A Brief Chronology of Radiation and Protection
J. Ellsworth Weaver III
ã1994 - 2012
Is it right to probe so deeply into Nature's secrets? The question must here be raised whether it will benefit mankind, or whether the knowledge will be harmful. Radium could be very dangerous in criminal hands. Alfred Nobel's discoveries are characteristic; powerful explosives can help men perform admirable tasks. They are also a means to terrible destruction in the hands of the great criminals who lead peoples to war...
-- Pierre Curie in his Nobel Prize Oration, June 6,1905
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1,800,000 BC First “reactor accident.” Concentration of enriched uranium forms natural nuclear reactor at Oklo, Gabon and becomes critical; core burns for 200,000 years.
500 BC Democritus and Leucippus of Greece postulate that all matter is made of indivisible units they call "atomos." "For by convention color exist, by convention bitter, by convention sweet, but in reality atoms and void."-- Galen quoting one of Democritus' 72 lost works.
450 BC Greek philosopher Anaxagoras states that matter cannot be created nor destroyed.
79 AD First known use of uranium. Roman artisans produce yellow colored glass in mosaic mural near Naples.
1400 AD Mysterious malady kills miners at an early age in mountains around Schneeberg (Saxony) and Joachimsthal (Jachymov) in the Sudetenland (now Czechoslovakia). Called "mountain sickness."
1669 Phosphorous discovered by Hennig Brand (Germany).
1704 "It seems probable to me that God in the beginning formed matter in solid, massy, hard, impenetrable, movable particles, of such sizes and figures, and with such other properties, and in such proportion to space, as most conduced to the end to which he formed them."
--Sir Isaac Newton.
1735 Platinum discovered by Julius Scaliger (Italy).
1737 Cobalt discovered by George Brandt (Sweden).
1746 Zinc discovered by Andreas Marggraf (Germany).
1751 Nickel discovered by Axel Cronstedt (Sweden).
1766 Hydrogen discovered by Henry Cavendish (England).
1772 Nitrogen discovered by Daniel Rutherford (Scotland).
1774 Oxygen discovered by Joseph Priestly (England) and Carl Wilhelm Scheele (Sweden).
1774 Chlorine discovered by Carl Wilhelm Scheele (Sweden).
1774 Manganese discovered by Johann Gahn (Sweden).
1778 Molybdenum discovered by Carl Wilhelm Scheele (Sweden).
1782 Tellurium discovered by Franz Mueller von Reichenstein (Romania).
1783 Tungsten discovered by Fausto and Juan Jose de Elhuyar (Spain).
1784 William Morgan unknowingly produces X-rays in experiment witnessed by Ben Franklin.
1789 (Sept 24) Martin Klaproth announces his discovery of a new element, uranium.
1789 Zirconium discovered by Martin Klaproth (Germany).
1790 Strontium discovered by A. Crawford (Scotland).
1791 Titanium discovered by William Gregor (England).
1794 Yttrium discovered by Johann Gadolin (Finland).
1797 Chromium discovered by Louis Vauquelin (France).
1798 Beryllium discovered by Fredrich Woehler (Germany) and A. A. Bussy (France).
1800 William Herschel (Germany-USA) discovers a point below the frequency of red light which he terms infrared.
1801 Johann Wilhelm Ritter (Germany) discovers light beyond the violet end of the spectrum which he terms ultraviolet.
1801 Niobium discovered by Charles Hatchet (England).
1802 Tantalum discovered by Anders Ekeberg (Sweden)
1803 "Thou knowest no man can split the atom." -- John Dalton
1803 Palladium discovered by William Wollaston (England).
1803 Cerium discovered by W. von Hisinger, J. Berzelius, M. Kaproth (Sweden / Germany).
1804 Rhodium discovered by William Wollaston (England).
1804 Iodine discovered by Bernard Courtois (France).
1804 Osmium discovered by Smithson Tenant (England).
1804 Iridium discovered by S. Tenant, A.F. Fourcory, L.N. Vauquelin, and H.V. Collet-Descoltils (England / France).
1807 Sodium discovered by Sir Humphrey Davy (England).
1807 Potassium discovered by Sir Humphrey Davy (England).
1808 Magnesium discovered by Sir Humphrey Davy (England).
1808 Calcium discovered by Sir Humphrey Davy (England).
1808 Barium discovered by Sir Humphrey Davy (England).
1808 John Dalton (England) formulates the Chemical Atomic Theory which states that elements combine in fixed proportions of their masses.
1811 Amedeo Avogadro (Italy) states equal volumes of all gases contain equal number of molecules under conditions of fixed temperature and pressure.
1816 William Prout (England) postulates that all atoms are made of multiples of the hydrogen atom. His work, although published anonymously, becomes known as "Prout's Hypothesis."
1817 Lithium discovered by Johann Arfvedson (Sweden).
1817 Selenium discovered by Jons Berzelius (Sweden).
1817 Cadmium discovered by Fredrich Stromeyer (Germany).
1823 Silicon discovered by Jons Berzelius (Sweden).
1824 Uranium described in Gmelin's Handbook. Many animal toxicity studies done thereafter.
1825 Aluminum discovered by Hans Christian Oersted (Denmark).
1825 Oersted observes that some undefinable magnetic effect is associated with charged particles in motion.
1826 Bromine discovered by Antoine J. Balard (France).
1828 Boron discovered by H. Day (England), J.L. Gay-Lussac and L.J. Thenard (France.)
1828 Thorium discovered by Jons Berzelius (Sweden).
1830 Vanadium discovered by Nils Stefstrom (Sweden).
1830 Michael Faraday (England) claims that moving charges (current) may be generated by moving magnetic fields.
1839 M. Daguerre discovers photography which later becomes the basis for personnel dosimetry and discovery of radioactivity in uranium.
1839 Lanthanum discovered by Carl Mosander (Sweden).
1843 Terbium discovered by Carl Mosander (Sweden).
1843 Erbium discovered by Carl Mosander (Sweden).
1844 Ruthenium discovered by Karl Klaus (Russia).
1845 (Mar 27) Wilhelm Roentgen is born.
1847 (Feb 11) Thomas Alva Edison is born.
1847 H. von Helmholz states that energy may be converted to other forms but may not be destroyed or lost.
1850 First commercial use of uranium in glass by Lloyd & Summerfield of Birmingham, England.
1852 (Dec 15) Henri Becquerel is born.
1856 Joseph John Thomson, first person to identify the existence of subatomic particles, born.
1859 Bunsen and Kirchhoff originate spectroscopy.
1860 Uranium is first used in homeopathic medicine for treatment of diabetes.
1860 Cesium discovered by Gustov Kirchhoff and Robert Bunsen (Germany).
1861 Rubidium discovered by Gustov Kirchhoff and Robert Bunsen (Germany).
1861 Thallium discovered by Sir William Crookes (England).
1863 Indium discovered by Ferdinand Reich and H. Richter (Germany).
1865 H. Geissler and J. Plucker observe fluorescence in evacuated tubes containing electrodes.
1868 (Mar 22) Robert Millikan is born.
1869 (Feb 14) C.T.R. Wilson is born.
1869 E. Goldstein coins phrase "cathode rays."
1869 Hittorf shows cathode emanation stopped by solid object.
1869 William Crookes notes fogging in photographic plates in his laboratory and complains of defective packaging. The fogging is actually caused by an unknown at the time radiation, x-rays, produced in Crookes' tubes.
1870 James Maxwell puts forth an extension of the theories of Michael Faraday and Orsted in a rigorous mathematical form: charge and the electric field; the magnetic field; magnetic effect of a charging electric field or moving charge; and the electric effect of a changing magnetic field.
1871 Ernest Rutherford is born.
1872 (July) Dmitri Ivanovitch Mendeleev, an unknown Siberian supervisor of weights and measures, presents paper in St. Petersburg detailing his Periodic Table of the Elements.
1873 (Oct 23) William Coolidge is born.
1875 Gallium discovered by Paul Emile Lecoq de Boisbaudron (France).
1876 Eugen Goldstein (Germany) coins the phrase "cathode rays."
1878 Holmium discovered by J.L. Soret (Switzerland).
1878 Ytterbium discovered by Jean de Marignac (Switzerland).
1879 (Mar 8) Otto Hahn is born.
1879 (Mar 14) Albert Einstein is born.
1879 W. Crookes shows cathode rays are solid matter with sufficient energy to drive a small wheel.
1879 Identification of the malady in Schneeberg mines as lung cancer. Thought to be lymphosarcomata, the causation remains murky.
1879 Scandium discovered by Lars Nilson (Sweden).
1879 Samarium discovered by Paul Emile Lecoq de Boisbaudron (France).
1879 Thulium discovered by Per Theodor Cleve (Sweden).
1880 Gadolinium discovered by Jean de Marignac (Switzerland).
1881 George Johnstone Stoney (Ireland) names the indivisible unit of electricity the electron.
1882 (Sept 30) Hans Geiger is born.
1883 (June 24) Victor Hess is born.
1884 Balmer (Switzerland), a high school teacher, finds that gases bombarded by electrons will emit electromagnetic waves of only certain wavelengths which he measures with a grating spectroscope.
1884 Joseph John Thomson, aged 28, becomes Director of the Cavendish Laboratory at Cambridge University.
1885 (Aug 1) George de Hevesy is born.
1885 (Oct 7) Niels Bohr is born.
1885 Praseodymium discovered by C.F. Aver von Welsbach (Austria).
1886 H. Hertz characterizes long wave electromagnetic radiation.
1886 Goldstein notices rays going the opposite way from cathode rays channeling through a hole in the cathode. He names them "channel rays." These are later found to be the positive ions of the wisps of gas in the tube or parts of the cathode.
1886 Fluorine discovered by Henri Moissan (France).
1886 Germanium discovered by Clemens Winkler (Germany).
1886 Dysprosium discovered by Paul Emile Lecoq de Boisbaudron (France).
1887 (Nov 23) Henry Moseley is born.
1890 (Mar 31) W.L. Bragg is born.
1890 (Dec 21) Hermann Muller is born.
1891 (July 10) Edith Quimby is born.
1891 H. Hertz, assisted by P. Lenard, studies the penetrating power of cathode rays.
1894 Argon discovered by Sir William Ramsey and Baron Rayleigh (Scotland).
1895 (July 26) Marie and Pierre Curie marry.
1895 (Sept 2) Otto Glasser is born.
1895 (Nov 8) Roentgen discovers X-rays.
1895 (Dec 22) Roentgen X-radiographs his wife's hand.
1895 (Dec 28) Roentgen communicates the discovery of X-rays to the Wurzburg Society.
1895 Helium discovered by William Ramsey, Nilo Langet, and P.T. Cleve (Scotland and Sweden).
1895 Rutherford shows that "uranium emanation" has a spectral line of helium
1895-1900 Photographic emulsions and electroscopes are primary instruments used when radiation is discovered.
1896 (Jan 1) Roentgen sends radiographs to colleagues.
1896 (Jan 5) First newspaper account of X-rays is published.
1896 (Jan 6) The discovery of X-rays is cabled world-wide by the London Times.
1896 (Jan 7) Campel-Swinton make radiograph in UK.
1896 (Jan 23) Roentgen makes first demonstration regarding X-rays.
1896 (Jan 27) Arthur Wright produces radiograph at Yale University.
1896 (Jan 29) First therapeutic applications of X-rays (Grubbe, Voigt, Despeignes)
1896 (Feb 3) First diagnostic X-ray by Edwin Frost (US) & John Cox (Canada).
1896 (Feb) First x-ray picture of a fetus in utero.
1896 (Mar 1) X-rays are used by Italian army.
1896 (Mar 3) Becquerel demonstrates the radioactivity of uranium.
1896 (Mar) First application of X-rays in dentistry (C. Kells and W. Rollins).
1896 (Mar) Thomas Edison reports eye injuries from X-rays.
1896 (June) N. Tesla cautions experimenters not to get too close to X-ray tubes.
1896 Dr. D. W. Gage (McCook, NB.) writing in New York's "Medical Record," notes cases of hair loss, reddened skin, skin sloughing off, and lesions. "I wish to suggest that more be understood regarding the action of the x rays before the general practitioner adopts them in his daily work."
1896 (?) Chicago, Illinois A man had a broken ankle x-rayed by a doctor, after which he developed skin injuries eventually requiring amputation of the foot. He later sued the doctor and was awarded $10,000.
1897 (Sept 12) Irene Curie is born.
1897 (Nov 18) P. M. Blackett is born.
1897 (Jan 18) Roentgen Society of London is organized.
1897 J.J. Thomson demonstrates corpuscular nature of cathode rays. He theorizes that these electrons might be a constituent part of all matter. He reports the mass of the electron.
1898 (Feb 11) Leo Szilard is born.
1898 (Mar) Discovery of radioactivity of thorium by G. Schmidt.
1898 (Apr 12) Marie Sklodovska Curie announces the probable presence in pitchblende ores of a new element endowed with powerful radioactivity.
1898 (July 13) Polonium isolated from pitchblende by Marie & Pierre Curie.
1898 (July) Marie & Pierre Curie coin word "radioactivity."
1898 (Dec 26) Radium-226 isolated from pitchblende by Marie & Pierre Curie.
1898 Becquerel receives skin burn from radium given to him by the Curies that he keeps in his vest pocket. He declares, “I love this radium but I have a grudge against it!”
1898 Neon discovered by Sir William Ramsey and M.W. Travers (England).
1898 Krypton discovered by Sir William Ramsey and M.W. Travers (England).
1898 Xenon discovered by Sir William Ramsey and M.W. Travers (England).
1899 Radioactive gaseous emanation from thorium is described by Rutherford.
1899 Andre Louis Debiere (France) discovers actinium, a radioactive element (atomic number 89.)
1899 Rutherford finds two kinds of radiation, which he names alpha and beta, emitted from radium.
1900 Crookes shows that purified uranium has almost no radioactivity. He suggests that uranium was not the origin of the radiation but some impurity in the uranium.
1900 Discovery of gamma rays by P. Villard.
1900 Thorium-234 discovered by Crookes.
1900 American Roentgen Ray Society (ARRS) founded.
1900 Friedrich Ernst Dorn discovers radon (atomic number 86), a radioactive daughter of uranium.
1900 Thorium beginning of use in gas mantles.
1900 Marie Curie explains natural transmutation as a decay of an unstable atom to one of a lower atomic weight.
1900 Planck's constant, h = 6.63 E-34 J s, is published.
1900 Thomson's "plum pudding" model of the atom is proposed.
1900-1924 Gradual development of mechanical electrometers.
1901 (Jan 3) First report of death due to X-rays is published.
1901 Becquerel confirms Crookes' statement about uranium not being the origins of the radiation but also shows that if uranium is left standing, its radioactivity increases.
1901 Europium discovered by Eugene Demarcay (France).
1901 Max Planck proposes that atoms could gain and lose energy only in discrete quantities (quantum).
1901 First Nobel prize in physics is awarded to Roentgen.
1902 (Apr) Radioactive spontaneous disintegration, the unaided transmutation of elements, observed and named by Soddy and Rutherford.
1902 (June 1) Lauriston Taylor is born.
1902 Radium-224 (thorium X) discovered by Soddy and Rutherford.
1902 Rollins experimentally shows X-rays can kill higher life forms.
1902 Existence of radium verified by Curies by chemical methods; they obtain 0.1 g of pure radium from several tons of pitchblende.
1903 (June 25) Marie Curie accorded the title of doctor of physical science, with the mention of très honorable from the University of Paris, Sorbonne
1903 (Nov 12) Marie and Pierre Curie awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics.
1903 Sir William Crookes and, independently, Elster and Geitel discover that crystals of zinc sulfide emit tiny flashes of visible light (scintillations) when struck with alpha particles. Rutherford quickly adopts this detector for his work.
1904 (Apr 22) J. Robert Oppenheimer is born.
1904 (Oct) Clarence Madison Dally, a glass blower at Thomas Edison's Menlo Park lab, is first person known to have been killed by x-ray exposure. Severely burned in 1896, he still works with x-rays until 1898. His death causes Edison to discontinue radiation work in his lab.
1904 Rutherford shows that alpha particles are helium atoms and works out the natural decay series.
1904 Radon and daughters identified as part of the uranium series. Work with animals begins, especially in Russia and France.
1904 Colormetric dosimetry system devised by Saboroud and Noire.
1904 Marie Curie publishes an observation that diamonds when exposed to radiation and later heated glow proportional to exposure. This is published in Research on Radioactive Substances . This is the basis for thermoluminescent dosimetry which waits until 1950 to be further developed.
1904 "If it were ever possible to control at will the rate of disintegration of radio elements, an enormous amount of energy could be obtained from a small amount of matter." --Ernest Rutherford.
1904 H. Nagaoka (Japan) publishes planetary hypothesis of atomic structure.
1904 Rutherford coins the term "half-life."
1905 (June 6) "Is it right to probe so deeply into Nature's secrets? The question must here be raised whether it will benefit mankind, or whether the knowledge will be harmful. Radium could be very dangerous in criminal hands. Alfred Nobel's discoveries are characteristic; powerful explosives can help men perform admirable tasks. They are also a means to terrible destruction in the hands of the great criminals who lead peoples to war..." Pierre Curie in his Nobel Prize Oration delayed from 1903.
1905 (Sept 3) Carl Anderson is born.
1905 Einstein publishes Special Theory of Relativity E= mc2
1905 Einstein explains the Photoelectric Effect by introducing light quanta (photons of energy E = hv)
1905 Thorium-228 discovered by Hahn.
1905 Ionization unit proposed by M. Franklin.
1905 Boltwood calls attention that lead is found with uranium and suggests that lead might be the end product of uranium.
1905(?) Washington, DC A woman with broken ribs received seven x-rays under a doctor's care, after which she developed skin burns later identified as radiation burns by another doctor. The x-rays were administered over several visits, with skin burns developing on her back five hours after the last x-rays. The woman sued the administering doctor, with the case eventually appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court and decided 7 April 1913 in the doctor's favor in Sweeney v. Erving.
1906 (April 19) Pierre Curie killed by a horse-drawn wagon filled with military uniforms driven by Louis Manin on the streets of Paris, France.
1906 Ernest Rutherford conducts experiments where he bombards gold foil with alpha particles. Most of the alphas pass through. He theorizes that atoms are mostly space.
1906 Joseph John Thomson is awarded the Nobel Prize in physics for his theoretical and experimental investigations into the electron and the conduction of electricity by gases.
1907 (May 18) Robley Evans is born.
1907 Ionium (Th-230) discovered by Boltwood.
1907 Lutetium discovered by Georg Urbain (France).
1907 H. N. McCoy and W. H. Ross at the University of Chicago show that two different radioelements might be chemically identical.
1908 Ernest Rutherford is awarded the Nobel Prize in chemistry for his observations on radionuclide decay (transmutation).
1909 Ernest Rutherford observes one alpha particle in 8000 being bounced back from a thin gold foil. From this observation, he concludes that most of the atom's mass is conentrated in a small postively-charged nucleus.
1909 Robert Andrews Millikan using oil droplets measures the charge of an electron e= 1.60 E-19 C.
1910 (Apr 13) Herbert Parker is born.
1910 Curie unit defined as activity of 1 gram of radium.
1910 Soddy establishes the existence of isotopes, nuclides with the same number of protons but different number of neutrons.
1910 Animal work on distribution and excretion of radium (mostly in Europe). Radium begun to be used as nostrum.
1910 Jesuit Father Theodor Wulf measures radiation at ground level and at top of Eiffel Tower. Radiation increases at higher elevation. Suspects extraterrestrial origins of this radiation. Suggests balloonists measure dose rates.
1911 (Aug) Rutherford and Geiger discover that atoms are mostly space using alpha particles to bounce off thin gold foil.
1911 Marie Curie awarded the Nobel Prize for Chemistry for the separation of radium from pitchblende.
1911 Soddy suggests that "the expulsion of the alpha particle causes the radioelement to change its position on the periodic table..."
1911 Charles Glover Barkla (England) shows certain x-rays predominate; these are termed characteristic x-rays.
1911 Microscope is used to count grain densities in photographic film.
1911 Charles Thomas Rees Wilson (Scotland) invents the cloud chamber which shows tracks of radiation in a supersaturated atmosphere.
1911 Georg von Hevesy (Hungary) conceives the idea of using radioactive tracers. Leads to Nobel Prize in 1943.
1911-1912 Victor Hess (Austrian) takes balloon rides to measure radiation at heights up to 5000 meters. Discovers cosmic radiation which he names "Hoehenstrahlung" (high altitude rays.)
1912 (July 16) Patent granted to the Radium Ore Revigorator Co., 260 California St., San Francisco, CA for a device, the Revigorator, that charges water with radon, ushering in a 20-year craze in radioactive health crocks. Instructions read: “Fill jar every night, use hydrant or any good water, drink freely when thirsty and upon rising and retiring. Average six or more glasses daily. Scrub with stiff brush and scald monthly.”
1912 Arthritis patient dies because of Ra-226 injections.
1912 T. Christen puts forth concept of half value layer for shielding x or gamma radiation, i.e., only half the incident radiation will be stopped by each successive shielding layer.
1912 Max von Laue (Germany) uses the crystals of zinc sulfide to diffract x-rays and measure their wavelength. He thereby proves the wavelike nature of x-rays.
WW I Exposure of hundreds of girls to luminous paint compound for instrument dials in New York and Illinois.
WW I Henry Gwyn-Jeffries Mosley killed at Gallipoli. Mosley, a student of Rutherford, had bombarded each of the known elements with a beam of electrons to show the number of electric charges in each nucleus was increased in regular steps between each element in the periodic table.
1913 (Jan 31) A. S. Russell put forward that in beta decay the position of the element in the periodic table changes by one place.
1913 Hans Geiger unveils his prototype gas-filled radiation detector.
1913 Niels Bohr (Denmark) applies the newly invented quantum theory to atomic electron orbitals. These stationary orbitals would allow an electron to orbit a nucleus without emitting energy.
1913 Soddy proposes the term "isotope" for atoms with the same number of protons and differing only in number of neutrons.
1914 H.G. Wells publishes The World Set Free set in 1956 predicts an alliance of England, France, and America against Germany and Austria. All the major cities of the world are destroyed by atomic bombs.
1914 Ernest Marsden, Rutherford's assistant, reports an odd result when he bombards nitrogen gas with alpha particles -- something is thrown back with much greater velocity. This is the first report of nuclei fissioning.
1914 Franck-Hertz experiment demonstrates discrete atomic energy levels in collisions with electrons.
1915 (June) British Roentgen Society proposes standards for radiation protection workers; includes shielding, restricted work hours, medical exams; no limits because of lack of units for dose or dosimeters; voluntary controls. This is believed to be the first organized step toward radiation protection.
1915 (Aug) Robert Rich Sharp discovers the Shinkolobwe uranium deposit in the Congo. Mine averages 68% uranium; richest find in history and is on the surface.
1916 A. Sommerfeld (Germany) modifies Bohr's model of electron orbitals to allow elliptical orbits.
1917 Otto Hahn and Lise Meitner discover protactinium.
1919 First artificial transformation of an element by performed by Rutherford, now Director of Cavendish laboratory; alpha particle on nitrogen causes the expulsion of oxygen and hydrogen.
1920 Luminous dial painting expanded to clock factories.
1920 American Roentgen Ray Society (ARRS) establishes standing committee for radiation protection.
1920 Rutherford suggests additional neutral nuclear particle (later called a neutron). "Such an atom would have very novel properties. Its external field would be practically zero, except close to the nucleus, and, in consequence, it should be able to move freely through matter."
1920 James Chadwick in Rutherford's lab uses alpha particle scattering to determine the charges on the nucleus of copper, silver, and platinum.
1920-1930s Much use of radon generators in hospitals for preparation of radon seeds.
1921 Suggestion that radium and radium emanation might be causative agent in cancer in miners taken seriously but not proven.
1921 British X-ray and Radium Protection Committee present its first radiation protection standards.
1922 American Roentgen Ray Society adopts radiation protection rules.
1922 Niels Bohr is awarded the Nobel Prize in physics for describing how orbital electrons absorb and emit energy.
1922 American Registry of X-ray Technicians founded.
1922 G. Pfahler recommends personnel monitoring with film.
1922 P. Auger and F. Perrin determine the charge on the nucleus of argon.
1922-1924 Suspicions develop around radium dial painter's jaw lesions.
1923 (Jan 30) Szamatolski links dial painter injuries to radium.
1923 (Feb 10) Wilhelm Roentgen dies.
1923 A.H. Compton reports wavelengths lengthened for bounced x-rays and gammas. Leads to Nobel prize for the "Compton Effect".
1923 A. Mutscheller puts forth first "tolerance dose" (0.2R/day).
1923 "There is no likelihood man can ever tap the power of the atom... Nature has introduced a few foolproof devices into the great majority of elements that constitute the bulk of the world, and they have no energy to give up in the process of disintegration."--Dr. Robert Andrews Millikan
1923 Hafnium discovered by Dirk Coster and Georg von Hevesy (Denmark).
1924 Description of jaw necrosis by dentist, Blum; attributed to radiation from deposited luminous paint.
1924 DeBroglie states that an electron has wave properties and assigns a wavelength to an electron much the same way Einstein assigns a mass to an electromagnetic wave in 1905. This standing wave allows an electron to exist a some distance from the nucleus without gaining or losing energy.
1924 Uhlenbeck and Goudsmit ascribe electron with intrinsic spin h/2.
1925 (July 1) First International Congress of Radiology is held, establishes International Commission on Radiological Units (ICRU).
1925 Physician, Martland, describes pathology of bone changes and anemia in radium dial painters.
1925 William Bailey introduces Radithor, a quack radium potion to cure sexual dysfunction and everything else.
1925 Rhenium discovered by Walter Noddak, Ida Takke, and Otto Berg (Germany).
1925 Mutscheller's "tolerance dose" for X-rays.
1925 Neodymium discovered by C. Aver von Welsbach (Austria).
1925 Pauli explusion principle states that two electrons cannot share orbitals and spin in the same atom at the same time.
1925 Heisenberg's first paper on quantum mechanics.
1925-1929 The saga of radium dial painters and iatrogenic cases unfolds.
1926 (July) “Radium Treatment of Carcinoma of the Lower Lip” is published in Radiology, Vo. VII, No. 1.
1926 (Aug) “Radiation of Cancer of the Cheek” is published in Radiology, Vol. VII, No. 2.
1926 (Oct) “Treatment of Lingual Cancer by Radiation” is published in Radiology, Vol. VII, No. 4.
1926 (Oct) “The Treatment of Bladder Tumors with Metal Seeds Containing Radium Emanation” by Dr. Edward L. Keyes is published in The Journal of Medical Society of New Jersey.
1926 (Nov) “Radium Therapy in Rhinology” is published in Radiology, Vol. VII, No. 5.
1926 (Dec) “Radiation of Malignancy of the Maxillary Sinus” is published in Radiology, Vol. VII, No. 6.
1926 (Dec) “Irradiation of Diseased Tonsils” is published in Medical Journal & Record, 124:873.
1926 Erwin Shrodinger publishes the wave theory of matter demonstrating that matter at the atomic level behaves as it consists of waves.
1926 Edith Quimby devises film badge dosimeter with energy compensating filters.
1927 (Feb) Werner Heisenberg realizes that it is impossible to establish at any given instant both the momentum and location of a subatomic particle. This is published as his Uncertainty Principle.
1927 (Sept) “Malignancy of the Larynx and Esophagus Treated by Radium Emanation” by Dr. Frank Richard Herriman is published in The Laryngoscope.
1927 Dutch Board of Health recommends tolerance dose equivalent to 15 R/year.
1927 H. Muller shows genetic effects of radiation.
1927 Herman Blumgart, a Boston physician, first uses radioactive tracers to diagnose heart disease.
1927 Birth of quantum electrodynamics, Dirac's paper on "The Quantum Theory of the Emission and Absorption of Radiation."
1927 The first death from polonium ingestion. The victim was Nobus Yamada, a Japanese researcher in Marie Curie's lab in France. In 1924, he worked with Curie's daughter Irene Joliot-Curie to prepare polonium sources. After returning home the next year, Yamada fell ill.
1928 Organization and first meeting of International Committee on X-ray and Radium Protection (predecessor of ICRP).
1928 Description of basis for Geiger-Mueller counter by Hans Geiger and Walter Mueller at the Physics Institute in Kiel (Germany).
1928 Second International Congress of Radiology establishes International Committee on X-ray and Radium Protection (predecessor of ICRP) and publishes first set of international radiation protection standards; Roentgen unit accepted.
1928 Organization of US Advisory Committee on X-ray and Radium Protection (predecessor of NCRP).
1928 Dirac's relativistic wave equation of the electron.
1929 R. d'E. Atkinson and F. G. Houtermans (Germany) theorize that energy from stars is a result of nuclear fusion.
1929 "The energy available through the disintegration of radioactive or any other atoms may perhaps be sufficient to keep the corner peanut and popcorn man going in our large towns for a long time, but that is all." --Dr. Robert A. Millikan (hedging a bit on his statement of 1923).
1929 "Free air" ionization chambers used as primary standards.
1929 Nuclear track photographic plates developed.
1929 Osteogenic sarcoma (bone cancer) is proven in the dial-painter population.
1929 Advisory Committee on X-Ray and Radium Protection (ACXRP) formed in the US (forerunner of NCRP).
1929-1930 Fifty percent of miners dying at Joachimsthal have carcinoma of lung.
1929-1933 Collaborative work by Schlundt, Failla, et al, on radium metabolism in patients at Elgin State Hospital in Illinois.
1930 Bothe and Becker find that after bombarding beryllium with alpha particles a very penetrating, uncharged type of radiation is produced. They assume, wrongly, that it must be an electromagnetic wave. It is later proven by Chadwick to be the neutron.
1930 Invention of the cyclotron by E. O. Lawrence & MS Livingston at Berkeley.
1930 Bethe quantum-mechanical stopping-power theory.
1930s Vacuum-tube electrometers gradually replace mechanical ones.
1930 Early count rate meter invented.
1931 (Jan 2) Lawrence operates first cyclotron.
1931 (May 16) NBS Handbook 15 is published.
1931 Van de Graaff electrostatic generator constructed.
1931 Linear accelerator is constructed by Sloan & Lawrence at Berkeley.
1931 "Alpha particles are probably the most potent and destructive agent known to science"--Martland
1931 The Roentgen adopted as unit of X radiation.
1931 Wolfgang Pauli postulates the existence of a subatomic particle Enrico Fermi dubs “neutrino,” a massless uncharged particle that carries energy and momentum.
1932 (Feb 17) Chadwick discovers the neutron using Bothe and Becker’s experimental set up. He scoops the Joliot-Curies who believed their "beryllium rays" were another form of electromagnetic radiation.
1932 (Mar) Eben Byers, prominent Pennsylvania industrialist and playboy millionaire, dies of the effects of drinking "Radithor." Others follow.
1932 (Aug 2) Carl Anderson using a specially prepared cloud chamber discovers a particle with the same mass and opposite charge as an electron (positron) in cosmic rays. He wins the Nobel Prize for his discovery in 1936.
1932 "There is not the slightest indication that nuclear energy will ever be obtainable. It would mean that the atom would have to be shattered at will." --Dr. Albert Einstein
1932 G. Failla suggests limit of 0.1 R/day to whole body and 5 R/day to fingers; introduces concept of higher permissible dose to limited portions of body.
1932 Roentgen unit is defined as producing one E.S.U. of either sign in 1 cc of air at STP.
1932 Werner Heisenberg proposes that the nucleus is composed only of protons and neutrons.
1932 Port Radium on Great Bear Lake in Canada begins production. Mines Canada issues health warnings on radon gas and radioactive dust.
1933 (Sept 12) Leo Szilard envisions nuclear chain reaction.
1933 (Sept 12) "The energy produced by the atom is a very poor kind of thing. Anyone who expects a source of power from the transformation of these atoms is talking moonshine." --Lord Ernest Rutherford (after splitting the atom for the first time)
1933 (Oct) The 7th Solvay Conference in Brussels, Belgium is devoted to nuclear physics for the first time. Attendees include: Marie Curie, Rutherford, Bohr, Lise Meitner, Heisenberg, Pauli, Enrico Fermi, Chadwick, George Gamow, Irene and Frederic Joliot-Curie, Patrick Blackett, Rudolf Peierls, Ernest Lawrence.
1933 DuBridge and Brown compensating circuit, vital for gas-filled radiation detectors, is invented.
1933 First effort to reduce radium body burden by manipulation of diet and administration of parathyroid hormone.
1934 (Jan 11) First artificially produced radionuclide (P-30 from aluminum bombarded with Polonium alpha particles) by Irene Curie and J. F. Joliot, Paris.
1934 (Mar 12) Szilard applies for a patent, "Improvements in or Relating to the Transmutation of Chemical Elements," stating "In accordance with the present invention radio-active bodies are generated by bombarding suitable elements with neutrons... Such uncharged nuclei penetrate even substances containing the heavier elements without ionization losses and cause the formation of radio-active substances."
1934 (June 28 & July 4) Szilard amends his patent to add "the liberation of nuclear energy for power production and other purposes through nuclear transmutation." He hypothesizes, "a chain reaction in which particles which carry no positive charge and the mass of which is approximately equal to the proton mass or a multiple thereof (i.e. neutrons) form the links of the chain." He describes the concept of critical mass and of reflecting neutrons back into the mass. Further, "if the thickness is larger than the critical value... I can produce an explosion."
1934 (July 4) Marie Curie (born Nov 7, 1867) dies in Sancellemoz, France. The disease is aplastic pernicious anemia of rapid, feverish development.
1934 Fermi mistaken reports new element after bombarding uranium with neutrons. Ida Noddack suggests Fermi split the atom; this is ignored.
1934 Evans at MIT starts whole body counting.
1934 Production and use of radiosodium.
1934 "Tolerance Dose" of 0.1 R/day, measured in air, recommended by Advisory Committee on X-ray and Radium Protection.
1934 "Tolerance Dose" of 0.2 R/day, measured at the surface of the body, recommended by the International Committee on X-ray and Radium Protection.
1934 Enrico Fermi works out theory for beta minus decay.
1934 H. Urey discovers deuterium.
1934-1939 Measurements begin on radium content of natural waters.
1935 G. von Hevesy performs first radioisotope tracer studies using P-32 to measure water turnover rates in goldfish.
1935 Hans Bethe reports new ideas on the prospect of capture by the uranium nucleus of a neutron slowed by collision with hydrogen.
1935 Neils Bohr conceives the "water droplet" model of the nucleus.
1935 Irene and Frederic Joliot-Curie win the Nobel Prize in Physics.
1935 Compton and Allison state, "Though it is usually employed to give only qualitative results, the photographic plate can also be adapted to precise quantitative comparisons of x-ray intensities."
1935 Yukawa predicts the existence of mesons, reponsible for the short-range nuclear force.
1936 Bragg-Gray principle of charged particle radiation interaction with matter formed. Louis Harold Gray (1905-1965), student of Rutherford, illustrates the principle first stated by Bragg in 1912.
1936 Victor Hess receives Nobel Prize for cosmic rays.
1936 First use of radioisotopes in therapy by John Lawrence (Berkeley); produced in 37 inch cyclotron; P-32 used on polycythemia vera.
1936 H. Yukawa and S. Sakata (Japan) predict electron capture process to compete with positron emission.
1936-1940 Use of radioiodine from MIT cyclotron. Patients at Mass. Gen. Hosp.
1936-1941 Rat work at MIT on radium but rats more resistant than man to radium effect.
1937 (Oct 19) Sir Ernest Rutherford (born 1871) dies, his ashes are placed in a corner of Westminster Abbey next to the grave of Isaac Newton.
