Continued - 1986-1987

710. 1986, January - U.S.A.

Pounds of Plutonium and highly enriched uranium missing from United States inventories.

711. 1986, 15th January - U.S.A.

The US navy has recorded 630 safety "incidents" related to nuclear weapons aboard ships and aircraft and at on-shore sites from 1965 to 1985, and two "accidents". ("The West Australian", "The Age" 17/1/86, "The West Australian" 20/1/86)

712. 1986, January - MADRID, SPAN

Twenty years ago a US B52 bomber collided with a KC-135 tanker during an in-flight refuelling over a remote Spanish village, Palomares. Four 25-megaton H-bombs dropped on the village exposing the 1200 inhabitants to Plutonium 239. ("The West Australian" 20/1/86)

713. 1986, February - TRAWSFYNYDD 1, WALES, U.K.

A pressure valve opened on top of one of the two heat exchangers which generate steam at the No 1 reactor at Trawsfynydd nuclear power station. 13 tons of coolant carbon dioxide were released to the atmosphere in 14 minutes before the valve was manually closed. Small quantities of neutron induced radioactivity (not fission products) escaped in the gas. The Central Electricity Generating Board (CEGB) which operates the plant, described the accident as "minor". According to "The Guardian" (March 7) the radiation released by the accident was estimated to have extended 5-19 kms down wind from the plant. The releases included Manganese-56, Tritium, Sulphur-35 and Cobalt-60. (SCRAM Journal Apr/May 86, "Western Maila" 3 Mar 86, "The Guardian" 7 Mar 86, WISE NC 254, 13/6/86)

714. 1986, February -- RANGER, AUSTRALIA

Contaminated water from the Ranger Uranium mine has been released into Magela Creek in the Kakadu National Park after the Northern Territory Government gave ERA Ltd permission to release two million cubic meters of water from a retention pond.("The Age" 3/2/86, "The Age" 6/2/86)

715. 1986, February -- WINDSCALE (SELLAFIELD) U.K.

A Plutonium mist has leaked at Britain's only nuclear processing plant at Sellafield. ("The Daily News" 6/2/86, "The Age" 7/3/86)

716. 1986, February - SELLAFIELD, U.K.

Britain's only nuclear processing plant has had its second radioactive leak this month amid complaints from Irish officials over the discharge of uranium from the plant into the Irish Sea. ("The Age", "The West Australian" 20/2/86)

717. 1986, March - SELLAFIELD, U.K.

Another five workers were contaminated with radioactivity in another leak at the Sellafield nuclear processing plant in Cumbria. This is the fourth incident in the past five weeks. ("The Age" 3/3/86, "The West Australian" 4/3/86) As the people of the village of Seascale continue to live their lives in the shadow of the Sellafield nuclear plant, leukeemia is 10 times the national average among the area's children under 15. ("The West Australian" 18/3/86)

718. 1986, April - U.S. OFF IRISH SEA

The nuclear powered submarine U.S.S. "Nathan AEC/Greene" ran aground in the Irish Sea and was severely damaged. (WISE NC 262 31/10/86)

719. 1986, March - EMBALSE, ARGENTINA

Local concern over leaking water is apparently why Argentina's Commission National de Energia Atomica (CNEA) shutdown of its Embulse nuclear power reactor. Official denials that there was any direct discharge of heavy water into a nearby reservoir, but says "light amounts of heavy water did apparently mix with reservoir water. "The CNEA shut down the plant for political rather than safety resaons. ("Nucleonics Week" - 20 Mar 86 (WISE NC 252 16 May 86)

720. 1986, April - U.S. OFF GIBRALTAR

U.S.S. "Atlanta" ran aground in Straits of Gibraltar, punching a hole in ballast tank. Officials said no radiation leaked and no crew members were hurt. (WISE NC 262 31/10/86)

721. 1986, April - (CHERNOBYL) KIEV, UKRAINE, U.S.S.R.

A major nuclear accident occurred at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, in the Soviet Union, spreading a huge cloud of radioactive material over Scandinavian countries. ("The Daily News" 29/4/86, "The West Australian", "The Financial Review", "The Daily News" 30/4/86)

722. 1986, May - U.S.A.

A report released on May 3 by Public Citizens Critical Mass Energy Project reveals more than 20,000 accidents and other mishaps have occurred at licensed US commercial nuclear power plants since the Three Mile Island Accident in 1979. Of these, more than 1,000 have been considered particularly significant by the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Moreover, the nuclear industry's overall safety record is worsening.

In 1979 there were 2310 mishaps at the nation's nuclear power plants, including a partial meltdown at the Three Mile Island reactor near Harrisburg Pennsylvania. The number increased to 3,804 in 1980, rose to 4,060 in 1981 and in 1982 the total jumped to 4,500 mishaps. By 1983 the number of accidents and other events had risen to over 5,000 and 247 of these events were considered particularly significant by the NRC (almost one a day). An astounding 98,162 nuclear workers are exposed to radiation in 1984, a jump of 13,000 over 1983. ("Public Citizen")(WISE NC 252 16 May 1986).

723. 1986, May - U.S.S.R.

According to the Nuclear Monitor 19 May 1986, NRC James Asselstine told a congressional hearing that contrary to the general perception the Chernobyl reactor did have two "containment-like" structures with a design pressure of 27 pounds per sq inch (pal). Ten US reactors reports the "Monitor" have containments with a design pressure of only 12 p.s.i. and 2 reactors have only 3/4" steel as containment. (WISE NC253 30 May 1986).

724. 1986, May - U.S.A. / EUROPE

Two US nuclear submarines went aground off Europe during the past month and one has been damaged so badly that it may have to be scrapped. ("The Age" 3/5/86)

725. 1986, May - U.S.A.

A recently-released secret report by the US General Accounting Office has revealed that since 1971 there have been 151 "significant nuclear safety accidents" in 14 different countries. ("The National Times. 9-15/5/86)

726. 1986, 14th May - NEVADA, U.S.A.

Radiation in a tunnel containing test equipment at the Nevada underground nuclear test site is so high following a nuclear 'mishap' that monitors are registering about 25 rads per hour. 5 rads is considered a safe level over a year. ("The Age" 15/5/86, "The West Australian" 16/5/86)

727. 1986, 18th May - U.K.

Two Greenpeace members have boarded a British ship carrying spent nuclear fuel in an attempt to highlight the ship's vulnerability to attack. ("The West Australian" 19/5/86)

728. 1986, LA HAGUE, FRANCE

Five workers at a French nuclear reprocessing plant at Le Hague in Normandy were exposed to radiation after an accident at the plant yesterday. ("The Age", "The West Australian" 22/5/86 )

729. 1986, May - SELLAFIELD, U.K.

