S.R.

Apparent sinking of a Soviet nuclear powered submarine in waters north-west of Spain ­reported by Pentagon. (WISE NC 262 31/10/86).

96. 1970, April -PACIFIC OCEAN U.S.A.

A nuclear generating device containing plutonium crashed from the Apollo 13 moonshot in the sea near Norfolk Island. Records Show that it contained 3.78 kgs of plutonium 238

N.A.S.A. does not know the location of the module component and there has been no attempt to locate or recover it. Information about the plutonium content was withheld until July, 1980. Mr. Bill Wood, spokesperson in Australia for the U.S. National and Aeronautics and Space Administration, strongly denied there was any danger from the plutonium. Mr. Hesphy, Head of Citizens for Space Demilitarization, said the plutonium involved was very active and would remain so for many years. Although plutonium 238 could not penetrate the human akin, it is highly toxic and could be absorbed by fish and upset the delicately balanced ecosystem of the sea. (“The Australian” -31st July, 1980)

97. 1970, 5th June -INDIAN POINT, NY, U.S.A.

Reactor had a major plumbing problem which required the use of 700 men (for a few minutes each) over a 7 month period to weld in the radioactive area. (“Les Amis de la Terre”; “L`Escroquerie Nucleaire”).

98. 1970, 5th June -DRESDEN 2, ILLINOIS, U.S.A.

A spurious signal started off an incredible series of mistakes by both technicians and equipment. The reactor was out of control for 2 hours, pressure built up inside until it released radioactive iodine 131 to 100 times the safe limit to the dry well. Kendall Maglever preliminary review of the A.E.C. reactor safety study. According to Dr. STERNGLASS of the University of Pittsburgh, 2,500 babies would die because their parents lived downwind of the plant. (Work Circle Environmental Protection; Jean Geue A.A.E.C; Thieberger p.4)

99. 1970, September -FRANCE

Captain Jacques Cousteau, speaking to the Council of Europe, said of barrels of radioactive waste lying at the bottom of the sea, “They have been photographed lying open yawning like oysters”. (Thieberger p.4)

100. 1970, 7th-11th September – FRANCE

At the Symposium of the International Atomic energy Agency it was revealed that reprocessing plants “lost” through liquid and solid discharges 1.5% of the materials they process. It was also stated that a nuclear power plant diffuses 30 curies of radioactivity per megawatt per year into the atmosphere. (Thieberger p.5)

101. 1970 -WINDSCALE, U.K.

Uncontrolled radiation release follows failure to observe safety procedures. Negligence blamed as plutonium accumulated in vessel. (Wakestein -“The Myth of Nuclear Safety” -The Ecologist -July, 1977)

102. 1970, 30th September -HANFORD, WA, U.S.A.

A loss of coolant automatically started the primary SCRAM system (SCRAM is the rapid reinsertion of control rods). The system failed due to a short circuit. The backup SCRAM system worked. General Electric calculated that the probability of a failure in SCRAM was one in ten billion; the actual rate so far has been one in ten thousand. Past accidents at Hanford occurred on 3rd October, 1954, 4th January 1955, and 6th January 1966. (Jean Geue A.A.E.C; Webb, R.E. p.192-193)

103. 1970, 18th October -WYLFA, U.K.

The plant was stopped after a power excursion accident, potentially more dangerous than a loss of coolant (LOCA). (“Noun allons tous Craver”, J. Pignero -1st April, 1974; “Les Amis de la Terre”)

104. 1970 -OKLAHOMA. U.S.A.

Workers were contaminated when radioactive storage vessel was left open for 3 days. (Nucleus -25th July, 1979) 1970 -U.S.A.

The Nuggett File lists 7 accidents had occurred in this U.S. nuclear power plant in 1970

105. 1971, January -CHARLEUOIX, MICHIGAN, U.S.A.

A B-52 bomber crashed at Lake Michigan, 2 miles from a small B.W.R. reactor An eyewitness said the plane was heading directly in line with the reactor when it crashed, raining a fireball 200-600 ft in the air. “If the plane had crashed into the reactor there would have been a mayor public disaster… “It has been speculated by the Grumman aerospace official that the plane may have flown into radioactive gasses normally discharged by the reactor’s effluent stack. The radioactivity could have interfered with the plane’s electronic guidance systems. No report has been made to the public. (R.E. Webb, 1 p.194-145)

106. 1971, January -OKLAHOMA, U.S.A.

Defective equipment allowed plutonium oxide to escape into the atmosphere at Oklahoma City, U.S.A. 22 workers contaminated. (Nucleus -15th July, 1979).

107. 1971, January -OKLAHOMA, U.S.A.

Explosion killed a compressor worker as he was adjusting compressor.

108. 1971 -DRESDEN 3, IL, U.S.A.

Failure of pressure control system, excecutive pressure built up in safety compartment. (Work Circle Environmental Protection).

109. 1971 -CONNECTICUT, U.S.A.

Five hundred gallons of radioactive primary coolant was inadvertently discharged into Thames River, near New London, Connecticut, from a nuclear powered submarine. (Melbourne “Sun”-8th Oct 1976, p.23).


Shippport received gamma ray does from Duguesne reactor 56% of permitted annual dose. (Nucleus, 26th July 1979, p.16)


The Millstone B.W.R. reactor suffered a malfunction of the steam valve which caused the radioactivity and hence the power level to rise beyond the fuel or rated power level. The SCRAM system or reactor safety system went into action but had it failed there would have been a rapid core melting, a nuclear runaway explosion, and finally a major public disaster. There is no back up safety system for SCRAM supposedly because SCRAM contains several back up electrical switches. However, all these switches were manufactured improperly causing the coating to become sticky over time. This means that the switches would not be able to open in an emergency. The failure of the back up electrical switches will increase with the passage of time.

The A.E.C. in 1973 issued a regulation requiring back up systems for SCRAM for reactors whose licenses were submitted after 1977. However, this leaves 200 reactors without back up safety systems. (Webb, p.193-194)

112. 1971, mid-year -CLINTON, TENNESSEE, U.S.A.

The manufacturer of sealed radioactive sources abandoned a plant site leaving a significantly contaminated area. The cost of decontamination fell, by default, on the Federal and State Governments. (“A Landscape of Nuclear Tombs”, Alexic Parks).

113. 1971 -WINDSCALE, U.K.

Malcolm Patterson (36) died of leukemia after working for 13 years at the plant and was exported to radiation dangers from plutonium. The British nuclear power company, British Nuclear Fuels, has admitted liability and agreed to pay $120,000 damages to his widow. The company told the Court that although it admitted liability the case should not be seen as a precedent. (“The West Australian” -16th November, 1979)

114. 1971 – NUGGETT FILE, U.S.A.

9 accidents listed in the Nuggett File.

115. 1971, August -GULF OF GASCOYNE

4,000 tonnes of radioactive wastes dumped in the Gulf. (Thieberger p.5, Agence de Press, Rehabilitation Ecologique, Repertoire dea Accidents Nuclesires, Paris 1974, 1976)

116. 1971, August -VERMONT YANKEE, U.S.A.

The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists (1974) quoted the following incident: “In August, 1971, an intruder penetrated past guard towers and fences to enter the grounds of the Vermont Yankee Nuclear Plant at Vernon, Vermont”. (Nucleus, 25th July, 1979)

117. 1971, 10th October -BUGERY, FRANCE

Fire under the control room just before the reactor was put into service.(“Le Monde”, 12th August, 1972)

118. 1971, 19th November -MINNESOTA, U.S.A.

Reactor’s waste storage space being filled, company began spilling radioactive waste into Mississippi River. By 21st November about 50,000 gallons of wastes had been dumped into the river and some were sucked into the domestic water intake for St. Paul. (“Record on Nuclear Safety”, Saskatchewan Coalition Against Nuclear Development in Gyory, A., et al Op.Cit. p.120)

119. 1971, November -INDIAN POINT-BUCHANAN, NEW YORK, U.S.A.

The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists (1974) quoted the following incident: “….in November, 1971, arson caused $5-$10 million damage at the Indian Point No.2 plant at Buchanan, New York”. (Nucleus, 25th July, 1979)

120. 1971, December -U.S.A.

A box of radioactive salts of Molybdenum 99 was being carried on a Delta Airlines plane when it began to leak. The leak was not discovered until 9 flights later. Enough radiation escaped to cause “some worries” to the A.E.C. (“Thieberger”, p.5)

121. 1971, 10th December -LA HAGUE, FRANCE

Rupture of the pipes carrying radioactive materials, contamination of the pool and drinking water at the plant. 150 separate leaks into the contra occurred. Work periods of 3 minutes were instituted for the welders due to the strong radioactivity of the contra. (Rayonnement, a paper of the CFDT CEA, July, 1972)

122. 1971, December -WINDSCALE, U.K.

Radioactive wastes released into the sea – equivalent to 200,000 curies, 16 times the predicted levels. (Nucleus, 26th July, 1977)

123. 1971 -KAHL, GERMANY

Cracks in the reactor pressure container. (Work Circle Environmental Protection).


Fuel rods underwent swelling at Westinghouse reactor; each of the rods was supposed to have been filled with enriched uranium oxide. A number of the spent rods were found to be empty near the top for a space of several inches. (N. Thieberger p.5)


A former welder, who later became a local councillor in the Safety Liaison Committee of Hinkley Point Nuclear Power station in Somerset, England, alleged that some of the pipe repairs were not properly made on the instruction of his superiors trying to cave work. He also claimed that X-Rays of good welds were used to cover the deception. The events happened in 1971 and are under “very thorough and urgent investigation” by the Central Electricity Generating Board (CEGB) after instruction from the Nuclear Installations Inspectorate (NIII). (“The Guardian” 25/2/87, WISE NC 269 27/2/87 p.10)

126. 1974, 26th January -WASHINGTON, DC, U.S.A.

Released today that Dr. Carl Walaki told a Parliamentary Sub-Committee in May and June 1973, that 3,700 people who had access to nuclear arms had been sacked during 1973/74 for reasons such as alcoholism, abuse of narcotics or mental illness. (Thieger, p.8)

127. 1972, 8th March -INDIAN POINT, NY, U.S.A.

Pressures in the primary cooling circuit increased by 30%. Water released subsequently killed 150,000 fish in the Hudson River. Studies in the U.S. have found that there is a slight increase in radiation levels in rabbits and fish around all sites in the U.S. (“New York Times” -16th June, 1974)


Pressure relief valve opened and stuck. Steam poured out and destroyed reinforcement structures. Important reactor control instruments failed to function and about 1,050 tonnes of radioactive water flowed into the River Weser. After months of repair the plant re-opened only to close down again in February 1973, and again in February, 1974. (Lebensahutz -April 1974)


This Westinghouse-designed and -fuelled reactor contained 2,000 fuel rods, 40 of which were bent or crushed. (N. Thieberger Op.Cit. p.5)

130. 1972, June -MIHAMA, UNIT 1, JAPAN

1,900 out of 8,800 pipes of the steam generator were damaged. (n. Thieberger p.5)

131. 1972, 14th June -HOLLAND

A Dutch fisherman found a metal barrel with the words “Highly Radioactive” printed on it, just of the coast of Holland. (N. Thieberger P.5)

132. 1972, July -SACLAY EL-3, FRANCE

There were two gates in this reactor through which radioactive wastes and normal wastes would pass. One would go into a special container, the other went straight into the drains. After the emptying of more than ten cubic metres of radioactive liquids, the special container was still empty. The reason was that the gate leading to it was still closed, while the one leading to the normal drain system was open. (N. Thieberger p5)


Sediments in reactor core prevented circulation of cooling water. (Work Circle Environm. Protection).


Radioactive contamination when container of radioactive effluent burst. Several source faults were detected. (“Contingency Plan”, Work Circle Environmental Protection)

135. 1972 -SURRY 1, NY, U.S.A.

Two deaths due to failure of a valve. Investigation detected more than 500 faulty welding spots. (Work Circle Environmental Protection, “Not Man Apart” -September, 1972)

136. 1972, September -MILLSTONE 1 REACTOR, U.S.A.

The 40,000 condenser tubes which were made of aluminum alloy corroded, allowing sea water into the cooling system. (Jean Geue A.A.E.C.) “Boston Globe” – 14th October, 1974).

137. 1972, 7th November -TURKEY POINT 3, U.S.A.

Switch gear room of the reactor flooded due to plugged drains. (N. Thieberger Op.Cit.p.6)

138. 1972, 23rd November -TENNESSEE, U.S.A.

A hi-lacked DC-9 circled Oak Ridge nuclear installation for 2 hours. Hi-jackers demanded $10 million. Oak Ridge was shut down and most staff evacuated. Hi-jackers demands were met and they flew to Cuba. (Thieberger p.6; Nucleus -25/7/79)

139. 1972, 8th December -SICN, ANNECY, FRANCE

Fire in the SICN plant which produced nuclear fuel. A further explosion and fire occurred on 22nd December 1972 and a fire on 9th October, 1973. (SICN -Societe Induatrialle de Combustible nuclesire) (Jean Geue A.A.E.C.)

140. 1972, 14th December -DOUNREAY, SCOTLAND.

Anonymous telephone call alerted security staff who found two parcels in the plant. 1,500 staff members were evacuated. Parcels were empty but could have been bombs. (Thieberger p.6).

141. 1972, 21st December -PERPIGNAN, FRANCE

Children found playing with boxes containing Strontium 90 which they found in a field near the local airport. (Jean Geue A.A.E.C.)

142. 1972, 22nd December – ANNECY, FRANCE

Fire in the SICN plant which produced nuclear fuel. (SICN -Societe Industrialle de Combustible Nucleaire) (Jean Geue A.A.E.C.)

143. 1972 -NUGGET FILE, U.S.A.

10 accidents listed in Nugget File for U.S. nuclear power Stations for 1972.

144. 1973, 15th January -VERMONT YANKEE, U.S.A.

Vermont Yankee reactor emitted 100 times the safe limit of radiation caused by cracks in tubes carrying radioactive material. At one stage Vermont Yankee’s plant control rods were put upside down and the plant later started operating with the lid off the pressure vessel. (“Times Record” -23rd April, 1974).

145. 1973, January -CHOOZ, BELGIUM

Radioactive elements from the nuclear plant entered River Mouse near Vise. Water remained abnormally radioactive for about 6 months. (“La Nouvelle Republique” -10/1/73)

146. 1973, 16th February -HOLLAND

Container of Cobalt-60 lost in the sea north of the Island of Ulieland. (Thieberger p.10)

147. 1973, 26th March -ARGENTINA

Guerillas entered the Argentinean reactor, painted graffiti and planted a phosphorous bomb in a nuclear plant. The bomb was extinguished before the plant was destroyed. (Agence de Presse, Rehabilitation Ecologigue, Repertoire des Accidents Nucleaires, Paris 1974, 1976; Thieberger p.6)

1.       1973 -LINGEN, GERMANY

2.       1973 -WUERGASSEN, GERMANY


Serious damage to steam generators. Took one year to repair only to be replaced two years later with new generators. (Work Circle Environ. Protection) Cracks on two cooling systems, potentially catastrophic as complete failure of cooling system could have occurred. Cracks discovered by accident. (Work Circle Environmental Protection)

150. 1973, 17th April -MILLSTONE 1, CONN., U.S.A.

Numerous cracks were discovered in the pipes of the cooling system. Radioactive mist escaped and activated radiation alarms on nuclear submarines docked at Waterford. (“Wall Street Journal” 3/5/1973)

151. 1973, 20th April-HANFORD, WA., U.S.A.

100,000,000 gallons of atomic wastes stored in containers whose life is 30-40 years. A leak was discovered on 20th April, but wastes were still poured into the tanks, resulting in a leakage of 115,000 gallons before 8th June, when pouring stopped. Geologists point out that the area has been under water at least 4 times in the last 40,000 years, the last time being 14,000 years ago. (Work Circle Environ. Protection; Penelope Coleing)

152. 1973 May -VIRGIN ISLANDS, U.S.A.

The nuclear submarine “U.S.S. Sturgeon” suffered “minor structural damage” when it accidentally struck the bottom of the ocean off the Virgin Islands. No injuries reported. (WISE NC 262 31/10/86)

153. 1973, June – HANFORD, WA. U.S.A.

A further 460,000 litres of radioactive liquid spread on the ground surrounding the reprocessing plant. (“Los Angeles Times” -5th July, 1973)

154. 1973, June -MIHAMA, JAPAN

1900 out of 8,000 pipes of steam generator at the No. 1 Unit Mihama damaged. (Nucleus ­25/7/1979 )

155. 1973, July -SURRY, VA., U.S.A.

Two workers killed while inspecting defective valves when valve blew off at Surry reactor. (Nucleus -25th July, 1979)

156. 1973, July -SACLAY KL3, FRANCE

Ten cubic metres of radioactive fluids escaped into drains normally meant for “ordinary” wastes following failure of gate leading to special radioactive waste container which falls open at SACLAY BL3 Reactor. (Nucleus -25th July, 1979)

157. 1973, July -U.S.A.

According to the A.E.C. cover reactors had been closed down or abandoned (costing millions and millions of dollars) as well as 77 research or experimental reactors, and the only nuclear cargo ship, the “Savannah”. Four nuclear submarines were dismantled or “lost”. (Thieberger p.7)

158. 1973 -NEW JErSEY U.S.A.

EDWARD GLOSSON, a New Jersey truck dock worker, accidentally spilled plutonium on himself while handling a leaking box of liquid waste in 1963. Four years later his hand, then his arm and shoulder were amputated because of a rare form of cancer from which he died in 1973, aged 39. The company responsible refused to pay him compensation before he died. (Nucleus 25/7/79; Thieberger.7).

159. 1973, September -LA HAGUE (ON THE CHANNEL) FRANCE

Radioactive gas escaped, 35 employees contaminated, 7 seriously. (“Los Echos”, 24th September, 1973) According to “Time” magazine the crabs in the Channel have developed ulcerous sores. Radiation level in the crabs in 1975 rose to 8 times the normal level. (Jean Geue A.A.E.C.).

160. 1973 -U.S.S.R.

Sodium leak and chemical explosion in the secondary cooling system of the reactor. (“Le Monde” -15 Feb 74; Nucleus -25 Jul 79, p.13)

161. 1973, September -MIHAMA PLANT, JAPAN

Fuel damage discovered, bowing of rods; similar to Westinghouse reactor problems at Robinson Point and Point Beach Island. (Thieberger p.7)

162. 1973, September – WINDSCALE, U.K.

Radiation leak in the reprocessing plant; 34 workers were irradiated. (Jean Geue A.A.E.C.) Head and plant at reprocessing facility went abruptly and alarmingly out of service when an accident occurred involving the inadvertent attempt to fill a vessel already containing highly active residues. (Ian Breach, Windscale Fallout, p.37)

163. 1973, September -MILLSTONE, CONNECTICUT, U.S.A.

Forty thousand aluminium alloy condenser tubes in Millstone 1 reactor corroded allowing sea water into cooling system. (“Boston Globe”, October, 1974).

164. 1973, 9th October -ANNECY, FRANCE

Fire in the SICN plant which produced nuclear fuel. (SICN -Societe Industrialle de Combustible Nucleaire) (Jean Geue A.A.E.C.)

165. 1973, 12th October -U.S.A.

Congress investigation committee told by SENATOR MIKE GRAVEL that emergency cooling systems had failed six times out of six when tested in 1970. He also told of the discovery of high concentrations of Strontium 90 near the Shippingport reactor in 1972. (Thieberger p.7; nucleus -25th July, 1979, p.13)

166. 1973, 22nd October – SAN ONOFRE, CA., U.S.A.

Malfunction of turbine generator led to shutdown of reactor. Increased vibration led operators to shut down faster than normal, causing overheating; this in turn activated the primary coolant system which caused a drop in pressure, normally indicating a blocked coolant pipe. The emergency system cut in and flooded the reactor with cooling water which hit the valves with too much force since the coolant was already there; pipes broke and six months were needed to repair the damage. (“The Observer”, 2nd October, 1973)

167. 1973, 14th December -HANFORD, U.S.A.

35,000 litres of radioactive waste leak. Jack-rabbits in the area excrete radioactive “hot” pellets and coyotes which eat the rabbits die of radiation poisoning. By the end of 1977 half of a million gallons of wastes had leaked from Hanford site. (Les Amis de la Terre.)

168. 1973, 28th NOVEMBER -U.K.

Wives of employees at Britain nuclear installations started a “love strike”, fearing radiation sickness. Nearly all 2,000 employees at Windscale atomic centre were affected. Union delegate, John Nuctur, said that “the young women had told him they refused to have any intimate contact with their husbands because their sweat might radioactively contaminate the linen.” (Nucleus, 25 Jul 79; Thieberger p.8).

169. 1973, 20th December -U.S.A.

A truck carrying two casks of radioactive Cobalt was involved in a pile-up of two care and six trucks -one of which was carrying a cargo of inflammable lacquer. One of the cars burst into fire but fortunately the truck carrying the Cobalt did not. (Simpson, J.W. Op Cit. p.2)

170. 1973 -U.S.A.

61 accidents were reported in U.S. nuclear power plants. (D. Higson and D.W. Crancher, Australian Atomic Energy Commission)

1.       1973 -U.S.A.

2.       1973 -VERMONT YANKEE PLANT, U.S.A.


11 accidents recorded in the Nugget File for 1973.

The following failures were listed in the A.C.R. Annual Report for 1973:

1.       Emergency core cooling system sensors pressure component failure.

2.       Four radiation monitors were not source calibrated at three months intervals. Personnel error.

3.       Area gamma monitor on the perimeter fence became inoperable.

4.       Instrument lines monitoring suppression chamber were incorrectly tubed to differential pressure sensors.

5.       Radioactive gases released. Exact cause unidentified. (Guyorgy, p.107)


173. 1973, 1st Jul -1974 30th Jun, -U.S.A.

The A.E.C. found a total of 3,333 safety violations at the 1,288 nuclear facilities it inspected. 98 of these posed a threat to radiation exposure to public or workers. Punishment was imposed by the A.E.C. for only 8 of these violations. (“Record on Nuclear Safety”, Saskatchewan Coalition Against Nuclear Development in Guyorgy, A., Op Cit. p.120)

174. 1974 -1975 -U.S.A.

Over a one-year period 15-20 nuclear reactor power stations had to be closed by the N.R.C. due to cracks in the water cooling System. (Work Circle Environmental Protection)

175. 1974, 7th January -LENINGRAD-1, U.S.S.R.

Explosion of a reinforced concrete tank containing radioactive gases at Leningrad-l. (“Nucleonics Week” (31/5/90); WISE-334 22/6/90) .

176. 1974 -BIG ROCK, MICHIGAN, U.S.A.

Charlevoix County in Michigan has an infant mortality rate 448 higher than national average. Immature infant deaths are 18% higher; leukemia is 400% higher. Cancer deaths are 15% more numerous than national average. Congenital defects 230% higher. Charlevoix County is the home of Big Rock Point nuclear power plant. (See Mary Weik 1964) (Thieberger p.8)

177. 1974, 23rd January -CHERBOURG, U.K.

An appeal sent out by radio: “Urgent notice for navigators from Cherbourg -blue container, two metres long, containing radioactive material is lost in the North Sea 56 degrees 36’N., 00 degrees 55’E. In case of discovery do not open, and immediately inform Coast guard Aberdeen”. (Nucleus, 15/7/79; Thieberger. p.8)

178. 1974, 6th February – LENINGRAD-1, U.S.S.R.

Explosion of the tertiary circuit at Leningrad-1 from hydraulic shocks induced by violent boiling. Three persons dead. Release into the environment of highly radioactive water containing filter wastes. (“Nucleonics Week” 31/5/90; WISE-334 22/6/90).

179. 1974, February -AUSTRALIA

The annual incidence of leukemia in Australia has increased from just under 2 cases per million in 1930 to 57 cases per million in 1970. (“Atmospheric Testing, a survey of medical statistics in Australia” by Bruce J. Brown)


Woman contaminated by plutonium. Karen Silkwood had gathered evidence on the unsafe working conditions at the plant and was on her way to deliver these to a newspaper reporter and a union official when she died in mysterious circumstances. (“West Australian” 22nd May, 1979; A.B.C. “Four Corners”, 21st July, 1979). Subsequently Karen Silkwood’s father received $1 million in settlement from the company.


A Siemens experimental reactor was abandoned due to insurmountable problems. Cost was approximately $A66 million (DM 200 million). (Work Circle Environmental Protection)

182. 1974, February – WURGASSEN, GERMANY

Violent vibrations in the turbines caused most of the vanes to break off. Repairs cost $A93,000 per day. (“Lebensachultz”, Apr 1974; “L’Escroquerie Nucleaire”; Nucleus, 25/7/79 )

183. 1974, 14th March -HANFORD, WA., U.S.A.

Leak of 115,000 gallons of highly radioactive waste. Defective storage tank. This was the seventeenth leak at Hanford. (Nucleus, 25th July, 1979; Penelope Coleing, M.A.U.M.)

184. 1974, 6th April -N.S.P.C., MINNESOTA, U.S.A.

Northern States Power Company reactor dumped 10,000 gallons of radioactive water into the Mississippi River causing Minneapolis to close its water intake gates. From 1969-1974 the

A.E.C. made a total of 10,320 inspections and found 3,704 installations with one or more violations (but imposed civil penalties or some other action a total of only 22 times). (N.Y. Times, 26th August, 1974). 1974 analysis “indicating the industry can anticipate a probable accident involving radioactive material in 1974 and perhaps as many as one per month in 2000” (Donald E. Reardon, Deputy Manager ERDA, S.F. Office, at Warren Committee hearing in November, 1975) (Thieberger, p.9)

185. 1974, April, U.S.A.

The N.R.C. recorded 1,421 anomalies in U.S. reactors in 1974, 529 “Potentially significant”. (Gen. Nuclear Review Vol 1 No.1 1970)


A radioactive cloud of Tritium formed after a leak in a pipe at nuclear reactor. (“Le Monde” 5/6/1974)

187. 1974, 3rd-4th May – HANFORD, WA., U.S.A.

1,900 to 7,600 litres of liquid radioactive waste containing 600-2400 curies of Caesium 137 and 10-40 curies of Strontium 90 leaked from underground storage tank No. 111 which is 40 metres above the water table. (Penelope Coleing, p.4; Thieberger, p.4; Nucleus, 25th July, 1990)

188. 1974, May -INDIA

Police arrested 5 personnel of a uranium enrichment plant and discovered 3.6 kilograms of uranium. Enquiries revealed the gang which stole uranium, transported it through Nepal to eventually end up in Hong Kong. (Thieberger p.9; Nucleus, 25/7/79)

189. 1974, 28th May -U.S.A.

The U.S. Atomic Energy Commission said that “there were 861 irregularities in the industry in 1973 in the 42 reactors which were working. Of those, 371 had some potential of being hazardous, 18 really were, 12 actually leaked radioactivity in the atmosphere. (Nucleus 25/7/79; “Les Amis de la Terre”)

190. 1974, May – MIAMISBURG, OHIO, U.S.A.

A.E.C. laboratory leaked plutonium contaminating the Erie Canal. (“Boston Globe”, 14th May, 1974)

191. 1974, 11th July -QUAD CITIES, ILLINOIS, U.S.A.

Radioactive vapour escaped after a valve on the primary circuit ruptured. Reactor had been working at 25% capacity. (“Chicago Sun Times” 11th July, 1974)

192. 1974, August -GRENOBLE ISKRE, FRANCE

Leak into the reactor pool of 2,500 curies. (“Le Monde”, 29th September, 1974)

193. 1974, August -ANS, MATSU, JAPAN

The crew of this nuclear cargo vessel discovered a leak in pipes carrying radioactive materials after leaving Japan. Because of the potential danger they were unable to re-enter Japanese waters. Operators used berated boiled rice and old socks to try to block the leak. (“Les Amis de la Terre”; “L’Escroguerie Nuclesire” Patterson, p.213.)

194. 1974, 3rd Sept -LOS ALAMOS, NEW MEXICO, U.S.A.

1,900 to 3,800 litres of radioactive liquid escaped into the environment onto one of the main streets and into a parking lot. The area was closed off, parts of the road were replaced. Past accidents at Los Alamos occurred on 21st Aug. 1945; 25th May, 1946; 30th Dec. 1958. (Thieberger, p.11; Nucleus, 25/7/79)

195. 1974, September and December – ILLINOIS AND CONNECTICUT, U.S.A.

A crack about 7.6 cms long was discovered at the Dresden Plant in Norris. As a result of this discovery some 60 others were found. Plants of similar type were investigated (Millstone, Quad-Cities, Dresden 2) and two Japanese facilities were found to have experienced the same problem. (Nucleus, 25/7/79; Thieberger, Ibid.)

196. 1974, 19th September -RINGHALS, SWEDEN

Three pumps of the primary cooling system broke down. Reactor had to work at 30% capacity after the accident. (“Not Man Apart”, mid-October 1974; “L’Escroquerie Nucleeire”)

197. 1974, 18th October -CON EDISON TRI-CITIES PLANT

Radioactive gas released, exceeding the A.E.C. limit by 33%. In 4,000 shipments of radioactive fuel in 1975, 400 reported accidents occurred in which 150 released “small amounts” of radioactivity, two “Potentially dangerous”. (Robert Barker, N.R.C. Department of Transportation, in his summary of WASH 1238 at Warren Committee hearings in November, 1975).

198. 1974, 10th November -SAINT LAURENT DES EAUX, FRANCE

Fire in electrical panel of the SL2 reactor. Reactor shut down and not allowed to run at full capacity. (“Journal du dimanche”, 10th November, 1974)

199. 1974, 23rd Beeper -SACLAY, FRANCE

Chemical explosion occurred during the cleaning of pipes at the Osiris reactor injuring six people, no radioactive leak. (“Le Figaro”, 24th November, 1974)

200. 1974, November -WINDSCALE, UK

Monitoring failure at reprocessing plant, worker allowed to leave with plutonium on his shoos. (C. Wakstein, “The Myth of Nuclear Safety”; Nucleus, 25th July, 1979, p.15)


Pallisades reactor taken out of service after leaks in 7,000 out of the 14,000 tubes in condenser were discovered. (Thieberger p.11)

202. 1974, December -TENNESSEE, U.S.A.

Radiation levels at one Tennessee reactor lunch room measured at eight times normal level. (Nucleus, 25th July 1979 p.15)

203. 1974, December -WIEDERRICHBACH, GERMANY

Experimental Siemens reactor abandoned in Niederrichbach. Impossible problems. Cost $A66 million. (Nucleus, Ibid)

204. 1974 -U.S.A.

14 accidents are listed in the Nugget file for 1974.

205. 1975, January -DRESDEN 2, ILLINOIS, U.S.A.

The Dresden No 2 B.W.R. reactor had to be shut down after cracks were found in the high-pressure piping of the emergency core cooling system. The cracks penetrated the full thickness of the piping resulting in a water coolant leakage. A loss of coolant accident could have occurred resulting in reactor coolant blowing out of the ruptured pipe and exploding into steam. The cracks were discovered by accident. “Large cracks had occurred in other unrelated piping, which leaked noticeable quantities of water and similar cracks were then found in many boiling water reactors in the same piping.” (Webb, R.E. p.201)

206. 1975, 8th January -MIHAMA 2, JAPAN

Leak in pipes of steam generator of the Mihama 2 reactor (500 megawatts) caused radioactive gas to escape. (“Nuclear News”, March 1975 Patterson, p.213; “L’Escroguerie Nucleaire”)

207. 1975, 30th January -U.S.A.

U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission orders shut down of 23 boiling water reactors, because of hairline cracks found in coolant pipes at Dresden. Second time in nine months that U.S. plants closed. (Sien/LNS Aus Uranium Kit, August, 1975; Nucleus, 25th July, 1979)



Nearly 1,200 workers had to be evacuated from the Northwest Utilities Nuclear Plant because of a radioactive water spill. Some of the contaminated water entered Long Island Sound. 20 workers had to wade through 4,000 litres of spilt radioactive water to safety. (Penelope Coleing; Work Circle Environmental Protection)

209. 1981, 6th May -TSURUGA, JAPAN

A radioactive leak far worse than those uncovered recently occurred at the Japan Atomic Power Company’s Tsuruga Power Plant six years ago, it has just been disclosed. The Company said the accident was discovered on 10/1/1975, when 13 tonnes of radioactive water leaked from a crack in a pipe. The Company said 37 workers were exposed. (“The Age” 6th May 1981)

210. 1975, May – WINDSCALE, U.K.

Leak of radioactive waste found its way through two successive leaks. Corrosion is a possible cause. (Wakstein, C., Nucleus, 25th July, 1979)

211. 1975, 22nd May – CON EDISON INDIAN POINT AEC, NY, USA

Inspection shows that, despite corrective measures taken for earlier violations, reactor workers are still exposed to above maximum permissible levels set by A.E.C. (Nucleus, 25th July, 1979, p.16)


An operator’s error dumped 50,000 gallons of radioactive water into the basement of the Oyster Creek nuclear plant. (Clamshell Alliance p.4)


There have been at least 271 fires and 410 “Contamination incidents” at Rocky Flats. The cancer rate among Rocky Flats workers is seven times the national average. Hundreds of railway cars carry the waste from Rocky Flats’ worst fire (11th May, 1969) to Idaho Falls where it was dumped in trenches in the ground.

These trenches are above the nation’s largest underground water reservoir, a source of water for much of the Northwest. An A.E.C.spokesman said “we have substantial technical experience. There’s no real or potential basis for alarm -ever.” The National Academy of Sciences have condemned the practices of the dump. (Clamshell Alliance, p.1)

1.       1975 -TURKEY POINT, U.S.A.

2.       1975, 6th June -ZION, U.S.A.


Large leaks of radioactive water were discovered at this Miami Reactor. (Clamshell Alliance, p.4)

15,000 gallons of radioactive water leaked from cooling system into reactor containment building. N.R.C. blamed the leak on open valve caused by failure to observe proper procedures. Zion has had the highest rate and number of abnormal occurrences of any nuclear power plant in the U.S. (Penelope Coleing; “The 10 Most Dangerous Nuclear Power Plants”, The Elements, Feb. 1977, in Guyorgy, p.120)

216. 1975, July -VERMONT YANKEE PLANT, U.S.A.

Faulty valves allowed 300,000 litres of radioactive water from plant to spill into river. (Nucleus, 25th July, 1979, p.15)

217. 1975, September -JAPAN

Japanese nuclear ship MUTSU found leaking radioactivity due to faulty design of reactor shield. (Nucleus, 25th July, 1979, p.15)

218. 1975, October -PHOENIX REACTOR, FRANCE

Reactor at Phoenix develops leak forcing plenty closure (the sodium coolant can explode on contact with water even at normal temperatures).

219. 1975, October -LENINGRAD, U.S.S.R.

Local core melt at Leningrad-1. A day later, over 1.5 million curies are released through the stack. (“Nucleonics Week” 31/5/90; WISE334 22/6/90).

220. 1975, December -U.K.

Nuclear waste train derailed in town on transit from Barrow to Windscale reprocessing plant. (“Times”, 20th December, 1975, p.1)

221. 1975 -LA HAGUE, FRANCE

572 incidents of radioactive contamination of workers, 205 internal contamination. (Nucleus, 25/7/1979 p.1)

222. 1975 -OKLAHOMA, U.S.A.

Plutonium poisoning of workers in enrichment plant. Chief witness died in mysterious circumstances. (Work Circle Environmental Protection)


Fire in plant caused by electrician checking for air flow with candle. Destruction of 2,000 cables, emergency core cooling system, reactor core isolation cooling system and all important regulators and emergency cooling systems. Only chance prevented the melting of the 1100 megawatt reactor. Out of service for 1-1/2 hours. A Senate investigation revealed that the final reactor design had been approved even though it did not meet regulatory requirements. The total cost of the accident was at least $150 million, making it the most expensive industrial accident on record. (Work Circle Environmental Protection; Guyorgy, p.120; Webb, p.198; Clamshell Alliance p.4)


Two deaths followed leak of 800 litres of radioactive steam during vent repairs. (Work Circle Environmontal Protection)

225. 1975, 30th November – LENINGRAD

Soviet authorities have admitted to the occurrence of a severe accident at a Leningrad nuclear power plant on 30 November 1985. After the rupture of a faulty tube, large amounts of radioactivity (mainly radioactive iodine) had been set free and were found as far away as 2,000 km. The local population had not been warned. (“Sudkurier (FRG) 18/6/90; WISE-336 20/7/90).

226. 1975 -U.S.A.

22 accidents recorded in the Nugget File for 1975


Extensive leakage of “hot” radioactive gas in which two workers were suffocated, the emergency exit which they made for was locked “to prevent frequent thefts”. The four emergency “decoy” tanks designed to deal with escaping gas by reducing radioactivity before it released into the atmosphere could not cope with a leakage of this magnitude and radioactive gas escaped into the atmosphere. The public were not warned of the dangers and workers at the plant were not allowed to know the level of radiation they had absorbed.

228. 1976, 12th January – KENTUCKY, U.S.A.

Six drums containing radioactive waste burst open after they rolled off tractor-trailer trucks in Ashfield, Kentucky, U.S.A. Two drivers were slightly injured. When the highway was cleaned checks indicated radioactivity. (Legislative Research Service Paper, Parliamentary Library, Canberra)

229. 1976, January -WINDSCALE, U.K.

Leak of radioactive waste in storage tank caused by corrosion. (Parliamentary Research Service Paper, Parliamentary Library, Canberra)


Primary circuit overheated while new fuel rods were mounted, rupturing steam generator; primary and secondary circuit and working area contaminated. (“New Ecologist”, January/February 1979)

1.       1976, April -MAXY FLATS, KENTUCKY, U.S.A.

2.       1976, April – WINDSCALE, U.K.


Further leak of radioactive waste at Maxy Flats. (Nucleus, 2Sth July, 1979) Leak of radioactive waste from still drums caused by corrosion. (Parliamentary Legislative Research Service Paper, Parliamentary Library, Canberra)

233. 1976, WINDSCALE, U.K.

Further leak of radioactive waste from steel drums after corrosion. (Nucleus, 25th July, 1979)

234. 1976, July -PORT HOPE, CANADA

Discovery that in Port Hope, Canada, which was built on uranium waste landfill, radiation levels in some buildings are 100 times more than safe. Bone marrow abnormalities found in town residents. (Nucleus, 25th July, 1979, p.18; Craw Doo Dah Gazette, August, 1976)


Reactor at Phoenix developed fault in heat exchange between primary and secondary sodium cooling circuits (sodium can explode on contact with water even at normal temperatures).


Leak at Capede la Hague reprocessing plant, discharge into sewerage system. Eight workers inhale plutonium dust (concentration of plutonium 1,000 times greater than permissable dosage in parts of plant). Took seven months to repair.

237. 1976, mid-July – VERMONT YANKEE PLANT, U.S.A.

Faulty valve caused 300,000 litres of Tritium contaminated water to spill into the Connecticut River. This was the second of three spills. (Guyorgy, p.120; Clamshell Alliance p.4)

238. 1976, 13th October -PARIS, FRANCE

France’s most advanced nuclear reactor had been closed for an indefinite period because of a leak in one of the three devices that transferred heat from one fluid to another, an Atomic Energy Official reported. (A.A.P. Reuter, “Newcastle Morning Herald”)

239. 1976, October – FRANCE

Streams reported to be contaminated near La Hague reprocessing plant. One stream from which cattle drank reported containing 3,800 picocuries/litre water. (Nucleus, 25th July, p.18)

240. 1976, October -WINDSCALE, U.K.

All British nuclear fuel workers received above internationally agreed upon radiation levels in 1976. (Intern. Press/Nucleus, 16th August, 1978)

241. 1976, October -WINDSCALE, U.K.

100 gallons per day of contaminated water leaking from an old waste storage silo. This incident was not reported to the Government for two months, and eventually set off the Windscale Public Enquiry. (Parliamentary Legislative Research Service Paper, Parliament House, Canberra)

242. 1976, November -PILGRIM PLANT, BOSTON EDISON, U.S.A.

16,000 herring were killed, probably by thermal shock at Boston Edison’s Pilgrim Plant on Cape Cod Bay. (Clamshell Alliance Publication p.4)

243. 1976, November – WINDSCALE, U.K.

Leak of radioactive waste. Beach contaminated by tritium. (Parliamentary Legislative Research Service Paper, Parliament House, Canberra)


Plutonium dumped in unlined trenches, travelled 800 feet through soil in less than ten years. (Thieberger p.12)

245. 1976 -U.S.A.

17 accidents were recorded in the Nugget File for 1976. This is the last entry in the extract. The postscript concludes: “What is really distressing is that despite the vast amount of specific technical information concerning the frailties and defects of critically important safety apparatus, the Federal agency in charge of nuclear safety has not taken adequate measures to prevent these recurring safety lapses.” (Nugget File p.75)


Radioactive mist that escaped from the Millstone plants in Waterford activated nuclear alarms in nuclear submarines docked at Groton. (Clamshell Alliance, p.4)

247. 1977 March -KOZLODUJ, BULGARIA

An unexpectedly strong earthquake (5-6 on the modified Mercalli scale) shook the nuclear plant which was only built to withstand quakes of lower intensity. (“Der Spiegel” 20 Apr 87, WISE NC 275 12 Jun 87)

248. 1977, 6th April – WINDSCALE, U.K.

Site and adjacent area contaminated by Ruthenium 106. (Legislative Research Service Paper, Parliamentary Library, Canberra; Wakstein, C; “The Ecologist”, May 1977 p.140)

249. 1977, 6th April – WINDSCALE, U.K.

Plutonium contamination blown into laboratory after a reaction between plutonium nitrate and carbon powder in a sealed handling facility. (Thieberger, p.12; Parliamentary Service Paper, Parliamentary Library, Canberra)


Australia’s first victim died as a result of being exposed to radiation at the Atomic Energy Commission’s nuclear reactor at Lucas Heights. The man contracted leukemia. The A.E.C.

admitted liability by paying compensation to the man’s widow. Two years before the death, workers had complained of a health problem which they thought was related to their work with epoxies. (“Sun Herald”, 19th June, 1977)

251. 1977, 10th May -DOUNREAY, SCOTLAND

A reaction between water and 2.5 kilos of sodium lifted the concrete covers off a solid waste disposal facility. (Thieberger, p.12)

252. 1977, May -WINCHESTER, U.K.

Semi-trailer carrying a 15-tonne container of radioactive nuclear fuel overturned near Winchester. Five people injured. (Legislative Research Service Paper, Parliamentary Library, Canberra)

253. 1977, July -HINKLEY POINT, U.S.A.

Power plant shut down until December when a pipe supplying feedwater to the main coolant system fractured. Hoses had to be rigged up to spray cooling water on the concrete shielding of the primary reactor. (Ian Breach, “Windscale Fallout”, p.39)

254. 1977, 7th October -COLORADO, U.S.A.

Nuclear alert declared near Springfield after 19 tonnes of powdered uranium-oxide fell from the back of a truck after an accident. The material was being transported from Wyoming to Oklahoma for processing. Colorado State Department later urged the N.R.C. to review its safety standards. Department spokesman said: “Luckily no other traffic came along. If cars had churned through the powder we could have been faced with a major crisis”. (“West Australian”, 7th October, 1977)

255. 1977, November -PIERRKLATE, FRANCE

Highly toxic gas leaked into the air from a commercial uranium fuels factory. No-one was contaminated and the situation was quickly controlled. The leak of uranium hexaflouoride at the Comurex factory is where a similar accident took place in July. (“The Herald”, 26th November, 1977)


Four Commonwealth policemen died of cancer after working at the atomic bomb test site. Another two are dying of the disease. (Thieberger p.13)

257. 1977, December -MILLSTONE, CONNECTICUT, U.S.A.

Two hydrogen/oxygen explosions in the waste radioactive gas stream at Millstone Nuclear Power Station, Waterford, Connecticut, U.S.A. Chimney door blew off. One worker slightly injured and helpers contaminated with radioactivity. Reactor completely shut down. (Parliamentary Legislative Research Service paper, Parliament Library, Canberra)

258. 1977 December -HUNTERSTON B, U.K.

Unprecedented failure in which 1,000 gallons of sea water leaked into the reactor. Cost of accident: 4 million pounds sterling. (Ian Breach “Windscale Fallout”, p.139)

259. 1977, December -BARODA, INDIA

Heavy water factory at Baroda, 300 miles north of Bombay was partially destroyed by a series of explosions following fire. 20 injured. (Nucleus, 25th July, 1979 p.17)

260. 1977, December -COLORADO, U.S.A.

