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How Macabre !

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#1 SFX


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Posted 22 September 2006 - 08:16 AM

Whilst doing some research on forgotten nuclear accidents I came across this bizarre story :


The first US major nuclear accident took place in one of 17 experimental reactors at the military nuclear testing ground at Idaho Falls On Jan 3 1961 three servicemen, John Byrnes, Richard McKinley and Richard Legg were on duty at Reactor no 1 a 3 megawatt prototype It had been shut down as work was needed to be done on instruments and the control rods were disconnected. Basically the process was simple, the central rod had to be lifted up 10 cm and then coupled to the remote driving mechanism Nobody really knows what went wrong, as nobody lived to tell the tale.


Whatever it was it was over in 4 seconds. Later it was discovered that the control rod had been pulled right out of the core. The AEC suggested that the rod may have got stuck and that 2 of the men had tried to lever it up manually as they tugged at it it suddenly freed itself and shot up not 10 cm but nearly 50 cm With the withdrawal of the control rod the core immediately went supercritical overheating and boiling the fuel. There was an explosion of steam which blasted a solid slug of water right out through the pile cap.


Legg and McKinley were killed outright, McKinley being impaled on the ceiling structure on a rod blown out of the control plug Byrnes was knocked down by the enormous flash of radiation The auto alarms tripped and emergency squads rushed to the scene but before they reached anywhere near the site of the accident their meters went right of the scale showing over 500 roentgens per hour- a lethal dose. the levels inside the reactor were even higher at 800 roentgens. However 2 heroic rescue members hauled out Byrnes, sadly too late. He died in the ambulance on the way to the hospital McKinleys impaled body was giving off 15000 roentgens an hour, the head, one arm and both legs had to be buried as high level nuclear waste in a special box. Only the trunk and one arm received normal burial and then it was wrapped in lead and put in a lead lined coffin The bodies of Legg and McKinley had to be dismembered because some parts were so intensely radioactive and remote handling gear had to be used for this gruesome task Pathologists working on the bodies had to do so in radiation suits and worked not with with surgical instruments but with ordinary tools at the end of long poles All the bodies were so radioactive that 20 days passed before it was considered safe to handle them for burial.


In the case of Legg and McKinley the most radioactive portions were buried in lead lined canisters in lead lined vaults. What portions remained along with Byrnes were buried in lead lined coffins in the Arlington military cemetery. 14 other men, from the rescue teams, received doses of 5 roentgens or more In all 791 people were contaminated as was every vehicle, box or piece of equipment they touched. The ground around the plant as well as the highway outside were radioactive It took 18 months to clean up with men in protective suits working at 4 hours a time with only 8 mins allowed in the radioactive zone


Think that's bad ? well I have a growing collection of "forgotten accidents" Mostly from the US due to the more open policy given to reporting ( though I am sure many more have gone unreported) as well as the USSR and the UK

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#2 Dark Crypto

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Posted 23 September 2006 - 03:39 AM

wow, just wow, poor people, that must really suck being one of those contaminated, i feel sorry for those people

#3 Digital Awakning

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Posted 04 October 2006 - 09:14 AM

This is a shame. All those people, and to live with this until they pass is a tragedy in and of it's self. Mankinds need to have power with out regard to human life. Best Regards, Ryan

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Posted 18 February 2008 - 07:06 AM

In addition to the Nuclear Industries problems here are a few military mishaps "BROKEN ARROWS" - accidents which threaten nuclear devastation - 36 known by1991 - none of which were acknowledged willingly. Almost without question more have not surfaced.


13 February 1950 A B-36 en route from Alaska to Carswell Air Force Base in Fort Worth, Texas, developed serious mechanical difficulties, complicated by severe icing conditions, leading to the world's first nuclear accident. The crew headed out over the Pacific Ocean and dropped the nuclear weapons from 8,000 feet off the coast of British Columbia. The weapons' high-explosive material detonated on impact, but the crew parachuted to safety.


11 April 1950 A B-29 carrying a nuclear weapon crashed into a mountain near Manzano Base in Albuquerque, New Mexico, killing all 13 crewmembers aboard.


10 November 1950 A B-50 en route to Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Tucson, Arizona, was forced to jettison a nuclear weapon over the St. Lawrence River near St. Alexandre-de-Kamouraska, Canada.


10 March 1956 A B-47 with two nuclear weapons aboard disappeared over the Mediterranean Sea after flying out of MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Florida. An exhaustive search failed to locate the aircraft, its weapons, nor its crew.


27 July 1956 A U.S. B-47 practicing a touch-and-go landing at Lakenheath Royal Air Force Station near Cambridge, England went out of control and smashed into a storage igloo housing three Mark 6 nuclear bombs, each of which had about 8,000 pounds of TNT in its trigger mechanism. No crewmen were killed, and fire fighters were able to extinguish the blazing jet fuel before it ignited the TNT.


22 May 1957 A 10 megaton hydrogen bomb was accidentally dropped from a bomber in an uninhabited area near Albuquerque, New Mexico owned by the University of New Mexico. The conventional explosives detonated, creating a 12 foot deep crater 25 feet across in which some radiation was detected.


28 July 1957 A C-124 Globemaster transporting three nuclear weapons and a nuclear capsule from Dover Air Force Base in Delaware to Europe experienced loss of power in two engines. The crew jettisoned two of the weapons somewhere east of Rehobeth, Del., and Cape May/Wildwood, New Jersey. A search for the weapons was unsuccessful and it is a fair assumption that they still lie at the bottom of the ocean.


11 October 1957 A B-47 carrying a single nuclear weapon crashed shortly after takeoff. The weapon was partially destroyed in the ensuing fire, but the nuclear core was recovered intact.


31 January 1958 Unbeknownst to Moroccan officials, a B-47 loaded with a fully-armed nuclear weapon collapsed and caught fire on the runway at a U.S. Strategic Air Command base 90 miles northeast of Rabat. The Air Force considered evacuating the base, but instead allowed the bomber to continue to burn for seven hours. During cleanup operations a large number of vehicles and aircraft were contaminated with radiation.