In the fourth leak incident at the Sellafield nuclear reprocessing plant this year two workers were exposed to Plutonium oxide during routine maintenance. ("The Age", "The West Australian" 23/5/86). Over the past 34 years the Sellafield nuclear reprocessing plant has dumped a quarter of a tonne of Plutonium into the Irish Sea; the Irish Sea is consequently known as the most radio-active sea in the world, and Britain as the world's deliberate polluter. Radio-active house dust in the area is up to 6,000 times the level in other parts of the country and Plutonium levels in river estuaries are up to 27,000 times higher than other British rivers. ("National Times" 30/5 -5/6/86 )

730. 1986, June - LA SALLE 2, ILLINOIS, U.S.A.

One of the worst nuclear accidents of 1986 occurred at La Salle-2 plant in Seneca, Illinois. The plant failed to shut down in response to a mechanical malfunction, a particularly dangerous situation. Commonwealth Edison, the nation's largest nuclear utility failed to alert Govt officials or the local population of the potential danger for more than 12 hours. (Public Citizen Critical Mass Energy Project, WISE NC 12 June 1987).

731. 1986, 1st June - U.S.A.

Recently declassified Pentagon documents show that the US Navy accidentally released nuclear weapons during 1965, 1968, 1969 and 1970. The navy experienced 381 nuclear weapon accidents and incidents between 1965 and 1977. ("The Age" 2/6/86, "The Age" "The West Australian" 3/6/86 )

732. 1986, 2nd June - BONN, GERMANY

A West German nuclear power plant has been shut down pending an investigation into a brief radiation leak a month ago. ("The Age", "The Financial Review", "The West Australian" 3/6/86)

733. 1986, June - GLASGOW, SCOTLAND, U.K.

A fire at a Scottish nuclear power station complex has triggered an automatic reactor shutdown. ("The Daily News" 17/6/86, "The West Australian" 18/6/86)

734. 1986, August - U.S.A.

A US Army audit says that nuclear and chemical weapon sites have been guarded by men considered to be mentally ill, as well as others who were convicts, drug users and medically disabled. ("The West Australian" 11/8/86)

735. 1986, 21st August - ARKANSAS, U.S.A.

The leak of a liquid fuel component used in Titan II missiles caused the evacuation of several families near an Arkansas town yesterday. ("The West Australian" 21/8/86)

736. 1986, August - SELLAFIELD, U.K.

The 'New Scientist' reported on August 14 that autopsies on the bodies of typical former workers at the Sellafield nuclear plant have revealed concentrations of Plutonium 100's and in one case 1,000's of times higher than the general public. The study by Doc. Popplewell from the U.K. National Radiological Protection Board also found that concentrations of Plutonium in the bodies of Cumbrians who did NOT work at the plant average 50-25%. higher than elsewhere in Britain. High levels of cancer have been found in the population around Sellafield. ("Cumbrians Opposed to a Radioactive Environment", WISE NC257, 22 Aug 86)

737. 1986, August - PELINDABA, SOUTH AFRICA

Two people were killed and two were seriously injured in an accident at South Africa's top secret Pelindaba nuclear research facility near Pretoria. The workers were part of a cleaning team caught in a fire during routine work. It was reported that the accident did not involve radiation. ("Nucleonics Week" 14 Aug 86, WISE NC 260 3/10/86)

738. 1986, August - FERMI 2, U.S.A.

The American Fermi-2 reactor suffered an electrical fire in the distribution system to the flow valve. The reactor which was shut in July 1985 after an "inadvertent" criticality has not been in commercial operation since then. ("SCRAM Journal" WISE NC260 3/10/86)

739. 1986, August - CATTENOM 1 & 2, FRANCE

8,000 litres of water initially thought to be from the primary coolant system flooded underground cellars at Units 1 and 2 of the Cattenom nuclear plant on August 23. The flooding, reportedly due to human error, left a valve open and is said to have destroyed electrical systems and pipelines. Later reports say it was not coolant water but a leak of river water. ("Nucleonics Week" 4,115 8/9/86, "Financial Times" 12/9/86, "The Scotsman" 12/9/86, WISE NC260 3/10/86).

740. 1986, August - JAPAN

Two women researchers received internal radiation at the Science and Technology Agency of Institute of Physical & Chemical Research in Japan when they breathed radioactive air while cleaning a room contaminated with radio-active equipment left there for more than a year. ("Japan Times" 19/9/86 WISE NC262 31/10/86)

741. 1986, August - NEW MEXICO, U.S.A.

The US Air Force admitted to an accident 30 years ago where an H-bomb was dropped from a bomber while landing in New Mexico. The conventional explosive component exploded but no-one was injured. ("The Australian" 29/8/86 )

742. 1986, 23rd September - U.S.A.

Radio-active debris in space is starting to become a real problem, according to a new study by Dr Nicholas Johnston, a US scientist. ("The West Australian" 24/9/86)

743. 1986, 10th September - COLOMBO, SRI LANKA/ NETHERLANDS

Sri Lankan health authorities have destroyed 68 tonnes of imported Dutch milk that was found to be contaminated by nuclear radiation. ("The West Australian" 11/9/86)

744. 1986, 11th September - SELLAFIELD, U.K.

The Sellafield nuclear plant in the U.K. continues to draw criticism for radio-active leaks. The latest cases are radio-active bubbles found in the ocean off the coast where the plant is situated. ("The West Australian" 12/9/86)

745. 1986, 5th October - U.S.S.R., ATLANTIC

Three crewmen have died in a fire on board a Soviet nuclear submarine in the Atlantic about 1600 kilometres off the US coast. ("The West Australian", "The Australian" 6/10/86)

746. 1986, 5th October - WASHINGTON, U.S.A.

Hundreds of US and Soviet crew members have died in nuclear powered submarine accidents since the first "U.S.S. Nautilus" was launched in 1954 in a list which has now been disclosed to the public. ("The West Australian" 6/10/86)

747. 1986, 6th October - U.S.S.R., ATLANTIC

The Pentagon reported that the Soviet nuclear-powered submarine which had a fire on board yesterday and lost 3 crewmen, has sunk in the Atlantic today. The remaining 120 crew have been evacuated. ("The West Australian", "The Australian", "The Sydney Morning Herald" 7/10/86)

748. 1986, 6th October - CANADA / U.S.S.R.

In the winter of 1978, a nuclear powered Soviet spy satellite plunged out of the sky sprinkling radioactive debris across northern Canada. The Ottawa Government presented the Soviet Union with a cleaning up bill for about $__ million. Two years later the Soviet Union agreed to pay $__ million. However, in the wake of the Chernobyl accident and the larger scale of contamination it released, Moscow has refused any compensation to the West. ("The Sydney Morning Herald" 7/10/86)

749. 1986, 12th October - SNAKE RIVER, U.S.A.

A truck carrying 16 tons of uranium pellets crashed into the Snake River in the western US when the driver swerved to avoid a slow moving farm combine. The uranium was being shipped from Ohio to Hanford Nuclear Reservation where it is made into fuel elements that go into the Hanford Nuclear reactor. ("The Washington Post" 14/10/86, WISE NC 262 31/11/86)

750. 1986, October - TMI, PA., U.S.A.