10,000 lbs. of radioactive uranium concentrate spreads over 5,000 square miles, in some placed up to a foot deep after a truck crashes. Wrong decontamination equipment sent to area. 12 hours before health specialist on scene. (“Nation Review”, 3rd May, 1979)

261. 1977 -VERMONT YANKEE, U.S.A.

Truck carrying spent radioactive resins from Vermont Yankee reactor crashes. Second time in two years that a truck from Vermont Yankee was involved in a crash.

262. 1977 -BELOYARSK 2, U.S.S.R.

Half of the fuel assemblies melt at Beloyarsk 2 U.S.S.R. Irradiation of staff during repairs which last a year (“Nucleonics Week” 31/5/90; WISE-33; 22/6/90)


General Electric’s small reactor closed because Federal officials found seismic fault near the plant. (“Financial Review” 28th February 1979)

264. 1978, 23rd January -COLORADO, U.S.A.

Newly built reactor belches radioactive helium gas into the into the sky only 56 kms. from Denver, Colorado. 15 workers suffered “light contamination”. Reactor shut down. (“The Herald” 24th January 1978)

265. 1978, 25th January -BRUSSELS,TIHANGE, BELGIUM

Contamination of up to 80 people by Iodine 131 while the reactor was being cooled for replacement of fuel. Another accident occurred in this month. (World Information Service on Energy, Brussels)

266. 1978, January -U.S.S.R. IN NORTHERN CANADA

The nuclear powered Soviet Satellite Cosmos 954 fell out of its orbit and plunged into the tundra of Northern Canada spreading radioactive material over a wide area. It contained a specially designed nuclear reactor which was fuelled by 100 lbs of Uranium 235, with an explosive power five times the force of Hiroshima. Launched on 18th September, 1977, the 954 was ill-fated from the beginning. The radioactive debris was not discovered in initial searches. DR. ROGER EATEN of the Atomic Energy Control Board warned residents of Fort Resolution not to use the top layer of snow for making tea and not to eat the bone marrow of game animals. “One orbit in the final unstable minutes could have caused it to strike near New York City”. No official information has ever been released as to the purpose of the satellite. There is about half a ton of enriched uranium and a hundred or more pounds of plutonium circling overhead today. The Russians have 11 reactor models flying and the Americans have nine vehicles in orbit. (Burleson, p.243) 6 satellites have already made their re-entry complete with their nuclear centres. The dangers of nuclear-powered satellites are that the upper atmosphere could be contaminated over a wide area and on re-entry large areas could be contaminated by radiation. (Nucleus, 14/6/1978; Burleson, C.W., “The Day the Bomb Fell”, Great Britain, 1980, pp 227-245).

267. 1978, 14th February – BAVARIA, WEST GERMANY

Small amount of radioactive steam escaped from a nuclear plant being tested in Bavaria. (“The Age”, 15th February, 1978)

268. 1978, March -CRYSTAL RIVER, FLORIDA, U.S.A.

Crystal River 3 plant closed for six months after defects in equipment controlling radioactivity levels in reactor. (“Nation Review”, 3/5/1979)

269. 1978, 8th March -BASQUE, SPAIN

A group bombed a nuclear power plant under construction in Basque Country. $2 million damage done. (“Tribune”, 8th March, 1978)

270. 1978, April -OREGON, U.S.A.

Two workers exposed to high levels of radiation when monitoring devices fail at Jan Plant, Rainier, Oregon, U.S.A. (Nucleus, 15th July, 1979, p.17)

271. 1978, April – LENOWIZ, BILBOA, SPAIN

Four Basque Spaniards launch hand grenade attacks on nuclear power station at Lemoniz, near Bilboa, Spain. (“New Ecologist”, March/April, 1978)

272. 1978, April -INDIA

It was revealed that a C.I.A. electronic spy-station was destroyed in an avalanche. It contained

1.3 kg of a plutonium isotope. The station had been placed on Nanda Deve, a mountain of the Himalayas to spy on Chinese missile bases. The Nanda Deve snow waters run into the River Ganges, and so plutonium may be washed down to the millions of people who bathe, wash and drink using the water of the Ganges. (“The Australian”, 12th April 1978)

273. 1978, mid-June -TIHANGE, BELGIUM

There was another accident at the P.W.R. reactor at Tihange, Belgium. This time a joint gave way on the primary cooling circuit, releasing radioactive steam. Workers in protective clothing tried for several days to stop the breach. Finally French specialists were brought in. The news was leaked by an anonymous phone call to Belgium Friends of the Earth. The reactor authorities denied that there had been an explosion. (W.I.S.E. No 2 p.13)

274. 1978, 19th June -BRUNSBUTTLE, GERMANY

Reactor steam circuit broke. The security system either failed to work or was put out of action manually and at least 100 tonnes of radioactive steam escaped. News of the accident got out through an anonymous phone call. Later mesaurements indicated some 4,000 curies of radioactive inert gasses escaped (against a yearly authorized level of 3,500 curies). (A.B.C. Radio News, 25th June 1978)

275. 1978, 28th August -ALDERMASTON, U.K.

Britain’s main nuclear research station and Atomic Weapons Research Establishment was closed by Ministry of Defence, when 12 workers were contaminated with plutonium dust. Unions of the workers believed that the plutonium dust may have leaked through the plant’s ventilation system. (“West Australian”, 26th August, 1978) Three laundry women have suffered plutonium contamination of the lungs. The laundry deals with protective clothing in the Active area.. One of the women has not worked in the laundry for some years but she still carries a lung burden of plutonium above the permitted maximum and perhaps higher. Women in the laundry are not considered as radiation workers and are not required by law to be regularly monitored for radioactivity. (W.I.S.E. No 4 March, 1979)

276. 1978, September -TOKAI-KURA, JAPAN

Japan’s nuclear reprocessing plant at Tokai-Kura closed because of leakage of radioactive waste. (Legislative Research Service Paper, Parliamentary Library, Canberra)

277. 1978, 21st October -MURUROA ATOLL, SOUTH PACIFIC

15 Tahitians had been secretly isolated in a hospital at Mururoa Atoll for treatment of radiation sickness, following French nuclear tests in the area, according to Mr. Oscar Temaru, a Tahitian politician. (“West Australian”, 21st October 1979)

278. 1978, December -VENDELLA, SPAIN

Hot water from reactor sterilizes area of 8 square kms around pipe outlet, area contamination expanding. (“New Ecologist”, November/December 1978)

279. 1978, 31st December -BELOYARSK-2, U.S.S.R.

Fire at Beloyarak-2 caused by the collapse of the turbine building roof. The control cable is completely burned and the reactor cannot be controlled. Eight people are irradiated while trying to inject coolant into the reactor. (“Nucleonics Week” 31/5/90; WISB-334 22/6/90).

1.       1978 -U.S.A.



2,835 accidents at U.S. nuclear plants. Every plant involved was closed temporarily at least once for safety reasons. (“National Review”, 3rd May 1979)

Two leaks occurred in primary cooling system in the Hifar reactor at LUCAS HEIGHTS.

(W.I.S.E. No 5, p.14)

282. 1978 -IDAHO FALLS, ID., U.S.A.

Plutonium waste dug up after seven years because it was leaking from the barrels in which it had been buried, causing a threat to the water supply. (Penelope Coleing for M.A.U.M.)

283. 1978, 26th August -TITAN II NUCLEAR BASE, KANSAS, U.S.A.

One man was killed and six injured when deadly fumes leaked from an intercontinental ballistic missile which were being filled with propellant. When the accident was reported gas was still leaking, forcing the evacuation of residents of Udall Rock. Reaction to the gas can range from mild to severe irritation of the eyes, ears, nose, throat and skin, to severe burns and death. The accident would have resulted in a nuclear explosion if the missile had been carrying its nuclear warhead. (“The West Australian” 26/8/1978)


The US Nuclear Regulatory Commission is only now [1989] investigating a major radioactive spill that happened 11 years ago [1978] at the Nine Mile Point 1 nuclear power plant in Oswego, New York. The NRC began its investigation in response to a story aired in August by a local TV station. The station reported Niagara Mohawk Power Corp., the plant’s owner, has kept the spill secret ever since it happened. It’s not yet clear if the spill was ever reported to the NRC. The contaminated area is in a radioactive waste building near the reactor, according to a confidential Niagara Mohawk report obtained by the television station. The report says a 4,000 square foot area in the building is so radioactive no one has been allowed inside since 1978. Radiation levels of up to 400 REMs per hour make it impossible for people to enter the area and the utility has only gained access to the area with a robot. The confidential report, commissioned by Niagara Mohawk, indicates that about 150 barrels, many of them containing highly radioactive sludge, had fallen off their pallets, emptying some of their contents on floors and wells. (Radioactive sludge is left over after water used in the reactor is purified). After the spill occurred, Niagara Mohawk blocked the area off and took no action to clean it up until three year ago. Nine Mile 1 has been out of service since December 1987. (“Solstice” magazine via Greennet 28/8/89; WISE-318 29/9/89).

285. 1979 -Present, CHURCH ROCK, NEW MEXICO, U.S.A.

Church Rock Uranium Mill, New Mexico continues to leak 40,000 to 80,000 gallons of radioactive waste per month into underground squifers and streams. New Mexico officials’ attempts to stop contamination resulting from a uranium tailings spill two years ago is considered a joke by affected area residents. (W.I.S.E. Vol 3, No. 4 September 1981 p.18)

286. 1979 -U.S.A.

Critical Mass Energy Project -Washington has compiled a listing of the 2,000 nuclear mishaps that occurred in 1979 at U.S. nuclear reactors. The list includes the type of reactor and its manufacturer.

287. 1979, January -WINDSCALE, U.K.

Residents living near Windscale Plant exposed to radiation levels 15 times more than indicated; levels double long term value recommended by I.C.R.P. (“New Ecologist”, January/February 1979)

288. 1979, February -SWITZERLAND

Bomb blast wrecks building at Kaiser Augat Plant -$528,000 damage. No injuries. (“Nucleus” 25th July 1979 p.17)

289. 1979, February -U.K.

Biggest accident since 1971 contaminated ground near plant. Tens of thousands of curies of radioactive liquid released. (“Sydney Morning Herald” 24/3/1979)

290. 1979, 2nd February -SWEDEN

A blocked pipe at a nuclear power station almost caused a disastrous chain reaction accident. The blockage caused enriched uranium liquid to leak into a transport container reaching criticality of 0.83 by the time the accident was discovered. If it had reach 1, an atomic chain reaction would have been triggered off, releasing massive amounts of radioactivity and heat. Workers at the station say that the management tried to get them to keep quiet about the accident. The management said it had no idea such accidents could happen when it established the station. A plant supervisor said that such accidents happen all the time; “….only last week we had to sweep up contaminated snow after radioactive dust blew up the chimney”, he said. (“Tribune”, 7th March 1979)

291. 1979, 2nd February -NORTH CAROLINA, U.S.A.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation recovered 68 kgs of uranium stolen by an employee at General Electric’s plant at Wilmington, North Carolina. (“Sydney Morning Herald”, 3rd September 1979 -AAP Router)

292. 1979, February -U.K.

British dockyard workers exposed to radiation while working on nuclear submarines show a greater than normal incidence of damaged chromosomes. These results are based on a ten-year study. The greater the radiation dose the worker received the greater the number of cells showing chromosome damage. Damage occurs even when radiation exposures are below internationally agreed safety standards. (“New Scientist”, 15th February, 1979)

293. 1979, 14th March -U.S.A.

U.S. orders five large nuclear plants closed because of concern over their ability to withstand earthquakes. (“Sydney Morning Herald”, 15/3/1979)

294. 1979, 27th March -KARI, SOUTH KOREA

South Korea’s only nuclear reactor at Kari (near Pusan) closed because of leakage of contaminated radioactive water. Malfunction of 595,000 kilowatt plant similar to the reactor at Three Mile Island. Has had cooling system troubles in the past. (“West Australian”, 4th April, 1979)

295. 1979, 28TH March -THREE MILE ISLAND, PA, U.S.A.

Dangerous gas bubble formed. Risk of hydrogen explosion. Some vital instruments were exposed to more radiation than they were designed to withstand. Reactor is so highly radioactive it may never re-open. Radioactivity in reactor building is 100 times lethal level.

Three Mile Island accident had 150 precedents…150 valve failures in similar reactors, a U.S. Government official told the U.S. Senate. (“Daily News” lst May 1979)

296. 1979, 2nd April -TOKAI-KURA, JAPAN

Two workers are exposed to radioactivity. (W.I.S.E. No 5 May-June 1979 p.14)

297. 1979, 3rd April -JAPAN

Explosion in fuel reprocessing laboratory. (W.I.S.E. Op.Cit)

298. 1979, 11th April -GRENOBLE, FRANCE

Grenoble reactor automatically shut down as radioactive gas escapes. (W.I.S.E. no 5, 5/1979 p.14)

299. 1979, 13th April -BARSEBACK 1, SWEDEN

Fire in Barseback 1 generator -shut down six months with $US50 million damage. (W.I.S.B. Ibid.)

300. 1979, 20th April -BIG ROCK, MICHIGAN, U.S.A.

Leak of highly radioactive water in cooling system forces indefinite shut-down of Big Rock, Michigan. (W.I.S.E. Ibid.)

301. 1979, 20th April -BORSSKLEN, NETHERLANDS

Holland’s only commercial reactor closes after turbine springs leak. (Nucleus, 25th July, p.17)


In the controversy caused by Harrisburg, a previously unpublished report has come to light. Two million gallons of radioactive cooling water from the reactor has been dumped into the local Woronora River every month for the past 19 years. Unconfirmed reports suggest that there has been a higher than normal rate of birth defects in the local hospital. The reactor will be closed down in mid-September (1979) for repairs especially to two leaks which occurred in the primary cooling system in 1978. Workers have threatened to refuse to start the reactor as it is old, understaffed and has inadequate monitoring devices. (W.I.S.E. No.5 p.14 “Daily News” 4/4/1979)

303. 1979 -CRYSTAL RIVER, U.S.A.

The nuclear plant was shut down for six weeks for refueling but the N.R.C. ordered the plant to remain closed until some equipment and procedure changes were made. It was four months before it began operating again. (“The Australian” 28th February 1978)

304. 1979, April -U.S.A.

Nuclear Regulatory Commission ordered the closure of all Babcock and Wilcox reactors temporarily to prevent power shortages in three States. Californians Governor, Mr. Jerry Brown, has accused the Nuclear Energy Industry of lying for 20 years. (“West Australian”, 30th April 1979)

305. 1979, April -ROCKEY FLATS, COLORADO, U.S.A.

In Colorado, a small fire broke out at the Rocky Flats nuclear weapons plant but was extinguished quickly. No injuries were reported. (“Sydney Morning Herald”, 9th April 1979)

306. 1979, April -ZION, ILLINOIS, U.S.A.

Radioactive gas escaped into the air and released 3,200 ltr of radioactive water within the plant. Three men were sprayed; “all wore protective clothing and tests had shown no traces of contamination,” a company spokesman said “It was only because of the TMI accident that they had informed the N.R.C.” (“West Australian”, 3rd May, 1979). Comment: “Does this mean that previous accidents were not reported?”

307. 1979, 1st May -ZION, ILLINOIS, U.S.A.

Technical defect releases radioactive gas together with 650 gallons of water. (W.I.S.E. No.5 5/1979)

308. 1979, 3rd May -RANCHO SECO, U.S.A.

Reactor shut down. (“West Australian”, 3/5/1979 )

309. 1979, 4th May -BELGIUM

Belgium Government calls for a study of their nuclear plants. (W.I.S.E. Ibid)

310. 1979, 5th May -DUNGENESS, ENGLAND

Dungeness plant closed after cracks found in cooling system. (W.I.S.E. Ibid; “West Australian”, 7/5/1979)

311. 1979, 7th May -BROWN’S FERRY, ALABAMA, U.S.A.

Radioactivity released into the Tennessee River as a result of a leak in the generating units cooling system at Brown’s Ferry Nuclear Plant. (“West Australian”, 7th May, 1979)

312. 1979, 9th May -SURRY, RICHMOND, VIRGINIA, U.S.A.

Nuclear sabotage attempt at Surry Nuclear Power Plant. Caustic substance dumped into 62 of the 64 fuel elements through manhole-like openings in the floor of the fuel storage building. At first believed fuel rods would have to be reconstructed at a cost of $6 million but this did not prove necessary. Could have been extremely dangerous if rods were radioactive. “The Age”, 10th May, 1979)

313. 1979, 11th May -LA HAGUE, FRANCE

Man tried to kill his employer with radioactive discs which he placed under the seat of his car. Enough radiation was given off to anyone exposed to them (a dose of 10 rems per hour).

Recommended life-time dose for anyone is 25 rems and annual dose of 5 rems per year. (United Preen: “The Australian” 11th May 1979)

314. 1979, 11th May -GERMANY

Fire swept through a nuclear research centre, 100 metres from the nuclear reactor. Radioactive material was threatened by flames which burnt for 10 hours. (“West Australian”, 14th May 1979) Fire in technical university laboratory, radioactive materials present and helium threatened to explode.

315. 1979, May-June -U.S.S.R.

Reports of prisoners dying through atomic radiation from A. Shifrin, the Director of a centre in the Soviet Union that investigates the Concentration Camps and Psychiatric Prisons in the

U.S.S.R. Some of these camps are near atomic submarine bases. Prisoners from camps reportedly clean highly radioactive parts of the submarines and thus receive lethal doses of radiation. Other prisoners work in uranium mines and refineries where they are exposed to radiation. (“Baltic News”, May-June 1979, based on an article “Novoye Rusakoye Siovas”, a New York Periodical).

316. 1979, 2-3rd June -ZION, ILLINOIS, U.S.A.

Zion I (1100 P.W.R.) shut-down became of indications that there may be cracks or other flaws in the unit’s steam supply system. (W.I.S.E. No.6, 10/1979)


Millstone 2 (828 P.W.R.) in Waterford shut-down to repair broken valve that had spewed radioactive steam. (W.I.S.E. Ibid.)

318. 1979, 6th June CADARACHE, FRANCE.

French Atomic Energy Commission reported leak in experimental reactor at Cadarache Nuclear Research Centre in southern France. (“Daily News” 6/6/1979)

319. 1979, 19th June -SURRY, VIRGINIA, U.S.A.

Two men claim responsibility for sabotaging plant to underscore lack of security. (“Newport News”, AAP/AP; “Sydney Morning Herald”, 19th June 1979, Nucleus, 25th July 1979 p.17)

320. 1979, 22nd June -PEACH BOTTOM 3, PENNSYLVANIA, U.S.A

Second uncontrolled release of radioactive gas in two days at Peach Bottom, Pennsylvania Unit 3 (1065 P.W.R.) nuclear reactor. (W.I.S.E. Ibid)

321. 1979, 25th June -DC COOK 2, MICHIGAN, U.S.A.

1,000 gallons of radioactive coolant water spray over upper level of containment building at DC Cook No. 2 reactor (1049 P.W.R.). The reactor was being tested prior to its being put back on line after it was closed on May 19th when cracks were discovered in two feed water piping system. DC Cook No. 1 reactor is undergoing repairs for cracked pipes. (W.I.S.E. Ibid)


“Two people were killed last month and another four were injured in accidents following an underground nuclear explosion at France’s Mururoa Atoll Test Area in the South Pacific Ocean. (Channel 9 News, Perth, 9th August, 1979 from A.A.P.)


Quebec’s only nuclear power Station shut down indefinitely. Hugh Spence of the Atomic Energy Control Board said that this reactor was fraught with problems from the beginning. “It is possible that Gentilly 1 will have to be closed permanently. The generating plant condemned by some scientists as a ‘lemon’ has functioned for only 10 days since opening in May, 1977”. “West Australian” 11/7/1979)

324. 1979, l6th July -CHURCH ROCK, NEW MEXICO, U.S.A.

Tailings pond dam breaks near Church Rock, spilling 100 gallons of radioactive water and 1,100 tons of uranium tailings. (W.I.S.E. Ibid)

325. 1979, 17th July -WINDSCALE, U.K.

Six men contaminated by radiation when fire broke out. A spokesman for the plant said the contamination was ‘very minor’ but more tests were being made on the men. He added the fire was quickly put out and there was no danger to the public. Staff were evacuated and given medical checks. (Reuter, “Sydney Morning Herald”, 18th July 1979)

326. 1979, 23rd July -ALDERMASTON, U.K.

Government scientist Peter Allen killed in an explosion at Aldermaston Atomic Weapons Research Station. (W.I.S.E. No 6 October 1979)

327. 1979, 25th July – MURUROA ATOLL, SOUTH PACIFIC

An explosion equivalent to an earthquake registering 6.3 on the Richter Scale was recorded on July 25th at Wellington Observatory. There have been about 25 tests undertaken by the French since 1975. (“West Australian” 9th August 1979)

328. 1979, 25th July, ONTARIO, CANADA

Plant shut near Bruce, Ontario, after 90,000 litres of heavy water leaked. (W.I.S.E. Ibid)

329. 1979, 27th July – PILGRIM 1 MASSACHUSETTS, U.S.A.

Pilgrim 1 (670 B.W.R.) reactor shut-down automatically because two valves failed to function properly when the reactor was struck by lightening. (W.I.S.E. Ibid)

330. 1979, 30th July -RIO PUERCO, NEW MEXICO, U.S.A.

Accident in uranium processing plant. Flash flood of radioactive material washed an estimated 130 kms down the usually trickling Rio Puerco River which flows past a Navajo Indian Reservation. New York Times reported 100 million gallons of water and 1,100 tonnes of uranium tailings mishap considered largest such release in U.S. Residue from plant goes into large dam; dam burst. (“A.H.” Program A.B.C. Australia 30/7/1979; “N.Y. Times” 28/7/1979 )

331. 1979, July -NAGASAKI, JAPAN

Between August 1978 and 1979, there were 106 patients suffering from radiation effects from the atomic bomb at the Nagasaki Hospital for A-Bomb victims. (“Japan Times”, 8th August 1979 quoted in W.I.S.E. No.1 November/December 1979)


A N.S.W. Government report on workers at Radium Hill, although not yet finalized, shows that since 1960, 598 of those who worked underground at Radium Hill over a period of two years died of cancer; showing a death rate four and a half times the Australian average. (Senator Cavanagh, Hansard, 29th August 1979, pp.378-379) Senator Guilfoyle, representing the Federal Minister for Health, (Hansard 11th October, 1979, p.216) was unable to confirm or deny this according to information she had available to her, but she was able to confirm that of the 3,000 employees, 600 had been traced; 22 who had died spent in excess of 12 months underground; 9 (40%) had died of cancer. “Nationwide” reported that the death toll is rising. Workers were contaminated with radon gas at a time when the dangers of uranium mining were internationally known. As early as 1920 radon was a known killer. Safety standard at Radium Hill were sub-standard. Host miners did not know the tremendous risk they were taking. Many miners are still not aware of the danger. None were privately informed. (“Nationwide”, A.B.C. 23rd July 1979)

333. 1979, 4th August -U.K.

Five A.G.R. reactors (Advanced Gas Cooled) have been in use in the U.K. but “after series of disastrous failures of design and equipment only two are now working. The American system of letting private companies build and run A.G.R. Stations seem more risky than the British way”. (“Weekend News” 4th August 1979)


Significant levels of radon have been found in houses, schools, etc., where tailings were used for land fill and building foundations. Infant death rate for Grand Junction is 50% higher than the State average due to birth defects. (Penelope Coleing, M.A.U.M.)

335. 1979, 5th August NEVADA BOMB TESTING, U.S.A.

It is reported that five movie stars have died of radioactivity from atomic bomb tests fallout in Nevada conducted in 1953. John Wayne, Susan Hayward, Dick Powell, Agnes Moorhead have died along with most of their co-stars and film crew. Children in fallout area have had eukemia at the rate of 2-1/2 times the national average. (“Sunday Telegraph”, 5/8/1979; “Sunday Times”, 5/8/1979)

335. 1979, 6th August -DOEL, BELGIUM

Two nuclear power plants at Doel, Belgium were closed after a cooling water pipe burst and flooded a machine room basement. (A.A.P. Reuter “Sydney Morning Herald”, 7th August, 1979, Teleprinter, NDL, August 1979, “Northern Daily Leader”)

337. 1979, 8th August -THE HAGUE, NETHERLANDS

The only commercial nuclear power station in the Netherlands closed after a turbine steam bellows sprang a leak. (“West Australian”, 9/8/1979 )

338. 1979, 16th August -MARALINGA, SOUTH AUSTRALIA

The former British Atomic test site at Maralinga will not be considered safe until 2029 according to a report by the Australian Ionizing Radiation Advisory Council. Six drums of plutonium have been dug up and returned to Britain in order to meet International Atomic energy safety standards. (“West Australian”, 16th August 1979)

339. 1979, 15th August -VIRGINIA, U.S.A.

The Virginia Electric and Power Company is being fined $15,000 by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission for a safety violation involving a worker who voluntarily exposed himself to more than three times the permitted dose of radiation. The company has been fined a total of $112,400 for various violations in its two nuclear plants. (“Washington Post”, 16th August, 1979)

340. 1979, 29th August -OLKILUOTO, FINLAND

50,000 litres of radioactive water leaked onto the floor of the reactor building causing a shutdown for six days. (W.I.S.E. Vol.2 No.2 p.18)

341. 1979, 30th August -FINLAND

Nuclear power plant shut down because of radioactive leak. (I.H.T. 5th September 1979,

W.I.S.E. No.6 p.16)

342. 1979, August -CRYSTAL RIVER, FL, U.S.A.

The N.R.C. ordered the Crystal River Plant to operate at 50% capacity following a series of brief shutdowns that the company said were caused by equipment failures. (“The Australian”, 28th February 1980)


Tihange Nuclear Power Plant shut down because of cracked pipes. Information did not reach the press until 20th September. (“Les Amis de la Terre” in W.I.S.E. Vol.2 No.2 p.18)

344. 1979, 3rd September, -U.S.A.

A Government study of 3,500 uranium miners found 200 to have already died of cancer against a rate of fewer than 40 deaths that could be expected among 3,500 people elsewhere. Most cases of miners afflicted with lung cancer, silicosia and fibrosis have not been compensated by the Government; the only customer for uranium at the time. Dr. Eisenbud, the head of the New York University’s environmental medicine centre at Tuxedo said the risk to minors was totally avoidable. (A.A.P. -“New York Times”; “West Australian”, 3/9/1970.)

345. 1979, 29th September -TUCSON, ARIZONA, U.S.A.

Governor Bruce Babbit of Arizona declared a State of emergency and sent the National Guard to clean out radioactive tritium at the plant which he claimed had been leaking recurrently. Chocolate cake made in the school across the road was found to have 56,000 picocuries per litre of radioactive tritium, almost three times the official safe standard. $300,000 worth of food was contaminated by radioactive tritium. An American atomic energy official claimed the whole emergency was the result of Governor Babbit’s “greed for publicity” in related incidents. (Nucleus, Vol.2 No.1 November/December 1979 p.19)

346. 1979, September -OLKILUTO 1, FINLAND

A further 15,000 litres of radioactive water leaked at the reactor. The company withheld information from the public. (W.I.S.E. Vol.2 No.2 p.18)

347. 1979, September -LOVIISA PLANT, FINLAND

The State owned power company at Loviisa announced that cracks in the mantle inside the reactor vessel had been discovered in February 1978, but had been neglected. (EVY in

W.I.S.E. Vol.2 No.2)

348. 1979, 6th October -U.S.A.

American Atomics Corporation is seeking re-organisation under Federal bankruptcy laws.

(W.I.S.E. Vol. 2 No. 1 November/December 1979 from “International Herald Tribune”, 10th January 1979. “Washington Post” 10th October 1979; “New York Times” 30th September 1979 and 7th October 1979)

349. 1979, 6th October -U.S.A

Police found tiny glass tubes filled with radioactive tritium in a vacant lot near the American Atomic Corporation’s factory.

350. 1979, 9th October – FRANCE

France’s most advanced nuclear reactor closed for an indefinite period because of a leak according to an Atomic Energy Commissioner. (“Newcastle Morning Herald” 13th October 1979 the only newspaper to report the incident)

351. 1979, 10th October -RHINGHALE REACTOR, SWEDEN,

The generator shut down following malfunction in the cooling system.

352. 1979, 13th October -WEST BERLIN, GERMANY

A nuclear power plant at Hoexter re-opened this week after a seven month closure over technical problems. It was shut down again on this day because of a faulty water pump. (“The Advertiser”, 13th October 1979 p.2)

353. 1979, 15th October -FORT ST. URAIN, DENVER, CO., U.S.A.

The Fort St. Urain reactor, 22 kms from Denver was shut down after a malfunction released radioactive gas into the atmosphere. The shut down was the third in two years due to “equipment malfunction”. A spokesman for the Public Service Company of Colorado which operates the plant said the shut down occurred after helium, the primary coolant, seeped into a back-up water System. (“The Australian” 16th October 1979 from United Press)

354. 1979, 24th October -TRICASTIN, FRANCE

Sidier Duez was killed by abnormal concentration of nitrogen and lack of ventilation at Tricastin nuclear power plant in France. (La Guele Overte in W.I.S.E. Vol.2 No.2 p.18)


Metropolitan Edison operator at Three Mile Island nuclear plant was fined $150,000 for accident last spring by N.R.C. The company was found guilty of 17 safety violations.

(W.I.S.E. Vol.2 No.2 p.18)

356. 1979, 30th October -LUCAS HEIGHTS, AUSTRALIA

The N.S.W. Premier, Mr. Wren criticized the Federal Government for its lack of communication over a leak at Lucas Heights, Australia’s only Atomic Energy Plant. The radio news item reported a radioactive leak of tritium. The General Manager of the Commission said the leak had been isolated and the parts involved would be replaced. He said nothing had escaped from the reactor. (“The Australian” 30th October 1979)

357. 1979, 31st October -AUSTRALIA

Bush walkers and children have access to a chemical dump at Australind where low level radioactive waste is stored. The waste is radium 228 with a half-life of six years and radium 226 with a half-life of 1,600 years. The dump is on private land about 200 metres from the Collie River where bush walkers often go. (“West Australian” 31st October 1979)

358. 1979, October -WINDSCALE, U.K.

In Britain, Government scientists will investigate whether a mysterious rise in the incidence of blood cancer in Northern England is due to “radioactive pollution from the nearby Windscale nuclear plant”. 12 doctors diagnosed 12 cases of leukemia in one area, 10 victims have died. Scientists at Manchester University have found a marked rise in Leukemia deaths in Blackpool, Burnley, Lancaster and Preston areas surrounding Windscale with hardly any change over the rest of Britain. -“Another university team discovered levels of radioactivity in the adjoining Irish Sea hundreds of times greater than in other coastal regions”. (“Daily News”, 3rd October 1979)


Alarming death rates amongst uranium miners caused by microscopic particles called radon daughter. 17 have died; 45-50 have pulmonary fibrosis. Dr. Joseph Wagoner’s estimates of the toll through 1978 is about 200 deaths, 160 in excess “making 160 people who needlessly died due to lung cancer because we did not accept the published data that was already there for our use in the 1950’s”. “The data clearly indicates the inadequacy of current standards of radiation exposure in the mines”. (“Daily News” 6th June 1980)

The increase in the risk of lung cancer among Navajo uranium miners is at least 85 fold. KERR McGEE, the company involved in mining at Red Rock, along with 15 other energy companies have now converged on Crown Point. Crown Point is in danger of losing its water supply because of underground mining. What water there is contains elevated concentrations of radium, arsenic and nitrate. Navajo Indians have been tricked into signing contracts handing over their land to oil companies. (NS October, 1979 p.81)

360. 1979, 2nd November, OHU 1, WEST GERMANY

Ohu 1 nuclear reactor near Landshut was shut down for two days because of leaks. W.I.S.E. Vol.2 No.2 p.18)

361. 1979, 4th November -TAKAHANA 11, JAPAN

‘Simple’ mistakes caused 80 tonnes of radioactive water to escape from the 260 tonne primary cooling system at the Takahama 11 reactor near Fukui. The accident is considered to be Japan’s worst ever nuclear accident. A spokesman said defects in the temperature monitoring piping or the accidental removal of a spigot could have caused the overflow. A welded cap on one of the four monitoring pipes fell from the reserve outlet, causing coolant water to gush out. “The accident was a big surprise to us”, said the spokesperson. The reactor had to be shut down for one month. (“The Australian” 5th November 1979, “West Australian” 5th November 1979)

362. 1979, 5th November -SWITZERLAND

An explosion at Switzerland’s newest and biggest nuclear power station wrecked a 100 metre high pylon. The pylon fell on an electric transformer station at Goesgen cutting power to surrounding arena. The station was due to be opened later in the month. (“West Australian”, 5th November 1979)

363. 1979, 6th November -COPENHURST, U.K.

Uranium gas accidentally released from a test rig at Copenhurst enrichment plant. (W.I.S.E. Ibid)

364. 1979, 10th November -BUGEY, FRANCE

Chief solderer died at Bugey nuclear power plant in steam generator room filled with nitrogen. He had not been warned and was not wearing a mask. (“La Guenle Dverte” in

W.I.S.E. Vol.2 No.2 p.18)

365. 1979, 12th November -MICHIGAN, U.S.A.

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission has proposed a fine of $402,750, the largest in its history, for a Michigan power company which forgot to close the valve on a pipe leading from a reactor containment building. The containment building is intended to prevent the release of big amounts of radioactivity in the event of a serious accident. If such an accident had occurred at the plant between April, 1978 and September 1979 the radioactivity would have just poured out of the pipe. Penalty period for the plant was 18 months (compared to eleven months penalty at Three Mile Island). (“West Australian”, 12/11/1979)

366. 1979, 15th November -JAPAN

The fitting of a wrong plug in an inspection hole has caused a big quantity of water contaminated by radioactive matter to leak inside a reactor at a power plant in Western Japan. (“West Australian”, 15th November 1979)

367. 1979, November -IDAHO FALLS, IDAHO, U.S.A.

The Lewiston Morning Tribunal, an Idaho newspaper, quoted an unpublished Federal report made in 1974 as saying: parts of a water supply beneath a U.S. Energy Department laboratory near Idaho Falls had been contaminated by radioactive waste. It was also claimed that big amounts of hexavelant chromium -a non-radioactive cancer-causing agent -had been released into the Snake River aquifer through injection wells. The aquifer covers 290 kms and is used for human consumption and irrigation. Between 1951 and 1970 liquid waste containing 45 million kgs of chemicals had been discharged into the ground above the aquifer.

(A.A.P. -A.P. “West Australian”, 12th November 1979)

368. 1979 November -FFTF, HANFORD, WA., U.S.A.

Faulty fuel rods built by Kerr MaGee are scheduled for use at the Fast Flux Test Facility (FFTF) at Hanford, Washington. The Environmental Policy Institute in Washington, D.C. has uncovered evidence that the FFTF:

1.       Has not adequately met the quality assurance criteria for the reactor;

2.       Has not sufficiently answered inquiries by the Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission about containment;

3.       Has no evacuation plan; and

4.       That some radioactive materials will continuously leak during the expected 20 years of operating life.


Public documents as well as the transcripts SILKWOOD v KERR McGEE civil suit, attest fuel pellets not properly manufactured and abuses by quality assurance employees were common. Defects in welds, quality assurance irregularities, improper record keeping and shipping practices by KERR McGEE employees confirmed. EPI asserts that to begin operation of the FFTF would pose a serious risk to the inhabitants of the Pacific Northwest, particularly the 10,000 residents of the Tri-Cities area. (W.I.S.E. November/December 1979)


369. 1979, -THREE MILE ISLAND 2, U.S.A.

At the Three Mile Island II reactor, radiation monitors in vent stacks, where most of the radiation escaped, went off the scale the morning of the accident. Nuclear Regulatory Commission officials said that the monitors located in the vent stack and the passages leading to the stack were never contemplated for use in measuring releases of the Three Mile Island variety, “so we don’t really know what went up there…” W.I.S.E. November/December 1979; SECO newsletter). According to a newly-released report, as much as 20% of the core of the Three Mile Island nuclear power plant melted in the 1979 accident. (“The Age” 12/4/85)

370. 1979, November -U.S.A.

Babcock and Wilcox, builders of the Crystal River and Three Mile Island plants made a $1.1 million out-of-court settlement in addition to providing two new cooling pumps after the Florida Power Company filed a suit charging the firm with installing equipment “not fit for the production of nuclear energy”. (“The Australian” 28/2/1980).

Human error evidently played a large part in the Three Mile Island accident. The N.R.C. conducted a survey that revealed that 20 of the 107 senior operators at U.S. nuclear plants were not licensed. Ten others were licensed at the wrong plants. Of all nuclear operators at 66 nuclear reactors, 53 had failed written examinations. 448 scored low enough to be required to attend special lectures to improve their abilities. The N.R.C. has called for tougher training. It was suggested one method for improvement would be to raise the passing grade on the exam from the present requirement of 70% to 80%.(Critical Mass Journal W.I.S.E. Vol.2 No.2 p.8)

371. 1979, November – WINDSCALE, U.K.

The widow of a Windscale worker whose husband died of leukemia at the age of 36 was awarded 67,000 pounds sterling by the Carlisle Crown Court. This was the first case of its type. On two previous occasions, British Nuclear Fuels Ltd. (BNFL) settled out of court while refusing to accept liability. All three cases were started by the General and Municipal Workers, which has two more cases pending against BNFL.(W.I.S.E. Op.Cit. p.14)

372. 1979, 11th December -HANFORD, WASHINGTON, U.S.A.

Two former employees at Hanford at U.S. Senate hearings that the Energy Department and Hanford covered up reports of leaking underground nuclear waste at the Hanford site. Stephen Stalos and Allen Wegle resigned from their jobs at Hanford because of nuclear safety management technique. They said some leaks continue undetected while others are detected but not labelled as leaks by the management. In further testimony, it was stated that between 1956 and 1976 at least 20 out of the 150 storage tanks leaked over 50,000 gallons of liquid waste into the soil. (W.I.S.E. Ibid)

373. 1979, 29th December -NEW YORK, U.S.A.

A couple, convinced that their stillborn baby was killed by radiation from Three Mile Island nuclear plant, filed for more than $20,000 compensatory and punitive damages from Metropolitan Edison, the operator of the plant. The woman was four months pregnant at the time of Three Mile Island accident. (“West Australian”, 29th December 1979)

374. 1979, 30th December -U.K.

Britain’s biggest earthquake for 50 years shook reactors at Windscale, Chapel Cross, Huntereton, Cumbria and at Torneua near Dunbar, Heycham and Hartlepool where reactors are being built. Few of the reactors have been designed to withstand earthquakes. (Newspaper article by Geoffrey Lean and Brian Wilson, 30th December 1979, in International Nuclear News Service p.8)

375. 1979, December -PALISADES, MICHIGAN, U.S.A.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission fined Michigan’s Palisades nuclear power plant $45,000 for safety violations which caused radioactive leakage over an 18 month period.

375. 1979 – LANCASHIRE, U.K.

Studies by Manchester University show cases of Myeloid lukemia has doubled between the late 1960’s and early 1970’s. No chemical cause found but cause linked with increased radioactive pollution monitored off the North-West coast. Cover-up is suspected because:

-Public secrecy after radioactive releases when reactors were used for bomb production;

-Unexplained failure to publish leukemia statistics since 1970.

These results are in line with studies in the U.S.A. where a two to three times increase in cancer (particularly leukemia) can be found in the vicinity of nuclear plants. Despite this the British Government is relaxing control on dumping of low level wastes, preparing to raise objections to high level waste dumping and proposing to raise allowable radiation exposure levels to workers and the public in line with recommendations of the International Commission on Radiological Protection. (W.I.S.E. November/December 1979)

377. Late 1979 -CRYSTAL RIVER, U.S.A.

Radioactive elements exceeding permissable units were accidentally transferred to a holding at Crystal River. (“The Australian”, 28/2/1980)

378. 1979 -CANADA

A French Government/Rothchild owned multi-national corporation aptly named Amok has been given full permission by the Saskatchewan Government to develop one of the richest known uranium deposits near Carawell Lake. The rights of the Dene Indians who have treaty rights to the land have been ignored. The Government has refused to negotiate with them.

(W.I.S.E. No.4 p.9)

379. 1979 -IRISH SEA

The second annual survey of radioactive discharges by the Department of the Environment noted a marked increase in discharges of Plutonium 241 during 1979. Levels of Strontium discharges also doubled last year. In 1978, 11 tonnes of uranium were dumped into the sea.

(W.I.S.E. Op.Cit. p.14)

380. 1964-1979 -BELOYARSK-1 U.S.S.R.

Frequent destruction of fuel assemblies at Beloyarsk-1 (108 MS). Operating staff are irradiated during repairs to the core. (“Nucleonics Week” (31/5/90); WISE-334 22/6/90 ) .

381. 1980, 11th January -DUNGENESS, U.K.

Both reactors at Dungeness will be out of action while engineers check for dangerous cracks. Safety engineers are known to be embarrassed by the discovery of bad cracks up to a metre long since last spring. The cracks have been found in the pipes which regulate the gas coolant. Failure of the pipes and loss of coolant would lead to a serious emergency which would result in a core meltdown. Engineers have been reported as saying that because of their age (Dungeness A came into operation in 1964) and the costs of repair, neither will be brought back into use. (“Guardian” 11th January, 1980, International Nuclear News Service No. 12 January/April 1980)

382. 1980, 11th January -HINKLEY POINT, U.K.

Reports indicate that there is severe cracking at Hinkley Point A. The primary coolant circuit has no expansion bellows. It is believed that the largest cracks ever discovered in any nuclear system have been found at Hinkley, the largest being more than 3 metres long. (“Guardian” 11th January, 1980; International Nuclear News Service No.12 January/April 1980)

383. 1980, 14th January -DUNGENESS, ENGLAND

The Dungeness plant was shut down because of cracks found in the cooling gas circuits.

(W.I.S.E. Vol.2 No.3 p.7)

384. 1980, 18th January -INDIAN POINT, NY., U.S.A.

An earthquake measuring 3 on the Richter Scale shook twin reactors at Indian Point, New York. Luckily the reactors were not functioning at the time. The plants are built on the Ramapo Fault. (W.I.S.E. Ibid.)

385. 1980, 28th January -WAKASA BAY, JAPAN

Levels of radioactivity in Wakasa Bay where there are seven nuclear reactors are six times higher than in 1972 when the reactors were started up. These findings were made by the Fishery Damage Research Group consisting of local fishing people and Kyoto University researchers. (Revealing Japan in W.I.S.E. Ibid)

386. 1980, January -LA HAGUE, NETHERLANDS

A breach occurred in the pipeline carrying radioactive water during a storm. (International Nuclear News Service p.12)

387. 1980, January -MARALEK, AUSTRALIA

A report commissioned by the Federated Miscellaneous Workers Union at Narbalek and Ranger shows that safety procedures safeguarding health are almost ignored. Protective masks are provided but never worn and there is no supervision on the obeying of safety procedures. Workers have gamma protective badges but difficulties are experienced in auditing the program. Signs are only in English although not all workers can read English. Safety advice shown in the washroom reads: “Wash hands before eating, smoking, or going to the toilet”.

(W.I.S.E. Vol.2 No.2 p.12)


Alpha radiation from the Coter Corporation uranium mine has been dumped in the nearby river and may render water supplies to hundreds of communities in the U.S.A. dangerous for a long time. The level of radiation in the drinking water in the Denver suburb of Fairmont is 500 picocuries per litre. The recommended radiation level is 10 picocuries per litre. (W.I.S.E. Ibid)

389. 1980, January -JAPAN

An employee of Kansai’s Electric Power Company at Mihama died of leukemia in October 1979. The Fukui Labour Standards are concerned that his death was caused by irradiation.

The leukemia victim, aged 40, worked at the plant since 1975 as head of a team that controlled radiation control areas and analyzed primary cooling water. (W.I.S.E. Op.Cit p.14)

390. 1980, January -GOSGEN, SWITZERLAND

The new reactor at Gosgen shut down because of a broken valve. The reactor had only been operating for several months. No radioactivity was released. (W.I.S.E. Ibid)

391. 1980, January – LAWRENCE LIVERMORE, CA., U.S.A.

An earthquake caused a split in a storage tank holding low-level radioactive waste at California’s Lawrence Livermore Nuclear Weapons Research Laboratory. The laboratory, which stores about 150kgs of Plutonium, is 70 miles from San Francisco. The laboratory is in one of the world’s shakiest earthquake zones and a major tremor could cause a leak that would kill tens of thousands of people. (“The Age”, 24th April 1980) The Lawrence Livermore Nuclear Weapons Research Laboratory was closed after particles of radioactivity escaped into the atmosphere. (“The Australian” 21st April 1980; The Age. 24th April 1980)

392. 1980, 11th February -BRADWELL 1, U.K.