5 February 1958 A B-47 carrying a Mark 15, Mod 0, nuclear bomb on a simulated combat mission from Homestead Air Force Base in Florida collided with an F-86. After three unsuccessful attempts to land at Hunter Air Force Base in Georgia, the B-47 crew jettisoned the nuclear bomb into the Atlantic Ocean off Savannah. The Air Force conducted a nine-week search of a 3-square-mile area in Wassaw Sound where the bomb was dropped, but declared on April 16 that the bomb was irretrievably lost. The bomb was rediscovered in September 2004.


11 March 1958 A B-47 on its way from Hunter Air Force Base in Georgia to an overseas base accidentally dropped an unarmed nuclear weapon into the garden of Walter Gregg and his family in Mars Bluff, South Carolina. The conventional explosives detonated, destroying Gregg's house and injuring six family members. The blast resulted in the formation of a crater 50-70 feet wide and 25-30 feet deep. Five other houses and a church were also damaged; five months later the Air Force paid the Greggs $54,000 in compensation.


4 November 1958 A B-47 carrying a nuclear weapon caught fire and crashed during takeoff from Dyess Air Force Base in Abilene, Texas, killing one crew member.


26 November 1958 A B-47 caught fire on the ground at Chennault Air Force Base in Lake Charles, Louisiana, destroying a nuclear weapon onboard, resulting in minor radioactive contamination of the immediate vicinity.


15 October 1959 A B-52 with two nuclear bombs collided in mid-air with a KC-135 jet tanker and crashed near Hardinsberg, Kentucky. Both bombs were recovered intact, but eight crewmembers lost their lives.


7 June 1960 A BOMARC-A nuclear missile burst into flames after its fuel tank was ruptured by the explosion of a high pressure helium tank at McGuire Air Force Base in New Egypt, New Jersey. The missile melted, causing plutonium contamination at the facility and in the ground water below.


21 January 1961 A B-52 bomber carrying one or more nuclear weapons disintegrated in midair following an engine fier and explosion approximately 10 miles north of Monticello, Utah, killing all five crewmembers.


24 January 1961 A B-52 bomber suffered structural failure and disintegrated in mid-air 12 miles north of Seymour Johnson Air Force Base in Goldsboro, NC, releasing two hydrogen bombs. Five crewmen parachuted to safety, while three others died when the aircraft exploded in mid-air. The bombs jettisoned as the plane descended, one parachuting to earth intact, the other plunging deep into waterlogged farmland. To this day, parts of the nuclear bomb remain embedded deep in the muck. The area is off-limits, and is tested regularly for radiation releases. More information can be found at the Broken Arrow: Goldsboro, NC site at www.ibiblio.org/bomb/.


14 March 1961 A B-52 with nuclear bombs crashed in California while on a training mission.


13 January 1964 A B-52 with two nuclear weapons crashed near Cumberland, Maryland.


8 December 1964 A B-58 slid off a runway at Bunker Hill (now Grissom) Air Force Base in Peru, Indiana. The resulting fire consumed portions of five onboard nuclear weapons, leading to radioactive contamination of the surrounding area.


5 December 1965 An A-4E aircraft accidentally fell overboard off the USS Toconderoga, with the loss of pilot LTJG D.M. Webster and a nuclear weapon. The incident, which occurred in the Pacific Ocean approximately 200 miles east of Okinawa, was not reported by the Department of Defense until 1981.


17 January 1966 A B-52 collided with an Air Force KC-135 jet tanker while refueling over the coast of Spain, killing eight of the eleven crew members and igniting the KC-135's 40,000 gallons of jet fuel. Two hydrogen bombs ruptured, scattering radioactive particles over the fields of Palomares; a third landed intact near the village of Palomares; the fourth was lost at sea 12 miles off the coast of Palomares and required a search by thousands of men working for three months to recover it. Approximately 1,500 tons of radioactive soil and tomato plants were removed to the U.S. for burial at a nuclear waste dump in Aiken, S.C. The U.S. eventually settled claims by 522 Palomares residents at a cost of $600,000, and gave the town the gift of a $200,000 desalinizing plant.


22 January 1968 A B-52 crashed 7 miles south of Thule Air Force Base in Greenland, scattering the radioactive fragments of three hydrogen bombs over the terrain and dropping one bomb into the sea after a fire broke out in the navigator's compartment. Contaminated ice and airplane debris were sent back to the U.S., with the bomb fragments going back to the manufacturer in Amarillo, Texas. The incident outraged the people of Denmark (which owned Greenland at the time, and which prohibits nuclear weapons over its territory) and led to massive anti-U.S. demonstrations. One of the warheads was reportedly recovered by Navy Seals and Seabees in 1979, but a recent (August 2000) report suggests that in fact it may still be lying at the bottom of Baffin Bay.



2 November 1981 A fully-armed Poseidon missile was accidentally dropped 17 feet from a crane in Scotland during a transfer operation between a U.S. submarine and its mother ship. Submarines and Ships Some of the following incidents involve the discharge of radioactive coolant water by ships and submarines. While water from the primary coolant system stays radioactive for only a few seconds, it picks up bits of cobalt, chromium and other elements (from rusting pipes and the reactor) which remain radioactive for years. In realization of this fact, the U.S. Navy has curtailed its previously frequent practice of dumping coolant at sea.


1954 An experimental sodium-cooled reactor utilized aboard the USS Seawolf, the U.S.'s second nuclear submarine, was scuttled in 9,000 feet of water off the Delawre/Maryland coast. The reactor was plagued by persistent leaks in its steam system (caused by the corrosive nature of the sodium) and was later replaced with a more conventional model. The reactor is estimated to have contained 33,000 curies of radioactivity and is likely the largest single radioactive object ever dumped deliberately into the ocean. Subsequent attempts to locate the reactor proved to be futile.


October 1959 One man was killed and another three were seriously burned in the explosion and fire of a prototype reactor for the USS Triton at the Navy's training center in West Milton, New York. The Navy stated, "The explosion...was completely unrelated to the reactor or any of its principal auxiliary systems," but sources familiar with the operation claim that the high-pressure air flask which exploded was utilized to operate a critical back-up system in the event of a reactor emergency.


