TGTBT: Nuclear Accidents

TGTBT: Nuclear Accidents

The 'X' Zone Broadcast Network
01:00:00
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About this episode

A nuclear and radiation accident is defined by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) as "an event that has led to significant consequences to people, the environment or the facility." Examples include lethal effects to individuals, radioactive isotope to the environment, or reactor core melt." The prime example of a "major nuclear accident" is one in which a reactor core is damaged and significant amounts of radioactive isotopes are released, such as in the Chernobyl disaster in 1986.

The impact of nuclear accidents has been a topic of debate since the first nuclear reactors were constructed in 1954, and has been a key factor in public concern about nuclear facilities. Technical measures to reduce the risk of accidents or to minimize the amount of radioactivity released to the environment have been adopted, however human error remains, and "there have been many accidents with varying impacts as well near misses and incidents". As of 2014, there have been more than 100 serious nuclear accidents and incidents from the use of nuclear power. Fifty-seven accidents have occurred since the Chernobyl disaster, and about 60% of all nuclear-related accidents have occurred in the USA. Serious nuclear power plant accidents include the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster (2011), Chernobyl disaster (1986), Three Mile Island accident (1979), and the SL-1 accident (1961). Nuclear power accidents can involve loss of life and large monetary costs for remediation work.

Nuclear-powered submarine accidents include the K-19 (1961), K-11 (1965), K-27 (1968), K-140 (1968), K-429 (1970), K-222 (1980), and K-431 (1985). Serious radiation incidents/accidents include the Kyshtym disaster, Windscale fire, radiotherapy accident in Costa Rica,[15] radiotherapy accident in Zaragoza, radiation accident in Morocco, Goiania accident,[18] radiation accident in Mexico City, radiotherapy unit accident in Thailand, and the Mayapuri radiological accident in India.