The No.1 reactor at Bradwell has been closed for inspection since last summer and found to be suffering from major cracks in its primary cooling circuits. The affected primary circuit contains high pressure carbon dioxide which transfers heat from the reactor to the steam generators. Failure of this circuit could result in serious overheating in the reactor core and a possible relesse of radioactive material. The shutdown could last for months or even years.

It is now known that Bradwell, Dungeness, Hinkley Point and Sizewell, all Magnox reactors built in the 1960’s, have serious defects in primary circuit welds. Similar faults are believed to exist at Windscale, Chapel Cross and Hunterston in Scotland. (“Guardian” 11th February, 1980, International Nuclear News Service No.12 January/April 1980)

1.       1980, 11th February -THREE MILE ISLAND, PA., U.S.A.

2.       1980, 12th February -THREE MILE ISLAND, PA., U.S.A.


4,500 litres of radioactive water leaked from the Three Mile Ialand reactor. (W.I.S.E. Ibid)

The radioactive gas Krypton 85 escaped from Three Mile Island for 16 hours. (W.I.S.E. Ibid)

395. 1980, 12th February -BRADWELL, U.K.

British authorities have closed the Bradwell Plant after electronic scans showed welding cracks in the cooling system of No.1 reactor. Failure of the primary coolant could cause critical overheating in the reactor core and possible release of radioactive materials. (“Financial Review” 12th February, 1980)

396. 1980, 27th February -CRYSTAL RIVER, FL.,U.S.A.

Crystal River reactor shut down after a malfunction triggered an emergency cooling system. A ‘Class B’ emergency was declared and the N.R.C. set up its emergency control centre outside Washington -the first time this has happened since Three Mile Island. Some of the contaminated water spilled into the containment building which housed the reactor. The Florida Power Company, owners of the facility, said water would be siphoned off into leak proof containers and disposed of. (“The Australian” 28th February 1980. W.I.S.E. Ibid; “Financial Review” 28/2/1980)

397. 1980, 27th February -THREE MILE ISLAND, PA., U.S.A.

“Tiny” amounts of radioactive gas was released into the atmosphere as a preliminary to the first human visit inside the contaminated reactor building since March 1979. Metropolitan Edison Company employed a team of four workers to enter the airlock to sample Cesium and Strontium so the company can determine how to decontaminate the plant. Lieutenant-Governor William Scranton said the safety of the local people could not be guaranteed. “We fear the dangers of not venting at all are greater than controlled venting.” he said. (“Daily News” 27th February 1980; International Nuclear News Service No.12 p.33)

398. 1980 February -PADUCAH, KENTUCKY, U.S.A.

Joe Harding, a former enrichment plant worker, is dying from cancer. He keeps a list of fellow workers the Union Carbide’s enrichment plant at Paducah, Kentucky, who have died or are dying of cancers and blood diseases once considered rare. Of the 200 men Joe worked with since 1952, at least 50 are dead. He has had his stomach removed and contracts pneumonia every year. Union Carbide has never granted compensation to any of its employees for radiation-related injuries or illnesses although Joe and others have been involved in several law suits. (W.I.S.E. Vol.2 No.2 p.4)

399. 1980, 4th March -BRUNSBUTTEL, GERMANY

150,000 litres of ‘lightly contaminated’ radioactive water escaped into the reactor containment building as pipes were being cleaned at Brunebuttel Nuclear Reactor in West Germany. The plant has been shut down since an accident there in mid-1978. (W.I.S.E. Vol.2 No.4 p.19)

400. 1980, 12th March -ALDERMASTON, U.K.

A third worker at Britain’s top secret Aldermaston Nuclear Weapons Plant has died of cancer. DONALD LESLIE SENT had worked at the plant for 20 years and was one of nearly 70 workers who lodged claims against the Minister for Defence, alleging exposure to radiation at the Atomic Research Establishment in Berkshire. The BBC-2 television program “Newsnight” quoted a senior Aldermaston scientist saying standards were lower than at civilian atomic stations, which again raises the question: “Is there any ‘safe’ level of exposure to radiation?” (AAP/AP “Daily News” 12th March 1980; “Sydney Morning Herald” 12th March 1980)

401. 1980, 13th March -SAINT LAURENT DES EAUX, FRANCE

An accident occurred at the second reactor at Saint Laurent des EAUX. No official description was given but it was admitted that repairs would take several weeks. It was reported that there was a break in the protection around the fuel charges. A similar accident there in 1969 led to a shutdown for a year. (W.I.S.E. Ibid)

402. 1980, March 21 -SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA

On the 19th August 1980 the Minister for Transport, Mr. Hunt, said in Parliament that a drama involving Pan-Am at Sydney Airport on Friday, 21st March, had involved radioactive materials. The consignment, destined for the Atomic Energy Commission at Lucas Heights was described as “cobalt 57 0.10% curies and 5 PO 210 radio nuclide”. (“West Australian” 19/8/1980)

403. 1980, 27th March -ISAR, GERMANY

The Isar nuclear plant in Ohu near Landshut shut down after radioactive gas escaped from a safety container in the machine room. (W.I.S.E. Ibid)

404. 1980, 27th March -CHOOZ, FRANCE

The Chooz nuclear power plant closed until the end of May due to a damaged reactor.

(W.I.S.E. Ibid)


A serious accident took place at the Santa Maria de Garona plant in the province of Burgos. Nine tubes ruptured and caused primary coolant to leak out. New cracks in the primary cooling system have been discovered since. The plant will be shut down for six months, repairs will be slow as they will have to take place in the centre of the reactor building.

(W.I.S.E. Ibid)

406. 1980, March -OYSTER CREEK, U.S.A.

The Oyster Creek reactor in New Jersey leaked 160 gallons of low level radioactive water. The leak, caused by a faulty valve, was discovered three days after it began filling a concrete catch basin. Soil contaminated by the leak has been sealed in 55 gallon steal drums for eventual burial. The leak occurred while the plant was closed for routine maintenance. (“Los Angeles Times”, 20th March 1980; W.I.S.E. Ibid)

407. 1980, March -CALVERT CLIFF, MD., U.S.A.

Radioactive gas leaked for five minutes from a waste gas storage tank at Calvert Cliff Nuclear Power Plant. 55 employees were evacuated from the plant for 45 minutes. (“Los Angeles Times”, 28th March 1980; W.I.S.E. Ibid)

408. 1980, 15th April -LA HAGUE, FRANCE

France came very close to a major nuclear accident when fire caused a breakdown of the cooling system at the waste dump and reprocessing plant at La Hague. The fire destroyed the transformer leaving the emergency generators without current. Electricity is vital for the pumps which work non-stop cooling the highly radioactive waste in the giant storage tanks. With the cooling system not working, the tanks began to boil. It was estimated that it would only take three hours before the water would evaporate and the waste would be spread into the atmosphere. With the failure of the electricity, everything went out of action -the instruments used for checking the Plutonium to make sure no critical mass is formed, the central instrument board, the intercom and loudspeaker system used to warn workers to evacuate. All areas of the plant were contaminated. It will take several months to repair the electrical installations. Authorities have tried to deny that any failure occurred. (W.I.S.E. Vol.2 No.4 p.15)

409. 1980, 20th April -LAWRENCE LIVERMORE, CA., U.S.A.

A second leak within eight days occurred at the Lawrence Livermore Nuclear Weapons Research Laboratory. Both leaks were in rooms where Plutonium was being kept in “glove boxes” -sealed containers used to hold lethal substances during experiments. (“The Australian”, 21st April, 1980) Workers at California’s Lawrence Livermore Nuclear Weapons Research Laboratory have a five times greater incidence of a virulent skin cancer, according to a study sponsored by the Federal Department of Energy and carried out by the Californian Department of Health Services. The study, which took years to complete, showed there were 19 cases of malignant melanoma among laboratory employees between 1972 and 1977. At least 4 victims have died. A widow of one victim is suing the laboratory for several million dollars damages on the grounds that negligence and carelessness led to the scientist’s death. The findings are puzzling some scientists because melanoma has always been associated with ultra-violet radiation (from the sun, lamps and welding equipment etc.) (“The Age”, 24/3/1980)

410. 1980, April -LA HAGUE, FRANCE

Divers completed repairs to a faulty undersea pipeline which carries radioactive water from the nuclear treatment plant for the second time in a month. This time the breach occurred in calm water and spilt radioactive water into the channel. This is the 39th time the pipe has broken. Unionists have called for a six months closure of the factory claiming the equipment is “decrepit”. The Regional Anti-Nuclear Committee has demanded closure of the plant saying the health of the workers, neighbouring populations, and consumers of sea and land produce were being affected. (International Nuclear News Service, No.12 p.12)

411. 1980, April -SWEDEN

A Swedish county issues Iodine tablets to people who live around one of Sweden’s four nuclear reactors to help protect them from cancer of the thyroid. (Reuter in International Nuclear News Service, No.12 p.19)


Deaths from lung cancer probably caused by uranium mining operations in Ontario are still taking place almost monthly according to a United Steelworkers of America employee. HOMER SEQUIN made the charge in front of a B.C. Royal Commission into Uranium Mining. Sequin alleged that 81 lung cancer deaths were attributable to uranium operations at Elliot Lake where Denison Hines Ltd. had been operating since the 1950’s according to union records. Up to 14th March 1975, 496 present or former Elliot Lake mine and surface workers were identified as having lung disabilities in whole or in part as the direct result of dust exposure in the uranium industry. Sequin said “spills and breaks which spew contaminants into the environment happen all too frequently… the affected Serpent River watershed remains destroyed”. (International Nuclear News Service, No.12 p.25)

413. 1980, April – FESSENHEIM, FRANCE

According to Mr. ETEMAD, a nuclear expert who used to work with the French reactor building company FRAMATOME, there are cracks in the Fessenheim nuclear power plant where ten relatively minor accidents have occurred. The Director of the plant had to admit that faulty parts had been built into the reactor. There are probably cracks in the part which connects the pipes to the reactor vessel, a place which cannot be reached until after the reactor starts operating. This is one of the most sensitive parts of the reactor because of high pressure and temperature changes. Etemad estimates the part could break within five years of starting the reactor. The reactor had already been operating for three years. The resulting accident would be more serious than Harrisburg. (W.I.S.E. Vol.2 No.3 p.9)

414. 1980, April -LOVIISA 2, FINLAND

A faulty reactor vessel was delivered by the U.S.S.R. for Loviisa 2. Although a lot of cracks were discovered the reactor has been accepted. The experts say it is impossible to repair. The owners of Loviisa have ordered an “impartial investigation” following the discovery of more cracks. The co-called “independent” investigation is to be carried out by the German Kraftwerk Union, one of the largest builders of nuclear power plants in the works, and a subcontractor for the Loviisa plant! It is feared that despite the dangers, the vessel will be put into action because of gigantic investments and the prestige involved.

At the end of November, 1979, it was discovered that 70% of the tube fasteners in the Loviisa 1 plant had faulty fittings in the primary circulation and the emergency cooling system. The repairs led to a standstill for three weeks. (WISE Vol.2 No.3 p.8)


An earthquake rumbled through San Franciaco causing the panicky evacuation of the top secret Lawrence Livermore Atomic Weapons Laboratory. The earthquake measured a modest

5.5 on the Richter Scale but this was enough to cause minor injuries at the Laboratory, shatter power and gas lines, and rupture a tank holding 30,000 gallons of low-level radioactive liquid. Tritium-contaminated water was leaked at the rate of a quart a minute. (William Scobie reporting in San Francisco listed in International Nuclear News Service (South Australia) No.12 p.33)

416. 1980, 9th May – MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA

The Korean and South-East Asian Forces Association is demanding compensation for alleged cancer-causing effects of radioactive water used in soft drinks supplied to the Australian troops in Korea. The Association’s President, Mr. George Campbell, said that an unknown number of soldiers had died from several forms of cancer after serving in Japan and Korea. He said: “we believe that at least half of the occupation forces were affected in some way by the radioactive fallout at Hiroshima”. The water used to make the beer and soft drinks also came from Hiroshima. (“The West Australian” 9th May 1980)

417. 1980, 11th May – ARKANSAS 2, NEW YORK, U.S.A.

Reactor shut down after radioactive water 45.7 cms deep covered the floor of a reactor building at Unit 1 of the Arkansas Nuclear 1 power plant. The leak had not been plugged when a seal on the coolant pump failed. By noon, 160,000 litres of water covered the floor of the reactor building. (“The West Australian”, 12th May 1980. W.I.S.E. Vol.2 No.5 July/September 1980 p.27)

418. 1980, 12th May -ZION, ILLINOIS, U.S.A.

Eight workers were contaminated during an accident at the Zion Nuclear Plant’s Unit 2 when a hose connected to an incorrect valve ruptured, spewing out 10,000 gallons of contaminated water. (W.I.S.E. Ibid)

419. 1980, 17th May -KARLSRUHE, WEST GERMANY

Research reprocessing plant at Karlsruhe inoperative for approximately one year due to an accident; cause unknown. Plant radioactively contaminated and there are fears that radiation leaked into the environment. Accident officially confirmed by G.W.K., the German reprocessing company. (W.I.S.E. Op.Cit. p.21)

420. 1980, 21st May -LA HAGUE, FRANCE

300-500 litres of liquid containing Plutonium (1 to 20 grams/ltr) was spilt on concrete floor. Cause of accident unknown but thought to be another breakdown in patched up electricity work. (W.I.S.E. Ibid)

421. 1980, 22nd May -NORTH ANNA 1, U.S.A.

North Anna 1 Nuclear Plant malfunctioned and was shut down when operators were unable to close valve. Second malfunction two hours later caused activation of the emergency cooling system. (W.I.S.E. Op.Cit. p.27)


Brunswick Nuclear Plant accidentally released a small amount of radioactive Caesium, forcing the plant to shut down. Surrounding vegetation showed a high amount of radioactivity. (W.I.S.E. Ibid)

423. 1980, May -SAVANNAH RIVER, S.C., U.S.A.

Approximately 100 workers were evacuated from the Savannah River Nuclear Materials Plant for two days after highly toxic hydrogen sulphide was found to be leaking from the plant.

(W.I.S.E. Ibid)


Dungeness Reactor 2 was closed down when severe cracks were discovered in the primary cooling circuit. (“The Guardian”, filth January, 1980)

1.       1980, June -SOUTH DAKOTA, U.S.A.



Serious contamination found in the water at Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. W.A.R.N. (Women of all Red Nations) report showed that in one month in 1979, 38% of pregnancies reported to the Public Health Service Hospital in Pine Ridge resulted in spontaneous abortions and excessive bleeding. Of the children born, 60-70% suffer breathing complications as a result of underdeveloped lungs and/or jaundice. Children have been born with cleft palates, club feet, diseases uncommon to the Dakota people. Pine Ridge Reservation lies south-east of Black Hills, the site of extensive uranium drilling and mining from the late 1940’s to the early 1970’s. 25% of the women on the reservation have been sterilized without being consulted.

(W.I.S.E. Vol.2 No.4 p.5)

1.       1980, 5th June -MARCOULE, FRANCE

2.       1980, 18th June – WINDSCALE, U.K.


Two workers radiated during an explosion at the nuclear factory in Marcoule. Similar accident occurred two weeks earlier. (W.I.S.E. Vol.2 No.5 July/September 1980 p.27)

175 workers at Windscale Nuclear Plant became ill after drinking contaminated water. Fault in the system allowed water from the polluted River Eben, which is used to cool the reactor, to enter the drinking water through a valve. (A.A.P. “Daily News” 18/6/1980; “West Australian” 19/6/1980)

429. 1980, June -CANBERRA, AUSTRALIA

In April 1985 ALP UP Peter Milton told the Australian Parliament that in June 1980 the US Strategic Air Command in Omaha had been falsely alerted by its radar screens to incoming Soviet nuclear missiles. A full nuclear alert followed which lasted for several minutes before it was realized that the information was false. (“The West Australian” 18/4/85)

430. 1980, 19th June -DOEL 2, BELGIUM

Valve of the secondary cooling circuit of the Doel 2 Reactor opened in error. Reactor stopped at once. (W.I.S.E. Op.Cit. p.27)

431. 1980, 23rd June -BELGIUM

Worker contaminated and burnt when radioactive steam suddenly released. (W.I.S.E. Ibid)

432. 1980, 28th June -BROWN’S FERRY 3, AL., U.S.A.

For 12 minutes, operators were unable to stop the chain reaction at Brown’s Ferry No. 3 nuclear plant at Alabama, U.S.A. It took four attempts to insert all control rods into the core. The reactor reported 17 accidents in 1979 and was in the process of shutting down to repair a leak in the feed water line at the time of this accident. (W.I.S.E. Vol.2 No.6 October/November 1980 p.10)

433. 1980, 29th June -TMI 2, HARRISBURG, PA., U.S.A.

More than 40,000 litres of radioactive water leaked from a reactor at the Three Mile Island nuclear power station at Harrisburg, Pennsylvania on 29th June 1980. The leak in the No.2 reactor started in a cooling system. The No.2 reactor has been the only one in use since the major accident at Three Mile Island last March. (“The Australian” 30/6/1980)

434. 1980, June -SACAVEN, PORTUGAL

Research reactor Sacavem near Lisbon shut down due to water leak from cooling pool. A year ago the plant had to be shut down for the same reason. (W.I.S.E. Ibid)

435. 1980, June – BROWN’S FERRY 3, ALABAMA, U.S.A.

The Brown’s Ferry Unit 3 reactor was closed in June when its emergency shutdown system (SCRAM) failed to operate properly. During a routine maintenance shutdown, 75 of the 185 boron control rods that halt the nuclear reaction would not descent into the core of the reactor. After three manual attempts failed the automatic SCRAM finally moved the rods, and a serious accident was narrowly averted. (W.I.S.E. Vol.3 no.4 September 1981 P.9)

436. 1980, 3rd July -PRAIRIE ISLAND, MINNESOTA, U.S.A.

Prairie Island plant on the Mississippi River closed after it began leaking radioactive water and gas. (A.A.P. Reuter “West Australian”, 3rd July 1980)

437. 1980, 4th July -TMI 1, HARRISBURG, PA., U.S.A.

Spill of 45,000 litres of radioactive water at Three Mile Island’s undamaged but idle No.1 reactor during preparations to vent radioactive Krypton gas. According to Metropolitan Edison Company spokesman no radiation was released to the outside environment. (“Weekend News” 28th July 1980)

438. 1980, 18th Jul. -PACIFIC OCEAN, U.S.A.

Records found indicate that more than 12,000 barrels of radioactive waste were dumped in the Pacific Ocean at previously undisclosed sites by the Atomic Energy Commission. A U.S. Environmental Protection Agency official said the Atomic Energy Commission had dumped waste at 10 sites. The only previously acknowledged dump was south of the Faralion Islands where 25% of the 47,000 barrels have burst spilling radioactive waste onto the ocean floor. (“Daily News” 18th July 1980 p.19)

439. 1980, July -TRAWSFYNYDD, WALES, U.K.

Water leaking into the core of a reactor containing radioactive fuel rods caused shutdown of Nuclear Power Station at Trawsfynydd in North Wales. (W.I.S.E. Vol.2 No.5 July/September 1980 p.27)

440. 1980, July -ALABAMA, ETC., U.S.A.

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission has ordered the shutdown of 24 of the country’s 67 nuclear power Stations for tests following the failure of a key safety system in an Alabama plant last month. The tests will be phased to avoid disrupting power supplies. (“Sydney Morning Herald” 10th July 1980

441. 1980, July -JAPAN

Japan’s Science and Technology Agency has announced that it has been investigating the cause of a radioactive leak which had gone undetected for the past 15 years. Authorities concluded that the leak must have occurred during experiments with radioactive materials which took place in 1965. The areas affected had been restricted until 1967. (“The Age” 5th July 1980)

442. 1980, late July -RINGHALS 2, SWEDEN

Ringhals 2 reactor shut down after fissures in key circuits discovered. (A.A.P. “Daily News” 8th August 1980)

1.       1980, August -U.S.S.R., IN WATERS OFF JAPAN

2.       1980, August -BARSEBACK 1, SWEDEN


Fire aboard a Soviet Echo-class nuclear submarine in waters off Japan reportedly killed at least 9 crewmen. Some 55 survivors evacuated. (WISE NC 262 31/10/86) During the yearly inspection of Unit 1 reactor at the Barseback plant in Sweden, cracks were found in the T-formed pipes which connect the auxiliary feed water system and the shutdown cooling system with the main feed water system. (W.I.S.E Vol.2 No.6 Dec 1980 p.10)

445. 1980, 8th August -FESSENHEIM 1 & 2, FRANCE

Both units at the Fessenheim nuclear reactor in France were shut down after a defect in Unit 1 caused the leakage of “some water.” News of the breakdown was withheld from the press for one day because the plant operators did not want to ‘worry the public’. Fessenheim has been proved to be one of the most accident prone reactors in Europe. (W.I.S.E . vol. .2 No.6 October/December 1980 p.10)

446. 1980, 8th August -MARY KATHLEEN, AUSTRALIA

Process worker charged with stealing 2,200 kilograms of uranium oxide worth $145,200 between April 1977 and July 1978 from Mary Kathleen Uranium Ltd. (“Australian” 12th August 1980). Following this incident the Federal Government admitted the existing system of monitoring uranium stocks was deficient and strict new checks on mining, milling and processing of uranium at all stages would be undertaken. “The alleged disappearance of more than 2,200 kgs of yellowcake comes as a serious embarrassment to the Prime Minister, Mr. Freaer, the Deputy Prime Minister, Mr. Anthony and the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr. Peacock, who have repeatedly claimed that Australia’s export safeguards are ‘second to none'” (“West Australian” 13th August 1980). Another man charged with the theft of 220 grams of uranium oxide from Mary Kathleen Uranium Ltd. (“West Australian”, 16th August, 1980)

447. 1980, 8th August -RINGHALS 1, SWEDEN

Ringhals 1 reactor shut down after breakdown of pump in cooling System. Replacement of defective parts expected to take up to two months. (A.A.P. “Daily News” 8th August 1980)

448. 1980, 9th August -SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA

Emergency services went on alert after radioactive material was spilt during cargo handling at Sydney Airport. Two glass vials of radioactive Iodine 125 used in pathology tests broke and leaked onto tarmac. Officials from A.E.C. Research Centre at Lucas Heights called in to wash tarmac. (“West Australian” 12th August 1980).

449. 1980, 13th August -AUSTRALIA

Up to 30 drums of radioactive waste from atomic bomb tests were dumped off Queensland in the mid 1950’s. Mr. Noel Freeman, a R.A.A.F. veteran, said the waste came from four Lincoln bombers that flew through radioactive clouds and monitored the fallout of British A-bomb tests at Emu Field and the Monte Bello Islands. Mr. Freeman was a service technician with the team which decontaminated the planes. The pilot of the aircraft that dumped the waste said several of the 20-30 drums exploded on impact. Concentrated radioactive waste weaned from the planes and radioactive chunks of the plane had been sealed in 200 litre drums and dropped at sea. Mr. Freeman said he was breaking his silence about the project in an effort to help fellow workers of the decontamination team who were suffering ill health obtain compensation. (“West Australian” 13th August 1980)

450. 1980, 14th August -SEQUOYAH, TENNESSEE, U.S.A.

The Sequoyah Nuclear Plant in Tennessee, shut down after operators were unable to control one of the four banks of control rods. Nevertheless the Nuclear Regulatory Commission approved a full power license a month later. On 3rd October, 90 minutes after it began generating for the first time, the Sequoyah Plant was forced to shut down because the water level in a drainage tank for a steam turbine became too high. (W.I.S.E. Vol.2 No.6 October/December 1980 p.10)

451. 1980, 14th August -RINGHALS 2, SWEDEN

Unit 2 of the Ringhals Nuclear Plant in Sweden shut down after a breakdown of a pump in the cooling System. Unit 1 had been shut down at the end of July after cracks were discovered in the pipes of the cooling system. (W.I.S.E. Vol.2 No.6 October/December 1980 p.10)

452. 1980, 21st August -U.S.S.R. near OKINAWA, JAPAN

At least nine crew members died and another three were injured in a fire on a Soviet nuclear submarine off the coast of Japan. Grave fears were expressed that the submarine, lying crippled in the Pacific Ocean 140 kms east of Okinawa, was leaking radioactive material. Ships and aircraft warned to stay out of the area. (“Daily News” 21/7/1980 p.4) “West Australian” 22nd August, 1980 p.1)

453. 1980, 8th September -ILLINOIS, U.S.A.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is investigating the possibility that 1,400 kilolitres of radioactive water may have leaked from the nuclear power plant near Morris, Illinois. “We think it’s a paper loss -a faulty gauge or some problem in monitoring.” said a spokesperson from the operators, Commonwealth Edison. (“West Australian” 8th September 1980)

454. 1980, 19th September -CENTRAL ARKANSAS, U.S.A.

An explosion rocked a remote Air Force missile site in central Arkansas injuring 10 people believed to all be members of the Force. The explosion occurred as a maintenance crew tried to stop a fuel leak in a giant Titan missile -part of the United States’ nuclear strike force. Residents living within 1.5 kms of the missile site had been evacuated before the explosion, but after the blast, all people within 8 kms were moved out of the area. The Titan missile site is one of 18 located in Arkansas. (“The Age” 20/9/1980)

During routine maintenance in a Titan II missile silo, an Air Force repairman dropped a socket wrench which punctured a fuel tank and caused an explosion. The spanner pierced the missile’s fuel tank blowing the nuclear warhead apart from the rest of the missile. It was recovered intact. 22 workers were injured and 1,400 people from surrounding arena were evacuated. “There was no radiation contamination,” (“The National Times” 15/3/1981, “The Herald”, 20/9/1980).

455. 1980, 22nd September -LA HAGUE, FRANCE

An accident occurred at the La Hague reprocessing plant, on the coast of Normandy. The accident, which occurred at the plant’s temporary waste storage site, resulted in the release of large quantities of radioactive water. Although workers discovered the leak immediately on 22nd September, it was not until 1st October that the plant’s Director admitted the failure of the pump but denied that any contamination had taken place. On 3rd October the S.N.P.E.A. ­

C.F.D.T. the leading trade union at La Hague, distributed a written statement concerning the seriousness of the accident to all plant employees. In the paper the union also charged that the plant officials had attempted to cover up the contamination leak in an effort to down play the seriousness of the accident. (W.I.S.E. Vol.2 No.6 October/December, 1980 p.21)

456. 1980, 26th September -NEVADA, U.S.A.

“Small amounts” of radioactive gas escaped from the site of underground nuclear tests north­west of Las Vegas, Nevada. A Department of Energy spokesperson claims that the gas is “not expected to pose a health hazard”. (W.I.S.E. Vol.2 No.6 October/December 1980 p.10)

457. 1980, 28th September -OLKILUOTO, FINLAND

100,000 litres of low level radioactive water leaked due to a defective valve at the Olkiluoto nuclear power plant in Western Finland. This is the biggest leak yet in a Finnish nuclear power plant. The most alarming fact about the accident was that the automatic alarm system did not go off. The utility had decided to install a new alarm system. (W.I.S.E. Vol.2 No.6 p.10)

458. 1980, September -DOUNREAY, SCOTLAND

A B.B.C. television programme alleged that Plutonium was lost from an experimental reactor at Dounreay in 1973 and 1977. The Director of Dounreay, although not sure of the whereabouts of the fuel rods, remains adamant that the fuel rods were not stolen. (“The Age” 9th September 1980)

459. 1980, September -JAPAN

A Japanese delegate to the Nuclear-Free Pacific Forum in Sydney, MR. KANOGU SEKIGUCHI, has said that more than 6,280,000 workers had been exposed to dangerous levels of radiation at Japan’s 21 nuclear plants. He Said the eight electrical companies controlling the Japanese plants had enormous political power and refused to give details of many accidents which had resulted in deaths of plant workers. Another Japanese delegate, a doctor who survived the Hiroshima atomic bomb attack, said the U.S. had grossly underestimated the number of people killed in the attacks at Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Dr. SHUNTARO said it was now known that about 160,000 inhabitants of Hiroshima had died within a year of the bombing in 1945, compared with the American estimate of 60,000. In Nagasaki he claimed 70,000 had died compared with the U.S. estimate of 28,000. (“The Adelaide Advertiser”, 30th September 1980)

460. 1980, September -LODI, NEW JERSEY, U.S.A.

In Lodi, two canisters containing radioactive Iridium 192 fell off a truck transporting them from Jersey City to an unknown destination. The Environmental Protection Agency spokesperson described this as a “somewhat routine traffic accident”. However routine, authorities were initially unable to locate the canisters, and this almost caused a major radiation alert before they were found intact. (W.I.S.E. Vol.2 No.6 p.10)

461. 1980, September -JAPAN

Fishermen in northern Japan have protested against the Government’s plan to return Japan’s only nuclear-powered ship to Port Ominato, which refused the ship after it developed a radiation leak in its 1974 test run. The ‘Mitsu’, which has been docked for repairs in Sasebo, 960 kms south-west of Tokyo, since 1978, has been idle since a defective radioactive shield caused a leak in its reactor on 1/9/1974, a week after it first left port.

462. 1980, 7th October -HANFORD, WA., U.S.A.

Eight workers at the Hanford nuclear reservation in Washington were exposed to Plutonium oxide when a container of scrap Plutonium ignited scattering the powdery radioactive material. Doctors at the reservation claim that those exposed should “suffer no ill effects”.

(W.I.S.E. Vol.2 No.6 p.10)

463. 1980, 8th October -ISAR 1, LANDSHUT, WEST GERMANY

The ISAR Unit 1 nuclear plant in Ohu near Landshut in Bavaria, West Germany, shut down for one week because of a leak in the cooling system. (W.I.S.E. Vol.2 No.6 p.10)

464. 1980, 15th October -BIBLIS B, WEST GERMANY

20 broken screws have been discovered in the outer shield of the 1300 m.w. Block B of the Biblis nuclear power plant in West Germany. Block B has been shut down since 2nd August for revision. (W.I.S.E. Vol.2 No.6 p.10)

465. 1980, 17th October -INDIAN POINT 2, NY., U.S.A.

Indian Point Unit 2 reactor (30 miles from New York City) shut down due to a number of mishaps which began 3rd October. The accident resulted in the leakage of 100,000 gallons of water from the secondary cooling system into the reactor containment building. Indian Point officials failed to report the accident until several days after the reactor was finally closed.

(W.I.S.E. Vol.2 No.6 p.10)

466. 1980, 4th December -PORT MACQUARIE, AUSTRALIA

An accident near Port Macquarie involvecd a truck, which overturned, carrying a 60-litre drum labeled “danger radioactive -Americium 241”, plus a smaller container labeled “Caesium 137” and foodstuffs. (“The Canberra Times” 11/3/1981). When Sydney police called the Atomic Energy Commission at Lucas Heights for advice after the road-accident involving radioactive materials, they were told to call back later “when the A.E.C. opens”. (“The Canberra Times. 11/3/1981). Dr. JOHN McKAY of Port Macquarie has asserted that 16 people who attended the accident are suffering from the symptoms of radioactive poisoning. Dr. McKay has accused the Atomic Energy Commission of a cover-up on the dangers of the accident, and has claimed that this lack of concern may endanger the 8,000 people in nearby Laurieton if radiation poisons the town’s water supply. (W.I.S.E. Vol.3 No.3 June/July 1981 p.16) The New South Wales Minister for Public Health has accused Dr. McKay of “causing public mischief”. The Minister said the Health Commission report had found that although the protective containers of the radioactive material were damaged, both were considered to be safe with no spillage or leakage of radioactivity. Possible contamination of underground and service water near the crash site had been alleged, but this was unlikely because water samples had shown no D.D.T. (“The Sydney Morning Herald” 16th April 1981) Anti-uranium mining groups are still pressing the Government to make a full-scale inquiry into the whole issue of transporting nuclear fuels on public roads.

467. 1980, December -UNITED KINGDOM

Nine people have been accidentally affected by radioactive substances while working in Britain’s power stations, according to a quarterly report by the Health and Safety Executive. The report lists 13 incidents and says other workers were exposed to possible radiation from contamination of floors, corridors and other surfaces. (“West Australian” 1st December 1980)

468. 1980 -U.S.A.

According to a report released at the beginning of September by the Environmental Policy Institute (E.P.I.) workers at the 69 operating U.S. nuclear power plants received 35% more radiation in 1980 than in 1979, even though only one new nuclear power plant went into operation during that time. The study, compiled from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s (N.R.C.) data, states that 80,200 workers were exposed to 53,797 perso-rems in 1980. This compares with 64,073 workers exposed to 39,759 person-rems in 1979. The average exposure was an all-time high of 791 person-rems per reactor. “Person-rems measure the sum of all exposure to all workers.

Although there is a regulated limit to the amount of radiation any individual worker can be exposed to in a three months period, no U.S. Government agency limits the total amount of radiation that a nuclear plant gives its total work force. Nuclear plants, therefore, must rely on thousands of temporary workers, called “jumpers”, to do high radiation impact jobs in major repairs. This explains why the number of workers exposed to radiation has risen dramatically from 145 at an average plant in 1969, to 1,010 in 1980. FRED MILLER, researcher with E.P.I., discounts industry claims that this increase comes from a “one-shot” fix of problems at nuclear plants and therefore won’t happen again; MILLER says “the exposure comes from the increased radioactivity in permanent nuclear components”.


The opening of the $1.5 billion Diablo Canyon plant midway between LOS ANGELES and San Francisco has been suspended following the discovery of a quake fault three miles from the plant in the ocean floor. (William Scobie in International Nuclear News Service No.12 p.33)

470. 1981, 10th January -TSURUGA, JAPAN

The Natural Resources and Energy Agency has reported that 19 people were exposed to a maximum of 55 millirems of radioactivity. Over 16 days from 8th March, 138 people were exposed to a maximum of 155 millirems a day. The company sets the maximum permissible amount of radioactivity at 100 millirems over one day, 1,000 millirems over three months and 5,000 millirems over a year. (“The Age” 28th April, 1981)

1.       1981, 12th January -TOKAIMURA, JAPAN

2.       1981, 13th January -FUGEN TOKAI, JAPAN


Two workers at the Tokaimura reprocessing plant in Japan were exposed to radiation on their hands last December. (W.I.S.E. Vol.3 No.1 April/May 1981 p.18)

Cracks were found on ten pipes in the Fugen Tokai reactor in the eastern part of Japan.

(W.I.S.E. Vol.3 No.2 p.18)

473. 1981, 15th January -INDIAN POINT, NY., U.S.A,

Small amounts of radiation found leaking, possible since early December, into auxiliary steam system and then into Hudson River from Indian Point Plant in New York State. (W.I.S.E. Vol.3 No.2 p.18)

474. 1981, 19th JANUARY -SEQUOYAH, TN., U.S.A.

Generator tube malfunction forced a shutdown of T.V.A.’s Sequoyah nuclear power plant ­second time in two days. (W.I.S.E. Vol.3 No.1 p.18)

475. 1981, 21st JANUARY -JAPAN

Four workers at the Onrai Engineering Centre of Japan Fuel Co-operative were exposed to radiation. (W.I.S.E. Vol.3 No.2 p.18)

476. 1981, 21st January -TSURUGA, JAPAN

The Natural Resources and Energy Agency has reported that 45 people working over three days from 19th January were exposed to a maximum of 92 millirems a day. The company sets the maximum permissible amount of radioactivity at 100 millirems over one day, 1,000 millirems over three months and 5,000 millirems over a year. (“The Age” 28th April, 1981)

477. 1981, 26th January -TSURUGA, JAPAN

The Natural Resources and Energy Agency has reported that 76 people working for six days from 24th January were exposed to a maximum of 155 millirems a day. The company sets the maximum permissible amount of radioactivity at 100 millirems over one day, 1,000 millirems over three months and 5,000 millirems over a year. (“The Age” 28th April, 1981)

478. 1981, 30th JANUARY -TROJAN, OREGON U.S.A.

Trojan nuclear plant in Oregon, U.S.A. shut down for two weeks to repair 300 gallon-a-day water leak that has allowed a minute amount of radioactive gas to escape. (W.I.S.E. Vol.3 No.2 p.18)

479. 1981, 31St January -INDIAN POINT, NY., U.S.A

The New York State Power Authority’s nuclear plant at Indian Point on the Hudson River about 35 miles north of New York City shut down on Saturday 31st January following a breakdown of one of its turbines. It will remain out of operation for “a minimum of several weeks. a spokesperson for the Authority said. No radioactivity was released following the breakdown, according to Mr. CLIFF SPIELER, the spokesperson. The plant has a history of problems with its turbines, which were made by Westinghouse Electric Corporation. It only recently went back into service after repairs to the turbines. (“Financial Review” 3/2/1981)

480. 1981, January -TMI, PA., U.S.A.

A member of the Commission which investigated the Three Mile Island nuclear accident has written a book charging “human error and incompetence” as the cause of the accident, and official “arrogance and falsehood” as the cause of the ensuing public confusion. The book, published yesterday, and called simply “Three Mile Island”, is the work of Dr. MARK STEPHENS, a teaching fellow in communications at Stanford University, California, and a member of President Carter’s Kemeney Commission into the disaster in Pennsylvania in March, 1979. (“The Age”, 8th January 1981)

481. 1981, January -CHERBOURG, FRANCE

Radioactive material has escaped from a nuclear reprocessing plant at Cherbourg for the second time in a fortnight. (“The Western Mail” 17/1/1981)

482. 1981, 6th February -TOKAIMURA, JAPAN

A small fire at the plutonium reprocessing plant in Tokaimura, Ibaraki prefecture, Japan, forced the evacuation of 86 workers. In another accident on the same day, steam was discovered leaking from a pipe in the nuclear fuel reprocessing plant. The reprocessing plant had gone into full operation on 17th January. Immediately after the full-scale operation was started, the Jet pump of the fuel melting furnace broke down. Another accident occurred on 4th February in the plutonium extracting process, forcing suspension of operations at the plant for a check-up. As a result of the 6th February accident, operations at the plant were suspended again. (“Japan Times” 8th February 1981)

483. 1981, 11th February -SEQUOYAH, TN., U.S.A.

Operator error triggered the emergency alert, sending 100,000 gallons of ‘slightly’ radioactive water raining down on the heads of 14 workers at T.V.A.’s Sequoyah nuclear plant in Tennessee. The accident occurred whilst the plant was shut down for maintenance. The plant uses slightly contaminated water for emergency coolant, because clear water would raise costs “needlessly”. (W.I.S.E. Vol.3 No.2 p.18)

484. 1981, 14th February -SACAVEM, PORTUGAL

The nuclear reactor at Sacavem, Portugal, shut down after a leak had been discovered and 200 litres of radioactive water had already escaped. (W.I.S.E. Vol.3 No.2 p.18)

485. 1981, February -ADELAIDE, SOUTH AUSTRALIA

A survey by the Australian Atomic Energy Commission said levels of radon concentration from two tailing dams at Port Pirie were high, although the readings were below the recommended maximum levels for humane. (i) The A.A.E.C. report said there was cause for continuing Government concern about the radiation levels. The dams are covered by a slag filling and the report suggests a more permanent and secure capping. (“The News”, Northern Territory 6th February 1981)

486. 1981, 17th February QUEENSLAND, AUSTRALIA

A small creek near the Minatome uranium stockpile at Ben Lomond in Northern Queensland showed radiation at twice the acceptable level during heavy rain in February 1981 according to State water Quality Council tests. State water officials said yesterday that the leak occurred when a cement cover cracked during extremely heavy rain. Tests taken on 17th February showed unacceptable radiation levels in Keel Bottom Creek a tributary of the Burdekin River which feeds the Charters Towers town water supply. (“The Age”, 20/5/1981)

487. 1981, 19th February, -THREE MILE ISLAND, PA.,U.S.A.

On Thursday, 19th February, Metropolitan Edison (Met.Ed), which owns and operates the

T.M.I. nuclear power plant, released information which indicates that higher than normal levels of radioactive Caesium 137 were found at one of the Island’s monitoring stations. In a press release, Met.Ed. stated that on 11th February, one of the 15 monitoring stations registered the level of Caesium 137 at 371 picocuries/litre. The Environmental Protection Agency’s maximum allowable level of Cadmium 137 over a year’s time is 200 picocuries/litre. The highest level of Caesium 137 previously recorded at T.M.I. was 88 picocuries/litre.

(W.I.S.E. Vol.3 No.2 p.14)

488. 1981, U.S.A.

A report from the Washington based Centre for Defence Information says that nearly all of the most toxic radioactive wastes in the United States are produced by the military and are not stored safely enough.

The report also States that 99% of the most dangerous nuclear wastes come from military projects and are not subject to the storage safety standards the Government imposes on the nuclear energy industry. (“The Age” 2/3/1981).

489. 1945-1981 -OAK RIDGE, TENNESSEE, U.S.A

The Government-owned nuclear laboratory, Oak Ridge Gaseous Diffusion Plant, Tennessee, accidentally released 11,270 lbs of radioactive uranium into the environment in 121 separate incidents since 1945. (Source: W.I.S.E. Vol.3 No.4 September 1981 p.18). In one such incident in May 1981, 52 workers were exposed to radioactive “mist”.


The West German Government has ordered the closure of four large nuclear power stations, one of them completed only a year ago. The four stations are Wuergassen in Lower Saxony, Brunsbettei in Schleswig-Holstein, Phillipsburg 1 in Baden and Isar 1 in Bavaria. All the Stations are of the boiling-water reactor type. The report said the closures were perhaps the largest single blow to nuclear power in Europe since programs began. The closures follow the shutdown four years ago of West Germany’s only other large boiling-water reactor at Gundremingen, where two operators were killed by a steam valve failure. There was also a serious core accident (“Canberra Times” 23rd February, 1981)

491. 1981, February -T.M.I., PENNSYLVANIA, U.S.A.

Evidence of radioactive rodents has been found in a building near the damaged reactor at the Three Mile Island nuclear generating plant at Middletown, Pennsylvania. Plant officials said contaminated rodents would pose almost no danger to the public. Exterminating crews have been instructed to catch the rodents so that they could be tested for radioactivity. (“Weekend News”, 28/2/1981)

492. 1981, 6th March -BORSSELE, NETHERLANDS

Shortly after the changing of fuel rode at the Borssele nuclear power plant in the Netherlands, light radioactive material was found under the transport crane in the reactor building.

(W.I.S.E. Vol.3 No.2 April/May 1981 p.18)

493. 1981, 6th March -MARBALEE, AUSTRALIA

Holding pond containing radioactive waste overflowed at Narbalek uranium mine in Australia’s Northern Territory. Radiation measures after the leak showed several hundred times normal level. The leak was first made public in August 1981. (W.I.S.E. Vol.3 No.6 November 1981 p.18)

Queensland Mines is responsible for a radioactive leak at the Narbalek uranium mine in Australia’s Northern Territory. Heavy rainfall on 6th March from Cyclone Max caused a holding pond containing toxic waste to overflow. Radiation measures after the leak showed several times the normal level according to State Labour politician, Bob Collins, who exposed the accident in August 1981. The overflow was first detected by the company on 7th March 1981 but Queensland Mines did not report it to the supervising scientist until 14th July 1981. (“Financial Review” 16th October 1981)

494. 1981, 8th March -TSURUGA, JAPAN

Japanese officials announced on the 18th April that a major accident had occurred on 8th March at the Japan Atomic Power Corporation Tsuruga plant in the Fukui Prefecture on the coast about 50 miles from Osaka. At least 4,000 gallons of highly radioactive water had leaked from the plant through a manhole and a crack in the floor of the waste processing building of the plant. 56 workers have been exposed to radioactivity in connection with the accident. Failure to close a valve in a storage tank resulted in an average amount of radioactive exposure of 10 millirems. The water, which leaked for three hours before being noticed by workers, eventually wound up in Urazoko Bay outside the plant, where high levels of Cobalt 60 and Manganese 54 were discovered in the bay’s edible seaweed. Shortly after this latest accident was disclosed to the public, six plant executives, including the director, were immediately replaced because of their role in the cover-up. It was not until 40 days after the accident that the Government and the public learned what had happened. Since the original disclosure it has been discovered that a number of serious accidents have occurred at the plant, including ones on the 10th, 19th and 24th January. (W.I.S.E. Vol.3 No.3 June/July 1981 p.14)

495. 1981, 8th March -TSURUGA, JAPAN

278 workers have been exposed to radiation while repairing leaking pipes at the Tsuruga nuclear power station this year (1981). The Natural Resources and Energy Agency has ordered the power company to make a full report on all cases of radioactive leaks from its Tsuruga Station. The Agency said that there were four instances of nuclear waste leakage at the station between 10th January and 8th March 1981. In giving details of the cases the Company said:

-On 10th January, 19 people were exposed to a maximum of 55 millirems of radioactivity.