1961 The USS Theodore Roosvelt was contaminated when radioactive waste from its demineralization system, blew back onton the ship after an attempt to dispose of the material at sea. This happened on other occasions as well with other ships (for example, the USS Guardfish in 1975).


10 April 1963 The nuclear submarine Thresher imploded during a test dive east of Boston, killing all 129 men aboard.


5 December 1965 This write-up is drawn from the US Nuclear Weapons Accidents page at www.cdi.org/Issues/NukeAccidents/accidents.htm. An A-4E Skyhawk strike aircraft carrying a nuclear weapon rolled off an elevator on the U.S. aircraft carrier Ticonderoga and fell into the sea. Because the bomb was lost at a depth of approximately 16,000 feet, Pentagon officials feared that intense water pressure could have caused the B-43 hydrogen bomb to explode. It is still unknown whether an explosion did occur. The pilot, aircraft, and weapon were lost. The Pentagon claimed that the bomb was lost "500 miles away from land." However, it was later revealed that the aircraft and nuclear weapon sank only miles from the Japanese island chain of Ryukyu. Several factors contributed to the Pentagon's secretiveness. The USS Ticonderoga was returning from a mission off North Vietnam; confirming that the carrier had nuclear weapons aboard would document their introduction into the Vietnam War. Furthermore, Japan's anti-nuclear law prohibited the introduction of atomic weapons into its territory, and U.S. military bases in Japan are not exempt from this law. Thus, confirming that the USS Ticonderoga carried nuclear weapons would signify U.S. violation of its military agreements with Japan. The carrier was headed to Yokosuka, Japan, and disclosure of the accident in the mid-1980s caused a strain in U.S.-Japanese relations. 1968 Radioactive coolant water may have been released by the USS Swordfish, which was moored at the time in Sasebo Harbor in Japan. According to one source, the incident was alleged by activists but a nearby Japanese government vessel failed to detect any such radiation leak. The purported incident was protested bitterly by the Japanese, with Premier Eisaku Sate warning that U.S. nuclear ships would no longer be allowed to call at Japanese ports unless their safety could be guaranteed.


21 May 1968 The U.S.S. Scorpion, a nuclear-powered attack submarine carrying two Mark 45 ASTOR torpedoes with nuclear warheads, sank mysteriously on this day. It was eventually photographed lying on the bottom of the ocean, where all ninety-nine of its crew were lost. Details of the accident remained classified until November 1993, when Navy reports revealed that the cause of the sinking was an accidental detonation of the conventional explosives in one of Scorpion's warheads.


14 January 1969 A series of explosions aboard the nuclear aircraft carrier Enterprise left 17 dead and 85 injured. 16 May 1969 The U.S.S. Guitarro, a $50 million nuclear submarine undergoing final fitting in San Francisco Bay, sank to the bottom as water poured into a forward compartment. A House Armed Services subcommittee later found the Navy guilty of "inexcusable carelessness" in connection with the event.


12 December 1971 Five hundred gallons of radioactive coolant water spilled into the Thames River near New London, Connecticut as it was being transferred from the submarine Dace to the sub tender Fulton.


October-November 1975 The USS Proteus, a disabled submarine tender, discharged significant amounts of radioactive coolant water into Guam's Apra Harbor. A geiger counter check of the harbor water near two public beaches measured 100 millirems/hour, fifty times the allowable dose.


22 May 1978 Up to 500 gallons of radioactive water was released when a valve was mistakenly opened aboard the USS Puffer near Puget Sound in Washington.


-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Nuclear Bomb Tests and Testing Facilities


26 April 1953 Radioactive rain, the result of above-ground nuclear tests, fell on Troy, New York. 5 September 1961 President Kennedy ordered the resumption of nuclear testing, "underground, with no fallout."


10 December 1961 Clouds of radioactive steam escaped from an underground nuclear test, closing several New Mexico highways.


4 June 1962 The Bluegill nuclear test, designed to detonate a nuclear device in the atmosphere, was aborted 10 minutes after launch when the missile tracking system failed prior to nuclear detonation. The nuclear device was lost at sea.


20 June 1962 A failure of the Starfish nuclear test, designed to detonate a nuclear device in space, caused radioactive debris to be scattered across Johnston Island in the Pacific Ocean. 9 December 1968 Clouds of radioactive steam from a nuclear test in Nevada broke through the ground, releasing fallout and violating the Limited Nuclear Test Ban Treaty signed 5 years earlier.


18 December 1970 An underground nuclear test in Nevada resulted in a cloud of radioactive steam to be thrust 8,000 feet in the air over Wyoming.



15 July 1999 A spokesperson for President Clinton announced that thousands of contract workers at U.S. nuclear weapons facilities, exposed to toxic and radioactive substances during the previous 50 years, could seek federal compensation for related illnesses.


-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Processing, Storage, Shipping and Disposal From 1946 to 1970 approximately 90,000 cannisters of radioactive waste were jettisoned in 50 ocean dumps up and down the East and West coasts of the U.S., including prime fishing areas, as part of the early nuclear waste disposal program from the military's atomic weapons program. The waste also included contaminated tools, chemicals, and laboratory glassware from weapons laboratories, and commercial/medical facilities


December 1962 A summary report was presented at an Atomic Energy Commission symposium in Germantown, Maryland, listing 47 accidents involving shipment of nuclear materials to that date, 17 of which were considered "serious."


11 May 1969 A plutonium fire broke out in Building 776 at the Atomic Energy Commission's Rocky Flats Nuclear Weapons Plant. Plutonium was released into the atmosphere and tracked out of the building on the boots of firefighters, and several buildings at the factory were so badly contaminated that they had to be dismantled.



1971 After experimenting with disposal of radioactive waste in salt, the Atomic Energy Commission announced that "Project Salt Vault" would solve the waste problem. But when 180,000 gallons of contaminated water was pumped into a borehole; it promptly and unexpectedly disappeared. The project was abandoned two years later.


1972 The West Valley, NY fuel reprocessing plant was closed after 6 years in operation, leaving 600,000 gallons of high-level wastes buried in leaking tanks. The site caused measurable contamination of Lakes Ontario and Erie.