1937 Lauritsen electroscope used to measure dose.
1937 Extrapolation chamber invented by Failla.
1937 Technetium discovered by Carlo Perrier and Emillo Segre (Italy).
1937 Mesons found in cosmic rays.
1938 (Dec) Nobel Prize awarded to Enrico Fermi (Italy) for his work on transuranics. The Fermi family (Laura, Enrico's wife, is Jewish) escapes from Italian Nazi persecution to New York.
1938 Electron capture radionuclides discovered by L. W. Alvarez (USA).
1938 Tritium discovery by Alvarez & Cornog; produced in accelerators.
1938 Hahn and Strassman split the atom repeating Fermi's work.
1939 (Jan 6) Hahn and Strassman's experimental results of fissioning uranium published in "Die Naturwissenschaften."
1939 (Jan 13) Frisch offers experimental proof of fission in a Geiger counter.
1939 (Jan 26) Fermi announces uranium releases a few neutrons on splitting. He speculates upon the possibility of a chain reaction.
1939 (March 3) Szilard and Zinn prove possibility of chain reaction by performing experiment in Pupin Hall, Columbia University which shows many neutrons are released during fission of uranium.
1939 (March 16) Hitler annexes Czechoslovakia, richest known source of uranium.
1939 (April 29) First official conference on fission is held in Berlin Germany by the Reich Ministry of Education.
1939 (April) The Joliot-Curies publish a report confirming Szilard and Zinn's finding of neutrons released by uranium fission.
1939 (April) Uranverein ("uranium club") founded in Berlin to do work on uranium fission.
1939 (Aug 2) Einstein signs letter, drafted by Leo Szilard and Eugene Wigner, to Roosevelt alerting him to the feasibility of building an atomic bomb and the threat of Germany building one.
1939 (Sept 3) Germany declares war on Great Britain.
1939 (Oct 21) Uranium Committee, appointed by Roosevelt, holds first meeting.
1939 Igor Kurchatov alerts the USSR government of the military significance of nuclear fission.
1939 Correct description of phenomena of nuclear fission by Meitner and Frisch (Germany).
1939 Enrico Fermi patents first reactor (conceptual plans).
1939 Binary scaler introduced as auxiliary pulse-counting equipment.
1939 More useful count rate meter developed.
1939 Francium discovered by Marguerite Duray (France).
1939 Canadian ore used in first atomic chain reaction experiment.
1940 (Feb 20) The German physicist Werner Heisenberg sends a secret report to the Army Weapons Bureau "On the Possibility of Technical Energy Production from Uranium Splitting. II."
1940 (July 15) Kerst operates first betatron.
1940 (Nov 8) First contract is signed with Columbia University to develop bomb material.
1940 Neptunium-239 discovered by E.M. MacMillan and P.H. Abelson (United States) at Berkeley.
1940 George Flerov of the USSR discovers the spontaneous fission of uranium.
1940 Photomultiplier tube is developed by Larson and Salinger which makes scintillation radiation detectors much more useable.
1940 Astatine discovered by D.R. Corson, K.R. MacKenzie, and E. Segre (United States).
1940s Enormous strides in ion chambers, vacuum tube electrometers, improved G-M tubes, pulse counting, discriminators, linear amplifiers, autoradiography, etc., taken under Manhattan Engineering District (MED) auspices.
1940 Radiation pneumonitis is described by Warren & Gates.
1940 Joseph John Thomson dies.
1940 Port Radium closes.
1940 Louis Harold Gray describes an energy unit - “that amount of neutron radiation which produces an increment of energy in unit volume of tissue equal to the increment of energy produced in unit volume of water by one röntgen of radiation”
1941 (Feb 25) Plutonium 238 isolated by G.T. Seaborg, J.W. Kennedy, E.M. MacMillan, and A.C. Wohl (United States) at Berkeley from products of neptunium decay. Seaborg and MacMillan win Nobel Prize in 1951 for this work.
1941 (Jun 28) Office of Scientific Research and Development is established under the direction of Vannevar Bush, to develop atomic energy.
1941 (Sept 18) Werner Heisenberg meets with Neils Bohr to try to convince Bohr and the Western Allies that atomic bomb production is unfeasible and should be stopped. Bohr is unconvinced and suspects Heisenberg's, now working for the Nazis, motives.
1941 (Sept) Enrico Fermi suggests to Edward Teller that an atomic bomb might heat deuterium sufficiently to create a full-scale thermonuclear reaction.
1941 (Oct 9) President Roosevelt decides to proceed with development of an atomic weapon after a meeting in which he is informed of its feasibility.
1941 (Dec 6) The day before the bombing of Pearl Harbor, President Roosevelt authorizes the Manhattan Engineering District. The secret U.S. project to build an atomic bomb, later to be called the Manhattan Project, is put under the direction of the Office of Scientific Research and Development.
1941 Max Permissible Body Burden set at 0.1 uCi for radium recommended by Advisory Committee on X-ray and Radium Protection based on radium dial painters.
1941 First standard for radon (10-11 Ci/l), Evans and Goodman National Bureau of Standards report.
1941 Pecher (Berkeley) finds that radiostrontium behaves like calcium and deposits in bone.
1941 Port Radium on Great Bear Lake in Canada reopens for war effort, as world's first uranium mine.
1941 On the initiative of Rolf Sievert, the government passes Sweden's first radiation protection law. Sievert helps standardize radiation doses to patients in hospitals and later in all workers.
WW 2 Animal work at U. of Rochester on rat with radium excretion.
1942 (Jan 24) A. H. Compton, chairman of the Physics Department at University of Chicago, announces his decision to site the first self-sustaining chain reaction at University of Chicago. This is over the objections of Szilard (Columbia U.) and Lawrence (Berkeley).
1942 (June 23) Werner Heisenberg's fourth experimental atomic pile, the L-IV, explodes spewing burning particles of uranium twenty feet in the air and catching the lab on fire. Heisenberg and Robert Doepel are nearly killed.
1942 (Aug 25) Entire world's supply of plutonium spilled and recovered from soggy copy of Chicago Tribune (Met Lab).
1942 (Sept 23) Colonel Leslie Groves is promoted to Brigadier-General and put in charge of the Manhattan Project. He recruits J. Robert Oppenheimer as Scientific Director.
1942 (Nov 16) Construction begins on Chicago Pile 1 (CP-1).
1942 (Nov 16) Groves and Oppenheimer select the site of the boys' school Los Alamos in New Mexico for the project. Oppenheimer tours the United States recruiting top scientists and persuading them to move to New Mexico. Edward Teller is among the first group of 100 to accept.
1942 (Dec 2) First sustained and controlled chain reaction in an atomic pile at University of Chicago’s CP-1. Reactor is graphite moderated. Fermi oversees design and building. Fission products expected. Arthur Compton sends message to James Conant: “The Italian navigator has arrived at the shores of the new world and found the natives were friendly. It is a smaller world than he believed.”
1942 Beginning of biomed work at Chicago's Michael Reese Hospital on uranium (cells & whole organism).
1942 United States government orders 60 tonnes of uranium from Port Radium mine in Canada. Canadian government secretly begins to buy out mine. Dene work as coolies.
1942-1943 Concern develops at Metallurgical Laboratory (Chicago) about potential hazards of radioxenon & I-131 and fission products.
1942-1945 Concern over possible use of fission products in radiological warfare leads to Projects Peppermint and Gabriel (secret study on fallout effects).
1943 (Apr 1) The security gates begin operating at Oak Ridge, TN.
1943 (Apr) Ground broken for Hanford reactors, built to produce plutonium for Nagasaki bomb.
1943 (Apr) Thirty scientists assemble at Los Alamos, New Mexico for an introductory series of lectures on the theory and practicalities of designing and building an atomic bomb using uranium-235 or plutonium-239.
1943 (May 5) The Military Policy Committee of Manhattan Project developes the idea to use the atomic bomb on Japan rather than on Germany. The committee is chaired by General Leslie Groves
1943 (Nov 4) Oak Ridge X-10 Clinton reactor goes into operation at Oak Ridge; first to generate electricity with a model steam engine.
1943 Uranium toxicology studies at U. of Rochester.
1943 L.D. Marinelli of the Sloan-Kettering Institute in New York invents a beaker that has an open tube in the center to increase the efficiency of a GM counter detecting levels of I-131.
1943-1947 Polonium injected into incurable patients at Rochester, NY. Potential doses greater than occupational limits.
1944 (Mar 13) Barely sixteen months after the feasibility of achieving a self-sustaining nuclear chain reaction was established by Enrico Fermi in Chicago -- a tightly held secret known only to a very limited number of individuals in the U.S., UK and Canada -- Homi Jehangir Bhabha initiates efforts to start nuclear research programms in India.
1944 (Sept 2) A container of uranium hexafluoride exploded in the Oak Ridge National Laboratory transfer room, killing Peter N. Bragg, Jr. and Douglas P. Meigs and injuring three others. A steam pipe exploded and the incoming water vapor combined with the uranium compound to form hydrogen fluoride, a dangerous acid, which was inhaled by all five. Bragg and Meigs died soon after from whole-body acid burns.
1944 (Sept 27) Hanford reactor 100B achieves criticality.
1944 (Dec 8) Joseph Rotblat, Polish refugee and physicist, resigns from the Manhattan Project since he believed that Nazi Germany would not succeed in developing an atomic weapon. He later explains, "I felt there was no need to make a bomb. The only reason I started in 1939 was to stop Hitler using it against us." Rotblat was thereafter barred from entering the United States for 20 years. In 1957 he helped start the Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs, of which he was the first president. In 1995 Rotblat and Pugwash jointly were awarded The Nobel Peace Prize for their work towards the abolition of nuclear weapons.
1944 Substantial group begins work at Met Lab (Chicago) on biomedical aspects of fission products.
1944 Air limits for plutonium-239 derived by H. Parker at Met Lab.
1944 Curium discovered by G.T. Seaborg, R.A. James, A. H. Ghiorso (United States).
1945 (Mar 3) Head of the War Mobilization Board and future Secretary of State James Byrnes sends a memo to Franklin Roosevelt warning that if there is no "product" before the end of the war "there would be serious consequences for the Democratic Party."
1945 (Apr 25) Secretary of War Stimson and General Groves brief President Truman on the bomb. In this briefing, Groves insists that Japan had always been the target of the bomb's use. Joint Chief Planners advise Joint Chiefs of Staff that "unless a definition of unconditional surrender can be given which is acceptable to the Japanese, there is no alternative to annihilation and no prospect that the threat of absolute defeat will bring about capitulation."
1945 (Apr 27) The Target Committee meets for the first time to decide which Japanese cities to target with the atomic bomb. By the end of May the following cities are selected: Kyoto, Hiroshima, Kokura and Niigata. Eventually Kyoto is replaced by Nagasaki and the listed cities are spared further conventional bombing by the American Army Air Force.
1945 (May 9) The Interim Committee meets for the first time. Its purpose is "to study and report on the whole problem of temporary war controls and later publicity, and to survey and make recommendations on post war research, development and controls, as well as legislation necessary to effectuate them." Members of the Interim Committee are: Jimmy Byrnes, the President’s personal representative; Ralph Bard, an undersecretary of the Navy; William Clayton, an assistant secretary at the State Department; Vannevar Bush, Director of the US Office of Scientific Research and Development and a former Dean of Engineering at MIT; James Conant, president of Harvard University and a distinguished chemist; and Karl Compton, president of MIT and a noted physicist.
1945 (May 7) William Donovan, Director of the Office of Strategic Services, reports to President Truman that Japan's minister to Switzerland, Shunichi Kase, wished "to help arrange for a cessation of hostilities."
1945 (May 14) Plutonium injected IV into human subjects at Los Alamos. Eighteen subjects injected that year.
1945 (June 6) “Zero” Water-tamped Enriched Uranium Super-critical runaway accident at Los Alamos’ Omega site, 14 people exposed, 3 experimenters received 66, 66, and 7.5 rad gamma and neutrons. ~80 pounds of U-235 in pseudo-sphere configuration.
1945 (June 11) The Franck Committee on the social and political implications of the atomic bomb, headed by Nobel Laureate James Franck, issues a report advising against a surprise atomic bombing of Japan. The report states, "If we consider international agreement on total prevention of nuclear warfare as the paramount objective…this kind of introduction of atomic weapons to the world may easily destroy all our chances of success." The report correctly predicts that dropping an atomic bomb "will mean a flying start toward an unlimited armaments race."
1945 (July 16) Trinity Test (Alamagordo, NM) cattle receive beta burns. 19 KT yield. First atomic bomb, a plutonium implosion device, takes place at 5:29:45 a.m. mountain war time. J. Robert Oppenheimer recalls a quote from the Bhagavad Gita, a Hindu text: "I am become death, the destroyer of worlds." Brigadier General T.F. Farrell, General Groves' deputy commander, describes the explosion in this way: "The effects could well be called unprecedented, magnificent, beautiful, stupendous, and terrifying. The lighting effects beggared description. The whole country was lighted by a searing light with the intensity many times that of the midday sun. It was golden, purple, violet, gray, and blue. It lighted every peak, crevasse and ridge of the nearby mountain range with a clarity and beauty that cannot be described but must be seen to be imagined..."
1945 (July) Szilard writes Roosevelt warning of arms race: "The development of atomic power will provide the nations with new means of destruction. The atomic bombs at our disposal represent only the first step in this direction, and there is almost no limit to the destructive power which will become available in the course of their future development. Thus a nation which sets the precedent of using these newly liberated forces of nature for purposes of destruction may have to bear the responsibility of opening the door to an era of devastation on an unimaginable scale."
1945 (Aug) Photographic film at Eastman Kodak fogged from contaminated packing paper (fallout from Trinity).
1945 (Aug 6) Hiroshima, Japan, is atomic bombed. The world's second atomic bomb, Little Boy, a gun-type uranium bomb, is detonated 1,900 feet above Hiroshima, Japan. It has a yield of approximately 15 kilotons TNT. Some 90,000 to 100,000 persons are killed immediately; about 145,000 persons will perish from the bombing by the end of 1945. Upon hearing the news of the atomic bombing of Japan on his way home from Potsdam, President Truman remarked that this was "the greatest thing in history." Leo Szilard, the atomic scientist who had worked so hard to prevent the use of the bomb, writes to a friend, "Using atomic bombs against Japan is one of the greatest blunders of history."
1945 (Aug 9) Nagasaki, Japan, is atomic bombed. At 9:44 a.m. Bockscar, a B-29 carrying Fat Man, the world's third atomic bomb (21 kt), arrives at its primary target, Kokura. The city is covered in haze and smoke from an American bombing raid on a nearby city. Bockscar turns to its secondary target Nagasaki. At 11:02 a.m. the world's third atomic bomb explosion devastates Nagasaki, the intense heat and blast kills its inhabitants some of whom are US POWs.
1945 (Aug 21) Harry K. Daghlian, Jr., working at Los Alamos Omega site, accidentally created a supercritical mass when he dropped a tungsten carbide brick onto a plutonium core. He quickly removed the piece, but was fatally irradiated in the incident, dying September 15. The first American to die of acute radiation sickness.
1945 (Sept 5) The ZEEP reactor (1st outside of US) achieves first self-sustaining fission chain reaction in Canada near Chalk River, 150 northwest of Ottawa.
1945 (Sept 9) The Trinity test site is opened to the press for the first time. General Groves and J. Robert Oppenheimer dispel rumors of lingering high radiation levels there.
1945 (Sept 20) The U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff embrace "first strike" atomic warfare policy.
1945 (Sept) USSR occupies Czechoslovakia. Soviet commanders order all German plans, parts, models, and formulas regarding the use of atomic energy, rocket weapons, and radar be turned over to them. USSR infantry and technical troops occupy Jachimov and St. Jaochimstal (the only European source of uranium.)
1945 (Oct) Robert Oppenheimer refuses to participate in a full fledged effort to build a hydrogen bomb when approached by Edward Teller.
1945 (Oct 18) Top-secret documents from the Los Alamos National Laboratory reach the desk of Lavrenty Beria, head of the Soviet (USSR) secret police and in charge of the Soviet nuclear program.
1945 (Nov 15) the three countries involved in the atom bomb project -- the U.S., the U.K. and Canada -- issued a Joint Declaration containing three prophetic insights. It stated: that nuclear weapons provide "a means of destruction hitherto unknown, against which there can be no adequate military defence"; that "no system of safeguards will of itself provide an effective guarantee against the production of atomic weapons"; that atom bombs are weapons "in the employment of which no single nation can, in fact, have a monopoly."
1945 (Nov 23) In a secret agreement between the USSR and the CSSR the Soviet Union secures exclusive rights to all uranium mined within Czechoslovakia.
1945 (Dec 10) Eugene Rabinowitch and Hyman Goldsmith publish first issue of The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientist.
1945 (Dec 19) Nuclear research begins in India with establishment of Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR) with Homi Jehangir Bhabha as its first director.
1945 (Dec 24) An attaché at the US Embassy in Moscow warns that "the USSR is out to get the atomic bomb. This has been officially stated. The meager evidence available indicates that great efforts are being made and that super-priority will be given to the enterprise."
1945 Landmark paper published by Cantril and Parker on tolerance dose.
1945 K. Z. Morgan circulates first comprehensive calculations of maximum permissible body contents and concentrations in air and water for many radionuclides in a Met Lab Report called "Tolerance Concentrations."
1945 Standards developed for plutonium on basis of animal toxicity data. Earliest attempts are on basis of half-life relative to radium, but animal work proves this to be incorrect.
1945-1946 Inhalation experiments at Rochester made basis for revision of standard for uranium. Different levels recommended for soluble versus insoluble salts.
1945-1947 18 patients (one a five year old) injected with plutonium at Rochester, NY, Oak Ridge, TN., U. of Chicago, and UCSF. No informed consent; potential doses much greater than occupational limits.
1945 Promethium discovered by J. A. Marinski, L. E. Glendenin, C.D. Coryell (United States).
1945 Americium discovered by G.T. Seaborg, R.A. James, L. O. Morgan, and A. Ghiorso (United States).
1946 (Jan 24) The UN General Assembly adopts its first resolution, which establishes an Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) and calls for the "elimination from national armaments of atomic weapons and all other major weapons adaptable to mass destruction."
1946 (Feb 16) Faculty of Columbia University, including physicist Isidor Rabi, urges President Truman to stop production of atomic bombs.
1946 (Mar 28) Acheson-Lilienthal Report on the International Control of Atomic Energy is released stating, "Only if the dangerous aspects of atomic energy are taken out of national hands...is there any reasonable prospect of devising safeguards against the use of atomic energy for atomic bombs."
1946 (Apr 18) During a top-secret, three-day conference at Los Alamos, New Mexico scientists examine feasibility of developing the hydrogen bomb.
1946 (Apr) Soviet (USSR) scientist Lulii Khariton chooses a remote and scenic location near the village of Arzamas (now Sarov), about 400 miles east of Moscow, as secret location for Soviet weapons lab. Khariton will serve as scientific director of Arzamas-16 from 1946 until 1992.
1946 (May 21 <3:20 PM>) 32 year old Canadian physicist Louis Slotin manually assembled a critical mass of plutonium while demonstrating his technique to visiting scientists at Los Alamos, New Mexico and suffered a fatal criticality accident. The device consisted of two half-spheres of beryllium-covered plutonium, which can be moved together slowly to measure the criticality. Normally the device would be operated by machinery, but Slotin distrusted the devices and manually operated it by holding the upper sphere with his thumb inserted in a hole in the top like a bowling ball. In most experiments, a number of washers would be arranged to prevent the two hemispheres from falling together completely, but he had removed them. In order to slowly bring the two pieces together, he rested one edge on the lower sphere and rotated a slot screwdriver between the other edge to control the separation. At one point, the screwdriver slipped and the assembly went critical while he was still holding onto it. None of the seven observers received a lethal dose, but Slotin died on the 30th from massive of GI tract syndrome, with an estimated dose of 1100 to 2200 rad whole body, 30,000 rad on hands, of mixed neutron and gamma radiation while "tickling the dragon's tail" Bomb core was the same as the one that killed Daghlian.
1946 (June 14) At the first meeting of the United Nations Atomic Energy Commission, U.S. delegate Bernard Baruch presents a modified Acheson-Lilienthal Proposal to internationalize control of atomic energy. He announces, "We are here to make a choice between the quick and the dead. That is our business. Behind the black portent of the new atomic age lies a hope, which seized upon in faith, can work our salvation. If we fail, then we have damned every man to be the slave of Fear. Let us not deceive ourselves. We must elect World Peace or World Destruction."
1946 (July 1) Crossroads Able (21 kT) US fission bomb test at Bikini atoll. Detonated at 520 feet above the island
1946 (July 24) Crossroads Baker (21 kT) US fission bomb test at Bikini atoll, detonated at 90 feet underwater. Test shot Charlie was scrubbed due to higher than expected contamination.
1946 (Aug 1) US Atomic Energy Act is passed; establishes AEC and JCAE.
1946 (Aug) The Oak Ridge facility ships the first nuclear reactor-produced radioisotopes for civilian use to the Barnard Cancer Hospital in St. Louis, Mo.
1946 (Nov 10) Team of Soviet (USSR) scientists, headed by Igor Kurchatov, begins assembly of first full-scale nuclear reactor.
1946 (Dec 25) The Soviet Union (USSR) achieves its first nuclear chain reaction in Moscow, using an experimental graphite-moderated natural uranium pile.
1946 (Dec 30) The UN Atomic Energy Commission approves the Baruch plan calling for the creation of an international atomic development authority. In doing so, it rejects the Soviet plan which called for nuclear disarmament before any international agency is created.
1946 (Dec 31) Soviet (USSR) scientists review "classical super," Edward Teller's design for the hydrogen bomb.
1946 Dr. Helmuth Ulrich publishes study in "New England Journal of Medicine" showing leukemia rate among radiologists to be eight times that of other doctors.
1946 Reorganization of US Advisory Committee. Renamed National Committee on Radiation Protection and operates out of the Bureau of Standards. Has two subcommittees on radionuclide problems.
1946 US starts nuclear bomb tests in the South Pacific.
1946 Fission products investigated as carcinogenic agents in Chicago.
1946 Hanford establishes a Biology Section under Radiological Sciences Division.
1946-1947 Six patients injected with enriched uranium nitrate at Rochester. Some doses produced kidney damage.
1947 (Jan) Reports about some of the US human radiation experiments, originally classified, are declassified apparently at the suggestion of the researchers involved.
1947 (Feb 26) C.L. Marshall, an AEC deputy declassification officer, writes, “This document appears to be the most dangerous since it describes experiments performed on human subjects, including the actual injection of the metal, plutonium, into the body. Unless, of course, the legal aspects were covered by the necessary documents, the experimenters and the employing agencies, including the U.S., have been laid open to a devastating lawsuit which would ... have far-reaching results. The coldly scientific manner in which the results are tabulated and discussed would have a very poor effect on the general public.” No mention is made to any perceived need for withholding information for national security purposes.
1947 (May) AEC chairman David Lillienthal convenes a group of senior researchers to develop recommendations on the new agency's policies on medical research.
1947 (June) “Secrecy in research is distasteful,” the AEC’s medical research advisory group declares in a report, “and in the long run is contrary to the best interests of scientific progress.”
1947 (Aug) The United Kingdom's first atomic reactor at Harwell comes into operation.
1947 (Sept 28) British physicist Klaus Fuchs meets with his agent Alexander Feklisov in London and describes certain structural characteristics of the hydrogen bomb.
1947 (Oct) Nuclear war plans of U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff considers 150 "Nagasaki type" sufficient to defeat the USSR. Nuclear weapons stockpile is still small (20-50) but growing.
1947 (Dec 22) "... an education program must be organized so that each person engaged in work that involves radiation exposure may be taught to appreciate the problems of radiation protection, and learn to consider it a personal responsibility to see that he and all those with whom he works are protected adequately from radiation hazards." -- K.Z. Morgan, Clinton National Laboratory.
1947 US National Academy of Sciences establishes Atomic Bomb Casualty Commission (ABCC) to initiate long-term studies of A-bomb survivors in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
1947 Hanford experiment on radioiodine in sheep begins.
1947 Work on metabolism of Sr-90 in rhesus monkeys begins (Berkeley).
1947 Publication of Morgan's compendium on tolerance concentrations of radioactive substances -- the computational approach.
1947 Parker describes standard setting and operational limits used in MED operations and important principles.
1947 Higinbotham circuit invented.
1947 Improved linear amplifiers make multichannel analyzers possible for nuclide identification.
1947 Early pulse height analyzer used with radiation detectors. Freundlich, Hincks, and Ozeroff report using a 20 channel analyzer with a proportional counter.
1947 Dynamic condenser electrometer invented by Palevsky, Swank, and Grenchik.
1947 Effects of strontium and plutonium on fetal and infant dogs are reported.
1947 Start of long-term toxicity studies in mice (Argonne) with plutonium, radium, uranium, and fission products.
1947-1950s Drs. treat ringworm of scalp with 400 rad x-ray to cause hair to fall out; later shown to be cause of thyroid tumors (Israel).
1947-1970 Work with radium dial painters and patients resumes at MIT and increases markedly. New population found and added. Osteosarcomas multiply. Carcinoma of sinus appears.
1948 (April 14) Sandstone X-ray US bomb test at Enewetok (37 kT) Tower shot.
1948 (April 30) Sandstone Yoke US bomb test at Enewetok (49 kT). Tower shot.
1948 (May 5) Joint Chiefs of Staff brief President Truman on "Halfmoon," their nuclear war plan. The plan calls for dropping 50 atomic bombs on 20 Russian cities. Truman disapproves.
1948 (May 14) Sandstone Zebra US bomb test at Enewetok (18 kT). Tower shot.
1948 (May 14) Four people exposed to fallout of fission products at Enewetok in the South Pacific. Four employees, who were handling fission samples improperly, received whole-body exposures ranging from 1.7 rem to 17 rem.
1948 (June 7) Reactor A at the Mayak complex near Chelyabinsk reaches full criticality, enabling the USSR to produce plutonium.
1948 (June 19) First Soviet plutonium production reactor becomes operational at Kyshtym in the Ural Mountains.
1948 Heinz Spiess asked to investigate Ra-224 therapy cases in Germany.
1948 Six patients at U. of Rochester who received uranium for kidney function tests described. Threshold for kidney damage described.
1948 Halogen quenching gases introduced in gas-filled detectors.
1948 Transistor invented by Shockley, Bardeen, and Brattain.
1949 (Mar 1) AEC announces the selection of a site in Idaho for the National Reactor Testing Station.
1949 (May) William Bailey, maker and user of Radithor, dies of bladder cancer.
1949 (Aug 29) USSR Soviet Union detonates its first atomic bomb, Joe 1 (10-22 kT) at Semipalatinsk in Kazakhstan.
1949 (Sept 7) Accident at Los Alamos Labs 1 person exposed to transuranics.
1949 (Sept 23) Truman announces USSR has tested A-bomb.
1949 (Oct 29) AEC committee headed by Oppenheimer votes against hydrogen bomb. Teller urges construction.
1949 (Dec 2) The Green Run at Hanford reprocesses one ton of irradiated uranium 16 days after irradiation (instead of normal 83-101 days); releases 20,000 curies of xenon-133 and 7,780 curies of iodine-131; plume measures 200 by 40 miles.
1949 (Dec) Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory Water boiler reactor; control rods removed by hand; single excursion; 2.5 rad to operator.
1949 U.S. officials raise health concerns about Port Radium miners.
1949 First Tri-Partite Conference on Internal Dosimetry (Chalk River, Ontario). Accumulated experience of war years utilized.
1949 NCRP lowers basic "Maximum Permissible Dose" for radiation workers to 0.3 rem/week; risk-benefit philosophy introduced; limits for the general public set at 10% of the occupational limit.
1949 Officials in Mayak Chemical Combine at Chelyabinsk, USSR begin dumping wastes from plutonium production into the Techa River. From 1949 to 1956, 2.75 million curies of radioactivity is dumped into the river without notifying the townspeople downstream. Some exposed to doses as high as 350 rem/yr.
1949 Berkelium discovered by G. T. Seaborg, S. G. Tompson, and A. Ghiorso (United States).
1950 (Jan 21) Truman orders construction of hydrogen bomb.
1950 (Jan)174 Aircraft Factory Kansas, 1 person accidentally exposed to an x-ray device.
1950 (Feb 13) A B-36 en route from Alaska to perform a simulated bombing run on Californian cities developed multiple engine fires due to carburetor icing in the extreme cold. The crew dumped the single Mark IV bomb (carrying the depleted uranium tamper but not its plutonium core) off British Columbia then abandoned ship. The high explosives detonated on impact.
1950 (April 11) Kirtland AFB, New Mexico, B-29 crash kills crew of 13 and high explosive of nuclear weapon burns.
1950 (July 5) Chelyabinsk-40, Ozersk, Russia, USSR, - Mayak A radiation accident at a nuclear reactor site caused 5 injuries. Injured included 1 with acute radiation sickness.
1950 (Aug 17) Julius and Ethel Rosenberg indicted in atom spy case.
1950 (Aug 19) Chelyabinsk-40, Ozersk, Russia, USSR – Mayak A radiation accident at a radiochemical plant caused 1 case of acute radiation sickness.
1950 (Sept 13) Chelyabinsk-40, Ozersk, Russia, USSR – Mayak A radiation accident at a radiochemical plant caused 1 case of acute radiation sickness.
1950 (Sept 20) Chelyabinsk-40, Ozersk, Russia, USSR – Mayak A radiation accident at a radiochemical plant caused 1 case of acute radiation sickness.
1950 (Sept 28) Chelyabinsk-40, Ozersk, Russia, USSR – Mayak A radiation accident at a nuclear reactor site caused 1 injury. Injured included 1 with acute radiation sickness.
1950 (Nov 10) A B-50 returning one of several US Mark IV bombs secretly deployed in Canada had engine trouble and jettisoned the weapon at 10,500 feet. The bomb, carrying the depleted uranium tamper but not its plutonium core ("pit"), was set to self-destruct at 2500' and dropped over the St. Lawrence River off Rivière du Loup, Quebec. The explosion shook area residents and scattered nearly 100 pounds (45 kg) of uranium.[
1950 Second Tri-Partite Conference on Internal Dosimetry (Buckland House, Harwell, U.K.)
1950 Californium discovered by G. T. Seaborg, S. G. Tompson, A. Ghiorso, and K. Street Jr. (United States).
1950 ICRP and ICRU reorganized from pre-war committees and expand scope of interest beyond medicine.
1950 ICRP adopts basic MPC of 0.3 R/week for radiation workers.
1950s Radium beagle studies in Utah and Davis.
1950s AEC develops regulations for individual radionuclides under occupational exposure conditions.
1950s Fallout shelters are built as part of major Civil Defense program.
1950-1954 Work with tritium at Hanford includes checks in man.
1950s-1960s Argonne study of Ottawa and La Salle, Illinois radium dial painters.
1950s-1970 Large scale program at Argonne on toxicity of radium in mice.
1951 (Jan 27) Ranger Able US bomb (1 kT) test at Nevada Test site. Air drop
1951 (Jan 28) Ranger Baker US bomb (28 kT) test at Nevada Test site. Air drop
1951 (Jan) Chelyabinsk-40, Ozersk, Russia, USSR – Mayak A radiation accident involving manipulation of fuel rods at a nuclear reactor site caused 1 injury. Injured included 1 with acute radiation sickness.
1951 (Feb 1) Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory, Critical separation experiment, two large 235U metal masses in water; multiple excursions (criticalities); insignificant exposures.
1951 (Feb 1) Ranger Easy US bomb (1 kT) test at Nevada Test site. Air drop.
1951 (Feb 2) Ranger Baker 2 US bomb (8 kT) test at Nevada Test site. Air drop.
1951 (Feb 6) Ranger Fox US bomb (22 kT) test at Nevada Test site. Air drop.
1951 (April 8) Greenhouse Dog US bomb (70 kT) test at Pacific Proving Grounds. Tower shot to simulate air burst.
1951 (April 21) Greenhouse Easy US bomb (47 kT) test at Pacific Proving Grounds. Tower shot to simulate air burst.
1951 (May 9) Greenhouse George US bomb (225 kT) test at Pacific Proving Grounds. Tower shot to simulate air burst.
1951 (May 25) Greenhouse Item US bomb (45.5 kT) test at Pacific Proving Grounds. Tower shot to simulate air burst. First bomb to use a tritium-deuterium booster (actually fusion) to increase yield.
1951 (July) Chelyabinsk-40, Ozersk, Russia, USSR – Mayak A radiation accident involving a gamma/beta source caused 1 injury. Injured included 1 with acute radiation sickness.
1951 (Oct 1) Chelyabinsk-40, Ozersk, Russia, USSR – Mayak A radiation accident occurred at a nuclear reactor site, variously reported as involving manipulation of fuel rods or involving radiochemical plant operations. Resultant radiation exposure caused 1 fatality and 3 injuries, all with acute radiation sickness.
1951 (Oct 22) Buster-Jangle Able tower shot at Nevada Test site. 0 yield. Failed to fire.
1951 (Oct 28) Buster-Jangle Baker (3.5 kT) bomb test at Nevada Test site. Air dropped.
1951 (Oct 30) Buster-Jangle Charlie 14 kT at Nevada Test Site. Air dropped
1951 (Nov 1) Buster-Jangle Dog 21 kT at Nevada Test Site. Air dropped. Extensive involvement of troops in training exercises in this and the rest of the Buster-Jangle series.
1951 (Nov 5) Buster-Jangle Easy 31 kT at Nevada Test Site. Air dropped.
1951 (Nov 16) Hanford Works, Plutonium solution assembly; cadmium rod removed too rapidly; single excursion (criticality); insignificant exposures
1951 (Nov 19) Buster-Jangle Sugar 1.2 kT at Nevada Test site. Surface burst.
1951 (Nov 29) Buster-Jangle Uncle bomb test 1.2 kT at Nevada Test site. Subsurface ( - 17 ft) burst.
1951 (Dec 2) Chelyabinsk-40, Ozersk, Russia, USSR – Mayak A radiation accident involving manipulation of fuel rods at a nuclear reactor site caused 3 injuries, all with acute radiation sickness.
1951 (Dec 15) Chelyabinsk-40, Ozersk, Russia, USSR – Mayak A radiation accident at a nuclear reactor site caused 2 injuries, both with acute radiation sickness.
1951 (Dec 20) First electricity is generated from atomic power at EBR-1 Idaho National Engineering Lab, Idaho Falls.
1951 Rocky Flats Nuclear Weapons Facility is constructed 16 mi. from Denver.
1951 Follow-up of Los Alamos plutonium workers begins.
1951 K. Z. Morgan suggests lowering allowable exposure levels of radon.
1951 First organizational recommendations since 1941 for permissible levels of radionuclides, primarily from NCRP.
1951 Raben and Bloembergen introduce liquid scintillation counting for low energy beta minus emitters.
1951 McKay reports using a semiconductor device as an alpha-particle detector.
1952 (Mar 4) Chelyabinsk-40, Ozersk, Russia, USSR – Mayak A radiation accident involving nuclear reactor caused one injury (acute radiation sickness).
1952 (May - June) Tumbler-Snapper bomb tests at Nevada Test Site; 4 shots; yields 1 to 31 kT.
1952 (April 1) US bomb test Able 1 kT at Nevada Test Site.
1952 (April 18) Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory, Jemima, cylindrical, unreflected 235U metal assembly; excursion history unknown; insignificant exposures
1952 (April 22) Test-shot Charlie 2 31 kT at Nevada Test Site.
1952 (May 25) Test-shot Fox 11 kT at Nevada Test Site.
1952 (June 1) Test-shot George 2 15 kT at Nevada Test Site.
