Continued - 1980-1981

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

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

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

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

383. 1980, 14th January - DUNGENESS, ENGLAND

The Dungeness plant was shut down because of cracks found in the cooling gas circuits. (W.I.S.E. Vol.2 No.3 p.7)

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

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

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

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

386. 1980, January - LA HAGUE, NETHERLANDS

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

387. 1980, January - MARALEK, AUSTRALIA

A report commissioned by the Federated Miscellaneous Workers Union at Narbalek and Ranger shows that safety procedures safeguarding health are almost ignored. Protective masks are provided but never worn and there is no supervision on the obeying of safety procedures. Workers have gamma protective badges but difficulties are experienced in auditing the program. Signs are only in English although not all workers can read English. Safety advice shown in the washroom reads: "Wash hands before eating, smoking, or going to the toilet". (W.I.S.E. Vol.2 No.2 p.12)

388. 1980, January - COTER CORPORATION, COLORADO, U.S.A.

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

389. 1980, January - JAPAN

An employee of Kansai's Electric Power Company at Mihama died of leukemia in October 1979. The Fukui Labour Standards are concerned that his death was caused by irradiation. The leukemia victim, aged 40, worked at the plant since 1975 as head of a team that controlled radiation control areas and analyzed primary cooling water. (W.I.S.E. Op.Cit p.14)

390. 1980, January - GOSGEN, SWITZERLAND

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

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

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

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

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

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

393. 1980, 11th February - THREE MILE ISLAND, PA., U.S.A.

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

394. 1980, 12th February - THREE MILE ISLAND, PA., U.S.A.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

399. 1980, 4th March - BRUNSBUTTEL, GERMANY

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

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

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

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

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

402. 1980, March 21 - SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA

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

403. 1980, 27th March - ISAR, GERMANY

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

404. 1980, 27th March - CHOOZ, FRANCE

The Chooz nuclear power plant closed until the end of May due to a damaged reactor. (W.I.S.E. Ibid)


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

410. 1980, April - LA HAGUE, FRANCE

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

411. 1980, April - SWEDEN

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


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

413. 1980, April - FESSENHEIM, FRANCE

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

414. 1980, April - LOVIISA 2, FINLAND

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

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


An earthquake rumbled through San Franciaco causing the panicky evacuation of the top secret Lawrence Livermore Atomic Weapons Laboratory. The earthquake measured a modest 5.5 on the Richter Scale but this was enough to cause minor injuries at the Laboratory, shatter power and gas lines, and rupture a tank holding 30,000 gallons of low-level radioactive liquid. Tritium-contaminated water was leaked at the rate of a quart a minute. (William Scobie reporting in San Francisco listed in International Nuclear News Service (South Australia) No.12 p.33)

416. 1980, 9th May - MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

Approximately 100 workers were evacuated from the Savannah River Nuclear Materials Plant for two days after highly toxic hydrogen sulphide was found to be leaking from the plant. (W.I.S.E. Ibid)

424. 1980, May - DUNGENESS, SCOTLAMD

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

425. 1980, June - SOUTH DAKOTA, U.S.A.


Serious contamination found in the water at Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. W.A.R.N. (Women of all Red Nations) report showed that in one month in 1979, 38% of pregnancies reported to the Public Health Service Hospital in Pine Ridge resulted in spontaneous abortions and excessive bleeding. Of the children born, 60-70% suffer breathing complications as a result of underdeveloped lungs and/or jaundice. Children have been born with cleft palates, club feet, diseases uncommon to the Dakota people. Pine Ridge Reservation lies south-east of Black Hills, the site of extensive uranium drilling and mining from the late 1940's to the early 1970's. 25% of the women on the reservation have been sterilized without being consulted. (W.I.S.E. Vol.2 No.4 p.5)

427. 1980, 5th June - MARCOULE, FRANCE

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

428. 1980, 18th June - WINDSCALE, U.K.

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

429. 1980, June - CANBERRA, AUSTRALIA

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

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

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

431. 1980, 23rd June - BELGIUM

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

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

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

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

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

434. 1980, June - SACAVEN, PORTUGAL

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

435. 1980, June - BROWN'S FERRY 3, ALABAMA, U.S.A.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

441. 1980, July - JAPAN

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

442. 1980, late July - RINGHALS 2, SWEDEN

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

443. 1980, August - U.S.S.R., IN WATERS OFF JAPAN

Fire aboard a Soviet Echo-class nuclear submarine in waters off Japan reportedly killed at least 9 crewmen. Some 55 survivors evacuated. (WISE NC 262 31/10/86)

444. 1980, August - BARSEBACK 1, SWEDEN

During the yearly inspection of Unit 1 reactor at the Barseback plant in Sweden, cracks were found in the T-formed pipes which connect the auxiliary feed water system and the shutdown cooling system with the main feed water system. (W.I.S.E Vol.2 No.6 Dec 1980 p.10)

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

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

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

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

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

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

448. 1980, 9th August - SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA

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

449. 1980, 13th August - AUSTRALIA

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

An accident occurred at the La Hague reprocessing plant, on the coast of Normandy. The accident, which occurred at the plant's temporary waste storage site, resulted in the release of large quantities of radioactive water. Although workers discovered the leak immediately on 22nd September, it was not until 1st October that the plant's Director admitted the failure of the pump but denied that any contamination had taken place. On 3rd October the S.N.P.E.A. - C.F.D.T. the leading trade union at La Hague, distributed a written statement concerning the seriousness of the accident to all plant employees. In the paper the union also charged that the plant officials had attempted to cover up the contamination leak in an effort to down play the seriousness of the accident. (W.I.S.E. Vol.2 No.6 October/December, 1980 p.21)