– 45 people working over three days from 19th January were exposed to a maximum of 92 millirems a day.

-76 people working for six days from 24th January were exported to a maximum of 155 millirems a day.

-Over 16 days from 8th March, 138 people were exposed to a maximum of 155 millirems a day.

The Company sets the maximum permissible amount of radioactivity at 100 millirems over one day, 1,000 millirems over three months and 5,000 millirems over a year. (“The Age” 28th April, 1981) Following the 18th April revelations at Tsuruga, the Japanese Government ordered a check on all Japan’s 22 nuclear power plants. (“The Age” 22nd April 1981) The Japan Atomic Power Company would be ordered to close its Tsuruga nuclear plant in Western Japan for six months for its failure to report a series of radioactive spills at the facility this year, the Ministry of International Trade and Industry officials announced on 19th May, 1981. It is the first time the Japanese Government has taken such action against an atomic power company. (“The Financial Review” 20th May 1981)

496. 1981, 12th March -SALEM 1, NEW JERSEY, U.S.A.

Ten workers were evacuated from an auxiliary building at the Salem 1 nuclear power plant in southern New Jersey when low levels of radioactive material began to leak from a waste gas compressor pump. (“West Australian” 13th March 1981)

497. 1981, 16th march -DUANE, PALO, IOWA, U.S.A.

A radioactive gas leak at the Duane Arnold Nuclear Plant near Palo, Iowa went unreported. The U.S, Nuclear Regulatory Commission will issue a citation to operators, claiming the report should have been made to N.R.C. Officials in Washington within an hour of the incident. (“Daily Iowan” 6th May 1981)

498. 1981, 22nd March -TIHANGE, BELGIUM

The 870 m.w. Tihange 1 reactor in West Belgium reported that radioactive liquid leaked from ruptured tanks and escaped the containment building. (W.I.S.E. Vol.3 No.3 June/July 1981 P.5)

499. 1981, March -UTAH, U.S.A.

Two workers at Utah’s Blackwater Coal Mine are now receiving medical treatment after handling a radioactive isotope. Utah accepted blame for the incident. (“Tribune”, 11th March 1981)

500. 1981, March -THREE MILE ISLAND, PA., U.S.A.

The operation to rid the Three Mile Island Nuclear Power Plant of radioactive material may not be completed until 1988, almost ten years after the installation was crippled by the worlds first major nuclear incident. The clean-up operation has been suspended while the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and other government organisations prepare environmental impact studies. The N.R.C. said it did not regard Three Mile Island as a safe waste disposal site. “Removing the damaged fuel and radioactive waste to suitable storage sites is the only reliable means of eliminating the risk of widespread contamination”, the Commission report said. (“The Australian” 11th March 1981)

501. 1981, March -AUSTRALIA

A container of radioactive material has been missing from the University of Sydney for more than a month. The material -a mixture of Radium and Beryllium known as 10BQ -emits a low-level radiation from its neutron source, which could be dangerous to people continuously exposed to it. Police said the substance disappeared from the University on 30th January, but was only reported stolen on 17th March. (“Sun-Pictorial” Melbourne 19th March 1981)

502. 1981, March -U.S.A.

Government lawyers are drafting a lengthy court brief to rebut charges that radiation leaks from underground nuclear explosions have left a legacy of cancer in South Western states.

U.S. officials recently disclosed at a Congressional hearing that 40 such leaks, known as “ventings”, had occurred since 1963 -more than twice as many as previously admitted. Justice Department lawyers have contended that the radiation leaks pose no known danger. Their brief urges a Federal Judge not to award damages to the survivors of workers who were exposed to radiation leaks at the Nevada test site and who subsequently died of cancer. Dr. KARL MORGAN, a former Government scientist who specialises in the health effects of radiation, has said, “There is no such thing as a safe level of radiation”. DR. MORGAN is expected to testify for the plaintiffs in upcoming cases. (“Daily News” 5th March 1981)

503. 1981, 2nd April -TSURUGA 1, TOKYO, JAPAN

An atomic power plant in Western Japan has been shut down because the Japan Atomic Power Company had failed to report a small hair crack in the turbine that resulted in radioactive water leaking from the cooling system, energy officials said today. The Natural Resources and Energy Agency said a team of specialists had been sent to Tsuruga No.1 power plant in Fukui State, to investigate the accident which occurred in January but was only reported yesterday after an employee disclosed the incident to the Nuclear Safety Commission in Tokyo. (“The Age”, 3rd April 1981)

504. 1981, 13th April -BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA

A panel van carrying infectious and radioactive waste and a quantity of the pesticide 245T was stolen in Brisbane. Police said it contained one drum of radioactive waste, six drums of infectious waste and about 250 mile of 245T. (“The Courier Mail” 14th April 1981)

505. 1981, April -AUSTRALIA

Cancer deaths in 1975 among victims of British nuclear bomb tests in Australia during the 1950’s and early 1960’s apparently were more than four times higher than in the overall population, it has been claimed. A spokesperson for the Australian Nuclear Veterans Association (A.N.V.A.) said that in 1975 eight women lost husbands who had been employed at the Maralinga or Emu Field test sites in South Australia. According to A.N.V.A. the cancer death rate among about 2,000 Australians involved in the secret testing represented four deaths per 1,000 compared with 0.69 per 1,000 for the whole population. A Government spokesperson said that it would be impossible to gauge the significance of such statistics without further knowledge. (“West Australian” 22/3/1981) A pilot study was announced by the Government for the 10th November 1981 to assess the health of 200 personnel who were involved in the U.K. atomic programs at Monte Bello, Emu and Maralinga in the 1950’s.

506. 1981, April -JAPAN

Nuclear power plants in Japan are using Kamikaze squads of untrained labourers for dangerous work, according to a newspaper report. The Fukui Shimbun, quoting sub­contractors who supply labour to nuclear plants in Fukui Prefecture, said that labourers were imported from Osaka, 140 kms to the south, when radioactive levels for specific operations were considered too high for regular workers to be exposed to over an extended period. The Fukui Shimbun said that most of the labourers were brought in from lower-class working areas. By using temporary labour, plants were able to avoid violating health standards. (“West Australian” 29th April 1981)

507. 1981, April -U.S., COAST OFF JAPAN

Nuclear powered U.S.S. George Washington blamed for collision that sunk Japanese freighter “Nissho Maru” off coast of Japan, killing 2 on board freighter. (W.I.S.E. NC 262 31/10/86 )


Severe criticism of past safety arrangements at British Nuclear Fuels nuclear waste-fuel reprocessing plant at Windscale, Cumbria, have been made by three investigators appointed to examine the organization. They have produced 15 major and many minor recommendations affecting the management of the factory, which handles all the waste fuel from nuclear power stations in Britain.

The investigation began more than 18 months ago after instances of workers being contaminated and radioactive liquid leaking. The report, in describing some of the more important incidents, disclosed that more than 100,000 curies of radioactivity had escaped over a period of years from one silo. The management was blamed for that accident, having shown, the report said, lack of judgement and of safety consciousness. British Nuclear Fuels said last night that the report was fair, comprehensive and constructive. (“West Australian”, 13th April 1981)

509. 1981, April -NEVADA, U.S.A.

An elaborate exercise in which a helicopter carrying three nuclear bombs crashed into the Nevada desert revealed serious problems which could occur in the case of a real mishap. More than 700 U.S. officials were involved in the exercise -the biggest simulation of Broken Arrow, the code name for a nuclear weapons accident. (“The Age” -24th April 1981).

510. 1981, May -UNITED KINGDOM

The British nuclear submarine Valiant. is undergoing repairs for a minor leak in its reactor cooling system. A naval spokesman said the source of the leak had been identified and was being repaired. (“The Age” 21st May 1981)

511. 1981, 22nd May -BROWN’S FERRY 3, ALABAMA, U. S.A.

The Brown’s Ferry Unit 3 nuclear reactor near Decatur, Alabama, was shut down on Friday, 22nd May, when a leak was discovered in the primary containment building. The leak was releasing 27 gallons per minute, forcing the reactor to go from full power to 30% before it was shut down. By the time the leak was located the following day, close to 10,000 gallons had been collected in the containment building. On 26th May, the reactor owners, Tennessee Valley Authority, announced that the reactor had been re-started and was expected to be operating at full power within a few days. (W.I.S.E. Vol.3 No.4 September 1981 p.9) Technicians have begun repairs on a cooling system leak that sent 38,000 litres of radioactive water into the biggest nuclear power plant in the U.S. The leak forced the shutdown of one reactor at the plant near Athena, Alabama. (“West Australian”, 25th May 1981)

512. 1981, May -U.S.A.

Cancer may be caused by much lower levels of radiation than previously believed, according to a new study of the World War II atomic bomb blasts at Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Reports on research being done at the Lawrence Livermore Weapons Laboratory in California and at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee, although tentative, indicate that the risk of dying of cancer after exposure to low level gamma radiation could double and the probability of contracting cancer after gamma radiation could be quadrupled. Some scientists believe the new information strengthens the argument that there is no safe level of radiation; that every incremental bit of exposure increases the chances of injury. (“The Age”, 16th May 1981)

513. 1981, May -JAPAN

Nearly 10% of construction workers surveyed at Japanese atomic power plants have been exposed to 100 millirems of radiation daily -a level exceeding the radiation control allowance

-unofficially set by the atomic power industry, a union official has claimed. (“Financial Review” 15th May 1981)

514. 1981, May -JAPAN

In an amazing moment of truth, the U.S. Department of Transportation has admitted they have never inspected any irradiated nuclear fuel shipping casks or, for that matter, inspected any facilities shipping nuclear fuel. This admission was contained in a response to a Freedom of Information request by LINDSAY AUDIN of Ossing, New York, (7/5/1981). AUDIN then requested all 1980 shipping cask inspection reports from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. The N.R.C. conducted a total of two inspections in 1980. Both inspections showed serious non-compliance with N.R.C. regulations. Two out of two is distinctly discomforting.

(W.I.S.E. Vol.3 No.4 Sept. 1981 p.12)

515. 1981, 2nd June -U.S.A.

In the U.S.A. around $620,000 was awarded to the family of LEROY DRUMBACK on 2nd June, 1981. DRUMBACK worked for 15 years at the Rocky Flats nuclear weapons facility which produces Plutonium triggers for nuclear warheads. He died of cancer of the colon in January 1974 and his case is the first in which damages were awarded for cancer caused by radiation at Rocky Flats. Dow Chemical Company, the plant operator where Krumback worked, is appealing against the decision. (W.I.S.E. Vol.3 No.4 p.6)

516. 1981, 3rd June -INDIAN POINT 2, NY., U.S.A.

Indian Point No.2 nuclear plant in New York shut down automatically for six hours after the failure of an electrical relay -part of the plant’s generator protection circuiting designed to monitor voltage generated by the plant and take corrective action if problems develop.

(W.I.S.E. Vol.3 No.4 p.18)

517. 1981, 7th June -SPICE 2, NEW JERSEY, U.S.A.

Salem 2 in New Jersey shut down because of a faulty valve just two days after beginning operations. While shut down for repairs, a faulty weld caused the valve to open and 3,000 gallons of radioactive water spilt into a containment basin. (W.I.S.E. Vol.3 No.4 p.18)

518. 1981, 16th June -LOVIISA 1, FINLAND

Fault discovered in fuel rod case at Loviisa 1 nuclear plant 100 kms north-east of Helsinki, Finland. Operators acknowledge that faulty rod case caused higher than normal levels of radioactivity in unit’s primary cooling water circuit but said no repairs would be made until rods are changed. (W.I.S.E. Vol.3 No.4 p.18)

519. 1981, 19th June -DONALD C. COOK, MI,. U.S.A.

A spent fuel rod slipped to the bottom of a water-filled tank during routine refueling at the Donald C. Cook nuclear plant in Michigan, U.S.A. The N.R.C. described the accident as unserious, posing no danger to plant or area residents. (W.I.S.E. Vol.3 No.4 p.18)

520. 1981, June -KARACHI, PAKISTAN

Pakistan’s nuclear energy reactor is situated in an earthquake zone according to Dr. I.H. USAMI, a senior United Nations energy advisor. Dr. USAMI recommends the Government set up an international commission to investigate the safety of the reactor. (“Canberra Times” 10th June 1981)

521. 1981, June -U.K.

In Britain 96,000 pounds sterling was paid out by British Nuclear Fuels to two families and a worker who is still employed at the Windscale reprocessing plant. The two workers died from cancer of the pancreas and leukemia. The man still employed at B.N.F. received 5,000 pounds sterling for pain and suffers from cataracts in both eyes and a kidney tumour. These payments are out of court settlements on cases financed by the General and Municipal Workers Union. The latter case is of great importance because the man was exposed to a lower level of radiation than the other two men. The decision recognized that low-level radiation can be proved to cause cancer. (W.I.S.E. Vol 3. No.4 p.6) .. see entry -May U.S.A. p.40

522. 1981, 7th JULY -U.S.A.

On 7th July, three U.S. national safe energy groups sent a letter to members of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission charging the N.R.C. with dangerous negligence in failing to enforce a nuclear power plant emergency regulation. The rule in question requires plants to acquire the means to alert residents within a ten-mile radius of an accident at the plant within 15 minutes of its occurrence. Although the deadline for compliance to the rule was 1st July, approximately one half of the more than 70 U.S. nuclear plants have failed to comply, according to the “New York Times”. “The only protection the public has is the ability to flee following an accident”, the group says. “Failure to enforce the prompt notification requirement will strip the public of its only assurance of safety”. (W.I.S.E. Vol.3 No.4 P.4)

523. 1981, 13th July -HAMAOKA, JAPAN

40 workers at the Hamaoka nuclear plant in Shizuoka Prefecture in Japan were exposed to radiation when one ton (1 cubic metre) of concentrated waste liquid and pressurized water leaked from the Unit 1 reactor. (W.I.S.E. Vol.3 No.4 p.18)

524. 1981, 13th July -OI 1, FUKUMI, JAPAN

Operation was suspended at the Unit 1 reactor of the Oi nuclear plant in Fukui Prefecture Japan, when pressure in a tank in the upper portion of the core dropped. (W.I.S.E. Vol.3 No.4 p.18)

525. 1981, 14th July -SAN ONOFRE, CALIFORNIA, U.S.A.

A fire at the San Onofre nuclear plant in California (U.S.A.) that occurred during routine testing, knocked out one of the power plant’s two back-up diesel generators. The plant was shut down for several weeks beginning 17th July. One month previously, the facility was returned to service after a 14 month shutdown for $67 million in repairs to 6,000 leaky and corroded tubes in three steam generators. (W.I.S.E. Vol.3 No.4 p.18)

An accidental “ignition” of hydrogen gasses in a holding tank of the San Onofre nuclear plant caused an explosion -which bent the bolts of an inspection hatch on the tank, allowing radioactive gasses in the tank to escape into a radioactive waste room. From there, the radioactive material was released into the atmosphere. (W.I.S.E. Vol.3 No.4 p.18)

526. 1981, 21st July -HAMAOKA, Japan

40 workers exposed to minor levels of radioactivity when one tonne of radioactive waste water leaked at the Hamaoka nuclear power plant in Shizuoka Prefecture. (“The West Australian” 22/7/1981)

527. 1981, 23rd July -HARWELL, UNITED KINGDOM

A leak of low level radioactive liquid has been discovered at Harwell atomic research station in Oxfordshire, the Atomic Energy Authority reported yesterday. There was no risk to staff, or the public, the authority said. The leak was from a ceramic pipe taking water used to wash down radioactive materials to a storage tank. (“The Age” 24th July 1981 “Daily News” 23rd July 1981)


On July 30th, the French Government decided to suspend the construction of 5 nuclear power installations; Le Pellerin, Civaux, Chooz and Golfech. The fifth plant, Cattenom, houses four units, two of which will be suspended. The Government gave no explanation of why it suspended these five installations and continues with others like Belleville, Nogent-sur-Seine, and Penly. (W.I.S.E. Vol.3 No.4 p.5)

529. 1981, July -OCONEE, U.S.A.

54 workers at Oconee nuclear station were contaminated with radioactive water during refueling operations this month. The contamination occurred when cooling water leaked during refueling of one of the power plant’s reactor between June 28 and July 10, 1981. (“The West Australian” 30th July 1981)

530. 1981, July -U.S.A.

A Department of Energy study has found that they have not applied many of the safety lessons learnt from the Three Mile Island reactor accident to its own 35 nuclear reactors. The inquiry panel said, “While the committee found no evidence that the reactors reviewed were being operated in an unsafe manner, the number and type of deficiencies noted give cause for a number of concerns.” (“The Canberra Times” 8th July 1981)


Radioactive soil dumped in Nelson Parade, Hunters Hill, about four years ago is in rotting broken plastic bags. 60 years ago Nelson Parade was the site of a factory where uranium was treated and converted to radium to illuminate clock faces. Six residential blocks are affected to a varying degree by the radioactivity. The N.S.W. Government has considered dumping the soil at two sites in N.S.W., but public opposition or technical problems prevented the plane going ahead. (“The Sydney Morning Herald” 3/7/1981)

532. 1981, July -U.S.A.

An unemployed industrial radiographer has become the first American to die of radiation poisoning since the early days of the A-bomb experiments. Douglas Crofut (38) died in a hospital in Tulsa Oklahoma, July 1981, six months after he first sought medical attention for radiation burns on his chest and left arm. Officials said that the radiation destroyed his bone marrow, burnt off his left nipple and ate deep into his body like a cancer. (“The West Australian” 31st July 1981)

533. 1981, July -U.S.A..

A report released at the end of July by Critical Mass Energy Project, a Ralph Nader affiliated anti-nuclear organization, claims that there were more than 3,804 mishaps at U.S. nuclear power plants in 1980. This is a 20% increase over the number of accidents reported in 1979. Approximately 100 of the mishaps were “especially significant” according to the Critical Mass Study. Of a total of 3,804 mishaps the study attributes 20% to human error, 161 to design flaws and 57% to equipment failure. The report concludes that the supposed benefits of nuclear power do not outweigh the clear risks involved. This study supports our long-held position that nuclear power is a dangerous and deeply flawed technology”. (W.I.S.E. Vol.3 No.4 September 1981 p.9)

534. 1981, 7th August -SEQUOYAH 1, TN., U..S.A.

Sequoyah nuclear power plant unit 1 in Tennessee shuts down for repairs on steam leaks inside the reactor and routine maintenance. (W.I.S.E. Vol.3 No.6 November 1981 p.18)

535. 1981, 12th August -MURUROA ATOLL, SOUTH PACIFIC

On August 12, the French authorities in French Polynesia issued a communique declaring the temporary closure of the beach in the eastern part of the Mururoa Atoll against the possibility that “residues of the atmospheric tests conducted prior to 1975” might have been deposited there following bad weather. The French communique said “the temporary situation that has been created is a result of atmospheric testing and had no link with the underground testing that has been carried since 1975”. It has also been reported from other sources that a huge gap, one to two feet wide and half a mile long, had been opened in the Atoll below sea level where there were serious leaks of radioactivity. The Australian Government has agreed to hold an inquiry. (“The News” (NT) 25/9/1981; W.I.S.E. Vol.3 No.6/11/1981 p.16)

536. 1981, August -CHINA

China appears to be encountering local criticism of its nuclear test program amid disturbing reports of contamination in arens in the far west Xinjiang region. A Chinese official has said that there has been an increase in the incidence of liver, lung and skin cancers, causing concern, and some cases were being sent to Peking. Another Chinese official was skeptical, saying nomads in Xinjiang did have a higher incidence of throat cancer, but this was because of their diet. The Lop Nur test in the Xinjiang Province has been in almost constant use for atmospheric tests over the past 20 years. China is one of the few countries still testing nuclear weapons in the atmosphere. It was at Lop Nur that the Chinese developed nuclear warheads for inter-continental ballistic missiles. China is highly secretive about its nuclear testing and little is known in the West about the Lop Nur site. (“Sydney Morning Herald” 25th August 1981)

537. 1981, 22nd September -TOKAIMURA, JAPAN

The Japanese reprocessing plant, Tokaimura, located 120 kilometres north-east of Tokyo, was closed down because of trouble in the rectifying tower and an interim holding tank. The holding tank problem appeared some time between September 12 and 14 when unusually high concentrations of Plutonium were detected. (W.I.S.E. Vol.3 No.6 November 1981 p.18)

538. 1981, September -JAPAN

Kazuyuki Iwesa, a subcontract worker for Japan Atomic Power Co., appealed to the Osaka High Court against a district court ruling which denies him compensation for an illness which he claims was caused by radiation exposure. At the Dermatology Department of Oaska University Hospital, his illness was diagnosed as radiation dermatitis. In court, Yohei Izawa, head of Dermatology of Chukyo Hospital, also said that Iwasa’s symptoms were peculiar to radiation dermatitis. However, Takehiko Tauchlya, Professor of Radiology at Sango University, said on behalf of the power company that the dermatitis was caused by viruses interrupting the blood circulation and that Iwasa’s lymphoma was attributable to a broken leg he suffered 30 years previously. At the High Court hearing, Iwasa claimed that the district court ruling had been based on the company’s unfounded argument that strict safety mesaures had been in force at the plant. Since then forgery of plant operation day books, discharge of radioactive waste water to public sewage systems and other malpractices at the plant have been discovered. (W.I.S.E. Vol.3 No.4, 9/1981 p.6)

539. 1981, September -CANADA

The Canadian Coalition for Nuclear Responsibility, representing over 200 groups throughout Canada, called on Prime Minister Trudeau to establish a one million dollar Atomic Veterans Defence Fund. The appeal was triggered by the April 14 decision of the Canadian Pension Commission in the Bjarnie Paulson case. At that time, the Pension Commission refused to grant compensation to Paulson, a veteran of the Royal Canadian Armed Forces who had been suffering for 15 years from multiple skin cancers and other ailments which he claims were caused by radioactive contamination in 1958. Mr Paulson was one of 600 men ordered to assist in a radioactive clean-up operation at the Chalk River Nuclear Laboratories following a major accident at a nuclear reactor there. (W.I.S.E. Vol.3 No.4 September 1981 p.6)

540. 1981, September -JAPAN

An anti-nuclear association in Fukui prefecture in Japan has filed a petition with the prefectural assembly seeking permanent suspension of the operations at the No.1 unit of the Tsuruga Nuclear power Station. The petition was backed by an amazing 108,962 signatures, collected after revelations of a series of accidents at the plant earlier this year.(W.I.S.E. Vol.3 No.4/9/1981 p.8)

541. 1981, 4th October – WINDSCALE, U.K.

British Nuclear Fuels Ltd (BNFL) announced on October 8 that a release of irradiated Iodine­131 occurred on Sunday, October 4, from the Windscale reprocessing plant. The company did not inform the public of the leak until 4 days after it happened. (W.I.S.E. Vol.3 No.6 November 1981 p.12) A radiation leak has contaminated milk supplies within a 3 km radius of the Windscale nuclear plant in Cumbria. The accident was discovered last Sunday (4/10/81) but news of it was released only on the 10th October, 1981 by British Nuclear Fuels. The plant was shut down for 24 hours. (“Sydney Horning Herald” 10th October 1981)

542. 1981, October -INDIA

An atomic power plant in northern India has developed a radiation leak which could take up to a year to repair, says the Press Trust of India.

543. 1981, 8th November -CRYSTAL RIVER, FLORIDA, U.S.A.

Florida Power Company officials said (8/11/81) that they have recovered 3,750 litres of radioactive water spilt at the company’s reactor in Crystal River, Florida. The spill on the floor of the nuclear reactor occurred when the reactor was shut down for routine refueling. The Crystal river plant, cited earlier this year by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission as being poorly managed, has been shut down since September 27 for refueling and maintenance. Crystal River had a similar accident a year ago when 115,000 litres of radioactive water spilt. That spill was also contained. (“The West Australian” 9/11/1981)

544. 1981, November -DIABLO CANYON, CA., U.S.A.

Shortly after the Abalone Alliance announced the end of the blockade of the Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant, which involved approximately 1900 arrests, of which about 500 were second-time arrests, the owners, Pacific Gas and Electric, revealed at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission Reactor Inquiry that start-up will be indefinitely postponed. PG cited problems with one of the structures in the plant’s cooling System. PG & E have now confirmed that blueprints for the Unit 1 reactor, now completed, had somehow been switched with plans for the second unit now under construction. The switched diagrams are used in stress analysis of piping hanger systems and the mix-up has apparently affected both reactors’ construction. One NRC official called it “a first rate screw up”. Delay due to the mix-up could be as much as six months. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is also investigating improper construction and the plant’s ability to withstand an earthquake. (W.I.S.E. Vol.3 No.6 November 1981 p.9)

545. 1981, November -RANGER, AUSTRALIA

The operators of the Ranger Uranium Mine, which was closed by the Northern Territory Government on 23rd November 1981, had been warned the previous month that the mine could be shut down because of an apparent safety breach. This warning followed an incident in October when two employees were found wading in a radioactive and acidic solution at the mine. Though both employees had been concerned about entering the solution, they were told by the Supervisor that there was no risk. The latest incident involved the discovery of a large island in the uranium treatment plants tailings pond. The island appeared on the 3rd November and remained until the 24th November. The company did not report the matter either to the Director of Mines or to the Supervising scientist. Under environmental guidelines the tailings have to be covered by at least two metres of water. It is believed that the company which owns Ranger, Energy Resources of Australia Limited, told officials it had not considered the island “important”. (“The Age” November 25th 1981)

546. 1981, November -LA HAGUE, FRANCE COGEMA

Operators of the French re-processing plant at La Hague, have announced that reprocessing contracts with West Germany will have to be changed. Announced changes have to do with radiation concentrations in low and intermediate level wastes, which, according to existing contracts, are returned to the country of origin. Apparently COGEMA has not succeeded in reducing levels of radioactivity sufficiently to meet German standards. COGEMA is saying that concentrations of alpha radiation in wastes being returned to Germany will simply be raised. (W.I.S.E. Vol.3 No.6/ November 1981 p.12)

547. 1981, November -U.S.A.

The thick steel shell that surrounds the uranium core in nuclear reactors is being turned brittle so rapidly in 13 U.S. plants that, according to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (N.R.C.), some of the plants may become unsafe to operate by the end of next year. One high-ranking N.R.C. official went so far as to say some of the reactors might have to be modified or shut down. In all, 46 plants have a potential brittleness problem. The 13 plants of immediate concern have been in operation for anywhere from 3.0 to 10.3 full-power years. (These figures do not include the time the reactors were shut down for repair or refueling.) All 46 reactors are pressurized water reactors in which the water is kept under pressure of about 2,200 pounds per square inch to keep it from boiling away. (W.I.S.E. Vol.3 No.6 Nov. 1981 p.8)

548. 1981, November, U.K. (& FRANCE)

In a recently released report, a team of British scientists, who were investigating seaweed around the Channel Islands, claim that radionuclides were concentrated 100 to 10,000 times in bladder wrack, and although these concentrations are quite low, potential problems arise because large quantities of seaweed are used widely on farmland and small holdings as fertilizer. Thousands of fruit and vegetables already sold in the U.K. have been affected. One of the Channel Islands is only 8 km away from the re-processing plant at La Hague, France.

(W.I.S.E. Vol.3 No.6 November 1981 p.16)

549. 1981, 8th December -WESTERN AUSTRALIA

Waste containing five radioactive isotopes which were accidentally included in scrap metal sold to a steel company in Singapore by western Mining Corporation, has been returned to Perth (8/12/81). The shipment and final storage of the waste 35 km south of Kambalda has ended more than three years of haggling between Australia and Singapore over which country should be responsible for it. Although western Mining Corporation has never officially accepted responsibility it has agreed to store the waste material and has built a concrete bunker to take it. (“The West Australian” 26/11 and 8/12/1981)

550. 1945-1981, OAK RIDGE, TENNESSEE, U.S.A.

The Government-owned nuclear laboratory, Oak Ridge Gaseous Diffusion Plant, Tennessee, accidentally released 11,270 lbs of radioactive uranium into the environment in 121 separate incidents since 1945. (Source: W.I.S.E. Vol.3 No.4 September 1981 p.18). In one such incident in May 1981, 52 workers were exposed to radioactive “mist”.

551. 1981, 20th December -AUSTRALIA

The South Australian Minister for Health, Mrs. Jennifer Adamson, has called for a report on an incident involving workers handling uranium-contaminated equipment at an Adelaide laboratory. It has been alleged that two workers had their arms covered in yellow cake dust which spilled out of a container on December 7. The laboratory known as “Amdel” was set up by State and Federal Governments at the time of the Maralinga atomic tests in 1956. (“The Age” 21/12/1981)

552. 1981, December -AUSTRALIA

The widow of an atomic airman who died of throat cancer in 1972 after working on planes contaminated by nuclear radiation at South Australian atomic bomb tests in 1953 has been awarded $14,500 compensation. A precedent was set on bomb-test claims in August this year (1981) when a retired RAAF squadron leader, who tracked radioactive clouds in a bomber at Maralinga, became the first living person to win such a case. He suffers from cancer of the thyroid. The decision by the Commonwealth Employees Compensation Commission in the latest case has been seen as something of a landmark because the compensation was made solely on documentary evidence and opinion. (“The West Australian” 4th December 1981)


Radioactivity has been found in the shells of crabs caught near Australind. It has also been found in effluent ponds around the Laporte chemical plant there. The radioactivity was found in a study by the Australian Radiation Laboratory. The study was requested by the W.A. Radiological Council after public concern was expressed about radioactivity late in 1979. (“Daily News” 28th December 1981)


Forty-nine nuclear explosions were carried out in 1981, according to the Hagforas Military Seismological Observatory in a report for the disarmament conference in Geneva. It said that the Soviet Union carried out 21 blasts, the United States 16, France 11 and Britain 1. (“The West Australian” 19th January 1982)

555. 1982, 19th January -FRANCE

Five rockets were fired into a nuclear power station being built near Lyons. The police said that the rockets, stolen from the French Army, smashed into the 80 metres high concrete wells which will hold the reactor’s core. No-one was hurt and there were only minor changes. A man claimed responsibility for the attack a short time later in the name of a “pacifist and ecological committee”. The plant has been the scene of bitter demonstrations involving police and anti-nuclear groups. A West German demonstrator was killed there in 1977 during fierce fighting with the police. (“The West Australian” 20th January 1982)

556. 1982, 26th January -GINNA, NY., U.S.A.

Radioactive steam leaked into the air when a tube ruptured at the Ginna Nuclear Plant on Lake Ontario, 25 km from New York States third largest city. The leak which lasted 93 minutes led to the declaration of a site emergency. (“Daily News”, 26th January 1982). Mild radioactive contamination had been detected on 12 workers at the nuclear power plant since the leak, according to officials. None of the contaminated workers required hospital treatment, a spokesman said. A spokesman at the Ginna Nuclear Plant said officials hoped to get their first look at any damage inside the steam generator by Saturday (30/1/82). (“The West Australian” 29th January 1982)

557. 1982, January – BYRON BAY, AUSTRALIA

The New South Wales Health Commission will investigate high levels of radioactivity in sand-mining waste at Byron Bay, on the far north coast. The contaminated waste was uncovered in a reclaimed swamp in the centre of the tourist town last month. (“The West Australian” 12/1/1982)

558. 1982, January – HARRISBURG, PA., U.S.A.

Leaking steam-generator tubes would probably delay the re-opening of the Three Mile Island Unit 1 nuclear reactor for at least six months, TMI officials said yesterday (26.1.82). They had expected the undamaged unit to be ready by the end of February, subject to permission by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Unit 1 has been shut since its sister reactor, Unit 11, was involved in the nations worst commercial nuclear-power accident in March 1979. (“The Canberra Times” 27/1/1982)

559. 1982, HYDERBAD, INDIA

A five-year-old girl and her three-year-old brother have died of severe burns after touching waste material dumped outside a nuclear-fuel complex in Hyderbad, South India. The children had accompanied their mother to the nuclear-fuel complex area, while their mother was collecting firewood. Both suffered third-degree burns and later died in a local hospital. (“The West Australian” 9th March 1982)


Exposure to radiation on the job was the most probable cause of death of an Ontario nuclear-plant worker, according to a spokesman for Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd. A second worker at a nuclear plant has won a disability award for cancer believed to have been caused or aggravated by radiation. Both victims had been long-time employees at the A.E.C.L. nuclear reactor research centre at Chalk River, Ontario, near Ottawa. The two victims developed typical radiation related cancers, though they never received more than the maximum permissible dose of radiation during their years at Chalk River. Both received Ontario Workers Compensation Board Awards in 1982 based on A.E.C.L. acknowledgement to the Board that their radiation exposure was a possible or contributing cause of their cancers. (“The Canberra Times” 6/3/1982)

561. 1982, April -SURRY, VA., NEW YORK, U.S.A.

Fire damaged a storage building at the Surry nuclear plant of the Virginia Electric Power Company, causing what was described as a minor release of radiation into the air and the James River. Utility officials said that no one was injured and there was no danger from the radioactivity. (“The West Australian” 20/4/1982)

562. 1982, April -U.S.A.

Forty nuclear power plants in the United States have weak tubes in their steam generators and it is virtually impossible to make the needed design changes according to a recent report by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission. The tube problem is causing higher operating costs and is exposing plant staff to radiation. When a unit closes for the tube repairs, the report says, replacement power costs between $500,000 and $1 million and these costs are passed onto consumers. It notes that the Southern California Edison Company which operates the troubled San Onofre plant 144 km south of Los Angeles, has used a process called Cleaving., in which a smaller tube is inserted into each damaged tube. Tube problems at San Onofre were discovered during a routine inspection which led to a shut-down of the plant lasting more than a year. The plant did not resume operations until April 1981. The report says the tube problems in more than half the country’s nuclear units are responsible for about 25 per cent of nuclear plant shut-downs that are unrelated to scheduled refueling of stations. The report says there is tube ‘degradation’ in at least 40 power plants. (“The Australian” 3rd April 1 1982)

563. 1982, April -LOS ALAMOS, SAN FRANCISCO, CA., U.S.A.

Mislabeling of radioactive materials in containers at the Las Alamos national laboratory caused a plutonium leak that contaminated 15 people last year (October 1981), it was revealed this month. A four-member investigation team of the U.S. Department of Energy has listed three major factors that led to the incident last October. In addition to a container being labeled ambiguously, the report says, the container was opened and handled in an area of the laboratory that is not designed for handling plutonium. Then a contaminated worker accidentally spread radioactive material outside the laboratory to a van and residences. Laboratory officials said after the accident that a chemist might have inhaled Plutonium, while 14 others contaminated were given bills of health. The federal study said that the chemist remained under observation. One wing of a building was temporarily closed after the incident for cleaning and investigation. Plutonium, which does not exist in nature, is a by-product of any uranium-fuelled nuclear reactor, including commercial power plants. It is used for nuclear weapons. In large doses Plutonium is poisonous, but the greater risk is considered to be the radiation it produces. (“The West Australian” 13th April 1982)

564. 1982, May -AUSTRALIA

Tests have detected radioactive material up to 60 times that of normal levels in a household rainwater tank near laboratories which often deal with uranium. The Australian Radiation Laboratory, a division of the Federal Department of Health, made the discovery after analyzing rainwater and sludge from a tank from the Australian Mineral Development Laboratories at Thebarton in suburban Adelaide. The tests, which had been requested by Federal Labour M.P. Mr. John Scott, found that the sludge in the bottom of the rainwater tank contained about 60 times the normal level of Caesium-137, a radioactive element found in fallout from nuclear bomb tests. The laboratory also found that levels of uranium in the tank were 10 times higher than normal and levels of radioactive Thorium were 3 times higher. Levels were compared with those normally found in soil samples. (“The Australian” 15th May 1982)

565. 1982, June -KOZLOKUJ, BELGIUM

A reactor was allowed to operate at 75% during maintenance of a main cooling pump. Radioactive coolant escaped through an undetected leak for 3 hours before the reactor was shut down. (“Der Spiegel” 20/4/87, WISE NC 275 12/6/87)

566. 1982 September -CHERNOBYL l, UKRAINE, U.S.S.R.

Partial core melt at Chernobyl-1 following an incorrect action by operating staff. Release of radioactive material into the industrial zone and the city of Pripyat; irradiation of staff involved in repairing the core. (“Nucleonics Week” 31/5/90; WISE-334 22t6/90).


A bomb blew up part of the Litton Systems Canada plant which makes components for Cruise missiles. (“West Australian” 16th October 1982)

568. 1982 October -ARMENIA 1, U.S.S.R.

Explosion of the generator of Armenia-1 (WER440), setting fire to the turbine building. The operating staff managed to keep the coolant flowing, and a team from the faraway seater plant at Kola arrived by airplane to help the Armenia operators save the reactor core.(“Nucleonics Week” 31/5/90; WISE-334 22/6/90 ) .

569. 1982, October -BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA

Potentially dangerous levels of radiation found at a diffused mineral sands mining site on Queensland’s Gold Coast. (“West Australian” 16/10/1982) Wastes from mineral sands operations at Stadroke Island have been used to fill sand pits in some Queensland kindergartens. Parents, not surprisingly, are concerned. (“Daily News” 18/10/1982)

570. 1982, November – GERMANY

A truck carrying a Pershing missile crashed into a car, killing 3 people. (“Daily News” 4th November 1982) This crash was one of a series of accidents involving U.S. Pershing missiles which has upset many Germans. The controversy was not reported in the local press.

571. 1982, November -SELLAFIELD & DOUNREAY, U.K.

10 kgs of Plutonium produced at the Sellafield nuclear reprocessing plant is missing. 10 kgs is enough to make a nuclear bomb. The report said that between 1970 and 1980, 94 kgs of uranium was missing from Dounreay and 47 kgs of Plutonium from Windscale. (“West Australian” 8th November 1982)

572. 1982, November -TULLAHOMA TENNESSEE, U.S.A.

Four men were killed in an MX missile silo during a flash fire. 16 other men were injured. The Tullahoma centre is a 17,000 hectare missile test area, the largest in the U.S.A. A 27,000 kg second-stage engine for the MX exploded 10 days before the fire and the men killed had been cleaning up after that event. (“The Age” “The West Australian” 30th November 1982)

573. 1982, November -LOS ANGELES, CA., U.S.A.

A B-52 bomber exploded on landing at Castle Air Force Base. Nine crewmen escaped uninjured. Air Force spokespersons would neither confirm nor deny that atomic weapons were aboard. (“Daily News” 1st November 1982. “The Age” 1st/2nd November 1982)

574. 1982, December -U.S.A.

The U.S. civil nuclear industry is facing ruin due to economic, legal, political and technical problems. Last month, incidents which caused more heartburn for nuclear reactor supporters were:

– the Ohio River plant, under construction for a decade, closed down by regulatory authorities for safety violations.

.              the owners of the Yankee plant in Vermont fined $40,000 over an incident similar to the event at Three Mile Island.

.              the Virginia Electric Power Company decided to write off $540 million instead of bringing the Surry plant into operation.


-public outcry at attempts to restore the undamaged reactor at Three Mile Island.

-a slinging match in Court between the builders and the operators over culpability at Three Mile Island.

David Freeman, Managing Director of the Tennessee Valley Authority, the biggest users of nuclear energy, said: “we should be fundamentally re-examining the nuclear option. It is time to confess that we went too far, too fast in deploying the large-scale design of a reactor type we knew too little about.” (“The Age” 14th/15th/12/1982)

575. 1982, December -LOS ANGELES, CA., U.S.A.

Nine crew died when a B-52 crashed into a field. No mention of nuclear weapons was made on the report. (“West Australian” 18th December 1982)

576. 1983, January – BORSELES, AMSTERDAM

The Borseles nuclear reactor was shut down and evacuated after a leak in the “secondary system was found”. Radioactive water escaped but was not considered dangerous. (“Financial Review” 5/1/1982)

577. 1983, January -BROWN’S FERRY, TENNESSEE, U.S.A.

The biggest nuclear power station in the U.S. leaked radioactive water at a rate of 2200 litres per minute into the Tennessee River. The Browns Ferry plant, owned by the Tennessee Valley Authority, was put on alert when the water, used for cooling the reactor, leaked. (“West Australian” 18th January 1983)

578. 1983, January -NEW YORK, U.S.A.

U.S. nuclear plants may be using faulty parts supplied by a now bankrupt company. (“Daily News” 24/1/1983)

579. 1983, February -WINDSCALE, U.K.

The 1957 Windscale reactor disaster -Britain’s worst nuclear accident -may have caused up to 260 cases of thyroid cancer, 13 of them fatal, according to the National Radiological Protection Board. (“Daily News” 21st February 1983)

580. 1983, February -KOZLODUJ, BELGIUM.

The primary cooling system lost coolant and pressure due to valves in the pressure vessel being stuck in the open position. The reactor shut down automatically and an emergency cooling system had to be turned on to remove residual heat, with the danger that the cold water flooding into the hot core would cause “thermal shock”, creating extremely high pressures which could have split open the reactor. Cause of the near catastrophe -improper grounding of cables. (“Der Spiegel” 20/4/87, WISE NC 275 12/6/87)

581. 1983, March – MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA

A fire which almost burnt down a building containing radioactive waste raised the question of the safety of storing such substances in inner city arena. (“The Age” let March 1983)

582. 1983, March -NINE MILE POINT, NEW YORK, U.S.A.

Workers evacuated the reactor building at the Nine-Mile Point nuclear plant when a five hour alert was caused by a radioactive spill. (“West Australian” 17th March 1983)

583. 1983, March -NEW YORK, U.S.A.

The N.R.C. said the failure of a New Jersey plant to shut down automatically twice last month was the industry’s worst safety mishap since Three Mile Island. (“West Australian” “The Age” 17/3/1983)

584. 1983, March -BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA

The Federal Government will investigate the disposal of radioactive sands in Queensland after “Hot” sand was found in a school playground. (“Daily News” 28th March 1982)

585. 1983, April -MARALINGA, AUSTRALIA

British journalists claim they have evidence that aborigines were exposed to nuclear fallout during the British A-bomb tests between 1953 and 1962. They say aborigines were blinded, burnt and may have died in some cases, because of contamination. Classified documents say radioactive Cobalt-60 pellets were left scattered around the test site and the Ministry of Defence admitted that fallout from ‘Totem 1’ tests passed over aboriginal encampments 160 km to the north east of the test site. (“West Australian” 4/4/1983)

586. 1983, April -INDIAN POINT, NY., U.S.A.

The U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency reported that plans for coping with an accident at the Indian Point nuclear reactors near New York have two major flaws and the safety of 288,000 people living within ten miles of the reactors could not be guaranteed. The plants have already missed deadlines for correcting flaws and debate has occurred whether or not they should be shut down. (“Financial Review” 19th April 1983)

1.       1983, April -NEW YORK, U.S.A.

2.       1983, April -SAN FRANCISCO, CA., U.S.A.