A full report on the 1979 partial melt-down of Three Mile Island Unit 2 Reactor was released in a highly "diluted" form, according to Jane Rickover, daughter-in-law of the late Admiral Hyman G. Rickover. Had the full report been released it would have destroyed the civilian nuclear industry because the accident was definitely more dangerous than was ever made public. (WISE News 31/10/86 NC 262)

751. 1986, 15th October - ANGRA 1, BRAZIL

On the same day a Brazilian Federal Appeal Court approved restart of the Angra-1 reactor at Angra don Rein, the plant operator reported that a valve leak occurred in the plants primary cooling system. ("Nucleonics Week" Vol 24 23/10/86, "Veja" October 1986, "Folha de Sao Paulo" April 1986, WISE NC 263 21/11/86)

752. 1986, October - (CHERNOBYL) NETHERLANDS

Scientists working at the Nuclear Research Institute of the University of Croningen in the Netherlands have found Plutonium on the clothing of Dutch citizens who visited Russia. The researchers found Plutonium on jeans of a Dutch citizen who was in Kiev at the time of the accident and a splinter of a fuel rod from Chernobyl on the shoe of a child who visited Minsk and Smolenak. ("Nucleonics Week" 18L26/9/86, WISE NC 260 3/19/86)

753. 1986, October - (CHERNOBYL) SWEDEN and U.K.

According to the Swedish News In. 5/10/86, extremely high levels of radioactivity have been measured among farmers living in an area of Sweden badly contaminated by fallout from Chernobyl. Radioactive contamination of soil and vegetation following Chernobyl is proving more persistent than expected in the U.K.. ("New Scientist" 23/10/86, WISE NC 263 31/11/86

754. 1986, October - TIHANGE, BELGIUM

Several leaks occurred at the Tihange nuclear power plant on the Meuee River in Belgium early in October.

5th: 30,000 litres of water leaked from the primary cooling system due to a faulty packing ring or gasket in a pump,

7th: Radioactive gases were discharged through the stack,

10th: 600 litres of contaminated water leaked due to a broken valve

20th: A fire broke out in a container of radio-active waste. The cause:: a malfunctioned thermometer. (WISE NC 262, 31/10/86)

755. 1986, October - HOPE CREEK, NEW JERSEY, U.S.A.

A system to protect against the release of radioactivity in an accident at a nuclear power plant at Hope Creek was installed backwards. The error was discovered while the plant was operating at 20% testing power. ("Randleaf" 10/86, WISE NC 262 31/10/86)

756, 1986, October - THREE MILE ISLAND 2, PA,. U.S.A.

Algae, yeasts, bacteria and mould are growing so fast in the core of the Three Mile Island Unit 2 reactor that they are hindering cleanup of the reactor, which suffered a partial meltdown in 1979. The reactor core is highly radioactive and the micro-organisms are estimated to be receiving doses of hundreds of rems per hour, more than enough to kill most life forms quickly. Radiation resistant bacteria are also seen as a serious problem in nuclear waste dumps. ("Volksskraut" 18/10/86, WISE NC 262 31/10/86)

757. 1986, October - HANFORD, WA., U.S.A.

Two military plutonium plants at the Hanford nuclear reservation in the State of Washington were shut-down in mid-October by the Dept. of Energy, due to safety violations. ("Nature" 16/10/86, WISE NC 262 31/11/86)

758. 1986, October - U.S.A.

The General Accounting Office (GAO) report has found potentially dangerous soil and ground water levels of solvents, nitrates, chloride, Tritium, Strontium, Cadmium, Selenium, Mercury, Iodine, Arsenic, and Chromium at 8 of 9 US Dept. of Energy facilities which it investigated. ("Nucleonics Week" 2/10/86, WISE NC 262 31/10/86)

759. 1986, November - SAVANNAH RIVER, SC., U.S.A.

According to an Environmental Policy Institute (EPI) study, highly radio-active and toxic wastes are polluting soil and water at a nuclear fuel plant in South Carolina. The study based on US Dept of Energy examined the Savannah River plant tank farm, where radio-active wastes from more than 30 years of nuclear bomb production are stored. "Routine discharges of radio-active wastes into the soil as well as leaks and other accidents have severely contaminated the soil and shallow aquifers on the site. This poses a threat to the Tuscaloosa aquifer, which is the region's most important source of underground water supply. (EPI "International Herald Tribune" 10/86 "Wall Street Journal" 24/7/86, WISE NC 263 21/11/86)

760. 1986, November (CHERNOBYL) UKRAINE, U.S.S.R.

Radionuclides in the food chain are also causing ornithologists concern. There are fears that the wetlands of the Ukraine are a likely feeding ground for many migratory birds. Radioactive isotopes concentrated in the bird's tissues could be passed-on to people who eat the birds in other areas. ("Discover" 11/86, WISE NC 263, 21/11/86

761. 1986, November - HINKLEY POINT, SOMERSET, U.K.

Corrosion problems found during a regular shutdown of one of the Magnox reactors at Hinkley Point, Somerset have called into question whether the Central Electricity Generating Board (CEGB) should continue with its policy of extending the lifetime of these old reactors from 25-30 years. The corrosion problem was, until recently thought to be "impossible". ("Times" 6/11/86-7/11/86, WISE NC 263 21/11/86)

762. 1986, 28th November - SELLAFIELD, U.K.

An investigation was launched on how 230,000 litres of low-level radio-active waste were accidentally discharged into the Irish Sea from the Sellafield nuclear reprocessing plant. ("The Age" 29/11/86)

763. 1986, November - OKLAHOMA, U.S.A.

The Oklahoma State Dept of Agriculture has now licensed the use of treated "nuclear waste" called raffinate as fertilizer. Opposition is mounting for a public hearing and a write in campaign to have the license rescinded. (WISE NC263 21/11/86)

764. 1986, November - PALUEL 3, FRANCE

An employee of the French Energy Agency Electricite de France (EDF) and 5 employees of a sub-contracted firm were contaminated at 'unknown' rates during work on Sect 3 of the Paluel power Station in Seine Maritime. The accident "is the most serious" since commissioning in 1984 according to a trade union source. The employees were overhauling pipes and fittings when they inhaled airborne radio-active particles for several hours. (WISE-Paris Bulletin 30 Nov/15 Dec 86)

765. 1986, December - (CHERNOBYL) NORWAY

The damage caused by Caesium fallout from Chernobyl is proving more serious than expected in many countries. In Norway, massive contamination in reindeer has caused the Norwegian authorities to raise the acceptable levels of radio-activity for consumption to 10 times their original value. Source: Maria Rault, Eindhoven. (WISE NC 265 p.2/3 19/12/86)

766. 1986, December - SURREY 2, RICHMOND, VA., U.S.A.

4 workers died and 2 others were severely burnt at the Surrey-2 plant when they were sprayed with scalding water from a burst pipe. ("Public Citizen Critical Mass Energy Project", WISE NC 275 12/6/87)

767. 1986, 3rd December - EDWIN 1 HATCH, GEORGIA, U.S.A.