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

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

457. 1980, 28th September - OLKILUOTO, FINLAND

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

458. 1980, September - DOUNREAY, SCOTLAND

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

459. 1980, September - JAPAN

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

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

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

461. 1980, September - JAPAN

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

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

Eight workers at the Hanford nuclear reservation in Washington were exposed to Plutonium oxide when a container of scrap Plutonium ignited scattering the powdery radioactive material. Doctors at the reservation claim that those exposed should "suffer no ill effects". (W.I.S.E. Vol.2 No.6 p.10)

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

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

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

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

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

Indian Point Unit 2 reactor (30 miles from New York City) shut down due to a number of mishaps which began 3rd October. The accident resulted in the leakage of 100,000 gallons of water from the secondary cooling system into the reactor containment building. Indian Point officials failed to report the accident until several days after the reactor was finally closed. (W.I.S.E. Vol.2 No.6 p.10)

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

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

467. 1980, December - UNITED KINGDOM

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

468. 1980 - U.S.A.

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

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


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

470. 1981, 10th January - TSURUGA, JAPAN

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

471. 1981, 12th January - TOKAIMURA, JAPAN

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

472. 1981, 13th January - FUGEN TOKAI, JAPAN

Cracks were found on ten pipes in the Fugen Tokai reactor in the eastern part of Japan. (W.I.S.E. Vol.3 No.2 p.18)

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

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

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

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

475. 1981, 21st JANUARY - JAPAN

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

476. 1981, 21st January - TSURUGA, JAPAN

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

477. 1981, 26th January - TSURUGA, JAPAN

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

481. 1981, January - CHERBOURG, FRANCE

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

482. 1981, 6th February - TOKAIMURA, JAPAN

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

483. 1981, 11th February - SEQUOYAH, TN., U.S.A.

Operator error triggered the emergency alert, sending 100,000 gallons of 'slightly' radioactive water raining down on the heads of 14 workers at T.V.A.'s Sequoyah nuclear plant in Tennessee. The accident occurred whilst the plant was shut down for maintenance. The plant uses slightly contaminated water for emergency coolant, because clear water would raise costs "needlessly". (W.I.S.E. Vol.3 No.2 p.18)

484. 1981, 14th February - SACAVEM, PORTUGAL

The nuclear reactor at Sacavem, Portugal, shut down after a leak had been discovered and 200 litres of radioactive water had already escaped. (W.I.S.E. Vol.3 No.2 p.18)

485. 1981, February - ADELAIDE, SOUTH AUSTRALIA

A survey by the Australian Atomic Energy Commission said levels of radon concentration from two tailing dams at Port Pirie were high, although the readings were below the recommended maximum levels for humane. (i) The A.A.E.C. report said there was cause for continuing Government concern about the radiation levels. The dams are covered by a slag filling and the report suggests a more permanent and secure capping. ("The News", Northern Territory 6th February 1981)

486. 1981, 17th February - QUEENSLAND, AUSTRALIA

A small creek near the Minatome uranium stockpile at Ben Lomond in Northern Queensland showed radiation at twice the acceptable level during heavy rain in February 1981 according to State water Quality Council tests. State water officials said yesterday that the leak occurred when a cement cover cracked during extremely heavy rain. Tests taken on 17th February showed unacceptable radiation levels in Keel Bottom Creek a tributary of the Burdekin River which feeds the Charters Towers town water supply. ("The Age", 20/5/1981)

487. 1981, 19th February, - THREE MILE ISLAND, PA.,U.S.A.

On Thursday, 19th February, Metropolitan Edison (Met.Ed), which owns and operates the T.M.I. nuclear power plant, released information which indicates that higher than normal levels of radioactive Caesium 137 were found at one of the Island's monitoring stations. In a press release, Met.Ed. stated that on 11th February, one of the 15 monitoring stations registered the level of Caesium 137 at 371 picocuries/litre. The Environmental Protection Agency's maximum allowable level of Cadmium 137 over a year's time is 200 picocuries/litre. The highest level of Caesium 137 previously recorded at T.M.I. was 88 picocuries/litre. (W.I.S.E. Vol.3 No.2 p.14)

488. 1981, U.S.A.

A report from the Washington based Centre for Defence Information says that nearly all of the most toxic radioactive wastes in the United States are produced by the military and are not stored safely enough.

The report also States that 99% of the most dangerous nuclear wastes come from military projects and are not subject to the storage safety standards the Government imposes on the nuclear energy industry. ("The Age" 2/3/1981).

489. 1945-1981 - OAK RIDGE, TENNESSEE, U.S.A

The Government-owned nuclear laboratory, Oak Ridge Gaseous Diffusion Plant, Tennessee, accidentally released 11,270 lbs of radioactive uranium into the environment in 121 separate incidents since 1945. (Source: W.I.S.E. Vol.3 No.4 September 1981 p.18). In one such incident in May 1981, 52 workers were exposed to radioactive "mist".


The West German Government has ordered the closure of four large nuclear power stations, one of them completed only a year ago. The four stations are Wuergassen in Lower Saxony, Brunsbettei in Schleswig-Holstein, Phillipsburg 1 in Baden and Isar 1 in Bavaria. All the Stations are of the boiling-water reactor type. The report said the closures were perhaps the largest single blow to nuclear power in Europe since programs began. The closures follow the shutdown four years ago of West Germany's only other large boiling-water reactor at Gundremingen, where two operators were killed by a steam valve failure. There was also a serious core accident ("Canberra Times" 23rd February, 1981)

491. 1981, February - T.M.I., PENNSYLVANIA, U.S.A.