1952 (June 2) Reactor criticality accident at Argonne National Labs, 4 persons exposed. Manual withdrawal of a control rod from a critical assembly caused in accidental supercriticality. The operation being conducted was the comparison of a series of newly-manufactured control rods. The assembly had been operated with the standard control rod. It was then shut down by inserting all control rods and draining the water moderator, a standard safe method of shutting down the assembly when core changes are to be made. The standard rod was removed and the first of a. series of control rods to be tested was inserted. The, reactor was filled with water with the test control rod fully in and the standard type control rods fully inserted. Withdrawal of one of the standard control rods 32 centimeters caused the assembly to become critical and the power was leveled off while the desired measurements were made. The control rod was then reinserted into the original "in" position. With the water still in the assembly, the four members of the crew then went into the assembly room for the purpose of replacing the control rod which they had just tested. The group leader went up on the platform, reached out with his right hand and started to pull out the tested rod. As soon as he had withdrawn it about one foot, the center of the assembly emitted a bluish glow and a large bubble formed. Simultaneously, there was a muffled explosive noise. The group leader let go of the control rod which he was removing and it fell back into position. The crew left the assembly room immediately and went to the control room. Four employees received radiation dose of 9, 60, 127, and 136 rad.
1952 (June 5) Test-shot How 14 kT at Nevada Test Site.
1952 (July 9) Accidental exposure of 1 person to transuranics at Los Alamos Scientific Labs.
1952 (Oct 3) Great Britain explodes its first A-bomb, Hurricane, (25 KT) in lagoon of Monte Bello Islands off Western Australia.
1952 (Oct) Operations begin at the Savannah River Plant in Aiken, South Carolina, with the startup of the heavy water plant.
1952 (Nov 1) Ivy Mike, US bomb (10.4 MT) first fusion device at Elugelab Island, Eniwetok.
1952 (Nov 15) Ivy King, US bomb (500 kT) largest pure fission bomb at Enewetok.
1952 (Dec 12) The first serious nuclear disaster occurred at the NRX reactor in Chalk River, Canada. A massive power excursion destroyed the core, resulting in a partial meltdown. A series of hydrogen gas explosions threw a four-ton gasholder dome four feet into the air, where it jammed in the superstructure. Thousands of curies of fission products were released into the atmosphere, and a million US gallons (3,800 m³) of radioactively contaminated water was pumped out of the basement into shallow trenches not far from the Ottawa River. The core was buried. Jimmy Carter, then a nuclear engineer in the US Navy, was among the cleanup crew.
1952 Charlie Steen discovers largest underground uranium deposit ever found in U.S. and begins the uranium boom.
1952 Long-term experiments on thousands of mice with Sr/Y (Argonne).
1952 Follow-up on Ra-224 cases begins.
1952 First beagle injected with radioactive material at Utah.
1952 Synthesis of einsteinium discovered in products of first thermonuclear test. Kept secret until 1955.
1952 Marinelli studies transport of radium in lung of man (ANL).
1952 Radiation Research Society formed.
1953 (Jan) Experimental reactor criticality accident in USSR, 2 persons exposed, doses of 300 rem and 450 rem external gamma.
1953 (Mar - June) Upshot-Knothole bomb tests at Nevada Test site; 11 shots 0.2 - 61 KT; first firing of nuclear warhead from cannon (15 KT) and Shot Harry which leads to contamination of St. George, Utah and the “downwinders”.
1953 (Mar 15) Mayak Production Association Plutonium (former USSR) nitrate soluition in an interim storage vessel has a single excursion (unplanned criticality) resulting in one serious exposure (1000 rad). He suffered from sever radiation sickness and amputatio0n of both legs. He died 35 years after accident. The other operator received an estimated dose of 100 rad.
1953 (Mar 17) Test-shot Upshot-Knothole Annie 16 kT at Nevada Test site.
1953 (Mar 24) Upshot-Knothole Nancy 24 kT at Nevada Test site.
1953 (Mar 31) Upshot-Knothole Ruth 0.1 kT (misfire) at Nevada Test site.
1953 (Apr 6) Upshot-Knothole Dixie 11 kT at Nevada Test site.
1953 (Apr 9) Sarov (Arzamas-16), (former USSR) Plutonium, natural uranium reflected, assembly; single excursion; insignificant exposures
1953 (Apr 11) Upshot-Knothole Ray 0.1 kT (partial misfire) at Nevada test site.
1953 (Apr 18) Upshot-Knothole Badger 23 kT at Nevada Test site.
1953 (Apr 25) Test-shot Upshot-Knothole Simon 43 kT at the Nevada Test site.
1953 (Apr 27) A class of radiochemistry students at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York observed high levels of radiation. Ground radiation averaged about 50 Ci/km²; some puddles register 270 nCi/L, nearly 3000 times the United States Atomic Energy Commission limit. The radiation is traced to fallout from the Upshot-Knothole Simon test, which had occurred two days previously.
1953 (May 8) Upshot-Knothole Encore 27 kT at Nevada Test site.
1953 (May 19) Test-shot Upshot-Knothole Harry 27 kT at Nevada Test Site.
1953 (May 25) Test-shot Upshot-Knothole Grable 15 kT at Nevada Test Site. Fired from an atomic cannon “Atomic Annie” (280mm). It was detonated 6.2 miles away at 525 feet above ground. 21,000 soldiers participated in ground exercises (Desert Rock V).
1953 (June 4) Test-shot Upshot-Knothole Climax 61 kT at Nevada Test Site.
1953 (June 19) Rosenbergs executed as spies who gave the plans for the atomic bomb to the USSR.
1953 (Aug 12) USSR explodes its first hydrogen bomb, Joe 4, 400 kt.
1953 (Oct 14 & 26) Operation Totem, British tests, 10 KT and 8 KT explode at Emu Field test site in South Australia. In Operation Hot Box, 3 men fly thru mushroom cloud six minutes after detonation of Totem 1 and receive 10-15 rem.
1953 (Dec 8) Eisenhower delivers "Atoms for Peace" speech to UN General Assembly.
1953 (Dec 23) Oppenheimer loses security clearance due to contact with Communists in the '30s (and opposition to H-bomb.)
1953 International Commission on Radiological Units introduces concept of absorbed dose defining the rad as depositing 100 ergs per gram of any substance.
1953 Synthesis of fermium. Like einsteinium, it is found in hydrogen bomb products and is kept secret until 1955.
1953 First Port Radium miner dies of cancer. United States government secretly begins health studies on U.S. miners.
1953 Argonne Cancer Research Hospital opens.
1953 Third Tri-Partite Conference on Internal Dosimetry (Arden House, Harriman, NY) sets dose limit of 1.5 rem/yr. to individual members of the general public; 100 pCi/l of air for radon (12 WL months/yr.).
1953 Production of nuclear weapons triggers begins at Rocky Flats, CO.
1953 Reines and Cowan at Los Alamos Labs are the first to detect the neutrino. They use a liquid scintillation counter 10 cu. ft. in volume, viewed by 90 photomultiplier tubes. The device looks at neutrino combining with proton in cadmium, then the release of a positron and its annihilation.
1953 Melbourne, Australia major overexposure to one individual (dose unknown) to Co-60
1954 (Jan 21) US Navy launches the first nuclear powered submarine, the U.S.S. Nautilus; capabilities include cruising 62,500 miles without refueling.
1954 (Jan 27) Revised Federal radiation protection guidance for workers is published in US.
1954 (Feb 4) Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory, Lady Godiva reactor; bare 235U sphere; control rod incorrectly operated; single excursion; insignificant exposures.
1954 (Feb 12) Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory, Lady Godiva reactor; bare 235U sphere; added reflection; single excursion; insignificant exposures.
1954 (Feb - May) Castle bomb tests at Pacific Proving Grounds; 6 shots; includes 15 MT "Bravo".
1954 (March 1) US hydrogen bomb Test-shot (Castle Bravo) 15 MT -- it uses the Li-Deuteride Teller-Ulam design and yields almost twice as large as expected -- over Bikini results in fallout over Marshall Islands, contaminates crew of 23 on Fortunate Dragon 7 (Daigo Fukuryu Maru), 28 US servicemen, and 239 Marshall Islanders. One member of the Fukuryu Maru crew died of a liver disorder, a complication from radiation sickness, on 23 September 1954. Those who were children at Rongelap show high frequencies of thyroid anomalies, and one 19-year old male died in 1972 of leukemia (age 1 year at time of exposure).
1954 (March 27) Castle Romeo, 11 MT, bomb test. Barge shot. Large percentage of yield, more than expected, came from fast fission of U-238, and more participation of Li-7 in fusion.
1954 (April 26) Test-shot Castle Union, 6.9 MT, another dry fusion (Li-D) bomb, Bikini Island, barge shot.
1954 (May 5) Castle Yankee testing Runt II design, 13.5 MT, using partially enriched Li-6, at Bikini Island.
1954 (May 26) Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Uranium solution assembly, central poison cylinder tilted from proper position; single excursion (criticality); insignificant exposures
1954 (May 29) The Society of Nuclear Medicine holds its first meeting.
1954 (June) First electricity generated from nuclear power in USSR in a five megawatt power station.
1954 (July 22) National Reactor Testing Station (near Idaho Falls, Idaho), BORAX reactor, aluminum-uranium alloy, water moderated; single excursion; insignificant exposures
1954 (Aug 30) Atomic Energy Act of 1954 passed permits private ownership of nuclear power.
1954 (Sept 6) Ground broken for Shippingport Atomic Power Station (PA).
1954 (Sept 13) Totsk, Kazakhstan, USSR .44,000 soldiers participate in wargame where a 40 kt nuclear bomb is detonated at 1,150 feet in the air. The detonation occurred about 280 m off target, placing it closer to the small group of forward positioned troops. At least 40 minutes after the detonation, troops engaged in maneuvers taking them within 0.5-2 km of ground zero. Troops sent immediately into contaminated dust
Reports differ regarding the degree of instruction to troops and decontamination procedures followed. According to some reports, some soldiers were suffering radiation sickness upon return to their base later that day. The soldiers were sworn to secrecy regarding the exercise, however. Reports of long-term radiation injury are poorly documented; reportedly the archives of the local hospital from 1954 to 1980 were destroyed. In 1990 a committee was established to provide treatment to surviving participants.
1954 An experimental sodium-cooled reactor utilized aboard the USS Seawolf, the U.S.'s second nuclear submarine, was scuttled in 9,000 feet of water off the Delawre/Maryland coast. The reactor was plagued by persistent leaks in its steam system (caused by the corrosive nature of the sodium) and was later replaced with a more conventional model. The reactor is estimated to have contained 33,000 curies of radioactivity and is likely the largest single radioactive object ever dumped deliberately into the ocean. Subsequent attempts to locate the reactor proved to be futile.
1954 Work on Ra-223, daughter of actinium, and its biological effects (Berkeley, CA).
1954 Kerr-McGee opens uranium mines in Red Rock, Arizona, employing 100 Navajos.
1954 Indications appear that tissue burdens of uranium in man are lower than predicted by models (Eisenbud & Quigley).
1954 Radioactive particles receive attention at Hanford.
1954 Utah conference on plutonium, radium, and mesothorium (2nd Annual).
1954 Start-up of Rocky Flats plant (Colorado).
1954 Mercury, NV An employee unknowingly worked and slept in close proximity to highly contaminated equipment while it was in transport between testing sites. He received a 24 rem whole-body exposure in 24 hours; his total yearly exposure was 27.8 rem.
1954 Mercury, NV While handling 55-gallon drums, whose greasy surfaces had trapped considerable amounts of radioactive fallout, an employee received 13 rem whole-body exposure during one working day. His total yearly exposure was 15.14 rem.
1955 (Jan 10) AEC announces the Power Demonstration Reactor Program under which the AEC and industry would cooperate to build and operate reactors.
1955 (Feb - May) Teapot bomb tests at Nevada Test Site; 13 shots; yields 1 - 43 kT. Immediately after the "Ess" shot on 23 March, 1955, ground forces took part in Operation Desert Rock VI in which an armored task force "Razor" moved within 900 meters of ground zero, under the still-forming mushroom cloud.
1955 (Feb 18) Teapot Wasp 1 kT at Nevada Test site.
1955 (Feb 22) Test-shot Teapot Moth 2 kT at Nevada Test Site.
1955 (Mar 1) Test-shot Teapot Tesla 7 kT at Nevada Test Site
1955 (Mar 1) 1 person exposed to fission product fallout at Nevada Test Site. A security guard was to accompany the radiation safety monitors into the exclusion area, after a. weapons test and establish surveillance of equipment. The guard had his own vehicle. When he arrived at the place where he was to meet the monitors, the guard found that they had already left and started out after them. Somehow, he lost his way and drove beyond the established safety point. When it became apparent that he could not find the radiation safety monitors, he contacted his headquarters by radio and notified them of his position. He was immediately ordered out of the area. The guard's film badge indicated he had received a dose of 39 rem.
1955 (Mar 7) Teapot Turk 43 kT at Nevada Test site.
1955 (Mar 12) Test-shot Teapot Hornet 4 kT at Nevada Test Site
1955 (Mar 22) Test-shot Teapot Bee 8 kT at Nevada Test Site.
1955 (Mar 23) Teapot Ess 1kT at Nevada Test site. Immediately after, ground forces took part in Operation Desert Rock VI in which an armored task force "Razor" moved within 900 meters of ground zero, under the still-forming mushroom cloud.
1955 (Mar 29) Teapot Wasp Prime 3 kT at Nevada Test Site.
1955 (April 15) Test-shot Teapot Met 22 kT at Nevada Test Site.
1955 (May 5) Test-shot Apple II 29 kT at Nevada Test Site.
1955 (May 14) Wigwam bomb test off west coast of US; 1 deep (2000 ft) underwater burst of 30 kT.
1955 (May 17) Fermi and Szilard patent the CP-1 pile.
1955 (June 13) Decision is made to form the Health Physics Society.
1955 (July) Arco, Idaho becomes the first U.S. town to be powered by nuclear energy.
1955 (Aug 8-20) First UN International Conference on Peaceful Uses of Atomic Energy held in Geneva, Switzerland.
1955 (Nov 22) USSR explodes second hydrogen bomb. The first weaponized fusion device, 1.6 Mt. The Third Idea (RDS-37) bomb was the first hydrogen bomb to be dropped from an aircraft. Atmospheric refraction of the shock wave caused unexpected blast damage, killing three.
1955 (Nov 29) An operator's error destroyed a three-year-old experimental breeder reactor EBR-I. by melting half its fuel rods.
1955 (Dec 8) Melbourne, Australia, 3 persons are accidentally exposed to a Cs-137 radiography device.
1955 The Health Physics Society is formed.
1955 Albert Einstein (born 1879) dies.
1955 Formulation of standards for single exposures by Morgan, Snyder, & Ford.
1955 United Nations Scientific Committee (UNSCEAR) organized to gather information, much of it pertinent to standard setting.
1955 Synthesis of mendelevium G. T. Seaborg, S. G. Tompson, A. Ghiorso, and K. Street Jr. (United States).
1955 Hanford, WA Overexposure to Pu-239 (dose unknown)
1956 (Jan 18) Reynolds Electric, Las Vegas, NV, When the prescribed time after a shot had elapsed, four employees, dressed in the proper protective clothing, were recovering samples from a nuclear test area. It had been prearranged to have a. monitor enter the area. in advance of the men; however, they entered the area to redeem the samples without the monitor. The four men received external radiation exposures of 28, 19, 14 and 4 rem, respectively. Upon medical examination, the men showed no signs of ill effects.
1956 (Feb 1) Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Uranium solution assembly; wave motion created by falling cadmium sheet; single excursion (criticality); insignificant exposures.
1956 (Mar 6) Somewhere en route to a rendezvous with an Air Force tanker flying over the Mediterranean Sea, a B-47 from MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Florida disappeared without a trace. The plane was carrying two nuclear capsules at the time of the incident.
1956 (April 30) Los Alamos Scientific Labs accidentally exposes one person to transuranics.
1956 (May - July) Redwing bomb tests at Pacific Proving Grounds; 17 shots; first US airdrop of thermonuclear device (MT range).
1956 (May 16 & June 19) Operation Mosaic, British tests, 15 KT & 98 KT on Monte Bello Islands in West Australia; cloud contaminates mainland on second shot.
1956 (June 6) AEC safety study warns against construction of the Fermi breeder plant.
1956 (June 6) Test-shot Seminole 13.7 kT at Eniwetok.
1956 (June 11) Test-shot Blackfoot 8.5 kT at Eniwetok.
1956 (June 25) Test-shot Dakota 1 MT Bikini Is.
1956 (July 2) Test-shot Mohawk 350 kT at Eniwetok
1956 (July 2) Nine individuals were injured after two explosions destroyed a portion of Sylvania Electric Products' Metallurgy Atomic Research Center in Bayside, Queens, New York.
1956 (July 8) Test-shot Apache 1.9 MT at Eniwetok.
1956 (July 23) Idaho Falls, ID During a shutdown operation for scheduled refueling, six employees were working on the reactor top adjacent to the reactor tank opening, while two men were present as observers and advisors. All were exposed to radiation when a highly radioactive reactor component was placed in a position where it was not adequately shielded because of lowered water level in the reactor tank. The moving of the component and the coincident lowering of the water level were done to facilitate insertion and removal of experiments in the reactor. The eight employees received radiation exposures, ranging from 2.5 rem to 21.5 rem.
1956 (July 27) Broken Arrow 1, Lakenheath AFB, UK. US B-47 bomber catches fire on landing and crashes into nuclear bomb storage igloo. 3 Mark 6 bombs containing 8000 lb. of TNT trigger each threaten to explode. Fire crew heroically pour foam on igloo instead of trying to save four trapped fliers.
1956 (Sept - Oct) Operation Buffalo, British tests, 15 KT & 10 KT tower shots, 3 KT airburst, and 1.5 KT surface detonation at Maralinga, South Australia.
1956 (Oct 17) First full-size nuclear power plant, Windscale, opened by Queen Elizabeth II (Britain).
1956 National Academy of Sciences and ICRP recommend lower basic permissible dose for radiation workers to 5 rad/year.
1956 Indications that uranium may be less toxic to humans than animal experiments predict --Eisenbud.
1956 Early reports of strontium metabolism in man by Comar, Laszlo, & Spencer.
1956 Discovery of nonconservation of parity by Lee and Yang.
1956 Irene Joliot-Curie (born 1897) dies of aplastic anemia, 10 years after a sealed capsule of polonium-210 was accidentally broken in her laboratory at the Radium Institute in Paris.
1957 (Jan 1) US Air Force and AEC pick Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (California) to develop Pluto, a Supersonic Low-Altitude Missile. Pluto uses a nuclear ramjet to propel itself to Mach 3. Its reactor, Tory, is designed by Ted Merkle. The missile is planned to fly under radar and drop hydrogen bombs on the USSR.
1957 (Mar 29) "Study of Some Physical and Biological Aspects of the Action of High Energy Electrons on Microorganisms." is published by Michael Reese Hospital. The work, (for the U.S. Army Quartermaster Corps, is to "be used in developing the high energy electron beam from the linear accelerator as a tool for the preservation of food by irradiation
1957 (Mar) Employees of a Houston, TX company licensed by the Atomic Energy Commission to encapsulate sources for radiographic cameras opened a can containing 10 pellets of Iridium192. Using a jeweler's lathe isolated inside a Plexiglas box and 33 inches (838 mm) of concrete, the two operators discovered that two of the pellets were powderized. Some of the dust escaped the containment facility. One of the workers, dressed in street clothes left the area, while another remained, working in lab clothes and wearing a respirator. The contamination was not discovered by company personnel for a month and not by the AEC for about five weeks. The incident was reported in Look Magazine in 1961. By then, at least eight private homes and seven automobiles had been contaminated by the spreading dust. Only the two workers were found to have suffered radiation burns. The widely reported incident, in the early days of AEC civilian licensing administration, reportedly led to families of the workers being alienated from neighbors who feared contamination. Reports released by the Mayo Clinic four years after the accident found few of the radiological injuries claimed in widespread press reports, but failed to assuage public fears that followed publicity of the accident.
1957 (April 21) Mayak Production Association (former USSR) Uranium precipitate, U(90), buildup in a filtrate receiving vessel; excursion history unknown (criticality accident) results in one fatality, five other significant exposures. Operator received 3000 rad (died 12 days after accident), others received up to 300 rad and suffer radiation sickness but recover.
1957 (May - Oct) Plumbbob bomb tests at Nevada Test Site; 29 shots; including the highest yield shot fired to date in the continental US ("Hood", 74 KT); first deep (790') underground burst ("Ranier", 1.7 KT). Approximately 18,000 members of the U.S. armed forces participated in exercises Desert Rock VII and VIII. Plumbbob released 58,300 kiloCuries of I-131 to the atmosphere.
1957 (May 15) First British hydrogen bomb destroys Christmas Island in South Pacific.
1957 (May 22) Broken Arrow 2, Kirtland AFB, New Mexico; B-36 bomber mistakenly releases 10 MT Mark 17 hydrogen bomb at 1700 feet over University of NM land; makes crater 12 ft deep and 25 ft in diameter; no contamination found.
1957 (May 28) Test-shot Boltzmann 12 kT at Nevada Test Site.
1957 (July 24) Test-shot Kepler 10 kT at Nevada Test Site.
1957 (July 28) C-124 Globemaster with 3 nuclear weapons and a nuclear capsule from Dover Air Force Base lost power in two engines. Two weapons were jettisoned somewhere off Rehobeth, Delaware and Cape May, New Jersey/Wildwood, New Jersey; they were reportedly never found.
1957 (July) The Sodium Reactor Experiment in Santa Susana, CA. generates the first power from a civilian nuclear reactor.
1957 (Aug 3) Vallacitos Power Reactor in Pleasanton, CA goes critical on 15 kg of Uranium. Reactor is built to be prototype of Dresden.
1957 (Aug 7) Test-shot Stokes 19 kT at Nevada Test Site.
1957 (Aug 18) Test-shot Shasta 17 kT at Nevada Test Site.
1957 (Aug 30) Test-shot Franklin 4.7 kT at Nevada Test Site.
1957 (Aug 31) Test-shot Smokey 44 kT at Nevada test site.
1957 (Sept 1) Eisenhower signs Price-Anderson Amendment to the Atomic Energy Act to limit liability in case of nuclear industry accident.
1957 (Sept 2) Test-shot Galileo 11 kT at Nevada Test Site.
1957 (Sept 11) $1 million fire in Building 771at Rocky Flats, CO 27 km from Denver blows out all 620 filters and releases unspecified amount of contamination from the 30 - 45 lb. of burning plutonium.
1957 (Sept 14) Test-shot Fizeau 11 kT at Nevada Test Site.
1957 (Sept 16) Test-shot Newton 12 kT at Nevada Test Site.
1957 (Sept 29) Explosion of underground, high-level nuclear waste storage tank at Mayak Chemical Complex, near Chelyabinsk and Kyshtym (USSR) in the Urals vents 2 million curies over 15,000 sq. miles. Population of over 250,000 resettled due to Sr-90 contamination, 10,180 exposed. Possibly the world's worst nuclear accident.
1957 (Sept - Oct) Operation Antler, British tests, 1 KT & 6 KT tower shots, 25 KT air burst.
1957 (Sept) U.S. sets off first underground nuclear test in a mountain tunnel in the remote desert 100 miles from Las Vegas, NV.
1957 (Oct 1) UN establishes the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Vienna, Austria.
1957 (Oct 4) Oak Ridge, TN. An employee received an exposure to radiation for less than one minute when he mistakenly entered a room containing tanks of radioactive residues used in processing irradiated fuel elements. The exposure was first discovered when a pocket dosimeter was examined at the end of the day's shift and was confirmed when the employee's film badge was processed. He apparently suffered no ill effects and continued working; however, he was transferred to other duties. Dose was measured at 63 rem.
1957 (Oct 8-12) Windscale Pile No. 1 at Sellafield north of Liverpool, England began an annealing process to release Wigner energy from graphite portions of the reactor. The reactor that burned was one of two air-cooled graphite-moderated natural uranium reactors at the site used for production of plutonium. Technicians mistakenly overheated the reactor pile because poorly placed temperature sensors indicated the reactor was cooling rather than heating, leading to failure of a nuclear cartridge, which allowed uranium and irradiated graphite to react with air. The nuclear fire burned four days, melting and consuming a significant portion of the reactor core. About 150 burning fuel cells could not be lifted from the reactor core, but operators succeeded in creating a fire break by removing nearby fuel cells. A risky effort to cool the graphite core with water eventually quenched the fire. The air-cooled reactor had spewed radioactive gases throughout the surrounding countryside. Milk distribution was banned in a 200 mile² (520 km²) area around the reactor. Over the following years, Pile No. 1 and neighboring Pile No. 2 were shut down, although nuclear decommission work resumed in 1990 and continued at least through 1999. The incident, similar in scale to the Three Mile Island meltdown, was later blamed for dozens of cancer deaths.[
1957 (Oct 11) Homestead AFB, Fl., B-47 crashes on landing, kills four man crew, high explosives on nuclear weapon explode.
1957 (Oct 19) Vallecitos Power Plant (5 MW) in Pleasanton, CA, a GE BWR goes parallel to the grid and is the first commecially owned, privately built nuclear reactor to supply significant quantities of electricity to the public (40,000 MW-hrs) as a joint venture between GE and Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E).
1957 (Nov 8) Grapple X first successful staged hydrogen bomb by the United Kingdom tested at Christmas Island.
1957 (Dec 2) Shippingport, a PWR/LWBR, goes critical in Shippingport, PA; closed Oct 1982.
1957 In 1954, a Soviet Secret Agent, Nikolai Khokhlov, gave himself up to U.S. authorities rather than carry out an assassination in West Germany. He subsequently joined the emigrant Russian revolutionary movement centered in West Germany. In 1957, while attending a Frankfurt conference, he became sick with nausea, vomiting and fainting. Having been hospitalized for acute gastritis, on the sixth day he developed widespread ecchymoses. At the same time, it was discovered that his hair was falling out. Thallium poisoning was suspected. on review of his activities on the day he became sick, he recalled a bad-tasting cup of coffee after his speech; he thought this coffee may have been poisoned. His condition worsened with the development of marrow failure leading to anemia and leucopoenia on the seventh day of hospitalization. He was transferred to the U.S. military hospital in Frankfurt for treatment. It was a month after onset before he was released. No definitive toxicology is known to have been done; the thallium diagnosis was made on clinical grounds. Some time later, American consultants reviewing the case suggested that radioactive thallium ingested in food could most easily explain the syndrome.
1957 NCRP introduces age prorating concept of 5(N-18) for occupational exposure and 0.5 rad/year general public.
1957 American Council of Governmental Industrial Hygienists suggests a single value for air concentration of both soluble and insoluble natural uranium.
1957 US Congressional Joint Committee on Atomic Energy begins series of hearings on radiation hazards, beginning with "The Nature of Radioactive Fallout and Its Effects on Man."
1957 Wash-740 projects damage from maximum credible nuclear accident.
1957 Nobelium discovered at the Nobel Institute of Physics (Sweden).
1958 (Jan 2) Mayak Production Association (former USSR), uranyl nitrate solution, U(90), in an experiment vessel; one prompt critical burst; three fatalities (6000 2000 rad) and one serious exposure (600 rad) who developed cataracts and lost sight in both eyes.
1958 (Jan 31) Sidi Slimane, French Morocco, A B-47 with a fully-armed nuclear weapon crashes and burns for 7 hours at a US Air Force base, 90 miles (145 km) N.E. of Rabat, Morocco. The Air Force evacuates everyone within 1 mile (1.6 km) of the base. Many vehicles and aircraft are contaminated. However, Moroccan officials are not notified.
1958 (Feb 5) A damaged B-47 off the coast of the US state of Georgia, flying near Tybee Island, jettisons a weapon lacking its nuclear core from 7200 feet after attempting to land three times at Hunter Air Force Base. The plane had suffered a collision with an F-86 during simulated combat near Savannah, Georgia, and could not land safely with the heavy bomb on board. The bomb is never recovered.
1958 (Feb 28) At the US airbase at Greenham Common, England, a B-47E of the 310th Bomb Wing developed problems shortly after takeoff and jettisoned its two 1,700 gallon external fuel tanks. They missed their designated safe impact area and one hit a hanger whilst the other struck the ground 65 feet behind a parked B-47E. The parked B-47E, which was fuelled with a pilot onboard and carrying a 1.1 megaton B28 thermonuclear free fall bomb, was engulfed by flames. The conflagration took sixteen hours and over a million gallons of water to extinguish, partly because of the magnesium alloys used in the aircraft. The fire detonated the high explosives in the nuclear weapon and convection spread plutonium and uranium oxides over a wide area — foliage up to 13 kilometres away was contaminated with uranium-235. Although two men were killed and eight injured, the US and UK governments kept the accident secret — as late as 1985, the British Government claimed that a taxiing aircraft had struck a parked one and that no fire was involved. However two scientists, F.H. Cripps and A. Stimson, working for the Atomic Weapons Research Establishment at Aldermaston independently discovered high concentrations of radioactive contamination around the base in 1960. Their secret report referring to the accident was declassified in 1996.
1958 (Mar 11) Broken Arrow 3, Florence, SC, B-47 drops bomb from 14000 ft on garden of Walter Gregg in Mars Bluff, SC makes crater 35 ft deep and 75 ft across; chemical trigger designed to set off TNT explodes spreading plutonium contamination.
1958 (April - Aug) Hardtack-Phase I bomb tests at Eniwetok Proving Grounds; 31 shots; including 2 rockets detonated at high altitudes (up to 252,000 feet).
1958 (May 5) Test-shot Cactus 18 kT Eniwetok Is.
1958 (May 22) Construction begins on the world's first nuclear powered merchant ship, N. S. Savannah, in Camden, NJ. Ship is launched July 21, 1959.
1958 (May 23) NRU experimental reactor at Chalk River (Canada) goes out of control and releases radioactivity.
1958 (June 8) Test-shot Umbrella 9 kT at Eniwetok
1958 (June 16) Oak Ridge National Labs, 8 persons exposed at the Y-12 site during a chemical operations criticality accident. A nuclear accident occurred in a 55-gallon stainless steel drum in a processing area in which enriched uranium is recovered from various materials by chemical methods in a complex of equipment. This recovery process was being remodeled at the time of the accident. The incident occurred while they were draining material thought to be water from safe 5-inch storage pipes into an unsafe drum. Eight employees were in the vicinity of the drum carrying out routine plant operations and maintenance. A chemical operator was participating in the leak testing which inadvertently set off the reaction. He was within three to six feet of the drum, while the other seven employees were from 15 to 50 feet away. Using special post hoc methods for determining the neutron and gamma exposures of the employees involved, it was estimated that the eight men received: 461 rem, 428 rem, 413 rem, 341 rem, 298 rem, 86 rem, 86 rem, and 29 rem. Area contamination was slight, with decontamination costs amounting to less than $1,000.
1958 (June 28) Test-shot Oak 8.9 MT at Eniwetok
1958 (June 30) North American Aviation L 47 homogeneous reactor, 5 Wt, in Canoga Park, CA, is closed.
1958 (June) Alice Stewart publishes first major findings on carcinogenic effect of diagnostic radiation on children.
1958 (Aug - Sept) Argus Project; detonation of 3 low-yield nuclear devices in outer space.
1958 (Sept) Troitsk A, a LGR, goes on-line in Troitsk, Chelyabinsk, RSFSR (USSR); closed 1989.
1958 (Sept - Oct) Hardtack-Phase II at Nevada Test Site; 19 shots; including underground tests (100' to 850') and some shots dropped from balloons
1958 (Oct 15) Boris Kidrich Institute in Vinca Yugoslavia 6 persons, experimental reactor criticality accident (est. doses: 436 rad, 414 rad, 426 rad, 419 rad, 323 rad, 207 rad ). One fatality.
1958 (Oct 22) Test-shot Socorro 6 kT at Nevada Test Site.
1958 (Oct 30) Test-shot Santa Fe 1.3 kT at Nevada Test Site.
1958 (Nov 4) Dyess AFB, Texas, B-47 catches fire on take-off; nuclear weapon's high explosive detonates, blasting crater 35 ft in diameter and 6 ft deep; nuclear materials recovered near crash site; one killed in crash.
1958 (Nov 18) Heat Transfer Reactor Experiment Facility, National Reactor Testing Station in Idaho, suffers extensive fuel damage and releases radioactive material.
1958 (Nov 26) Chennault AFB, Lake Charles, LA, B-47 catches fire on the ground, one nuclear weapon destroyed, contaminates wreckage.
1958 (Dec 30) Los Alamos Scientific Lab, 3 persons exposed during a chemical operations criticality accident. After placing emulsion in a tank, the operator was believed to have added a dilute plutonium solution from a second tank. Solids containing plutonium were probably washed from the bottom of the second tank with nitric acid and the resultant mixture of nitric acid and plutonium-bearing solids added to the tank containing the emulsion. Shortly after starting the stirrer motor to initiate an expected mild non-nuclear reaction between the emulsion and the acid, the operator observed a "blue flash", also observed by an employee in an adjoining room. The employee died 35 hours later from the effects of a radiation exposure tentatively estimated at 12,000 rem (±50%). Two other employees received radiation exposures of 134 rem and 53 rem, respectively. Property damage was reported as negligible.
1958 United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation publishes study of exposure sources and biological hazards (first UNSCEAR Report).
1958 Society of Nuclear Medicine formed.
1958 Frederic Joliot-Curie (born 1900) dies.
1958 Construction begins on Dresden #1.
1958 Reprocessing plant criticality at Los Alamos, NM kills 1.
1958 Bureau of Radiological Health organized within US Public Health Service.
1958 Stannard proposes that lung be regarded as a moderately radiosensitive organ.
1958 Discovery of the Van Allen radiation belts.
1958 Synthesis of nobelium.
1959 (Jan 6) Livermore, Ca A physicist was exposed while a series of adjustments were being made on beam-defining plates in a new electron linear accelerator. Radiation surveys were made with negative results when personnel entered the cell after the first three adjustment runs. No survey was made after the fourth and fifth runs. A survey made after the sixth run showed a 1,000 rem/hr level. During all entries to the cell, the key which was designed to lock all controls in the "OFF" position was removed from the control panel. It was determined that the film badges had been exposed to about 200 keV energy gamma radiation. An exposure dose of 41 rem was assigned to physicist "A". This dose was received in a period of about one minute, which was the established time he worked alone on plates 3 and 4 and entered the cell to measure very high radiation levels. The next highest reading of 400 millirem was received by physicist "B". All others received less than 50 millirem.
1959 (Feb 17) High levels of Sr-90 reported in US milk and in children's bones.
1959 (Apr) Marcoule G2, a GCR, goes on-line in Marcoule, Gard (France); closed Feb 1980.
1959 (July 6) Barksdale AFB, Louisiana, C-124 crashes on take-off, catches fire and destroys nuclear weapon, spreading contamination below the weapon.
1959 (July 21) Nuclear merchant vessel, Savannah, is launched.
1959 (July 26) AEC's Sodium Reactor Experiment reactor, Santa Barbara, CA, 10 of 43 fuel assemblies damaged due to lack of heat transfer, releases contamination.
1959 (Aug 18) Federal Radiation Council (FRC) formed to advise the US President about radiation matters, especially standards. Series of reports issued.
1959 (Oct 15) A B-52 with two nuclear bombs collided in mid-air with a KC-135 jet tanker and crashed near Hardinsberg, Kentucky. Both bombs were recovered intact, but eight crewmembers lost their lives.
