The Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Disaster was a nuclear disaster at the Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant on March 11, 2011, resulting in a meltdown of three of the plant's six nuclear reactors. The failure occurred when the plant was hit by a tsunami triggered by the magnitude 9.0 earthquake. The plant began releasing substantial amounts of radioactive material on March 12, becoming the largest nuclear incident since the Chernobyl disaster in April 1986 and the second (after Chernobyl) to measure Level 7 on the International Nuclear Event Scale, initially releasing an estimated 10-30% of the earlier incident's radiation. Within the first four days following the tsunami, three separate explosions released massive amounts of radioactive fallout worldwide, with the majority depositing (rain) over Tokyo, the United States of America, and the Pacific Ocean. In August 2013, it was stated that the massive amount of radioactive water is among the most pressing problems affecting the cleanup process, which is expected to take decades. There have been continued spills of contaminated water at the plant, and some into the sea. Plant workers are trying to lower the leaks using measures such as building chemical underground walls, but they have not yet improved the situation significantly.
It is reported that some 300,000 people evacuated the area. As of February 10, 2014, 15,884 people died due to the earthquake and tsunami, and as of August 2013 approximately 1,600 deaths were related to the evacuation conditions, such as living in temporary housing and hospital closures.
Watch Video - At 6 minutes in, Dr. Helen Caldicott, M.D. explains the dangers of plutonium.
The Chernobyl disaster also referred to as Chernobyl was a catastrophic nuclear accident that occurred on April 26, 1986 at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in Ukraine (then officially the Ukrainian SSR), which was under the direct jurisdiction of the central authorities of the Soviet Union. An explosion and fire released large quantities of radioactive particles into the atmosphere, which spread over much of the western USSR and Europe.
The Chernobyl disaster was the worst nuclear power plant accident in history in terms of cost and casualties, and is one of only two classified as a level 7 event (the maximum classification) on the International Nuclear Event Scale (the other being the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster in 2011). The battle to contain the contamination and avert a greater catastrophe ultimately involved over 500,000 workers and cost an estimated $18 billion dollars. During the accident itself, 31 people died and long-term effects such as cancers and deformities for which are still being accounted.
April 28, 1986
Three Mile Island - Pennsylvania
The Three Mile Island accident was a partial nuclear meltdown that occurred on March 28, 1979 in one of the two Three Mile Island nuclear reactors in Dauphin County, Pennsylvania, United States. It was the worst accident in U.S. commercial nuclear power plant history. The incident was rated a five on the seven-point International Nuclear Event Scale: Accident with Wider Consequences.
The accident began with failures in the non-nuclear secondary system, followed by a stuck-open pilot-operated relief valve in the primary system, which allowed large amounts of nuclear reactor coolant to escape. The mechanical failures were compounded by the initial failure of plant operators to recognize the situation as a loss-of-coolant accident due to inadequate training and human factors, such as human-computer interaction design oversights relating to ambiguous control room indicators in the power plant's user interface. In particular, a hidden indicator light led to an operator manually overriding the automatic emergency cooling system of the reactor because the operator mistakenly believed that there was too much coolant water present in the reactor and causing the steam pressure release.
The accident crystallized anti-nuclear safety concerns among activists and the general public, resulted in new regulations for the nuclear industry, and has been cited as a contributor to the decline of a new reactor construction program that was already underway in the 1970s. The partial meltdown resulted in the release of unknown amounts of radioactive gases and radioactive iodine into the environment. Cleanup started in August 1979, and officially ended in December 1993, with a total cleanup cost of about $1 billion.
April 3, 2009
Marshall Islands - Bikini Atoll
Bikini Atoll is located 850 kilometers northwest of Majuro on the northern fringe of the Marshall Islands and is composed of more than 23 islands and islets. Four islands (Bikini, Eneu, Nam and Enidrik) account for over 70% of the land area. Bikini and Eneu are the only islands of the atoll that have had a permanent population.
In 1946, Bikini Atoll was the first site in the Marshall Islands used for nuclear-weapon testing by the United States. In 1948, Enewetak Atoll, a neighboring atoll, replaced Bikini Atoll as the test site. In 1954, Bikini Atoll was reactivated as a test site until the US terminated nuclear-weapon testing in the Marshall Islands in 1958.
Prior to the first nuclear test in 1946, the 167 Bikinians living on Bikini Island were evacuated to neighboring islands.
By the time nuclear-weapon testing in the Marshall Islands was terminated in July 1958, 23 nuclear-weapon tests had been conducted on Bikini Atoll over a 12-year period. One test was performed under water, all others were surface or atmospheric tests. They were conducted in or over the Atoll lagoon, thereby dispersing the explosion’s effects over all of the islands of the Atoll.
The history of the radiological assessments and the movement of the local population is very important in understanding the overall concerns. In August 1968 — following a number of radiological surveys that had been carried out since 1958 to assess the impact of the US program of nuclear-weapon testing — it was announced that Bikini Atoll was safe for habitation and approved for resettlement. A further radiological survey of Bikini Atoll was carried out in 1970.
Eventually, 139 Bikinians resettled on the Atoll. However, the Bikinian people remained unconvinced of the safety of the Atoll, and in 1975 they initiated a lawsuit against the US Government to terminate the resettlement effort until a satisfactory and comprehensive radiological survey had been carried out.
Additional radiological data were collected for evaluation in 1975, 1976, and 1978. In September 1978 it was decided to relocate the 139 Bikinians who had returned to Bikini Atoll back to Kili Island and to Ejit Island at Majuro Atoll.
After a second relocation, a new radiological survey, sponsored by the United States, was performed. This survey consisted of using detectors mounted in helicopters to plot contours of external gamma dose rates. Also, samples of vegetation, marine foods, animals and soil were collected and analyzed. Revised radiation dose evaluations were published in 1980 and 1982. They indicated that — should the Bikinians decide to resettle their island — the terrestrial food chain would be the most significant exposure pathway. This dose assessment was most recently updated in 1995 on the basis of a continuing measurement program at the Atoll.
Following the US survey, the Government of the Republic of the Marshall Islands commissioned a separate radiological assessment. By this means, Bikini Atoll, as well as all other atolls in the Republic were to be monitored for radioactive residues. A Scientific Advisory Panel of well-known and respected scientists provided oversight. Laboratory quality control programs were implemented to ensure that the surveys could provide accurate measurements and reproducible data. In general, the study confirmed the findings of earlier measurement programs. The findings of the survey were published and a report on Bikini Atoll was released in February 1995.
In August 1995, six months after the survey report was issued, the Nitejela (Parliament) of the Marshall Islands considered the survey findings but it did not accept them. ~ International Atomic Energy Agency
Bikini Atoll -Marshall Islands
Cause of New Mexico Nuclear Waste Accident Remains a Mystery August 23, 2014
A 55-gallon drum of nuclear waste, buried in a salt shaft 2,150 feet under the New Mexico desert, violently erupted late on Feb. 14, 2014 and spewed mounds of radioactive white foam. The flowing mass, looking like whipped cream but laced with plutonium, went airborne, traveled up a ventilation duct to the surface and delivered low-level radiation doses to 21 workers.
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In archive video footage, British and Australian soldiers can be seen looking on, wearing short sleeves and shorts and doing little to protect themselves other than turning their backs and covering their eyes with their hands.
Some reported the flashes of the blasts being so bright that they could see the bones of their fingers, like x-rays as they pressed against their faces.
Much has been written about the health problems suffered by the servicemen as a result of radiation poisoning.
'It was like a cancer'