Evidence of radioactive rodents has been found in a building near the damaged reactor at the Three Mile Island nuclear generating plant at Middletown, Pennsylvania. Plant officials said contaminated rodents would pose almost no danger to the public. Exterminating crews have been instructed to catch the rodents so that they could be tested for radioactivity. ("Weekend News", 28/2/1981)

492. 1981, 6th March - BORSSELE, NETHERLANDS

Shortly after the changing of fuel rode at the Borssele nuclear power plant in the Netherlands, light radioactive material was found under the transport crane in the reactor building. (W.I.S.E. Vol.3 No.2 April/May 1981 p.18)

493. 1981, 6th March - MARBALEE, AUSTRALIA

Holding pond containing radioactive waste overflowed at Narbalek uranium mine in Australia's Northern Territory. Radiation measures after the leak showed several hundred times normal level. The leak was first made public in August 1981. (W.I.S.E. Vol.3 No.6 November 1981 p.18)

Queensland Mines is responsible for a radioactive leak at the Narbalek uranium mine in Australia's Northern Territory. Heavy rainfall on 6th March from Cyclone Max caused a holding pond containing toxic waste to overflow. Radiation measures after the leak showed several times the normal level according to State Labour politician, Bob Collins, who exposed the accident in August 1981. The overflow was first detected by the company on 7th March 1981 but Queensland Mines did not report it to the supervising scientist until 14th July 1981. ("Financial Review" 16th October 1981)

494. 1981, 8th March - TSURUGA, JAPAN

Japanese officials announced on the 18th April that a major accident had occurred on 8th March at the Japan Atomic Power Corporation Tsuruga plant in the Fukui Prefecture on the coast about 50 miles from Osaka. At least 4,000 gallons of highly radioactive water had leaked from the plant through a manhole and a crack in the floor of the waste processing building of the plant. 56 workers have been exposed to radioactivity in connection with the accident. Failure to close a valve in a storage tank resulted in an average amount of radioactive exposure of 10 millirems. The water, which leaked for three hours before being noticed by workers, eventually wound up in Urazoko Bay outside the plant, where high levels of Cobalt 60 and Manganese 54 were discovered in the bay's edible seaweed. Shortly after this latest accident was disclosed to the public, six plant executives, including the director, were immediately replaced because of their role in the cover-up. It was not until 40 days after the accident that the Government and the public learned what had happened. Since the original disclosure it has been discovered that a number of serious accidents have occurred at the plant, including ones on the 10th, 19th and 24th January. (W.I.S.E. Vol.3 No.3 June/July 1981 p.14)

495. 1981, 8th March - TSURUGA, JAPAN

278 workers have been exposed to radiation while repairing leaking pipes at the Tsuruga nuclear power station this year (1981). The Natural Resources and Energy Agency has ordered the power company to make a full report on all cases of radioactive leaks from its Tsuruga Station. The Agency said that there were four instances of nuclear waste leakage at the station between 10th January and 8th March 1981. In giving details of the cases the Company said:

- On 10th January, 19 people were exposed to a maximum of 55 millirems of radioactivity.

- 45 people working over three days from 19th January were exposed to a maximum of 92 millirems a day.

- 76 people working for six days from 24th January were exported to a maximum of 155 millirems a day.

- Over 16 days from 8th March, 138 people were exposed to a maximum of 155 millirems a day.

The Company sets the maximum permissible amount of radioactivity at 100 millirems over one day, 1,000 millirems over three months and 5,000 millirems over a year. ("The Age" 28th April, 1981) Following the 18th April revelations at Tsuruga, the Japanese Government ordered a check on all Japan's 22 nuclear power plants. ("The Age" 22nd April 1981) The Japan Atomic Power Company would be ordered to close its Tsuruga nuclear plant in Western Japan for six months for its failure to report a series of radioactive spills at the facility this year, the Ministry of International Trade and Industry officials announced on 19th May, 1981. It is the first time the Japanese Government has taken such action against an atomic power company. ("The Financial Review" 20th May 1981)

496. 1981, 12th March - SALEM 1, NEW JERSEY, U.S.A.

Ten workers were evacuated from an auxiliary building at the Salem 1 nuclear power plant in southern New Jersey when low levels of radioactive material began to leak from a waste gas compressor pump. ("West Australian" 13th March 1981)

497. 1981, 16th march - DUANE, PALO, IOWA, U.S.A.

A radioactive gas leak at the Duane Arnold Nuclear Plant near Palo, Iowa went unreported. The U.S, Nuclear Regulatory Commission will issue a citation to operators, claiming the report should have been made to N.R.C. Officials in Washington within an hour of the incident. ("Daily Iowan" 6th May 1981)

498. 1981, 22nd March - TIHANGE, BELGIUM

The 870 m.w. Tihange 1 reactor in West Belgium reported that radioactive liquid leaked from ruptured tanks and escaped the containment building. (W.I.S.E. Vol.3 No.3 June/July 1981 P.5)

499. 1981, March - UTAH, U.S.A.

Two workers at Utah's Blackwater Coal Mine are now receiving medical treatment after handling a radioactive isotope. Utah accepted blame for the incident. ("Tribune", 11th March 1981)

500. 1981, March - THREE MILE ISLAND, PA., U.S.A.