December 1972 A major fire and two explosions occurred at a Pauling, New York plutonium fabrication plant. An undetermined amount of radioactive plutonium was scattered inside and outside the plant, resulting in its permanent shutdown.


1979 The Critical Mass Energy Project (part of Ralph Nader's Public Citizen, Inc.) tabulated 122 accidents involving the transport of nuclear material in 1979, including 17 involving radioactive contamination. 16 July 1979 A dam holding radioactive uranium mill tailings broke, sending an estimated 100 million gallons of radioactive liquids and 1,100 tons of solid wastes downstream at Church Rock, New Mexico.


August 1979 Highly enriched uranium was released from a top-secret nuclear fuel plant near Erwin, Tennessee. About 1,000 people were contaminated with up to 5 times as much radiation as would normally be received in a year.


Between 1968 and 1983 the plant "lost" 234 pounds of highly enriched uranium, forcing the plant to be closed six times during that period.


January 1980 A 5.5 Richter earthquake at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, where large amounts of nuclear material are kept, caused a tritium leak.


19 September 1980 An Air Force repairman doing routine maintenance in a Titan II ICBM silo in Damascus, Arkansas dropped a wrench socket, which rolled off a work platform and fell to the bottom of the silo. The socket struck the missile, causing a leak from a pressurized fuel tank. The missile complex and surrounding areas were evacuated. Eight and a half hours later, the fuel vapors ignited, causing an explosion which killed an Air Force specialist and injured 21 others. The explosion also blew off the 740-ton reinforced concrete-and-steel silo door and catapulted the warhead 600 feet into the air. The silo has since been filled in with gravel, and operations have been transferred to a similar installation at Rock, Kansas.


21 September 1980 Two canisters containing radioactive materials fell off a truck on New Jersey's Route 17. The driver, en route from Pennsylvania to Toronto, did not notice the missing cargo until he reached Albany, New York.


1983 The Department of Energy confirmed that 1,200 tons of mercury had been released over the years from the Y-12 Nuclear Weapons Components Plant at Oak Ridge, Tennessee, the U.S.'s earliest nuclear weapons production plant.


In 1987, the DOE also reported that PCBs, heavy metals, and radioactive substances were all present in the groundwater beneath Y-12. Y-12 and the nearby K-25 and X-10 plants were found to have contaminated the atmosphere, soil and streams in the area.


December 1984 The Fernald Uranium Plant, a 1,050-acre uranium fuel production complex 20 miles northwest of Cincinnati, Ohio, was temporarily shut down after the Department of Energy disclosed that excessive amounts of radioactive materials had been released through ventilating systems. Subsequent reports revealed that 230 tons of radioactive material had leaked into the Greater Miami River valley during the previous thirty years, 39 tons of uranium dust had been released into the atmosphere, 83 tons had been discharged into surface water, and 5,500 tons of radioactive and other hazardous substances had been released into pits and swamps where they seeped into the groundwater. In addition, 337 tons of uranium hexafluoride was found to be missing, its whereabouts completely unknown.


In 1988 nearby residents sued and were granted a $73 million settlement by the government. The plant was not permanently shut down until 1989.


1986 A truck carrying low-level radioactive material swerved to avoid a farm vehicle, went off a bridge on Route 84 in Idaho, and dumped part of its cargo in the Snake River. Officials reported the release of radioactivity.


6 January 1986 A container of highly toxic gas exploded at The Sequoyah Fuels Corp. uranium processing factory in Gore, Oklahoma, causing one worker to die (when his lungs were destroyed) and 130 others to seek medical treatment. In response, the Government kept the plant closed for more than a year and fined owners Kerr-McGee $310,000, citing poorly trained workers, poorly maintained equipment and a disregard for safety and the environment. [See also 24 November 1992.]


1986 After almost 40 years of cover-ups, the U.S. Government released 19,000 pages of previously classified documents which revealed that the Hanford Engineer Works was responsible for the release of significant amounts of radioactive materials into the atmosphere and the adjacent Columbia River. Between 1944 and 1966, the eight reactors, a source of plutonium production for atomic weapons, discharged billions of gallons of liquids and billions of cubic meters of gases containing plutonium and other radioactive contaminants into the Columbia River, and the soil and air of the Columbia Basin. Although detrimental effects were noticed as early as 1948, all reports critical of the facilities remained classified. By the summer of 1987, the cost of cleaning up Hanford was estimated to be $48.5 billion. The Technical Steering Panel of the government-sponsored Hanford Environmental Dose Reconstruction Project released the following statistics in July 1990: Of the 270,000 people living in the affected area, most received low doses of radiation from Iodine, but about 13,500 received a total dose some 1,300 times the annual amount of airborne radiation considered safe for civilians by the Department of Energy. Approximately 1,200 children received doses far in excess of this number, and many more received additional doses from contaminants other than Iodine. [See also May 1997 and July 2000.]


1987 The Idaho Falls Post Register reported that plutonium had been found in sediments hundreds of feet below the Idaho National Engineering Laboratory, an experimental reactor testing station and nuclear waste storage site.


1988 The National Research Council panel released a report listing 30 "significant unreported incidents" at the Savannah River production plants over the previous 30 years. As at Hanford (see 1986), ground water contamination resulted from pushing production of radioactive materials past safe limits at this weapons complex.


In January 1989, scientists discovered a fault running under the entire site through which contaminants reached the underground aquifer, a major source of drinking water for the southeast. Turtles in nearby ponds were found to contain radioactive strontium of up to 1,000 times the normal background level.


6 June 1988 Radiation Sterilizers, Incorporated reported that a leak of Cesium-137 had occurred at their Decatur, Georgia facility. Seventy thousand medical supply containers and milk cartons were recalled as they had been exposed to radiation. Ten employees were also exposed, three of whom "had enough on them that they contaminated other surfaces" including materials in their homes and cars, according to Jim Setser at the Georgia Department of Natural Resources.


October 1988 The Rocky Flats, Colorado plutonium bomb manufacturing site was partially closed after two employees and a Department of Energy inspector inhaled radioactive particles. Subsequent investigations revealed safety violations (including uncalibrated monitors and insufficient fire-response equipment) and leaching of radioactive contaminants into the local groundwater.