1959 (Oct 16) Idaho Chemical Processing Plant, Uranyl nitrate solution, U(91), in a waste receiving tank; multiple excursions; two significant exposures. Because of thick shielding, none of the personnel received significant prompt gamma or neutron doses. During evacuation of the building, airborne fission products (within the building) resulted in combined beta and gamma doses of 50 rem (one person), 32 rem (one person), and smaller amounts to 17 persons.
1959 (Oct) Dresden-1 Nuclear Power Station in Illinois achieves a self-sustaining nuclear reaction. It is the first US nuclear power plant built entirely without government funding.
1959 (Oct) One man was killed and another three were seriously burned in the explosion and fire of a prototype reactor for the USS Triton at the Navy's training center in West Milton, New York. The Navy stated, "The explosion...was completely unrelated to the reactor or any of its principal auxiliary systems," but sources familiar with the operation claim that the high-pressure air flask which exploded was utilized to operate a critical back-up system in the event of a reactor emergency.
1959 (Nov) Chemical explosion disperses 15 g of plutonium at Oak Ridge, TN.
1959 (Dec) Troitsk B, an LGR, goes on-line in Troitsk, Chelyabinsk (USSR); closed 1989.
1959 Leaking waste drums discovered at Rocky Flats, CO. Radioactive oils from drums flow into soil, contaminating farmlands east of plant.
1959 ICRP 1 published (superseded by ICRP 26); recommends limitation of genetically significant dose to population.
1959 Large feeding experiment with Sr-90 begins with miniature swine at Hanford.
1959 Tri-State Leukemia Survey begun in NY, Minnesota, & Maryland.
1959 Report of Committees 2 of NCRP and ICRP on occupational limits for exposure to radionuclides. Utilizes dual system; uses effects directly for radium and bases other bone seekers on it; uses the computational approach for all others using external radiation effects as basis.
1959 Johannessburg, South Africa Co-60 overexposure (dose unknown).
1960 (Feb 13) France explodes its first A-bomb, Gerboise Bleue, 60 kt, in Algeria, which still belonged to France.
1960 (Mar 8) Niagara Falls, NY (Lockport Air Force Base), 9 persons exposed to radiation from a radar klystron tube. 6 over 25 rem (up to 1200 rad localized).
1960 (Mar 15) Gen. Dynamics CIRGA Zirconium Hydride Mod., 25 Wt, in San Diego, CA is closed.
1960 (Mar 15) Centre dÉtudes Nucleaires de Saclay, France, U(1.5)O2 rods, water moderated and reflected, assembly; single excursion; insignificant exposures.
1960 (Mar 29) U. of Wisconsin, 12 people are accidentally exposed to radiation from a Co-60 source. One overexposure of up to 300 rad.
1960 (April 3) Waltz Mill, test reactor outside Pittsburgh, PA melts one fuel element.
1960 (May) Marcoule G3, a GCR, goes on-line in Marcoule, Gard (France); closed July 1984.
1960 (June 7-8) Jackson, New Jersey, BOMARC missile catches fire, unknown amount of plutonium released to atmosphere.
1960 (June 8) 19-yr. old commits suicide with 10 Ci. Cs-137 source; exposure time 20 hr approximately 1500 rad.; death 18 days later (USSR).
1960 (June 17) Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory, 235U metal, graphite reflected, assembly; single excursion (criticality); insignificant exposures
1960 (July) Dresden #1 goes online, first fully commercial BWR, 700 MWt, manufactured by GE, in Morris, Ill; closed Oct 31,1978.
1960 (Sept 1) Lockheed pool-type reactor, 10 Wt, in Dawson Co., Georgia, is closed.
1960 (Oct 4) Two employees were following through the routine involved in the calibration of photocell detectors. The detectors were placed in the radiation beam area, 30" in front of the 340-curie cobalt 60 source unit. Currents were being recorded for each detector with the source exposed. Three detectors had previously been calibrated; the fourth was placed in position; both employees returned to the console; the source was exposed and the current output of the detector was recorded. After recording the current value, employee "A" noted that the warning lights were out and assumed that the source was no longer exposed. He approached the detector located in front of the source, without making a precautionary radiation survey, and started making mechanical adjustments on the photodiode. Employee "B" followed "A" and aided him in the adjustments. "A" received a, total-body dose of 18 rem as determined by film badge reading. "B" received a total whole-body dose of 5 rem.
1960 (Oct 13) A reactor accident occurred aboard the USSR submarine K-8 while it was on exercises in the Barents Sea. The K-8 (hull 261) was a Project 627 (November) class submarine commissioned on 31 August 1960. On 13 October 1960 a loss of coolant accident occurred when a leak developed in the steam generators and an additional pipe. Equipment for dealing with the leak was also damaged. The crew improvised a system to restore coolant to the reactor. During this time radioactive gases leaked into the entire vessel; radiation levels exceeded the maximum sensitivity of available monitors. Three crew members suffered radiation injuries, with doses later estimated at 180-200 rem. The submarine was returned to service; on 12 April 1970 the K-8 sank in the Bay of Biscay off Spain following an onboard fire.
1960 (Oct 17) Humboldt Bay 3, Eureka, CA, granted construction permit by AEC.
1960 (Nov 8) Sandia National Lab, NM 2 persons accidentally exposed to radiation from a Van de Graaf accelerator.
1960 (Nov 9) Patient swallows 2.03 millicuries of radium-226; calcium DTPA given as therapy, dies Aug 1965 from permanent blood changes (USSR).
1960 (Nov 28) Six men soaked with reactor coolant from USS Nautilus docked at Portsmouth, NH; dosimeters and contaminated clothing thrown away.
1960 (Nov) Humboldt Bay 3, Eureka, CA, begins construction
1960 (Dec 5) Mayak Production Association (former USSR), Plutonium carbonate solution in a holding vessel; multiple excursions (criticalities); insignificant exposures
(1960 – 1972)
Records show that 61 African Americans were guinea pigs along with 12
others in a 12 year military study at the University of Cincinnati
Medical Center (The Cincinnati Tests) designed to see how exposure to
full- and partial- body radiation 10 times higher than normal would
effect the body. After 60 days of exposure to the radiation (250 rads
in one session), 25 of the patients died.
The tests were conducted from 1960 to 1972 by Eugene L. Saenger, an eminent radiological health specialist. Saenger knew something was wrong as he wrote a report to the Defense Department stating, "one can identify eight cases in which there is a possibility of the therapy contributing to mortality." Ironically, Saenger also served as a key governmental witness on radiation lawsuit cases brought against the Department of Energy. Dr. David S. Egilman researched the Cincinnati experiments for over ten years and did not mince words when he said, "What they did was murder those black patients. And those researchers, Gottschalk and Saenger, as dirty as Mingele." Egilman testified before the House of Representatives Energy and Power Subcommittee regarding the experiments and further contends that the tests were conducted with no informed consent and were not ethical at the time.
1960 An approximately 40 year old radiologist, in charge of radiotherapy at a Midwest hospital in 1960, reported overexposure to radiation. He believed cobalt-60 had been placed in the seat of his chair; inspection found 2-3 needles containing 10 to 11 mCi of Co-60 in the chair. He believed that someone had put radioactive iodine into his coffee several days earlier; thyroid scanning revealed an uptake of 1.5 mCi of I-131 proving that there had been recent administration. No serious clinical symptoms developed. It was decided that these events were selfinduced. He later received psychiatric care.
1960 A 19 year old research worker in a radiological laboratory in Moscow decided to commit suicide because of unfavorable relationships with his family. He took a hermetically sealed aluminum capsule filled with radioactive cesium-137, from the plant gamadefectoscopy laboratory. He put the capsule in his left trouser pocket for five hours, then shifted it under his jacket around the abdomen and back for 15 hours. The mean doses received in the trunk (approximately 3000 rad) and in the entire body (approximately 2000 rad) were very large. Nausea and weakness were noted within four hours. Abdominal pain and diarrhea started at seven hours. Necrotic burns developed around the trunk. Bloody diarrhea became intense by the 13th day, and peritonitis followed. An aplastic anemia developed. He died after 15 days.
1960 Yankee Rowe Nuclear Power Station, 600 MWt, PWR, goes on line in Rowe, Mass. closed Oct 1, 1991.
1960 Miniature swine at Hanford enter radioiodine experiment.
1960 First series of BEAR reports issued by NAS-NRC. Does not address standards directly but contains much pertinent information.
1960 ICRP 3 "Report of Committee III on Protection Against X-rays up to Energies of 3 MeV and Beta- and Gamma-rays from Sealed Sources" published.
1960 US Congressional Joint Committee on Atomic Energy holds hearings on "Radiation Protection Criteria and Standards: Their Basis and Use."
1960 American Association of Physicists in Medicine formed.
1960 American Board of Health Physics begins certification of health physicists.
1960 First successful laser.
1960 USSR An individual suffered injury from injestion of 2 millicuries of radium bromide, resulting in death 4 years later.
1960s Metabolism of americium and radiocalcium in rat (Durbin at Berkeley).
1960s Large effort at Oak Ridge on trace elements in human tissue.
1960s Beginning of population radiation exposure standards.
1960s AEC develops elaborate code of Federal Regulations for radionuclide exposure (10CFR20). Patterned after 1959 ICRP/NCRP reports but adds population exposure limits by use of a scaling factor.
1960-1961 First two reports from Federal Radiation Council on basic radiation protection guides. Introduces formally the concept of balancing risks and benefits.
1961 (Jan 3) Prompt criticality accident at SL-1 US Army reactor in Idaho Falls kills three. Recovery efforts expose 47 persons.
1961 (Jan 25) Idaho Chemical Processing Plant, Uranyl nitrate solution, U(90), in a vapor disengagement vessel; multiple excursions; insignificant exposures (<60 mrem)
1961 (Jan 29) Broken Arrow 4, Goldsboro, NC B-52 crashes, 24 MT bomb is one interlock away from detonating, hole 50 ft deep and 3 acres in area excavated to look for portion of one weapon, 4 million cu. ft. of earth removed.
1961 (Mar 14) A B-52 with nuclear bombs crashed in California while on a training mission.
1961 (May 11) Mound EG&G Miamisburg, OH, 2 persons involved in plutonium exposure.
1961 (June) Walter Reuther releases study of forty reactor accidents, arguing against construction of Fermi breeder.
1961 (June 12) US Supreme Court gives Fermi breeder go ahead to begin construction.
1961 (June 18 – July 4) Reactor LOCA on the first USSR nuclear missile submarine, the K-19, hull number 901. Fourteen crew members allegedly die from radiation exposure rigging a provisional cooling system using a reserve tank and pipes cut off one of the torpedoes. The welding took 90 minutes. Capt. Nikolai Zateyev reported that "the ones who got radiation doses began to swell visibly. Their faces grew red. After two hours, watery discharges came from the roots of their hair. Soon it became frightening to look at their eyes and swollen lips. They were completely disfigured. Hardly able to move their tongues, they complained of pain in the entire body." Over thirty sailors receive doses from 100 to 5000 rem. Eight officers and sailors died in 6,6,6,8,9,11,16, and 19 days, six more died within the next several years.
1961 (June 22) Nuclear Dev. Corp. of America Crit. Ex., 100 Wt, in Pawling, NY, is closed.
1961 (July 14) Siberian Chemical Combine (former USSR) Uranium hexafluoride, U(22.6), accumulation in a vacuum pump oil reservoir; two excursions; one significant exposure (200 rad).
1961 (Sept 1) USSR resumes nuclear testing.
1961 (Sept 15) US resumes underground testing.
1961 (Sept) President Kennedy advises Americans to build bomb shelters.
1961 (Oct 20) Ohio Rad Lab, Miamisburg, OH, 4 persons involved in polonium exposure.
1961 (Oct 21) Oak Ridge National Labs, TN, accident at X-10 site exposes 1 person to fission products.
1961 (Oct 30) USSR explodes a 58 megaton hydrogen bomb (Tsar Bomba) in the air over Novaya Zemla. Largest weapon ever exploded in history. Although the delivery bomber and chase planes had been painted with reflective paint to avoid thermal damage, cables were ignited on one Tupolev-16 chase plane, causing burns to one crew member.
1961 (Nov 10) Oak Ridge National Laboratory, 235U metal, paraffin reflected, assembly; single excursion; insignificant exposures
1961 (Nov 25) US Navy commissions world's largest ship, the U.S.S. Enterprise, a nuclear powered aircraft carrier.
1961 Switzerland a tritium exposure of three individuals up to 300 rem leads to one fatality.
1961 Plymouth, UK overexposure to X-rays for 11 persons.
1961 Fontenay-aux-Roses, France overexposure of one person to plutonium.
1961 Atmospheric testing of nuclear weapons is resumed as well; over 100 detonations occurred before the treaty was signed
1961 First documented cases of dumping of radioactive waste into the Barents Sea (north of Finland) by USSR navy vessels.
1961 Synthesis of lawrencium by A.H. Ghiorso, T. Sikkeland, A. E. Larsh, R. M. Latimer (United States).
1961 Federal Regulations adopted in Title 10 Code of Federal Regulations, Part 20.
1961 20 aged volunteers receive injections with radium in and thorium in Boston, MA. Potential doses well above occupational limits. No follow-up done.
1962 (Feb 8) Kentucky becomes first agreement state in US.
1962 (Mar 21 – Aug) Mexico City, Mexico In March 1962 a 10-year-old boy discovered a 5-Ci cobalt-60 industrial radiography source, not in its shielded container. The boy carried the source in a pocket for several days, then it was placed in a kitchen cabinet in his home. Four family members died of resulting radiation sickness: the boy died 29 April (day 38), his mother on 19 July, his 2-year-old sister on 18 August, and his grandmother on 15 October. Radiation exposure was not identified as the cause of the deaths until July-August. The father survived with lesser symptoms. Estimated doses for the four who died were 4,700-5,200 rad, 3,500 rad, 3,000 rad, and 2,870 rad; dose to the father was about 990-1,200 rad.
1962 (Apr 7) Hanford, Washington, 22 persons accidentally exposed in a chemical operations criticality. An unplanned nuclear excursion occurred in a plutonium processing facility due to the inadvertent accumulation of approximately 1500 grams of plutonium in 45-50 liters of dilute nitric acid solution in a 69-liter glass transfer tank. The sequence of events which led to the accumulation of the plutonium in the tank cannot be stated positively. However, it is believed that, when a tank valve was opened, the solution from another vessel overflowed to a sump and was drawn into the transfer tank through a temporary line between this tank and the sump. When the excursion occurred, radiation and evacuation alarms sounded. All but three employees left the building immediately, according to well-prepared and -rehearsed evacuation plans. Fortunately, they were not in close proximity to the involved system nor in a high radiation field. Of the 22 persons in the building at the time, only four employees, those who were in the room with the system, were hospitalized for observation. Three of them were the system operators, who were in close proximity to the excursion, and who received estimated radiation doses of 110, 43 and 19 rem. None, of them showed symptoms definitely referable to their radiation exposures. The fourth was sent to the hospital only because he was in the room at the time of the incident. Some fission product activity, airborne via, the vent system and the exhaust stack, was detected in the atmosphere for a brief period after the accident. The physical damage amounted to less than $1,000.
1962 (April 27) Test-shot Aztec 20 kT - 1 MT Christmas Is.
1962 (May 2) Test-shot Arkansas 1 MT Christmas Is.
1962 (May 8) Test shot Yukon 1 MT Christmas Is.
1962 (May 14) Test-shot Swanee 20 kT - 1 MT, Christmas Is.
1962 (May 19) Test-shot Chetko 20 kT - 1 MT Christmas Is.
1962 (May 27) Test-shot Nambe 20 kT- 1 MT, Christmas Is.
1962 (June 9) Test-shot Trukee 20 kT- 1 MT, Christmas Is.
1962 (June 10) Test-shot Yeso >1MT Christmas Is.
1962 (June 10) Test-shot Sunset 20 kT - 1 MT, Christmas Is.
1962 (June 19) Test-shot Starfish, 1.4 MT explosion 400 km. above mid-Pacific, launched from US Johnston Island.
1962 (June 27) Test-shot Bighorn > 1 MT at Christmas Is.
1962 (June 30) Test-shot Bluestone > 1 MT at Christmas Is.
1962 (July 9) Test-shot Starfish 1 MT over Johnston Is.
1962 (July 25) Test-shot Bluefish Prime; missile blows up on pad, warhead detonated by radio spreading contamination over the pad.
1962 (July 25) Mayaguez, PR, Seven employees were accidentally exposed to radiation from irradiated fuel elements when a crane operator mistakenly thought he had been given the all-clear signal to move a rack of hot fuel elements into a position against the aluminum window which separates the exposure room from the reactor pool. The room was to be vacated and the shield door closed before positioning the fuel elements against the window. The gamma room door could not be seen from the crane operator's position. When the crane operator began moving the fuel elements into the window position, the 10-millirem monitor near the gamma room door tripped an alarm. The reactor supervisor immediately ordered the fuel elements moved away from the window, terminating the incident. The estimated exposure time of the individuals was 1 1/4 seconds. The seven employees' exposures were 100 rem, 58 rem, 24 rem, 18 rem, 18 rem, 8 rem, and 4 rem. There were no radiation injuries as a result of the accident
1962 (Sept 7) Mayak Production Association (former USSR) Plutonium nitrate solution in a dissolution vessel; three excursions (criticalities); insignificant exposures
1962 (Oct 7) Antarctica, Nukey Poo reactor has hydrogen fire in containment.
1962 (Oct 18) Test-shot Chama >1 MT Johnston Is.
1962 (Oct 26) Test-shot Bluegill <1 MT over Johnston Is.
1962 (Nov 1) Test-shot Kingfish < 1 MT over Johnston Is.
1962 (Nov 5) National Reactor Testing Station, near Idaho Falls, Idaho, Assembly of Spert fuel elements; single non-nuclear excursion; insignificant exposures
1962 (Nov 20) AEC submits a "Report to the President on Civilian Nuclear Power."
1962 (Nov) Berkeley 1, a GCR, goes on-line in Berkeley, Gloucester (Britain); closed Mar 1989.
1962 (Nov) Berkeley 2, a GCR, goes on-line in Berkeley, Gloucester (Britain); closed Oct 1988.
1962 Moscow, USSR overexposure of one person to 380 rad, non-uniform.
1962 FRC Report No. 3 on the health implications of fallout.
1962 Congressional hearings on fallout.
1962 Neils Bohr (born 1885) dies.
1963 (Jan 11) Sanlian, PR China, 6 persons are exposed to a Co-60 source in home (5-9 days) acute radiation syndrome , deaths of two in 11 to 12 days despite bone marrow transplant, amputation of LT. leg of one survivor 5 years post accident.
1963 (Jan 30) Siberian Chemical Combine (former USSR) Uranyl nitrate solution, U(90), in a collection vessel; multiple excursions (criticalities); insignificant exposures.
1963 (Jan) Indian Point 1, a 615 MWt PWR, goes on-line in Buchanan, NY; closed Oct 31,1974.
1963 (Mar 11) Sarov (Arzamas-16), (former USSR) Plutonium, lithium deuteride reflected assembly; inadvertent closure; single excursion (criticality); two serious exposures (~370 & 550 rem) with radiation sickness.
1963 (Mar 26) Lawrence Livermore Laboratory, 235U metal, beryllium reflected, assembly; single excursion (criticality); insignificant exposures
1963 (Apr 10) Nuclear submarine USS Thresher sinks in North Atlantic.
1963 (Apr 24) Westinghouse CVTR Mockup, Heavy Water, 3 KWt, in Waltz Mill, PA is closed.
1963 (May 16) Richland, WA Construction employees, who wore no dosimeters, were inadvertently exposed to a lost 27-curie iridium 192 radiography source during the construction of a new production reactor. Exposures were estimated based upon radiation surveys and interviews with the personnel involved. The exposures ranged from 3.9 rem to 15.2 rem.
1963 (May 28) White Sands Missile Range, Unreflected uranium–molybdenum metal fast burst reactor; single excursion (criticality); insignificant exposures.
1963 (June 13) Construction begins at first commercial reprocessing facility, West Valley.
1963 (July 1) Oak Ridge Research Reactor, Oak Ridge (Tenn.) melts part of an element releasing 1000 curies of fission products.
1963 (Aug 5) US and USSR sign Limited Test Ban Treaty, which prohibits underwater, atmospheric, and outer space nuclear tests. More than 100 countries eventually ratify the treaty.
1963 (Aug) Humboldt Bay 3, a BWR, goes on-line in Eureka, CA; closed July 2, 1976.
1963 (Nov 13) Medina Base, San Antonio (TX), 123,000 lb. of high explosives on nuclear weapons catch fire.
1963 (Nov) Hallam, a LMGMR, goes on-line in Hallam, Nebraska; closed Sept 1964.
1963 (Dec 2) Siberian Chemical Combine (former USSR) Uranium organic solution, U(90), in a vacuum system holding vessel; multiple excursions; insignificant exposures
1963 (Dec 9) Vallecitos, a GE BWR, 50 MWt, in Alameda County, CA, closed.
1963 FRC Report No. 4 on estimates and evaluation of fallout in the United States through 1962.
1963 Saclay, France overexposure of 2 to an electron beam doses unknown.
1963 Second Congressional hearing including Radiation Standards and fallout.
1963 Radium-224 added to Utah beagle experiment.
1963-70 64 volunteer prisoners receive testicular irradiation at Washington State Prison; exposures from 7 to 400 roentgen.
1963-1971 67 volunteer prisoners receive testicular irradiation at Oregon State Prison; exposures from 8 to 600 roentgens.
1964 (Jan 13) A B-52 with two nuclear weapons crashed near Cumberland, Maryland.
1964 (Jan) Latina, a GCR, goes on-line in Borgo Sabotino, Latina (Italy); closed Dec 1987.
1964 (Jan) Louisiana Pipeline, 2 persons are accidentally exposed to an Ir-192 radiography source.
1964 (Feb) Chinon A1, a GCR, goes on-line in Chinon, Indre-et-Loire (France); closed April 1973.
1964 (Mar) Hunterston A1, a GCR, goes on-line in Ayrshire, Strathclyde (Britain); closed Mar 1990.
1964 (Apr 21) US satellite disintegrates over Madagascar and releases 17,000 Ci of plutonium into the atmosphere from a SNAP-9.
1964 (Apr) Beloyarskiy 1, an LGR, goes on-line in Zarechnyy, Sverdlovsk, RSFSR (USSR); closed 1983.
1964 (June) Garigliano, a BWR, goes on-line in Sessa Aurunca, Campania (Italy); closed Mar 1982.
1964 (June 12) Rocky Flats, Golden, Co, 1 person accidentally exposed in a plutonium glove box explosion.
1964 (July 10) Hanford, WA, 1 person accidentally exposed during plutonium explosion.
1964 (July 24) 38 year old worker at uranium recovery plant, United Nuclear Corp., Wood River, RI, receives 8800 rad, 2200 of which is neutrons; dies 49 hours after accident of central nervous system failure. 6 other persons exposed in the criticality accident.
1964 (Aug) BONUS, a BWR, goes on-line in Rincon, Puerto Rico; closed June 1968.
1964 (Sept 29) South Bay Hospital Redondo Beach, CA, 2 persons are exposed to an x-ray misapplication.
1964 (Sept) Hunterston A2, a GCR, goes on-line in Ayrshire, Strathclyde (Britain); closed Dec 1989.
1964 (Oct 3) US nuclear warships, Enterprise, Long Beach, and Bainbridge complete "Operation Sea Orbit," an around the world cruise without logistic support of any kind.
1964 (Oct 16) China explodes its first A-bomb, Codename 596, (22 kt) in Lop Nur test site.
1964 (Dec 3) International Radiation Protection Association (IRPA) is formed.
1964 (Dec 8) Bunker Hill AFB, Peru (Indiana) B-58 catches fire, portions of nuclear weapons burn contaminating crash site.
1964 (Dec) Novovoronezhskiy 1, a PWR, goes on-line in Novovoronezh, Voronexh, RSFSR (USSR); closed 1988.
1964 Federal Republic of Germany, overexposure of four to tritium, doses up to 1000 rad, 1 death
1964 New York overexposure of two to Am-241. Doses unknown.
1964 ICRP 4 "Report of Committee IV on Protection Against X-rays Electromagnetic Radiation Above 3 MeV and Electrons, Neutrons and Protons" published.
1964 ICRP 5 "Report on Committee V in the Handling and Disposal of Radioactive Materials in Hospitals and Medical Research Establishments" published (superseded by ICRP 25).
1964 ICRP 6 published as a revision to ICRP 1 (superseded by ICRP 26).
1964 FRC introduces the concept of protective action guide (PAG) and average annual limits of 170 mrem/year to "critical segment" of general population.
1964 Gell-Mann and Zweig independently introduce the quark model of subatomic particles.
1964 Act of US Congress incorporates the NCRP.
1964-1965 In the Gulf of Abrosimov off Novaya Zemlya, USSR, eight naval reactors are dumped into the sea, including three with fuel still intact.
1964 & 1965 Humboldt Bay 3, a BWR in Eureka, CA. fuel utilizing stainless steel cladding has series of stress corrosion cracking. failures
1964-1979 Repeated rupture (burning) of the fuel assemblies of the core of Beloyarsk 1 (USSR) lead to overexposures in trying to repair core.
1965 (Jan 15) First Soviet underground peaceful nuclear explosion at an oil well in Bashkiria, USSR. Through 1989, 115 such detonations are carried out across the Soviet Union leaving 100 million curies in the earth.
1965 (Jan) Trino Vercellese, A PWR, goes on-line in Trino, Vercelli (Italy); closed June 1990.
1965 (Feb 10) USSR nuclear submarine K-11, November Class, in Severodwinsk, suffers an uncontrollable output on reactor capacity. Two times in a row, the refueling crew tried raising the reactor lid without securing the control rods. High doses to 7 persons.
1965 (Mar 5) General Dynamics Fast Critical Assembly, 500 Wt, in San Diego, CA is closed.
1965 (Mar) Chinon A2, a GCR, goes on-line in Chinon, Indre-et-Loire (France); closed July 1985.
1965 (April 3) The first nuclear reactor in space, SNAP-10A, is launched.
1965 (April) ICRP 8 "The Evaluation of Risks from Radiation" published.
1965 (June) Thomas Mancuso begins study of Hanford nuclear workers for the AEC.
1965 (June 12) W. M. Court-Brown publishes "Lancet" article describing chromosome aberration dosimetry (Britain).
1965 (June 24) US Navy Hospital AGN 201M reactor, 5 Wt, in Bethesda, MD, is closed.
1965 (July 7) Livermore Labs Livermore, CA, 1 person is accidentally exposed to radiation from an x-ray device.
1965 (Sept 15) Hanford, WA, 1 person is accidentally exposed to radiation from an x-ray device, dose of 80,000 rem to fingers.
1965 (Sept) ICRP 7 "Principals of Environmental Monitoring Related to the Handling of Radioactive Material" published.
1965 (Sept) ICRP 9 published as a revision of ICRP 6 (superseded by ICRP 26).
1965 (Oct 15) Hundreds of workers (8 especially contaminated) exposed to plutonium in a fire at Rocky Flats.
1965 (Autumn) Operation Hat tries to put a US nuclear powered spy station in the Himalayas to report on Chinese bomb tests; SNAP device is buried under avalanche at headwaters of Ganges.
1965 (Nov 3) Electrostal Machine Building Plant (former USSR) Uranium oxide slurry, U(6.5), in a vacuum system vessel; single excursion (criticality); insignificant exposure
1965 (Dec 5) A-4E aircraft loaded with one nuclear weapon rolls off deck of USS Ticonderoga in North Pacific 70 miles from Japan; sinks in 16,000 ft of water; bomb and pilot not recovered.
1965 (Dec 16) Mayak Production Association (former USSR) Uranyl nitrate solution, U(90), in a dissolution vessel; multiple excursions (criticality); insignificant exposures
1965 (Dec 30) Accidental criticality at Venus a Mol (Belgium) gives operator doses ranging from 4700 rad to the foot, 700 to 1000 rad to gut, 250 rad to spinal chord of mixed neutron and gamma radiation. Operator's left foot had to be amputated.
1965 Illinois An accident at an industrial accelerator-type irradiator exposed one person to a localized dose of 29,000-240,000 rad. Radiation injury required amputation of one arm and one leg.
1965 Fleischer, Price, and Walker describe track etch dosimetery.
1965 Pakistani nuclear research reactor at Parr, Rawalpindi, starts functioning.
1965 Dumping of USSR 16 reactors (six with spent fuel still in them) and other nuclear waste begins in the Barents Sea in shallow waters (20-350 meters). Dumping continues until 1988. Estimated amount is 2.5 million curies.
1965 Humboldt Bay 3, a BWR in Eureka, CA grossly failing stainless steel clad fuel is replaced with zircaloy-clad fuel
1966 (Jan 17) Broken Arrow 5, US A-bomb lost in air crash over Spain, finally recovered from 2500 foot depth in ocean; land contaminated with plutonium from two other weapons burning. A B-52 loaded with four nuclear bombs suffered a mid-air collision with a KC-135 refueling plane. All four bombs were ejected from the B-52 in the crash. One was recovered on the ground and a second from the sea after a long and difficult search. However, the high explosive packages of the other two bombs detonated on impact with the ground. While the nuclear payloads of the bombs did not detonate, over 1,400 tons of surrounding soil and vegetation were contaminated with radioactive materials. The US conducted an extensive cleanup of the area under the scrutiny of the Spanish government
1966 (Feb 7) Martin Marietta Fluidized Bed Crit. Ex., 10 Wt, in Middle River, Maryland is closed.
1966 (May 7) Uncontrolled prompt-neutron reaction at a BWR in Melekess (USSR); dosimeter operator and shift chief irradiated; reactor shut down by dumping two bags of boric acid into it. 5 overexposed up to 300 - 700 rad.
1966 (May 28) Antigua, West Indies, 1 person is accidentally exposed to Ir-192 radiography source.
1966 (July) Hanford N-reactor, a LGR, goes on-line in Richland, WA; closed Feb 1988.
1966 (July) Pathfinder, a BWR, 190 MWt, goes on-line in Sioux Falls, SD; closed Sept 16, 1967.
1966 (Aug 23) U. of California's AGN 201 reactor, 0.1 Wt, in Berkeley, CA is closed.
1966 (Aug) Fermi 1 Atomic Power Plant (Lagoona Beach, MI), an LMFBR, 200 MWt, goes on-line; closed Sept 22, 1972.
1966 (Sept 7) NC State's aqueous homogenous reactor, 100 Wt, in Raleigh, N. Carolina, is closed.
1966 (Oct 5) Fermi 1 Atomic Power Plant suffers meltdown.
1966 (Dec 2) NUMEC and Commonwealth of PA pool-type reactor, 1 MWt, in Quehanna, PA is closed.
1966 (Dec 30) General Dynamics Corp. ACRE critical fac., 10 KWt, in San Diego, CA is closed.
1966 West Valley reprocessing plant goes on line in NY.
1966 Leaking drums removed from Rocky Flats, CO.
1966 Portland, OR overexposure of four to P-32. Doses unknown.
1966 Leechburg, overexposure of one to Pu-235. Dose unknown.
1966 Pennsylvania, overexposure of one to Au-198 leads to death. Dose unknown.
1966-1967 (Winter) One of three reactors on Soviet icebreaker Lenin suffers meltdown; allegedly kills 27 to 30.
1966 China “Contaminated Zone” leads to two overexposures to 200 to 300 rad.
1966-1967 10 terrorist incidents against European nuclear installations.
1967 (Jan 20) Allis-Chalmers Crit. Ex. Fac., 100 Wt, in Greendale, WI is closed.
1967 (Jan) CVTR, a pressure tube heavy-water reactor, 65 MWt, in Parr Co. S. Carolina, is closed.
1967 (Apr) Gundremmingen A, a BWR, goes on-line in Gundremmingen, BA. (W. Germany); closed Jan 1980.
1967 (Apr) ICRP 10 "Evaluation of Radiation Doses to Body Tissues from Internal Contamination due to Occupational Exposure" published (superseded by ICRP 54).
1967 (Apr) ICRP 11 "A Review of the Radiosensitivity of the Tissues in Bone" published.
1967 (May) Partial meltdown of one of four Magnox reactors at Chapelcross site, Annan (Scotland); plutonium released to atmosphere.
1967 (May) Safdarjang Hospital, New Delhi, India While replacing a Co-60 source in a teletherapy unit, an employee received a localized radiation exposure of about 800 rads to the hand while pushing the source into place. The employee noticed an immediate burning sensation but no other symptoms until 12 days later, when burning pain and itching developed. A blistering burn developed while the employee was hospitalized.
1967 (June) Peach Bottom 1, a HTGR, goes on-line in Peach Bottom, PA; closed Oct 31, 1974.
1967 (June 17) Test 6, first staged hydrogen bomb (3.3 MT) test in China
1967 (July 11) LaCrosse (Genoa 2) reactor goes critical, 48 MW BWR built by Allis-Chalmers, in Wisconsin, USA.
1967 (Aug) Chinon A3, a GCR, goes on-line in Chinon, Indre-et-Loire (France); closed June 1990.
1967 (Sept 8) USSR submarine K-3, November class, has fire in 1 and 2 compartments, Norway sea, 1700 miles from base, 39 persons lost.
1967 (Sept 26) William March Rice U. AGN 211 reactor, 15 Wt, in Houston, TX is closed.
1967 (Oct 4) Pittsburgh, PA Three workers (McCandless, Zemla, & Czwalga) exposed to x-rays & neutrons while working on an operating accelerator due to a failure of the interlock system. The accident occurred at the Gulf Research Laboratory in Harmarville, near Pittsburgh. Czwalga received a 600-rem whole body dose, plus localized doses of 6600 rad to the feet and legs and 8800 rad to the hands and forearms. His hands and feet had to be amputated, but he survived largely due to a bone marrow transplant from his identical twin. Doses to the other workers were 300 rad and 125 rad. All three workers were protected from infection during recovery by reverse isolation.
1967 (Oct 9) U. of Akron AGN 201 reactor, 0.1 Wt, in Akron, Ohio, is closed.
1967 USSR overexposure of one person at X-ray medical diagnostic facility of 5000 rad to head, death after 7 years.
1967 Federal Radiation Council recommends radon exposure limit to 1 WL (12 WLM/yr.).
1967 Salam and Weinberg independently propose theories that unify weak and electromagnetic interactions.
1967 Project Ketch proposed to explode over 1000 nuclear bombs to build underground gas storage cavities.
1967 USA one person overexposed to Ir-192. Dose 20 rad, 50000 rad localized.
1968 (Jan 21) US Air Force B-52 crashed 7 miles south of Thule Air Force Base in Greenland, scattering the radioactive fragments of three hydrogen bombs over the terrain and dropping one bomb into the sea after a fire broke out in the navigator's compartment. Contaminated ice and airplane debris were sent back to the U.S., with the bomb fragments going back to the manufacturer in Amarillo, Texas. The incident outraged the people of Denmark (which owned Greenland at the time, and which prohibits nuclear weapons over its territory) and led to massive anti-U.S. demonstrations. One of the warheads was reportedly recovered by Navy Seals and Seabees in 1979, but a recent (August 2000) report suggests that in fact it may still be lying at the bottom of Baffin Bay.
1968 (Jan 30) Oak Ridge National Laboratory 233U solution assembly; reactivity added by air bubble movement; single excursion (criticality); insignificant exposures.
1968 (Mar 11) GE Mixed Spectrum Crit. Assembly, 100 Wt, in Alameda Co., CA is closed.
1968 (Mar) Mont d'Arree, a GCHWR, goes on-line in Brenilis, Finistere (France); closed July 1985.