The operation to rid the Three Mile Island Nuclear Power Plant of radioactive material may not be completed until 1988, almost ten years after the installation was crippled by the worlds first major nuclear incident. The clean-up operation has been suspended while the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and other government organisations prepare environmental impact studies. The N.R.C. said it did not regard Three Mile Island as a safe waste disposal site. "Removing the damaged fuel and radioactive waste to suitable storage sites is the only reliable means of eliminating the risk of widespread contamination", the Commission report said. ("The Australian" 11th March 1981)

501. 1981, March - AUSTRALIA

A container of radioactive material has been missing from the University of Sydney for more than a month. The material - a mixture of Radium and Beryllium known as 10BQ - emits a low-level radiation from its neutron source, which could be dangerous to people continuously exposed to it. Police said the substance disappeared from the University on 30th January, but was only reported stolen on 17th March. ("Sun-Pictorial" Melbourne 19th March 1981)

502. 1981, March - U.S.A.

Government lawyers are drafting a lengthy court brief to rebut charges that radiation leaks from underground nuclear explosions have left a legacy of cancer in South Western states. U.S. officials recently disclosed at a Congressional hearing that 40 such leaks, known as "ventings", had occurred since 1963 - more than twice as many as previously admitted. Justice Department lawyers have contended that the radiation leaks pose no known danger. Their brief urges a Federal Judge not to award damages to the survivors of workers who were exposed to radiation leaks at the Nevada test site and who subsequently died of cancer. Dr. KARL MORGAN, a former Government scientist who specialises in the health effects of radiation, has said, "There is no such thing as a safe level of radiation". DR. MORGAN is expected to testify for the plaintiffs in upcoming cases. ("Daily News" 5th March 1981)

503. 1981, 2nd April - TSURUGA 1, TOKYO, JAPAN

An atomic power plant in Western Japan has been shut down because the Japan Atomic Power Company had failed to report a small hair crack in the turbine that resulted in radioactive water leaking from the cooling system, energy officials said today. The Natural Resources and Energy Agency said a team of specialists had been sent to Tsuruga No.1 power plant in Fukui State, to investigate the accident which occurred in January but was only reported yesterday after an employee disclosed the incident to the Nuclear Safety Commission in Tokyo. ("The Age", 3rd April 1981)

504. 1981, 13th April - BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA

A panel van carrying infectious and radioactive waste and a quantity of the pesticide 245T was stolen in Brisbane. Police said it contained one drum of radioactive waste, six drums of infectious waste and about 250 mile of 245T. ("The Courier Mail" 14th April 1981)

505. 1981, April - AUSTRALIA

Cancer deaths in 1975 among victims of British nuclear bomb tests in Australia during the 1950's and early 1960's apparently were more than four times higher than in the overall population, it has been claimed. A spokesperson for the Australian Nuclear Veterans Association (A.N.V.A.) said that in 1975 eight women lost husbands who had been employed at the Maralinga or Emu Field test sites in South Australia. According to A.N.V.A. the cancer death rate among about 2,000 Australians involved in the secret testing represented four deaths per 1,000 compared with 0.69 per 1,000 for the whole population. A Government spokesperson said that it would be impossible to gauge the significance of such statistics without further knowledge. ("West Australian" 22/3/1981) A pilot study was announced by the Government for the 10th November 1981 to assess the health of 200 personnel who were involved in the U.K. atomic programs at Monte Bello, Emu and Maralinga in the 1950's.

506. 1981, April - JAPAN

Nuclear power plants in Japan are using Kamikaze squads of untrained labourers for dangerous work, according to a newspaper report. The Fukui Shimbun, quoting sub-contractors who supply labour to nuclear plants in Fukui Prefecture, said that labourers were imported from Osaka, 140 kms to the south, when radioactive levels for specific operations were considered too high for regular workers to be exposed to over an extended period. The Fukui Shimbun said that most of the labourers were brought in from lower-class working areas. By using temporary labour, plants were able to avoid violating health standards. ("West Australian" 29th April 1981)

507. 1981, April - U.S., COAST OFF JAPAN

Nuclear powered U.S.S. George Washington blamed for collision that sunk Japanese freighter "Nissho Maru" off coast of Japan, killing 2 on board freighter. (W.I.S.E. NC 262 31/10/86 )


Severe criticism of past safety arrangements at British Nuclear Fuels nuclear waste-fuel reprocessing plant at Windscale, Cumbria, have been made by three investigators appointed to examine the organization. They have produced 15 major and many minor recommendations affecting the management of the factory, which handles all the waste fuel from nuclear power stations in Britain.

The investigation began more than 18 months ago after instances of workers being contaminated and radioactive liquid leaking. The report, in describing some of the more important incidents, disclosed that more than 100,000 curies of radioactivity had escaped over a period of years from one silo. The management was blamed for that accident, having shown, the report said, lack of judgement and of safety consciousness. British Nuclear Fuels said last night that the report was fair, comprehensive and constructive. ("West Australian", 13th April 1981)

509. 1981, April - NEVADA, U.S.A.

An elaborate exercise in which a helicopter carrying three nuclear bombs crashed into the Nevada desert revealed serious problems which could occur in the case of a real mishap. More than 700 U.S. officials were involved in the exercise - the biggest simulation of Broken Arrow, the code name for a nuclear weapons accident. ("The Age" - 24th April 1981).

510. 1981, May - UNITED KINGDOM

The British nuclear submarine Valiant. is undergoing repairs for a minor leak in its reactor cooling system. A naval spokesman said the source of the leak had been identified and was being repaired. ("The Age" 21st May 1981)

511. 1981, 22nd May - BROWN'S FERRY 3, ALABAMA, U. S.A.