24 November 1992 The Sequoyah Fuels Corp. uranium processing factory in Gore, Oklahoma closed after repeated citations by the Government for violations of nuclear safety and environmental rules. It's record during 22 years of operation included an accident in 1986 that killed one worker and injured dozens of others and the contamination of the Arkansas River and groundwater. The Sequoyah Fuels plant, one of two privately-owned American factories that fabricated fuel rods and armor-piercing bullet shells, had been shut down a week before by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission when an accident resulted in the release of toxic gas. Thirty-four people sought medical attention as a result of the accident. The plant had also been shut down the year before when unusually high concentrations of uranium were detected in water in a nearby construction pit. [Also see 6 January 1986 for details of an additional incident.] A Government investigation revealed that the company had known for years that uranium was leaking into the ground at levels 35,000 times higher than Federal law allows; Carol Couch, the plant's environmental manager, was cited by the Government for obstructing the investigation and knowingly giving Federal agents false information. 31 March 1994 Fire at a nuclear research facility on Long Island, New York resulted in the nuclear contamination of three fire fighters, three reactor operators, and one technician. Measurable amounts of radioactive substances were released into the immediate environment. May 1997 A 40 gallon tank of toxic chemicals, stored illegally at the U.S. Government's Hanford Engineer works exploded, causing the release of 20,000-30,000 gallons of plutonium-contaminated water. A cover-up ensued, involving the contractors doing clean-up and the Department of Energy, who denied the release of radioactive materials. They also told eight plant workers that tests indicated that they hadn't been exposed to plutonium even though no such tests actually were conducted (later testing revealed that in fact they had not been exposed). Fluor Daniel Hanford Inc., operator of the Hanford Site, was cited for violations of the Department of Energy's nuclear safety rules and fined $140,625. Violations associated with the explosion included the contractor's failure to assure that breathing devices operated effectively, failure to make timely notifications of the emergency, and failure to conduct proper radiological surveys of workers.



Other violations cited by the DOE included a number of events between November 1996 and June 1997 involving Fluor Daniel Hanford's failure to assure adherence to PFP "criticality" safety procedures. ("Criticality" features are defined as those features used "to assure safe handling of fissile materials and prevention of...an unplanned and uncontrolled chain reaction that can release large amounts of radiation.") [See also 1986 and July 2000.]


8 August 1999 The Washington Post reported that thousands of workers were unwittingly exposed to plutonium and other highly radioactive metals over a 23-year period (beginning in the mid-1950's) at the Department of Energy's Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant in Kentucky. Workers, told they were handling Uranium (rather than the far more toxic plutonium), inhaled radioactive dust while processing the materials as part of a government experiment to recycle used nuclear reactor fuel. June 2000 U.S. Senator Mike DeWine (R-OH) led a field senate hearing regarding workers exposed to hazardous materials while working in the nation's atomic plants. At the hearing, which revealed information about potential on and off-site contamination at the Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant in Piketon, Ohio, DeWine noted, "We know that as a result of Cold War efforts, the government, yes, our federal government, allowed thousands of workers at its facilities across the country to be exposed to poisonous materials, such as beryllium dust, plutonium, and silicon, without adequate protection." Testimony also indicated that the Piketon plant altered workers' radiation dose readings and worked closely with medical professionals to fight worker's compensation claims. July 2000 Wildfires in the vicinity of the Hanford facility hit the highly radioactive "B/C" waste disposal trenches, raising airborne plutonium radiation levels in the nearby cities of Pasco and Richland to 1,000 above normal. Wildfires also threatened the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico and the DOE's Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory. In the latter case, the fires closely approached large amounts of stored radioactive waste and forced the evacuation of 1,800 workers. [See also 1986 and May 1997.]

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Posted 18 February 2008 - 07:17 AM

Research Facilities


The U.S. Department of Energy spends over $4 billion each year for the restoration and management of sites contaminated by nuclear materials. Their 2000 Federal budget noted: "The Environmental Management (EM) program is responsible for addressing the environmental legacy resulting from the production of nuclear weapons. The nuclear weapons complex generated waste, pollution, and contamination that pose unique problems, including unprecedented volumes of contaminated soil and water, radiological hazards from special nuclear material, and a vast number of contaminated structures. Facotries, laboratories, and thousands of square miles of land were devoted to producing tens of thousands of nuclear weapons. Much of this is largely maintained, decommissioned, managed, and remediated by the EM program, which is sometimes referred to as the 'cleanup program.' EM's responsibilities include facilities and sites in 30 states and one territory, and occupy an area equal to that of Rhode Island and Delaware combined - or about 2.1 million acres."


26 July 1959 A clogged coolant channel resulted in a 30% reactor core meltdown at the Santa Susana Field Laboratory (now known as the Boeing-Rocketdyne Nuclear Facility) in the Simi Hills area of Ventura County, California. Most of the radioactive fission products were trapped, but gasses were vented which resulted in the release of the third greatest amount of radioactive iodine-131 in nuclear history. The incident was largely covered up until a class-action suit was filed by local residents, who successfully sued for $30 million over cancer and thyroid abnormalities contracted due to their proximity to the facility.


2 September 1944 Peter Bragg and Douglas Paul Meigs, two Manhattan Project chemists, were killed when their attempt to unclog a tube in a uranium enrichment device led to an explosion of radioactive uranium hexafluoride gas exploded at the Naval Research Laboratory in Philadelphia, PA. The explosion ruptured nearby steam pipes, leading to a gas and steam combination that bathed the men in a scalding, radioactive, acidic cloud of gas which killed them a short while later.



21 August 1945 Louis Slotin , a physicist, was killed during the final stages of the Manhattan Project undertaken at Los Alamos, New Mexico to develop the first atomic bomb) from a radiation burst released when a critical assembly of fissile material was accidentally brought together by hand. This incident pre-dated remote-control assembly of such components, but the hazards of manual assembly were known at the time (the accident occurred during a procedure known as "tickling the dragon's tail"). A similar incident occurred nine months later (dramatized in the Hollywood movie Fat Man and Little Boy); this time, eight people were exposed, one of whom died days later. Hand-maniuplations of critical assemblies was abandoned only after another accident on 30 December 1958.


