3. Major Accidents Involving Nuclear Weapons and Nuclear Power Plants
1950 8.05. B29 carrying nuclear weapons crashes in US. Gunpowder explodes. 19 die.
1957 9.29. Nuclear waste site explodes in the Ural area of the Soviet Union. Widespread radioactive contamination.
10.10. Fire at plutonium breeder reactor in Great Britain. Widespread environmental pollution.
1958 2.05. US B47 accidentally drops nuclear bomb. Never recovered.
1961 1.24. B52 catches fire over North Carolina, USA, and accidentally drops two hydrogen bombs.
1963 4.10. The US nuclear submarine Thresher sinks in Boston Harbor. 129 die.
1965 8.19. Titan missile catches fire in the United States. 53 die.
12.05. A4E carrying nuclear weapons falls off US aircraft carrier near Okinawa and sinks.
1966 1.17. US B52 carrying hydrogen bomb crashes while flying over Spain. Radioactive contamination.
1968 1.21. US B52 carrying hydrogen bomb crashes while flying over Greenland. Radioactive contamination.
5.21. The Soviet submarine Scorpion sinks offshore of Azares Islands. 99 die.
1969 Accident at atomic bomb plant in China. Temporarily closed due to radioactive contamination.
1970 2.00. Explosion at Nuclear Submarine Factory in West Gorky, USSR. Several die. Radioactive contamination.
1973 6.08. Large volume of radiation leaked at Hanford Nuclear Weapons Plant in the US.
1976 10.25. Underground nuclear explosion at Soviet navy base on the Baltic Sea. Deaths estimated at over 40.
10.27. Fire at Oak Ridge Nuclear Weapons Factory in the US. Over 200 evacuated.
1978 1.24. Soviet nuclear-powered satellite crashes into lake in northwest Canada. Radioactive contamination.
1979 3.28. Accident at Three-Mile Island Nuclear Plant in Pennsylvania, USA.
7.06. Accidental explosion at French nuclear test site in Atoll de Mururoa.
Estimates put deaths at two, seriously injured at six.
1980 8.21. A Soviet E1 nuclear submarine K-66 catches fire and burns near Okinawa. 9 crewmembers died.
1986 4.26. ccident at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in the Soviet Union (presently Republic of Ukraine). 31 deaths. "Ashes of death" spread over Europe and global-scale radiation contamination results.
9.11. A Soviet nuclear submarine mistakenly launched a missile that landed in Chinese territory near the China-Soviet border.
10.03. Partial explosion of the Soviet nuclear submarine K-219 in the western Atlantic Ocean. Submarine sinks. 4 crew die, 116 rescued by a US submarine.
1988 9.30. In 28 years, 30 major accidents at the Savannah River Nuclear Power Plant (USA).
1989 4.09. Soviet nuclear submarine burns and sinks offshore of Norway. 42 die.
11.02. High levels of radioactive contamination reported at Soviet nuclear test site in Semipalatinsk.
1993 4.00. Explosive accident at the plutonium reprocessing plant in the Tomsk Nuclear Facility in Russia.
1995 12.00. Sodium leak from the Monju prototype fast breeder reactor of Power Reactor and Nuclear Fuel Development Corporation in Fukui Prefecture.
1996 1.00. Confirmation of radiation leakage from the Mururoa Attoll in the South Pacific where France has conducted its nuclear tests.
1999 9.30. Japan's first criticality accident occurs at a uranium processing plant in Tokai-mura, Ibaraki Prefecture; two exposed employees die by April 2000.
2000 8.00. The Russian nuclear submarine Kursk of the Northern Fleet sinks in the Barents Sea; 118 die.
2003 4.00. A nuclear power facility in mid-Iraq was looted and barrels that stored uranium known as "yellow cake" were taken from the site. There is a high possibility that local residents near the facility have been exposed to radiation.
In addition, numerous reports from around the world reveal environmental contamination from nuclear facilities

 Reactor 4 at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant, site of the world's worst nuclear power accident and still strongly radioactive. The joists and other structural components have slipped, raising fears that the "stone coffin" may collapse. (Chernobyl City)

Courtesy / Chugoku Shimbun
(December 6, 2001, The Chugoku Shimbun)