The first stage of a Trident missile, test-fired from a submarine, blew up after a malfunction. (“West Australian” 21st April, 1983) The multi-billion dollar nuclear powered and nuclear armed aircraft carrier U.S.S. Enterprise. ran aground in San Francisco Bay. The whole ship’s company of 3,000 men stood on one side of the ship to try to re-distribute the weight and float it off. (“The West Australian” 30th April 1983)


The French start a new series of tests at Mururoa Atoll. 91 explosions have occurred so far and the atoll is showing signs of structural damage. Stories of radioactive waste leaks and increased cancer figures in local inhabitants continue to emanate from the area. (“Daily News” 21st April 1983 “West Australian” 22nd April 1983 “Sunday Independent” 24th April 1983)

590. 1983, May -WORLD

In a book about political terrorism, criminologist Dr. Grant Wardlaw said atomic installations would become prime targets for terrorists. He said security at such places was weak and terrorist groups may become more desperate to attain their political goals. (“Sunday Independent” 1/5/1983)


Mussels taken from billabongs in the Alligator River’s uranium province contain high radium concentrations. It is not yet known whether the high concentrations are natural or from the nearby Ranger uranium mine. (“West Australian” “The Age” 25th May 1983)

592. 1984, January -CZECHOSLOVAKIA

Information from the Austrian Daily Courier and said to be confirmed in Czech opposition circles revealed that thirty Soviet soldiers died in a nuclear explosion in Czechoslovakia on May 24, 1983. The explosion was probably a Soviet short range nuclear missile. Radioactivity readings by Czech authorities supported the nuclear industry. (“West Australian” 16th January 1984)

593. 1983, June -EMBALSE, ARGENTINA

Due to a valve failure, water in the secondary circuit overheated. A shut-down cooling system was improperly turned on, setting off vibrations which caused pipe displacement to 20 cm. More than 3 hours later, mechanics working in the pump room, surrounded by steam and waters, managed to close the offending valve with a tool they had feverishly produced on the spot. Cause of the accident -a missing screw. (“Der Spiegel” 20/4/87, WISE NC275 12/6/87)

594. 1983, June – MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA

A Commonwealth Serum Laboratories expert said large amounts of a tasteless fish toxin which causes an incurable disease were likely to be released from French nuclear tests. The disease, ciguatera, causes diarrhoea, vomiting and other discomfort. The disease was one reason why there was little commercial fishing in the Pacific. (“The Age” 24th June 1983 West Australian 25th June 1983)


Nuclear debris from French tests at Mururoa Atoll have been found in the Antarctic. (“The Age”/ “Daily News” 28th June 1983)

596. 1983, July – TMI, PA., U.S.A.

Around 2,500 litres of radioactive water spilt in an accident at the Three Mile Island nuclear plant. No workers were reported contaminated. (“West Australian” 12th July 1983)

597. 1983, July -U.S.A.

Nuclear Regulatory Commission findings have revealed small cracks in the cooling pipes of thirteen nuclear power plants which could lead to meltdowns. Although the plants can resume operations after patching the cracks, a permanent solution will coat hundreds of millions of dollars to replace the pipes entirely. All the reactors were made by General Electric. Another five reactors suspected of having the came problem were advised to shut down within 30 days for inspection. The shutdowns were the first ordered by the NRC since 1979. (“The West Australian” / “The Age” 16th July 1983)

598. 1983, July -TENNESSEE, U.S.A.

A Jet carrying low-level radioactive materials crashed and burnt on landing in Tennessee. (“The Age” 18/7/1983)

599. 1983, July -U.S.A.

Crossed wiring in a key piece of safety equipment in the largest nuclear utility in the U.S. has caused increased surveillance at the plant. (“West Australian” 21st July 1983)

600. 1983, July -U.S.A.

A private research group in the U.S., the Fund for Constitutional Government, reported that US nuclear ships have leaked radiation at least 37 times. The leaks contaminated coastal and inshore waters of Japan, Britain, and the U.S. on more than a dozen occasions. The report accused the U.S. Navy of “suppressing information about a 30 year history of radiation accidents and safety problems”. (“The Age” / “West Australian” 21st July 1983)

The U.S. Navy rebutted claims made by the Fund for Constitutional Government that it had numerous accidents causing radiation leaks which it tried to cover up. (“The Age” 22nd April 1983)

601. 1983, July -MOSCOW, U.S.S.R.

A serious accident occurred at a reactor factory which will affect the Soviet civil nuclear power program. The accident is related to the establishment of a safety committee [reported above.] (“The Age” 21st July 1983)

1.       1983, Summer -U.S.S.R., NORTH PACIFIC

2.       1983, August -LONDON, U.K.


Soviet submarine sank in the North Pacific killing 90 on board, the Associated Press reported, citing US Intelligence officials. (WISE NC262 31/10/86) The latest nuclear power station built in Britain had shut for a week only five days after starting operations due to a steam leak. A spokesman said there was no radiation or threat to the public. The cost of the plant has risen from the original $A425 million to $A1156 million and the Central Electricity Generating Board said the plant would have to operate for 30 years at full power to pay for itself. (“The Age” 9th April 1983)

604. 1983, August -U.S.S.R.

C.B.S. reported that a Russian nuclear submarine sunk with around 90 men on board. C.B.S. said the hull has been raised. The Soviets lost a nuclear submarine in 1970 and a diesel-powered submarine in 1974. The U.S. lost nuclear submarines in 1963 (U.S.S. “Thresher”) and 1968 (U.S.S. “Scorpion”) with a total loss of 228 men. (“West Australian” 12th August 1983)

604. 1983, August -CANADA

3,700 litres of radioactive tritium leaked into Lake Huron and Lake Ontario from Canadian nuclear power stations. (“Financial Review”; “The Age” 8/8/1983)

605. 1983, August -TMI, PENNSYLVANIA, U.S.A.

Records of radioactive leak tests at the undamaged reactor at Three Mile Island may have been tampered with, according to an N.R.C. report. (“The Age” 8th August 1983)

607. 1983, September – WINDSCALE, U.K.

An official report said 33 people may have died from the Windscale nuclear plant accident in 1957. (“West Australian” 29th September 1983)

608. 1983, September -BUENOS AIRES, ARGENTINA

An operator was killed by a massive radiation dose at a nuclear power plant. The incident was a prompt “critical” accident and the man received a radiation dose similar to people at Hiroshima and died two days later. It is claimed to be the first death attributable to the civil nuclear industry. (“The Age” 3rd September 1983) COMMENT: This death is the first attributed to the civil nuclear industry but radiation experts have long contended that numerous deaths due to cancer in nuclear industry workers and local residents have resulted from nuclear sources.


About 200 employees at the Ranger uranium mine went on strike for a week over safety issues. Workers were concerned about dust levels. (“Financial Review” 4th September 1983)

610. 1983. October -LONDON, U.K.

British nuclear waste will be stored in a diffused chemical mine beneath homes and factories at Billingham, near Riddlesborough and also 95 kms from London. Residents of the area are unhappy. (“West Australian” 24th/27th October 1983)

611. 1983, October -ONTARIO, CANADA

A nuclear reactor in Ontario will be closed for at least 10 days after springing a leak. The reactor was only opened 6 months ago. (“Daily News” 31/10/1983)

612. 1983 -TMI, PENNSYLVANIA, U.S.A.

The Metropolitan Edison Power Company, former operators of the Three Mile Island nuclear power plant, have been charged on 11 counts of criminally faking test results done before the accident in 1979. The plant is now managed by CPU Nuclear Corporation, a subsidiary of General Public Utilities Corporation, the parent company of Metropolitan Edison and half owner of Three Mile Island. (“Daily News” 8/11/1983; “West Australian” “The Age” “The Financial Review” 9th November 1983)

613. 1983, November -NEW DELHI, INDIA

Jellyfish closed a nuclear power plant in India by blocking pipes bringing coolant from the sea. (“West Australian” 9th November 1983)

614. 1983, November -RANGER, AUSTRALIA

Home Affairs and Environment Minister Cohen reported one major accident at the Ranger mine between April 1982 and June 1983 when two workers were knocked over by a spillage of yellowcake in the packaging room. They had received a radiation dose around a years allowance. Eight other minor incidents were reported at Ranger and two at Narbalek. (“West Australian” 10th November 1983)

615. 1983, November -LUCAS HEIGHTS, AUSTRALIA

A bomb was planted near the Lucas Heights nuclear plant. It was dismantled by explosives experts. (“West Australian” 18th November 1983)

616. 1983, November – WINDSCALE, U.K.

A stretch of coast near the Sellafield nuclear reprocessing plant has been contaminated by radioactive waste. (“Financial Review” “West Australian” 21st; “The Age” 22nd November 1983)

617. 1983 -ATOMASH, MOSCOW,U.S.S.R.

Bad planning and erosion problems threaten the USSR’s biggest nuclear reactor manufacturing plant called Atomsah and worth $4,000 million. (“The Age” 30th November 1983)

1.       1983, November -U.S.S.R.

2.       1983, December -RANGER, AUSTRALIA


Soviet Victor III Clara nuclear submarine disabled in Atlantic between Bermuda and South Carolina and towed to Cuba for repair. (WISE NC262 31/10/86) The Ranger uranium mine will leave a tailings pile 200 hectares in area and 30 to 40 metres high. This was revealed at a symposium on radioactive waste management which discussed various related issues including borosilicate glean, the principal waste disposal method. Professor Ringwood, developer of SYNROC has said the borosilicate method is unsafe. (“Financial Review” 1/12/1983)

620. 1983, December -ATOMIC CITY, PEKING

China admitted a serious nuclear accident at Atomic City in the Gobi Desert in 1969. 20 workers were exposed to severe radiation. (“The Age” 7/12/1983)


The Japanese memorial to victims of the Hiroshima atomic blast is to be rebuilt because it has run out of room for names of victims. The bomb was reported to have killed 200,000 people in the first five years. The annual toll of people who die from after effects of the bomb is now about 5,000. The final total is calculated at about 506,000 people. (“West Australian” 5th January 1984)

622. 1984, January -U.S.A.

The US Supreme Court reinstated damages of $10.5 million to the family of Karen Silkwood. It was ruled Miss Silkwood’s family was entitled to the money from Kerr-McGee Corporation for the nuclear contamination of Miss Silkwood. (“Financial Review” 13/1/1984)

623. 1984, January-NEW YORK, U.S.A.

36 crewmen of the US aircraft carrier U.S.S. Independence were tried over the use of LSD on the ship. (“Daily News” 13th January 1984)

COMMENT: Drug use by military personnel involved with the use of nuclear weapons is a reason for great concern. Between 1975 and 1977, 15,067 military personnel were removed from access to nuclear weapons: of those 4,809 were removed for drug abuse.

624. 1984, January, -NEVADA, U.S.A.

Mormons living near nuclear testing grounds in Nevada have shown unusually high incidence of cancer. Mormons normally have an unusually low cancer rate due to diet and lifestyle. (“West Australian” 14/1/1984)

625. 1984, January – BYRON, IL., U.S.A.

US Government safety officials refused an operating license to the Byron nuclear plant near Rockford, Illinois. The plant, worth $3.7 billion, was rejected because of a lack of assurance in quality due to a history of non-compliance of NRC requirements. The owners, Commonwealth Edison Co., can ask the NRC, (Atomic Safety and Licensing Board) to reconsider, appeal to the licensing appeal board or appeal to the five man NRC itself. The decision by the NRC is the first time in the nuclear industry’s 25 year history an application for an operating license has been flatly rejected. (“West Australian” 16/1/1984)

626. 1984, January -WORLD

The world nuclear power industry received two major blows in one week with the South Korean decision (see separate item) and developments in the US along with Reagan’s decision to pull out of President Carter’s plan for energy self-sufficiency based on nuclear power. The Carter plan required an increase in nuclear power generation and the development of a breeder reactor program, but the breeder program failed to get Congressional support in 1983. The Marble Hill plant, where $2.5 billion has already been spent, has been abandoned -the costliest failure in US nuclear industry history. The Byron plant has also been halted. The Shoreham plant of the Long Island Lighting Co., The Zimmer Plant of Cincinatti Gas and Electric Co. and the two Seabrook plants in New Hampshire are also expected to fail. The US nuclear industry is now at a virtual standstill. The closures in the US and South Korea will substantially cut back uranium demand to likely cause price falls. These developments will affect Australian uranium projects. (“Financial Review” 18th January 1984)

627. 1984, January -LONDON, U.K.

A Jaguar fighter crashed near Britain’s top secret chemical defense establishments at Parton Down where research into germ and chemical warfare is carried out. (“West Australian” 19th January 1984)

628. 1984, January -WILLIAM H. ZIMMER, OHIO, U.S.A.

The Cincinatti Gas and Electric Co. owners of the William H. Zimmer nuclear plant, announced they would try to convert the plant to coal operations. Construction started on the plant in 1972 and it was 97% completed but the NRC halted all but safety related work in 1982 and the utility company found they would have to spend another $1.5 billion (on top of $1.6 billion already spent) to satisfy Federal safety regulations and open in 1986. It will be cheaper to convert to coal. (“Financial Review” 23rd January 1984)

629. 1984, January -U.S.A.

Hundreds of workers at the US’s largest nuclear plant have been laid off and a reactor closed down because of concerns about maintenance and repair capabilities. The workers at the Brown’s Ferry plant in Alabama were laid off due to numerous violations of NRC rules. (“Financial Review” 25th January 1984)

630. 1984, January -U.S.A.

The US nuclear power industry is in deep trouble. 82 plants currently supply 65,000 megawatts of electricity, around 12% total demand. Coal plants supply 55% total demand. It is expected that only a few of the plants still under construction will be completed. All these events will cause further problems for the uranium sellers. (“Financial Review” 26th January 1984)

631. 1984, February -NEW YORK, U.S.A.

A 25 cent coin caused a loss of $150 million in revenue when it fell into the generator of a nuclear power plant. (“The Age” 2/2/1984).

632. 1984, February -CALIFORNIA, U.S.A.

As an addition to the fiat of atomic power plants violating Federal safety regulations, Diablo Canyon plant is continuing to be a major embarressment to the nuclear industry. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is due to vote in 10 days time on whether to restore the plant’s operating license, but firstly has to determine the validity of employees charges of gross design and construction errors. Although this project was launched 17 years ago, no power has as yet been generated. (“The Age” 8th February 1984)

633. 1984, February -DIABLO CANYON, SAN FRANCISCO, CA,. U.S.A.

A failsafe system of nuclear attack sirens malfunctioned, setting the Midland city into a state of shock, and causing distress to many people. (“Daily News” 9th February 1984) COMMENT: Events like this should alert people to potential panic which would break out in the event of a REAL nuclear attack.

634. 1984, February -INDIAN 2, NY, U.S.A.

The Indian II nuclear power plant in Buchanan was shut down after radioactive water started to leak into its steam generating system. The plant is expected to be closed after radioactive water started to leak into its one litre of water per minute seeping into the heat exchanger. (“Daily News” 13th February 1984)


Malaysia has announced a five-year ban on the export of monkeys after the discovery that many of the animals were being used in nuclear and chemical warfare experiments. Malaysian export policy is based on agreements signed with importing institutes that monkeys are only used for pharmaceutical experiments. However, investigations have revealed that some Malaysian monkeys were used in US air force experiments in which they were exposed to passive doses of neutron radiation, subjected to varying degrees of electric shocks and forced to run on treadmills until they died. (“The Age” 17/2/1984)

636. 1984, February -WINDSCALE, U.K.

A stretch of Cumbrian beach contaminated by radioactive waste last November is still closed as a precaution. According to reports, the contamination was exacerbated by inadequate instruments to monitor the plants operations, and poor communications between staff. (“The Age” 16th February 1980)

637. 1984, February -NEVADA, U.S.A.

Nuclear accident in the Nevada desert has left one man critically ill and eight others in hospital. It occurred during an underground nuclear test and involved technicians who were measuring the effects of the blast. The accident happened when the explosion caused a delayed cave-in. (“Daily News” 17/1/1984)

638. 1984, February -LONDON, U.K.

Labour MP Roland Boyes claims that a nuclear war could be started accidentally by American servicemen affected by drugs. Fourteen US air force personnel have been returned to the US from Greenham Common on drug-taking charges. (“Daily News” 28/2/1984)

639. 1984, March -DAVIS-BESSE, OHIO, U.S.A.

A mishap at the Davis-Besse nuclear plant in Ohio triggered the siren alarms installed at governmental direction following the Three Mile Island accident in March 1979. The siren was set off by a failed valve which stuck on an open position after the reactor, which was operating at 99 percent power, tripped because of another malfunction. A Nuclear Regulatory Commission Official said that “because the valve stuck open, the steam generator was emptied of water normally circulated through the reactor to keep it at a safe temperature”. The official went on to any that the plant is in a ‘stable’ condition due to the excess heat being removed through an identical sister steam generator. (“West Australian” 5/3/1984)

640. 1984 -UTAH, U.S.A.

A recent study in the “American Medical Journal” has reported a cancer rate in the town of St. Georges of almost double that of Mormons in the rest of Utah. St. Georges is a Mormon town in south-west Utah near where 87 open-air atomic bombs were tested between 1951 and 1962. (“The Age” 14th March 1984)

641. 1984, March -JUAREZ, MEXICO

A radioactive spill in Juarez, Mexico which occurred on December 6th was not discovered until a month later when over 200 people had been exposed to radiation, five of them to lethal levels. The spill occurred in a junkyard where a cancer-therapy machine was dismantled. (“The Age” 23rd March 1984)

642. 1984, March -U.S.S.R. , U.S. OFF KOREA

A US Navy aircraft carrier collided with a Soviet nuclear submarine off South Korea. The collision is expected to exacerbate East-West tension. (“The Age” 23rd March 1984)

643. 1984, March -MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA

Monash University has refused to release confidential documents under the Freedom of Information Act. The documents relate to 46 students who were exposed to excessive doses of radiation during experiments into the effects of snake bite. The University’s registrar has refused to provide any documents which reveal personal details of the volunteers on the grounds of confidentiality and that publication would be contrary to public interest. The Monash Association of Students has appealed to the County Court. (“The Age” 29th March 1984)

644. 1984, March -SEABROOK, NEW HAMPSHIRE, U.S.A.

Although 23 per cent completed, the second reactor in the Seabrook nuclear power project in New Hampshire appears to be close to cancellation. The unit has already cost a consortium of 16 New England utilities more than 2.5 billion, but some analysts any that the original projected $1 billion cost could soar as high as $8.5billion. If construction is terminated, financial pressure will have done what thousands of protectors failed to achieve during the 1970’s. (“Financial Review” 20th March 1984)

645. 1984, April – ALDERMASTON, U.K.

An inquest is being held to decide whether a scientists’ death resulted from his exposure to plutonium while working at the Aldermaston atomic weapons research based in 1965. (“Daily News” 10th April 1984)

646. 1984, May -MEXICO

The full dimensions of a radioactive spill in Mexico are still unknown, yet officials say that radiation released was 100 times more intense than that the Three Mile Island accident. (“The Age” 2nd May 1984) COMMENT: Although safeguards may be enforceable in the US, the implications of establishing nuclear induatries in developing countries are horrendous.

647. 1984, May -NEW YORK, U.S.A.

A Federal Judge has ruled that nuclear tests in Nevada caused cancer amongst some people who lived downwind. The tests were carried out between 1951 and 1962 and caused 375 cases of cancer. (“Daily News” 11/5/1984)


According to a 1979 report by the ecological Survey Unit of the SA Department of Environment, rabbits are almost certain to burrow into pits containing 20kg of plutonium at Maralinga. (“National Times” llth-17th May 1984)


One of the 15 containers of uranium-copper ore from Roxby Downs due to be loaded on a ship bound for Finland is leaking. Some of the containers were also inadequately labeled. (“West Australian” 19/5/1984)

650. 1984, May -U.S, OFF U.K.

A US nuclear-powered submarine collided with barrels containing nuclear waste dumped on the seabed off the South West coast of England. (“The Age”, “Daily News” 29th May 1984)

651. 1984, May -FLORIDA, U.S.A.

A Pershing II missile test launched at Cape Canaveral on May 16 suffered a guidance failure in the final seconds of flight and, despite hitting its target area, was out of control when it crashed. (“West Australian” 4th June 1984)

652. 1984, May -U.S.S.R.

A massive explosion in mid-May at the Soviet Union’s Northern fleet is believed to have destroyed a quarter to a third of the fleet’s surface-to-air missile stockpile and several cruise missiles. (“The Age” 23rd, “Sunday Times” 24th, “West Australian” 25/6/1984)

653. 1984, June -STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN

Sweden has begun the construction of the world’s first nuclear waste depot under the seabed. (“The Age” 7th June 1984)


Radiation experts will check two halls and a school bulldozer which Coober Pedy residents fear could be contaminated from the atomic tests at Maralinga. (“The Age”, “The West Australian” 18th June 1984) Britain secretly tested radioactive plutonium devices at Maralinga despite a moratorium on atmospheric tests. (“Daily News” 18th June 1984)

655. 1984, June -VERMONT YANKEE, U.S.A.

The Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant was placed on “alert emergency status” for four hours yesterday after a radiation monitoring device malfunctioned. (“West Australian” 18th June 1984)

656. 1984, June – FORKED RIVER, NEW JERSEY, U.S.A.

The first ever sale of an abandoned nuclear plant began yesterday at the Forked River plant in New Jersey. The plant was abandoned after $455 million had been spent on the project. (“West Australian” 21st June 1984)


According to a report in ‘The Times’ U.K., mentally retarded people were used in the nuclear tests at Maralinga. (“West Australian” 21st June 1984)

COMMENT: This report demands further investigation. If retarded people were used as guinea pigs for atomic tests, what other horror stories are yet to be revealed?


The cargo warehouse at Kuala Lumpur airport was closed after a solid radioactive electronic component imported via Singapore from France was found to be damaged. No leak was found. (“West Australian” 21st June 1984)


More than 90 radioactive ‘hot spots’ have been identified on the British atomic bomb test site at Maralinga. (“West Australian” 30th June 1984)

660. 1984, July -PERTH, AUSTRALIA

An inquiry commissioned by the State Government into the mineral sands industry has called for more vigour in keeping radiation levels as low as possible. The report said that tailings had been spread and used as landfill at Capel and Geraldton (West Australia). Radiation levels at Wonnerup were 10 times the limit. (“The Financial Review” “The West Australian” 27th July 1984)

661. 1984, July -PERTH, AUSTRALIA

A report into the mineral sands industry and radio-active monazite tabled in State Parliament by the Minister for Health warns that radio-active thorium has the potential to make nuclear weapons. (“Daily News” 30th July 1984)

1.       1984, August-LUCAS HEIGHTS, AUSTRALIA

2.       1984, August -PERTH, AUSTRALIA


Toxic gas escaped from the Lucas Heights atomic research centre through a ventilation shaft last month. (“The Age” 6th August 1984) A British Airways jumbo jet was grounded at Perth Airport due to fears that a radioactive package may have leaked. (“Daily News” 7/8/84 “The Age”, “The West Australian” 8/8/84)

COMMENT: Radioactive packages are commonly transported on commercial flights. The radioactive Iridium which leaked aboard a British Airways jet was not properly secured in its heavy casing which meant that it would emit radiation through the container walls. (“The West Australian” 9/8/1984) The Public Health Department has concluded that possibly only one person was exposed to radiation from the leaking Iridium consignment taken from a London-bound jet. (“The West Australian” 10/8/1984)

664. 1984, August -BRUNO LEUSCHNER 2, GERMANY

The primary circuit in Unit 2 leaked because new washers were not set in correctly. (“Der Spiegel” 20/4/88, WISE NC 275 12/6/87)

665. 1984, September -BELGIUM

The sunken French freighter, Hont Louis, has broken open and spilt come of its cargo in rough seas. (“Daily News” 11th September 1984) Greenpeace members have found a container of uranium hexafluoride on a beach near Dehaan, 10 kilometres north of Ostend, Belgium. The container is presumed to be part of the cargo of the sunken Mont Louis. (“The Age”, “The West Australian” 12/9/84, “Daily News” 13/9/84)

666. 1984, September -MARALINGA, AUSTRALIA

The President of the Royal Commission into the British bomb tests, Mr. Justice McClelland, was surprised to find that there was so much radioactive material outside fenced areas at the Maralinga test site. On visiting the atom-bomb test sites, he said that the radioactive material was in areas that had been declared safe in 1967. (“The Age”, “The West Australian” 13/9/1984)

667. 1984 – PHILLIPINES

A $2.5 billion nuclear power plant in the Phillipines, scheduled to commence operation in January, has not undergone full safety checks and is sited near several volcanoes and in an earthquake zone, according to critics. President Marcos has refused to listen to suggestions of an independent investigation into the safety of the plant and has referred to matter to the Philippine Atomic Energy Commission, which is under his jurisdiction. (“The Age” 19th September 1984)

668. 1984, September -U.S.S.R. OFF JAPAN

A nuclear disaster was apparently prevented yesterday when a Soviet nuclear-armed submarine was forced to surface in the sea of Japan after a suspected fire in its missile silos. It appears that the crew had narrowly prevented the missiles from launching themselves. (“The Age” 22nd/24th September 1984)

669. 1984, October -MARALINGA, AUSTRALIA

Two unused atomic bombs were buried in the desert in South Australia, the Royal Commission into British atomic testing in Australia was told today. (“Daily News” 10/10/84, “The Age”, “The West Australian” 11/10/84)

670. 1984, October -BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA

Up to 130 44-gallon drums containing radioactive waste may have been dumped off the Queensland coast, the McClelland Royal Commission into British atomic venting was told yesterday. (“The Age”, “The West Australian” 12/10/84, The Age. 13/10/85

671. 1984, October -WILUMA, W. AUSTRALIA

Crumbling drums of ‘hot’ uranium ore have been abandoned on Aboriginal hunting grounds near Wiluna, 750 kms north-east of Perth. (“Daily News” 19-23/10/84, “The West Australian” 31/10/84)

672. 1984, October -SAN FRANCISCO, CA., U.S.A.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency in Washington has condemned a report by the Lawrence Livermore Laboratory in California (recognized as the western World’s leading nuclear weapons research centre) suggesting that people could protect themselves during a nuclear attack by jumping into swimming pools wearing heavy clothing. (“The Age” 26/10/84)

673. 1984 -ZIMMER, OHIO, U.S.A.

The owners of Simmer nuclear plant, which failed to pass the Nuclear Regulatory Commissions checks, are attempting to convert the plant to a coal-fired station. (“The National Times” 26/10 -1/11/84)

674. 1984, November -U.S., AUSTRALIA, U.S.A./P>

High levels of radioactive fall-out were recorded in Australia, but kept secret by the U.S. Government after a suspected South African nuclear bomb test in 1979. (“The National Times” 2-8/11/84)

675. 1984, November – KALKAR, WEST GERMANY

A sodium fire occurred at the fest breeder reactor under construction at Kalkar in the Federal Republic of Germany near the Dutch border. According to official reports, the accident occurred when argon gas was vented from a sodium holding tank and drew 190 litres of sodium with it to the roof of the reactor building. When the sodium came into contact with the moisture it ignited and 100m2 of the temporary roofing caught fire. (“Atom” Mar/Apr 85, WISE NC 223 1/3/85)


2.       1985, 3rd January -U.S.S.R.


4 accidents within one year, including escape of radio-activity coolant from the primary circuit into the safety area. (“Der Spiegel” 20/4/88, WISE 12/6/87) Norway has alleged that a soviet cruise missile flew over its territory last Friday before crashing in Finland. (“The West Australian” “The Age” 4th January 1985) A British newspaper has claimed that the Soviet cruise missile which crossed Norwegian airspace before creaking into Finland last month was on an “attack” mission to west Germany. The missile had been fed the wrong flight plan by a computer error. (“The Age” 1/2/85, “The West Australian” 2/2/85) COMMENT: Human error always lurks behind computer error and while the chance of a mistake remains possible the world is at risk from nuclear missiles.

678. 1985, January -KANUPP, PAKISTAN

While radio-active wastes were being transferred into containers, a rubber hose leaked and heavy water escaped. Initially, the hose was repaired with masking tape; later a new hose was installed. (“Der Spiegel” 20/4/87; WISE NC 275 12/6/87)

679. 1985, 4th January -AUSTRALIA

The Royal Commission into nuclear tests was told that 30 badly-leaking drums of radio-active waste were dumped off the West Australian coast. The Commission was also told that Robert Menzies had sent a message to the British PM asking “What the bloody hell is going on, the cloud is drifting over the mainland?” (“The Age”, “The West Australian” 5/1/85 “Sunday Times” 6/1/85). A CSIRO scientist is making use of the thin blanket of radioactive Caesium­137 laid over Australia from atmospheric nuclear tests in the northern hemisphere to measure soil erosion. (“The West Australian”, “The Age” 7th January 1985)

680. 1985, 4th January -LENIN, USSR

“Jane’s Defence Weekly” has reported that up to 30 Soviet sailors were killed when the nuclear-powered ice-breaker “Lenin” had a melt-down of its reactor in 1967. (“The West Australian” 17th Jan 1985)

681. 1985, 17th January -LONDON, U.K..

A Greenham Common peace protector claims that she broke through security at the base and “twiddled the knobs” on a cruise missile launcher. (“The West Australian” 19th January 1985)

682. 1985, February – RHEINSBERG, GERMANY

Radio-active coolant escaped during placement of measuring instruments in the core. (“Der Spiegel” 20/4/87, W1SENC275 12/6/87)

683. 1985, February -MARALINGA, AUSTRALIA

The McClelland Royal Commission was told that one hundred Aborigines walked barefoot over nuclear-contaminated ground because boots they had been given didn’t fit. (“Daily News” 5/2/85, “The West Australian”, “The Age” 6/2/85)

February 4th, 1985 -The 1953 British nuclear test that allegedly caused ‘black mist’ phenomenon in South Australia should not have been fired and the fallout was about three times more than forecast, according to a scientist who was involved in the tests. (“The Age” “The West Australian” 13/2/1985)

684. 1985, March –TEHRAN, IRAN

Iraqi aircraft have attacked an unfinished Iranian nuclear plant and a steel plant, killing at least 11 people. (“Daily News” 5th March 1985)

685. 1985, April WOMMERUP, AUSTRALIA

A house built less than 200 meters from an area mined for mineral sands 25 years ago is still contaminated from mineral-sands tailings which are dangerously radioactive. (“The West Australian” 8/4/85)

686. 1985, April -LONDON, UK

It has been alleged that a 78 year old anti-nuclear campaigner, found slain near her home last year, was murdered by British intelligence. (“Daily News” 22/4/85)

687. 1985, April -MARALINGA, AUSTRALIA

According to a special report on an investigation of residual radio-active contamination, about 100,000 dangerous metal fragments contaminated with Plutonium still litter the Maralinga atomic test range -25 years after the atomic tests which caused them. (“The West Australian” 26/4/85)

688. 1985, April -TIANGE, BELGIUM

A blocked drain pipe caused a waste tank to overflow and radioactive liquids got into the auxiliary building. (“Der Spiegel” 20 Apr 87, WISE NC 275 12 June 1987)


A mechanical engineer has told the McClelland Royal Commission on British nuclear weapons tests in Australia, that geiger counter readings of the fallout levels near Marble Bar were “off-the-scale”. (“The West Australian”, “The Age” 6/8/85)

690. 1985, May -ALGIERS

According to Algerian Television, about 150 Algerians taken prisoner in the Franco-Algerian war were used as guinea pigs to test the effects of radiation on human beings during France’s first nuclear test 25 years ago. (“The Age” 11/5/85)

COMMENT: When the situation in Algeria became too politically sensitive, France moved the test site as far away from home as is globally possible in Mururoa.

691. 1985, May -AUSTRALIA

Details released under the US Freedom of Information Act have revealed that some sheep in Victoria had six times the normal amount of radio-activity after the suspected explosion of a South African nuclear device. (“Daily News” 21/5/85, “The West Australian” 22/5/85)

1.       1985, 11th June -U.K. OFF CALIFORNIA COAST

2.       1985, 27th June -BALAKOVO-1, U.S.S.R.


A 40-tonne fishing boat has rammed a British nuclear submarine, the HMS Resolution, causing slight damage. (“The West Australian” 12/6/85) Accident at Balakovo-1 (VVER-1000) during initial startup, when the pressurizer relief valve opens suddenly and steam at 300 degrees C is sprayed into staff work arena. Fourteen people die. The accident is laid to errors on the part of inexperienced, nervous operating staff. (“Nucleonics Week” 31/5/90; WISE-334 22/6/90).


A new film by Australian Dennis O’Rourke finds that America willingly allowed hundreds of Pacific Islanders to be exposed to radiation as an experiment during the first US hydrogen bomb explosion 30 years ago. (“The National Times” 21-27/6/85)

695. 1985, July -U.S.A.

Specialists at a terrorism and nuclear arms conference believe that it would be possible for terrorists to obtain nuclear arms. (“The West Australian” 4/7/85)

696. 1985, July -PINTUNG, TAIWAN

The Pintung nuclear power plant has been shut down for further safety checks following a fire which damaged a generator. The damaged plant was completed two months ago at a cost of $US2.4 billion. (“The Financial Review” 9/7/85)

697. 1985, 15th July -COPENHAGEN, DENMARK

An empty barrel from a freighter that sank with a radio-active nuclear cargo has been washed up on the Danish coast. (“The West Australian” 16/7/85)

698. 1985, July -PARIS, FRANCE

A French magazine claims that one of its journalists was able to buy enough Uranium and Plutonium on the black market to make an A-bomb. (“Daily News” 19/7/85, “The West Australian” 20/7/85)

699. 1985, July -NEW YORK, U.S.A.

Officials have found a small increase in the amount of deadly Plutonium in the city’s water supply after threats that the water would be poisoned unless charges against a subway gunman were dropped. (“Sunday Times” 28/7/85 “The West Australian” 29/7/85)


A radioactive substance called Tritium has been leaking into the storm water drainage system at Lucas Heights and from there into two rivers used for swimming and oyster farming, for more than 10 years. (“The Age” 30/7/85)

1.       1985, August –LONDON, U.K.

2.       1985, September -RANGER, AUSTRALIA


A major British study has found that the death rate from prostate cancer among some nuclear workers is eight times higher than the national average. (“The West Australian” 19/8/85) Following a leakage of contaminated water into Kakadu National Park, the Northern Territory Government has ordered the Ranger uranium mine not to use its tailings pipeline until a replacement has been installed. (“The Age” 26/9/85, “The West Australian” 26/9/85)

703. 1985, October -CANBERRA, AUSTRALIA


The operators of the Ranger uranium mine have again been warned by the NT Government over the accidental spillage of contaminated water following the second such incident in less than a month. (“The Age” 11/10/85)

COMMENT: These warnings are countered in public by Energy Resources of Australia Ltd who continue to produce glossy booklets showing how the company is “safeguarding the natural environment….including the area’s natural water systems, its flora and fauna and the health and welfare of the indigenous population”. (See “Ranger Uranium Mine and the Environment and Safeguarding Ranger uranium”).

704. 1985, October – TMI, PENNSYLVANIA, U.S.A.

A small amount of radioactive material has leaked from the reactor at the controversial Three Mile Island nuclear plant re-started 11 days ago. (“Daily News” 15/10/85, “The West Australian” 16/10/85)

705. 1985, October -BERWICK, PA., U.S.A.

About 38,000 litres of mildly radioactive water have spilt inside the Pennsylvania Power and Light Company’s nuclear-power plant near Berwick. (“The West Australian” 28/10/85)

706. 1965, 18th November -U.S.A.

During the 1940’s and 1950’s when the US was developing and testing the atomic and hydrogen bombs, almost a quarter of a million US citizens, a few hundred Canadians and 236 Marshall Islanders were exposed to nuclear radiation in potentially damaging amounts. Government policy is to deny both radiation damage and service connection. (“The Age” 19/11/85, “Daily News” 21/11/85)

707. 1985, December –HINKLEY POINT, U.K.

Five hundred workers were given anti-radiation pills after a gas leak at the Hinkley Point B nuclear power station in South West Britain. (“The Daily News” 4/12/85)

708. 1985, December -U.S.A.

The collapse of the US nuclear power program is regarded as imminent: 75 plants cancelled since 1978, including 28 already under construction, with another half-dozen or so cancellations in progress. (“The National Times” 27/12/85 -2/1/86)

709. 1980 -1985 -CHINA

A small paragraph in a British newspaper (The Guardian) says that careless handling of radioactive materials killed 20 people and injured 1200 in nuclear accidents in China from 1980 to 1985. The Guardian got its information from the China Daily, which quotes an official from the State Environmental Protection Bureau, Luo Guozhen, as saying China needs stricter measures on the handling of radioactive materials to prevent such accidents in the future (“The Guardian” (U.K.) 7/8/89; WISE-317 8/9/89).

710. 1986, January -U.S.A.

Pounds of Plutonium and highly enriched uranium missing from United States inventories.

711. 1986, 15th January -U.S.A.

The US navy has recorded 630 safety “incidents” related to nuclear weapons aboard ships and aircraft and at on-shore sites from 1965 to 1985, and two “accidents”. (“The West Australian”, “The Age” 17/1/86, “The West Australian” 20/1/86)

712. 1986, January -MADRID, SPAN

Twenty years ago a US B52 bomber collided with a KC-135 tanker during an in-flight refuelling over a remote Spanish village, Palomares. Four 25-megaton H-bombs dropped on the village exposing the 1200 inhabitants to Plutonium 239. (“The West Australian” 20/1/86)

713. 1986, February -TRAWSFYNYDD 1, WALES, U.K.

A pressure valve opened on top of one of the two heat exchangers which generate steam at the No 1 reactor at Trawsfynydd nuclear power station. 13 tons of coolant carbon dioxide were released to the atmosphere in 14 minutes before the valve was manually closed. Small quantities of neutron induced radioactivity (not fission products) escaped in the gas. The Central Electricity Generating Board (CEGB) which operates the plant, described the accident as “minor”. According to “The Guardian” (March 7) the radiation released by the accident was estimated to have extended 5-19 kms down wind from the plant. The releases included Manganese-56, Tritium, Sulphur-35 and Cobalt-60. (SCRAM Journal Apr/May 86, “Western Maila” 3 Mar 86, “The Guardian” 7 Mar 86, WISE NC 254, 13/6/86)

714. 1986, February –RANGER, AUSTRALIA

Contaminated water from the Ranger Uranium mine has been released into Magela Creek in the Kakadu National Park after the Northern Territory Government gave ERA Ltd permission to release two million cubic meters of water from a retention pond.(“The Age” 3/2/86, “The Age” 6/2/86)

715. 1986, February –WINDSCALE (SELLAFIELD) U.K.

A Plutonium mist has leaked at Britain’s only nuclear processing plant at Sellafield. (“The Daily News” 6/2/86, “The Age” 7/3/86)

716. 1986, February -SELLAFIELD, U.K.

Britain’s only nuclear processing plant has had its second radioactive leak this month amid complaints from Irish officials over the discharge of uranium from the plant into the Irish Sea. (“The Age”, “The West Australian” 20/2/86)

717. 1986, March -SELLAFIELD, U.K.

Another five workers were contaminated with radioactivity in another leak at the Sellafield nuclear processing plant in Cumbria. This is the fourth incident in the past five weeks. (“The Age” 3/3/86, “The West Australian” 4/3/86) As the people of the village of Seascale continue to live their lives in the shadow of the Sellafield nuclear plant, leukeemia is 10 times the national average among the area’s children under 15. (“The West Australian” 18/3/86)

718. 1986, April -U.S. OFF IRISH SEA

The nuclear powered submarine U.S.S. “Nathan AEC/Greene” ran aground in the Irish Sea and was severely damaged. (WISE NC 262 31/10/86)

719. 1986, March -EMBALSE, ARGENTINA

Local concern over leaking water is apparently why Argentina’s Commission National de Energia Atomica (CNEA) shutdown of its Embulse nuclear power reactor. Official denials that there was any direct discharge of heavy water into a nearby reservoir, but says “light amounts of heavy water did apparently mix with reservoir water. “The CNEA shut down the plant for political rather than safety resaons. (“Nucleonics Week” -20 Mar 86 (WISE NC 252 16 May 86)

720. 1986, April -U.S. OFF GIBRALTAR

U.S.S. “Atlanta” ran aground in Straits of Gibraltar, punching a hole in ballast tank. Officials said no radiation leaked and no crew members were hurt. (WISE NC 262 31/10/86)

721. 1986, April -(CHERNOBYL) KIEV, UKRAINE, U.S.S.R.

A major nuclear accident occurred at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, in the Soviet Union, spreading a huge cloud of radioactive material over Scandinavian countries. (“The Daily News” 29/4/86, “The West Australian”, “The Financial Review”, “The Daily News” 30/4/86)

722. 1986, May -U.S.A.

A report released on May 3 by Public Citizens Critical Mass Energy Project reveals more than 20,000 accidents and other mishaps have occurred at licensed US commercial nuclear power plants since the Three Mile Island Accident in 1979. Of these, more than 1,000 have been considered particularly significant by the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Moreover, the nuclear industry’s overall safety record is worsening.

In 1979 there were 2310 mishaps at the nation’s nuclear power plants, including a partial meltdown at the Three Mile Island reactor near Harrisburg Pennsylvania. The number increased to 3,804 in 1980, rose to 4,060 in 1981 and in 1982 the total jumped to 4,500 mishaps. By 1983 the number of accidents and other events had risen to over 5,000 and 247 of these events were considered particularly significant by the NRC (almost one a day). An astounding 98,162 nuclear workers are exposed to radiation in 1984, a jump of 13,000 over 1983. (“Public Citizen”)(WISE NC 252 16 May 1986).

723. 1986, May -U.S.S.R.

According to the Nuclear Monitor 19 May 1986, NRC James Asselstine told a congressional hearing that contrary to the general perception the Chernobyl reactor did have two “containment-like” structures with a design pressure of 27 pounds per sq inch (pal). Ten US reactors reports the “Monitor” have containments with a design pressure of only 12 p.s.i. and 2 reactors have only 3/4″ steel as containment. (WISE NC253 30 May 1986).

724. 1986, May – U.S.A. / EUROPE

Two US nuclear submarines went aground off Europe during the past month and one has been damaged so badly that it may have to be scrapped. (“The Age” 3/5/86)

725. 1986, May -U.S.A.

A recently-released secret report by the US General Accounting Office has revealed that since 1971 there have been 151 “significant nuclear safety accidents” in 14 different countries. (“The National Times. 9-15/5/86)

726. 1986, 14th May -NEVADA, U.S.A.

Radiation in a tunnel containing test equipment at the Nevada underground nuclear test site is so high following a nuclear ‘mishap’ that monitors are registering about 25 rads per hour. 5 rads is considered a safe level over a year. (“The Age” 15/5/86, “The West Australian” 16/5/86)

727. 1986, 18th May -U.K.

Two Greenpeace members have boarded a British ship carrying spent nuclear fuel in an attempt to highlight the ship’s vulnerability to attack. (“The West Australian” 19/5/86)

728. 1986, LA HAGUE, FRANCE

Five workers at a French nuclear reprocessing plant at Le Hague in Normandy were exposed to radiation after an accident at the plant yesterday. (“The Age”, “The West Australian” 22/5/86 )

729. 1986, May -SELLAFIELD, U.K.

In the fourth leak incident at the Sellafield nuclear reprocessing plant this year two workers were exposed to Plutonium oxide during routine maintenance. (“The Age”, “The West Australian” 23/5/86). Over the past 34 years the Sellafield nuclear reprocessing plant has dumped a quarter of a tonne of Plutonium into the Irish Sea; the Irish Sea is consequently known as the most radio-active sea in the world, and Britain as the world’s deliberate polluter. Radio-active house dust in the area is up to 6,000 times the level in other parts of the country and Plutonium levels in river estuaries are up to 27,000 times higher than other British rivers. (“National Times” 30/5 -5/6/86 )

730. 1986, June -LA SALLE 2, ILLINOIS, U.S.A.

One of the worst nuclear accidents of 1986 occurred at La Salle-2 plant in Seneca, Illinois. The plant failed to shut down in response to a mechanical malfunction, a particularly dangerous situation. Commonwealth Edison, the nation’s largest nuclear utility failed to alert Govt officials or the local population of the potential danger for more than 12 hours. (Public Citizen Critical Mass Energy Project, WISE NC 12 June 1987).

731. 1986, 1st June -U.S.A.

Recently declassified Pentagon documents show that the US Navy accidentally released nuclear weapons during 1965, 1968, 1969 and 1970. The navy experienced 381 nuclear weapon accidents and incidents between 1965 and 1977. (“The Age” 2/6/86, “The Age” “The West Australian” 3/6/86 )

732. 1986, 2nd June -BONN, GERMANY

A West German nuclear power plant has been shut down pending an investigation into a brief radiation leak a month ago. (“The Age”, “The Financial Review”, “The West Australian” 3/6/86)

733. 1986, June -GLASGOW, SCOTLAND, U.K.

A fire at a Scottish nuclear power station complex has triggered an automatic reactor shutdown. (“The Daily News” 17/6/86, “The West Australian” 18/6/86)

734. 1986, August -U.S.A.

A US Army audit says that nuclear and chemical weapon sites have been guarded by men considered to be mentally ill, as well as others who were convicts, drug users and medically disabled. (“The West Australian” 11/8/86)

735. 1986, 21st August -ARKANSAS, U.S.A.

The leak of a liquid fuel component used in Titan II missiles caused the evacuation of several families near an Arkansas town yesterday. (“The West Australian” 21/8/86)

736. 1986, August -SELLAFIELD, U.K.