2 July 1956 Nine persons were injured when two explosions destroyed a portion of Sylvania Electric Products' Metallurgy Atomic Research Center in Bayside, Queens, New York. 1957 A radiation release at the the Keleket company resulted in a five-month decontamination at a cost of $250,000. A capsule of radium salt (used for calibrating the radiation-measuring devices produced there) burst, contaminating the building for a full five months.


30 December 1958 A nuclear criticality accident occured from a solution in a plutonium recovery operation at Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory in New Mexico. The operator died later of acute radiation sickness. The March, 1961 Journal of Occupational Medicine printed a special supplement devoted to the medical analysis of this accident.


1959 A partial sodium reactor meltdown occurred at the Santa Susana Field Laboratory in Simi Valley Hills, California.


5 October 1966 A sodium cooling system malfunction caused a partial core meltdown at Detroit Edison's Enrico Fermi I demonstration breeder reactor near Detroit, Michigan. Radioactive gases leaked into the containment structures, but radiation was reportedly contained.


1974 Whistleblowers at the Isomedix company in New Jersey reported that radioactive water was flushed down toilets and had contaminated pipes leading to sewers. The same year a worker received a dose of radiation considered lethal, but was saved by prompt hospital treatment.



1982 International Nutronics in Dover, New Jersey, which used radiation baths to purify gems, chemicals, food, and medical supplies, experienced an accident that completely contaminated the plant, forcing its closure. A pump malfunctioned, siphoning water from the baths onto the floor; the water eventually was drained into the sewer system of the heavily populated town of Dover. The NRC wasn't informed of the accident until ten months later -- and then by a whistleblower, not the company. In 1986, the company and one of its top executives were convicted by a federal jury of conspiracy and fraud. Radiation has been detected in the vicinity of the plant, but the NRC claims the levels "aren't hazardous." 1986 The NRC revoked the license of a Radiation Technology, Inc. (RTI) plant in New Jersey for repeated worker safety violations. RTI was cited 32 times for various violations, including throwing radioactive garbage out with the regular trash. The most serious violation was bypassing a safety device to prevent people from entering the irradiation chamber during operation, resulting in a worker receiving a near-lethal dose of radiation. ca.



December 1991 One of four cold fusion cells in a Menlo Park, CA, laboratory exploded while being moved; electrochemist Andrew Riley was killed and three others were injured. The other three cells were buried on site, leading to rumors that a nuclear reaction had taken place. A report concluded that it was a chemical explosion; a mixture of oxygen and deuterium produced by electrolysis ignited when a catalyst was exposed. The Electric Power Research Institute, which spent $2 million on the SRI cold fusion research, suspended support for the work pending the outcome of an investigation.



-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Power Plants


The nuclear power plant is a particularly nefarious use of nuclear energy. Unlike conventional power plants, nuclear plants have a relatively short life-span -- 30 years -- before critical reactor components become irreparably radioactive. At that point the plant must be decommissioned (`mothballed'), or its entire reactor core replaced at great expense. To date, there is no solution regarding where to store spent power plant reactor cores. Compounding the storage problem is an accumulation of spent radioactive fuel rods, which have a life-span of only three years.



3 January 1961 A reactor explosion (attributed by a Nuclear Regulatory Commission source to sabotage) at the National Reactor Testing Station in Arco, Idaho, killed one navy technician and two army technicians, and released radioactivity "largely confined" (words of John A. McCone, Director of the Atomic Energy Commission) to the reactor building. The three men were killed as they moved fuel rods in a "routine" preparation for the reactor start-up. One technician was blown to the ceiling of the containment dome and impaled on a control rod. His body remained there until it was taken down six days later. The men were so heavily exposed to radiation that their hands had to be buried separately with other radioactive waste, and their bodies were interred in lead coffins.


24 July 1964 Robert Peabody, 37, died at the United Nuclear Corp. fuel facility in Charlestown, Rhode Island, when liquid uranium he was pouring went critical, starting a reaction that exposed him to a lethal dose of radiation.


19 November 1971 The water storage space at the Northern States Power Company's reactor in Monticello, Minnesota filled to capacity and spilled over, dumping about 50,000 gallons of radioactive waste water into the Mississippi River. Some was taken into the St. Paul water system. March 1972 Senator Mike Gravel of Alaska submitted to the Congressional Record facts surrounding a routine check in a nuclear power plant which indicated abnormal radioactivity in the building's water system. Radioactivity was confirmed in the plant drinking fountain. Apparently there was an inappropriate cross-connection between a 3,000 gallon radioactive tank and the water system.


27 July 1972 Two workers at the Surry Unit 2 facility in Virginia were fatally scalded after a routine valve adjustment led to a steam release in a gap in a vent line. [See also 9 December 1986]



28 May 1974 The Atomic Energy Commission reported that 861 "abnormal events" had occurred in 1973 in the nation's 42 operative nuclear power plants. Twelve involved the release of radioactivity "above permissible levels."


22 March 1975 A technician checking for air leaks with a lighted candle caused $100 million in damage when insulation caught fire at the Browns Ferry reactor in Decatur, Alabama. The fire burned out electrical controls, lowering the cooling water to dangerous levels, before the plant could be shut down.


28 March 1979 A major accident at the Three Mile Island nuclear plant near Middletown, Pennsylvania. At 4:00 a.m. a series of human and mechanical failures nearly triggered a nuclear disaster. By 8:00 a.m., after cooling water was lost and temperatures soared above 5,000 degrees, the top portion of the reactor's 150-ton core collapsed and melted. Contaminated coolant water escaped into a nearby building, releasing radioactive gasses, leading as many as 200,000 people to flee the region.


