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)
867. 1988 - MULHHEIM KAHRLICH, GERMANY
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 radio-active 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)
872. 1988, MARCH/APRIL - BARODA, INDIA
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)
878. 1988, April - OHU 1 AND PHILLIPSBURG, GERMANY
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 radio-active 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 gp.press 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 radio-active 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)
915. 1988 - KAKADU MT., AUSTRALIA
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)
918. 1988, 11th October - BERKELEY MAGNOX, GLOUCESTERSHIRE, U.K.
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)
925. 1988, November - RANGER URANIUM MINE, AUSTRALIA
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 gp.press 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" gp.press 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" gp.press 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).
939. 1989, February - GRAFENRHEINFELD, SCHWEINFURT, BAVARIA
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" gp.press 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/gp.press 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).
951. 1989 - UPPER NEYFORD, BRITAIN
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).
964. 1989, August - FUEL FABRIC, PENNSYLVANIA U.S.A.
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).
965. COMBUSTION ENGIN., MISSOURI, U.S.A.
967. GULF UNITED, N.Y., U.S.A.
968. KERR McKEE, OKLAHOMA, U.S.A.
969. CIMARRON, OKLAHOMA, U.S.A.
970. NUCLEAR FUEL SERVICES, TENN, U.S.A.
971. 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 gp.press 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 gp.press 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)