The Brown's Ferry Unit 3 nuclear reactor near Decatur, Alabama, was shut down on Friday, 22nd May, when a leak was discovered in the primary containment building. The leak was releasing 27 gallons per minute, forcing the reactor to go from full power to 30% before it was shut down. By the time the leak was located the following day, close to 10,000 gallons had been collected in the containment building. On 26th May, the reactor owners, Tennessee Valley Authority, announced that the reactor had been re-started and was expected to be operating at full power within a few days. (W.I.S.E. Vol.3 No.4 September 1981 p.9) Technicians have begun repairs on a cooling system leak that sent 38,000 litres of radioactive water into the biggest nuclear power plant in the U.S. The leak forced the shutdown of one reactor at the plant near Athena, Alabama. ("West Australian", 25th May 1981)

512. 1981, May - U.S.A.

Cancer may be caused by much lower levels of radiation than previously believed, according to a new study of the World War II atomic bomb blasts at Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Reports on research being done at the Lawrence Livermore Weapons Laboratory in California and at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee, although tentative, indicate that the risk of dying of cancer after exposure to low level gamma radiation could double and the probability of contracting cancer after gamma radiation could be quadrupled. Some scientists believe the new information strengthens the argument that there is no safe level of radiation; that every incremental bit of exposure increases the chances of injury. ("The Age", 16th May 1981)

513. 1981, May - JAPAN

Nearly 10% of construction workers surveyed at Japanese atomic power plants have been exposed to 100 millirems of radiation daily - a level exceeding the radiation control allowance - unofficially set by the atomic power industry, a union official has claimed. ("Financial Review" 15th May 1981)

514. 1981, May - JAPAN

In an amazing moment of truth, the U.S. Department of Transportation has admitted they have never inspected any irradiated nuclear fuel shipping casks or, for that matter, inspected any facilities shipping nuclear fuel. This admission was contained in a response to a Freedom of Information request by LINDSAY AUDIN of Ossing, New York, (7/5/1981). AUDIN then requested all 1980 shipping cask inspection reports from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. The N.R.C. conducted a total of two inspections in 1980. Both inspections showed serious non-compliance with N.R.C. regulations. Two out of two is distinctly discomforting. (W.I.S.E. Vol.3 No.4 Sept. 1981 p.12)

515. 1981, 2nd June - U.S.A.

In the U.S.A. around $620,000 was awarded to the family of LEROY DRUMBACK on 2nd June, 1981. DRUMBACK worked for 15 years at the Rocky Flats nuclear weapons facility which produces Plutonium triggers for nuclear warheads. He died of cancer of the colon in January 1974 and his case is the first in which damages were awarded for cancer caused by radiation at Rocky Flats. Dow Chemical Company, the plant operator where Krumback worked, is appealing against the decision. (W.I.S.E. Vol.3 No.4 p.6)

516. 1981, 3rd June - INDIAN POINT 2, NY., U.S.A.

Indian Point No.2 nuclear plant in New York shut down automatically for six hours after the failure of an electrical relay - part of the plant's generator protection circuiting designed to monitor voltage generated by the plant and take corrective action if problems develop. (W.I.S.E. Vol.3 No.4 p.18)

517. 1981, 7th June - SPICE 2, NEW JERSEY, U.S.A.

Salem 2 in New Jersey shut down because of a faulty valve just two days after beginning operations. While shut down for repairs, a faulty weld caused the valve to open and 3,000 gallons of radioactive water spilt into a containment basin. (W.I.S.E. Vol.3 No.4 p.18)

518. 1981, 16th June - LOVIISA 1, FINLAND

Fault discovered in fuel rod case at Loviisa 1 nuclear plant 100 kms north-east of Helsinki, Finland. Operators acknowledge that faulty rod case caused higher than normal levels of radioactivity in unit's primary cooling water circuit but said no repairs would be made until rods are changed. (W.I.S.E. Vol.3 No.4 p.18)

519. 1981, 19th June - DONALD C. COOK, MI,. U.S.A.

A spent fuel rod slipped to the bottom of a water-filled tank during routine refueling at the Donald C. Cook nuclear plant in Michigan, U.S.A. The N.R.C. described the accident as unserious, posing no danger to plant or area residents. (W.I.S.E. Vol.3 No.4 p.18)

520. 1981, June - KARACHI, PAKISTAN

Pakistan's nuclear energy reactor is situated in an earthquake zone according to Dr. I.H. USAMI, a senior United Nations energy advisor. Dr. USAMI recommends the Government set up an international commission to investigate the safety of the reactor. ("Canberra Times" 10th June 1981)

521. 1981, June - U.K.

In Britain 96,000 pounds sterling was paid out by British Nuclear Fuels to two families and a worker who is still employed at the Windscale reprocessing plant. The two workers died from cancer of the pancreas and leukemia. The man still employed at B.N.F. received 5,000 pounds sterling for pain and suffers from cataracts in both eyes and a kidney tumour. These payments are out of court settlements on cases financed by the General and Municipal Workers Union. The latter case is of great importance because the man was exposed to a lower level of radiation than the other two men. The decision recognized that low-level radiation can be proved to cause cancer. (W.I.S.E. Vol 3. No.4 p.6) .. see entry - May U.S.A. p.40

522. 1981, 7th JULY - U.S.A.