1968 (Apr 5) Chelyabinsk-70, (former USSR) U(90) metal, natural uranium reflected, assembly; single excursion, two fatalities.Junior Specialist received 2000 to 4000 rem gamma + neutrons, the Senior Specialist received 500 to 1000 rem. The Junior Specialist died 3 days after the accident, the Senior 54 days after.
1968 (May 3 - 4) A 37 year old Bolivian welder, working in La Plata, Argentina, on the construction of a chemical plant, found a small metallic object on the floor and placed it in the right front pocket of his work jeans. It was a 13 Ci source of cesium-137, being used by industrial radiographers to inspect welds. The man carried the cesium-source in his right front pants pocket for seven hours, and in his left front pacts pocket for 10 hours on the second day. He was forced to quit work on the second day because of pain in both mid-thighs anteriorly. He proceeded to develop necrotic lesions of both mid-thighs, desquamation of the penis and scrotum, and ulceration of both hands. Dosimetric measurements revealed that he had received 2710 rads at the affected surface over two days. Amputation of both legs.
1968 (May 18) Nimbus-B1 spacecraft deliberately destroyed after launch from Vandenberg, drops 2 SNAPs into Santa Barbara channel; SNAPs recovered intact after 5 month search.
1968 (May 21) USS Scorpion, nuclear powered attack sub, vanishes in North Atlantic; documents point to accidentally armed Mk 37 torpedo exploding; 99 men killed.
1968 (May 24) A reactor accident occurred aboard the USSR submarine K-27. The K-27, launched 1 April 1962 and commissioned 30 October 1963, was the sole Project 645 (November-ZhMT) class submarine; it had two liquid metal (lead-bismuth) cooled reactors each with a capacity of 73 MWt. The system tended to leak steam that would oxidize the liquid metal coolant, requiring frequent cleaning of oxide particles from the coolant. In May 1968 submarine K-27 was ordered to participate in a naval exercise, despite objections that the reactor coolant was due for cleaning. On 24 May, K-27 was sailing at full power when the port reactor dropped to 7% power due to a coolant failure. Probably the buildup of oxide particles had prevented coolant flow to one part of the reactor, causing it to overheat such that some fuel melted. Fission products leaked into the reactor compartment and eventually to the rest of the submarine. The submarine used the starboard reactor to return to port. Radiation exposures to the crew caused 9 deaths and 83 injuries, including 40 with acute radiation sickness. Efforts to repair the submarine were unsuccessful, and the whole submarine was scuttled in Stepovogo Bay at Novaya Zemlya in 1981.
1968 (May) ICRP 12 "General Principles of Monitoring for Radiation Protection of Workers" published (superseded by ICRP 35).
1968 (May) ICRP 13 "Radiation Protection in Schools for Pupils up to the Age of 18 Years" published (superseded by ICRP 36).
1968 (June 25) Harwell, UK, 1 person is exposed to a sealed source device resulting in hand exposure.
1968 (June) La Plata, Argentine, 18 persons accidentally exposed to a radiography Cs-137 source, worker exposed coworkers in locker room, carried source in front pocket RT & LT total of 17 hr. (est. doses: 40 rad to coworkers).
1968 (July) Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty calling for halting the spread of nuclear weapons capabilities is signed. By 1970, more than 50 countries ratify the treaty. By 1986, more than 130 countries ratify it.
1968 (Aug 1) Wisconsin, Argonne Cancer Hospital, 1 person fatally exposed to a liver scan with Au-198.
1968 (Aug 23) USSR nuclear submarine K-140, Yankee class, has an uncontrollable output on reactor capacity. At naval yard at Severodvinsk injuries unknown.
1968 (Aug 24) First hydrogen bomb test by France, Canopus (2.6 MT)
1968 (Sept 6) Aberdeen Proving Ground Uranium–molybdenum metal fast burst reactor; single excursion (criticality); insignificant exposures.
1968 (Sept) Douglas Point, a PHWR, goes on-line in Tiverton, Ont. (Canada); closed May 1984.
1968 (Oct) Lingen, a BWR, goes on-line in Lingen, Nied. (W. Germany); closed May 1979.
1968 (Nov) A ship carrying 200 tons of bomb grade material vanishes, Israel suspected of theft.
1968 (Dec 10) Mayak Production Association (former USSR), Plutonium solutions (aqueous and organic) in a 60 liter vessel; three excursions; one fatality, one serious exposure. Doses estimated by Na-24 activation in blood samples(5000 dpm/ml ~ 700 rem; 15,800 dpm/ml ~ 2450 rem). Lower dose lost both legs and one hand but was still living 31 years after the accident. The higher dose died about 1 month after the accident.
1968 Burbank, CA two workers overexposed to Pu-239, doses unknown.
1968 Federal Republic of Germany, overexposure of one person to Ir-192. 100 rad
1968 Chicago, overexposure of 1 person to Au-198, 400 -500 rad to bone marrow, leads to death.
1968 India, overexposure of one person to Ir-192, 13,000 rad localized.
1968 USSR, overexposure of 4 at an experimental breeder reactor. 100 -150 rad.
1968 USSR, overexposure of one at a Co-60 irradiation facility dose 150 rad to head.
1968 Nonproliferation Treaty completed. Pakistan refuse to sign.
1969 (Jan 21) Cooling system on Swiss reactor in a cavern at Lucens Vaud, near Lausanne (Switz), fails; one element melts, levels reach several hundred rem/h; cave sealed.
1969 (Mar) At Walter Reed General Hospital, in March 1969, an enlisted man assigned to the Nuclear Medicine Section ingested small amounts of technetium-99 and iodine-131, probably on three separate occasions within a week. Thyroid scanning indicated I-131 in the thyroid gland on 18 March 1969. Radioactive material, principally 99Tc, was found in the colon by scanning on 20 March 1969; a stool specimen of 24 March 1969, contained both 99Tc and I-131. Quantities ingested were believed to be small, no greater than 20 uCi of I-131or 10 mCi of 99Tc. No symptoms developed attributable to the isotopes. It was believed that the man had a character disorder (there had been a knife wound suicide gesture in February). It was thought he had ingested radioisotopes in order to gain attention.
1969 (Apr) ICRP 10A "The Assessment of Internal Contamination Resulting from Recurring of Prolonged Uptakes" published (superseded by ICRP 54).
1969 (Apr) ICRP 14 "Radiosensitivity and Spatial Distribution of Dose" published.
1969 (May 11) Rocky Flats, CO, plutonium fire in processing Building 776 causes $50 million damage and shuts down plant for 6 months.
1969 (May 16) The U.S.S. Guitarro, a $50 million nuclear submarine undergoing final fitting in San Francisco Bay, sank to the bottom as water poured into a forward compartment. A House Armed Services subcommittee later found the Navy guilty of "inexcusable carelessness" in connection with the event.
1969 (July 30) Martin Marietta Corp. Crit. Ex. Facility, 10 Wt, in Baltimore, Maryland is closed.
1969 (Aug) Saint-Laurent A1, a GCR, goes on-line in Saint-Laurent-des-Eaux, Loir-et-Cher (France); closed Apr 1990.
1969 (Sept) Sternglass publishes "The Death of All Children" contradicting view that fallout is harmless.
1969 (Sept) ICRP 17 "Protection of the Patient in Radionuclide Investigations" published (superseded by ICRP 52).
1969 (Oct 14) Matochkin Shar, Novaya Zemlya, Russia, USSR, an underground nuclear test was conducted. Three devices were detonated in two tunnels with a total yield of 540 kt: one device yielding between 20 and 150 kt along with one device yielding between 150 and 370 kt in tunnel A-7, at a depth of 500 meters; and one device yielding between 150 and 370 kt in tunnel A-9 at a depth of 520 meters. About one hour after the test a gas plume burst from the surface near tunnel A-9. Factors in the early venting included reaction with carbon dioxide in the surrounding rocks, thermal weakening of the cement plug around the nuclear device, and gas escape facilitated along a fault to the side of the mountain. Several hundred test personnel were in the vicinity and were not evacuated until 40 to 60 minutes later; the response to the accident was confused, compounded by the early departure of those in authority. On 24 October those more seriously exposed were transported to Moscow for examination and treatment. Over 80 people received doses of 40 to 80 rad.
1969 (Oct 17) Saint Laurent des Eaux (France) Unit 1 GCGMR fuses five fuel elements, 50 kg of uranium dispersed in reactor core; reactor shutdown for a year.
1969 (Oct 22) Gulf General Atomic APFA reactor, 500 Wt, in San Diego, CA is closed.
1969 (Oct) Gofman and Tamplin report that there is no "safe threshold" below which there is no risk from radiation.
1969 (Nov 15) USSR nuclear submarine K-19, Hotel-11 class has a collision at a depth of 60 meters with a USA submarine in the Barents sea.
1969 (Nov 19) Apollo 12 deploys SNAP-27 nuclear generator on the lunar surface.
1969 (Nov) ICRP 15 "Protection Against Ionizing Radiation from External Sources" published (superseded by ICRP 33).
1969 (Nov) ICRP 16 "Protection of the Patient in X-ray Diagnosis" published (superseded by ICRP 34).
1969 (Nov) LaCrosse, a BWR, 165 MWt, goes on-line in Genoa, WI.; closed Apr 30, 1987.
1969 (Dec 1) General Electric BWR Crit. Ex., 200 Wt, in Alameda Co., CA is closed.
1969 (Dec 8) Westinghouse Electric Corp. PWR Crit. Ex., 1 KWt, in Waltz Mill, PA is closed.
1969 (Dec) Beloyarskiy 2, an LGR, goes on-line in Zarechnyy, Sverdlovsk, RSFSR (USSR); closed Oct 1989.
1969 Tarapur Atomic Power Station (India) goes on-line.
1969 Unnilquadium, element 104, discovered by A. H. Ghiorso, et al (United States).
1969 Mays (U. of Utah) begins collaborative work with Spiess in Germany on Ra-224 cases.
1969 Wisconsin overexposure of one person to Sr-85, dose unknown.
1969 USSR overexposure of one person at experimental reactor, 500 rem non-uniform
1969 Glasgow, Scotland overexposure of one person to Ir-192 60 rad.
1970 (Jan) National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 is signed requiring the Federal government to review the environmental impact of any action - such as construction of a building - that might significantly affect the environment.
1970 (Mar 5) Treaty for the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons ratified by the US, UK, USSR, and 45 other countries.
1970 (April 8) USSR nuclear submarine K-8, November class, has a fire in 3 and 8 compartments, takes in water and sinks to 4680 meters. 52 persons lost including the captain. Gulf of Biscay, 300 miles from Spain.
1970 (Apr 17) SNAP device attached to lunar module of Apollo 13 drops into South Pacific near Tonga; never recovered.
1970 (May 11) Battelle Mem. Plastics Moderated Critical Assembly, 200 Wt, in W. Jefferson, OH is closed.
1970 (June 5) Dresden #2 releases radioiodine into the environment.
1970 (June 6) Alice Stewart and George Kneale publish study of 10 million children in England & Wales showing increased risk of cancer due to obstetric X-rays.
1970 (June 23-June 25) Research Institution, Melbourne, Australia , 3 persons are accidentally exposed to an x-ray device, doses : LT arm surface 5500 rem @ critical tissue 400-1500 rem; abdomen 19200 rem surface, @ critical tissue 1500-5400 rem; fingers 180 rem surface, @ critical tissue 14-50 rem.
1970 (Aug 24) Windscale Works, Great Britain. Plutonium organic solution in a transfer vessel; one excursion; insignificant exposures
1970 (Dec 18) Baneberry underground blast at Nevada test site vents 3 million curies, forcing evacuation of 600 workers.
1970 (Dec) The US Environmental Protection Agency is formed.
1970 Radioactive waste from Sellafield site (UK) dumped into the Irish Sea is carried by the Gulf Stream to the Barents Sea (USSR). Total amount of Cesium-137 from 1970 to 1984 estimated by the Russians to be 200,000 Curies.
1970 Six construction workers exposed to 5-10 Ci iridium-192 source sustain 10,000 to 20,000 R at center lesion; 100 to 200 rem whole body (Germany).
1970 Des Moines overexposure of one person to P-32, dose unknown
1970 USA, overexposure to one person to a spectrometer, dose unknown.
1970 Erwin, USA overexposure of one person to U-235 dose unknown.
1970 Exhumation of radium cases begins.
1970 FRC abolished and responsibilities given to EPA.
1970 Unnilpentium, element 105, discovered.
1971 (Jan) Manufacture Surgical Inst. New Haven CT. , 2 persons are accidentally exposed to radiation from an X-ray fluoroscope.
1971 (Feb 15) Kurchatov Institute, former USSR,U(20)O2 fuel rod, iron and beryllium reflected, assembly; multiple excursions (criticalities); two serious exposures. Supervisor and scientist each received ~ 1500 rem to their feet.
1971 (Mar 18) USN Research Lab pool-type reactor, 1 MWt, in Washington, DC, is closed.
1971 (Apr) ICRP 21 "Data for Protection Against Ionizing Radiation from External Sources -- Supplement to ICRP 15" published (superseded by ICRP 33).
1971 (May 26) 2 workers received exposures of 6,000 and 2,000 rem, respectively, when a supercriticality was inadvertently achieved at the Kurchatov facility (Russia – former USSR). The configuration of fuel rods had been accidentally altered. Both men died. Two other workers received doses of 700 & 800 rem and suffered long term health effects.
1971 (June 4) US president Nixon announces a National Goal of completing a liquid metal fast breeder reactor demonstration plant by 1980.
1971 (Aug 31) Lockheed Radiation Effects Reactor, 3 MWt, in Dawson Co., GA is closed.
1971 (Nov 19) The water storage space at the Northern States Power Company's reactor in Monticello, Minnesota filled to capacity and spilled over, dumping about 50,000 gallons of radioactive waste water into the Mississippi River. Some was taken into the St. Paul water system.
1971 (Dec 29) USS Dace, nuclear submarine, accidentally releases 500 gal. of reactor coolant into Thames River at New London, Connecticut.
1971 Newport, USA overexposure of one person to Co-60, 3000 rad localized dose.
1971 UK, overexposure of one person to Ir-192, 3000 rad localized.
1971 Japan, overexposure of four people to Ir-192, 20 to 150 rad.
1971 Oak Ridge, USA, overexposure of one person to Co-60, 130 rad.
1971 USSR overexposure of two people at experimental reactor, 780 and 810 rem.
1971 USSR overexposure of three people at experimental reactor, 3 rem total.
1971 NCRP adopts 170 mrem/year limit to general public.
1971 33 pCi/l air (4 WLM) /yr. standard set by EPA for radon.
1971 Radiostrontium symposium held at Davis.
1971 Pilgrim Station goes on line (Mass).
1971-1972 Review of plutonium in man using primarily the patients injected during WW 2.
1972 (Jan 26) Westinghouse Electric Corp. Crit. Ex. Station, 100 Wt, in Waltz Mill, PA is closed.
1972 (Feb 24) USSR nuclear submarine K-19, Hotel-11 class, has a fire in 8 and 9 compartments, 600 miles from Newfoundland, loss of 28 persons.
1972 (Mar) Oconee Unit 1, Seneca (SC.), suffers extensive core damage due to loose metal parts inside reactor.
1972 (Mar) Senator Mike Gravel of Alaska submitted to the Congressional Record facts surrounding a routine check in a nuclear power plant which indicated abnormal radioactivity in the building's water system. Radioactivity was confirmed in the plant drinking fountain. Apparently there was an inappropriate cross-connection between a 3,000 gallon radioactive tank and the water system.
1972 (Apr 12) Relief valve sticks open on Wurgassen BWR near Kassel (W. Germany) almost leads to meltdown; 1000 cu. m. of contaminated water released to River Weser; reactor closed in 1981.
1972 (Apr 28) Illinois Inst. of Tech. water boiler research reactor, 100 KWt, in Chicago, Ill, is closed.
1972 (Apr) Austin, TX, 1 person, a father feloniously uses a Cs-137 source's radiation to castrate his son.
1972 (May) Gentilly 1, a PHWR, goes on-line in Becancour, Que. (Canada); closed June 1977.
1972 (May) ICRP 20 "Alkaline Earth Metabolism in Adult Man" published.
1972 (June 9) Quad Cities reactor, Cordova (Ill) Mississippi River floods turbine building 15' due to ruptured seal.
1972 (July 26) Walter Reed Medical Center's L 54 homogeneous solution reactor, 50 KWt, in Washington DC is closed.
1972 (July 27) Surrey Unit 1, Gravel Neck (VA.) workers scalded when valve releases steam into building, both men die four days later.
1972 (Aug) Vandellos 1, a GCR, goes on-line in Vandellos, Tarragona (Spain); closed Oct 1989.
1972 (Aug 25) Plane crashes into Millstone nuclear reactor site (CT).
1972 (Oct 11) US Naval Postgraduate School AGN 201 reactor, 0.1 Wt, in Monterey, CA, is closed.
1972 (Dec 21) Gulf Nuclear Fuels, Elmira, NY, 1 person exposed in a plutonium glove box explosion
1972 (Dec) Bohunice A1, a GCHWR, goes on-line in Trnava, Zapadoslovensky (Czech); closed May 1979.
1972 (Dec) USSR nuclear submarine has material leaking from nuclear-armed torpedo, several of crew die from radiation sickness, CIA reports.
1972 Chicago overexposure of one person to Ir-192 10,000 rad localized.
1972 Peach Bottom, overexposure of once person to Ir-192 30,000 rad localized.
1972 Federal Republic of Germany, overexposure of one person to Ir-192, 30 rad localized.
1972 China, overexposure of twenty people to Co-60, 40 to 500 rad
1972 Bulgaria, overexposure of one person to Cs-137 capsules leads to death (suicide) dose exceeds 20,000 rad to chest.
1972 Wash-1520 reports that waste-dumping trench at Hanford (Z-9) had been pumped with wastes containing one hundred kilograms of plutonium and "it is possible to conceive of conditions which could result in a chain reaction." Trench is dug up in response to Congress' worries.
1972 AEC reveals that since 1946 rad waste is dumped off shore of US coast; biggest dumps near Farallon Islands, near San Francisco, CA, 47,500 55-gal. drums.
1972 Biological Effects of Ionizing Radiation (BEIR I) published; uses linear model for risk estimates.
1972 United Nations Scientific Committee on Effects of Atomic Radiation issues UNSCEAR VI; questions validity of linear model for radiation risk estimates.
1972 First beam of 200-GeV protons at Fermilab.
1972 Computed axial tomography (CAT scan) is introduced.
1972/1973 Nuclear accident at Semipalatinsk (USSR) allegedly kills entire company of soldiers responsible for maintaining test facilities.
1973 (Jan) Neideraichbach, a GCHWR, goes on-line in Landshut, BA. (W. Germany); closed Oct 1974.
1973 (Mar) Mihama 1 reactor, Fukui (Japan), two fuel rods cut by water scatter pellets throughout reactor cooling system.
1973 (Apr 2) Gulf General Atomic HTGR reactor, 100 Wt, in San Diego, CA is closed.
1973 (Apr 21) USS Guardfish, nuclear sub., leaks primary coolant; four crew members taken to Puget Sound Naval Hospital for monitoring.
1973 (Apr) ICRP 22 "Implication of Commission Recommendations that Doses be Kept as Low as Readily Achievable" published.
1973 (June 1) Babcock & Wilcox Plutonium Recycle Crit. Ex., 50 KWt, in Lynchburg, VA is closed.
1973 (June 8) Leakage of 115,000 gallons of liquid high-level waste discovered at Hanford, Wash; the tank had been leaking for 51 days.
1973 (Aug 10) Gulf Oil Co. APFA III reactor, 500 Wt, in San Diego, CA is closed.
1973 (Aug 10) Gulf Oil Corp. Thermionic Crit. Fac., 200 Wt, in San Diego, CA is closed.
1973 (Oct 13) NASA ZPR 1, Solution Type Crit. Fac., 100 Wt, in Cleveland, OH is closed.
1973 (Dec 10) Operator at Surrey reactor, Gravel Neck, VA, sucked into containment and seriously injured when safety hatch mistakenly opens.
1973 USA, overexposure of one person to Ir-192, 30 rad
1973 UK, overexposure of one person to Ru-106, dose unknown
1973 Czechoslovakia, overexposure of one person to C-60, 160 rad
1973 Radioactive tritium released into disposal ponds at Rocky Flats, CO and migrates into Broomfield water supply.
1973 Wash-1258 environmental statement for light-water-cooled nuclear power reactors published.
1974 (Jan 7) Explosion of the reinforced-concrete gasholder at Leningrad 1 Atomic Energy Station outside Leningrad (USSR); no casualties.
1974 (Feb 6) Rupture of intermediate loop in Leningrad 1 (USSR) followed by water hammer kills three; causes contamination of the environment with radioactive water and filter powder slurry.
1974 (Feb) India Medical Institution, 2 persons exposed to an x-ray misadmininstration during insertion of cardiac pacemaker, film badge showed cardiologist received 1 rem.
1974 (Mar 19) Oklahoma State U. AGN 201 reactor, 0.1 Wt, in Stillwater, OK, is closed.
1974 (Mar) Seimens Spectrometer Hasl, NY, 1 person is accidentally overexposed to radiation from an x-ray device, treatment leads to an amputation of finger.
1974 (Mar) Caterpillar Tractor Co. Peoria, IL, 3 persons are exposed to radiation from an x-ray device, treatment leads to an amputation of finger.
1974 (Mar) The AEC establishes the Formerly Utilized Sites Remedial Action Program (FUSRAP) to identify former Manhattan Project and AEC sites that are privately owned but need remedial action.
1974 (May 18) India explodes its first nuclear bomb, Smiling Buddha, (12 KT), using 6 kg plutonium and a polonium-beryllium trigger. It is tested underground at the Pokharan test site, Thar desert, Rajathan.
1974 (June 25) Gulf United Nuclear's Lattice Test Rig reactor, 100 Wt, in Pawling, NY is closed.
1974 (June 25) Gulf United Nuclear's Water Mod. Proof Test Fac., 100 Wt, in Pawling, NY is closed.
1974 (June) Pickering-A nuclear power station, Ontario (Canada), operator triggers ECCS on unit 4, flooding sump 9', all sump water-level indicators fail.
1974 (June) Parsippany, NY, 1 person is overexposed to radiation from Co-60 in a hot cell accident, Graft Versus Host disease foils attempt at a bone marrow graft. Dose 170 - 400 rad
1974 (June) Atucha I, a 335 MWe Seimens pressurized heavy water reactor in Buenos Aires, Argentina begins commercial operation.
1974 (July) Contractor at HB Robinson nuclear plant, Hartsville (NC), opens vacuum cleaner without respiratory protection leads to internal contamination.
1974 (Aug 9) Dresden #1 releases radioactive water into Des Plaines River (Ill).
1974 (Aug 20) Rasmussen Report (Wash-1400) reactor safety study published.
1974 (Sept 26) Karen Silkwood testifies to AEC on Kerr-McGee safety violations.
1974 (Sept 27) Mason Hanger Silasco, Pantex Plant, TX, 1 person accidentally exposed to an x-ray device.
1974 (Sept) India Hospital, 2 persons are exposed to an x-ray misadministration, film badge showed tech received 880 mrem.
1974 (Oct 11) Energy Reorganization Act signed, creates NRC and ERDA.
1974 (Nov 13) Karen Silkwood killed in car crash, documents allegedly substantiating Kerr-McGee mishandling of plutonium missing from Silkwood's car.
1974 Illinois overexposure of three people to spectrometer, 240 to 4800 rad localized
1974 Parsipany, NY overexposure of one person to Co-60 170 to 400 rad.
1974 Middle East, overexposure of one person to Ir-192, 30 rad
1974 ICRP Publication 23, "Report of Task Group on Reference Man" is published.
1974 Wash-1535 environmental impact statement for LMFBRs published.
1974 Unnilhexium, element 106, discovered.
1974 India tests a device of up to 15 kilotons and calls the test a ``peaceful nuclear explosion.'' Pakistani Prime minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto tells meeting of Pakistan's top scientists of intention to develop nuclear arms.
1974 Pakistan proposed to India the establishment of a nuclear weapons free zone in south Asia
1974 First uranium miners with lung cancer compensated by Ontario, Canada government.
1974 Whistleblowers at the Isomedix company in New Jersey reported that radioactive water was flushed down toilets and had contaminated pipes leading to sewers. The same year a worker received a dose of radiation considered lethal, but was saved by prompt hospital treatment.
1974-1976 Riverside Methodist Hospital, Columbus, Ohio, USA Continuing calibration of a cobalt-60 teletherapy unit was based on an erroneous decay curve, resulting in overexposures rising from 10% in the first 5 months to 50% 22 months after initial calibration. The medical physicist who did the calibration falsified documents to conceal the error. The problem was discovered by outside consultants brought in by the hospital to investigate apparent overexposures of some patients. Of 426 patients treated in the last 16 months before indentification of the problem, 300 died within one year of their pre-treatment cancer and 88 survived but had immediate severe complications related to the irradiated sites; 10 deaths have been attributed to overexposures.
1975 (Jan 10) Tsuruga-I reactor (Japan) 13 tons of liquid rad waste leak from a crack in a storage tank.
1975 (Jan 30) NRC orders 23 BWR nuclear reactors shut down because of cracking in cooling pipes.
1975 (Feb 24) U. of Nevada L77 reactor, 10 Wt, in Reno, NV is closed.
1975 (Feb) Doel 1 a 390 MWe ACECOWEN PWR begins commercial operation in Antwerp, Belgium.
1975 (Mar 22) Fire in cable tray at Browns Ferry Nuclear Plant (Alabama) almost leads to uncovering the core. Estimated $100 million in damages. Fire is caused by a worker inspecting for air leaks with a candle.
1975 (Mar) Strong Memorial Hospital Albany, NY, 1 person is given an x-ray misapplication, treatment leads to amputation of thumb and index finger.
1975 (Apr 16) Louisville, KY, 1 person is accidentally exposed to an x-ray device.
1975 (Apr) Nord 2, a PWR, goes on-line in Lubmin, Greifswald Region (E. Germany); closed Feb 1990.
1975 (Apr) Rancho Seco, a PWR, 2772 MWt, goes on-line in Clay Station, CA; closed June 7, 1989.
1975 (Apr) ICRP 23 "Reference Man: Anatomical, Physiological and Metabolic Characteristics" published.
1975 (Aug 15) France, Two bombs exploded at Mt. d'Arree NPS in Brittany: one at far end of canal between plant and cooling lake, the other damaging a air chimney for plant buildings in the compound. The reactor was shut down temporarily for inspection
1975 (Sept) Tihange 1, an 870 MWe ACLF PWR, begins commercial operation in Liege, Belgium.
1975 (Oct) Partial breakdown of the core ("local flaw in the metal") at Leningrad 1 (USSR) shuts down reactor; 1.5 million curies vented to the atmosphere.
1975 (Oct – Nov) The USS Proteus, a disabled submarine tender, discharged significant amounts of radioactive coolant water into Guam's Apra Harbor. A geiger counter check of the harbor water near two public beaches measured 100 millirems/hour, fifty times the allowable dose rate.
1975 (Nov 5) Cooper nuclear power plant, Brownsville (NB), hydrogen explosion from spark on air sampler injures and contaminates two.
1975 (Nov 11) Value Engineering Co. Washington, DC, 2 persons accidentally exposed to an Ir-192 radiography source.
1975 (Nov) Doel 2, a 390 MWe ACECOWEN PWR, begins commercial operation in Antwerp, Belgium.
1975 (Dec 5) U. of Wyoming L77 reactor, 10 Wt, in Laramie, WY, is closed.
1975 (Dec 10) General Atomic Co. TRIGA Mark III reactor, 1.5 MWt, in San Diego, CA is closed.
1975 Atomic Bomb Casualty Commission (ABCC) replaced by binational Radiation Effects Research Foundation (RERF) to continue studeis of Japanese A-bomb survivors.
1975 Follow-up reports on radium patients and dial workers.
1975 Humboldt Bay 3, a BWR in Eureka, CA a fuel assembly is dropped into the spent fuel pool and several fuel rods separate from the assembly. A special container is fabricated to contain the assembly and loose rods. It is placed in the spent fuel storage pool
1976 (Jan 12) A tractor-trailer en route to Maxey Flats, Kentucky, disposal facility strikes a Bureau of Highways truck that is spreading salt on icy roads. A total of 12 drums containing radioactive concrete and metal go through the trailer, hit the cab, and fall off the truck. Eight of the 12 drums rupture when they hit the highway. Radiation levels are not above background. The released material is repackaged and sent to the disposal site.
1976 (Mar 9) Istanbul, Turkey, 7 persons are accidentally exposed to a Co-60 radiation device, one pocket dosimeter showed only 5 mrem, however.
1976 (Mar) ICRP 24 "Radiation Protection in Uranium and Other Mines" published.
1976 (May 7) ERDA assumes responsibility for management of the Clinch River Breeder Reactor Project near Oak Ridge, TN.
1976 (May 11) University of Georgia (Athens, GA) , 2 persons are accidentally exposed to an x-ray fluorescent unit during a geology experiment.
1976 (May 12) Two bombs exploded in the headquarters of the Central Maine Power Company in Augusta; a Fred Hampton Unit of the People's Forces claimed responsibility and demanded end to expansion of nuclear powerplants.
1976 (July 2) Humboldt Bay 3, Eureka, CA, shuts down for annual refueling and to conduct seismic modifications.
1976 (July 22) Medi-Physics, S. Plainfield, NJ, 1 person accidentally exposed to a sealed source device.
1976 (Aug 3) Chemistry Department U. of Maryland, 1 person is accidentally exposed to an x-ray device.
1976 (Aug 30) 65 yr. old Harold McCluskey contaminated with americium-241 in glovebox explosion at Hanford; WA. face receives over 300 microcuries. 9 other persons exposed.
1976 (Oct 1) Mexico City, Mexico, 6 persons exposed to a Co-60 sealed radiography source, results in the death of mother and 5.5 mo. old fetus (est. doses 4700 rem 10 day contact, 3500 rem, 2870 rem, 3000 rem, 1200 rem).
1976 (Oct) Cereal Irradiator, Brescia, Italy, 2 persons are accidentally exposed to Co-60 irradiator, exposure of shoulder and head.
1976 (Oct) The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) is passed to protect human health and the environment from the potential hazards of waste disposal.
1976 (Nov 3) Nuclear Energy Service, Chesterton, IN, 3 persons accidentally exposed to a Co-60 source.
1976 (Nov 12) Pittsburgh Steel, Pittsburgh, PA, 2 persons are accidentally exposed to Ir-192 radiography source.
1976 (Nov) ICRP 25 "The Handling, Storage, Use and Disposal of Unsealed Radionuclides in Hospitals and Medical Research Establishments" published.
1976 (Dec 12) Atlantic Research Corp. Gainesville, VA, 2 persons are accidentally exposed to a Co-60 source.
1976 Then-Gov. Richard Lamm and then-Rep. Tim Wirth, D-CO, appoint 15-member Rocky Flats Monitoring Committee to oversee day-to-day operations.
1976 Meltdown averted Nord 1 in Lubmin (E. Germany); major fire destroys cable network, disables all six cooling pumps and five of the six backup pumps; luckily, one backup pump is accidentally hooked up to the wrong power source and still runs.
1976 Unnilseptium, element 107, discovered by the Soviets at Dubna (USSR) which is later confirmed by the Heavy Ion Research Laboratory in Germany who makes six nuclei of the element.
1977 (Jan 17) ICRP Publication 26 is adopted introduces concepts of stochastic and non-stochastic effects; organ dose limits replaced by weighted committed dose equivalent of each organ.(supersedes ICRP 1, 6, & 9)..
1977 (Jan 27) St. Anthony Hospital, Denver, CO, 1 person overexposed by a misadministration of P-32 instead of I-131.
1977 (April 7) US president Carter announces deferring indefinitely plans for reprocessing spent nuclear fuel and proposes terminating the Clinch River Breeder Reactor project.
1977 (Apr 6) Donner Laboratory, Lawrence Berkeley Lab, 1 person is accidentally exposed to an x-ray device.
1977 (June) ICRP 28 "The Principles and General Procedures for Handling Emergency and Accidental Exposures of Workers" published.
1977 (Aug) Voyager 2 is launched. The spacecraft’s electricity is generated by the decay heat of plutonium pellets.
1977 (Sept 15) Riley Bear Co. Shreveport, LA, 1 person is accidentally exposed to a Co-60 radiography source.
1977 (Sept 23) Rockaway Tech, INC., Rockaway, NJ, 3 persons are accidentally exposed to a Co-60 radiography source.
1977 (Oct 1) Department of Energy (DOE) is created.
1977 (Oct 10) Oregon--Bomb exploded next to visitor center at Trojan NPS, with Environmental Assault Unit of the New World Liberation Front claiming responsibility.
1977 (Oct) Armenia 1, a PWR, goes on-line in Metsamor, Armenia (USSR); closed Mar 1989.
1977 (Nov 4) Industrial Reactor Labs pool-type reactor, 5 MWt, in Plainsboro, NJ, is closed.
1977 (Nov 12) Pittsburgh-Demoines Steel Plant, Pittsburgh, PA, 1 person is accidentally exposed to an Ir-192 radiography source.
1977 (Nov 23) Overexposure of Pires & Fitts at Pilgrim Power Station, Plymouth, MA.
1977 (Nov) Mancuso, Stewart, & Kneale publish Hanford study in "Health Physics."
1977 (Dec 18) Spain--4 ETA terrorists attack guard post at Lemoniz NPS, with one terrorist killed; ETA later claimed to have planned to blow up the reactors
1977 (Dec 21) Polytechnic Inst. NY AGN 201M reactor, 0.1 Wt, in Bronx, NY is closed.
1977 Bertell links X-ray exposure and premature aging.
1977 Meltdown of half the fuel assemblies at Beloyarsk 2 (USSR); repairs take about a year; cause personnel over-irradiation.
1978 (Jan 4) Waste storage tanks at West Valley, NY fuel reprocessing plant are discovered leaking.
1978 (Jan 24) Nuclear powered Soviet satellite, Cosmos 954, crashes in Canada contaminating 600 mile long area; less than 1% of radioactive material recovered.
1978 (Mar 7) Goodyear Atomic Plant, Piketon, OH, 46 persons are involved in and exposed to a uranium hexafluoride spill.
1978 (Mar 17) Spain--Bomb exploded in steam generator of Lemoniz NPS killing 2 construction workers and injuring 14, ten minutes after ETA phone call warned of bomb; damage amounted to $6,000,000.
1978 (April 8) Technicians A & B receive 25 & 27 rem at Trojan Nuclear Power Plant; highest commercial power whole body doses. RP techs stand next to fuel transfer tube, believing it to be a ventilation system, as activated fuel passes through tube.
1978 (April) ICRP 27 "Problems Involved in Developing an Index of Harm" published.
1978 (April) US cancels development of the neutron bomb which reputedly would destroy life but leave buildings intact.
1978 (May 5) Algeria, 8 persons are exposed to an Ir-192 radiography source, death of one and spontaneous abortion of fetus, severe burns on two survivors.
1978 (May) Nord 3, a PWR, goes on-line in Lubmin, Grefswald Region (E. Germany), closed Feb 1990.
1978 (July 17) Monroe X-ray Co. W. Monroe, LA, 1 person is accidentally exposed to an Ir-192 radiation device.
1978 (July) ICRP 30 "Limits for Intakes of Radionuclides by Workers" published (supersedes ICRP 2).
1978 (Sept 5) Oak Ridge National Lab, TN Accident at X-10 facility, 4 persons inhaled Am-241 and Pu-241.
1978 (Oct 17) Idaho Chemical Processing Plant Uranyl nitrate solution, U(82), in a lower disengagement section of a scrubbing column; excursion history unknown; insignificant exposures
1978 (Oct) ICRP 29 "Radionuclide Release into the Environment -- Assessment of Doses to Man" published.