Despite claims by the nuclear industry that "no one died at Three Mile Island," a study by Dr. Ernest J. Sternglass, professor of radiation physics at the University of Pittsburgh, showed that the accident led to a minimum of 430 infant deaths. 1981 The Critical Mass Energy Project of Public Citizen, Inc. reported that there were 4,060 mishaps and 140 serious events at nuclear power plants in 1981, up from 3,804 mishaps and 104 serious events the previous year. 11 February 1981 An Auxiliary Unit Operator, working his first day on the new job without proper training, inadvertently opened a valve which led to the contamination of eight men by 110,000 gallons of radioactive coolant sprayed into the containment building of the Tennessee Valley Authority's Sequoyah I plant in Tennessee. July 1981 A flood of low-level radioactive wastewater in the sub-basement at Nine Mile Point's Unit 1 (in New York state) caused approximately 150 55-gallon drums of high-level waste to overturn, some of which released their highly radioactive contents. Some 50,000 gallons of low-level radioactive water were subsequently dumped into Lake Ontario to make room for the cleanup. The discharge was reported to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, but the sub-basement contamination was not. A report leaked to the press 8 years later resulted in a study which found that high levels of radiation persisted in the still flooded facility.


1982 The Critical Mass Energy Project of Public Citizen, Inc. reported that 84,322 power plant workers were exposed to radiation in 1982, up from 82,183 the previous year.


25 January 1982 A steam generator pipe broke at the Rochester Gas & Electric Company's Ginna plant near Rochester, New York. Fifteen thousand gallons of radioactive coolant spilled onto the plant floor, and small amounts of radioactive steam escaped into the air. 15-16 January 1983 Nearly 208,000 gallons of water with low-level radioactive contamination was accidentally dumped into the Tennesee River at the Browns Ferry power plant.


25 February 1983 A catastrophe at the Salem 1 reactor in New Jersey was averted by just 90 seconds when the plant was shut down manually, following the failure of automatic shutdown systems to act properly. The same automatic systems had failed to respond in an incident three days before, and other problems plagued this plant as well, such as a 3,000 gallon leak of radioactive water in June 1981 at the Salem 2 reactor, a 23,000 gallon leak of "mildly" radioactive water (which splashed onto 16 workers) in February 1982, and radioactive gas leaks in March 1981 and September 1982 from Salem 1. 9 December 1986 A feedwater pipe ruptured at the Surry Unit 2 facility in Virginia, causing 8 workers to be scalded by a release of hot water and steam. Four of the workers later died from their injuries. In addition, water from the sprinkler systems caused a malfunction of the security system, preventing personnel from entering the facility. This was the second time that an incident at the Surry 2 unit resulted in fatal injuries due to scalding [see also 27 July 1972]. 1988 It was reported that there were 2,810 accidents in U.S. commercial nuclear power plants in 1987, down slightly from the 2,836 accidents reported in 1986, according to a report issued by the Critical Mass Energy Project of Public Citizen, Inc.


28 May 1993 The Nuclear Regulatory Commission released a warning to the operators of 34 nuclear reactors around the country that the instruments used to measure levels of water in the reactor could give false readings during routine shutdowns and fail to detect important leaks. The problem was first bought to light by an engineer at Northeast Utilities in Connecticut who had been harassed for raising safety questions. The flawed instruments at boiling-water reactors designed by General Electric utilize pipes which were prone to being blocked by gas bubbles; a failure to detect falling water levels could have resulted, potentially leading to a meltdown.


15 February 2000 New York's Indian Point II power plant vented a small amount of radioactive steam when a an aging steam generator ruptured. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission initially reported that no radioactive material was released, but later changed their report to say that there was a leak, but not of a sufficient amount to threaten public safety. 6 March 2002 Workers discovered a foot-long cavity eaten into the reactor vessel head at the Davis-Besse nuclear plant in Ohio. Borated water had corroded the metal to a 3/16 inch stainless steel liner which held back over 80,000 gallons of highly pressurized radioactive water. In April 2005 the Nuclear Regulatory Commission proposed fining plant owner First Energy 5.4 million dollars for their failure to uncover the problem sooner (similar problems plaguing other plants were already known within the industry), and also proposed banning System Engineer Andrew Siemaszko from working in the industry for five years due to his falsifying reactor vessel logs. As of this writing the fine and suspension were under appeal.

#6 SFX


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Posted 19 March 2011 - 01:15 AM

Looks like one more "incident" to add to the list

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Posted 07 September 2013 - 05:44 AM

God help the Archaeologists of the future when they come to dig this lot up !!! Or some unlucky civilization that millions of years in the future, when mankind has long since dissapeard, arrive on earth after leaving their own destroyed planet decide to start "digging around"

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Posted 09 September 2013 - 11:15 AM

Fukushima " Accident"

On July 22, 2013, more than two years after the incident, it was revealed that the plant is leaking radioactive water into the Pacific Ocean, something long suspected by local fishermen and independent investigators.[27] TEPCO had previously denied that this was happening and the current situation has prompted Japanese Prime Minister Shinzō Abe to order the government to step in.[28] On August 20, in a further incident, it was announced that 300 tonnes (300 long tons; 330 short tons) of heavily contaminated water had leaked from a storage tank. The water was radioactive enough to be hazardous to nearby staff, and the leak was assessed as Level 3 on the International Nuclear Event Scale.[29][30] On August 26, the government took charge of emergency measures to prevent further radioactive water leaks, reflecting their lack of confidence in TEPCO.[31]

A study by scientists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and GEOMAR found that after six to nine years, contaminations levels in Japanese waters should have declined to less than double pre-Fukushima levels. By the same time, however, the contamination cloud will span almost the entire North Pacific, leading to peak concentrations off the North American west coast an order-of-magnitude higher than that.[

What a load of Bollocks !!!!!!!!!!!! If you believe this , it's not so dangerous crap I challenge you to go surfing there.

Begin plans for decommissioning ALL Nuclear reactors NOW. Maybe in a few hundred years we may have the technology to make them safe, till then what in God's name has to happen to wake the world up. A full scale "china syndrome" meltdown ??

And what are we supposed to do with the waste ? Just keep stuffing it inside mountains ???

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Posted 10 September 2013 - 03:36 PM

Fukushima "officially released" a number of pretty nasty things, however though plutonium was released there are no official records of plutonium 244 being released..not surprising as it has a half life of some 80 million years.