The Edwin 1 Hatch nuclear power plant near Baxley, Georgia has experienced what has been described as the worst accident at a temporary facility for high level radio-active waste in US commercial nuclear power history. Approx. 141,000 gallons of radio-active water leaked out of storage pools, containing spent fuel rods from the plant (levels of radio-activity are several times higher in the Hatch fuel pool than is in the plant itself). An estimated 84,000 gallons passed through storm drains into the wetlands area located on plant property. Following the accident Georgia power issued a press statement claiming that only 5,000 gallons of water had leaked and assured the public that the accident posed no health threat. ("Public Citizen" Dec 1986, WISE NC 266 16 Jan 87)

768. 1986, 5th December - SCARABEE, FRANCE

One of the four control rods at the Scarabee reactor at the Nuclear Research Centre in Cadarache, France, jammed in a raised position and failed to drop when ordered to do so. The incident was considered "significant for safety" by the Service Central de Surete den Installations Nuclesires. (WISE, Paris)

769. 1986, 17th December - TMI, PA., U.S.A.

A clean-up worker at Three Mile Island nuclear plant was injured and contaminated by radiation yesterday after being hit by lead shielding in the reactor containment building. ("The West Australian" 18/12/86)

770. 1986, December - OHIO, U.S.A.

Uranium and toxic chemicals seeping through waste pits at Feed Materials Production Centre in Fernald, Ohio USA, which makes uranium products for nuclear warheads, have contaminated the Great Miami Aquifer, the main source of water for residents of SE Ohio. ("Northern Sun News" 10/86, WISE NC 264 5/10/86)

771. 1986 - (CHERNOBYL) WORLD

The arrival in the Phillipines and other countries of milk products from Western Europe with higher than the permitted radioactive levels has been reported. In Singapore (which has probably the most efficient system of testing and control) rejected no less than 240 consignments from Belgium, Holland, Denmark, Ireland and France. Sri Lanka banned the sale of many varieties of jam imported from Poland, Bulgaria and Holland. Argentina scrapped plans to import chickens from Hungary and certain canned goods from West Germany and Scandinavian countries. ("Nucleonics week" 30/10/86, WISE NC 264, 5/12/86)

772. 1987, January - BOHUMICE 3, CZECHOSLOVAKIA

Cracks were detected in the collector wall of Bohumice 3 six steam generators causing the plant to shut down for 2 months for repairs. ("Nucleonics Week" 4/6/87, "WISE" NC 278 14/8/87 )

773. 1987, January - IRISH SEA, WALES, U.K.

The level of Americium-241 arising in the Irish Sea is increasing and in 70-100 years the amount will be greater than the amount pumped directly into the sea in the mid 1970s (when discharges were at their highest). This is because Am-241 is a decay product of Plutonium-241. Am-21 is known to be 57 times more toxic than Plutonium-241. Now traces of Am-241 have been found in Trawafynydd Lake beside Trawafynydd nuclear power Station in Wales. ("Welsh Anti Nuclear Alliance Newsletter" Winter 86/98, "Core Waste Paper" Jan 87, WISE NC 270 13/3/87

774. 1987, 9th January - (CHERNOBYL) JAPAN

Japan has turned back 3 consignments of food from Europe because they were contaminated by radio-activity from Chernobyl. 1 consignment was carrying hazelnuts from Turkey 1 consignment was carrying reindeer from Sweden 1 consignment was carrying spices from Turkey. (Sources: Diet Simon, "Japan Times" 10/1-14/2/87, WISE NC 270 13 Mar 87 p.9-10)

775. 1987, 11th January - U.K.

A 20-tonne lorry believed to be carrying nuclear weapons slid off an icy country road and overturned near the top-secret Royal Navy armament depot at Dean Hill, Wiltshire, yesterday. Police and troops surrounded the area and details of the accident, including the lorry's load, are being kept secret by the British Government. ("The Daily News" 12/1/87, "The Age" 13/1/87)

776. 1987, 25th January - HONG KONG

The principle of Jesuit Wah Yen College in Wan Chai district, central urban Hong Kong, says that he is angry that a nuclear waste dump site has existed under the school for more than 2 decades without public knowledge. Jesuit Father Marciano Saptiata was informed of the waste site by the Friends of the Earth, Hong Kong. (FOE, Hong Kong, WISE NC 271 27/3/87 )

777. 1987, January - SELLAFIELD, U.K.

Twelve workers at the Sellafield nuclear reprocessing plant in Cumbria have been affected by a leak of radioactivity, according to British Nuclear Fuels. ("The Daily News" 21/1/87)

778. 1987, 25th January - SAINT LAURENT, FRANCE

Another incident has been reported at the Saint Laurent plant in France. On January 25th, nearly 300,000 customers experienced a power cut of nearly an hour, following a fire in a transformer. The plant had to be shut down on January 12 because of ice. ("FT European Energy Report", WISE NC 270 13 Mar 87 p.10)

779. 1987, February - (CHERNOBYL) EGYPTIAN WATERS

An Egyptian frigate escorted 2 cargo ships out of Alexandria after they were found to be carrying radioactive contaminated food from Chernobyl. 1 ship was carrying herbs from Lebanon 1 ship was carrying ground nuts from Turkey. (Sources: Diet Simon, "Japan Times" 10/1-14/2/87, WISE NC 270 13 Mar 87 p.9-10)

780. 1987, 3rd February - (CHERNOBYL) GERMANY

West German anti-nuclear activists broke into train cars filled with radio-active powdered milk, throwing milk filled sacks into the snow. The activists wanted to make sure the milk which W. German environmental minister Wallman said still had "commercial value", would not be used. The milk powder came from Bavaria where shortly after Chernobyl milk producers were ordered to turn their milk into powder and were compensated for their loses. ("WISE" NC 268 - 13/2/87)

781. 1987, February - TRICASTIN 4, FRANCE

The management of Unit 4 of Electricite de Frances (EDF) Tricantin nuclear power station failed to notify either EDF central management or French nuclear regulatory authorities of a crack detected on auxiliary piping in the safety injection circuits. ("Nucleonics week" 2 Apr 87, WISE NC 276 3 Jul 87)

782. 1987, February - CIEMAT, MADRID, SPAIN

It was revealed recently that some 132 metric tons of nuclear waste are being stored in central Madrid, Spain, in the heart of the university area surrounded by densely populated neighbourhoods. The waste came from an experimental reactor and reprocessing facility for Spain's Centre for Energy, Environment a Technology Research (CIEMAT) formerly Junta de Energia Nuclear (JEN). Despite claims by CIEMAT's director that "no contamination would find its way beyond the centre's installations", 2 accidents have been attributed to JEN, one in 1970 when 300 litres of liquids contaminated with Strontium 90 and Caesium 137 found their way into the Manzanares, Jarama and Tajo Rivers, and in 1984 when 450 litres of less contaminated water were spilled into the city sewers. (WISE NC 271 March 1987)

783. 1987, March 24th - IDAHO, U.S.A.