The ‘New Scientist’ reported on August 14 that autopsies on the bodies of typical former workers at the Sellafield nuclear plant have revealed concentrations of Plutonium 100’s and in one case 1,000’s of times higher than the general public. The study by Doc. Popplewell from the U.K. National Radiological Protection Board also found that concentrations of Plutonium in the bodies of Cumbrians who did NOT work at the plant average 50-25%. higher than elsewhere in Britain. High levels of cancer have been found in the population around Sellafield. (“Cumbrians Opposed to a Radioactive Environment”, WISE NC257, 22 Aug 86)

737. 1986, August -PELINDABA, SOUTH AFRICA

Two people were killed and two were seriously injured in an accident at South Africa’s top secret Pelindaba nuclear research facility near Pretoria. The workers were part of a cleaning team caught in a fire during routine work. It was reported that the accident did not involve radiation. (“Nucleonics Week” 14 Aug 86, WISE NC 260 3/10/86)

738. 1986, August – FERMI 2, U.S.A.

The American Fermi-2 reactor suffered an electrical fire in the distribution system to the flow valve. The reactor which was shut in July 1985 after an “inadvertent” criticality has not been in commercial operation since then. (“SCRAM Journal” WISE NC260 3/10/86)

739. 1986, August -CATTENOM 1 & 2, FRANCE

8,000 litres of water initially thought to be from the primary coolant system flooded underground cellars at Units 1 and 2 of the Cattenom nuclear plant on August 23. The flooding, reportedly due to human error, left a valve open and is said to have destroyed electrical systems and pipelines. Later reports say it was not coolant water but a leak of river water. (“Nucleonics Week” 4,115 8/9/86, “Financial Times” 12/9/86, “The Scotsman” 12/9/86, WISE NC260 3/10/86).

740. 1986, August -JAPAN

Two women researchers received internal radiation at the Science and Technology Agency of Institute of Physical & Chemical Research in Japan when they breathed radioactive air while cleaning a room contaminated with radio-active equipment left there for more than a year. (“Japan Times” 19/9/86 WISE NC262 31/10/86)

741. 1986, August -NEW MEXICO, U.S.A.

The US Air Force admitted to an accident 30 years ago where an H-bomb was dropped from a bomber while landing in New Mexico. The conventional explosive component exploded but no-one was injured. (“The Australian” 29/8/86 )

742. 1986, 23rd September -U.S.A.

Radio-active debris in space is starting to become a real problem, according to a new study by Dr Nicholas Johnston, a US scientist. (“The West Australian” 24/9/86)

743. 1986, 10th September -COLOMBO, SRI LANKA/ NETHERLANDS

Sri Lankan health authorities have destroyed 68 tonnes of imported Dutch milk that was found to be contaminated by nuclear radiation. (“The West Australian” 11/9/86)

744. 1986, 11th September -SELLAFIELD, U.K.

The Sellafield nuclear plant in the U.K. continues to draw criticism for radio-active leaks. The latest cases are radio-active bubbles found in the ocean off the coast where the plant is situated. (“The West Australian” 12/9/86)

745. 1986, 5th October -U.S.S.R., ATLANTIC

Three crewmen have died in a fire on board a Soviet nuclear submarine in the Atlantic about 1600 kilometres off the US coast. (“The West Australian”, “The Australian” 6/10/86)

746. 1986, 5th October – WASHINGTON, U.S.A.

Hundreds of US and Soviet crew members have died in nuclear powered submarine accidents since the first “U.S.S. Nautilus” was launched in 1954 in a list which has now been disclosed to the public. (“The West Australian” 6/10/86)

747. 1986, 6th October -U.S.S.R., ATLANTIC

The Pentagon reported that the Soviet nuclear-powered submarine which had a fire on board yesterday and lost 3 crewmen, has sunk in the Atlantic today. The remaining 120 crew have been evacuated. (“The West Australian”, “The Australian”, “The Sydney Morning Herald” 7/10/86)

748. 1986, 6th October -CANADA / U.S.S.R.

In the winter of 1978, a nuclear powered Soviet spy satellite plunged out of the sky sprinkling radioactive debris across northern Canada. The Ottawa Government presented the Soviet Union with a cleaning up bill for about $__ million. Two years later the Soviet Union agreed to pay $__ million. However, in the wake of the Chernobyl accident and the larger scale of contamination it released, Moscow has refused any compensation to the West. (“The Sydney Morning Herald” 7/10/86)

749. 1986, 12th October -SNAKE RIVER, U.S.A.

A truck carrying 16 tons of uranium pellets crashed into the Snake River in the western US when the driver swerved to avoid a slow moving farm combine. The uranium was being shipped from Ohio to Hanford Nuclear Reservation where it is made into fuel elements that go into the Hanford Nuclear reactor. (“The Washington Post” 14/10/86, WISE NC 262 31/11/86)

750. 1986, October -TMI, PA., U.S.A.

A full report on the 1979 partial melt-down of Three Mile Island Unit 2 Reactor was released in a highly “diluted” form, according to Jane Rickover, daughter-in-law of the late Admiral Hyman G. Rickover. Had the full report been released it would have destroyed the civilian nuclear industry because the accident was definitely more dangerous than was ever made public. (WISE News 31/10/86 NC 262)

751. 1986, 15th October -ANGRA 1, BRAZIL

On the same day a Brazilian Federal Appeal Court approved restart of the Angra-1 reactor at Angra don Rein, the plant operator reported that a valve leak occurred in the plants primary cooling system. (“Nucleonics Week” Vol 24 23/10/86, “Veja” October 1986, “Folha de Sao Paulo” April 1986, WISE NC 263 21/11/86)

752. 1986, October -(CHERNOBYL) NETHERLANDS

Scientists working at the Nuclear Research Institute of the University of Croningen in the Netherlands have found Plutonium on the clothing of Dutch citizens who visited Russia. The researchers found Plutonium on jeans of a Dutch citizen who was in Kiev at the time of the accident and a splinter of a fuel rod from Chernobyl on the shoe of a child who visited Minsk and Smolenak. (“Nucleonics Week” 18L26/9/86, WISE NC 260 3/19/86)

753. 1986, October -(CHERNOBYL) SWEDEN and U.K.

According to the Swedish News In. 5/10/86, extremely high levels of radioactivity have been measured among farmers living in an area of Sweden badly contaminated by fallout from Chernobyl. Radioactive contamination of soil and vegetation following Chernobyl is proving more persistent than expected in the U.K.. (“New Scientist” 23/10/86, WISE NC 263 31/11/86

754. 1986, October -TIHANGE, BELGIUM

Several leaks occurred at the Tihange nuclear power plant on the Meuee River in Belgium early in October.

5th: 30,000 litres of water leaked from the primary cooling system due to a faulty packing ring or gasket in a pump,

7th: Radioactive gases were discharged through the stack,

10th: 600 litres of contaminated water leaked due to a broken valve

20th: A fire broke out in a container of radio-active waste. The cause:: a malfunctioned thermometer. (WISE NC 262, 31/10/86)

755. 1986, October -HOPE CREEK, NEW JERSEY, U.S.A.

A system to protect against the release of radioactivity in an accident at a nuclear power plant at Hope Creek was installed backwards. The error was discovered while the plant was operating at 20% testing power. (“Randleaf” 10/86, WISE NC 262 31/10/86)

756, 1986, October -THREE MILE ISLAND 2, PA,. U.S.A.

Algae, yeasts, bacteria and mould are growing so fast in the core of the Three Mile Island Unit 2 reactor that they are hindering cleanup of the reactor, which suffered a partial meltdown in 1979. The reactor core is highly radioactive and the micro-organisms are estimated to be receiving doses of hundreds of rems per hour, more than enough to kill most life forms quickly. Radiation resistant bacteria are also seen as a serious problem in nuclear waste dumps. (“Volksskraut” 18/10/86, WISE NC 262 31/10/86)

757. 1986, October -HANFORD, WA., U.S.A.

Two military plutonium plants at the Hanford nuclear reservation in the State of Washington were shut-down in mid-October by the Dept. of Energy, due to safety violations. (“Nature” 16/10/86, WISE NC 262 31/11/86)

758. 1986, October -U.S.A.

The General Accounting Office (GAO) report has found potentially dangerous soil and ground water levels of solvents, nitrates, chloride, Tritium, Strontium, Cadmium, Selenium, Mercury, Iodine, Arsenic, and Chromium at 8 of 9 US Dept. of Energy facilities which it investigated. (“Nucleonics Week” 2/10/86, WISE NC 262 31/10/86)

759. 1986, November -SAVANNAH RIVER, SC., U.S.A.

According to an Environmental Policy Institute (EPI) study, highly radio-active and toxic wastes are polluting soil and water at a nuclear fuel plant in South Carolina. The study based on US Dept of Energy examined the Savannah River plant tank farm, where radio-active wastes from more than 30 years of nuclear bomb production are stored. “Routine discharges of radio-active wastes into the soil as well as leaks and other accidents have severely contaminated the soil and shallow aquifers on the site. This poses a threat to the Tuscaloosa aquifer, which is the region’s most important source of underground water supply. (EPI “International Herald Tribune” 10/86 “Wall Street Journal” 24/7/86, WISE NC 263 21/11/86)

760. 1986, November (CHERNOBYL) UKRAINE, U.S.S.R.

Radionuclides in the food chain are also causing ornithologists concern. There are fears that the wetlands of the Ukraine are a likely feeding ground for many migratory birds. Radioactive isotopes concentrated in the bird’s tissues could be passed-on to people who eat the birds in other areas. (“Discover” 11/86, WISE NC 263, 21/11/86

761. 1986, November -HINKLEY POINT, SOMERSET, U.K.

Corrosion problems found during a regular shutdown of one of the Magnox reactors at Hinkley Point, Somerset have called into question whether the Central Electricity Generating Board (CEGB) should continue with its policy of extending the lifetime of these old reactors from 25-30 years. The corrosion problem was, until recently thought to be “impossible”. (“Times” 6/11/86-7/11/86, WISE NC 263 21/11/86)

762. 1986, 28th November -SELLAFIELD, U.K.

An investigation was launched on how 230,000 litres of low-level radio-active waste were accidentally discharged into the Irish Sea from the Sellafield nuclear reprocessing plant. (“The Age” 29/11/86)

763. 1986, November -OKLAHOMA, U.S.A.

The Oklahoma State Dept of Agriculture has now licensed the use of treated “nuclear waste” called raffinate as fertilizer. Opposition is mounting for a public hearing and a write in campaign to have the license rescinded. (WISE NC263 21/11/86)

764. 1986, November -PALUEL 3, FRANCE

An employee of the French Energy Agency Electricite de France (EDF) and 5 employees of a sub-contracted firm were contaminated at ‘unknown’ rates during work on Sect 3 of the Paluel power Station in Seine Maritime. The accident “is the most serious” since commissioning in 1984 according to a trade union source. The employees were overhauling pipes and fittings when they inhaled airborne radio-active particles for several hours. (WISE-Paris Bulletin 30 Nov/15 Dec 86)

765. 1986, December -(CHERNOBYL) NORWAY

The damage caused by Caesium fallout from Chernobyl is proving more serious than expected in many countries. In Norway, massive contamination in reindeer has caused the Norwegian authorities to raise the acceptable levels of radio-activity for consumption to 10 times their original value. Source: Maria Rault, Eindhoven. (WISE NC 265 p.2/3 19/12/86)

766. 1986, December -SURREY 2, RICHMOND, VA., U.S.A.

4 workers died and 2 others were severely burnt at the Surrey-2 plant when they were sprayed with scalding water from a burst pipe. (“Public Citizen Critical Mass Energy Project”, WISE NC 275 12/6/87)

767. 1986, 3rd December -EDWIN 1 HATCH, GEORGIA, U.S.A.

The Edwin 1 Hatch nuclear power plant near Baxley, Georgia has experienced what has been described as the worst accident at a temporary facility for high level radio-active waste in US commercial nuclear power history. Approx. 141,000 gallons of radio-active water leaked out of storage pools, containing spent fuel rods from the plant (levels of radio-activity are several times higher in the Hatch fuel pool than is in the plant itself). An estimated 84,000 gallons passed through storm drains into the wetlands area located on plant property. Following the accident Georgia power issued a press statement claiming that only 5,000 gallons of water had leaked and assured the public that the accident posed no health threat. (“Public Citizen” Dec 1986, WISE NC 266 16 Jan 87)

768. 1986, 5th December -SCARABEE, FRANCE

One of the four control rods at the Scarabee reactor at the Nuclear Research Centre in Cadarache, France, jammed in a raised position and failed to drop when ordered to do so. The incident was considered “significant for safety” by the Service Central de Surete den Installations Nuclesires. (WISE, Paris)

769. 1986, 17th December -TMI, PA., U.S.A.

A clean-up worker at Three Mile Island nuclear plant was injured and contaminated by radiation yesterday after being hit by lead shielding in the reactor containment building. (“The West Australian” 18/12/86)

770. 1986, December – OHIO, U.S.A.

Uranium and toxic chemicals seeping through waste pits at Feed Materials Production Centre in Fernald, Ohio USA, which makes uranium products for nuclear warheads, have contaminated the Great Miami Aquifer, the main source of water for residents of SE Ohio. (“Northern Sun News” 10/86, WISE NC 264 5/10/86)

771. 1986 -(CHERNOBYL) WORLD

The arrival in the Phillipines and other countries of milk products from Western Europe with higher than the permitted radioactive levels has been reported. In Singapore (which has probably the most efficient system of testing and control) rejected no less than 240 consignments from Belgium, Holland, Denmark, Ireland and France. Sri Lanka banned the sale of many varieties of jam imported from Poland, Bulgaria and Holland. Argentina scrapped plans to import chickens from Hungary and certain canned goods from West Germany and Scandinavian countries. (“Nucleonics week” 30/10/86, WISE NC 264, 5/12/86)

772. 1987, January -BOHUMICE 3, CZECHOSLOVAKIA

Cracks were detected in the collector wall of Bohumice 3 six steam generators causing the plant to shut down for 2 months for repairs. (“Nucleonics Week” 4/6/87, “WISE” NC 278 14/8/87 )

773. 1987, January -IRISH SEA, WALES, U.K.

The level of Americium-241 arising in the Irish Sea is increasing and in 70-100 years the amount will be greater than the amount pumped directly into the sea in the mid 1970s (when discharges were at their highest). This is because Am-241 is a decay product of Plutonium­

241. Am-21 is known to be 57 times more toxic than Plutonium-241. Now traces of Am-241 have been found in Trawafynydd Lake beside Trawafynydd nuclear power Station in Wales. (“Welsh Anti Nuclear Alliance Newsletter” Winter 86/98, “Core Waste Paper” Jan 87, WISE NC 270 13/3/87

774. 1987, 9th January -(CHERNOBYL) JAPAN

Japan has turned back 3 consignments of food from Europe because they were contaminated by radio-activity from Chernobyl. 1 consignment was carrying hazelnuts from Turkey 1 consignment was carrying reindeer from Sweden 1 consignment was carrying spices from Turkey. (Sources: Diet Simon, “Japan Times” 10/1-14/2/87, WISE NC 270 13 Mar 87 p.9-10)

775. 1987, 11th January -U.K.

A 20-tonne lorry believed to be carrying nuclear weapons slid off an icy country road and overturned near the top-secret Royal Navy armament depot at Dean Hill, Wiltshire, yesterday. Police and troops surrounded the area and details of the accident, including the lorry’s load, are being kept secret by the British Government. (“The Daily News” 12/1/87, “The Age” 13/1/87)

776. 1987, 25th January -HONG KONG

The principle of Jesuit Wah Yen College in Wan Chai district, central urban Hong Kong, says that he is angry that a nuclear waste dump site has existed under the school for more than 2 decades without public knowledge. Jesuit Father Marciano Saptiata was informed of the waste site by the Friends of the Earth, Hong Kong. (FOE, Hong Kong, WISE NC 271 27/3/87 )

777. 1987, January -SELLAFIELD, U.K.

Twelve workers at the Sellafield nuclear reprocessing plant in Cumbria have been affected by a leak of radioactivity, according to British Nuclear Fuels. (“The Daily News” 21/1/87)

778. 1987, 25th January -SAINT LAURENT, FRANCE

Another incident has been reported at the Saint Laurent plant in France. On January 25th, nearly 300,000 customers experienced a power cut of nearly an hour, following a fire in a transformer. The plant had to be shut down on January 12 because of ice. (“FT European Energy Report”, WISE NC 270 13 Mar 87 p.10)

779. 1987, February – (CHERNOBYL) EGYPTIAN WATERS

An Egyptian frigate escorted 2 cargo ships out of Alexandria after they were found to be carrying radioactive contaminated food from Chernobyl. 1 ship was carrying herbs from Lebanon 1 ship was carrying ground nuts from Turkey. (Sources: Diet Simon, “Japan Times” 10/1-14/2/87, WISE NC 270 13 Mar 87 p.9-10)

780. 1987, 3rd February -(CHERNOBYL) GERMANY

West German anti-nuclear activists broke into train cars filled with radio-active powdered milk, throwing milk filled sacks into the snow. The activists wanted to make sure the milk which W. German environmental minister Wallman said still had “commercial value”, would not be used. The milk powder came from Bavaria where shortly after Chernobyl milk producers were ordered to turn their milk into powder and were compensated for their loses. (“WISE” NC 268 -13/2/87)

781. 1987, February -TRICASTIN 4, FRANCE

The management of Unit 4 of Electricite de Frances (EDF) Tricantin nuclear power station failed to notify either EDF central management or French nuclear regulatory authorities of a crack detected on auxiliary piping in the safety injection circuits. (“Nucleonics week” 2 Apr 87, WISE NC 276 3 Jul 87)

782. 1987, February -CIEMAT, MADRID, SPAIN

It was revealed recently that some 132 metric tons of nuclear waste are being stored in central Madrid, Spain, in the heart of the university area surrounded by densely populated neighbourhoods. The waste came from an experimental reactor and reprocessing facility for Spain’s Centre for Energy, Environment a Technology Research (CIEMAT) formerly Junta de Energia Nuclear (JEN). Despite claims by CIEMAT’s director that “no contamination would find its way beyond the centre’s installations”, 2 accidents have been attributed to JEN, one in 1970 when 300 litres of liquids contaminated with Strontium 90 and Caesium 137 found their way into the Manzanares, Jarama and Tajo Rivers, and in 1984 when 450 litres of less contaminated water were spilled into the city sewers. (WISE NC 271 March 1987)

783. 1987, March 24th -IDAHO, U.S.A.

A train hauling nuclear waste from the Three Mile Island nuclear power plant to a Federal repository in Idaho collided with a car. (“Three Mile Is. Alert Updates” Mar/May 87, WISE NC 278 14/8/87)

784. 1987, March -HARTLEPOOLE, U.K.

A boiler tube leak at one of the twin Hartlepool advanced gas cooled reactors (AGRs) in the

U.K. allowed about 8 metric tone of water to escape into the carbon dioxide coolant. (“Nucleonics Weeks” 2 Apr 87, WISE NC 276 3 Jul 87)

785. 1987, 8th March -LUCAS HEIGHTS, AUSTRALIA

Fire destroyed an Australian laboratory cell used for processing isotopes. Nearby fire brigades scrambled to the Lucas Heights reactor and nuclear complex, but were kept away from the cell by reactor staff. Iodine, Krypton and Xenon were released uncontrollably after the fire. (WISE NC 271 March 1987)

785. 1987, 2nd March -U.S.A.

Pentagon officials, who requested anonymity, said that one of the US Navy’s nuclear powered attack submarines incurred damage estimated at more than $4 million last November in what was probably a collision with a Soviet submarine. (“The West Australian” 3/3/87)

787. 1987, 18th March -LUCAS HEIGHTS, AUSTRALIA

Radioactive material was released during a fire at the Atomic Energy Commission’s Lucas Heights research laboratory in Sydney’s south, a Federal Government spokesman for the Minister for Resources and Energy, Senator Evans, said tonight. (“The West Australian” 19/3/87) A report from an inquiry into the fire at the Atomic Energy Commission’s Lucas Heights research laboratory in Sydney last week has criticized the commission for a poor public-information system which led to public alarm about a “Chernobyl-like” incident. No one, including staff at the site, suffered or would suffer adverse health effects from radioactive material released in the accident, the inquiry found. (“The West Australian” 27/3/87 )

788. 1987, March -NUKEM, WEST GERMANY

At least eight employees at the fuel element plant Nukem, in Hanau, West Germany have been contaminated with plutonium above the allowed yearly dose. Nukem processes uranium for the manufacture of fuel rods for reactors but a batch of uranium sent from Nuclear Research Centre in Karlruhe to the Hanau plant was contaminated with Plutonium. (WISE NC 272 -3/1987)


Sodium leaked from a cooling tank at the Superphenix fast breeder reactor in Creys-Malville and engineers have been unable to trace the source of the leak. Sodium is used to cool the fuel rods and is inflammable on contact with air and explosive in contact with water. (“La Monde” 11/4/87, “Guardian” 13/4/87 -WISE April 1987)

790. 1987, April -(CHERNOBYL) U.K.

Western containments are not so radically different from that at Chernobyl, an I.A.E.A. safety division official told the International Conference on Nuclear Containment. (“Nucleonics Week” 23/4/87, WISE NC 276 3 Jul 87)

791. 1987, April -FRANCE

Seven un-named reactors experienced “SCRAM” failures. “SCRAM” is the sudden insertion of the control rods into the reactor core to stop the fission reaction in case of an emergency,. (“Der Spiegel” 20/4/87, WISE NC275 12/6/87)

792. 1987, April -HANAU, GERMANY

Uranium hexafluoride leaked into the control room of the Reaktor Brennelement Union fuel fabrication plant in Hanau in April. 23 workers were tested for contamination and the government has temporarily closed the affected part of the plant. (SCRAM Journal -WISE NC 279, 18/9/87)

1.       1987, 7th May -U.S.A.

2.       1987, 12th May -GORLEBEN, GERMANY


A freight train carrying 192 pounds of low-level radioactive materials, derailed in the Columbia Gorge in the northwestern US. (“NW Alert” WISE NC 277/24 July 1987) There was a serious accident in the high level waste repository under construction in Gorleben. 6 workers were injured by a falling support as the shaft collapsed. One of the workers later died. (“TAZ” May 20/21, WISE NC 275 12/6/87)

795. 1987, 12th May -HUNTERSTON AGR B1, U.K.

Following refuelling a mechanical problem in a fuel channel gas unit caused the gas outlet temperature of the AGR reactor B1 in Hunterston to rise above normal operating limits. The normal temperature of the carbon dioxide coolant leaving the fuel channels is 648 degrees. During the incident, the temperature reached 710 degrees for two minutes. Sudden changes in core temperature can lead to an “asymmetric reactivity fault” -a potential precursor to an AGR core meltdown. (SCRAM Journal July/August 1987 -WISE NV 279 18/9/87 )

796. 1987, 21st May -U.S.A.

An unexploded Exocet missile warhead was found on the damaged U.S.S. Stark and was disarmed and removed, the Pentagon said yesterday. (“The West Australian” 22/5/87)

797. 1987, 29th May -HEYSHAM 1, U.K.

Radioactive oil was emitted from HEYSHAM 1 AGR during a cleaning operation. (SCRAM Journal July/August 1987 -WISE NC 279 18/9/87)

798. 1987, May -BROKDORF, GERMANY

The 1350 mw PER in BROKDORF, was shut down on May Day because of a generator leak. (SCRAM Journal, July/Aug 1987 -WISE NC 279, 18/9/87)

799. 1987, May -FORSMARK, SWEDEN

Oil washed ashore from a ship wrecked last year threatened the safety of the reactors in BROKDORF, Sweden in early May. (SCRAM Journal, July/Aug 1987 -WISE NC 279, 10/9/87)

800. 1987, May -PALISADES, MICHIGAN, U.S.A.

A series of equipment malfunctions forced the Palisades plant to shut down; the NRC found a backlog of 3,000 required repairs that were not completed. (“Public Citizens Critical Mass Energy Project”, WISE NC 275 12/6/87)

801. 1987 -PETTEN, HOLLAND

Overheating of the cooling water at the European Commission’s nuclear reactor at Petten in Holland caused a radioactive leak in May. (SCRAM Journal, July/Aug 1987 -WISE NC 279, 10/9/87)

802. 1987, 3rd June -NUKEN HANAU, GERMANY

The New Conservative Environment Minister in the German State of Hesse, Farlheinz Neiman, has found serious safety problems at the Nuken Plutonium processing plant in Hanau. (Diet Simon, Cologne, WISE NC 276 3 Jul 87)

803. 1987, June -WNP 2, U.S.A.

Electrical problems caused WNP-2 nuclear plant to scram five times within 10 days after its June 22nd restart from its annual refuelling and maintenance outage. (“Nucleonics Week” 16 July 1987, WISE NC 279, 18/9/87)

804. 1987, 8th June -BERKELEY, U.K.

A fire in the turbine hall of the Berkeley reactor in Britain closed the reactor. (SCRAM Journal July/Aug 1987 -WISE NC 279, 10/9/87)

805. 1987, 14th June -LA HAGUE, FRANCE

Six storage halls of the nuclear reprocessing plant at La Hague on the French Channel coast were contaminated by radioactive steam due to a ventilation system break down. There was reportedly no one in the halls at the time of the mishap, which management said was only noticed a day later and publicly disclosed 3 days later. (Diet Simon, Cologne. WISE/NC276 3/7/1987 )

806. 1987, 16th June -NORTH ANNA 1, U.S.A.

Tubing inside a steam generator of North Anna’s Unit 1 in the US ruptured releasing small amounts of radioactivity into the atmosphere and forcing a shutdown of the reactor. (“The Washington Post” 18/7/87, WISE NC 278 14/8/87)

807. 1987, 17th June -ORPHEE, FRANCE

Radioactive water leaked for at least a week in early June from the ‘Orphee’ experimental reactor of the French Atomic Energy Commissariat (CEA) at Saclay near Paris. A CEA spokesperson said on June 17 that around two cubic centimetres per hour were continuing to drip from a leak which was almost plugged. He said the leak was initially 150 cubic centimetres an hour. (Diet Simon, Cologne, WISE/NC276, 3 July 1987)

808. 1987, 24th June -DUNGENESS, U.K.

A container of irradiated fuel was derailed in a siding while leaving Dungeness A. (SCRAM Journal July/Aug 1987 -WISE NC 279, 10/9/87)

809. 1987, 26th June -ANGRA 1, BRAZIL

Brazil’s only nuclear power plant was off line again from June 26 to August 6. Angra I had been in production since April 3, after being down for most of previous 4 months. The reason for the present shut-down is a leakage of radioactive water from a valve in the primary System. Brazil’s Minister of Energy and Mining, Aurelio Chavea, will negotiate with Westinghouse, supplier of Angra I, about the $6 million production losses caused by the defects of the plant. (“O Globo” newspaper 1 July 1987 -WISE NC 279, 18 September 1987)

1.       1987, June -TENNESSEE, U.S.A.

2.       1987, June -(CHERNOBYL) GERMANY


A truck carrying 14 Westinghouse fuel assemblies overturned approximately 10 miles west of Knoxville, Tennessee. (“Nucleonics Week” 25 June 1987, WISE NC 279 18/9/87) The W. German Institute for Human Genetics detected a significant increase in Downs Syndrome in children born in Jan 87 in W. Berlin. Direct association with Chernobyl is suspected, since it is exactly 9 months from April 86 to Jan 87. (WISE NC 12/6/1987 p.50)

812. 1987, June -U.S.A.

More than 23,000 mishaps have occurred at US commercial reactor power plants since the Three Mile Island accident in 1979, according to Public Citizen.

1979 -2,310 accidents 1980 -3,804 accidents 1981 -4,060 accidents 1982 -4,500 accidents 1983 -5,000 accidents 1984 -2,417 accidents 1985 -2,974 accidents 1986 -3,000 accidents.

(Public Citizen Critical Mass Energy Project WISE NC 275 June 87)

813. 1987, June -(CHERNOBYL) SWEDEN

Swedish scientists from the University of UMEA in collaboration with the Swedish military are studying the health effects of radio-active Caesium ingestion using Samia who are eating meat contaminated by the Chernobyl fallout. (WISE NC 277 24/7/87)

814. 1987, July -SELLAFIELD, CUMBRIA, U.K.

There was a dramatic increase in deaths from leukaemia in 1986 in West Cumbria now well known because of Sellafield. (“Whitehaven News” 9/Jul 87, WISE NC 277 24/7/87)

815. 1987, July -U.S.A.

A paper published in the July 1986 Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, by Theodore Puck of the University of Colorado and the Eleanor Roosevelt Institute for Cancer Research, concludes that the true mutagenic efficiency of LOW DOSES of ionizing radiation in the approx. range of human exposure is more than 200 times GREATER than assumed by linear dose extrapolation. The actual curve exhibits a downward concavity so that the mutational efficiency is maximal at LOW doses”. (“Radiation Events Monitor” WISE NC 276, 3 Jul 87)

816. 1987, July -U.S.A.

Engineers from the US General Electric Co (GE) recommended that the company stop selling its nuclear reactors because of safety shortcomings in the design. This was reported in a document which was allegedly kept from the public following a secret agreement between GE and the NRC (Nuclear Regulatory Commission). One of the Journalists who brought this information to light has since been “assigned to other duties”. (“The Nuclear Monitor” 15 Jun 87, WISE NC 276, 3 Jul 87)

817. 1987, 20th July – FERMI 2, U.S.A.

Fermi-2 scrammed automatically due to high turbine vibration readings. (“Nucleonics Week”, 23/ 7/87, WISE NC 279, 18/9/87)

818. 1987, July -MAGNOX ANGLESEY, U.K.

One of the Magnox reactors at Wylfa in Anglesey has been shut down for three months because of a failure in the fuel loading machine. (SCRAM Journal July/Aug 1987, WISE NC 18/9/87)

819. 1987, July -NORTH ANNA, U.S.A.

Leak of radioactive water has forced the shutdown of a reactor at the North Anna nuclear power plant in Virginia. (“The West Australian” 17/7/87)

820. 1987, July – KORI 1 & KNU 1, SOUTH KOREA

Kori-1 was in a forced outage in July for 36 hours due to a typhoon that defaulted the turbine generator. KNU-7 was also shut down for 248 hours during the same month due to high level in steam generator and excessive cooling hydrogen in the main generator. (WISE NC 279 18 September 1987)

821. 1987, July -HUNTERSTON 1, U.K.

A fuel leak was discovered in reactor 1 of the Hunteraton A Magnox station on 9 July. The tiny hole was apparently caused by a “random defect” and the fuel will now treated as normal. (SCRAM Journal Sept/Oct 1987, WISE NC 279, 18/9/87)

822. 1987, July – CALVERT CLIFFS 1 & 2, BYRON 1, DRESDEN 2 & 3, U.S.A.

Forced outages in US reactors include:

a.Calvert Cliffs-1 – which was shut down for 20.6 hours due to inadvertent boration cause by initial overcooking of the steam generator through a failed high pressure feedwater heater isolation valve and failure of boric acid pump.

b. Calvert Cliffs-2 -one of four outages was due to exceed reactor coolant system leakage from regenerative heat exchanger drain valves. Byron-1 was forced to shut down for 46 hours after being struck by lightening.

c. Dresden-2 and -3 -were forced down due to feedwater regulator valve problems. (SCRAM Journal -WISE NC 279, 18/9/87)


823. 1987, August -TRAWSFYNYDD, U.K.

Two recent accidents at the Trawsfynydd Magnox Station have fuelled criticism of the CEGB’s “open information policy”. The first occurred on 1 August when 100 gallons of liquid waste spilled from a pipe carrying it to a storage tank. Local ME, Daffyd Ellis Thomas, has complained that he was not informed of the accident until 5 days later. On 10 August an explosion in the turbine hall put two gas circulators in one of the reactors out of action. The CEGB originally denied that there had been an explosion, although they later confirmed that the blast had blown a door off its hinges and caused 20,000 pounds worth of damage. (SCRAM Journal Sept/Oct 1987, WISE NC 279, 18/9/87)

824. 1987, August -SELLAFIELD, U.K.

An accident halted reprocessing less than one week after it had restarted following a three month break. (SCRAM Journal Sept/Oct 1987, WISE NC 279, 18/9/87)

825. 1987, 22nd August -U.S.A.

The United States Navy has ordered Pacific Commanders to ‘remove evidence’ in case of a nuclear weapons accident aboard and treat it as one involving conventional explosives, it was revealed in a document obtained by a private research organization. (“The Australian” 24/8/87)

826. 1987, August -U.K.

A contaminated railway wagon in the U.K. travelled from Sellafield to HEYSHAM where it stood for four months before radioactive rust fell onto the tracks and was detected during a “routine check” in August. A confidential CEGB report, revealed in the “Guardian” (27/8/87) says that 108 of all flasks and flatrols used to carry them are contaminated. (SCRAM Journal (Scotland) Nov/Dec 1987, WISE NC 283, 20/11/87)

827. 1987, August -BERKELEY, U.K.

Two workers received contamination to their skin during maintenance work on the secondary shielding at Berkeley reactor. (SCRAM Journal (Scotland) Nov/Dec 1987, WISE NC 283, 20/11/87)

828. 1987, August -SELLAFIELD, U.K.

Two workers were contaminated by radiation from a vacuum cleaner. (SCRAM Journal, Nov/Dec 1987, WISE NC 283, 20/11/87)

829. 1987, 15th August -HUNTERSTON, U.K.

Approximately two tonnes of “mildly radioactive” Carbon Dioxide leaked from the gas treatment plant. (SCRAM Journal, Nov/Dec 1987, WISE NC 283, 20/11/87)

830. 1987, 4th September -SELLAFIELD, U.K.

Workers at Sellafield took 80 minutes to find a leak of radioactive Carbon Dioxide. The incident led to contamination of an area near the Calder Hall reactor. (SCRAM Journal, Nov/Dec 1987, WISE NC 283 20/11/87)

831. 1987, September -HARWELL, U.K.

A spillage of radioactive material at the U.K. Atomic Energy Agency’s (UKAEA) Harwell Laboratory led to the intake of Plutonium-238 by a research scientist who was working at a glove box in the main radiochemistry building. (“Atom 371” -WISE NC 279 18/9/87)

832. 1987, September -EMBALSE & ATUCHA 1, ARGENTINA

Argentina’s active power stations, Embalse and Atucha I, were taken out of production. According to CNRA president Ferreira, Embalse faced technical ‘malfunctions’ -leading to a leak of heavy water into the area surround the plant -while Atucha I had to be submitted to maintenance and revision. The fact that Atucha I will not come on line again before October indicates that the maintenance and revision are not just routine. (“Clarin” 1 September 1987 ­WISE/279 18 September 1987)

833. 1987, 1st October -JAPAN

A 357 mw PER in Japan shut down automatically in what Japanese nuclear activists describe as a Chernobyl-like event. (“Nuke Info Tokyo” Dec 1987)

834. 1987, 3rd October -FORT ST. VRAINS, U.S.A.

A 20 minute early morning oil fire in Fort St. Vrain’s turbine building caused ‘definite substantial damage’ to several components at the plant. The fire burnt some cables, causing one entire circulation loop to trip, forcing operators to manually trip the reactor. (“Nucleonics Week” 15 act 1987, WISE NC 283, 20/11/87)

835. 1987, October -CANADA Radioactive contamination of dirt and asphalt in a parking lot in northeast Calgary, was discovered by the Canadian Atomic Energy Control Board. A spokesman said the contamination poses no health hazard “because it is in a parking lot”. (“Toronto Star” (Canada) 7 act 1987)

836. 1987, October -OYSTER CREEK, U.S.A. The US NRC shut down the Oyster Creek nuclear plant after discovering plant operators had disabled key safety valves during a test, and then destroyed the records of the violation in a coverup. (“Not Man Apart” (US) Sept-Oct 1987)

837. 1987, October -CANADA An environment ministry official in Canada says the town of Port Hope, Ontario is “walking a tight rope” as sewage treatment plant officials wait for a place to dump uranium-tainted sludge. The contamination is due to uranium that has leaked from the Altered Resources Ltd refinery. The untreated sewage is in danger of flowing over a weir toward Lake Ontario. The uranium was discovered in the sewers 2 years ago, and has built up to more than 75,000 cubic feet since then. (“The Star” (Ontario) 7 October 1987)

838. 1987, October – HEYSHAM 2, U.K. Reactor 2 was scrammed because of a fault on the main electrical system. (SCRAM Journal Nov/Dec 1987, WISE NC 28320/11/87)

839. 1987, October -DUNGENESS, U.K.


The Dungeness Magnox reactors in the U.K. had to be closed down during storm on 16 October not, as has been widely reported, because of grid failures, but because the system frequency was increasing, causing the generators to run too fast (SCRAM Nov/Dec 1987, WISE NC 283 20/11/87)


840. 1967, October -DOUNREAY, U.K. The Prototype Fast Reactor at Dounreay had to reduce power in early October because seaweed had entered the cooling water pump house. It had passed through a special 2 million pound (U.K.) seaweed barrier, built only last year. (SCRAM Journal (Scotland) Nov/Dec 1987, WISE 283, 20/11/87)

841. 1987, October -BRAZIL At least 243 people in the central Brazilian town of Goiania have been contaminated with Caesium-137. 40 people are in hospital, many are critically ill and are not expected to survive. The accident involves approx. 100g Caesium-137. The Caesium in powder form was inside a box discovered by local residents inside a lead box in the ruins of a former radiation institute. The Caesium, which apparently fascinated local people because of its luminosity, was then spread around the area through various means. (WISE NC 281, 6/11/87)

842. 1987, October -NEW ZEALAND Residents of Otahuhu, New Zealand and two dozen steel workers were evacuated around midnight on 10 October after electricians at the Pacific Steel Plant noticed that molten steel had spilled onto a canister containing radioactive Caesium-137. (RWC Waste Paper (US) Winter 1987/1988)

843. 1987, November -BROWNS FERRY, AL., U.S.A. A fire of unknown origin is being viewed as a pretty big deal by the NRC. The plant has been shut down since Sept 1984, first for refuelling and then because of safety concerns. (“Nucleonics Week” 12/11/1987)

844. 1987 November -PILGRIM, MASSACHUSETTS, U.S.A. In 2 separate “incidents”, 5 plant workers at the Pilgrim nuclear power plant were contaminated. In a third accident, a valve on a chemical waste pump leaked, contaminating an area of the plant. All three accidents occurred within a 48-hour period. (“Nucleonics Week” (US) 12/11/ 1987)

845. 1987, November -FRANCE After a 3 year shutdown, Electricite de France is going to bring the 22 year old 360 ME graphite Chinon A3 graphite nuclear plant back into production. The plans are being carried out despite criticism that the plant is of similar technology to that of Chernobyl and is being brought back at a time when EdF already has too much electricity capacity. (“Power Europe” (London) 12 Nov 1987)

846. 1987, November -SELLAFIELD, U.K.


A leak was discovered from a pipe connected to a pump located in the interspace between the primary and secondary walls of the storage silos which occurred during the removal of the pump and pipe for maintenance. Modifications are now in progress to replace pump and flexible pipe with a permanent rigid pipe work and pump System at the Sellafield Nuclear reprocessing plant. (Atom (U.K.) Sept 88, WISE NC 299 7/10/88)


847. 1987, November – GERMANY 334 “incidents” at 19 operating West German nuclear plants were recorded by nuclear reactor operators for 1986. (“Nucleonics week” 12/11/1987)

848. 1987, November -HANFORD, U.S.A. Safety violations and worker exposures have been revealed at the US Government’s nuclear weapons reactors in a draft Congressional memorandum obtained by the New York Post. One of its findings is that workers at the ‘N’ reactor, at Hanford in Washington State, were deliberately exposed to maximum allowable radiation doses. Also at Hanford, radiation alarms were turned off in a high level waste store because they were being set off by high winds. (SCRAM Journal Nov/Dec 1987, WISE NC 283, 20/11/87)

849. 1987, 4th December -CHERNOBYL, UKRAINE, U.S.S.R. It was reported in a Soviet newspaper on 4 December that there have been more fatal accidents at the Chernobyl nuclear power station since the April 1986 disaster. According to the report, sloppiness and inadequate supervision over the last 10 months have led to 36 accidents, of which three resulted in deaths. It is not known how many people died or what the causes of death were, but it was hinted that some of the accidents involved radiation and incorrect handling of radioactive fuel. The report stated that the feeling of responsibility of the power station staff is low. Apparently disciplinary measures have been taken against certain officials. (“Volkskrant”, 5 Dec 1987, WISE NC 284, 14/12/87)

850. 1987, December -NEW MEXICO, U.S.A. On December 16, a team of scientists and policy specialists from the University of New Mexico revealed that they had discovered water leaks at the U.S. Dept of Energy’s Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) near Carlsbad, New Mexico. Documents obtained from the US Dept of Energy showed that when one of the ventilation shafts was drilled, for the 1250 foot deep WIPP, an aquifer was pierced. (“Guardian” (US) 30/12/87, WISE 285, P8-9, Nov 87).

851. 1987, December -JAPAN The Fukui Prefectural Government in Japan ordered the Kansai Electric Power Co. to immediately shut down two of its pressurized light-water reactors. The order was issued because two other reactors of the same design and operated by the name company had experienced trouble with metal parts of devices attached to the steam generators. The parts fell off. (“The Japan Times” 25 -26 Dec 1987)

852. 1987, 14th December -EUROPE


The Council of Ministers of the European Community (EC) decided on a new permanent system of radiation limits for radioactive contaminated foods. These new radiation limits will be twice and three times as high as the limits which were valid until now. (WISE NC 286, 29/1/88)


853. 1987 -EMBALSE, ARGENTINA Commission Nacional de Energia (CNEA) has confirmed that its 600-mw Embalse nuclear station is leaking heavy water into the Rio Tercero Reservoir in Argentina’s Cordoba Province. (“Nucleonics Week” (US) 17 December 1987.)

854. 1987, 31st December -HANFORD, U.S.A. A truck hauling low-level radioactive waste overturned near the Hanford Nuclear Reservation spilling some of its’ Load. One of six containers on the truck carrying about 41,000 pounds of waste broke open, spilling its contents. (“Chicago Tribune” 1 Jan 1988)

855. 1987, December – DOUNREAY, SCOTLAND U.K. A worker at the Dounreay PFR (prototype fast reactor) reprocessing plant received a “significant” dose of radiation to his hand in an accident on 9 December. Although the contaminated worker was wearing full protective clothing and was not directly contaminated, the radiation dose which penetrated his glove was in excess of the safety limit. (“SCRAM Journal” (Scotland) March/April 1988)

856. 1987, December -January 1988 – BYRON, IL., U.S.A.

Towards the end of 1987 it was discovered that a number of security guards at Commonwealth Edison’s Byron nuclear plant in Illinois had become contaminated by merely walking through the plant. A subsequent investigation by the utility found that daughter products of radon were attracted to the guard’s polyester uniforms. (“Groundswell” (US) Autumn 1987)(i)

857. 1987 -U.S.A.


US commercial nuclear reactors reported nearly 3,000 “mishaps” and at least 430 emergency shutdowns in 1987 according to “Public Citizen’s” a latest Annual Nuclear Power Safety Report. According to US Nuclear Regulatory Commiasion (NRC) in records compiled by the organization, at least 493 violations of safety regulations occurred at the plants during that year. Further, in 1987, accidents, near-accidents, emergency shutdowns, and instances of lax management occurred daily at the 109 licensed-to-operate nuclear reactors located in 37 states across the country.

The report notes that much of the data which the NRC chooses to make public represents only the “tip of the iceberg”. The NRC, for instance, refuses to release key safety data such as “single-component failure” records and a comprehensive listing of all emergency plant shutdowns. In addition, the agency’s safety regulations by nuclear utilities are incomplete and contradictory. The NRC also apparently lacks current information on such basic safety matters as plant-by-plant evacuation time estimates and the agency claims that it has been unable to access its own data base on individual plant mishaps for several months and has failed to obtain detailed records on the number of accidents at each reactor.

Among the findings of the Public Citizen study:

** There were at least 2,940 mishaps at US commercial reactors in 1987. These so called “mishaps” are Licensee Event Reports made to the NRC by the nuclear utilities themselves; according to NRC guidelines, they provide descriptions of “potentially significant safety events” that “might lead to serious accidents”. The figure represents an average of 27 mishaps at each reactor (a number unchanged from the previous year). Personnel error was involved in 2,197 (74%) of them. Many other mishaps, including some of the most serious accidents of 1987, were apparently not reported.