On 7th July, three U.S. national safe energy groups sent a letter to members of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission charging the N.R.C. with dangerous negligence in failing to enforce a nuclear power plant emergency regulation. The rule in question requires plants to acquire the means to alert residents within a ten-mile radius of an accident at the plant within 15 minutes of its occurrence. Although the deadline for compliance to the rule was 1st July, approximately one half of the more than 70 U.S. nuclear plants have failed to comply, according to the "New York Times". "The only protection the public has is the ability to flee following an accident", the group says. "Failure to enforce the prompt notification requirement will strip the public of its only assurance of safety". (W.I.S.E. Vol.3 No.4 P.4)

523. 1981, 13th July - HAMAOKA, JAPAN

40 workers at the Hamaoka nuclear plant in Shizuoka Prefecture in Japan were exposed to radiation when one ton (1 cubic metre) of concentrated waste liquid and pressurized water leaked from the Unit 1 reactor. (W.I.S.E. Vol.3 No.4 p.18)

524. 1981, 13th July - OI 1, FUKUMI, JAPAN

Operation was suspended at the Unit 1 reactor of the Oi nuclear plant in Fukui Prefecture Japan, when pressure in a tank in the upper portion of the core dropped. (W.I.S.E. Vol.3 No.4 p.18)

525. 1981, 14th July - SAN ONOFRE, CALIFORNIA, U.S.A.

A fire at the San Onofre nuclear plant in California (U.S.A.) that occurred during routine testing, knocked out one of the power plant's two back-up diesel generators. The plant was shut down for several weeks beginning 17th July. One month previously, the facility was returned to service after a 14 month shutdown for $67 million in repairs to 6,000 leaky and corroded tubes in three steam generators. (W.I.S.E. Vol.3 No.4 p.18)

An accidental "ignition" of hydrogen gasses in a holding tank of the San Onofre nuclear plant caused an explosion - which bent the bolts of an inspection hatch on the tank, allowing radioactive gasses in the tank to escape into a radioactive waste room. From there, the radioactive material was released into the atmosphere. (W.I.S.E. Vol.3 No.4 p.18)

526. 1981, 21st July - HAMAOKA, Japan

40 workers exposed to minor levels of radioactivity when one tonne of radioactive waste water leaked at the Hamaoka nuclear power plant in Shizuoka Prefecture. ("The West Australian" 22/7/1981)

527. 1981, 23rd July - HARWELL, UNITED KINGDOM

A leak of low level radioactive liquid has been discovered at Harwell atomic research station in Oxfordshire, the Atomic Energy Authority reported yesterday. There was no risk to staff, or the public, the authority said. The leak was from a ceramic pipe taking water used to wash down radioactive materials to a storage tank. ("The Age" 24th July 1981 "Daily News" 23rd July 1981)


On July 30th, the French Government decided to suspend the construction of 5 nuclear power installations; Le Pellerin, Civaux, Chooz and Golfech. The fifth plant, Cattenom, houses four units, two of which will be suspended. The Government gave no explanation of why it suspended these five installations and continues with others like Belleville, Nogent-sur-Seine, and Penly. (W.I.S.E. Vol.3 No.4 p.5)

529. 1981, July - OCONEE, U.S.A.

54 workers at Oconee nuclear station were contaminated with radioactive water during refueling operations this month. The contamination occurred when cooling water leaked during refueling of one of the power plant's reactor between June 28 and July 10, 1981. ("The West Australian" 30th July 1981)

530. 1981, July - U.S.A.

A Department of Energy study has found that they have not applied many of the safety lessons learnt from the Three Mile Island reactor accident to its own 35 nuclear reactors. The inquiry panel said, "While the committee found no evidence that the reactors reviewed were being operated in an unsafe manner, the number and type of deficiencies noted give cause for a number of concerns." ("The Canberra Times" 8th July 1981)


Radioactive soil dumped in Nelson Parade, Hunters Hill, about four years ago is in rotting broken plastic bags. 60 years ago Nelson Parade was the site of a factory where uranium was treated and converted to radium to illuminate clock faces. Six residential blocks are affected to a varying degree by the radioactivity. The N.S.W. Government has considered dumping the soil at two sites in N.S.W., but public opposition or technical problems prevented the plane going ahead. ("The Sydney Morning Herald" 3/7/1981)

532. 1981, July - U.S.A.

An unemployed industrial radiographer has become the first American to die of radiation poisoning since the early days of the A-bomb experiments. Douglas Crofut (38) died in a hospital in Tulsa Oklahoma, July 1981, six months after he first sought medical attention for radiation burns on his chest and left arm. Officials said that the radiation destroyed his bone marrow, burnt off his left nipple and ate deep into his body like a cancer. ("The West Australian" 31st July 1981)

533. 1981, July - U.S.A..

A report released at the end of July by Critical Mass Energy Project, a Ralph Nader affiliated anti-nuclear organization, claims that there were more than 3,804 mishaps at U.S. nuclear power plants in 1980. This is a 20% increase over the number of accidents reported in 1979. Approximately 100 of the mishaps were "especially significant" according to the Critical Mass Study. Of a total of 3,804 mishaps the study attributes 20% to human error, 161 to design flaws and 57% to equipment failure. The report concludes that the supposed benefits of nuclear power do not outweigh the clear risks involved. This study supports our long-held position that nuclear power is a dangerous and deeply flawed technology". (W.I.S.E. Vol.3 No.4 September 1981 p.9)

534. 1981, 7th August - SEQUOYAH 1, TN., U..S.A.