A train hauling nuclear waste from the Three Mile Island nuclear power plant to a Federal repository in Idaho collided with a car. ("Three Mile Is. Alert Updates" Mar/May 87, WISE NC 278 14/8/87)

784. 1987, March - HARTLEPOOLE, U.K.

A boiler tube leak at one of the twin Hartlepool advanced gas cooled reactors (AGRs) in the U.K. allowed about 8 metric tone of water to escape into the carbon dioxide coolant. ("Nucleonics Weeks" 2 Apr 87, WISE NC 276 3 Jul 87)

785. 1987, 8th March - LUCAS HEIGHTS, AUSTRALIA

Fire destroyed an Australian laboratory cell used for processing isotopes. Nearby fire brigades scrambled to the Lucas Heights reactor and nuclear complex, but were kept away from the cell by reactor staff. Iodine, Krypton and Xenon were released uncontrollably after the fire. (WISE NC 271 March 1987)

785. 1987, 2nd March - U.S.A.

Pentagon officials, who requested anonymity, said that one of the US Navy's nuclear powered attack submarines incurred damage estimated at more than $4 million last November in what was probably a collision with a Soviet submarine. ("The West Australian" 3/3/87)

787. 1987, 18th March - LUCAS HEIGHTS, AUSTRALIA

Radioactive material was released during a fire at the Atomic Energy Commission's Lucas Heights research laboratory in Sydney's south, a Federal Government spokesman for the Minister for Resources and Energy, Senator Evans, said tonight. ("The West Australian" 19/3/87) A report from an inquiry into the fire at the Atomic Energy Commission's Lucas Heights research laboratory in Sydney last week has criticized the commission for a poor public-information system which led to public alarm about a "Chernobyl-like" incident. No one, including staff at the site, suffered or would suffer adverse health effects from radioactive material released in the accident, the inquiry found. ("The West Australian" 27/3/87 )

788. 1987, March - NUKEM, WEST GERMANY

At least eight employees at the fuel element plant Nukem, in Hanau, West Germany have been contaminated with plutonium above the allowed yearly dose. Nukem processes uranium for the manufacture of fuel rods for reactors but a batch of uranium sent from Nuclear Research Centre in Karlruhe to the Hanau plant was contaminated with Plutonium. (WISE NC 272 -3/1987)


Sodium leaked from a cooling tank at the Superphenix fast breeder reactor in Creys-Malville and engineers have been unable to trace the source of the leak. Sodium is used to cool the fuel rods and is inflammable on contact with air and explosive in contact with water. ("La Monde" 11/4/87, "Guardian" 13/4/87 - WISE April 1987)

790. 1987, April - (CHERNOBYL) U.K.

Western containments are not so radically different from that at Chernobyl, an I.A.E.A. safety division official told the International Conference on Nuclear Containment. ("Nucleonics Week" 23/4/87, WISE NC 276 3 Jul 87)

791. 1987, April - FRANCE

Seven un-named reactors experienced "SCRAM" failures. "SCRAM" is the sudden insertion of the control rods into the reactor core to stop the fission reaction in case of an emergency,. ("Der Spiegel" 20/4/87, WISE NC275 12/6/87)

792. 1987, April - HANAU, GERMANY

Uranium hexafluoride leaked into the control room of the Reaktor Brennelement Union fuel fabrication plant in Hanau in April. 23 workers were tested for contamination and the government has temporarily closed the affected part of the plant. (SCRAM Journal - WISE NC 279, 18/9/87)

793. 1987, 7th May - U.S.A.

A freight train carrying 192 pounds of low-level radioactive materials, derailed in the Columbia Gorge in the northwestern US. ("NW Alert" WISE NC 277/24 July 1987)

794. 1987, 12th May - GORLEBEN, GERMANY

There was a serious accident in the high level waste repository under construction in Gorleben. 6 workers were injured by a falling support as the shaft collapsed. One of the workers later died. ("TAZ" May 20/21, WISE NC 275 12/6/87)

795. 1987, 12th May - HUNTERSTON AGR B1, U.K.

Following refuelling a mechanical problem in a fuel channel gas unit caused the gas outlet temperature of the AGR reactor B1 in Hunterston to rise above normal operating limits. The normal temperature of the carbon dioxide coolant leaving the fuel channels is 648 degrees. During the incident, the temperature reached 710 degrees for two minutes. Sudden changes in core temperature can lead to an "asymmetric reactivity fault" -a potential precursor to an AGR core meltdown. (SCRAM Journal July/August 1987 - WISE NV 279 18/9/87 )

796. 1987, 21st May - U.S.A.

An unexploded Exocet missile warhead was found on the damaged U.S.S. Stark and was disarmed and removed, the Pentagon said yesterday. ("The West Australian" 22/5/87)

797. 1987, 29th May - HEYSHAM 1, U.K.

Radioactive oil was emitted from HEYSHAM 1 AGR during a cleaning operation. (SCRAM Journal July/August 1987 - WISE NC 279 18/9/87)

798. 1987, May - BROKDORF, GERMANY

The 1350 mw PER in BROKDORF, was shut down on May Day because of a generator leak. (SCRAM Journal, July/Aug 1987 - WISE NC 279, 18/9/87)

799. 1987, May - FORSMARK, SWEDEN

Oil washed ashore from a ship wrecked last year threatened the safety of the reactors in BROKDORF, Sweden in early May. (SCRAM Journal, July/Aug 1987 - WISE NC 279, 10/9/87)

800. 1987, May - PALISADES, MICHIGAN, U.S.A.

A series of equipment malfunctions forced the Palisades plant to shut down; the NRC found a backlog of 3,000 required repairs that were not completed. ("Public Citizens Critical Mass Energy Project", WISE NC 275 12/6/87)

801. 1987 - PETTEN, HOLLAND

Overheating of the cooling water at the European Commission's nuclear reactor at Petten in Holland caused a radioactive leak in May. (SCRAM Journal, July/Aug 1987 - WISE NC 279, 10/9/87)

802. 1987, 3rd June - NUKEN HANAU, GERMANY

The New Conservative Environment Minister in the German State of Hesse, Farlheinz Neiman, has found serious safety problems at the Nuken Plutonium processing plant in Hanau. (Diet Simon, Cologne, WISE NC 276 3 Jul 87)

803. 1987, June - WNP 2, U.S.A.

Electrical problems caused WNP-2 nuclear plant to scram five times within 10 days after its June 22nd restart from its annual refuelling and maintenance outage. ("Nucleonics Week" 16 July 1987, WISE NC 279, 18/9/87)

804. 1987, 8th June - BERKELEY, U.K.

A fire in the turbine hall of the Berkeley reactor in Britain closed the reactor. (SCRAM Journal July/Aug 1987 - WISE NC 279, 10/9/87)

805. 1987, 14th June - LA HAGUE, FRANCE

Six storage halls of the nuclear reprocessing plant at La Hague on the French Channel coast were contaminated by radioactive steam due to a ventilation system break down. There was reportedly no one in the halls at the time of the mishap, which management said was only noticed a day later and publicly disclosed 3 days later. (Diet Simon, Cologne. WISE/NC276 3/7/1987 )

806. 1987, 16th June - NORTH ANNA 1, U.S.A.