1978 (Dec 13) Siberian Chemical Combine (former USSR) Plutonium metal ingots in a storage container; single excursion; one serious exposure, seven significant exposures. Exposure to Operator A: 250 rad whole body, 2000 rad to his arms and hands necessitating the amputation up to his elbows. Later his eyesight became impaired. Other workers received doses between 5 and 60 rad, majority of dose in fast neutrons.
1978 (Dec 28) USSR nuclear submarine K-171, Delta class, has a failure of nuclear power reactor in Pacific ocean. 3 persons lost.
1978 (Dec) Three Mile Island 2, a PWR, goes on-line at Londonderry Twp, PA; closed Mar 1979.
1978 Beloyarsk 2 (USSR) destroyed by fire; eight persons over-irradiated organizing cooling flow to reactor.
1978 Penzias and Wilson are awarded the Nobel Prize for 1965 discovery of 2.7 K microwave radiation permeating space, presumably the remnant of the "big bang" some 10-20 billion years ago.
1978 Pakistan proposed to India a joint Indo-Pakistan declaration renouncing the acquisition and manufacture of nuclear weapons
1978 United Kingdom, a radiographer intentionally exposed himself to an iridium-192 radiography source, resulting in a whole body dose of 152 rad.
1979 (Jan 4) Amp INC., Winston Salem, NC, 2 persons are accidentally exposed to an x-ray device.
1979 (Jan 20) Reynolds Electric, Nevada Test Site, 1 person accidentally exposed to a Co-60 device.
1979 (Jan) Fort St. Vrain, a HTGR, 842 MWt, goes on-line in Platteville, Colo.; closed Aug 18,1989.
1979 (Jan 19) NRC withdraws support of Wash-1400 which had suggested that nuclear reactor accidents were extremely unlikely.
1979 (Jan) North Carolina--An employee of a GE subcontractor sent extortion letter with sample of uranium dioxide to general manager of GE nuclear faility in Wilmington. Individual had stolen two 5-gallon containers of uranium dioxide and threatened to disperse them in unnamed U.S. city unless he received $100,000 ransom. He was arrested and sentenced to 15 years
1979 (Feb 26) U. of Delaware AGN 201 reactor, 0.1 Wt, in Newark, Delaware, is closed.
1979 (Mar 28) Three Mile Island (Middletown, Pa) suffers hydrogen explosions and meltdown completely destroying its core. Releases from the plant are not measurable since most off-site monitors are not working. Accident leads to safety reforms, emergency planning upgrades, and training requirements in the US.
1979 (May 11) La Hague, France An individual placed radioactive graphite fuel element plugs under the driver's seat of a car. The victim sustained a 25-30 rad dose to his spinal bone marrow and 400-500 rads to his testes. The perpetrator, who was trying to kill his employer, was tried and convicted of poisoning by radiation, fined $1,000, and served 9 months in prison.
1979 (May) ICRP 31 "Biological Effects of Inhaled Radionuclides" published.
1979 (June 13) Spain--Two ETA guerrillas planted bomb in turbine room of Lemoniz NPS which was later detonated 25 minutes after a warning call. One worker who did not evacuate was killed; a tank containing 5,000 liters of oil was ignited and turbine components were moderately damaged. The ETA claimed responsibility on 16 June.
1979 (June 27) Repco Engineering Inc., Fontana, CA, 10 persons exposed to Ir-192 radiography source exposure of RT. hip with severe burns, LT. hand with erythema & vesiculation on tenth day, RT. hand with erythema 10th day & blisters on 21st day and lenticular opacities, numbness of 2 fingers on 14th day.
1979 (June) Routine tests in Tucson, AZ. shows water in school cafeteria has 2.5 times federal standards of tritium; vegetables have 36 times legal limit. School board buries 17,000 cases of food. Traced to American Atomics plant.
1979 (July 16) Uranium tailings dam breaks near Grants (NM) spilling 100 million gallons of radioactive water and 1100 tons of radioactive tailings into the Rio Puerco, contaminating drinking water for 75 miles.
1979 (Aug 7) Approximately 1000 people exposed to radiation from highly enriched uranium dumped from a production facility at Erwin, TN.
1979 (Sept 16) Nuclear bomb secretly detonated in coal mine to disperse methane gas. Thousands of miners sent back to work one day later in Yunokommunarovsk, Ukraine, USSR.
1979 (Nov 11) 5 ETA guerrillas entered Equipos Nucleares (Nuclear Instruments) factory in Maliano, planted explosives and kidnapped the 10 guards on duty; guards were released near Santander-Vizcaya border. Charges exploded after midnight, causing $6,000,000 in damage mostly to one end of main factory building. ETA claimed responsibility on 13 November
1979 (Nov) Nord 4, a PWR, goes on-line in Lubmin, Greifswald Region (E. Germany); closed June 1990.
1979 France, Environmental terrorists cause $20 million in damages at a nuclear plant
1979 Radium-224 cases sufficient for definitive summary.
1979 Virginia--2 plant operator trainees entered fuel storage building at Surry NPS and damaged four new fuel assemblies by pouring sodium hydroxide on them.
1979 First cancer death study on Port Radium miners.
1979 -- The United States cut off aid to Pakistan under section 669 of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 FAA) after it was learned that Pakistan had secretly begun construction of a uranium enrichment facility.
1979 -- Pakistan proposed to India mutual inspections by India and Pakistan of nuclear facilities
1979 -- Pakistan proposed to India simultaneous adherence to the NPT by India and Pakistan
1979 -- Pakistan proposed to India simultaneous acceptance of full-scope IAEA safeguards
1980 (Feb 21) CBS reports Israel detonated an A-bomb off the coast of Africa on Sept 22, 1979.
1980 (Feb 27) France agrees to supply Iraq with weapons grade uranium and reactor.
1980 (Apr 9) Ichihara Shipyard, Chiba, Japan, 6 persons are exposed to Ir-192 radiography source, exposure both hands, buttocks & hands, blisters on hands for one of the victims.
1980 (May 18) Mt. St. Helens explodes less than 40 miles away from Trojan Nuclear Power Plant (Ranier, OR.)
1980 (May) Armenia 2, a PWR, goes on-line in Metsamor, Armenia (USSR); closed Mar 1989.
1980 (Sept 19) Titan II missile silo explodes in Damascus (Ark) throwing 9 megaton warhead 200 yards away.
1980 (Oct 1) Rockwell Int. reactor, 200 Wt, in Canoga Park, CA, is closed.
1980 (Oct 3) Water from Hudson River floods containment of Indian Point #2.
1980 (Oct 7) Nondestructive Test Co. Glasgow, Scotland, 1 person is accidentally exposed to radiation from an Ir-192 radiography source, dose 45 rad.
1980 (Oct) The West Valley Demonstration Project Act of 1980 directs DOE to construct high-level nuclear waste solidification demonstration at the West Valley Plant in New York. Nearly 600,000 gallons of high-level nuclear waste are stored at the plant.
1980 (Nov 30) USSR nuclear submarine K-162 has an uncontrollable output on reactor capacity near Seveodwinsk. No persons lost.
1980 (Nov) Single-shell nuclear waste storage tanks at the Hanford Plant in Washington no longer receive waste. The liquid waste is being transferred to newer designed double-shell tanks.
1980 (Dec 22) The Nuclear Safety Research, Development, and Demonstration Act establishes a program within DOE to improve the safety of nuclear power plants.
1980 (Dec) The Low-Level Radioactive Waste Policy Act is passed, making states responsible for the disposal of their own low-level nuclear waste, such as from the hospitals and industry.
1980 (Dec) The Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (also known as Superfund) is passed in response to the discovery in the late 1970s of a large number of abandoned, leaking hazardous waste dumps. Under Superfund, the EPA identifies hazardous sites, takes appropriate action, and sees that the responsible party pays for the cleanup.
1980 (Dec) Humboldt Bay 3, Eureka, CA, it becomes apparent to all that post-Three Mile Island and seismic backfits make it uneconomical to restart the unit.
1980 Houston, Tx, USA, An accident involving yttrium-90 (Y-90) in nuclear medicine therapy causes 7 deaths
1981 (Feb 11) An Auxiliary Unit Operator, working his first day on the new job without proper training, inadvertently opened a valve which led to the contamination of eight men by 110,000 gallons of radioactive coolant sprayed into the containment building of the Tennessee Valley Authority's Sequoyah I plant in Tennessee.
1981 (Mar 5) Dresden Reactor, during removal of the shield plugs from the reactor pressure vessel (36 inch thick tiered plugs which rest on the upper grid) following feedwater sparger replacement, a workman was exposed to approximately 21.2 rem. This was confirmed by film badge data. This exposure occurred while the workman, who had entered the vessel to ensure the plug was lifted properly, was directing the overhead crane operator during the lifting operation. Work was being performed during a refueling outage with all fuel removed from the vessel and the vessel water level below the upper core gridplate.
1981 (Mar) ICRP 32 "Limitation of Inhalation of Radon Daughters by Workers" published.
1981 (Mar) ICRP 33 "Protection Against Ionizing Radiation from External Sources Used in Medicine" published (supersedes ICRP 15 & 21).
1981 (July 29) Douglas Crofut, an unemployed radiographer, dies from radiation injuries from a iridium-192 source he stole; Tulsa (OK).
1981 (Sept) USSR submarine Komsomlets sinks with nuclear torpedoes and two reactors at a depth of 1700 meters at Bear Island in the eastern part of the Norwegian Sea.
1981 (Oct 7) Battelle PNL Plutonium Recycle fac. in Richland, WA is closed.
1981 (Nov 2) A fully-armed Poseidon missile was accidentally dropped 17 feet from a crane in Scotland during a transfer operation between a U.S. submarine and its mother ship.
1981 (Nov 10) Oregon State U. AGN 201 reactor, 0.1 Wt, in Covallis, OR is closed.
1981 (Dec) Caorso, a BWR, goes on-line in Caorso, Piacenza (Italy); closed June 1990.
1981 270 GeV proton-antiproton colliding-beam experiment at European Laboratory for Particle Physics (CERN); 540 GeV center-of-mass energy equivalent to laboratory energy of 150,000 GeV.
1981 Biological Effects of Ionizing Radiation III published; uses linear-quadratic model for risk estimates.
1981 40 pCi/l of air (4.8 WLM)/yr. for radon standard set by ICRP.
1981 EPA establishes 25 millirem/year whole body (75 millirem thyroid) limit to general public from nuclear fuel cycle activities.
1981 EPA proposes new federal radiation protection guidance; adopts most of ICRP-26 recommendations plus 100 rem lifetime dose limit.
1981 AP story cites contents of reported US State Department cable stating `We have strong reason to believe that Pakistan is seeking to develop a nuclear explosives capability…Pakistan is conducting a program for the design and development of a triggering package for nuclear explosive devices.'
1981 Publication of book, Islamic Bomb, citing recent Pakistani efforts to construct a nuclear test site.
1981 New York--fuel oil filter drains were closed on backup diesel power generators at Nine Mile Point Unit 1, apparently intentionally, preventing their startup.
1981 Ohio--water valve was found shut, apparently intentionally, at Beaver Valley NPS, leaving high-pressure portion of emergency cooling system disabled
1982 (Jan 25) Steam generator tube rupture at Ginna nuclear power plant (NY) releases 485.3 curies of noble gas and 1.15 millicuries of I-131.
1982 (Feb 11) Rockwell Int. L 77 reactor, 10 Wt, in Canoga Park, CA, is closed.
1982 (May) ICRP 34 "Protection of the Patient in Diagnostic Radiology" published (supersedes ICRP 16).
1982 (May) ICRP 35 "General Principles of Monitoring for Radiation Protection of Workers" published (supersedes ICRP 12).
1982 (June) ICRP 37 "Cost Benefit Analysis in the Optimization of Radiation Protection" published.
1982 (July 20) B&W Lynchburg pool-type reactor, 1.0 MWt, in Lynchburg, VA is closed.
1982 (Aug) New Jersey--values were found closed on backup diesel generator at Salem Unit II NPS, apparently intentionally, which would prevent generator start-up.
1982 (Sept) ICRP 36 "Protection Against Ionizing Radiation in the Teaching of Science" published (supersedes ICRP 13).
1982 (Oct 1) After 25 years of service, Shippingport Power Station is shut down.
1982 (Oct 5) Baku, Azerbaidjan, USSR, A cesium-137 source was carried by an individual in a clothes pocket, exposing several individuals. Five people suffer radiation burns and die; at least one other person suffered acute radiation sickness, and 12 others were exposed.
1982 France--Five rockets fired into Creys-Malville nuclear facility, causing minor damage.
1982 Rupture of central fuel assembly at Chernobyl 1 (USSR) due to operator errors; radioactivity vented to Pripyat; personnel overdosed repairing the "small salamander."
1982 Generator explosion at Armenian 1 (USSR); turbine room burned; most operating personnel flee in panic, leaving reactor unsupervised; team flown in from Koli Nuclear Power plant to help operators who remained to save plant.
1982 International Nutronics in Dover, New Jersey, which used radiation baths to purify gems, chemicals, food, and medical supplies, experienced an accident that completely contaminated the plant, forcing its closure. A pump malfunctioned, siphoning water from the baths onto the floor; the water eventually was drained into the sewer system of the heavily populated town of Dover. The NRC wasn't informed of the accident until ten months later -- and then by a whistleblower, not the company. In 1986, the company and one of its top executives were convicted by a federal jury of conspiracy and fraud. Radiation has been detected in the vicinity of the plant, but the NRC claims the levels "aren't hazardous."
1982 Unnilennium, element 109, discovered.
1982-1983 Several European press reports indicate that Pakistan was using Middle Eastern intermediaries to acquire bomb parts (13-inch `steel spheres' and `steel petal shapes').
1983 (Jan 7) The Nuclear Waste Policy Act establishes a research and development program for the disposal of high level radioactive waste and spent nuclear fuel.
1983 (Jan 13) NC State pool-type reactor, 10 KWt, in Raleigh, NC, is closed.
1983 (Jan 16) Truck loaded with radioactive reinforcement rods takes a wrong turn in Los Alamos (NM) and trips radiation sensor; leads to uncovering of cancer therapy sources in Juarez scrap yard.
1983 (Jan) The Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982 is signed, authorizing the development of a high-level nuclear waste repository.
1983 (Mar) Reagan terms the USSR the “evil empire” and announces the Strategic Defense Initiative (Star Wars), a satellite-based defense system that would destroy incoming missiles and warheads in space.
1983 (June 21) Stanford Univ. pool-type reactor, 10 KWt, in Stanford, CA, is closed.
1983 (June 23) USSR nuclear submarine K-429, Charlie-1 class in the Krachenynnickov bay, has an intake of water, 17 persons lost.
1983 (Sept 23) Operator fatally exposed (2000 rad gamma, 1700 rad neutrons) at critical assembly reactor RA-2 (Argentina). Dies Sept 25th. Symptoms (migraine & diarrhea) occur within 25 min. of irradiation. 17 other people irradiated from <1 to 15 rad neutron, 20 rad gamma.
1983 (Oct 26) Congress terminates funding for the Clinch River Breeder Reactor project.
1983 (Oct) ICRP 39 "Principles of Limiting Exposure of the Public to Natural Sources of Radiation" published.
1983 (Nov 14) Windscale, Sellafield (Britain), discharges 1000 times normal levels of oily, radioactive crud contaminating Greenpeace divers.
1983 (Nov) DOE begins construction of the Defense Waste Processing Facility (DWPF) at the Savannah River Plant in South Carolina. DWPF will make high-level nuclear waste into a glass-like substance, which will then be shipped to a repository.
1983 (Nov) Embalse, a 600 MWe CANDU reactor in Rio Tercero, Argentina begins commercial operation.
1983 (Dec) ICRP 38 "Radionuclide Transformations: Energy and Intensity of Emissions" published.
1983 West Germany--Four West Germans gain forced entry to a Pershing missile site and attempt to destroy a missile with crowbars
1983 Rubbia and collaborators discover field quantum of weak interaction.
1983 Electron-positron colliders show continuing validity of radiation theory up to energy exchanges of 100 GeV and more.
1983 Cosmos 1402 reactor reenters earth's atmosphere spreading U-235 (USSR).
1983 NRC Office of Research issues proposed revision to 10CFR20; adopts most of ICRP-26 recommendations including 5 rem/year limit for summation of internal and external doses.
1983 Declassified US government assessment concludes that `There is unambiguous evidence that Pakistan is actively pursuing a nuclear weapons development program * * * We believe the ultimate application of the enriched uranium produced at Kahuta, which is unsafeguarded, is clearly nuclear weapons.'
1984 (Mar 19) A 16.3-curie iridium-192 industrial radiography source was lost and taken home by a laborer. The laborer had laid the source on a table in the family bedroom, and it was in the house for possibly a few weeks. Exposure to radiation caused the deaths of 8 family members, including 4 children and their parents within a few days of each other, about 45 days after exposure. Three other people received significant exposures. Diagnosis of radiation exposure was only made 80 days after initial exposure. in Mohammedia (Morocco).
1984 (April) Chernobyl 4, a LGR, goes on-line in Pripyat, Ukraine (USSR); closed April 1986.
1984 (April) In LEAF (Legal Environmental Assistance Foundation ) vs. Hodel, the court rules that DOE’s Y-12 plant in Oak Ridge is subject to the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act.
1984 (May) ICRP 40 "Protection of the Public in the Event of Major Radiation Accidents: Principles for Planning" published.
1984 (May) ICRP 41 "Nonstochastic Effects of Ionizing Radiation" published.
1984 (May) ICRP 42 "A Compilation of the Major Concepts and Quantities in Use by the ICRP" published.
1984 (May) ICRP 43 "Principles of Monitoring for Radiation Protection of the Population" published.
1984 (May) ICRP 44 "Protection of the Patient in Radiation Therapy" published.
1984 (June 18) USSR nuclear submarine Echo-2 class, in the Barenz sea, has a fire, 14 persons lost.
1984 (Aug 25) Mont Louis, a French freighter carrying uranium hexafluoride, sinks in English Channel.
1984 (Sept 7) West Virginia AGN 211 P reactor, 75 Wt, in Morgantown, W VA, is closed.
1984 (Nov 2) Tuskegee AGN 201 reactor, 0.1 Wt, in Tuskegee, AL is closed.
1984 (Nov 12) Missouri--Four Catholic peace activists of the Silo Pruning Hooks entered Minuteman ICBM site near Higginsville and did over $10,000 worth of damage to equipment with a jack hammer; all were arrested and charged with destruction of federal property.
1984 (Dec) Stanley Watras, an engineer at Limerick nuclear power station (PA), sets off detectors going into work; leads to discovery of radon levels of 2700 pCi/l in his home; highest radon levels ever discovered in a building.
1984 US Dept. of Energy awards $85,000 contract to Robert DuPont, a psychiatrist and president of the Phobia Society, to find ways to overcome the public's "nuclear phobia."
1984 Rocky Flats settles $9 million lawsuit filed by nearby property owners over contamination from leaking waste drums.
1984 President Zia states that Pakistan has acquired a `very modest' uranium enrichment capability for `nothing but peaceful purposes.'
1984 President Reagan reportedly warns Pakistan of `grave consequences' if it enriches uranium above 5%.
1985 (Feb 28) Critical state reached prematurely at Samer Plant.
1985 (Mar) ICRP 45 "Quantitative Basis for Developing a Unified Index of Harm" published.
1985 (Apr) Credible claim emerged that New York City's water reservoirs had been contaminated with plutonium; testing detected femtocurie levels of plutonium in the water.
1985 (June) Caty Yarbrough, 61, receives a crippling dose of radiation from a Therac 25 linear accelerator at Kennestone Regional Oncology Center in Marietta, Ga. Her left breast is later removed in response to dose damage.
1985 (June) Arizona--Report of intentional tampering with water valves at Palo Verde NPS.
1985 (July 19) CA Poly AGN 201 reactor, 0.1 Wt, in San Luis Obispo, CA is closed.
1985 (July) A 40 year old female patient at the Hamilton Clinic of the Ontario Cancer Treatment and Research Foundation in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada receives an overdose from a Therac 25 medical linear accelerator due to a microswitch error. Dose destroys her hip.
1985 (July) ICRP 46 "Radiation Protection Principles for the Disposal of Solid Radioactive Waste" published.
1985 (July) ICRP 47 "Radiation Protection of Workers in Mines" published.
1985 (Aug 10) USSR nuclear submarine K-314, Echo-2 class, Ten men working on refueling of vessel were killed and area contaminated in a refueling accident at Bolshoi Kamen in Chazhma Bay, USSR. Quench plate designed to stop criticality slips, reactor overheats, and belches hot steam and fire. Ship is still in Chazma Bay.
1985 (Aug 30) Rockford, Il,1 person is accidentally exposed to radiation from a linear accelerator, exposure treatment includes amputating his arm 130 days post-accident.
1985 (Aug) USSR announces a nuclear testing moratorium.
1985 Gulf Oil Pittsburgh Van deGraff, Harmarville, PA, 3 persons accidentally exposed to radiation from an accelerator.
1985 0.1 rem per year for individuals of general public set by ICRP (exceptions up to 0.5 rem/yr.).
1985 Fourteen people killed due to operator error at Balakovo Nuclear Plant (USSR); safety valve lifts and flood room with live steam during a startup.
1985 ABC News reports that US believes Pakistan has `successfully tested' a `firing mechanism' of an atomic bomb by means of a non-nuclear explosion, and that US krytrons `have been acquired' by Pakistan.
1985 U.S. Nuclear Export Control Violation: Texas, krytrons (nuclear weapon triggers).
1985 U.S. Nuclear Export Control Violation: US cancelled license for export of flash x-ray camera to Pakistan (nuclear weapon diagnostic uses) because of proliferation concerns.
1985 Pressler Amendment [section 620E(e) of the Foreign Assistance Act] requires a total cut-off of U.S. aid to Islamabad unless the president can certify that Pakistan does not possess a nuclear weapon, and that continued US aid will significantly decrease the probability of its developing one in the future.
1986 (Jan 5) James Neil Harrison contaminated with hot uranium hexafluoride at Kerr-McGee's Sequoyah Fuels Corp., Gore (OK), uranium contamination spreads thru lunchroom and to towns nearby.
1986 (Jan 7) Georgia Tech AGN 201 reactor, 0.1 Wt, in Atlanta, GA is closed.
1986 (Mar 21) Voyne Ray Cox, a 33 year old oil-field worker, is overexposed to a Therac 25 medical linear accelerator in the East Texas Cancer Center (ETCC) in Tyler, Texas. Therac 25 gives a Malfunction 54 software error which delivers an estimated 25,000 rad dose. Cox vomits blood and for the next week needs morphine delivered IV. By June, most of his body is paralyzed. He lapses into a coma and dies in September in a Dallas hospital.
1986 (April 26) Chernobyl 4 (Pripyat, USSR) explodes and burns, spreads contamination worldwide. Thirty-one killed from heat and radiation exposure. Worldwide effects from internal contamination harder to measure.
1986 (April) Vernon Kidd, 66, receives a fatal overdose (estimated 25,000 rad) from a Therac 25 medical linear accelerator at the East Texas Cancer Center in Tyler, Texas. Kidd dies one month later.
1986 (April) ICRP 48 "The Metabolism of Plutonium and Related Elements" published.
1986 (June 29) Northrop TRIGA Mark F reactor, 1 MWt, in Hawathorne, CA, is closed.
1986 (July) ICRP 49 "Developmental Effects of Irradiation on the Brain of the Embryo and Fetus" published.
1986 (Sept) ICRP 50 "Lung Cancer Risk from Indoor Exposures to Radon Daughters" published.
1986 (Oct 6) USSR Nuclear submarine K-219, Yankee class, suffers explosion and fire in missile tube, kills four and sinks with reactor on-board. 480 miles from Bermuda. Possible collision with US submarine.
1986 Dosimetry System 1986 (DS86) developed by Radiation Effects Research Foundation (RERF) for A-bomb survivors.
1986 Webbers Falls (US) explosion of a tank containing radioactive gas at a uranium enrichment plant. One man is killed, eight injured.
1986 Department of Energy in the case of Rocky Flats agrees to partial regulation of waste disposal and storage activities by Colorado Department of Health and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
1986 The NRC revoked the license of a Radiation Technology, Inc. (RTI) plant in New Jersey for repeated worker safety violations. RTI was cited 32 times for various violations, including throwing radioactive garbage out with the regular trash. The most serious violation was bypassing a safety device to prevent people from entering the irradiation chamber during operation, resulting in a worker receiving a near-lethal dose of radiation.
1986 Bob Woodward article in Washington Post cites alleged DIA report saying Pakistan `detonated a high explosive test device between Sept. 18 and Sept. 21 as part of its continuing efforts to build an implosion-type nuclear weapon;' says Pakistan has produced uranium enriched to a 93.5% level.
1986 Press reports cite U.S. `Special National Intelligence Estimate' concluding that Pakistan had produced weapons-grade material.
1986 Commenting on Pakistan's nuclear capability, General Zia tells interviewer, `It is our right to obtain the technology. And when we acquire this technology, the Islamic world will possess it with us.'
1986 Declassified memo to then-Secretary of State Henry Kissinger states, `Despite strong U.S. concern, Pakistan continues to pursue a nuclear explosive capability . If operated at its nominal capacity, the Kahuta uranium enrichment plant could produce enough weapons-grade material to build several nuclear devices per year.'
1986 US Environmental Protection Agency publishes "A Citizen's Guide to Radon."
1987 (Jan 17) A patient at Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital, Yakima, Washington, receives approximately 11,000 rad overdose from a Therac 25 medical linear accelerator due to a software error.
1987 (Mar) ICRP 51 "Data for Use in Protection Against External Radiation" published.
1987 (Mar) ICRP 52 "Protection of the Patient in Nuclear Medicine" published.
1987 (Mar) ICRP 53 "Radiation Dose to Patients from Radiopharmaceuticals" published.
1987 (Mar) ICRP 54 "Individual Monitoring for Intakes of Radionuclides by Workers: Design and Interpretation" published; supersedes ICRP 10 & 10A.
1987 (Apr 8) Rockwell Int. L 85 reactor, 3 KWt, in Canoga Park, CA is closed.
1987 (Apr 27) Oak Ridge National Lab, 1 person is accidentally exposed to radiation from a Co-60 sealed source.
1987 (June) THTR-300, a HTGR, goes on-line in Hamm-Uentrop, N.-W. (W. Germany); closed October 1989.
1987 (Sept. 13) Cs-137 ruptured therapy source (Goiania, Brazil) kills 4, contaminates 249. In 1999, 23 are claimed dead and 50 are under medical surveillance.
1987 (Nov 22) A tractor-trailer traveling on I-80 between Cheyenne and Laramie, Wyoming, with a shipment of radioactive hoses, metal parts, and radium contaminated soil en route from the Quadrex Recycle Center in Oak Ridge, TN to the Richland , WA, disposal facility overturns. A combination of bad weather and driver error causes the accident. Five of the six metal boxes fall onto the road and median emptying approximately one-third of the contents of each container. No radioactivity above background levels is present post cleanup.
1987 (Nov 28) California--Bomb exploded at 1:30 A.M. in parking lot of Sandia National Laboratories (next to LLNL); 32 hours later a caller claimed responsibility for the Nuclear Liberation Front, although link was unconfirmed.
1987 (Dec 22) Battelle Memorial Inst. pool-type reactor, 2 MWt, in Columbus, Ohio, is closed.
1987 (Dec 31) A tractor-trailer en route to the LLW disposal facility in Richland, WA, is involved in a traffic collision and overturns on Stevens Drive in Richland. Five of the six metal boxes open and release solid material onto the roadway. No radioactivity above background is detected.
1987 (Dec) Nuclear Waste Policy Amendments Act designates Yucca Mountain, Nevada, for scientific investigation as only candidate site for the US’s first geological repository for high-level radioactive waste and spent nuclear fuel.
1987 Federal study finds higher-than-normal risk of several kinds of cancer among plant workers exposed to plutonium. DOE sets priorities for pollution cleanup activities at Rocky Flats, CO.
1987 1.5 rem per year for workers set by NRPB (Britain).
1987 NRCP Report No. 91, "Recommendations on Limits for Exposure to Ionizing Radiation" is published.
1987 Ununnilium, element 110, discovered.
1987 West German official confirms that nuclear equipment recently seized on way to Pakistan was suitable for `at least 93% enrichment' of uranium; blueprints of uranium enrichment plant also seized in Switzerland.
1987 Pakistan proposed to India an agreement on a bilateral or regional nuclear test ban treaty
1987 U.S. Nuclear Export Control Violation: Pennsylvania, maraging steel & beryllium (used in centrifuge manufacture and bomb components).
1987 London Financial Times reports US spy satellites have observed construction of second uranium enrichment plant in Pakistan.
1987 Pakistan's leading nuclear scientist Abdul Qadeer Khan states in published interview that `what the CIA has been saying about our possessing the bomb is correct.'
1987 U.S. Nuclear Export Control Violation: California, oscilloscopes, computer equipment (useful in nuclear weapon R&D).
1987 According to photocopy of a reported German foreign ministry memo published in Paris in 1990, UK government official tells German counterpart on European nonproliferation working group that he was `convinced that Pakistan had `a few small' nuclear weapons.'
1987 China concluded a deal with Pakistan to sell M-11 missiles and launchers.
1988 (Feb 26) Babcock & Wilcox Split Table Critical Facility, 1 KWt, in Lynchburg, VA is closed.
1988 (June 6) Radiation Sterilizers, Incorporated reported that a leak of Cesium-137 had occurred at their Decatur, Georgia facility. Seventy thousand medical supply containers and milk cartons were recalled as they had been exposed to radioactive contamination. Ten employees were also exposed, three of whom "had enough on them that they contaminated other surfaces" including materials in their homes and cars, according to Jim Setser at the Georgia Department of Natural Resources.
1988 (Aug 11) Virginia Tech pool-type reactor, 100 KWt, in Blacksburg, VA, is closed.
1988 (Aug 18) Memphis St. U. reactor, 0.1 Wt, in Memphis, TN is closed.
1988 (Sept) ICRP 55 "Optimization and Decision-Making in Radiological Protection" published.
1988 (Oct 27) Westinghouse Training Reactor pool-type, 10 KWt, in Zion, Ill, is closed.
1988 (Dec) Atucha 2, a 692 MWe Seimens pressurized heavy water reactor in Buenos Aires, Argentina begins commercial operation.
1988 DOE closes plutonium-processing Building 771 at Rocky Flats, CO for safety violations. Idaho Gov. Cecil Andrus bans storage of radioactive waste from Rocky Flats in Idaho. Gov. Roy Romer bans extended waste storage at Rocky Flats.
1988 United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation publishes " Sources, Effects and Risks of Ionizing Radiation" a report to the General Assembly.
1988 US National Academy of Sciences BEIR IV Report, "Health Risks of Radon and Other Internally Deposited Alpha Emitters" is published.
1988 President Reagan waives an aid cutoff for Pakistan due to an export control violation; in his formal certification, he confirmed that `material, equipment, or technology covered by that provision was to be used by Pakistan in the manufacture of a nuclear explosive device.'
1988 Hedrick Smith article in New York Times reports US government sources believe Pakistan has produced enough highly enriched uranium for 4-6 bombs.
1988 President Zia tells Carnegie Endowment delegation in interview that Pakistan has attained a nuclear capability `that is good enough to create an impression of deterrence.'
1989 (Feb) San Salvador, El Salvador, irradiation facility where medical products were sterilized by exposure to Co-60. Source rack becomes stuck and operator by passes safety system with two other workers to free the source. All develop acute radiation syndrome. Legs and feet of two of the three men require amputation. One man dies six months after the accident.
1989 (April 7) 41 crewmen and their commander die when the USSR nuclear submarine "Komsomolets" sinks to 4500 ft. in the Norwegian Sea, leaving the USSR's sub reactor and nuclear warheads (two nuclear torpedoes containing 28 lb. of plutonium) 310 miles off Norway.
1989 (April) ICRP 56 "Age-dependent Doses to Members of the Public from Intake of Radionuclides: Part 1" published.
1989 (June 26) USSR nuclear submarine K-192, Echo-2 class, has a failure of nuclear power reactor, Barents sea.
1989 (Aug 31) PP&L (Pennsylvania) contractor employee received a radiation exposure to the skin in excess of 150R. The exposure was limited to an extremely small area of skin on the chest, immediately under the individual's shirt pocket. Tech removed sampling equipment in Reactor Water Cleanup Influent Sample Line and put the filter paper in pocket. Later survey of sample holder pegged the 500 mR/hr scale. Later results of medical tests regard the first estimate as being at least three times too high.
1989 (Oct 19) The 343rd and final underground nuclear explosion at the Semipalatinsk, USSR site in Kazakhstan. Official statistics cite a total of 467 tests of all types at site.
1989 (Oct 24) A truck/flatbed trailer en route to the Barnwell, SC disposal facility is traveling on US Hwy 460 in Christiansburg, VA, when the driver makes a sharp left turn and the truck overturns. Four metal boxes with 384 cu. ft. of soil containing uranium oxide falls off the truck and ruptures. The material covers a 25 square foot area. No radioactivity above normal background levels is present.
1989 (Oct) ICRP 57 "Radiological Protection of the Worker in Medicine and Dentistry" published.
1989 (Oct) ICRP 58 "Relative Biological Effect for Deterministic Effects" published.
1989 (Nov 17) U. of CA L77 reactor, 10 Wt, in Santa Barbara, CA is closed.
1989 (Nov) DOE changes its focus from nuclear materials production to environmental cleanup by forming the Office of Environmental Restoration and Waste Management.
1989 Federal agents raid Rocky Flats, allege the plant concealed environmental contamination and improperly stored and disposed of hazardous and radioactive wastes. The energy secretary halts all plutonium production operations.
1989 Nuclear weapons production facilities at Rocky Flats Plant in Colorado and Fernald Feed Materials Production Center in Ohio cease production and change their mission to cleaning up their facilities.
1989 Shoreham, a BWR, 2436 MWt, in Suffolk Co., NY, achieves criticality & produces power; closed May 28, 1989.
1989 "Yellow Children" start appearing in births in Talmenka, Russia (former USSR). Children have jaundice, congenital defects of nervous system and organs. In one month 42 of 59 babies born have these symptoms. Some tenuous link to bomb tests at Semipalatinsk, Kazakhstan.
1989 Multiple reports of Pakistan modifying US-supplied F-16 aircraft for nuclear delivery purposes; wind tunnel tests cited in document reportedly from West German intelligence service.
1989 Test launch of Hatf-2 missile: Payload (500 kilograms) and range (300 kilometers) meets `nuclear-capable' standard under Missile Technology Control Regime.
1989 CIA Director Webster tells Senate Governmental Affairs Committee hearing that `Clearly Pakistan is engaged in developing a nuclear capability.'
1989 Media claims that Pakistan acquired tritium gas and tritium facility from West Germany in mid-1980's.
1989 ACDA unclassified report cites Chinese assistance to missile program in Pakistan.
1989 UK press cites nuclear cooperation between Pakistan and Iraq.
1989 Article in Nuclear Fuel states that the United States has issued `about 100 specific communiques to the West German Government related to planned exports to the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission and its affiliated organizations;' exports reportedly included tritium and a tritium recovery facility.
1989 Article in Defense & Foreign Affairs Weekly states `sources close to the Pakistani nuclear program have revealed that Pakistani scientists have now perfected detonation mechanisms for a nuclear device.'