Sequoyah nuclear power plant unit 1 in Tennessee shuts down for repairs on steam leaks inside the reactor and routine maintenance. (W.I.S.E. Vol.3 No.6 November 1981 p.18)

535. 1981, 12th August - MURUROA ATOLL, SOUTH PACIFIC

On August 12, the French authorities in French Polynesia issued a communique declaring the temporary closure of the beach in the eastern part of the Mururoa Atoll against the possibility that "residues of the atmospheric tests conducted prior to 1975" might have been deposited there following bad weather. The French communique said "the temporary situation that has been created is a result of atmospheric testing and had no link with the underground testing that has been carried since 1975". It has also been reported from other sources that a huge gap, one to two feet wide and half a mile long, had been opened in the Atoll below sea level where there were serious leaks of radioactivity. The Australian Government has agreed to hold an inquiry. ("The News" (NT) 25/9/1981; W.I.S.E. Vol.3 No.6/11/1981 p.16)

536. 1981, August - CHINA

China appears to be encountering local criticism of its nuclear test program amid disturbing reports of contamination in arens in the far west Xinjiang region. A Chinese official has said that there has been an increase in the incidence of liver, lung and skin cancers, causing concern, and some cases were being sent to Peking. Another Chinese official was skeptical, saying nomads in Xinjiang did have a higher incidence of throat cancer, but this was because of their diet. The Lop Nur test in the Xinjiang Province has been in almost constant use for atmospheric tests over the past 20 years. China is one of the few countries still testing nuclear weapons in the atmosphere. It was at Lop Nur that the Chinese developed nuclear warheads for inter-continental ballistic missiles. China is highly secretive about its nuclear testing and little is known in the West about the Lop Nur site. ("Sydney Morning Herald" 25th August 1981)

537. 1981, 22nd September - TOKAIMURA, JAPAN

The Japanese reprocessing plant, Tokaimura, located 120 kilometres north-east of Tokyo, was closed down because of trouble in the rectifying tower and an interim holding tank. The holding tank problem appeared some time between September 12 and 14 when unusually high concentrations of Plutonium were detected. (W.I.S.E. Vol.3 No.6 November 1981 p.18)

538. 1981, September - JAPAN

Kazuyuki Iwesa, a subcontract worker for Japan Atomic Power Co., appealed to the Osaka High Court against a district court ruling which denies him compensation for an illness which he claims was caused by radiation exposure. At the Dermatology Department of Oaska University Hospital, his illness was diagnosed as radiation dermatitis. In court, Yohei Izawa, head of Dermatology of Chukyo Hospital, also said that Iwasa's symptoms were peculiar to radiation dermatitis. However, Takehiko Tauchlya, Professor of Radiology at Sango University, said on behalf of the power company that the dermatitis was caused by viruses interrupting the blood circulation and that Iwasa's lymphoma was attributable to a broken leg he suffered 30 years previously. At the High Court hearing, Iwasa claimed that the district court ruling had been based on the company's unfounded argument that strict safety mesaures had been in force at the plant. Since then forgery of plant operation day books, discharge of radioactive waste water to public sewage systems and other malpractices at the plant have been discovered. (W.I.S.E. Vol.3 No.4, 9/1981 p.6)

539. 1981, September - CANADA

The Canadian Coalition for Nuclear Responsibility, representing over 200 groups throughout Canada, called on Prime Minister Trudeau to establish a one million dollar Atomic Veterans Defence Fund. The appeal was triggered by the April 14 decision of the Canadian Pension Commission in the Bjarnie Paulson case. At that time, the Pension Commission refused to grant compensation to Paulson, a veteran of the Royal Canadian Armed Forces who had been suffering for 15 years from multiple skin cancers and other ailments which he claims were caused by radioactive contamination in 1958. Mr Paulson was one of 600 men ordered to assist in a radioactive clean-up operation at the Chalk River Nuclear Laboratories following a major accident at a nuclear reactor there. (W.I.S.E. Vol.3 No.4 September 1981 p.6)

540. 1981, September - JAPAN

An anti-nuclear association in Fukui prefecture in Japan has filed a petition with the prefectural assembly seeking permanent suspension of the operations at the No.1 unit of the Tsuruga Nuclear power Station. The petition was backed by an amazing 108,962 signatures, collected after revelations of a series of accidents at the plant earlier this year.(W.I.S.E. Vol.3 No.4/9/1981 p.8)

541. 1981, 4th October - WINDSCALE, U.K.

British Nuclear Fuels Ltd (BNFL) announced on October 8 that a release of irradiated Iodine-131 occurred on Sunday, October 4, from the Windscale reprocessing plant. The company did not inform the public of the leak until 4 days after it happened. (W.I.S.E. Vol.3 No.6 November 1981 p.12) A radiation leak has contaminated milk supplies within a 3 km radius of the Windscale nuclear plant in Cumbria. The accident was discovered last Sunday (4/10/81) but news of it was released only on the 10th October, 1981 by British Nuclear Fuels. The plant was shut down for 24 hours. ("Sydney Horning Herald" 10th October 1981)

542. 1981, October - INDIA

An atomic power plant in northern India has developed a radiation leak which could take up to a year to repair, says the Press Trust of India.

543. 1981, 8th November - CRYSTAL RIVER, FLORIDA, U.S.A.

Florida Power Company officials said (8/11/81) that they have recovered 3,750 litres of radioactive water spilt at the company's reactor in Crystal River, Florida. The spill on the floor of the nuclear reactor occurred when the reactor was shut down for routine refueling. The Crystal river plant, cited earlier this year by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission as being poorly managed, has been shut down since September 27 for refueling and maintenance. Crystal River had a similar accident a year ago when 115,000 litres of radioactive water spilt. That spill was also contained. ("The West Australian" 9/11/1981)

544. 1981, November - DIABLO CANYON, CA., U.S.A.