Tubing inside a steam generator of North Anna's Unit 1 in the US ruptured releasing small amounts of radioactivity into the atmosphere and forcing a shutdown of the reactor. ("The Washington Post" 18/7/87, WISE NC 278 14/8/87)

807. 1987, 17th June - ORPHEE, FRANCE

Radioactive water leaked for at least a week in early June from the 'Orphee' experimental reactor of the French Atomic Energy Commissariat (CEA) at Saclay near Paris. A CEA spokesperson said on June 17 that around two cubic centimetres per hour were continuing to drip from a leak which was almost plugged. He said the leak was initially 150 cubic centimetres an hour. (Diet Simon, Cologne, WISE/NC276, 3 July 1987)

808. 1987, 24th June - DUNGENESS, U.K.

A container of irradiated fuel was derailed in a siding while leaving Dungeness A. (SCRAM Journal July/Aug 1987 - WISE NC 279, 10/9/87)

809. 1987, 26th June - ANGRA 1, BRAZIL

Brazil's only nuclear power plant was off line again from June 26 to August 6. Angra I had been in production since April 3, after being down for most of previous 4 months. The reason for the present shut-down is a leakage of radioactive water from a valve in the primary System. Brazil's Minister of Energy and Mining, Aurelio Chavea, will negotiate with Westinghouse, supplier of Angra I, about the $6 million production losses caused by the defects of the plant. ("O Globo" newspaper 1 July 1987 - WISE NC 279, 18 September 1987)

810. 1987, June - TENNESSEE, U.S.A.

A truck carrying 14 Westinghouse fuel assemblies overturned approximately 10 miles west of Knoxville, Tennessee. ("Nucleonics Week" 25 June 1987, WISE NC 279 18/9/87)

811. 1987, June - (CHERNOBYL) GERMANY

The W. German Institute for Human Genetics detected a significant increase in Downs Syndrome in children born in Jan 87 in W. Berlin. Direct association with Chernobyl is suspected, since it is exactly 9 months from April 86 to Jan 87. (WISE NC 12/6/1987 p.50)

812. 1987, June - U.S.A.

More than 23,000 mishaps have occurred at US commercial reactor power plants since the Three Mile Island accident in 1979, according to Public Citizen.

1979 - 2,310 accidents
1980 - 3,804 accidents
1981 - 4,060 accidents
1982 - 4,500 accidents
1983 - 5,000 accidents
1984 - 2,417 accidents
1985 - 2,974 accidents
1986 - 3,000 accidents.

(Public Citizen Critical Mass Energy Project WISE NC 275 June 87)

813. 1987, June - (CHERNOBYL) SWEDEN

Swedish scientists from the University of UMEA in collaboration with the Swedish military are studying the health effects of radio-active Caesium ingestion using Samia who are eating meat contaminated by the Chernobyl fallout. (WISE NC 277 24/7/87)

814. 1987, July - SELLAFIELD, CUMBRIA, U.K.

There was a dramatic increase in deaths from leukaemia in 1986 in West Cumbria now well known because of Sellafield. ("Whitehaven News" 9/Jul 87, WISE NC 277 24/7/87)

815. 1987, July - U.S.A.

A paper published in the July 1986 Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, by Theodore Puck of the University of Colorado and the Eleanor Roosevelt Institute for Cancer Research, concludes that the true mutagenic efficiency of LOW DOSES of ionizing radiation in the approx. range of human exposure is more than 200 times GREATER than assumed by linear dose extrapolation. The actual curve exhibits a downward concavity so that the mutational efficiency is maximal at LOW doses". ("Radiation Events Monitor" WISE NC 276, 3 Jul 87)

816. 1987, July - U.S.A.

Engineers from the US General Electric Co (GE) recommended that the company stop selling its nuclear reactors because of safety shortcomings in the design. This was reported in a document which was allegedly kept from the public following a secret agreement between GE and the NRC (Nuclear Regulatory Commission). One of the Journalists who brought this information to light has since been "assigned to other duties". ("The Nuclear Monitor" 15 Jun 87, WISE NC 276, 3 Jul 87)

817. 1987, 20th July - FERMI 2, U.S.A.

Fermi-2 scrammed automatically due to high turbine vibration readings. ("Nucleonics Week", 23/ 7/87, WISE NC 279, 18/9/87)

818. 1987, July - MAGNOX ANGLESEY, U.K.

One of the Magnox reactors at Wylfa in Anglesey has been shut down for three months because of a failure in the fuel loading machine. (SCRAM Journal July/Aug 1987, WISE NC 18/9/87)

819. 1987, July - NORTH ANNA, U.S.A.

Leak of radioactive water has forced the shutdown of a reactor at the North Anna nuclear power plant in Virginia. ("The West Australian" 17/7/87)

820. 1987, July - KORI 1 & KNU 1, SOUTH KOREA

Kori-1 was in a forced outage in July for 36 hours due to a typhoon that defaulted the turbine generator. KNU-7 was also shut down for 248 hours during the same month due to high level in steam generator and excessive cooling hydrogen in the main generator. (WISE NC 279 18 September 1987)

821. 1987, July - HUNTERSTON 1, U.K.

A fuel leak was discovered in reactor 1 of the Hunteraton A Magnox station on 9 July. The tiny hole was apparently caused by a "random defect" and the fuel will now treated as normal. (SCRAM Journal Sept/Oct 1987, WISE NC 279, 18/9/87)

822. 1987, July - CALVERT CLIFFS 1 & 2, BYRON 1, DRESDEN 2 & 3, U.S.A.

Forced outages in US reactors include:

a.Calvert Cliffs-1 - which was shut down for 20.6 hours due to inadvertent boration cause by initial overcooking of the steam generator through a failed high pressure feedwater heater isolation valve and failure of boric acid pump.

b. Calvert Cliffs-2 - one of four outages was due to exceed reactor coolant system leakage from regenerative heat exchanger drain valves. Byron-1 was forced to shut down for 46 hours after being struck by lightening.

c. Dresden-2 and -3 - were forced down due to feedwater regulator valve problems. (SCRAM Journal - WISE NC 279, 18/9/87)

823. 1987, August - TRAWSFYNYDD, U.K.

Two recent accidents at the Trawsfynydd Magnox Station have fuelled criticism of the CEGB's "open information policy". The first occurred on 1 August when 100 gallons of liquid waste spilled from a pipe carrying it to a storage tank. Local ME, Daffyd Ellis Thomas, has complained that he was not informed of the accident until 5 days later. On 10 August an explosion in the turbine hall put two gas circulators in one of the reactors out of action. The CEGB originally denied that there had been an explosion, although they later confirmed that the blast had blown a door off its hinges and caused 20,000 pounds worth of damage. (SCRAM Journal Sept/Oct 1987, WISE NC 279, 18/9/87)

824. 1987, August - SELLAFIELD, U.K.