** Sixteen reactors experienced over 40 mishaps each.

The NRC reported 430 “scrams” (emergency plant shutdowns) -an average of 4.4 per operating reactor. Newer reactors averaged 11 scrams each during 1987. However, these figures may understate the actual number by 25-45%. The operating plants given the lowest overall management ratings by the NRC during 1987 were allowed to continue operating even though they were given poorer ratings than the Peach Bottom reactors 2 and 3 in Pennsylvania, which the NRC ordered closed in March 1987 for assorted management lapses including workers sleeping on the job.

Almost 14,500 metric tons of highly radioactive spent fuel is now stored at over 60 nuclear plant sites in large pools of water. Originally designed as temporary storage facilities, these fuel pools are experiencing a number of serious leaks and pose the risk of a major accident.

** Dozens of other mishaps occurred at nuclear plant sites in 1987. These included acts of vandalism and sabotage, unauthorized possession of firearms on plant sites, and a three-fold increase in the number of reported instances of drug use among nuclear workers. (“Public Citizens Critical Mass Energy Project”; WISE-307 24/1/89).

858. 1988, 13th January 1988 -FUKUSHIMA

A fire broke out the morning of 13 January at Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant in Futaba, Fukushima Prefecture. Police reported that it was put out about 40 minutes after it began, without causing any “serious damage” or leakage of radioactive materials. (“Japan Times” 14/1/1988)

859. 1988, January -MARALINGA, AUSTRALIA

According to “New Scientist”, a group of 6 army officers were deliberately exposed to radiation in 1956 at Britain’s nuclear testing site at Maralinga, Australia. The officer in charge, Major Duncan Janisch, decided that his men should not wear protective clothing to have some idea of the amount of contamination picked up by the average survey party and of the degree to which this contamination can be removed by brushing and other simple means. The documents are the first to confirm that servicemen were deliberately exposed to radiation in the U.K. tests. (“British Nuclear Tests Veterans”, “New Scientist” 7 Jan 88, WISE 287 19 Feb 88, p.8)

860. 1988, 23rd January -DUNGENESS, ARG2, U.K.

Two tons of carbon dioxide used to cool the No.2 AGR at Dungeness on the south-east coast of England leaked from a broken seal on 23/1/1988. A CEGB spokesperson said that “it was a very low level of radioactivity –a very normal kind of industrial accident”. The reactor was kept running and no site emergency was announced. (“WISE” London)

861. 1988, 23rd January – HANAU, GERMANY

On January 23 during an incident at RBU (Reactor Fuel Company) in Hanau, FRG, a worker came in contact with enriched uranium oxide. In a press release RBU stated that health risks for the worker can be excluded. They said that “these kinds of machine interferences are part of an operation according to the regulations”. (“TAZ” 29 Jan 1988)

862. 1988, January -(CHERNOBYL) MEXICO

Mexico has returned 3,000 tonnes of radio-active milk powder to Northern Ireland. (“LaVoz del Interior” 31/1/88, WISE NC 288, 4/3/88)

863. 1988, 2nd February -RANGER, AUSTRALIA

A spill of contaminated material on 2 Feb embarrassed the operators of the Ranger uranium mine in the Northern Territory of Australia only hours before a national Senate team came to inspect safety there. (“WISE” Glen Aplin)

864. 1988, February -U.K.

British Nuclear Fuels (BNF) is planning to fly regular consignments of Plutonium to Japan from Preatwick in Glasgow, beginning in 1992 despite fears of nuclear accident or terrorist attack. (“Financial Times Energy Economist”, SCRAM Journal, WISE NC 287 19/2/88)

865. 1988, February -HAMAOKA 1, JAPAN.

The two recirculation pumps in the primary coolant circuit at Hamaoka Unit 1 in Shizuoku Prefecture, Japan stopped simultaneously due to the failure of an electro-magnetic relay in the power line. The accident, which occurred 1 February 1988, should have resulted in an emergency shutdown. However, the reactor not only did not shut down automatically, but the operating crew failed to respond quickly to shut it down manually. (“Nuke Info Japan” Mar/Apr 1988)

866. 1988, February -GORLEBEN, GERMANY

In the intermediate waste disposal site at Gorleben FRG, cracks were found in two barrels filled with irradiated metal parts from a research reactor. According to BLG (Fuel Disposal Gorleben) no radioactive gas was emitted through the two centimetre large and fifteen centimetre wide cracks. BLG is going to check all storage barrels thoroughly. (TAZ 3 February 1988)


Nearby the nuclear plant Muhlheim Kahrlich, FRG, a 54.2% increase of radioactivity was measured by the environmental group ARGUS, who have surrounded the nuclear plant with four monitoring instruments. ARGUS assumes that radioactive gas has been emitted deliberately. (TAZ 8 February 1988)

868. 1988, 9th February -ROBERT E. GINNA, CANADA

A worker at the Robert E. Ginna Nuclear Power Plant fell inside the containment area, injuring his back and suffering what the utility that runs the plant says is minor radiation exposure. (“Montreal Gazette” 10 February 1988)

869. 1988, March – SCOTLAND, U.K.

A survey carried out this year in Scotland claims that levels of radioactivity in certain areas are now as much as six times higher than any previously recorded in Britain. (“The Scotsman” 23 Mar 88, WISE 22 Apr 88 NC 291)

870. 1988, March -TASMANIA, AUSTRALIA

Tasmanian Minister for Envronment, Peter Hodgman, has imposed a ban on flushing low-level radio-active isotopes used in Antarctic Research into the Derwent River. 70 other Tasmanian institutions will now be included in the ban. Tasmania plans to return the radio­active isotopes to Lucas Heights, where Mr. Hodgman said he has seen low level waste stored in 44 gallon drums inside a galvanized iron clad building. (“Times” 6th March 1988)

871. 1988, March -OSWEGO, NEW YORK

U.S. most expensive nuclear plant at Oswego, New York State, automatically shut down 2 days after being opened, due to a water pump malfunction. (“Financial Review” 15 March 1988)


An explosion and fire occurred between two synthesis gas purifiers at the Baroda heavy water plant in India. The plant will be shut down for two months for investigation into the cause of the accident. Baroda has a history of problems which according to industry experts will further cripple heavy water production. (“Nucleonics Week” (US) 24 March 1988)

873. 1988, 11th Apri1 -(U.S.S.R. NAVAL) NORWAY

The reactor in the Soviet nuclear submarine that sank off the north coast of Norway on 11th April 1988 has been reported by Soviet authorities to contain 2 kg Plutonium-239, 420,000 curies Strontium-90 and more curies Caesium-137. The submarine sank in waters 2000 metres deep, killing a large portion of the crew. (“Aftenposten” Norway 12/2/90; WISE 329 9/3/90 ) –

874. 1988, April -(CHERNOBYL) GERMANY

A study carried out by the Justices Liebig University in Giessen, West Germany shows a link between an increase in abnormal births among goats and fall-out from Chernobyl. (Irene Hall, Morg Engraben, WISE 1/Apr 88).

875. April 1988 -(CHERNOBYL) TURKEY

About 45,000 tonnes of radioactively contaminated tea are causing a headache for Turkish officials. More than a third of the harvest from 1986 could not be used despite an attempt by the Turkish Government to diminish the risk posed by the Chernobyl contaminated tea. (WISE-Berlin, WISE NC 290 1 Apr 88)

876. 1988, April -(CHERNOBYL) U.S.A.

Statistician Jay M. Gould, a fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies in Washington DC, has suggested that high death rates in the US during the period May to Aug. 86 were a direct result of radioactive fallout from the Chernobyl accident. (“Northern Sun News” (US) 3/88, WISE NC 291, 22/4/88)

877. 1988, April -U.S.A.

More than 26,000 mishaps have occurred at US reactors since the Three Mile Island accident 9 years ago, despite promises by the nuclear industry and the Federal Govt to tighten safety standards for nuclear power plant. Almost 3,000 of these mishaps occurred in 1987. These findings are revealed in “1979-1987 Nuclear Power Safety Report” the latest in a series of safety reports from Public Citizens Critical Mass Energy Project. Much of the information was obtained from documents through the Freedom of Information Act and from the NRC’s public documents room. According to a 1984 NRC report, as many as 35% of all reportable mishaps are simply not being reported. (“Public Citizen News” Mar 88, WISE NC 291 22 Apr 88)


2 military airplanes crashed near the nuclear plant Ohu I and Phillipsburg in West Germany within less than 24 hours. (TAZ 31 Mar 1988/2 Apr. GRAEL Press Release 6 Apr 88, WISE NC 292 6 May 88)

879. 1988, 20th April -BIBLIS B, GERMANY

Following the explosion of a switch in a 220 kilowatt line in the nuclear plant at Biblis, Unit 8 underwent emergency shutdown. (WISE 6 May 1988)

880. 1988, 6th March -ST. LAURENT DES EAUX, FRANCE

There was an emission of radioactive gas “at the wrong moment” at St Laurent den Eaux nuclear plant. (Magnuc 29 Feb/6 Mar 88, WISE Intel 3/88, WISE NC 292 6/5/88)

881. 1988, April -U.K.

British Defence Ministry officials admit they have no idea how or when to dispose the Navy’s outdated nuclear submarines. Although the nuclear reactors will be removed the hulls will still be radioactive. (Sydney Morning Heralds 1/4/88)

882. 1988, May -U.S.A., ATLANTIC

A 14-ton canister of uranium gas en route to the U.S. rolled overboard in rough waters in the mid-Atlantic. The news of the accident was reported in a weekly sheet read by Mariners, but not carried by the wire services. According to the New York based Radioactive Waste Campaign, it is “apparently common for container ships to lose cargo in heavy seas”. (“Waste Paper” (US) Fall 1988, WISE NC 4302, p6. 25/11/88)

883. 1988, May -U.S.A.

The U.S. nuclear industry, helped by pro nuclear US Senators, are trying to stick taxpayers with $8.8 billion in unpaid fees accrued by nuclear utility companies. That’s the figure the

U.S. Dept of Energy says utilities owe for the cost of enriching uranium fuel for nuclear reactors since 1984. That figure does not include decommissioning costs for 3 Federal uranium enrichment plants estimated to be about $3 billion. (“Redwood Alliance”, “Eco News”, May 1988, WISE No 292, 6th May 88)

884. 1988, 23rd, TMI 2, U.S.A.

A member of the defuelling team at Unit 2 of the Three Mile Island Nuclear plant fell partway into the reactor vessel. (“The Patriot News” (US) 23/7/88, WISE NC 302 p.6 25/11/88)

885. 1988, 13th May -U.S.A.

According to the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission another radio-active device containing 40 curies of Iridium-192 dropped out of a moving truck. (“Waste Paper” (US) Fall 1988, WISE NC 302, p7, 25/11/88)

886. 1988, 25th May -PROJECT 1, 3, TEXAS

Houston Lighting & Power Co’s South Texas Project 1 nuclear plant has been shut down for an as yet undetermined period in the wake of an accident on May 25, in which the shaft at one of the unit’s 3 steam driven main feed water pumps sheared off, sending debris flying “all over the place”. (“Nucleonics Week” 2/6/88, WISE 15/7/88)

887. 1988 -SCK, BELGIUM

The Belgium Committee for Security and Health has revealed the existence of several “irregularities” involving a waste water tank at the Nuclear Research Centre in Belgium (sea). Water leaking from the tank has caused contamination of the ground water. 80 tonnes of radio-active slime was found on the bottom of the leaking tank showing a contamination of 37 ggb = 16 grams of Plutonium. SCK does not admit to finding this an extraordinary level of radio-active contamination. (“De Standeard” Belgium, 27/29 May 1988, WISE 15/7/1988)

888. 1988, 2nd June -KANSAI, JAPAN

A Japanese prefectural Govt spokesman disclosed that a routine safety inspection at 3 PWRs at the Kansai Electric Power Co revealed a total of 174 cracked bolts in the primary cooling systems. The cracks are believed to be caused by stress assisted corrosion. (“Japan Times” 2 Jun 88, WISE 291 2/9/88)

889. 1988, 6th June – GENKAI, JAPAN

Primary cooling water was discovered leaking inside the container building of the No. 1 reactor at Genkai Nuclear Power Plant in Genkai Saga Prefecture. (“Japan Times” 8/6/88, WISE 6/7/88) Leakage of primary cooling water was discovered at Reactor 1 of the Kyushu Electric Power Co’s Genkai Nuclear plant in Japan. The leak was due to a crack in a piping system and caused by metal fatigue. (“Japan Times” 15 Jul 88, WISE NC 297, 2/9/88)

890. 1988, June -(CHERNOBYL) ITALY

According to the radiation measurements of ENEA (The Italian Directorate Nuclear Safety Health Protection) of June 88, meat, noodles, bread, milk and cheese are still contaminated by Chernobyl fallout. (AMICI delis Terra, Italy, MA Nuova, Ecologia, Italy, Lega per l’Ambiente, Italy, WISE NC 291 22/Apr 88).

891. 1988, June -AKEM, HANAU, GERMANY

A worker was contaminated with Uranium and Plutonium-oxide at a fuel plant Akem at Hanau, West Germany. (TAZ (FRG) 28 Jun 88, WISE 6 Jul 88)

892. 1988, June -KAPL, NEW YORK, U.S.A.

A parking lot at Knolls Atomic Power Lab (KAPL) in New York is contaminated with radio­active waste, yet workers have been permitted to work there, even though AEC and the US Dept of Energy knew the radio-activity was far above Federal and State limits and may pose a health hazard. (“Schenectady Gazette” (US) 22/1/88, WISe p.4 NC 303, 9/12/88)

893. 1988, June -PROJECT 1, SOUTH TEXAS, U.S.A.

A loss of off site power test at the South Texas Nuclear Project-1 reactor in the US had dismaying results for plant operators. A steam generator feedwater pump, the only one of three operating at the time, apparently sheared at the shaft, throwing a piece of the shaft out of the building and into the station yard. Damage was said by the NRC to be so great that the cause of the failure may never be fully known. Also during the test, problems occurred with a number of circuit breakers. The NRC did note that the test was “otherwise successfully completed”. (“The Nuclear Monitor” (US) 27/6/88, WISE NC 298, 23/9/88)

894. 1988, June -VARENNES, CANADA

A company in Varennes, Canada has temporarily stopped selling radioactive waste as landfill because, says director of the plant Jacques Bureau, news reports about the practice have worried people in the area. ‘We’re doing this’, he went on to say ‘out of respect for the people here, but we hope to start selling the material again soon.’ According to a Canadian Environment Department official, the waste is five times more radioactive than the minimum level at which a product can qualify as a “toxic waste” under provincial and federal regulations. (“Montreal Gazette” 19/6/88, WISE NC300, 21/10/88)

895. 1988, June, July -U.S.A.

The Radioactive Waste Campaign a public interest group based in New York, has released a 170-page report documenting the massive contamination problems at all 16 of the Department of Energy’s (DOE) major production facilities for nuclear weapons in the US. The report was released just about the same time DOE was itself releasing estimates on the massive costs of cleaning up those sites -$US40 billion to $100 billion. Included in the report’s findings:

1. Billions of litres of radioactive water dumped routinely into the ground each year at the Hanford reservation, in Washington State, contaminating the Columbia River.

2.Similar dumping at the Savannah River plant in South Carolina; radioactive fluids poured into seepage basins designed to leak at a steady rate.

3. Underground nuclear explosions contaminating the aquifers near the Nevada test site and some radioactive fallout that drifted as far as Salt Lake City.

A two-year study by nine researchers concluded that there is “a pattern of gross mismanagement by the department, which is allowing radioactivity to leak out of the sites through soil, water and air -in many cases intentionally”. The costs of cleanup, even at their highest, have already been found by Congressional researchers to be far too low, as they don’t reflect tens of billions of dollars needed to dispose of highly radioactive waste from the production of the bombs, from decontamination of the reactors producing the bomb fuel, and the cost of building plants to continue bomb production. (“Waste Paper” Summer 1988, “Toronto Globe & Mail” 7/6/88, “New York Times” 2 -13 July 88, WISE NC298 23/9/88)

896. 1988, July – PALO VERDE, AZ., U.S.A.

A fire in an auxiliary transformer at Palo Verde-1 (US) cut off power to all four reactor coolant pumps in early July. (“Nucleonics Week” (US) 14 Jul 88, WISE NC 299 -7/10/88)

897. 1988, July -ARIZONA, U.S.A.

The radioactive contamination of the Rio Puerco River in the US State of Arizona is still being ‘studied’ while Navajo residents suffer still. The results of a report released in July said that the Rio Puerco has so much radio-activity in its sediment that drinking from it would pose a health risk at certain times. There is a long history of uranium waste water being dumped into the Rio Puerco. On the Western side of the Navajo reservation downstream in Little Colorado, water ( from samples ) there is also unsafe to drink -a result of another uranium mine. (“Gallup Indep” 19/7/88, WISE NC 299, 7/10/88) .

898. 1988, 13th July – ALMARAZ 1, SPAIN

A 200 litre/hr radio-active gas leak was detected in a steam generator at the Almaraz 1 reactor in South-West Spain. (“Power in Europe” (U.K. ) 15 Sep 88, “Nucleonics Week” (US) 21 Jul/18 Aug 88, WISE NC 299 7/10/88)

899. 1988, 13th July -SHIMAN, KASHIMA, JAPAN

According to Japan’s National Reaources & Energy Agency, a wiring error in a protection shut down at the No 2 reactor at Shiman Nuclear Power plant in Kashima, Shiman Prefecture. Caused by plant designer’s faulty wiring diagram when copying the blueprint. (“Japan Times” 15/Jul/88, WISE 297, 2 Jun 88)

900. 1988, August -CATAWBA 2, U.S.A.

Catawba-2 was shut down after a tube leak in one of the unity 4 steam generators increased from 74 to 98 gallons per day over a two-day period. (“Nucleonics Week” 18/8/88, “Nuclear Power Reactors in the World” Apr 86 Edition, WISE NC 299, 7/10/88)

901. 1988, August -U.S.A.

A study written by a firm involved with the Shippingport reactor dismantling project says that decommissioning the current generation of Light Water Reactors (LWRs) in the US could produce 81.5 million cubic feet of low-level radioactive waste by the year 2034. (“Nucleonics Week” 4/8/88)

902. 1988, August -SOUTH CAROLINA, U.S.A.

A US nuclear reactor used in weapons production went out of control briefly the 2nd week in August as operators, trying to restart it after a 4 months shutdown, were boosting power to sustain a reaction. (UPI/Greenpeace/Greenlink 19/8/88, WISE 2/9/88 p.6)

903. 1988, 11th August -OAK RIDGE, TN., U.S.A.

The U. S. Department of energy ( DOE ) has suspended commercial shipments of Tritium for the second time in four months because of another unexplained loss of the material. Following Govt released documents which showed that 3/4 of a test shipment of Tritium (a key ingredient in nuclear weapons) was lost between buildings at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee. According to the documents released 25th October 1989, investigators did not rule out theft as cause of disappearance. When workers at Oak Ridge loaded 28,615 curies of Tritium into a shipping container at one building and sent it to another (there are approx. 9,464 curies in a gram of Tritium). When it was returned 14th November, 1988 only 6,364 curies were found to be in the container (22,000 curies or just over 2 grams had disappeared). No leaks were found and no evidence that the incorrect amount of Tritium had been loaded into the container. The shipment took an unexplained 3 months to get from one building to another. (JD Mann via Greennet, 28/10/89 and Robert Burns, Assoc. Press via Greennet 26/10/89; WISE-320 3/11/89).

904. 1988, 13th August -CATTENOOM 1, FRANCE

Cattenoom-1 experienced 3 “anomalies” during its first “complete” inspection outage in August. On August 13th, a leak was detected on one of the containment overpressure valves, most likely due to failure of a seal. On August 17th, the spent fuel storage pool was mistakenly connected to the water storage tank, resulting in the emptying of approx. 120 cubic meters of pool water and the lowering of its level from 14 metres to less than 13 metres before operators noticed the problem and rectified it. (“Nucleonics Week” (US) 6/10/88 p.7, WISE NC 302, 25/11/88)

905. 1988, August -NINE MILE POINT 1, NEW YORK, U.S.A.

A worker at the Nine Mile Point-1 reactor in New York apparently swallowed a small radio­active particle of Cobalt-60. The particle -approx. one-microcurie -was detected after the worker set off an alarm when leaving the radiation area. The utility operating the plant is trying to determine the source of origin of the material and how the worker, who was wearing a face shield while under the vessel, came to ingest it. (“Nucleonics Week” 11/Aug/88, WISE 297, 2/9/88)

906. 1988 August -NORMANDY, FRANCE

A vehicle transporting a gamatron containing Caesium-137, intended for use in verification of solders, disappeared in Normandy France at the beginning of August. A week later the van had still not been found, but the gamatron had been located, intact, in a local garbage dump. (“Le Monde” (France) 10/8/88, “Liberation” (France) 11/8/88, WISE NC298, 23/9/88)

907. 1988, 1st September -CALVERT CLIFFS, MD., U.S.A.

A worker drowned in the condensate storage tank at Baltimore Gas & Electric Co’s (BG & E) Calvert Cliffs while trying to rescue a worker who was suffocating in the tank. (“Nucleonics Week” (US) 29/9/88, WISE NC 302 25/9/88)

908. 1988, September -MAPS 2, INDIA

A heavy water leak inside the reactor vessel shut MAPS-2, the 2nd unit of the Madras Atomic Power Station in India. (“Nucleonics Week” (US) 6/10/88, WISE NC 302, 25/11/88)

909. 1988, September -JAPAN

In one of the 1st attempts to “chase” and watch nuclear fuel carrying trucks in Japan, 27 people on a bus tour detected unusually high levels of radiation coming from those trucks. (“Gensuikin News”, WISE 297, p.6 2/9/88 )

910. 1988, September -LONDON, U.K.

Recently leaked documents have forced the UK’s Central Electric Generating Board (CEGB) to at last admit to serious problems with its Advanced Gas Cooled Reactors. The documents report on the problem of severe vibrations in the fuel rods if they are removed while the reactor is running at full power. The vibrations are so violent that there is a risk that the fuel rods could break and fall to the bottom of the reactor where they could cause a serious accident. (“NENIG Briefing No 15”, WISE NC 297, 2/9/88 p.5)

911. 1988, 1st September -TOKAI, JAPAN

Seven workers at the nuclear processing facility in Tokai, Japan were contaminated with Plutonium and Caesium while working near a room used to machine-process enriched Uranium. None, the spokesman said, received harmful amounts as they were all below the 50 rems per year that can be “tolerated by the human lung”. (“Japan Times” 3/9/88, WISE NC 298, 23/9/88)

912. 1988, 4th September -LITHUANIA, U.S.S.R.

A flash fire at the Ignalina nuclear power station in Lithuania severed cables used control and monitor the reactor, triggering an automatic shutdown. A Soviet official, quoted by the Tass news agency, said there were no injuries and there was no radiation leak from the 5 year old reactor which Soviet energy publications describe as the largest in the world. The reactor, located approximately 400 miles west of Moscow, is a carbon copy of the one at Chernobyl in the Ukraine that exploded in April 1986. (Charles Mitchell, UPI, 5 Sept 87) WISE NC 298, 23/9/88)

913. 1988, 17th September -U.K.

A young man was killed on a bypass 25 miles from Exeter U.K. in an accident involving a nuclear weapons convoy. (“Sanity” (U.K.) Nov 88, WISE p.3 NC 303, 9/12/88)

914. 1988, 17th September -KENSAI 2, JAPAN

A radio-active leakage occurred at Kensai Electric Power Co’s Takahama, 2 PER in Fukui Prefecture, when primary cooling water leaked into the secondary cooling water due to cracks developing in the small tubes of one of the three steam generators. The leaks caused radioactive gas to be released into the air. (“Nuke Info” Tokyo, Sept/Oct 88, WISE NC300, 21/10/88)


Because of an abnormally low rainfall on the Northern Territory during Australia’s wet season, more than a third of the tailings in the dam at the Ranger Uranium Mine are now exposed to the atmosphere. The normally high rainfalls of this season usually provide enough water to keep the tailings at least wet enough to prevent their being blown about. Now these tailings are subject to winds capable of carrying radioactive dust particles over tens of kilometres across the Kakadu National Park which surrounds the mines, and could reach the township of Jabiru where 1,200 people live. In addition to the danger posed to Jabiru by radioactive dust particles being blown about the park, the Kakadu is visited by more than 100,000 people annually. Twelve percent of them tour the Ranger mine and must pass the tailings dam to get there. (Friends of the Earth, Fitzroy, Australia; WISE NC298 23/9/88 )

916. 1988, 17th September -OHIO, U.S.A.

Officials at the ‘Feed Materials Production Centre’, a facility in southwest Ohio, US which processes uranium for nuclear weapons, said that 35 workers may have been exposed to Plutonium when 11 barrels of nuclear waste were opened there. (Greenpeace/Greenlink 18/8/88, WISE NC298, 23/9/88)

917. 1988, October -CALIFORNIA, U.S.A.

Mono Lake, a high desert lake in east California in the US, has apparently been assaulted for several years by midnight dumpers of nuclear waste, according to a recent study conducted by Columbia University researchers,. Their report suggests that nuclear waste was dumped into the lake during the 1950s and perhaps again ten to 15 years later. (“Citizen Alert”, WISE NC302 21/10/88)


A worker was injured when fire broke out at one of the two Berkeley Magnox reactors in Gloucestershire in the U.K. (“Western Daily Press” (U.K.) 13/10/88, WISE NC 302 p.7, 25/11/88)

919. 1988, October – HEYSHAM A2, U.S.A.

A boiler tube leak at the HEYSHAM A2 advanced gas-cooled reactor on October 19, allowed 44 gallons of water to escape into the carbon dioxide coolant. (“Nucleonics Week” (US) 29 Oct 88)

92O. 1988, 26th October -SAVANNAH RIVER, SC., U.S.A.

At the Savannah R. nuclear materials plant in the US, traces of plutonium were found on 18 employees. Plant officials suspect an exhaust stack leak was responsible. (Greenpeace via Greenlink 21/11/88, Greennetlgn Nuclear 21/11/88, WISE NC 302, p6, 25/11/88)

921. 1988, 27th October -KANSAI 1, JAPAN

No. 1 reactor at Electric Power Co’s nuclear power station in Fukui Prefecture was manually shut down because radiation leaked into the secondary coolant from a steam generator. Ultimately some of radiation leaked into the environment through the steam generator. (“Japan Times” 28/10/88, WISE NC 303 Dec 88)

922. 1988, 11th November -MURMANSK, U.S.S.R.

The official Soviet trade newspaper Vodhy Transport reported on 18th February that the melting of nuclear fuel aboard the twin reactor nuclear icebreaker, “Rossiya”, had been narrowly averted, preventing a nuclear accident in the northern port of Murmansk. Murmansk is a leading Soviet freight port on the Barenta Sea, a base for Soviet fishing fleets, and is the largest city north of the Arctic circle with a population of 419,000 people. (“UPI” press report (via Greenpeace, Greenlink) 20/2/1989; WISE-309 24/3/89).

923. 1988, November -TOTORI, JAPAN

According to information received by Kyodo News Service, a high incidence of deaths from lung cancer has been observed among miners and local residents living near former uranium mines in Totori Prefecture, Japan. (“Japan Times” 8/11/88, WISE p.5/6 NC 303 9/12/88)

924. 1988, November -OLDBURY, U.K.

An accident at another of the U.K.’s aging Magnox Nuclear Reactors has only just come to light, despite the fact it occurred a year ago. An electrical failure at the Oldbury Power Station caused the loss of coolant to one of the 2 reactors and resulted in the build up of heat in the reactor. (NENIG Briefing No 22 (Scotland) 9/88, WISE NC 302, p7, 25/11/88)


Originally dismissed as trivial by Northern Territory Mines & Energy Minister B. Coulter, this has been declared as a serious accident by the Office of the Supervising Scientist -who wants Ranger prosecuted. Just under half a million tonnes of high level radio-active waste has been dumped in an area reserved for low-level radioactive waste as a result of equipment failure, which went unnoticed for six months. This equipment was supposed to indicate if a load was radioactive or not. It is claimed that radio-active water will contaminate release pond no. 4 which is periodically pumped into the environment and the Alligator River region. Dr Glen Riley, Director, Office of the Supervisory Scientist, states “I regard this situation as the most serious deficiency shown by the Ranger in the long series of malfunctions and operational shortcomings since the mine opened”. (“ABC 7.30 Report” 21/24 January 1989.)

926. 1988, 8th December -CHALK RIVER, CANADA

An estimated 500 litres of heavy water spilled into the Ottawa River at Chalk River Nuclear Laboratories in Canada. The river supplies drinking water to Canada’s capital city, Ottawa, and surrounding communities. (“Edmonton Journal” Canada 17/12/88; WISE-305 20/1/89).

927. 1988, December -U.K.

There are 1250 nuclear sites licensed by the U.K. Dept of Environment to discharge radioactivity into the environment on a routine basis. However, because of a secrecy clause in the 1960 Radioactive Substances Act the public is unaware that these sites exist and there is no published data on the amount of radiation discharged. (WISE NC 303 p.6)

928. 1988 December -U.S.A.

Ten employees at a US irradiation facility were exposed to radiation. Three had measurable radioactive contamination on their clothes, in their automobiles and in their homes. The contaminated areas were removed and stored at US-RSI (Radiation Sterilizers Inc) waiting ‘low level’ radio-active waste disposal. Extensive radioactive contamination was also found in the admin. offices in 27 areas. 70,000 medical supply containers and milk containers plus all that were irradiated between Apr 29 -June 4 were recalled. The RSI complex houses a total of over 12 million curies in the 252 capsules of Caesium 133 it uses as its radio-active source system to sterilize medical supplies. Due to abnormal discolouration in the vicinity of the welds at the end of the capsules, 129 of these capsules are suspected to be leaking. (RWC Waste Paper(US), WISE NC303 p.2/3, 9/12/88)

929. 1988, December -BURGHFIELD, BERKSHIRE, U.K.

An explosion occurred at the Burghfield Atomic Weapons Estab. in Berkshire, U.K. This facility assembles and dismantles nuclear warheads. (“The Guardian” U.K. 3/12/88, WISE NC 303 9/12/88)

930. 1985 -1988 -OAK RIDGE, TN., U.S.A.

Commercial shipments of Tritium from Oak Ridge were suspended in July, while the D.O.E. and U.S. Regulatory Commission were conducting investigations into the discrepancies the amount that was recorded shipped and the amount actually received by customers. The discrepancies dated back to 1985 and the difference amounted to approx. 5 grams. No explanation has ever been found for these losses. (JD Mann via Greennet, 28/10/89 and Robert Burns, Assoc. Press via Greennet 26/10/89; WISE-320 3/11/89).

931. 1988, 27th October -DARLINGTON, CANADA

Barely three weeks after start up, the Darlington Tritium Recover Facility in Canada had its first tritium accident. On 27th October a spill of tritium gas into three unoccupied rooms at the facility ceased the evacuation of the entire plant. According to a utility spokesman, workers were not exposed and the tritium ‘puff’, as he described it, did not get into the environment. Nevertheless, the facility was shut down. Whether the shutdown was because of the “puff” or for other reasons is still unknown. (“Nuclear Awareness Project Newsletter” Canada, Fall 1988; WISE-305 20/1/89).

932. 1988 September – 1989 September -EUROPE

584 ‘major’ incidents have been reported to the IAEA, (International Atomic Energy Agency) since it began its inter-governmental reporting system. In the period of September 1988 to September 1989 there were 420 incidents reported in France. In 1988 the nuclear power plants in Eastern Europe reported a total of 532 outages. (“Herman Damveld” The Netherlands; WISE 323/324 22/12/89 ) .

933. 1989, 1st to 6th January -FUKUSHIMA 11-3, JAPAN

Fragments of a broken recirculation pump found their way into the reactor vessel at the Fukushima 11-3 BAR (1,100-MW). According to officials this is the first of this kind in Japan. The unit first experienced minor vibrations on January 1st. Then on January 6th while the plant was running at 990 ME, one of its two recirculation pumps developed wild vibrations.

By the end of February the engineers found that a 100-kg bearing in the pump was dislocated and damaged and part of the turbine components were destroyed. At least 10 fragments were found at the bottom of the reactor vessel, and 13 more inside the jet pump. Metallic elements were found on 61 of the reactor’s 764 fuel assemblies. (“Nucleonics Week” (US) 9/3/89; WISE-310 14/4/89 ) .

UPDATE: 1989, 8th April

It has now believed that the damage is even more serious than reported previously. TEPCO’s investigation has discovered that metal pieces have been found on 122 of the 764 fuel assemblies, and not 61, as originally reported by “Nucleonics Week” 9/3/89. And investigators have found an additional 91 loose pieces of metal inside the reactor, as well as metal dust on an additional 15 fuel assemblies. If the pump had been kept operating longer it could have resulted in a loss of coolant accident (LOCA). A LOCA through such a large fracture could well cause a core meltdown. (“Nuke Info Tokyo” (Japan) Mar/Apr 1989; “Japan Times” 8/4/89. WISE-311 28/4/89).

934. 1989, 3rd January -OCOMKE-1, U.S.A.

On January 3rd an electrical breaker apparently caught fire in a turbine building at Unit 1 of the nuclear station as workers were bringing the plant back on line. (“Ass. Press” US via Greenlink 5/1/89; WISE-305 20/1/89).

935. 1989, 7th January – SOUTH CAROLINA, U.S.A.

A worker testing the turbine generator at the Robinson reactor accidentally fed hydrogen gas into the plant’s air systems. (“The Nuclear Monitor” US 23/1/89; WISE-309 24/3/89).

936. 1989, 18th January -SAVANNAH RIVER, AIKEN, SC., U.S.A.

Eight workers were contaminated with radiation at the Savannah River Plant (SRP) in Aiken, South Carolina. Six construction workers, a Department of Energy (DOE) inspector and a Health Department employee picked up radioactive particles on their shoes and in their hair. Neither the source of the contamination nor the type of radioactive material have been identified. (“Guardian” US 1/2/89; Public Citizen. 2/89; “Greenlink” 17/25/28 Feb and 4/2/89-WISE-307 24/2/89).

937. 1989, 22nd January -SAVANNAH RIVER, SOUTH CAROLINA, U.S.A.

Another accident occurred four days later during the pressure test of a cooling system. Although no radiation leaked, half of the system’s piping was damaged. (“Guardian” US 1/2/89; “Public Citizen” 2/89; “Greenlink” 17/25/28 Feb and 4/2/89; WISE-307 24/2/89 ) .

938. 1989, 5th Februry -SAN SALVADOR, EL SALVADOR

Three employees of the Delmed Company, which operates a medical sterilizer in San Salvador, received whole body radiation doses on the order of 400 to 600 rads, enough to cause acute radiation sickness and probable death. More individuals may have been exposed.

The exposures resulted after one component of the radiation source had fallen out of the source rack and was lying unshielded in the irradiation room. Since the radiation monitors had been disabled, workers entering the room unknowingly received a high radiation dose. (“RWC Waste Paper” US, Spring 89; WISE317 8/9/89).


An incident at the 1300 ME Grafenrheinfeld nuclear power station was reported in the category E for Urgent after a defect was discovered in one of the reactor containment control systems. The “urgent” category is used in West Germany to describe a fault that could have “potential but not immediate effects”. A few days before the incident it had been reported that radioactivity in the primary circulation at the same plant was raised because of a damaged fuel element, “with the result that more radioactive inert gas had been released into the environment”. (“Power in Europe” (U.K.) 16/2/89; WISE-309 24/3/89 ) .

940. 1989, February -FMPC, FERNALD, OHIO, U.S.A.

Contamination of two employees from the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) at a DOE weapons facility have led to an order barring all EPA inspectors from that plant. The plant, the ‘Feed Materials Production Centre’ in Fernald, Ohio, processes uranium for nuclear weapons. The EPA placed the plant off limits to its inspectors on February 9th after tests showed agency personnel attending meetings at Fernald had been exposed to uranium oxide. (“Guardian” US 1/2/89; “Public Citizens” 2/89; “Greenlink” 17/25/28 Feb and 4/2/89; WISE-307 24/2/89).

941. 1989, 25th February -NORTH ANNA 1, VIRGINIA , U.S.A.

North Anna-1 tripped off because of failure of a feedwater control valve air line. (“Nucleonics Week” 2/23 Mar 89 WISE NC 309 24/3/89).

942. 1989, March -PALO VERDE 2, ARIZONA, U.S.A.

Palo Verde-2 tripped due apparently to failure of one of its two master feedwater controllers which caused rapid fluctuations in steam generator levels and an apparent overcooking of the primary system. (“Nucleonics Week” 2/3/89; WISE-310 14/4/89).

943. 1989, 2nd March -LA SALLE, U.S.A.

A transformer failure at one of the La Salle units caused the other unit to trip. (“Nucleonics Week” 30/3/89; WISE-310 14/4/89).

944. 1989, 9th March -BIBLIS, GERMANY

The Ministry for the Environment and Reactor Security in the state of Hessian, said emergency water pumps used to cool one of the Biblis nuclear reactors and part of the reactor’s emergency power supply were found to be defective when technicians tried to fix a leak in a water pump. (“Nuclear Notes” WISE NC 308 -TAZ (FRG) 11/3/89; Greenpeace Press (Greenlink) 13/3/89; WISE NC 309 24/3/89).

945. 1989, 13th March -ST. LAURENT DES EAUX, FRANCE

This Electricite den France plant was the site of the worst known accident at a French nuclear plant to date. (WISE 3/11/1989)

946. 1989, March -SELLAFIELD, U.K.

During operations to dump down radioactive dust in a disused corridor prior to decontamination and decommissioning, a small amount of liquid contaminated with Plutonium and Americium leaked through the floor to the the work area below. According to BNFL, the plant operators, contamination marginally exceeded the notification level and there was no release to the outside environment or contamination of personnel. (Atom (U.K.) Jan 1990; WISE 326/7, 9/2/1990)

947. 1989, 7th April -SOVIET SUBMARINE, OFF NORWAY

The Soviet submarine which caught fire on 7th April and sank off the coast of Norway carried two nuclear-tipped torpedoes as well as its nuclear power plant. 42 of the 69-member crew died in the disaster. (UPI via Greenlink/ 20/4/89; WISE-311 28/4/89).

948. 1989, April -IKATA-1, JAPAN

22 of the 48 fixing bolts of the primary coolant pump outlet vanes were found to have developed cracks as well as damage to 12 steam generator tubes. 9 of the control rods of the unit had to be replaced during a periodic inspection made by the owner Shikoku Electric Power Co. following a sit-in by citizens groups at the company’s Head Office demanding a halt to the reactor’s operations. The damage demonstrates further that problems with aging facilities are becoming more serious. (“Nuke Info” Tokyo May/June and Jul/Aug 89; “Nuclear Power Reactors in the World” Apr 1898 Edition; WISE-320 3/11/89).

949. 1989, 19th April -LITHUANIA, USSR

An accident was reported to have taken place on April 19 at the USSR’s biggest nuclear power station, the Ignalina plant in Lithuania. According to a Lithuanian journalist quoted in a Dutch newspaper Volkskrant, a fuel rod was dropped during loading, causing a hole in the bottom of the cooling water reservoir. (“volkskrant” (No) 22/4/89; WISE-311 28/4/89).

950. 1989, 20th April -U.S.S. IOWA

An explosion on April 20 in a gun turret aboard the “USS Iowa”, a US battleship armed with Tomahawk missiles, could have posed a greater danger, had the blast been stronger or in a different gun turret. The Iowa carries 32 Tomahawk sea-launched cruise missiles. (“Greenpeace-USA”; WISE-311 28/4/89).


On May 9, at the US Air Force Upper Neyford base in Britain, jet fuel being dumped from an F-111 with engine trouble, ignited, causing a large fire-ball just over the base. It could have been a serious nuclear accident had the emergency landing failed, as there were nuclear weapons on the base. (“Disarmament Campaigns” (Netherlands) June 89, WISE-315 7/7/89 )

952. 1989, 11th May -WINFRITH, U.K.

Some clothing fibres contaminated with traces of cobalt were discharged from the laundry used to clean protective clothing by penetrating through a hole in the metal filter fitted to the tumble driers exhaust, while others had by-passed the filters. The investigation team concluded that contamination had been contained within the site fence. (Atom (U.K.), Jan. 1990; WISE 326/7, 9/2/1990)

953. 1989, lst June -TOKAI, JAPAN

Natural uranium in three polyethylene bottles caught fire Tuesday night in the nuclear fuel storage room of a uranium enrichment laboratory in Tokai, Ibaragi Prefecture, Japan. Each bottle, which has a capacity of 3 litres of waste, contained 10 to 30 kg of waste uranium. (“The Japan Times” 1/6/89; WISE-315 7/7/89 )

954. 1989, 4th June -FUKUSHIMA-2, NORTHERN JAPAN

On June 4, 4,080 litres of radioactive cooling water at twice boiling temperature leaked from a boiling water reactor at Tokyo Electric Power Co’s Fukushima No. 2 nuclear plant in northern Japan. The reactor, a BOOR, was shut down manually, but not until 6 a.m. the following morning. (“The Japan Times” 5/6/10 and 21/6/89; WISE 315 7/7/89).

955. 1989, 5th June -ST. LUCIE, FLORIDA, U.S.A.

A diver was sucked into the nuclear reactor cooling water uptake system at the St. Lucie nuclear power plant in Florida. The diver was dragged a quarter mile through a 16 foot diameter pipe, ending up in one of the reactor cooling ponds. He was fortunate to have lived through it. (“Radiation and Alternatives Bulletin” (RadBull) USA Aug. 1989, WISE-319 20/10/89).

956. 1989, 12th June -OHIO, U.S.A.

The US Nuclear Regulatory Commission imposed its first fine ever against a military organization on 12th June when it fined the US Air Force $102,500 for failing to report a nuclear spill. Drums of Americium-241 stored in a shed at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in the state of Ohio contaminated at least one employee, who opened the drum during an inventory. Clean-up costs exceeded $2 million, and the bases’s radiation safety director was placed on a 2-year probation for knowingly storing the illegal substance. (“RadBull” (US) Aug. 1989; WISE-319 20/10/89).

957. 1989, 13th June -ROCKY FLATS, COLORADO, U.S.A.

The Rocky Flats nuclear facility in Colorado, USA was placed on alert due to a rain-swollen dam containing toxic/radioactive substances. (“NACE News” US Oct.1989; WISE-319 20/10/89).

958. 1989, 13th June -DOUNREAY, U.K.

A seepage of liquid was discovered from a construction joint on a stainless steel lined concrete, sludge settling tank containing uranium and plutonium bearing material. According to the industry magazine Atom, the rate of seepage was 100 mile per day, but no mention was made as to how long the leak had been there before being discovered. (Atom (U.K.), Jan 1990; WISE 326/7, 9/2/1990)

959. 1989, 18th June -HONG KONG AIRPORT

On June 18 news reports said Hong Kong airport was put on full alert after a jet flying in from London reported a leak from a container of radioactive material. (“MTS Bulletin” via Greenlink 18/6/89; WISE-315 7/7/89).

960. 1989, 19th June -SPRINGFIELDS WORKS, U.K.

Sometime between December 1988 and May 1989, while working on duties relating to recovery of uranium, an employee took in an amount of uranium exceeding the annual dose and was detected by the whole body monitor on the site. “WISE” 326/7, 9/2/1990)

961. 1989, 26th June -SOVIET SUBMARINE (OFF NORWAY)

A Soviet nuclear-powered submarine Echo II, which caught fire at sea on June 26, returned to its Arctic base with a damaged reactor which failed while it was submerged about 70 miles off the north Norwegian coast. The Soviet navy commander, Admiral Vladimir Chernavin, confirmed that there were nuclear weapons on board the submarine, but they were “safe” and had not been effected by the accident.

According to Soviet Defence Minister Dimitri Yazov, the primary cooling circuit in one of its twin pressurized water reactors failed while the sub was submerged. The Soviet news agency Tass talked earlier of an air-tight seal failing in the primary circuit.

The Echo II was built in the 1960s and is among other Soviet submarine-types, not to mention submarine-types from various other countries, which are crude, as well as dangerous. In fact, it was in April, that the US submarine Iowa exploded killing 47, and it is less than 3 months since another Soviet nuclear submarine, a Soviet Mike Clara, caught fire and sank in the same area (the Barents Sea), taking 42 crew with it. When the Soviet Mike-class sub sank, its two reactors became the 8th and 9th reactors known to be abandoned on the ocean floor. (“Naval Accidents 1945-1988” June 1988; “Guardian” 27/6/89; “North Atlantic Network General Conf” 21/6/89; WISE 315 7/7/89).