Shortly after the Abalone Alliance announced the end of the blockade of the Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant, which involved approximately 1900 arrests, of which about 500 were second-time arrests, the owners, Pacific Gas and Electric, revealed at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission Reactor Inquiry that start-up will be indefinitely postponed. PG cited problems with one of the structures in the plant's cooling System. PG & E have now confirmed that blueprints for the Unit 1 reactor, now completed, had somehow been switched with plans for the second unit now under construction. The switched diagrams are used in stress analysis of piping hanger systems and the mix-up has apparently affected both reactors' construction. One NRC official called it "a first rate screw up". Delay due to the mix-up could be as much as six months. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is also investigating improper construction and the plant's ability to withstand an earthquake. (W.I.S.E. Vol.3 No.6 November 1981 p.9)

545. 1981, November - RANGER, AUSTRALIA

The operators of the Ranger Uranium Mine, which was closed by the Northern Territory Government on 23rd November 1981, had been warned the previous month that the mine could be shut down because of an apparent safety breach. This warning followed an incident in October when two employees were found wading in a radioactive and acidic solution at the mine. Though both employees had been concerned about entering the solution, they were told by the Supervisor that there was no risk. The latest incident involved the discovery of a large island in the uranium treatment plants tailings pond. The island appeared on the 3rd November and remained until the 24th November. The company did not report the matter either to the Director of Mines or to the Supervising scientist. Under environmental guidelines the tailings have to be covered by at least two metres of water. It is believed that the company which owns Ranger, Energy Resources of Australia Limited, told officials it had not considered the island "important". ("The Age" November 25th 1981)

546. 1981, November - LA HAGUE, FRANCE COGEMA

Operators of the French re-processing plant at La Hague, have announced that reprocessing contracts with West Germany will have to be changed. Announced changes have to do with radiation concentrations in low and intermediate level wastes, which, according to existing contracts, are returned to the country of origin. Apparently COGEMA has not succeeded in reducing levels of radioactivity sufficiently to meet German standards. COGEMA is saying that concentrations of alpha radiation in wastes being returned to Germany will simply be raised. (W.I.S.E. Vol.3 No.6/ November 1981 p.12)

547. 1981, November - U.S.A.

The thick steel shell that surrounds the uranium core in nuclear reactors is being turned brittle so rapidly in 13 U.S. plants that, according to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (N.R.C.), some of the plants may become unsafe to operate by the end of next year. One high-ranking N.R.C. official went so far as to say some of the reactors might have to be modified or shut down. In all, 46 plants have a potential brittleness problem. The 13 plants of immediate concern have been in operation for anywhere from 3.0 to 10.3 full-power years. (These figures do not include the time the reactors were shut down for repair or refueling.) All 46 reactors are pressurized water reactors in which the water is kept under pressure of about 2,200 pounds per square inch to keep it from boiling away. (W.I.S.E. Vol.3 No.6 Nov. 1981 p.8)

548. 1981, November, U.K. (& FRANCE)

In a recently released report, a team of British scientists, who were investigating seaweed around the Channel Islands, claim that radionuclides were concentrated 100 to 10,000 times in bladder wrack, and although these concentrations are quite low, potential problems arise because large quantities of seaweed are used widely on farmland and small holdings as fertilizer. Thousands of fruit and vegetables already sold in the U.K. have been affected. One of the Channel Islands is only 8 km away from the re-processing plant at La Hague, France. (W.I.S.E. Vol.3 No.6 November 1981 p.16)

549. 1981, 8th December - WESTERN AUSTRALIA

Waste containing five radioactive isotopes which were accidentally included in scrap metal sold to a steel company in Singapore by western Mining Corporation, has been returned to Perth (8/12/81). The shipment and final storage of the waste 35 km south of Kambalda has ended more than three years of haggling between Australia and Singapore over which country should be responsible for it. Although western Mining Corporation has never officially accepted responsibility it has agreed to store the waste material and has built a concrete bunker to take it. ("The West Australian" 26/11 and 8/12/1981)

550. 1945-1981, OAK RIDGE, TENNESSEE, U.S.A.

The Government-owned nuclear laboratory, Oak Ridge Gaseous Diffusion Plant, Tennessee, accidentally released 11,270 lbs of radioactive uranium into the environment in 121 separate incidents since 1945. (Source: W.I.S.E. Vol.3 No.4 September 1981 p.18). In one such incident in May 1981, 52 workers were exposed to radioactive "mist".

551. 1981, 20th December - AUSTRALIA

The South Australian Minister for Health, Mrs. Jennifer Adamson, has called for a report on an incident involving workers handling uranium-contaminated equipment at an Adelaide laboratory. It has been alleged that two workers had their arms covered in yellow cake dust which spilled out of a container on December 7. The laboratory known as "Amdel" was set up by State and Federal Governments at the time of the Maralinga atomic tests in 1956. ("The Age" 21/12/1981)

552. 1981, December - AUSTRALIA

The widow of an atomic airman who died of throat cancer in 1972 after working on planes contaminated by nuclear radiation at South Australian atomic bomb tests in 1953 has been awarded $14,500 compensation. A precedent was set on bomb-test claims in August this year (1981) when a retired RAAF squadron leader, who tracked radioactive clouds in a bomber at Maralinga, became the first living person to win such a case. He suffers from cancer of the thyroid. The decision by the Commonwealth Employees Compensation Commission in the latest case has been seen as something of a landmark because the compensation was made solely on documentary evidence and opinion. ("The West Australian" 4th December 1981)

553. 1981, December - LAPORTE, WESTERN AUSTRALIA

Radioactivity has been found in the shells of crabs caught near Australind. It has also been found in effluent ponds around the Laporte chemical plant there. The radioactivity was found in a study by the Australian Radiation Laboratory. The study was requested by the W.A. Radiological Council after public concern was expressed about radioactivity late in 1979. ("Daily News" 28th December 1981)


Forty-nine nuclear explosions were carried out in 1981, according to the Hagforas Military Seismological Observatory in a report for the disarmament conference in Geneva. It said that the Soviet Union carried out 21 blasts, the United States 16, France 11 and Britain 1. ("The West Australian" 19th January 1982)

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