An accident halted reprocessing less than one week after it had restarted following a three month break. (SCRAM Journal Sept/Oct 1987, WISE NC 279, 18/9/87)

825. 1987, 22nd August - U.S.A.

The United States Navy has ordered Pacific Commanders to 'remove evidence' in case of a nuclear weapons accident aboard and treat it as one involving conventional explosives, it was revealed in a document obtained by a private research organization. ("The Australian" 24/8/87)

826. 1987, August - U.K.

A contaminated railway wagon in the U.K. travelled from Sellafield to HEYSHAM where it stood for four months before radioactive rust fell onto the tracks and was detected during a "routine check" in August. A confidential CEGB report, revealed in the "Guardian" (27/8/87) says that 108 of all flasks and flatrols used to carry them are contaminated. (SCRAM Journal (Scotland) Nov/Dec 1987, WISE NC 283, 20/11/87)

827. 1987, August - BERKELEY, U.K.

Two workers received contamination to their skin during maintenance work on the secondary shielding at Berkeley reactor. (SCRAM Journal (Scotland) Nov/Dec 1987, WISE NC 283, 20/11/87)

828. 1987, August - SELLAFIELD, U.K.

Two workers were contaminated by radiation from a vacuum cleaner. (SCRAM Journal, Nov/Dec 1987, WISE NC 283, 20/11/87)

829. 1987, 15th August - HUNTERSTON, U.K.

Approximately two tonnes of "mildly radioactive" Carbon Dioxide leaked from the gas treatment plant. (SCRAM Journal, Nov/Dec 1987, WISE NC 283, 20/11/87)

830. 1987, 4th September - SELLAFIELD, U.K.

Workers at Sellafield took 80 minutes to find a leak of radioactive Carbon Dioxide. The incident led to contamination of an area near the Calder Hall reactor. (SCRAM Journal, Nov/Dec 1987, WISE NC 283 20/11/87)

831. 1987, September - HARWELL, U.K.

A spillage of radioactive material at the U.K. Atomic Energy Agency's (UKAEA) Harwell Laboratory led to the intake of Plutonium-238 by a research scientist who was working at a glove box in the main radiochemistry building. ("Atom 371" - WISE NC 279 18/9/87)

832. 1987, September - EMBALSE & ATUCHA 1, ARGENTINA

Argentina's active power stations, Embalse and Atucha I, were taken out of production. According to CNRA president Ferreira, Embalse faced technical 'malfunctions' - leading to a leak of heavy water into the area surround the plant - while Atucha I had to be submitted to maintenance and revision. The fact that Atucha I will not come on line again before October indicates that the maintenance and revision are not just routine. ("Clarin" 1 September 1987 - WISE/279 18 September 1987)

833. 1987, 1st October - JAPAN

A 357 mw PER in Japan shut down automatically in what Japanese nuclear activists describe as a Chernobyl-like event. ("Nuke Info Tokyo" Dec 1987)

834. 1987, 3rd October - FORT ST. VRAINS, U.S.A.

A 20 minute early morning oil fire in Fort St. Vrain's turbine building caused 'definite substantial damage' to several components at the plant. The fire burnt some cables, causing one entire circulation loop to trip, forcing operators to manually trip the reactor. ("Nucleonics Week" 15 act 1987, WISE NC 283, 20/11/87)

835. 1987, October - CANADA

Radioactive contamination of dirt and asphalt in a parking lot in northeast Calgary, was discovered by the Canadian Atomic Energy Control Board. A spokesman said the contamination poses no health hazard "because it is in a parking lot". ("Toronto Star" (Canada) 7 act 1987)

836. 1987, October - OYSTER CREEK, U.S.A.

The US NRC shut down the Oyster Creek nuclear plant after discovering plant operators had disabled key safety valves during a test, and then destroyed the records of the violation in a coverup. ("Not Man Apart" (US) Sept-Oct 1987)

837. 1987, October - CANADA

An environment ministry official in Canada says the town of Port Hope, Ontario is "walking a tight rope" as sewage treatment plant officials wait for a place to dump uranium-tainted sludge. The contamination is due to uranium that has leaked from the Altered Resources Ltd refinery. The untreated sewage is in danger of flowing over a weir toward Lake Ontario. The uranium was discovered in the sewers 2 years ago, and has built up to more than 75,000 cubic feet since then. ("The Star" (Ontario) 7 October 1987)

838. 1987, October - HEYSHAM 2, U.K.

Reactor 2 was scrammed because of a fault on the main electrical system. (SCRAM Journal Nov/Dec 1987, WISE NC 28320/11/87)

839. 1987, October - DUNGENESS, U.K.

The Dungeness Magnox reactors in the U.K. had to be closed down during storm on 16 October not, as has been widely reported, because of grid failures, but because the system frequency was increasing, causing the generators to run too fast (SCRAM Nov/Dec 1987, WISE NC 283 20/11/87)

840. 1967, October - DOUNREAY, U.K.

The Prototype Fast Reactor at Dounreay had to reduce power in early October because seaweed had entered the cooling water pump house. It had passed through a special 2 million pound (U.K.) seaweed barrier, built only last year. (SCRAM Journal (Scotland) Nov/Dec 1987, WISE 283, 20/11/87)

841. 1987, October - BRAZIL

At least 243 people in the central Brazilian town of Goiania have been contaminated with Caesium-137. 40 people are in hospital, many are critically ill and are not expected to survive. The accident involves approx. 100g Caesium-137. The Caesium in powder form was inside a box discovered by local residents inside a lead box in the ruins of a former radiation institute. The Caesium, which apparently fascinated local people because of its luminosity, was then spread around the area through various means. (WISE NC 281, 6/11/87)

842. 1987, October - NEW ZEALAND

Residents of Otahuhu, New Zealand and two dozen steel workers were evacuated around midnight on 10 October after electricians at the Pacific Steel Plant noticed that molten steel had spilled onto a canister containing radioactive Caesium-137. (RWC Waste Paper (US) Winter 1987/1988)

843. 1987, November - BROWNS FERRY, AL., U.S.A.

A fire of unknown origin is being viewed as a pretty big deal by the NRC. The plant has been shut down since Sept 1984, first for refuelling and then because of safety concerns. ("Nucleonics Week" 12/11/1987)

844. 1987 November - PILGRIM, MASSACHUSETTS, U.S.A.

In 2 separate "incidents", 5 plant workers at the Pilgrim nuclear power plant were contaminated. In a third accident, a valve on a chemical waste pump leaked, contaminating an area of the plant. All three accidents occurred within a 48-hour period. ("Nucleonics Week" (US) 12/11/ 1987)

845. 1987, November - FRANCE

After a 3 year shutdown, Electricite de France is going to bring the 22 year old 360 ME graphite Chinon A3 graphite nuclear plant back into production. The plans are being carried out despite criticism that the plant is of similar technology to that of Chernobyl and is being brought back at a time when EdF already has too much electricity capacity. ("Power Europe" (London) 12 Nov 1987)

846. 1987, November - SELLAFIELD, U.K.