1989 Reporting on a recent customs investigation, West German magazine Stern reports, `since the beginning of the eighties over 70 [West German] enterprises have supplied sensitive goods to enterprises which for years have been buying equipment for Pakistan's ambitious nuclear weapons program.'
1989 Gerard Smith, former US diplomat and senior arms control authority, claims US has turned a `blind eye' to proliferation developments Pakistan in and Israel.
1989 Senator Glenn delivers two lengthy statements addressing Pakistan's violations of its uranium enrichment commitment to the United States and the lack of progress on nonproliferation issues from Prime Minister Bhutto's democratically elected government after a year in office; Glenn concluded, `There simply must be a cost to non-compliance--when a solemn nuclear pledge is violated, the solution surely does not lie in voiding the pledge.'
1989-1990 reports of secret construction of unsafeguard nuclear research reactor; components from Europe.
1990--US News cites `western intelligence sources' claiming Pakistan recentl
1990 (Spring) Pakistan reportedly reacted to Indian Army war game maneuvers near its border by preparing to drop one of seven weapons from a specially configured C-130 cargo plane.
1990 (Feb 14) U. of Oklahoma AGN 211 reactor, 100 Wt, in Norman, OK, is closed.
1990 (Feb) Azerbaijan--Azerbeijani rebels unsuccessfully attacked a Soviet military depot near Baku where nuclear weapons are stored; Soviet troops were sent to secure the base.
1990 (Apr 5) Michigan State TRIGA Mark I, 250 KWt, in East Lansing, MI is closed.
1990 (Apr 6) Barnett Industrial X-ray assistant radiographer wraps source guide tube containing an 80 Ci. iridium-192 source around his neck; sustains skin burns in a 5000 -7000 rem localized skin dose; 24 rem whole body dose; radiographer gets 17 rem whole body in Ardmore, OK.
1990 (June 19) A nursing mother is given 4.89 mCi dose of I-131 resulting in 30,000 rad to infant thyroid, 17 rem whole body. Infant's thyroid function completely lost. Tripler Army Medical Center; Honolulu, HI.
1990 (June 21) 32 year-old male receives uniform whole body dose of 1000-2000 rad in one to two minute period in accident at Sor Van Irradiation Facility (Israel). Results from stuck source (300,000 Ci Co-60), no dosimetry, failure to check meter operation. Excellent medical care helps sustain life for 36 days. Patient dies of gastrointestinal and pulmonary complications.
1990 (Sept) Colorado judge rules worker's death is due to radiation exposure (213 rem lifetime) at Rocky Flats, Co., which results in cancer. First ruling of this sort.
1990 DOE drops Rocky Flats contract with Rockwell International, names EG&G as operator.
1990 Greenpeace ship docked off Novaya Zemlya (USSR) monitoring radiation levels is seized by authorities and towed to KGB base.
1990 "Health Effects of Exposure to Low Levels of Ionizing Radiation -- BEIR V" is published.
1990 Cs-137 brachytherapy source becomes dislodged from applicator, results in approximately 23 rem to patient's thigh instead of uterus.
1990 Kink in catheter causes unplanned dose to pharynx instead of lung in patient. Exposure estimated at 1500 rem from Ir-192.
1990 Due to a hospital mix-up, a patient is given another patient's therapeutic dose to the lung. The patient irradiated was to receive radiation treatment to brain.
1990 Due to a hospital mix-up, the wrong patient receives 296 rad to the midline of the brain.
1990 Patient who is due for a lung irradiation receives 1032 rem to the face, 282 rem to eyes, 357 rem to the scalp. Nurse who notes dislodge Ir-192 sources, tapes them to patient's face. Nurse receives 17.6 rem to fingers.
1990 Misadministration of I-131 to patient results in unplanned exposure of 5752 rad to thyroid.
1990 After eating game and fish contaminated with Cs-137, seven people hospitalized in the Tomsk, Siberia, Russia (former USSR). Town is where plutonium and uranium cores for weapons are manufactured.
1991 (Jan 24) US warplanes bomb two Iraqi reactor sites; contamination reported as "insignificant."
1991 (Mar 8) U. of CA Berkeley pool-type reactor, 1 MWt, in Berkeley, CA is closed.
1991 (April 2) Lawrence Livermore (CA) Leaking valve on shipping container vents tritium to the atmosphere. One worker receives 1/3 to 1/2 of full year's allowable radiation dose; three others receive uptake. Livermore suspends all use of radioactive gases.
1991 (May 21) New version of 10CFR20 published in Federal Register. Combines internal and external doses, defines extremities to include knees and elbows, uses internal dose calculations based upon ICRP 30 data.
1991 (Aug 24) Bratsk, Irkutsk, Russia, USSR, Cesium-137 sources were placed in the chairs of two company directors, one of whom developed radiation sickness.
1991 (Oct 26) 34 year old male worker in Nesvidge (Nesvizh), Beylorussia (Blearus) (former USSR) medical equipment sterilization facility works by exposed 800,000 Ci Co-60 source. He carries no dose rate meter and fails to turn key on the panel which would shield source. Field measures 1500 rad/min. Receives an estimated 1100 rad. Given Granulocyte Colony Stimulating Factor and Interluken-3, he is kept alive for 113 days. He dies of bilateral pneumonia and internal bleeding.
1991 President Clinton announces cancellation of several nuclear-weapons programs no longer needed because of the end of the Cold War.
1991 International Atomic Energy Agency reports on health effects from the April 1986 Chernobyl accident.
1991 ICRP Publication 60, "1990 Recommendations of the International Commission on Radiological Protection" is published.
1992 (Jan 27) First shipment of irradiated food, 1000 pints of strawberries, to US supermarkets. Irradiated by Vindicator of Florida, Inc. Spices had been only food irradiated previously.
1992 (Jan) Iran--Egyptian newspaper claimed Iran had bought three Soviet nuclear warheads from Kazakhstan for $150 million; Kazakhstan denied the report. In April Russian intelligence reported Iran had obtained at least two warheads from Kazakhstan; in July a Kazakh official said the three reportedly missing warheads were in test shafts at the Kazakh test site; in September a U.S. congressional task force alleged Iran had obtained 4 Soviet warheads (including 2 operational): two 40 kt SRBM warheads, one 50 kt NGB, and one 0.1 kt AFAP. By 1994 Russia said the warheads were accounted for; Israeli officials suggest the warheads were borrowed for disassembly and reverse engineering.
1992 (Mar 24) Sosnovy Bor nuclear power plant in St. Petersburg, Russia (former USSR) leaks iodine and noble gas to atmosphere thru a break in fuel rod "small salamander." RBMK design (like Chernobyl) has levels 10 times normal limits. Level 3 accident vs. a 7 for Chernobyl.
1992 (Mar) Commonwealth of Independent States--Reportedly, box of radioactive material stolen from Pridniestroviye, Transdnestr; thieves threatened to blow up the material if fighting in Moldova was not stopped.
1992 (Aug 24) Hurricane Andrew hits Turkey Point 3 nuclear power plant 20 miles south of Miami, Florida. Much damage to turbines but none to safety related systems despite wind gust of 170 mph.
1992 (Aug) A smuggler is arrested in Switzerland carrying a 2 gram cesium-137 source in his breast pocket. The source allegedly comes from the former USSR. He suffers from radiation sickness.
1992 (Sept 2 - 4) "Big chunks of the republic are so poisoned they will not be suitable for human settlement for a very long time. We are talking decades," said Victor Danilov-Danilyan, Russia's (former USSR) minister for the environment. "We in Belarus lost one in four people during the Great Patriotic War (WW II), while as a result of Chernobyl, one in five citizens -- approximately 2 million people, including 800,000 children -- now suffer because they live in contaminated zones," said Anatoly S. Zybovsky, deputy chairman of the Belarus State Committee on Chernobyl.
1992 (Oct 9) Two Poles and a German smuggler are arrested in Frankfurt, Germany while trying to sell a cesium-137 and a strontium-90 source brought in from the former USSR.
1992 (Oct 12) Russian coast guard vessel Ural fires warning shots at Greenpeace Solo. Six-member Greenpeace team tries to monitor area near discarded K-27 submarine (of former USSR) which had been dumped along with 15 nuclear reactors and five other sub units in the shallow waters off Novaya Zemlya.
1992 (Oct 15) Sweden reports trouble at Lithuanian RBMK reactor (built by USSR). Lithuanians report small leak into a mostly confined building at the Ignalina-2. The problem is identified as a 10 mm. crack in one of the 3200 pipes connected to the steam separator drums. Reactor is restarted Oct 21.
1992 (Oct 16) Seven people from Czechoslovakia are arrested in Munich, Germany after trying to sell about 2 kilograms of uranium pellets and powder from the former USSR reactor program. Analysis confirms that the material is of low enrichment, as used in nuclear power.
1992 (Oct 18) In Poland, a man is arrested at Terespol near the border with Belarus (former USSR) when a 1.5 kg lump of uranium was found in a lead-lined box in his attic.
1992 (Oct) The Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) Land Withdrawal Act withdraws public lands for WIPP, a test repository for transuranic nuclear waste located in a salt deposit deep under the desert.
1992 (Nov 9) Trojan Power Plant, PWR, 3411 MWt, in Portland, OR, is closed.
1992 (Nov 16) At Indiana (PA) Regional Cancer Center of Oncology Services Corp. during a routine treatment of an 82-year-old woman suffering from pelvic tumors, an inch-long sliver of iridium-192 (3.7 curies) becomes detached from the control wire as the source was being retracted. Operators disregard a wall-mounted radiation alarm and fail to perform an after-treatment survey of the patient. The woman returns to her nursing home with the source still in her. She dies 5 days later. The source is discovered Nov. 27 when it sets off a radiation alarm at an Ohio waste disposal facility. The source had been excreted after an estimated 90 hours in the woman. The irradiator is the Omnitron 2000.
1992 (Nov 19) Jilin, Xinzhou, PR China During decommissioning, a 10-curie cobalt-60 source from an industrial irradiation facility was taken to a residence by a construction worker at the site. The source had been stored in water 6 meters deep in a well since 1980. The source was taken home on 19 November, exposing the worker's father and brother. The following day the worker became ill and went to the hospital, taking the source with him. He died 15 days after initial exposure, about the time radiation was identified as the cause of his illness. Eight individuals were exposed to sufficient radiation to cause severe injury, three of whom died--the construction worker and his father and brother--of exposures over 800 rad. Exposures to medical workers ranged up to 100-300 rads. Localized doses ranged from 25 to 1,000 rem. When radiation injury symptoms initially developed, local medical workers did not recognize the symptoms as radiation-induced. The source of the problem was not fully recognized for 2-3 weeks, and the source was not secured until 76 days after it was taken. A total of 14 people received doses exceeding 25 rad.
1992 (Nov 30) San Onofre I, 1347 MWt, PWR, at San Clemente, CA, is closed.
1992 (Nov) Hanoi, Vietnam, electron accelerator facility. Person enters irradiation room without operators’ knowledge and unwittingly exposes his hands the X-ray beam. His hands are seriously injured and one has to be amputated.
1992 (Dec 7) At the Greater Pittsburgh Cancer Center of Oncology Services Corp. a 3 curie Ir-192 source becomes disconnected as it is being withdrawn from a patient's lung. No overexposures result due to the medical physicist believing an alarm. The irradiator is the Omnitron 2000.
1992 (Dec 21) At Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station near Phoenix, Arizona, a worker received an unmonitored whole-body dose of 1,924 millirem, exceeding the regulatory quarterly limit of 1,250 millirem. The unplanned dose was received while the worker was removing the resin transfer fill head from the top of a high-integrity container. The 1,924 millirem dose was a calculated exposure to the upper arm after it was noted that the worker's extremity dosimetry was off-scale, and his chest dosimetry was reading higher than expected. The individual's arm had been in a radiation field of approximately 300 rem/hour. Problems contributing to this event include the following: the job was not stopped when dose rates significantly exceeded those specified in the radiation work permit, overreliance was placed on dosimetry alarms to warn personnel of excessive radiation exposure, and radiological protection surveys and planning were inadequate.
1992 (Dec 26) Ground breaking ceremonies for Pakistan's Chasma nuclear power plant (300 MWe) PWR supplied by China.
1992 (Dec) DOE’s Office of Environmental Restoration and Waste Management (EM) and its predecessor agencies have decontaminated and dismantled over 90 contaminated facilities across the US. The organization has cleaned up 11 of 43 sites under its Formerly Utilized Sites Remedial Action Program. Under its Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action Program, EM has cleaned up 15 of 24 sites and 4,200 of 5,000 vicinity properties.
1992 (Late ) The US Government determines that China had transferred items controlled under the international Missile Technology Control Regime to Pakistan.
1992 (Dec 1) Senator Larry Pressler reportedly states in a press interview that he had been told by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) that Pakistan had assembled seven weapons and could air drop one in a matter of hours
1992 (Dec) The US Government asks Pakistan to return eight US Navy frigates and a supply ship that had been leased to the Pakistan Navy, which accounts for more than half of Pakistan's major surface combatants.
1992 Pakistani foreign secretary publicly discusses Pakistan's possession of `cores' of nuclear devices.
1992 The Hanford Site changes its mission from nuclear materials production to clean up of its facilities.
1992 Rockwell International fined $18.5 million after pleading guilty to 10 environmental crimes as former Rocky Flats plant operator.
1993 (Jan 9) "British Medical Journal" reports an excess incidence of cancer in children aged 0 to 24 over the period 1953-1990 in Seascale within sight of the Sellafield plant of British Nuclear Fuels.
1993 (Jan 11) An "alarming" suicide rate among soldiers and engineers who helped clean up the Chernobyl nuclear disaster is the result of radiated nervous systems, the breakdown of immune defenses and stress, according to medical experts and social researchers. The San Francisco Examiner reports that nearly seven years after the world's most serious nuclear reactor accident exposed about 500,000 Ukraine residents, reactor workers and cleanup crews to radiation, the death toll stands at 7,000 - - of whom 18 percent have taken their own lives, according to statistics provided by the Russian (former USSR) government. Thousands more are suffering from symptoms caused by excessive radiation, says the article. Studies in Moscow have shown that more than 40 percent of all former Chernobyl workers who ask for medical assistance suffer from severe after-effects, such as permanent memory loss and impaired thinking ability. Says Dr. Alexei Nikiforov, chief of a St. Petersburg research clinic: "We have found a lot of damage. In order to expose the specific reasons for the high rate of suicide, we need more research."
1993 (March 24) F. W. de Klerk, president of South Africa, admits that S. Africa has built 6 nuclear bombs but has dismantled them, "I also trust that South Africa's initiative will inspire other countries to take the same steps."
1993 (Apr 6) Tomsk 7, a fuel reprocessing plant in Russia 1000 miles east of Moscow in the former USSR, suffers a chemical explosion. A tank of nitric acid and uranium ruptures to spread contamination over 2500 acres. The extent of the level 3 accident is not fully disclosed. At least one fireman received over 500 mrem and 25 other persons received approximately 500 mrem.
1993 (Apr) Moscow, Russia (former USSR) A radioactive substance, probably cesium-137 (and/or cobalt-60) was planted in the chair of Vladimir Kaplun, director of the Kartontara packing company. Over several weeks Kaplun contracted radiation sickness and was hospitalized for a month before his death. The contamination was identified after his death by colleages.
1993 (Apr 27) In a new report, the Russian Federation details how the USSR broke the international rules for thirty years by dumping radioactive waste in the oceans. The amount of radioactive waste includes 2.5 million curies and 18 nuclear reactors from submarines and an icebreaker. These were mostly dumped in the Kara Sea.
1993 (Apr) Michigan State University, researcher unknowingly contaminates himself with C-14 which was stored in an unrestricted area in an unmarked container. Contamination is found throughout the facility, to residences he visits, to automobiles, and to his private residence. Other personnel entering the facility contaminate their shoes.
1993 (June 9) During a test of the emergency core cooling system (ECCS) at Quad Cities nuclear power plant in Cordova, Illinois, a pipe bursts and burns five workers (one seriously) with radioactive steam.
1993 (Summer) An accident in a former USSR nuclear submarine kills 21 sailors and injured two more.
1993 (Sept 29) The American Health Physics Society publishes its first standard, HPS N13.11-1993, American National Standard for Dosimetry which supersedes ANSI N13.11-1983.
1993 (Oct) Russia (former USSR) dumps liquid radioactive waste into the Sea of Japan.
1993 (Nov) Russia (former USSR) --Two nuclear warheads reportedly stolen by two employees of the Zlatoust-36 Instrument Building Plant near Chelyabinsk, a weapons assembly facility; weapons recovered in a nearby residential garage and the employees arrested shortly afterwards.
1993 (Dec 2) French deliberately cause a meltdown under almost identical conditions at Three Mile Island in the Phebus reactor in the south of France. Close circuit televisions show a bright blue glow as the fuel rods melt. Environmentalists criticize the experiment as dangerous and unnecessary.
1993 (Dec 20) US Government issues DoD Directive 5230.16 Nuclear Accident and Incident Public Affairs (PA) Guidance
1993 (Dec 25) Fermi 2 reactor near Detroit, Michigan suffers a catastrophic lube oil failure on its turbine. The turbine throws blades through the casing and turbine building. Unit suffers fire damage to generator and floods the low level waste building with a million gallons of contaminated water.
1993 (Dec 30) Rung C. Tang sues San Onofre nuclear power plant (California) charging that her exposure to leaking radioactive particles at the plant lead to her contracting acute myelogenous leukemia. Ms. Tang is a former NRC inspector whose dosimetry records indicate an external dose of 34 mrem in an 18 month period.
1993 (Dec) A post-graduate student working in a laboratory using P-32 on the weekend fails to survey afterward due to an inoperable survey meter. Contamination spreads from the individual and laboratory to an offsite church, several residences, and automobiles. NRC finds the offsite contamination 10 days after the event. Event is in northern US university.
1993 The AEC finds that about 500 homes in Taiwan have high levels of gamma radiation because steel beams contaminated with Co-60 have been used in their construction, which began in 1983. Many living areas have dose rates exceeding 40 mR/h and estimated cumulative exposure ranging up to 120 rem.
1993 DOE announces new mission of decontamination, environmental restoration at Rocky Flats.
1993 NCRP Report No. 115, "Risk Estimates for Radiation Protection" is published.
1993 NCRP Report No. 116, "Limitation of Exposure to Ionizing Radiation" is published.
1994 (Jan 11) Federal judge in Rung C. Tang leukemia case states that "If you decide that an exposure lower than the limit caused a person's disease, it's going to be the demise of the nuclear power industry in this country." This reverses his previous stance that he would allow the jury to consider evidence that nuclear plant operators had failed to achieve a standard "as low as reasonably achievable."
1994 (Feb 4) Mescalero Apache tribal leaders tentatively agree to allow Northern States Power Co. to store used reactor fuel bundles in above ground metal containers on tribal lands in New Mexico. Agreement still needs a vote by entire tribe. This is a first step toward a private waste-storage facility.
1994 (Feb 8) Judge declares mistrial in Rung C. Tang's lawsuit against San Onofre nuclear power plant. Jurors are deadlocked 7 to 2 in favor of the plaintiff. Retrial set for March.
1994 (Feb 16) Security guards blocked 11 attempts by poorly paid Russian (former USSR) nuclear plant workers to steal uranium from work and sell it on the black market last year, a government official says. Police also registered almost 900 attempts to illegally enter nuclear plants and 700 attempts to steal secret documents from them in 1993, said Lt. Gen. Yuri Yefimov, head of the Interior Ministry's department for security of strategic facilities.
1994 (Mar 14) Southern California Edison settles out of court with Rung C. Tang. Settlement amount is undisclosed but reputed to be $3.5 million. The 44 year old former NRC inspector has undergone two bone marrow transplants and is in frail health.
1994 (Mar 23) Two Russian (former USSR) submarines with nuclear weapons on board grazed each other during an exercise in the Barents Sea.
1994 (Mar) Russia (former USSR)--At SS-25 ICBM site at Barnaul in Siberia, a Russian soldier opens fire with sub-machine gun and kills commander and two other soldiers; other soldiers could not return fire because they would have had to fire towards the SS-25; the soldier was persuaded to surrender after three hours, having taking refuge in an armoured vehicle.
1994 (May 6) Fire breaks out at the world's second-largest fast-breeder nuclear reactor, in Russia's Ural Mountains (USSR). Smoke pours from the Beloyarsk reactor, 25 miles north of Yekaterinburg in the former USSR, but firefighters eventually put out the blaze. Officials said that radiation levels are normal and that there were no injuries. The fire is caused by leaking liquid sodium, said a spokesman for Russia's Atomic Energy Agency.
1994 (June 20) States of US sue the Department of Energy, demanding a disposal facility for their high level nuclear waste. The states maintain the 1982 Nuclear Waste Policy Act requires the department to move nuclear waste from reactor sites to a central storage facility by 1998.
1994 (July 12) For the second time, a lawsuit is filed against the operators of the San Onofre nuclear power plant by a worker who claims he contracted cancer through radiation exposure at the plant. In a suit to be filed against Southern California Edison, 62-year-old Glen James alleges he contracted chronic myelocytic leukemia because the plant was negligent in the way radiation was handled. James is being represented by the same law firm that represented Rung Tang, a former Nuclear Regulatory Commission inspector who filed the first suit against San Onofre. Both suits charged that Edison officials knew there was a severe contamination problem and that radiation detectors were faulty. Edison has denied all such assertions.
1994 (July 14) Washington state's Department of Labor and Industries grants a worker's compensation claim to a 50-year-old aluminum smelter worker for cancer he claims was caused by EMF exposure on the job. Attorneys say the ruling is the first time a government body has acknowledged such a link. The state agency say the claim was accepted because it includes a doctor's statement's saying EMF exposure is the probable cause of the cancer. The physician, Dr. Samuel Milham, has in research asserted a link between EMF and cancer in aluminum smelters. Other studies, however, have found no unusual cancer levels among workers exposed to EMF.
1994 (Aug 11) Quad Cities 1 & 2 (GE-3 789 MW BWR) corporate staff personnel are investigating an incident which appears to be the deliberate placement of a Sr-90 source in the unattended pants pocket of a worker who had changed into coveralls. The individual’s shallow dose equivalent is estimated to be 22 rem calculated based on VARSKIN computer program. The source is a check source which had been deliberately pried off the wall.
1994 (Oct. 1 – Feb 15, 1996) Republic of China A young male graduate student was poisoned by radioactive phosphorus-32 placed in his food and drink, in addition to other chemicals including acrylamide. Poisoning occurred on about 30 occasions from 1 October 1994 to 15 February 1996, although not all involved phosphorus-32. The material was placed in the victim's drinking cup and eating utensil in his workplace, the Institute of Plant Pathology, by a fellow student. The phosporus-32 had been stolen from other molecular biology labs at the same university. The victim suffered diarrhoea and some abdominal pain from late 1994 accompanied by poor appetite and weight loss; later he lost most of his moustache. He was informed of the acts by the perpetrator in early 1996. Some health effects persisted through 1999.
1994 (Oct 7) China detonates a nuclear bomb test.
1994 (Nov 21) Scientists in former USSR disclose pumping 3 billion curies of radioactive waste under layers of shale and clay for the last 30 years at sites at Dimitrovgrad (near the Volga River), Tomsk (near the Ob River), and Krasnoyarsk (on the Yenisei River).
1994 (Oct 21 – Nov 11) Tammiku, Estonia On 21 October a cesium-137 source was stolen from a radioactive waste facility by three brothers. One of them had picked up the source when it fell out of a metal block and placed it in his jacket pocket. He took the source to his home and hung his jacket, containing the source, in a hallway, already feeling ill. On 25 October he was hospitalized and died 2 November; the cause of death was diagnosed as kidney failure, and no radiation injury was recognized at this time. On 9 November the man's stepson found the source in the jacket and moved it to a kitchen drawer. On 17 November the child was hospitalized with burns which were recognized as radiation burns by hospital staff. The staff notified authorities, who found the source in the house on 18 November. The man who carried the source home received a 183,000 rem dose to his thigh and a 400 rem whole-body dose. Of the other perpetrators, one received a 1,200-2,000 rem dose to his hands, causing injury and the other a whole body dose of less than 100 rem, causing mild radiation sickness. The three other residents of the house were injured: the child received a dose of 360 rads, with localized dose to the hands of 2,500 rem, requiring amputation of the fingers on one hand; the man's mother received a whole body dose of 225 rem or more and developed moderate radiation sickness, and the man's wife received a whole body dose of 50 rem. A dog that slept near the source indoors also died. 60 people are evacuated from area surrounding the house.
1994 (Nov) Physicists at Darmstadt (Germany) discover element 110 by bombarding a lead target with a beam of nickel atoms.
1994 (Dec 20) Physicists at Darmstadt (Germany) discover element 111 by bombarding a bismuth target with a beam of nickel atoms.
1994 (Dec) The largest amount of smuggled nuclear-weapon usable material discovered to date was found in mid-December in a dark blue Volvo limousine parked on the street in Prague. The police, tipped off by Interpol that the material had been at large for several weeks and was still awaiting a buyer, seized two simple, unlined metal canisters, labeled in Cyrillic script, that were plopped on the back seat of the car. According to Czech authorities, the intelligence they received from Interpol was "quite precise"-so precise that they could "locate the uranium in the back seat, seize it, and make arrests." The take was 2.7 kilograms of enriched uranium-about 87.7 percent uranium 235
1994 Protocols developed for joint US , Ukraine, Belarus 20 year study of thyroid disease in the 85,000 children exposed to radioiodine following Chernobyl accident in 1986.
1994 EG&G announces it will not renew contract to operate Rocky Flats that expires in 1995. DOE begins search for new operator of plant.
1995 (Jan 5) Sen. J. Bennett Johnston (D-La) proposes a bill which places a temporary nuclear waste storehouse at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, while scientists continue the study of the site for a permanent repository.
1995 (Jan 6) Hanford Advisory Board officials propose plan to convert nuclear waste into radiation therapy sources.
1995 (Jan 9) Russians drinking water from the Techa River ( draining from the Mayak plutonium facility near Chelyabinsk in former USSR) have more lymphatic genetic mutations (T-cell antigen receptors) than people who suffered radiation from atomic bombing of Hiroshima, Japanese and Russian scientists state. The region's death rate is higher than its birth rate the experts state. Japanese scientists are from the Radiation Effects Research Foundation in Hiroshima. An international symposium attended by about 130 experts from eight countries, including Russia, the United States and Japan, on radiation effects on human health is held in Chelyabinsk to discuss hazards posed by the Mayak plant to nearby residents at the three-day meeting.
1995 (Jan 28) Artificial reservoirs for liquid nuclear waste in Russia's (former USSR) Ural region may overflow if left untouched, destroying nearby areas near Chelyabinsk 65 with what is called a nuclear flash flood, Russian officials warn. No effective measures have been taken to prevent a 10-meter-high flood with a radioactivity as high as 200,000 curies of Sr-90 & Cs-137. The reservoirs at the Mayak chemical plant now hold a total of 400 million cubic meters of liquid nuclear waste, and there is a strong possibility the embankment will give way, inundating towns and villages along the Techa River nearby. Suspension of an atomic power plant project in the region last year added tothe danger of a nuclear flash flood, adding the project was designed to accelerate evaporation of water at the reservoirs using surplus heat from the power plant.
1995 (Jan 31) The Mescalero Apache Indian tribe of New Mexico votes down by a vote of 490 to 362 ( there are about 3,500 tribal members ) a proposal to build a temporary site for the US commercial nuclear waste.
1995 (Feb – July 7) Zheleznodorozhny, Moscow region, Russia (former USSR) A person suffered radiation injury from a 1.3-curie cesium-137 source that had been placed in a door pocket of his truck. The driver was exposed for 5 months before the source was discovered, about the time he sought treatment for epilation of the thigh, moderate pancytopaenia, and azoospermia. Dose to the person was 800 rad whole body and 6,500 rad to the thigh. After 8 months of treatment, the person developed myelodsplastic syndrome which progressed to leukemia at 15 months. He was hospitalized periodically from 7 July 1995 to 27 April 1997, when he died.
1995 (Feb 6) Linda, Cheryl Marie, and Paul Michael McLandrich wife and children of Gregory McLandrich bring suit against So. Cal. Edison, San Diego Gas & Electric and Combustion Engineering for Gregory’s wrongful death. He was diagnosed in August 1989 with leiomyosarcoma, a rare form of soft-tissue cancer of the abdomen, and died on Aug. 30, 1991, at age 42. The plaintiffs allege that McLandrich was exposed to fuel fragments.
1995 (Feb 23) University of California San Francisco investigating committee concludes that it cannot be determined whether 3 patients who received plutonium injections in the 1940s understood or agreed to radiation exposure they received but that researchers took reasonable steps to protect the patients from harm.
1995 (Mar 2) Two teams working independently at the Fermi Lab's Accelerator Laboratory outside of Chicago, IL, announce the discovery of the top quark with a mass-energy of 176 GeV or 199 GeV (approximately 200 times heavier than a proton). The teams use a 1.7 mi. diameter proton / anti-proton accelerator.
1995 (Mar 20) The Chilean navy threatens to use force to keep a Japan-bound freighter, British-flagged Pacific Pintail, loaded with high-level nuclear waste out of its 320-kilometer territorial waters. A Chilean patrol boat, the Micalva, is sent to the area to persuade the Pacific Pintail to leave Chilean waters. "These waters are not to be navigated. I know of large ships that have been damaged by extraordinarily rough seas in the area," says navy commander in chief Adm. Jorge Martinez Busch. The nuclear vessel also faces natural dangers in extremely rough and stormy weather, battling against 10-meter waves and gale-force winds.
1995 (Mar 24) At Maine
Yankee Atomic Power Plant, two workers received unplanned radiation
dose in excess of administrative limits. Two workers were assigned to
prepare areas of a highly radioactive reactor coolant pump impeller
shaft for nondestructive testing. A health physics technician had
performed a survey during the previous shift. The survey was
performed rapidly in an effort to reduce radiation dose and lacked
sufficiently detailed radiological characterization of the specific
work area. Consequently, the dose rate at the work area was
incorrectly documented as approximately 1 rem/hour when it actually
was about 20 rem/hour.
Subsequently, another technician was assigned to directly monitor the job. This technician did not thoroughly review the radiological work permit package for the job and did not brief the workers before starting work. When the workers entered the work area, their electronic dosimetry immediately alarmed. The health physics technician observed that the dosimetry was alarming on dose rate (set to alarm at 4 rem/hour) and not on accumulated dose (set to alarm at 400 millirem). The technician made a nonconservative decision that was contrary to station procedure by allowing the work to continue. Rather than stop work and resurvey the area, the health physics technician started an air filtration unit and an air sampler. The technician then resurveyed the area and observed a higher than expected dose rate. The accumulated dose on the workers' alarming dosimeters was then checked and found to have exceeded the alarm setpoint so that the work was stopped. One worker had received a radiation dose of 3.3 rem and the other, 3.1 rem. Identified causes of this event were an inadequate prejob survey and noncompliance with station procedures regarding survey verification and response to alarming dosimetry.
1995 (May 15) 0405 GMT China explodes an underground nuclear device (strength estimated 40 to 150 kilotons of TNT).
1995 (June 30) US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announces that they have seized jars of acid and radioactive elements (americium, thorium, and radium) salvaged from smoke detectors and lamps. The radioactive material was concentrated by an 18 year old boy in Union Lake, Michigan. Cleanup costs $50,000.
1995 (July 1) Barnwell LLW disposal facility ( in South Carolina ) begins accepting LLW from throughout the U.S. (except North Carolina). The cost is approximately $300 per cubic foot
1995 (July 26) The State of North Carolina notifies Region II that Southern Metals Scrapyard found a source of radioactivity in scrap. A rectangular lead container 8 by 2 by 4 (inches). It has a surface radiation of 800 mrad/hr at a crack in the container and 2 mrad/hr at three feet. No radioactive contamination. No identifying markings. Two workers handle it for 2 minutes, with a dose to their hands < 50 millirem.
1995 (Sept 1) Resource Recycling (a scrap metal processing business) of St. Petersburg, Florida, identifies and contains a radioactive source in excess of five micro-roentgens per hour on contact .
1995 (Sept 1) North Star Steel Company of Youngstown, Ohio, accidentally pours liquid steel over the top of a 1,000 millicurie cesium-137 source.
1995 (Sept 5) France explodes atomic bomb in French Polynesia. Riots ensue in Tahiti.
1995 (Sept) A power cutoff to nuclear submarines on the coast of northern Russia caused a cooling system on one boat to break down, forcing emergency measures to stop its reactor from overheating.
1995 (Oct 12) Occupational radiation exposure at the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station was not the cause of Glen James' chronic myelogenous leukemia, a jury of four men and four women decide after two months of testimony and 3 days of deliberation. The case was brought in San Diego Federal District Court by a former contractor worker claiming his cancer had been caused by excessive radiation exposure. Federal regulations are upheld as standard of care.
1995 (Nov 21) China Accelerator accident burns one person on the back area 50 X 50 cm. (equivalent to 4th degree burns). Person is performing maintenance work on an industrial applications accelerator when the exposure occurs. Energy level is 1.8 MeV with a high frequency voltage of 3 MV. The distance from the radiation source is 0.5 Meter (about 20 in.). The exposure time was about 6 to 7 minutes total (2 trips into the area). With a couple of layers of clothes, the person's entire back including head and neck are exposed to the radiation. The symptoms include (in order they have occurred): itching, swelling, aching, and finally skin erosion in a 40 by 40 sq. cm. area. The body temperature is in a range of 37.5 - 38.9 degree C (99.5 - 102 degree F). The patient is hospitalized since Dec. 7, 1995. Medical treatments include some topical medications for skin burning, hypodermic injection of penicillin, 17-Amino acidicrystallini complicis 7.25%. Surgical operations are also recommended for skin transplant.
1995 (Nov 23) Russia (former USSR)--Shamil Basayev, Chechen rebel commander, directs television news crew to a parcel of cesium-137 buried in Izmailovsky Park, eastern Moscow; parcel reportedly posed no threat and was removed. Parcel weighed 32 kg, contained 10-50 mCi, and was part of a hospital x-ray machine taken in a prior raid.
1995 (Dec 8) Japan The Monju reactor, named for the Buddhist god of wisdom, suffers a loss of coolant accident. The $5.6 billion plutonium fueled, liquid sodium cooled breeder reactor loses tons of coolant.
1995 (Dec) France--Saboteurs put salt into a cooling tower of one of the Blayais nuclear power reactors.
1996 (Feb 27 – Mar 5) Houston, TX. A radiography company, Larpen of Texas, possessed two cobalt-60 sources (35.3 curies and 8.6 curies) for radiography cameras when it went bankrupt in 1992. The Texas Bureau of Radiation Control ordered the sources impounded in place in October 1992, and requested proper disposal of the sources in 1994. The Bureau had the door to the storage facility welded shut later in 1994, and expressed concern about the source security after the remaining structures were demolished in 1995-1996. On 27 February 1996 three thieves broke into the storage facility and stole the sources to sell them as scrap metal. The buyer took them to a recycling facility where they were declined because they were radioactive. When they were returned to the scrap yard, the delivery man threw the unshielded 35.3 curie source on the ground. The Bureau of Radiation Control recovered the two sources from the scrap yard on 5 March. The delivery man sustained radiation burns on the right thumb and middle finger. Small doses were incurred by scrap yard workers, two children of the scrap yard owner, five investigating police officers, and two Bureau personnel. The three thieves and three people at the scrap yard were arrested.
1996 (Mar) Pakistan commissions an unsafeguarded nuclear reactor, expected to become fully operational in the late 1990s, that will provide it with a capability to produce weapons-grade plutonium.