A widely cited Austrian Meteorological Service report estimated the total amount of I-131 radiation released into the air as of 19 March based on extrapolating data from several days of ideal observation at some of its worldwide CTBTO radionuclide measuring facilities (Freiburg, Germany; Stockholm, Sweden; Takasaki, Japan and Sacramento, USA) during the first 10 days of the accident.[29][49] The report's estimates of total I-131 emissions based on these worldwide measuring stations ranged from 10 PBq to 700 PBq.[49] This estimate was 1% to 40% of the 1760 PBq[49][50] of the I-131 estimated to have been released at Chernobyl.[29]

A later, 12 April 2011, NISA and NSC report estimated the total air release of iodine-131 at 130 PBq and 150 PBq, respectively – about 30 grams.[42] However, on 23 April, the NSC revised its original estimates of iodine-131 released.[43] The NSC did not estimate the total release size based upon these updated numbers, but estimated a release of 0.14 TBq per hour on 5 April.[43][44]

On 22 September the results were published of a survey conducted by the Japanese Science Ministry. This survey showed that radioactive iodine was spread northwest and south of the plant. Soil samples were taken at 2,200 locations, mostly in Fukushima Prefecture, in June and July, and with this a map was created of the radioactive contamination as of 14 June. Because of the short half-life of 8 days only 400 locations were still positive. This map showed that iodine-131 spread northwest of the plant, just like caesium-137 as indicated on an earlier map. But I-131 was also found south of the plant at relatively high levels, even higher than those of caesium-137 in coastal areas south of the plant. According to the ministry, clouds moving southwards apparently caught large amounts of iodine-131 that were emitted at the time. The survey was done to determine the risks for thyroid cancer within the population.[51]

On 31 October the Japanese ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology released a map showing the contamination of radioactive tellurium-129m within a 100-kilometer radius around the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant. The map displayed the concentrations found of tellurium-129m – a byproduct of uranium fission – in the soil at 14 June 2011. High concentrations were discovered northwest of the plant and also at 28 kilometers south near the coast, in the cities of Iwaki, Fukushima Prefecture, and Kitaibaraki, Ibaraki Prefecture. Iodine-131 was also found in the same areas, and most likely the tellurium was deposited at the same time as the iodine. The highest concentration found was 2.66 million becquerels per square meter, two kilometers from the plant in the empty town of Okuma. Tellurium-129m has a half-life of 6 days, so present levels are a very small fraction of the initial contamination. Tellurium has no biological functions, so even when drinks or food were contaminated with it, it would not accumulate in the body, like iodine in the thyroid gland.[52]

On 24 March, the Austrian Meteorological Service report estimated the total amount of caesium-137 radiation released into the air as of 19 March based on extrapolating data from several days of ideal observation at a handful of worldwide CTBTO radionuclide measuring facilities. The agency estimated an average being 5,000 TBq daily.[29][49] Over the course of the disaster, Chernobyl put out a total of 85,000 TBq of caesium-137.[29] However, later reporting on 12 April estimated total caesium releases at 6,100 TBq to 12,000 TBq, respectively by NISA and NSC – about 2–4 kg.[42] On 23 April, NSC updated this number to 0.14 TBq per hour of caesium-137 on 5 April, but did not recalculate the entire release estimate.[43][44]

Strontium 90
On 12 October 2011 a concentration of 195 becquerels/kilogram of Strontium-90 was found in the sediment on the roof of an apartment building in the city of Yokohama, south of Tokyo, some 250 km from the plant in Fukushima. This first find of strontium above 100 becquerels per kilogram raised serious concerns that leaked radioactivity might have spread far further than the Japanese government expected. The find was done by a private agency that conducted the test upon the request of a resident. After this find Yokohama city started an investigation of soil samples collected from areas near the building. The science ministry said that the source of the Strontium was still unclear.[53]

Plutonium isotopes
On 30 September 2011, the Japanese Ministry of Education and Science published the results of a plutonium fallout survey, for which in June and July 50 soil samples were collected from a radius of slightly more than 80 km around the Fukushima Daiichi plant. Plutonium was found in all samples, which is to be expected since plutonium from the nuclear weapon tests of the 1950s and '60s is found everywhere on the planet. The highest levels found (of Pu-239 and Pu-240 combined) were 15 becquerels per square meters in Fukushima prefecture and 9.4 Bq in Ibaraki prefecture, compared to a global average of 0.4 to 3.7 bq / kg from atomic bomb tests. Earlier in June, university researchers detected smaller amounts of plutonium in soil outside the plant after they collected samples during filming by NHK.[54]

A recent study published in Nature found up to 35 bq / kg plutonium 241 in leaf litter in 3 out of 19 sites in the most contaminated zone in Fukushima. They estimated the Pu-241 dose for a person living for 50 years in the vicinity of the most contaminated site to be 0.44 mSv. However, the Cs-137 activity at the sites where Pu-241 was found was very high (up to 4.7Mbq / kg or about 135,000 times greater than the plutonium 241 activity), which suggests that it will be the Cs-137 which prevents habitation rather than the relatively small amounts of plutonium of any isotope in these areas.[55]

Pu 239 has a half life of 24100 years
Pu 240 has a half life of 6560 years
Pu 241 has a half life of 14.4 years

A commonly cited quote by Ralph Nader, states that a pound of plutonium dust spread into the atmosphere would be enough to kill 8 billion people. However, calculations show that one pound of plutonium could kill no more than 2 million people by inhalation. This makes the toxicity of plutonium roughly equivalent with that of nerve gas.

Caesium-137 (137
55Cs, Cs-137), cesium-137, or radiocaesium, is a radioactive isotope of caesium which is formed as one of the more common fission products by the nuclear fission of uranium-235 and other fissionable isotopes in nuclear reactors and nuclear weapons. It is among the most problematic of the short-to-medium-lifetime fission products because it easily moves and spreads in nature due to the high water solubility of caesium's most common chemical compounds, which are salts. It has a half-life of about 30.17 years

Strontium-90 (90Sr) is a radioactive isotope of strontium produced by nuclear fission with a half-life of 28.8 years. It undergoes β decay into yttrium-90, with a decay energy of 0.546 MeV

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