A leak was discovered from a pipe connected to a pump located in the interspace between the primary and secondary walls of the storage silos which occurred during the removal of the pump and pipe for maintenance. Modifications are now in progress to replace pump and flexible pipe with a permanent rigid pipe work and pump System at the Sellafield Nuclear reprocessing plant. (Atom (U.K.) Sept 88, WISE NC 299 7/10/88)

847. 1987, November - GERMANY

334 "incidents" at 19 operating West German nuclear plants were recorded by nuclear reactor operators for 1986. ("Nucleonics week" 12/11/1987)

848. 1987, November - HANFORD, U.S.A.

Safety violations and worker exposures have been revealed at the US Government's nuclear weapons reactors in a draft Congressional memorandum obtained by the New York Post. One of its findings is that workers at the 'N' reactor, at Hanford in Washington State, were deliberately exposed to maximum allowable radiation doses. Also at Hanford, radiation alarms were turned off in a high level waste store because they were being set off by high winds. (SCRAM Journal Nov/Dec 1987, WISE NC 283, 20/11/87)

849. 1987, 4th December - CHERNOBYL, UKRAINE, U.S.S.R.

It was reported in a Soviet newspaper on 4 December that there have been more fatal accidents at the Chernobyl nuclear power station since the April 1986 disaster. According to the report, sloppiness and inadequate supervision over the last 10 months have led to 36 accidents, of which three resulted in deaths. It is not known how many people died or what the causes of death were, but it was hinted that some of the accidents involved radiation and incorrect handling of radioactive fuel. The report stated that the feeling of responsibility of the power station staff is low. Apparently disciplinary measures have been taken against certain officials. ("Volkskrant", 5 Dec 1987, WISE NC 284, 14/12/87)

850. 1987, December - NEW MEXICO, U.S.A.

On December 16, a team of scientists and policy specialists from the University of New Mexico revealed that they had discovered water leaks at the U.S. Dept of Energy's Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) near Carlsbad, New Mexico. Documents obtained from the US Dept of Energy showed that when one of the ventilation shafts was drilled, for the 1250 foot deep WIPP, an aquifer was pierced. ("Guardian" (US) 30/12/87, WISE 285, P8-9, Nov 87).

851. 1987, December - JAPAN

The Fukui Prefectural Government in Japan ordered the Kansai Electric Power Co. to immediately shut down two of its pressurized light-water reactors. The order was issued because two other reactors of the same design and operated by the name company had experienced trouble with metal parts of devices attached to the steam generators. The parts fell off. ("The Japan Times" 25 - 26 Dec 1987)

852. 1987, 14th December - EUROPE

The Council of Ministers of the European Community (EC) decided on a new permanent system of radiation limits for radioactive contaminated foods. These new radiation limits will be twice and three times as high as the limits which were valid until now. (WISE NC 286, 29/1/88)


Commission Nacional de Energia (CNEA) has confirmed that its 600-mw Embalse nuclear station is leaking heavy water into the Rio Tercero Reservoir in Argentina's Cordoba Province. ("Nucleonics Week" (US) 17 December 1987.)

854. 1987, 31st December - HANFORD, U.S.A.

A truck hauling low-level radioactive waste overturned near the Hanford Nuclear Reservation spilling some of its' Load. One of six containers on the truck carrying about 41,000 pounds of waste broke open, spilling its contents. ("Chicago Tribune" 1 Jan 1988)

855. 1987, December - DOUNREAY, SCOTLAND U.K.

A worker at the Dounreay PFR (prototype fast reactor) reprocessing plant received a "significant" dose of radiation to his hand in an accident on 9 December. Although the contaminated worker was wearing full protective clothing and was not directly contaminated, the radiation dose which penetrated his glove was in excess of the safety limit. ("SCRAM Journal" (Scotland) March/April 1988)

856. 1987, December - January 1988 - BYRON, IL., U.S.A.

Towards the end of 1987 it was discovered that a number of security guards at Commonwealth Edison's Byron nuclear plant in Illinois had become contaminated by merely walking through the plant. A subsequent investigation by the utility found that daughter products of radon were attracted to the guard's polyester uniforms. ("Groundswell" (US) Autumn 1987)(i)

857. 1987 - U.S.A.

US commercial nuclear reactors reported nearly 3,000 "mishaps" and at least 430 emergency shutdowns in 1987 according to "Public Citizen's" a latest Annual Nuclear Power Safety Report. According to US Nuclear Regulatory Commiasion (NRC) in records compiled by the organization, at least 493 violations of safety regulations occurred at the plants during that year. Further, in 1987, accidents, near-accidents, emergency shutdowns, and instances of lax management occurred daily at the 109 licensed-to-operate nuclear reactors located in 37 states across the country.

The report notes that much of the data which the NRC chooses to make public represents only the "tip of the iceberg". The NRC, for instance, refuses to release key safety data such as "single-component failure" records and a comprehensive listing of all emergency plant shutdowns. In addition, the agency's safety regulations by nuclear utilities are incomplete and contradictory. The NRC also apparently lacks current information on such basic safety matters as plant-by-plant evacuation time estimates and the agency claims that it has been unable to access its own data base on individual plant mishaps for several months and has failed to obtain detailed records on the number of accidents at each reactor.

Among the findings of the Public Citizen study:

** There were at least 2,940 mishaps at US commercial reactors in 1987. These so called "mishaps" are Licensee Event Reports made to the NRC by the nuclear utilities themselves; according to NRC guidelines, they provide descriptions of "potentially significant safety events" that "might lead to serious accidents". The figure represents an average of 27 mishaps at each reactor (a number unchanged from the previous year). Personnel error was involved in 2,197 (74%) of them. Many other mishaps, including some of the most serious accidents of 1987, were apparently not reported.

** Sixteen reactors experienced over 40 mishaps each.

The NRC reported 430 "scrams" (emergency plant shutdowns) - an average of 4.4 per operating reactor. Newer reactors averaged 11 scrams each during 1987. However, these figures may understate the actual number by 25-45%. The operating plants given the lowest overall management ratings by the NRC during 1987 were allowed to continue operating even though they were given poorer ratings than the Peach Bottom reactors 2 and 3 in Pennsylvania, which the NRC ordered closed in March 1987 for assorted management lapses including workers sleeping on the job.

Almost 14,500 metric tons of highly radioactive spent fuel is now stored at over 60 nuclear plant sites in large pools of water. Originally designed as temporary storage facilities, these fuel pools are experiencing a number of serious leaks and pose the risk of a major accident.

** Dozens of other mishaps occurred at nuclear plant sites in 1987. These included acts of vandalism and sabotage, unauthorized possession of firearms on plant sites, and a three-fold increase in the number of reported instances of drug use among nuclear workers. ("Public Citizens Critical Mass Energy Project"; WISE-307 24/1/89).

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