UPDATE: 6th September, 1989

Large amounts of radioactive iodine are now known to have been released when the Echo class submarine caught fire off the North Norwegian coast in June. Fallout from the sub fire was even measured as far away as Vardo, in the far north near the Soviet-Norwegian border. Norwegian authorities became aware of the fallout after it was detected by a West German measuring station in Vardo. Researcher Finn Ugletveit at the Norwegian radiation institute has been reported in the press as stating “Our emergency preparedness is worse than people think. We’re not properly equipped to tackle crisis situations”. (“TT Swedish News Service” 6/9/89; WISE-318 29/9/89 ) .

962. 1989, 9th August -PICKERING, CANADA

A Canadian mechanic was exposed to six times the yearly legal radiation limit in an accident at the Pickering nuclear plant on 9th August 1989. Another worker who was standing nearby was also exposed. The workers were replacing a radioactive control rod, which is moved in or out of a reactor to control the nuclear process, when a radiation detection device one of the men was holding went off scale. It was later discovered that the equipment being used by the men was designed for training and did not contain lead, which shields workers from radiation. (“The Oshawa Times” Canada 14/8/89; WISE-318 29/9/89).

963. 1989, August -MILLSTONE, U.S.A.

The US Sub-committee on nuclear regulations has requested that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission focus its investigations on US $15,000 offered by North East Utilities to John Delcore, a worker who exposed poor safety practices, to silence him. Further focus will be the Texas Utility Electric Company which gave a nuclear builder $15,000 and his attorney $20,000 to keep quiet about problems at the Comenchi Peak Nuclear Plant. The Committee’s Chairperson Senator John Breaux said that “it turns the licensing process into a sham, if witnesses can be paid money to withhold their testimony”. The NRC did levy US $50, 000 fine on Millstone in April 89 for failing to complete safety modifications required since the TMI accident, three years after the modifications were to have been made. A recently released report by the Washington based Nuclear Information and Resource Service shows that over 1 half (59 out of 112) of operating nuclear powered reactors in the U.S. have not completed these modifications. (“Radiation & Alternatives Bulletin” RadBull Aug.89; WISE-319 20/10/89).


A recent US General Accounting Office (GAO) report has found severe radioactive contamination at nine civilian nuclear sites, all of which had been declared decommissioned or decontaminated. Contamination levels were discovered to range between two and 730 times above federal standards. The sites were Westinghouse Fuel Fabrication Plant in Cheswick, Pennsylvania, The Combination Engineering Site in Hematight, Missouri, The Texas Instruments Plant, South of Boston, Mass., The Gulf United Nuclear Corporation Fabrication Plant near Pawling, New York and the KERR McGEE in Cushing, Oklahoma. All five sites have ground water contamination higher than the Federal drinking water standards allow. Additionally, the KER McGEE Cimarron Uranium Enrichment Facility in Crescent, Oklahoma, has ground water contamination 400 times the EPA’s drinking water standards and the Nuclear Fuel Services site in Erwin Tennessee has contamination levels 730 times above drinking water standards. (“The Nuclear Monitor” 21/8/89. WISE-319 20/10/89).


1.       GULF UNITED, N.Y., U.S.A.




5.       1989, September -INDIA


In September, an Indian newspaper, “The Independent”, reported that a survey by a team of scientists from the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) found an unusually high concentration of radioactive iodine in marine algae near the Tapaur Atomic Power Station (TAPS). Researchers G.R. Doshi and S.N. Doshi from BARC’s health physics division, who conducted the survey, found Iodine-129 in marine algae near Tapaur at 740 times the normal concentration. They published their findings in the Indian Journal for Marine Sciences, creating what “The Independent” described as “a flutter among top nuclear scientists”. (“Anumukti” India Oct 1989; WISE-323/324 22/12/89).

972. 1989, 5th September – TURKEY POINT-4, FLORIDA, U.S.A.

A turbine trip at another Florida plant, Turkey Point-4 on 5 September resulted in numerous complications. The reactor began to automatically insert control rods to scram the plant, but stopped before insertion of the rods was complete. (“The Nuclear Monitor” (US) 2/10/89; WISE-319 20/10/89).

973. 1989, 21st September -(CHERNOBYL) PAKISTAN

The Pakistani government released for consumption 496 tonnes of Dutch milk which had been contaminated by the Chernobyl accident, then said it had made a mistake. An analysis of the imported milk samples made by the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission detected CS134 and CS-137 in the milk on the average of 122 Bq/kg, 22% above Indian limits. The milk had been seized by Customs in December 1988 and released in June 1989 following appeals by importers, who promised to dilute it with uncontaminated milk in a 1 to 10 proportion to comply with Euratom standards for reconstituted products. (“Nucleonic Week” US 21/9/89; WISE-319 20/10/89)

974. 1989, August to September – PHOENIX, MARCOULE, FRANCE

A bubble of argon gas in the core of this fast breeder reactor led to a near major explosion without engineers realizing the danger even though the reactor shut off automatically three times during this period for undetected reasons. If the bubble had arisen more in the centre of the core a Chernobyl like power excursion disaster would have been possible. Despite French Authorities denying this it was referred to in the safety report of the German fast breeder SNR-300 at Kalkar. (taz (FRG) 13/1/1990; WISE 326/7 9/2/1990

975. 1989, 27th September -TMI-2, PA., U.S.A.

Two workers helping with the clean-up of Three Mile Island Unit-2 unintentionally picked up a piece of the damaged core. Measurements of the material found it to be highly radioactive with dose rates of 1320 rem/hr (gamma) and 11,580 rad/hr(beta). One of the workers received a dose of between 75 to 375 rem to the hand; the other received a dose of between 18.75 to 75 rem. After realizing the error, other workers picked up the material longhandled tools and placed it in the reactor vessel. (“Nuclear Monitor” US 16/10/89; WISE 320 3/11/89).

976. 1989, 19th October – VANDELLOS 1, TARRATOGA, SPAIN

Fire occurred in this graphite moderated reactor owned by the French Spanish Consortium Hifrensa, a partner of Electricite de France (EdF), when for reasons not yet known one turbine stopped suddenly. The weight of the machine (5 tons) then proceeded to heat up the lubrication oil which decomposed and lost hydrogen. The hydrogen exploded and the turbine caught fire. Because the plant has no fire fighting facilities fire fighters came from as far as 100 km away. The fire continued for four hours. Because the fire fighters had not been given appropriate training or equipment (as they were normal fire fighters and not members of PENTA (Spain’s nuclear emergency plant), they piled one calamity on top of another. For instance because they did not understand the situation they used water on electrical systems instead of foam. The basement flooded and Carlos Fernadez, the planter director explained that the big smoke coming from the plant was due to the burning of electric insulators. The plant has a history of overheating and corrosion problems. After Chernobyl the authorities (CSN) had ordered five modifications but only two were made, partially because of the high coats. According to El Pais the International Atomic Energy Agency said this was the worst accident in a nuclear installation since Chernobyl. However reports received by WISE Tarratoga state that IAEA is now denying this. Spain’s Commission for nuclear energy CSN has considered the fire to be the worst ever in a Spanish nuclear power plant. The prototype of this plant, the St. Laurent de Eaux in France, was also the site for the worst French nuclear power accident on the 13th March 1989. (WISE 13/11/89, El pais (Spain) 22, 24, 25, 27, and 28 Oct. 89.)

977. 1989, October -NINE MILE-2, NEW YORK, U.S.A.

A problem in the cooling system at Nine Mile Point 2 in New York, USA will keep the nuclear plant from reopening on schedule. The plant had shut down earlier (October 13th) because of a malfunctioning electronic system which occurred when a condenser valve was mistakenly closed during maintenance work being done on the plant’s electrical system. (“Solstice Magazine” via GreenNet topic 59, en. nuclear, 29/10/89; WISE-320 3/11/89).

978. 1989, 24th October -ASEA BROWN BOVERI, SWEDEN

At the Asea Brown Boveri (ABB) fuel fabrication plant in Vasteras, Sweden an accident occurred during the routine emptying of a uranium hexafluoride (VF6) sample cylinder. The supposedly airtight glove box in which the cylinder was being manipulated leaked, resulting in a worker breathing in poisonous fluorine gas. A spokesman for ABB said they do not know what caused the accident, but suspect blockage of a ventilation pipe. (“Vestermanlands Lans Tidning” Vasteras, Sweden 27/10/89; WISE-320 3/11/89).

979. 1989, 24th October -HANFORD, WA., U.S.A.

An unconfirmed report of an explosion in a aingle-shell storage tank containing highly radioactive wastes has led the governor of Washington State to order an in-depth investigation of potential chemical explosion involving other similar storage tanks at the Hanford nuclear reservation. (“UPI via GreenNet” topic 158 gp.preac 24/10/89; WISE320 3/11/89).

980. 1989, October -LAGUNA VERDE, MEXICO

922,629 litres of radioactive liquids were dumped into the ocean from 1st April to 24th August 1989. Also radioactive gas emissions have increased the radioactivity around this General Electric reactor. Furthermore, 16 scrams have occurred during the period of testing of this plant from October 1988 to May 1990. (“Excelsior” Mexico City 8/9/89. “Nuclear Monitor” US 16/10/89; WISE-320 3/11/89).

981. 1989, DIABLO CANYON-2, CA., U.S.A.

Unit 2 of the Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant was shut down and an “unusual” event was declared. (“Diablo Monitor” via GreenNet; WISE 328 2/90)

982. 1989, October -DARLINGTON, CANADA

In early October, a mix-up resulted in operations workers mistakenly putting Tritium-contaminated heavy water into the heat transport system of the Unit 2 reactor at the Darlington nuclear station in Canada. (“The Anti-Nuclear Review” Canada Summer/Fall 1989; WISE-322 1/12/89)

983. 1989, 27th October -(CHERNOBYL) U.K.

Fish contaminated by the Chernobyl accident are still being found in British rivers, three years after the explosion took place, according to the U.K. Agriculture Ministry. It said that brown trout caught by anglers throughout Britain contain the highest levels of Cesium 134 and 137. Pike and Perch were also affected, but not as badly. (“Japan Times” 27/10/89; WTSE-321 17/11/89).

984. 1989, 7th November -RABBIT LAKE, SASKATCHEWAN, CANADA

A leak of about two million litres (about two thousand cubic metres) of radioactive and heavy metal contaminated water, enough to fill three olympic-size swimming pools, occurred at the Rabbit Lake uranium mine and mill area in northern Saskatchewan, Canada. The water burst from a faulty valve on a 10km long pipeline that carries run off and ground water seepage from the Collin’s Bay open pit uranium mine to the Rabbit Lake uranium mill. The water had spilled 300 meters towards Collin’s Creek which flows into Collin’s Bay on Wollaston Lake. When the radioactivity and heavy metals reach the creek there will be a risk of contamination of a whitefish spawning area. The mill, however significant in itself, is small in relation to the spread of contamination from the routine operation of the mill and mines in the area. The mill releases over seven million litres of waste per day which eventually flows into Wollaston Lake. The water first flows through two settling ponds which together have a maximum holding capacity of only 16 days of mill operation. The water still contains dangerous levels of radioactivity and heavy metals after passing through the settling ponds. (The spill was not noticed for 14 hours -even though there were three Atomic Energy Control Board (AECB) inspectors on the site). (“Survival Office Saskatchewan”; “Saskatoon Star Phoenix”, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan 9 and 11/11/89; “Edmonton Journal” Edmonton, Nov 89; WISE 322 1/12/89).

985. 1989, 8th November -MAINE YANKEE, U.S.A.

On 8th November, what was described as “slightly contaminated” air was vented from the Maine Yankee nuclear plant as part of shutdown operations so repairs could be made on a faulty pump seal that had caused several thousand gallons of contaminated water to leak inside the plant. (“UPI” via GreenNet, 9/11/89; WISE-322 1/12/89).

986. 1989, November – CHINON & ST. LAURENT DES EAUX, FRANCE

Two nuclear power stations in France, at Chinon and St. Laurent des Eaux, had to be shut down for several weeks earlier this year because of the hot, dry summer. The Loire River was a couple of degrees too warm to be used for cooling purposes. (“Tribune” Australia 27/9/89; WI Q-319 20/10/89).

987. 1989, 15th November -U.S. SUBMARINE

A fire broke out in insulation around an engine on board the nuclear attack submarine “USS Finback”, forcing the vessel to end sea trials early. (“Associated Press” via GreenNet 20/11/89; WISE-322 1/12/89).

988. 1989, November -KNOLS, NY., U.S. NAVY

Water or steam leaks were the cause of two nuclear shutdowns in November at a Navy training centre in Saratoga County, New York. The first of the two shutdown, which took place at the Kenneth A. Kesselring site of Knols Atomic Power Lab, occurred after Navy personnel noticed water-soaked asbestos wrapped around several pipes at the S3-G Triton Submarine reactor. Officials said the leak was non-radioactive but closed the reactor down for further investigation. (“David Yarrow” via GreenNet 26/11/89; WISE322 1/12/89).

989. 1989, 19th November -U.S. NAVY

The second shutdown came on 19 November when a small steam leak in a sealed compartment of S8-G Trident submarine reactor was discovered. (“David Yarrow” via GreenNet 26/11/89; WISE322 1/12/89).

990. 1989, November -RANCHO SECO, CA., U.S.A.

The US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) delayed the removal of nuclear fuel scheduled to begin this month at the Rancho Seco nuclear plant in California due to a leak through the plants pool. (“UPI” via GreenNet 20/11/89; WISE-322 1/12/89).

991. 1989, November -ROCKY FLATS, COLORADO, U.S.A.

Investigators from Scientec Inc an Engineering Management Co specializing in nuclear safety issues discovered several kilograms of accumulated Plutonium 239 in a pipe that serves as an exhaust ventilation duct in a Plutonium Processing building. It was found “outside the normal envelope used to control” plutonium inventories and the quantity was “more than enough” for an accidental chain reaction which could produce a lethal dose to workers at close range and could, in some circumstances, release radioactive materials into the environment. Rocky Flats had been warned by a former Rockwell employee who designed the ventilator systems that the ducts were a probable location for dangerous quantities of Plutonium to collect but did nothing to identify and correct Plutonium accumulations in the ventilation systems. Rocky Flats officials have already been under investigation and raided by the F.B.I. for possible criminal violation of environmental laws in the past including improper waste disposal. Furthermore, the firing of Rockwell as Manager for Rocky Flats and agreement with various states and Federal Environmental Agencies on clean up activities is part of initiatives to restore its tarnished image. (“Nuclear Monitor” US 4/9/89; “Guardian” US 11/10/89; Greenpeace via GreenNet 20 and 23/9/89, 7,11,23/10/89; WISE-321 17/11/89).

992. 1989, 9th November -(CHERNOBYL) MOSCOW, U.S.S.R.

Moscow News today stated that more than 250 people of those who were at work at the time of the explosion or worked on liquidating the consequences of the Chernobyl accident have already died. A spokesman, Alexander Karesyuk for the Kombinut, the Govt Agency that is responsible for the clean-up for the plant, acknowledges the figure of 250 dead but said only 31 could be traced directly to the disaster. The Govt. newspaper Izvestia did agree that “many of those who worked a long time in conditions that were dangerous to their health need help today”. A report released by Associated Press in March stated that almost a quarter of a million people were still living on land so contaminated that they cannot eat food grown on it and 3 years after the accident officials are still evacuating more people from the area surrounding the plant. (“AP” via Greennet 9/11/89; WISE-321 17/11/89).

993. 1989, 24th November -GREIFSWALD, GERMANY

On this date, Central Europe stood at the edge of a nuclear disaster comparable only to Chernobyl in 1986. Reports previously kept hidden by the GDR Authorities state that a near core meltdown occurred as a result of equipment failure. In order to test the emergency switch off system of the new fifth block of the reactor, three of the six cooling water pumps were switched off, at which point the fourth pump broke down and the reactor went out of control. When it was finally switched off manually, the staff discovered that ten fuel elements had been damaged -a local meltdown. The triggers to the missing automatic switch-off were, according to the official investigation commission, sticky contacts of relays which were sloppily constructed. This accident was the last in a series of other dangerous incidents:

In 1974 only a hastily spread jumping-sheet prevented some control rods from falling into the fully loaded centre of the reactor.

In the mid seventies, all main water pumps broke down. Workers had forgotten to reinstall six small iron lids during check up.

In 1981, de-ionized water got into the active zone of the reactor. The splitting process speed increased and temperature rose out of control.

In 1976, the most severe accident occurred. Following a fire within the reactor, the complete cooling system broke down. Only the coincidence that one of the six emergency cooling pumps was connected to the neighbouring reactor prevented a core meltdown. More concerning were the everyday conditions: Drunken staff, a leaking and unstable reactor building, paint covered finger-wide welding seams, missing containments, missing replacement and construction materials, chaos in cable connections, handwork on many contamination-involved works, sinking foundations and radiation levels 10,000 in excess. Chromosome damage was discovered in six workers, as well as high death cancer rates among the staff. Aware of the obsolete equipment and the bad conditions the workers renamed the plant from Power Plant North into Chernobyl North. (TAZ (FRG) 29/1/1990. Dagena Nyheter (Sweden) 28/1/1990; WISE-Stockholm; WISE 326/7, 9/2/1990)

994. 1989, December -NAVY, CUMBRIA, U.K.

On 8 December, 1989 30 gallons of contaminated cooling liquid spilled from a nuclear submarine into the VSEL shipyard in Barrow-in Furneac, Cumbria, U.K.. (Anti-Nuclear Network Newsletter Feb/Mar 90; WISE 328 2/90)

995. 1989, December -U.S.S.R.

On 9th February ‘Komsomolakaya Pravda’ revealed that a Soviet nuclear submarine armed with intercontinental ballistic missiles suffered a major accident involving the release of radioactivity during a weapons test last December. (“Anti-Nuclear Network Newsletter” (U.K.) Apr/May 90; WISE333 1/6/90).

996. 1981-1989 -SASKATCHEWAN, CANADA

A total of 153 spills have been reported at three uranium mines in Saskatchewan Canada since mid 1981. Amoc mining reported 62 spills, Cameco 48 and Key Lake 43. (Three quarters of these are estimated to be radioactive.

The spill totals were requested after Cameco’s Rabbit Lake mine reported a spill of two million litres of radium and arsenic contaminated water. (MediaScan Canada, 10/11/89. WISE 323/324, 22/12/89)

997. 1989, 21st December -EMBALSE, ARGENTINA

This 600 MW plant reportedly suffered three scrams in four days after the 9th of December. The CNEA (Comission National de Energia Atomica) refused to answer reports fuelling speculation in the local press that the reactor had been sabotaged. According to private industry sources the reactor was first shut down automatically because of valve problems. It was restarted but shut down at least twice. (Nucleonics Week, 21/12/89; WISE 326/7, 9/2/1990)

998. 1989, December -SELLAFIELD, U.K.

Radioactive contamination detected at the Fairlie station where spent fuel flasks from Hunterston are transferred to flat bed railway trucks on their way to Sellafield. Caesium 137 levels were 30 times greater than the highest post Chernobyl concentrations and 100 times the levels found in Strathalyde where the station is located. (SCRAM Scotland Dec 1989/Jan 1990. WISE 323/324, 22/12/1989)

999. 1990, 6th January -ARGENTINA

An Argentine newspaper, Clarin, recently published a rather strange account of a black leather briefcase measuring 30 cm x 30 cm containing radioactive material which was lost by an engineer, Salomon Blictein, in the Centenario Park area of Buenos Aires. According to the police the contents were pellets or ‘pills’ of Americium-241. The article continued with the police statement that according to the National Atomic Commission (CNEA) the contents were dangerous if inhaled or came into contact with the skin and that the suitcase, if found, should be traded immediately to the police. However the next day the Clarin published another curious article in which the CNEA denied that the briefcase contained sources of radioactivity and declared instead that the contents could have possibly been contaminated by being in contact with other sources of radioactive materials. They went on to explain that given the sources (whatever they were) and because of the fact that they (the contents of the briefcase) are made of a kind of ceramic material used in some lightning rods, contact does not produce contamination, so the fact that the briefcase was lost does not create any risk to the population, aside from wondering what an engineer might be doing wandering in the park with a briefcase containing possible radioactive materials, here is another question: While trying to figure just what is going on here, there is talk that Americium-241 is being used in lightning rods in Spain and Argentina. (Clarin (Argentina) 8 9/1/1990; WISE 326/7, 9/2/1990)

1000. 1990, 23rd January -BRUCE A, CANADA

Software caused fuelling accident. AECB says that “a long standing error” in the computer software that controls the fuelling machine at the Bruce A. nuclear station in Ontario is responsible for the accident on 23 January at the station’s unit 4. (12 metric tons of heavy water coolant had spilled into the reactor vault after all four brakes on the fuelling machine bridge were suddenly released during the fuelling process. (“Nucleonics Week” 31/5/90; WISE-335 6/7/90)

1001. 1990, 23 January -ONTARIO, CANADA

About 12,000 litres of heavy water coolant spilled into the reactor vault at Bruce reactor Unit no 4. The accident was caused by a fuelling machine which did not properly connect onto a fuel channel. (“Nuclear Awareness” Canada, Winter 1989/90; WISE 329 2/90)

1002. 1990, 31 January -(NAVAL REACTOR) U.K.

The U.K. Department of Defence today revealed that it has discovered a crack in the nuclear reactor of the H.M.S. Warsprite, and admitted that, if it had not been detected, this could have led to a large release of radiation. As a result the Department has ordered tests on all nuclear vessel to ascertain if similar defects exist in their reactors. (A.B.C. Radio National 31/1/90)

1003. 1990, 8th February -U.S.S.R.

Pravda today gave sketchy details of a nuclear submarine accident last December. The submarine was testing ballistic missiles when the accident occurred, releasing what was quoted as “massive amounts of radiation”.

(A.B.C. Radio News 8/2/90)

1004. 1990, 11th February -HINKLEY POINT, U.K.

A near-accident involving a scenario that, according to Greenpeace Canada, almost led to a meltdown, occurred at the Hinkley Point Nuclear Power Station. An attempt to cover up the problem ended 5 days later, when a Member of Parliament, Paddy Ashdown, revealed the incident on 16 February. (Greenpeace, Canada; WISE 328 2/90)

1005. 1990, 15th February -PENNSYLVANIA, U.S.A.

In the ongoing TMI accident which began in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania (US) in March 1979, a metal sample cut from the reactor vessel shows a crack extending at least two inches into the five-inch-thick vessel bottom which raises questions about just how close the vessel was to being breached during the core melt accident. (“Nucleonics Week” 15/2/90. WISE 329 9/3/90)

1006. 1990, 11-17 February -POINT LEPREAUT, CANADA

Between 11-17 February Canada’s Point Lepreaut took what “Nucleonics Week” calls a ‘forced outage in order to repair a crack in the boiler (steam generator) feedwater system in the rear reactor downcomer to system suction’. (“Nucleonics Week” (US) 6/4/90; WISE333 1/6/90)

1007. 1980, 21 February -ROSSIYA, U.S.S.R.

Fire broke out on board a storage compartment in the stern of the nuclear powered icebreaker Rossiya, as it underwent repairs in the Arctic port of Murmansk. The reactor was undamaged. (T.A.S., W.Australian 21/2/1990)

1008. 1990, 23rd February -OKLAHOMA, U.S.A.

An undated, but apparently recent accident at Seguoyah Fuels Facility in Gore, Oklahoma (US) resulted in a spill of 10,000 to 20,000 pounds of depleted uranium tetraflouride powder. (“The Nuclear Monitor” 26/2/90, WISE 329 9/3/90 ) ­

1009. 1990, 25 February -SELLAFIELD, U.K.

Following studies on the high occurrence of childhood leukemia around Sellafield, a report for the U.K. Government indicates the strongest link to date between exposure of workers to radiation and their likelihood of passing damaged genes to their offspring. Dr. Berry, counselling scientist for Sellafield, has commented that if workers are worried about their children manifesting leukaemia as a result of their exposure, then they should not have any.

(A.B.C. News 25/2/1990)

1010. 1990, 25th February -CREYS-MAVILLE, FRANCE

A capsule containing 2 giga-becquerels of krypton 79 broke during experiments at the French Superphoenix in Creys-Maville, near the Swiss border. The radiation released was equal to 200,000 becquerels per cubic meter and remained inside the plant. (“DeVolksrant (Netherlands) 23/2/90; WISE 331 27/4/90).


This uranium mill near Ceske Budejovice has been the cause of severe radioactive pollution dating from the early 60’s. In 1962/63, up to 80% of the cattle grazing in the neighbourhood of the facility died of leukaemia or deformities, following an accident which occurred in the 1960’s.

A 1962 study by the Veterinarian Institute in Budejovice to find the causes of leukaemia, showed clearly that only contamination from MAPE could be responsible. Documentation of the investigation was immediately declared top secret. The only counteraction the authorities took at the time was to close down a local drinking water well without informing the local populace of the real reason. The area is used intensively for agriculture and livestock breeding, mainly cattle, geese, fish and hop for the famous Budweiser beer.

Another spill occurred in the same site in 1964 and several cases of malfunction occurred following this spill. News of the second accident were made public on 24th January in an interview in the Prague newspaper Mlada Fronts with Ing. Jaroslav Ruxicka, from the Czechoslovakian Ministry of Agriculture. Since then pollution has continued through the normal operations of the plant. Between 1965 and 1985 radioactive water from the mill was released directly into the Vlatava river, via a 20km underground canal. Since 1985 radwastes and tailings have been released into former open-pit mines next to the mill.

Since 1989, MAPE has treated uranium ore from the German Menzenschwand uranium mine. The German government has defended itself for being party to this pollution by stating that “it supposes the Czechoslovakian Government was observing international safeguards. (Peter Diehl (FRG); Greenpeace (via GreenNet, gp. press, topic 304, 26/1/1990 and topic 205, 21/1/1990); WISE 326/7 9/2/1990)

1012. 1990, l4th March -CHERNOBYL, UKRAINE, U.S.S.R.

On 3rd March the Government of the Ukraine announced that the three operating reactors at the Chernobyl Atomic Energy Station will be phased out of operation over the next five years and the station will then be completely closed. Pollution at Mogilev amounts to 45100 curies of Cesium-137 per square kilometre. More than 100,000 people are said to have fallen sick. 25% of children suffer from thyroid gland diseases and children below the age of two are reported to have died from cancer.

In the Chernobyl zone, 2,700-3,000 people have fallen seriously ill, 17 million suffer acutely from the consequences of the disaster and one million have already suffered genetic damage. At Cherkassy, one in five babies are born with deformities. Limbs, eyes and ears are missing. Among children, three main types of diseases have been observed. Grey cataracts, blood diseases and liver diseases and cancer and collapse of the immune system (already seen in 3 year olds).

In the Mogilev area, the numbers of babies born with deformities are as follows (according to “Sov. Kultura”, October 1989):

1985 -5 1986 -21 1987 -39 1988 -84 1989 -50

One of the most affected areas is that of Narodichi (Zitomir). The film Maximum Limit deals with the present situation there. It shows pictures of deformed calves, two-headed foals. The pollution in this area amount to 15-1,000 curies of Cesium-137 per square km. Every second child suffers from hyperthyroidism. After strong protests by the local populace, 12 villages of the Narodichi area are to be evacuated between now and 1993. 93,000 thousand inhabitants live in the whole area, 18,000 of whom are children. (Abstract of Dr. Bahro’s paper (FRG); “The Nuclear Monitor” (US) 12/3/90; “Guardian” (US) 14/3/90; “WISE” 330 6/4/90).

1013. 1990, 15th March -BALTIC SEA, GERMANY

The West German transport ship ‘MS Godewind’ collided with a corn transport in the Baltic Sea, 10km from the island Rugen (GDR). MS Godewind is used to transport nuclear fuel and radioactive scrap material to Sweden. (“TAZ” FRG 375/90; WISE 333 1/6/90).

1014. 1990, 6th April -FRANCE

In France, where 75% of the electricity is of nuclear origin, the national planning bureau noted that already, beginning a few years ago, EDP have an over-capacity. EDF Director Delaporte recently justified this overcapacity by referring to export profits. In the leaked reports, however, the French Government admits to dumping prices for electricity exports. Prices for exported electricity are lower than production costs.

EDF has begun a public relations campaign after an interrupted flow of reports of incidents in French nuclear power plants. In a French weekly journal it wrote of incidents occurring on an average of 15 per month. (“DeVolkshrant (Netherlands) 8/3/90; “TAZ” (FRG) 8/3/90; WISE 330 6/4/90).

1015. 1990, April -PHILADELPHIA, PA., U.S.A.

According to an article in the 6 March 1990 Philadelphia Daily News, a nuclear power plant worker was charged with spiking the lunchroom water cooler with radioactive water. (MACE (US) Apr 90; WISE 331/27/4/90).

1016. 1990, April -DOUNREAY, SCOTLAND

The Dounreay fast breeder reactor was closed down after liquid sodium leaked from the secondary cooling system and burnt on contact with air. (NENIG Briefing (P.A.) 5/90. WISE 333 1/6/90).

1017. 1990, 13th May -BLIND RIVER, CANADA

Leak shuts down Canadian refinery. Approx. 178kg of radioactive uranium dust leaked from CAMECO’s Blind River Uranium Refinery into the air over a 30 hour period during the week of 13 May. The filter system was bypassed accidentally and officials are unsure whether it was a mechanical or human error. (“Nuclear Awareness News” Canada, Spring 1990; WISE335 6/7/90 ) .

1018. 1990, 21st May -RINGHALS-2, SWEDEN

A serious incident occurred at Ringhala-2 Sweden, a Westinghouse built reactor, when operators were unable to turn on the both the main pump and the two reserve pumps for the cooling system of a basin in which the fuel elements had been placed during the reactor’s annual inspection. (“Aftonblade” TV News Prog. (Sweden) 21/5/90; “Dagens Nyheter”, 22/5/90; WISE 333 1/6/90).

1019. 1990, 21st May -SWITZERLAND

The Superphoenix plant was once again temporarily closed due to a new leak of about 10 to 30 litres of sodium in the second cooling circuit. (CECSR Switzerland 21/5/90; WISE-334 22/6/90)

1020. 1990, 28th May -LOVIISA, FINLAND

Break in thinned feedwater pipe shuts Finnish PWRs. Both units at the Loviisa Nuclear Power Plant were stopped due to a rupture of a feedwater pipe at Loviisa-1. (“Nucleonics Week” US 31/5/90; WISE335 6/7/90)

1021. 1990, 7th June -SPAIN

A leak of water into the containment vessel at the rate of 280 litres per hour began the night of 7th June and lasts approximately 10 hr ; (WISE Tarragona 11/7/90; Trouw (NL))

1022. 1990, 6th June -BIBLIS A.

A nuclear ‘incident’ rated in the category ‘urgent’ occurred at the RUE nuclear power station Biblis A. While the block was shut down for maintenance, and the fuel elements removed from the reactor pressure vessel, a branch of the electricity supply for reactor protection was mistakenly switched off for 3 minutes before it was noticed. (“Power in Europe” (aim.) 21/6/90; WISE-335 6/7/90)

1023. 1990, 21st June -AUSTRALIA

A senior technical officer with the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation committed suicide after an apparently minor accident at the University of Melbourne. The officer had been supervising the transfer of a 15cm rod of Cobalt-60 from one lead receptacle to another when mechanical failure resulted in what was described as an “insignificant” release of radiation. (“The Australian” 21 June 1990; WISE-334 22/6/90)

1024. 1990, June -MURUROA ATOLL, PACIFIC

Radioactive waste from French underground nuclear tests at Mururoa Atoll in the Pacific is seeping towards the surface faster than has previously been claimed, warns Professor Manfred Nochstein, director of Auckland University’s Geothermal Institute. He believes the waste could come to the top of the Atoll in about 30 years -not the thousands of years claimed by the French authorities. (Greenpeace (via Greennet 25/5/90); WISE 333 1/6/90)

1025. 1990, June -U.S. NAVY, U.K.

A US nuclear weapons carrier ship, the T-AK 286 Vega, was damaged in a collision with a barge at Holy Loch (U.K.). (Scotland on Sunday (U.K.) 24/6/90 (via GreenNet, 24/6/90); WISE-336 20/7/90)

1026. 1990, June -(CHERNOBYL) IRELAND

According to the Irish Nuclear Energy Board the radioactive cesium levels in mountain sheep which graze upland pastures have not decreased significantly since the Chernobyl accident in 1986. In fact, its report on sheep monitoring for 1989, which covered more than 25,000 animals, showed a slight increased compared with 1988 levels. (“Nuclear Energy Board”; “Irish Times” 19/6/90; WISE-336 20/7/90)

1027. 1990, August -LENINGRAD, U.S.S.R.

Soviet newspapers have reported that radioactive waste has been dumped in the Leningrad area, even in city parks. According to the newspaper “Komsomolskaya Pravda”, there are at least 1,500 places in Leningrad where levels of radon exceed allowed levels. About 150,000 cubic metres of soil are known to be contaminated. The newspaper also reported that radioactivity has seeped down into ground water and out into the Bay of Finland. In one case a medical research institute burned up contaminated materials and spread the ashes out on the side-walks in the area. In another case, radioactive waste buried underground came up to the surface again when houses were built on the dump site. (“Dagena Nyheter(Sweden) 16/8/90; WISE-338 14/9/90).

1028. 1990, 12th September -UST-KAMEMOGORSK, KAZAKHSTAN, U.S.S.R.

The official Soviet news agency Tass has reported that an explosion took place on 12th September at the Soviet fuel fabrication plant in Ust-Kamenogorak in Kazackstan, a city with a population of a half million, located near the border of the U.S.S.R., Mongolia and China. No fatalities occurred, but many people are said to be injured. (TAZ (FRG) 14/9/90; VLT (Sweden) 14/9/90; WISE-339 28/9/9

1029. 1990, 16th September -CREYS-MALVILLE, FRANCE

The French Government has been forced to close a fast-breeder nuclear power reactor in Creys-Malville after a series of technical problems climaxed in reduction of power and automatic shutdown. The accident rated 2 on a severity scale of 6. It was thought that a bubble of argon gas in the reactor core was causing the trouble. The Superphoenix fast breeder was also in trouble with an unrelated problem of corrosion product contamination in the primary sodium coolant. Neither reactor was expected to restart until late 1991 at the earliest. (The Australian, 19/9/90, Nuclear News, August 1991 )

1030. 1990, October -GERMANY

The German Government has informed Moscow that it will shut down five VVER 230 nuclear power reactors in former East Germany because they are unsafe. A Nuclear Energy Agency spokesperson was quoted as saying that “those machines are incredibly far off our own regulations and requirements.” At least 26 similarly unsafe reactors are scattered across Czeckoslovakia, Hungary, Bulgaria and the Soviet Union. Pressure continued to build on these to be closed also. (The Sydney Morning Herald, 22/10/90).

1031. 1990, October -HANFORD, WASHINGTON STATE, U.S.A.

A potentially explosive situation was reported by safety inspectors at a nuclear waste tank (codenamed 101-SY) at Hanford. The waste slurry had formed a thick crust which is trapping hydrogen being continuously generated underneath. One calculation has it that an explosion equivalent to 230 kilos of TNT could occur. The tank has uncertain chemistry and contents. Up to 66 tanks at Hanford are believed to be leaking, 22 are accumulating hydrogen and a further 22 are potentially explosive. (New Scientist, October 1990; The Canberra Times, 28/12/90).

1032. 1990, 21st November -FARALLON ISLANDS, off U.S.A.

Marine scientists have produced graphic evidence that drums of nuclear waste are leaking in part of the northwest Pacific which happens to be a rich fishing area and a marine reserve. At least 47,500 drums are known to have been dumped near the Farallon Islands, 50 km off San Franciaso, between 1946 and 1970. Images show fish swimming among corroded and collapsed drums scattered over an area of 48 square km. (The Age, 22/11/90)

1033. 1990, 18th December -HEMATITE, MISSOURI, U.S.A.

One worker was slightly injured and 25 evacuated following a release of uranium hexaflouride (‘hex’) at a nuclear fuel fabrication plant. The spill occurred after an employee failed to turn off a valve before disconnecting sampling equipment from a cylinder of hex being tested for degree of enrichment. (Nuclear News, February 1991)

1034. 1991, February -ERZGEBIRGE, former EAST GERMANY

Details were released of the size and possible cost of the task of cleaning up the 1000 sq km of former uranium mines in the Erzgebirge region. There are hundreds of slag heaps which must be levelled or covered and greened. 1600 km of mine workings to be filled in or flooded; plus more than 300 shafts and tunnels, 85 ventilation shafts and 18 waste ponds to be decontaminated and closed off or reclaimed. The equivalent of 2-5 billion pounds sterling was said to be needed to pay for the cleanup. At least 20,000 former miners contracted lung cancer or silicosis from the 40-year uranium mining operations. (New Scientist, 2/2/91, The Weekend Australian, 27-28/4/91)

1035. 1991, 9th February -FUKUI, JAPAN

A serious accident occurred in the Mihama nuclear power plant. A pipe in the steam generator burst, leaking 55 tonnes of radioactive primary (reactor) coolant water into the secondary steam-generating circuit. Some radioactivity was released to the atmosphere and the plant’s emergency corecooling system was required. MITI reported later that the accident was caused by human error, some anti-vibration bars being wrongly installed by workers and sawn off short to make them fit. (Nuclear News, August 1991, The Age, 23/2/91)

1036. 1951, February -NORTH WALES, U.K.

The Trawsfynydd nuclear power plant was shut down because of fears expressed by Britain’s Nuclear Installations Inspectorate that the two 25-year old reactors there were operating with weakened welds in their pressure vessels. (New Scientist, 9 February 1991).

1037. 1951, April -KILDIN ISLAND, NORWAX, U.S.S.R.

The small Norwegian group Bellona stated that, according to information passed to activists by a Soviet coastguard officer, waste from Soviet nuclear submarines has been dumped at Kildin Island, less than 120 km from Norway. The officer, who did not want to be identified, produced photographs and said safety precautions at the dump were “scandalous”. This brought to five the number of suspected military and civilian nuclear waste dumps in the Barents and Kara Mesa off the Soviet Union’s northern coast. One of them was thought to lie nearer than 45 km to Norway. (Bellona Magazine, 2 April 1991)

1038. 1991, 25th April -CHERNOBYL, UKRAINE, U.S.S.R.

The head of a Ukranian parliamentary committee on Chernobyl reported that the concrete and steel casing built around the reactor devastated in 1986 is in danger of collapsing in a blast of radioactive dust. A more detailed appraisal was given simultaneously by a team of Soviet scientists at a conference in Paris. The sarcophagus is deteriorating faster than expected, increasing the risk of water penetration and dust escape. Water entering the still-hot reactor could cause explosions. There is even a risk that, as parts of the structure collapse, radioactive fuel still inside the building may form a critical mass, prompting a self-sustaining fission reaction. At present the sarcophagus contains 180 tonnes of uranium, 570 kilos of plutonium and significant quantities of other transuranic elements. (New Scientist, 27 April 1991; The Canberra Times, 27/4/91)

1039. 1991 May -WILMINGTON, N.C., U.S.A.

A potential criticality incident occurred at GE’s nuclear fuel fabrication plant in Wilmington. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission later found that workers and managers at the plant were complacent on safety matters and that there had been a general deterioration of criticality safety. (Nuclear News, September 1991)

1040. 1991, 17th June -HANAU, GERMANY

Sieman’s mixed oxide nuclear fuel fabrication plant was closed down as the result of a plutonium leak followed by a leaking roof. Three workers suffered slight contamination. The plutonium leakage was from a damaged container and was graded as an ‘B’ (urgent) incident. A plant investigation has been ordered (Nuclear Engineering International, August 1991)

1041. 1991, 22nd June -BELLEVILLE-2 PWR, FRANCE

The second Level 2 (IAEA scale) incident was experienced at the Belleville nuclear power plant inside a month. Faulty welds were discovered in the crucial low pressure auxiliary primary coolant system. The earlier Level 2 incident involved failure of two primary water level measuring systems. (Nuclear Engineering International, August 1991)

1042. 1991, 1st July -SLOVENIA, YUGOSLAVIA

The country’s only nuclear power plant was closed down for fear of military attack after three federal jet fighters ‘buzzed’ the facility. (Nuclear News, August 1991)

1043. 1991, 10th July -BALLEVILLE-2, FRANCE

Yet another Level 2 incident at Belleville-2. This time, 10 cubic metres of pure (is unboronated) water was allowed to enter the primary circuit through human error. A prescribed level of boron is required in the circuit to keep the reactor core subcritical. (Nuclear News, September 1991)

1044. 1991, 6th August -MOXLODUY VVER 440, BULGARIA

This reactor, described as probably the most dangerous reactor on earth, suffered a fire in a 400-kv transformer. The fire was well away from reactor buildings, however. (Nuclear News, September 1991)

1045. 1991, 10th August -CHERNOBYL-2, USSR

A Level 2 incident occurred in which several cubic metres of cooling water leaked while the reactor was shut down for maintenance work. The leak was caused by failure of a pipe seal near the main circulation pumps. (Nuclear News, September 1991)

1046. 1991, 13th August -NEW YORK STATE, USA

A three-year-old nuclear power reactor at Nine Mile Point malfunctioned and was closed down on the following day. An NRC investigation was begun into reasons why a control room warning system and its backup power supply failed. (The Australian, 15/8/91)

1047. 1991, 21st August -HUNTERSTON-5 ACR, UK

This advanced gas-cooled nuclear power station requiring up to 40 million gallons of seawater per hour for turbine condenser cooling was shut down when thousands of jellyfish were sucked into the screens of the seawater cooling intake. (Nuclear News, October 1991)

1048. 1991, 23rd August -KARLSRUHE, GERMANY

Workers at the Nuclear Research Centre, Karlsruhe, discovered that an entire nuclear fuel assembly consisting of 37 fuel rods had somehow switched with a dummy (training) assembly. The most likely fate of the active assembly was considered to have been destruction and placement in nuclear waste drums. However, theft ofthe nuclear material was not ruled out. (New Scientist, 5 October 1991)

1049. 1991, September -RAWATBHATA, INDIA

Rajasthan, a power station with one of two reactors running at a maxium of 501 capacity and described as ‘crippled’, caused an uproar in the Indian Parliament because of findings by a medical team that villagers living nearby are suffering from unusual health problems.

These include spontaneous abortions, sterility, deformed children, rare skin diseases and so on. The plant, commissioned in 1973, was shut down at least 250 times during its first decade and has had serious leakage problems throughout the 1980’s. A more detailed study of the villagers would become available after six months. (The Age, 23/9/91)

1050. 1991, 23rd September – MURMANSK, U.S.S.R.

More revelations on Soviet nuclear waste dumping off its northern shores from Mr Andrei Zolotkov, a national parliamentarian from Murmansk. He said that the waste, in leaky containers, was dumped in very shallow waters for more than 20 years, and included the damaged reactor core from the nuclear-powered icebreaker Lenin, which suffered a meltdown in 1966. (The Sydney Morning Herald, 25/9/91)

1051. 1991, 11th October -CHERNOBYL, UKRAINE

A major fire occurred at the generator hall served by the still-functioning Chernobyl-2 reactor, wrecking the hall and destroying its roof. The fire was said to have broken out after a turbine had idled for repairs and then was unexpectedly turned on by an automatic switch. The fire took three hours to extinguish and forced a shutdown of Chernobyl-2. The destroyed hall was immediately adjacent to the concrete sarcophagus contining 30 tonnes of radioactive debris from the 1986 accident. (The Sydney Morning Herald, 14 and 15/10/91)

1052. 1991, October – HANAU, GERMANY

More trouble at the Siemens nuclear fuel plant. A release of ammonia caused a ‘blue fog’ and affected nearby forest workers. The chemical section of the main fuel fabrication plant was closed down by the Hesse Government. (Nuclear News, October 1991)

1053. 1991, October -VLADIVOSTOK, U.S.S.R.

Information was released concerning a catastrophic accident on a Soviet nuclear submarine which took place on 10th August 1985 during refuelling. Vital contol rods were mistakenly pulled out of the vessel’s reactor, causing an explosion which killed 10 sailors and spewed radioactive materials into the air and sea. (The Sydney Morning Herald, 26/10/91)

1054. 1991, 21St October -FASLANE, SCOTLAND, U.K.

An alert was sparked by a fire on the nuclear powered submarine HMS Sceptre at the Faslane submarine base. The fire, which required two fire engines to extinguish, was later described as occurring in a non-essential switchboard area of the vessel. (The Canberra Times, 22/10/91)


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