1996 (June) New York--several individuals arrested in plot to kill Republican officials; seized weapons included radioactive materials
1996 (July 24) Gilan, Iran, a worker finds a pigtail (a radiography source) of Ir-192 and puts it in his pocket. Worker gets severe haemopoetic syndrome and localized radiation injury.
1996 (Aug) San Jose, Costa Rica, Co-60 source on radiotherapy unit is miscalibrated and 115 patients are over exposed by 50 - 60% of intended doses. 42 of the patients die within 9 months, 7 due to radiation dose. 81 injuries.
1996 (Nov 2) the Connecticut Yankee Nuclear Power Station was in cold shutdown preparing for defueling. A plant maintenance supervisor and a contract refueling manager entered the fuel transfer canal area of the refueling cavity to inspect the mechanical condition of the fuel transfer system before fuel offload. Following completion of the inspection, the individuals performed a housekeeping activity (outside the approved scope of work) in the canal and placed debris into a plastic bag. This unauthorized activity created a high airborne radioactivity condition in the canal and refueling cavity and led to the individuals becoming internally contaminated. Radiation dose to the individuals was difficult to determine because of the possible ingestion of transuranic material, but dose calculations indicate the dose was below federal limits. The causes of this event were a programmatic breakdown in administrative barriers and improper radiological work practices (workers unexpectedly performed tasks that should have required respirators or additional controls, resulting in internal radiation dose to themselves).
1996 (Late) Pakistan's main nuclear weapons laboratory, the A.Q. Khan Laboratory in Kahuta, purchased 5,000 ring magnets from China. The ring magnets would allow Pakistan to effectively double its capacity to enrich uranium for nuclear weapons production.
1997 (Mar 10) Fire and explosion at Tokai reprocessing plant in Japan.
1997 (Mar 11) Koeburg Unit 2 (South Africa) a quality control inspector and two maintenance personnel inadvertently entered the incore detector penetration room to perform aninspection of the detectors. The inspector assumed he was in the detector storage room, but did not realize his error until he entered the penetration room. Upon exiting, the inspector noted that his dosimeter was off-scale. The inspector and maintenance personnel received unplanned exposures of 3.2 R, 1.76 R, and 260 mr as a result of the error.
1997 (Apr 3) Calvert Cliffs Nuclear Power Plant Unit 2 in a refueling outage, spent fuel pool diving operations were performed to replace a magnetic proximity switch on the fuel transfer carriage. The diver left the approved diving area, traveled about 20 feet to within approximately 5 feet of an area reading 12,000 rem/hour emanating from recently discharged spent fuel assemblies. In doing so, he received an unplanned whole-body dose of 270 millirem. Breakdown of multiple barriers resulted in the diver attempting to perform a canceled work item that was outside the surveyed and approved work area. Taking prompt action in response to an alarming remote reading dosimeter attached to the diver, a radiation protection technician directed the diver to leave the pool immediately. By acting quickly, the technician prevented a more significant radiation dose to the diver. Significant aspects and causes of this event include the following: ineffective assignment of job responsibility, inadequate prejob briefing, ineffective work controls, deficient communication, failure to understand and follow written instructions, and ineffective management monitoring.
1997 (May 2) three workers at Koeberg Nuclear Power Station Unit 2 (South Africa) received excessive radiation dose while changing a spent fuel pool cooling recirculation filter. The whole-body radiation doses for the three workers were 9.2 rem, 7.3 rem, and 4.1 rem, respectively. When the filter was removed, the radiation protection technician performed a survey and measured a dose rate of approximately 220 millirem/hour. After having worked for 10 minutes, one of the workers noticed his direct reading dosimeter was off-scale high. The crew left the area and the radiation protection technician returned with a different radiation survey instrument. This instrument indicated a dose rate of 240 rem/hour. Inadequate work controls, inaccurate radiological surveys, and insufficiently knowledgeable personnel were identified as causes of this event.
1997 (May 15) Novosibirsk Chemical Concentration Plant, (former USSR) Uranium oxide slurry and crust, U(70), in the lower regions of two parallel vessels; multiple excursions; insignificant exposures.
1997 (May) A 40 gallon tank of toxic chemicals, stored illegally at the U.S. Government's Hanford Engineer works exploded, causing the release of 20,000-30,000 gallons of plutonium-contaminated water. A cover-up ensued, involving the contractors doing clean-up and the Department of Energy, who denied the release of radioactive materials. They also told eight plant workers that tests indicated that they hadn't been exposed to plutonium even though no such tests actually were conducted (later testing revealed that in fact they had not been exposed). Fluor Daniel Hanford Inc., operator of the Hanford Site, was cited for violations of the Department of Energy's nuclear safety rules and fined $140,625. Violations associated with the explosion included the contractor's failure to assure that breathing devices operated effectively, failure to make timely notifications of the emergency, and failure to conduct proper radiological surveys of workers. Other violations cited by the DOE included a number of events between November 1996 and June 1997 involving Fluor Daniel Hanford's failure to assure adherence to PFP "criticality" safety procedures. ("Criticality" features are defined as those features used "to assure safe handling of fissile materials and prevention of...an unplanned and uncontrolled chain reaction that can release large amounts of radiation.")
1997 (May) Russia (former USSR)--Aleksandr Lebed claims privately and later publicly that a number of Soviet ADMs disguised as suitcases are missing; his claims are affirmed by some but no concrete evidence emerges.
1997 (June 17) Sarov (Arzamas-16), 17 (former USSR) U(90) metal, copper reflected, assembly; multiple excursions (criticalities); one fatality. Experimenter received 4500 rad from neutrons and 350 rad from gamma. He died 2 days later.
1997 (July 4) Pakistan confirms test-firing of new indigenous Hatf missile.
1997 (Sept 6) Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif claims Pakistan possesses nuclear weapons, saying that: "Pakistan's nuclear capability is now an established fact. Whatever we have, we have a right to keep it...."
1997 (Oct) Lilo, Republic of Georgia (former USSR) local authorities request help when a group of 11 border frontier guards undergoing training become ill and show signs of radiation induced skin disease. Sources are Cs-137 and Co-60 from former USSR military near Tbilisi.
1997 (Oct) Vladivostok News reports that in Baley, a town of 25,000 in the Chita region 200 km north of China,the Soviet Union used thorium and uranium mined at the top-secret Enterprise 1084 to make its first atomic bomb. Radioactive tailings were used as construction materials in homes, nurseries, schools and the hospital. 95 percent of Baley’s children are “mentally deficient.” Palace of Culture stage reads 2.5 mR/h.
1997 (Nov) Russia (former USSR)--Several threats to sabotage submarine nuclear reactors are made by one or more Murmansk shipyard workers in demanding back pay they are owed.
1997 Republic of Georgia (former USSR) A medical teletherapy cobalt-60 source was left unsecured near a station, causing a fatal radiation exposure to one individual.
1998 (Jan 28) An accident on board a former USSR nuclear-powered submarine at an Arctic base in Listafjord, on Russia's Kola Peninsula, released toxic fumes that killed a Russian naval officer and injured four sailors. There was no radiation leak.
1998 (May 11) India detonates first potential fusion boosted bomb (25 – 45 KT) named Shakti I.
1998 (May 13) India detonates a fission bomb (0.5 to 0.3 KT) Shakti II.
1998 (May 28) Pakistan detonates five nuclear devices. Pakistan claimed that the five nuclear tests measured up to 5.0 on the Richter scale, with a reported yield of up to 40 KT (equivalent TNT) named Chagai-I.
1998 (May 30) Pakistan tests one more nuclear warhead, with a yield of 12 kilotons, bringing the total number of claimed tests to six.
1998 (July) Matkhoji, Republic of Georgia (former USSR) Three abandoned sources with an activity of 1 Ci, 100 mCi and 40 mCi found in an agricultural village.
1998 (Oct 6) St. Joseph Health Center, Kansas City, Missouri, USA A patient was administered a 0.155 curie dose of iodine-131 for treatment of thyroid cancer and subsequently found to be pregnant. The women had told the physician that there was no possibility of pregnancy, but about 3.5 hours after administration the physician received positive pregnancy test results on the woman that had been performed by the referring physician. The woman was advised to increase fluid intake to flush free iodine from her system. She was determined to have been 13.5 weeks pregnant with twins at the time of administration; estimated dose to each fetus was 38 rem whole body and over 200,000 rem to each fetal thyroid. The physician advised the woman that the babies faced a 30% increase in chance of microcephaly, 20-50% increase in chance of childhood cancer, increased chance of mental retardation, in addition to loss of thyroid glands. The woman had the twins aborted.
1998 (Nov 9) Zaporozhye NPP Unit 3 Ukraine (former USSR) During the night shift from 23:00 on 09.11.98 till 07:00 on 10.11.98 while conducting the radiographic testing of the turbine hall equipment welds three gamma radiographers of the plant metal laboratory received radiation doses of 0.65 Sv (65 rem), 0.1 Sv (10 rem) and 0.03 Sv (3 rem) respectively, exceeding the maximum permissible levels. The event was caused by a defective gammagraphic device "Gammaread" designed for material testing & failure to perform surveys after shots.
1998 (Dec) Istanbul, Turkey, old teletherapy sources expose 10 persons to radiation doses high enough to cause acute radiation syndrome.
1999 (Feb) Yanango, Peru welder picks up radiographic Ir-192 source in dam construction site. Suffers severe radiation burns.
1999 (Mar 11) Tricastin Unit 1 (France) a radiation protection technician enters the pit under a PWR reactor (Framatome) while thimble tubes are withdrawn. Field is estimated to be 500 - 800 R/h. Tech’s dosimeter reads 8 R. His film badge indicates 34 R for the 3 minute stay.
1999 (June 21) Tbilisi, Republic of Georgia (former USSR) a 1 Ci Co-60 source is found buried below a road close to the botanical gardens. Source is from the former USSR military.
1999 (Aug 19) Andris Blakis spread phosphorous-32 on the chair of a co-worker in Los Angeles, CA, causing a dose to the co-worker of a few tenths of a rem; Blakis was arrested and charged.
1999 (Sept 1) Six people were arrested for trying to sell highly radioactive uranium alloy stolen from military facilities, police reported. The alloy, a mix of uranium-238 and nickel, was stolen from one of the regional yards to repair or dismantle submarines. The suspects tried to sell six kilograms of the alloy to undercover police for $65,000, said Georgy Kulakov of the regional police press center. The group included three intermediaries who were arrested first with two kilograms of the uranium alloy on hand August 24. After arrest in the Razdolnoye village near Vladivostok, they pointed the police and agents of the Federal Security Service, or FSB, to three owners of the radioactive materials. They were detained later that day with four kilograms of the nuclear alloy in the Pokrovka village near Bolshoi Kamen, Russia (former USSR).
1999 (Sept 13) Gronzy, Chechnya, Russia (former USSR) Six individuals attempted to steal radioactive material from a chemical factory in Grozny. They opened a container and removed several of nine 12-cm rods of cobalt-60, each one 27,000 curies. One individual
1999 (Sept 30) Three Japanese workers Hisashi Ouchi, 35, Masato Shinohara, 29, and Yutaka Yokokawa, 54, all employed by JCO, receive 1700, 1000 and 300 rad due to a criticality event in a uranium processing facility at Tokaimura 70 miles north of Tokyo. Three operators were engaged in processes combining uranium oxide with nitric acid to produce a uranium-containing solution for shipment. The uranium involved was 18.8% U-235. The procedure used deviated from that licensed to the facility. In particular the uranium solution was being placed in a precipitation tank for dispensing into shipment containers, not the more narrow vessel (geometrically favorable to minimizing criticality risks) prescribed by license. At about 10:35 AM, while two workers were adding a seventh batch of uranium solution to the tank, a criticality excursion occurred. The two workers, along with a third worker nearby, observed a blue flash and fled the location; simultaneously, gamma-radiation detectors went off in the building and two adjacent buildings, prompting all workers to evacuate to a muster area. Workers were relocated following higher than background radiation readings. The two workers who had been pouring both began vomiting during transport to the hospital. The excursion continued for 20 hours (the facility did not have a procedure for dealing with criticality events) until outside experts were brought in to drain the tank, shortly after midnight. At 3:18 PM an evacuation of residents within 350 meters of the site had been ordered due to 5 rad/hr readings at the facility boundary; at 10:30 PM an advisory was issued to residents within a radius of 10 km to stay indoors. Of the three workers involved in the accident, the one pouring the solution received 600-1,000 rem and died 210 days later; the one holding the funnel received 1,600-2,000 rem and died 82 days later; and the one at a nearby desk received 100-450 rem and was hospitalized for three months. Both workers who died had received transplants of blood stem cells. The highest doses to neighboring residents were between 5 and 25 rem in the case of about 20 residents.
1999 Kingisepp, Leningrad region, Russia (former USSR) The radioisotope core of a radiothermal generator was recovered at a bus station in Kingisepp. Radiation levels at the surface of the source were 1000 rad/hour. The source had been stolen from a lighthouse 50 km away by three men stealing metal to sell as scrap; all three died of radiation injury.
2000 (Jan 24 – Feb 20) Samut Prakarn, Thailand A 425-curie cobalt-60 teletharapy source was sold in its housing as scrap metal to an individual in Samut Prakarn on 24 January and was temporarily stored at a residence. Several individuals further attempted to dismantle the housing unsuccessfully on 1 February, after which they took it to a junkyard. During transport, one indivual had the housing next to his leg. The source fell out at the junkyard during disassembly, causing exposure to workers. Two individuals started becoming ill that day. More workers became ill in mid-February and sought medical treatment, where physicians recognized radiation sickness and notified authorities. On 20 February the source was found and secured. Three individuals received doses of 200 rems, but two of them had severe radiation burns from localized exposures; another individual received 100 rems. Three individuals died: two junkyard employees (on 9 March and 18 March) and the husband of the junkyard owner (on 24 March).
2000 (May 5 – July 3) Meet Halfa, Qaluobiya, Egypt Casualties resulted from a radiography source unwitting brought into a household in Meet Halfa. Four sources used for checking pipes were lost in or near Abu Rawash in late April 2000; the workers who lost the sources searched unsuccessfully for them but did not report the loss to authorities. The family of Fadl Hassan Fadl found one source on 5 May and took it home, believing it to be precious metal. The rod contained 50 curies of iridium-192 (activity was reported as 31.5 curies on 5 May and 19.3 curies on 26 June). On 5 June Hassan Fadl Hassan, 9 years old, died of radiation sickness from a dose of 750 rad; the diagnosis was unclear at this point, but bone marrow failure and skin inflammations were evidence. On 12 June similar symptoms appeared in other family members who were hopitalized. The 61-year old father, Fadl Hassan Fadl, died on 16 June from a dose of 550 rad. Five others (Hassan's wife and four more of their children) suffered radiation sickness from doses between 300 and 400 rad, and 76 neighbors were treated for minor symptoms of blood changes. A total of 150 to 200 neighbors and friends each incurred estimated doses between 2.5 and 15 rem. Authorities began radiation surveys in the area on 25 June and recovered the source 26 June. Authorities found three more cylinders on 3 July (one in a warehouse), a day after arresting 4 for the loss of the cylinders.
2000 (June) On April 30, 2002, the Illinois Department of Nuclear Safety (IDNS) reported a wound on a licensee radiographer’s leg for which they could not definitively eliminate the possibility that the injury was received during radiography operations. The initiating incident apparently occurred in June 2000, involving an 81.2 curie Iridium-192 source on a temporary radiography jobsite near Channahon, Illinois. The radiographer reported to IDNS that, after believing he secured the source, after an exposure, approached the guide tube area and knelt down without looking at his survey instrument. He changed the radiography film for the next shot and unhooked the guide tube. When he did so, he noticed the source drive cable was still in the guide tube. He then saw that his survey instrument showed an off-scale high reading and his alarming rate meter was inoperable because of a low battery. He immediately cranked the source back into a shielded position. His self-reading pocket dosimeter was off-scale. Neither the radiographer, nor the second radiographer on the team, informed the licensee of the incident. Approximately two weeks after the incident, the radiographer noticed skin redness in an approximate two centimeter-sized area of his left calf. Over the next year, the wound became ulcerated and would not heal. A physician examined the individual and concluded that the condition could have been caused by radiation.
2000 (June 6-8) Japan--Tsugio Uchinishi sent letters laced with monazite (a thorium-containing mineral) to 10 government offices in Tokyo in protest of illegal uranium exports to North Korea.
2000 (Aug – Mar 24 2001) Instituto Oncologico Nacional, Panama City, Panama In August 2000 a modification to the computerized treatment planning system used to calculate shielding blocks during radiotherapy treatments. Unknown to the operators, the change resulted in overexposures to patients. Development of symptoms in treated patients led to discovery of the error on 24 March 2001, after 28 patients had been overexposed. Five patients died due to overexposure, one died in December 2000 of cancer unrelated to treatment, and two died by 2001 (one on 19 October 2000, 2 weeks after treatment) of undetermined causes. Of the radiation-related deaths, dates were as follows: 6 March, about 3 weeks after treatment; 28 March, about 7 weeks after treatment; 7 May, about 13 weeks after treatment; 19 May, about 10 weeks after treatment; 20 May, about 12 weeks after treatment; Most of the other 20 patients displayed injuries, mostly involving radiation injury to the bowel. By 23 May 2002, 17 patients had died, with 13 of the deaths caused by rectal complications and 14 deaths total linked to radiation exposure. By August 2003, 21 patients total had died with 17 of the deaths attributed to radiation exposure. For all deaths, times between exposure and death were 35, 47, 69, 115, 116, 117, 172, 277, 292, 292, 319, 321, 326, 345, 363, 386, 439, 650, 691, 782, and 836 days.
2000 (Oct 12) an advanced crusher and shearer (ACS) unit used to crush control rod blades was removed from the Susquehanna Steam Electric Station fuel pool and stored on the refueling floor. The ACS was being removed from the cask storage pit following the conclusion of the fuel pool cleanout project in preparation for transport off-site. Following ACS removal and transfer, three discrete radioactive particles (DRPs) with contact dose rates of up to 800 rem/hr (activity estimated at up to 75 mCi of Co-60) were discovered on the refueling floor. These high activity DRPs did not come in contact with personnel. During subsequent cask packaging and shipping evolutions, three additional DRPs were identified with measured dose rates ranging from 1 rem/hr to 220 rem/hr. On December 6, 2000, a DRP with a dose rate of 1 rem/hr (activity estimated at 1 mCi) adhered to a worker's protective shoe cover and resulted in an absorbed skin dose rate of 47 rad/hr, with a resultant shallow dose equivalent of 17 rem.
2000 (Dec 20) Japan--A man scattered a small amount of iodine-125 at a subway ticket gate in Osaka; the man was arrested, and no injuries resulted
2001 (Jan 13) Jacobs Pan American Corporation, St. Croix, US Virgin Islands, a licensee radiographers assistant (RA) received the potential overexposure while disconnecting the guide tube from the radiography camera. After completing a radiography exposure, the radiographer retracted the source, but the source was not in the fully shielded position when the RA began to disconnect the guide tube from the camera. The source was in the guide tube at an approximate distance of six to eight inches from the point where the guide tube is connected to the camera. The RA received approximately 2 rem to his hand while disconnecting the guide tube from the camera and approximately 59 rem when he grasped the guide tube at the point where the source remained inside the tube while he pulled the guide tube away from the camera. The RA immediately released the guide tube when he saw that the drive cable and source pigtail cable were extended outside of the camera.
2001 (Nov) Vladivostok, former USSR Officials cut the ribbon recently for a $35 million Japanese-funded facility to treat liquid radioactive waste that used to be dumped into the Sea of Japan. The floating facility, Landysh, is part of the U.S.-Russian Cooperative Threat Reduction program. It will be docked at the Zvezda plant in the city of Bolshoi Kamen processing waste from the Russian nuclear submarines decommissioned under U.S.-Russian arms reduction treaties.
2002 (Feb 12) Militants from the breakaway Russian republic of Chechnya wanted to capture a Russian Pacific Fleet nuclear-powered submarine in Vladivostok, former USSR to demand independence. They would reportedly blow up mines on the reactor and the nuclear tipped missiles if demands were not met.
2002 (Mar 22 – Apr 4,) Davis-Besse Nuclear Power Station near Toledo, Ohio received notification from Oconee Nuclear Station, Comanche Peak Steam Electric Station, and a vendor that discrete radioactive particles (DRPs) were found on the clothing of four contract workers who recently worked at Davis-Besse. Thirteen particles ranging in radioactivity between 0.002 and 0.080 microcuries were discovered in five separate locations. The particles were found on individuals, in their clothing, on bed linen, and on luggage in their homes and hotel rooms. The DRPs consisted of cobalt, niobium, zirconium, ruthenium, and cerium isotopes. The total activity of all the DRPs was less than 0.3 microcuries. The workers were exposed to high levels of airborne radioactivity and surface contamination while installing steam generator nozzle dams, which is the likely source of the DRPs.
2002 (Mar 23) Nine Mile Point Nuclear Station Unit 2 shutdown for refueling, contract personnel radiation dose exceeded the planned dose and the dosimetry alarm setpoint for a specific task. This was not recognized until they exited the work area. In addition, the TLD dose value for one worker was 359 mrem greater than the electronic dosimeter reading. Several weaknesses were noted in station practices for monitoring exposure of personnel working in high radiation areas. Both workers failed to check their electronic dosimeters during the time while working beneath the reactor vessel. Radiological protection personnel providing continuous job coverage did not independently monitor the workers' cumulative dose. Remote exposure monitoring devices were also available for this task, but were not used because difficulties had been experienced with these monitors the day before. A stay time limit was not established.
2002 (Apr 9) a worker at Bruce A Nuclear Generating Station in Canada received a whole-body dose of 300 mrem and an extremity dose of 10 rem while trying to remove hot particles from a boiler. These exposures exceeded the values specified on the radiological exposure permit. The unplanned exposure was primarily caused by inadequate radiological work planning and oversight processes.
2002 (Apr 24) On 8:00 p.m. CDST, on April 24, 2002, 54 personnel were identified with potential intake of radionuclides. The problem occurred during maintenance activities on Browns Ferry Unit 2 to remove reactor vessel internals during the ongoing refueling outage. The unexpected airborne radioactivity was released during unlatching of the moisture separators. The licensee determined that the worst case whole body dose to workers was about 46 millirem and calculated a thyroid dose of approximately 1.5 rem based on the primary isotope contaminants of Iodine131 and 133.
2002 (May) Guangzhou, P.R. China A Chinese nuclear scientist, Gu Jiming, used radioactive iridium-192 pellets in an attack on a business rival. Gu used forged papers to obtain an industrial machine containing the iridium-192, then placed them above the ceiling panels in the hospital office of the rival. The victim soon reported symptoms including memory loss, fatigue, appetite loss, headaches, vomiting, and bleeding gums. Another 74 staff members of the hospital, including one pregnant woman, also had symptoms. Gu was convicted 29 September 2003, given a suspended death sentence (life in prison), and an assistant was sentenced to a 15-year prison term
2002 (Aug 14) Peekskill, NY Truck carrying "low-level" radioactive cargo to the Indian Point 2 nuclear plant smashed into a highway overpass, prompting a massive emergency response and the evacuation of nearby homes before the scene was declared safe. Cargo was maintenance tools for refueling outage. No damage or release of radioactive materials.
2002 (Sept 1) Nizhny Novgorod, Russia (former USSR) An industrial radiography accident involving an iridium-192 source caused 1 injury.
2002 (Oct 18) In Ghent, Kentucky. Huntington Testing & Technology Inc.. The radiography source was 103 Ci [Curies] of Ir192 [Iridium], housed in a 660 B Camera The radiographer failed to fully retract source for three minutes. The result of his exposure was 4.86 Rem whole body, in addition to his year to date exposure of 1.4 Rem, for total yearly whole body exposure of 6.26 Rem.
2003 (Jan 31) University of California San Diego (UCSD), University's Medical Center-Hillcrest, reports that a physician received a whole body dose of 5700 mrem for CY 2002 during the dosimeter wear period of October to December 2002. Dose may have occurred during Cs-137 seed implants.
2003 (Apr 10) Plant stack radiation monitors at the Paks Unit 2 PWR (Russian VVER-440), approximately 70 miles south of Budapest, Hungary, 30 spent fuel assemblies that had recently undergone chemical cleaning had sustained damage because of loss of cooling. Particulate, noble gas, and iodine activity released through the plant stack was 85 times greater than regulatory limits. Low levels of iodine and cesium were also found in soil samples taken at environmental monitoring stations.
2003 (Apr 14) Perry Nuclear Power Plant shut down for a refueling outage, a worker received an unplanned radiation exposure. The worker received 1,896 mrem, 896 mrem over the limit for the radiation work permit, and exceeded his annual administrative limit of 1,500 mrem. Several barriers to prevent uncontrolled personnel radiation exposure failed. Provisions were not made for workers to self-monitor their radiation exposure. Conditions that could prevent the alarm functions on the electronic dosimetry from alerting the workers were not addressed. Total reliance was placed on the remote monitoring equipment to measure worker dose and dose rate. The names of personnel entering the heat exchanger room were not verified with those listed on the remote monitor. Stay times were not assigned to control worker radiation exposure. No one was assigned responsibility for individual exposure control. Problems with the use of telemetry software and equipment were not communicated and addressed.
2003 (June 9-11) Saint Joseph's Hospital, Houston, Texas, United States, a cancer patient undergoing radiation treatment for breast cancer received a large localized skin dose due to incorrect source placement. The source, in a high dose-rate afterloader, was placed 20 cm from the catheter tip instead of 20 mm from the tip during treatments on 9, 10, and 11 June. The error was attributed to human error in entering the treatment plan into the device control console following an initial QA test; improvements to the device control system were also recommended. The patient received a 7,000 rad dose to a skin area 1 cm in diameter, resulting in erythema after two weeks. The erythema did not heal and the ulceration was surgically removed, after which it healed in two months.
2003 (July 25) Amoco Refinery in Texas City, TX. H&G Inspection Co. A radiography source (99 Ci Co-60) was not retracted to the fully shielded position resulting in a 17.978 R exposure to a radiographer and a 2.650 R exposure to a trainee. A trainer was also at the job site, but was not exposed during the event.
2003 (Aug 8) Community Hospital, Anderson, Indiana, United States, a pregnant woman was administered hyperthyroidism treatment. The woman believed her medical conditions prevented her from being able to become pregnant and declined a pregnancy test prior to treatment. She was administered 29.8 mCi of iodine-131 for hyperthyroidism treatment. She was later found to have been 15 weeks' pregnant at the time of treatment; dosage to the fetus was estimated at 7.4 rads whole body and 27,800 rads to the thyroid, with fetal thyroid ablation anticipated. The licensee attributed the accident to human error by the patient
2003 (Aug 26) U.N. inspectors have found traces (“particles”) of highly enriched, weapons-grade uranium at an Iranian nuclear facility in Natanz, a senior diplomat said, citing a report by the International Atomic Energy Agency. Iranians do not dispute the find but claim that the equipment was contaminated with the enriched fuel when they bought it from Russia. Russia is helping Iran build power reactors.
2003 (Nov 13) Kola Harbor, near Polyarny, Russia (former USSR) On 12 November 2003, inspectors found the radiothermal generator at navigation lighthouse 414.1 in Olenya Bay, Kola Harbor, had been dismantled. Most of the shielding had been stolen, including the depleted uranium radiation shield. One radioisotope heat source was found nearby in the water 2-3 meters deep. The following day inspectors found a similar situation at lighthouse 437 on Yuzhny Goryachinsky Island, Kola Harbor. Again, the shielding had been stolen, including the depleted uranium shielding, and one source was recovered near the island's north shore. Both RTGs were BETA-M RTGs, each containing 35,000-curie strontium-90 sources (5 kg each). Without the shielding, the dose rate is 800-1000 roentgens/hour at a distance of 2-5 cm from the sources; the sources generate 230 W of heat. Both cases appear to have involved individuals seeking to steal metal to sell as scrap. It is probable that the perpetrators incurred radiation injury or even a fatal dose; no success was reported in attempts to track down the perpetrators.
2004 (Jan 26 – Mar 22) St. Joseph Regional Medical Center, South Bend, Indiana, United States Three women received localized overdoses during brachytherapy using cesium-137 sources. The brachytherapy applicator was loaded with sources of the incorrect size, allowing the sources to migrate from the intended position and cause localized doses to the skin of the upper thigh of 2,000, 2,000, and 1,500 rad, respectively. All three patients developed skin lesions on the inner thigh after two weeks.
2004 (May – 2005 May) Epinal, France During the period May 2004 to May 2005, 23 patients at the Jean Monnet d'Epinal hospital in Epinal, France, received radiation overdoses during radiotherapy. The treatments were for prostate cancer and were reportedly about 20% too high. The first symptoms related to radiation overexposure emerged in the summer of 2005. One patient died 25 June 2006 as a result of his radiation exposure, and 13 others have shown localized radiation injury. Of the remaining patients, 6 show no radiation-related symptoms and 3 died of causes unrelated to the radiation exposures. In July 2006 an investigation was initiated which concluded in September that a software problem was at fault, combined with inadequate staff training with the software.
2004 (Sept 3 -24) St. Petersburg, Russia (former USSR), Roman Tsepov died 24 September 2004 of poisoning with unknown material. He fell ill shortly after a business trip to Moscow, and in less than three weeks later died. A post mortem analysis reportedly suggested that radioactive material was used in the murder, with contamination of an unspecified radioactive element found at one million times background levels. Other reports suggest the poison was a medicine used to treat leukemia. Tsepov's symptoms prior to death have been described as severe radiation sickness. Tsepov was general director of the Baltik-Escort private security company, whose clients had included Vladimir Putin when Putin was deputy mayor of St. Petersburg. Both Tsepov and Alexander Litvinenko had connections to a scandal involving the Russian oil company Yukos.
2004 (Sept 14) Atlantic Ocean just off Georgia, USA US officials weigh advisablity of trying to retrieve a 12 foot long thermonuclear device (bomb) that was dropped in an accident in 1958. Bomb supposedly does not have a plutonium trigger but does have high explosive charges intact. The 3450kg hydrogen bomb, known as a Mark 15 weapon, has been lying off the coast of Georgia since February 5, 1958, when it was jettisoned from a B-47 Stratojet bomber after the plane was struck by a fighter jet during a training exercise at 36,000ft. One of the bomber's wings was damaged and an engine dislodged. The pilot, Maj Howard Richardson, was ordered to drop the 3.5m bomb before attempting to land. He did so near Tybee Island, close to the mouth of the Savannah River. Derek Duke, a former US Air Force pilot from Savannah, cites a 1966 memo to the Congress Joint Committee on Atomic Energy by W.J. Howard, then assistant to the secretary of defence, stating that the bomb was a "complete weapon".
2004 (Sept 28) North Korean claims it has turned the plutonium from 8,000 spent nuclear fuel rods into nuclear weapons. Some U.S. intelligence analysts are becoming concerned that North Korea may have up to six nuclear weapons instead of the one or two the Central Intelligence Agency estimates.
2004 (Sept 29) Bishkek (former USSR) - Security forces in the ex-Soviet state of Kyrgyzstan have detained a man who tried to sell nuclear bomb-grade plutonium on the black market, a senior security official said. "That was plutonium, no doubt about it. That is the isotope used to make arms," Mamytov told Reuters, adding that the radioactive material was packed in 60 ampoules. He did not say how much the plutonium weighed but said the haul highlighted an alarming growth of black market trade in nuclear materials.
2004 (Oct 5) Three American scientists win the 2004 Nobel physics prize for showing how tiny quark particles interact, helping to explain everything from how a coin spins to how the universe was built. David Gross, David Politzer and Frank Wilczek showed how the attraction between quarks -- nature's basic building blocks -- is strong when they are far apart and weak when they are close together, like the tension in an elastic band when it is pulled.
2004 (Oct 6) Iran said it had processed several tons of raw ``yellowcake'' uranium to prepare it for enrichment -- a process that can be used to make atomic weapons -- in defiance of the U.N. nuclear watchdog.
2004 (Oct 6) Cherbourg, France A heavily guarded ship carrying 308 lbs. of U.S. weapons-grade plutonium docked in the French port of Cherbourg defying protesters who say the shipment is vulnerable to terrorist attack. Plutonium was from former USSR weapons, purchased by the US, and reprocessed by the French.
2004 (Oct 13) BERN, Switzerland - Prosecutors opened an investigation into two Swiss citizens suspected of illegally exporting nuclear-bomb-making technology to Libya. One, a Swiss engineer Urs Tinner, who was arrested in Germany, is suspected of manufacturing in Malaysia parts of a gas centrifuge used for uranium enrichment and shipping them to Libya. He is believed to have been part of the international clandestine network of Pakistani scientist Abdul Qadeer Khan, which helped Libya's nuclear program.
2004 (Nov 2- 16) Riverside Methodist Hospital, Columbus, Ohio, United States A pregnant woman was administered hyperthyroidism diagnostics/treatment. The woman indicated in writing that she was not pregnant and was administered 0.205 mCi of iodine-123 on 2 November for a hyperthroidism diagnostic procedure, and 12.7 mCi of iodine-131 on 16 November for hyperthroidism treatment. The pregnancy was discovered when the woman later saw her physician for abdominal pain; she was 17 weeks' pregnant at the time of the iodine-131 administration. Estimated fetal dose was 2.04 rad whole body and 22,400 rad to the thryoid. A blood test on the fetus confirmed that the fetus had hyperthroidism; an ultrasound test showed no other abnormalities. In-utero treatments were planned to mitigate the effects of hyperthyroidism.
2004 (Nov) Lyon, France A patient receiving treatment by radiotherapy was overexposed due to confusion over units used in defining the body surface to be irradiated. The patient developed symptoms in May 2005 which were attributed at the time to over-sensitivity to radiation; these symptomatic conditions led to the patient's death in March 2006.
2005 (Sept 1) Atucha 1 Nuclear Power Plant, a spill of heavy water resulted in a mechanical maintenance supervisor receiving an unplanned dose of 4.185 Rem due to internal absorption of tritium. Performance of two tasks simultaneously resulted in the fuel element replacement machine being pressurized with nitrogen while a portion of the machine was open to atmosphere. This resulted in heavy water within the machine being forced through the opening and a spill in the room. The mechanical maintenance supervisor entered the room wearing protective clothing and autonomous breathing equipment. He removed the breathing equipment when an alarm indicating his air supply was low and continued working for a few minutes exposing himself to the elevated tritium levels.
2005 (Dec 14 - 15) Ranquil, Chile Before midnight on 14 December a 90-curie iridium-192 source was being used for gammagraphy of metal components in an evaporation tower at a construction site. The source became disconnected from the equipment and fell to a 22-meter high platform. The operators continued activities without recognizing that the source was missing. About 11 AM on 15 December a worker found the source and directly handled it; two other workers were also in contact with it for several minutes. One of the workers took the source to the site's office. Shortly afterwards, a dosimeter carried by a Finnish worker sounded an alarm while he was close to the office, leading to identification of the lost source. The three workers most exposed were transferred to a hospital in Santiago on 16 December. On 19 December an IAEA team visited the site, recommending the worker who found the source be transferred for medical care; he was admitted to a hospital in France on 29 December. During susequent investigation a fourth worker was identified with symptoms of radiation injury. As of March 2006 the worker who found the source remained hospitalized in France; his injuries include radiation burns on the hands and legs.
2005 (Oct) at the Laguna Verde Nuclear Power Plant in Mexico, station personnel discovered that a contract radiographer potentially received a dose in excess of the regulatory limits of 5 rem/year during radiography activities in September 2005. The whole-body thermoluminescent dosimeter (TLD) that the contract radiographer had worn read 7.8 rem. It is unknown if the radiographer actually received this dose; however, in the absence of contradictory information, it is assumed that the individual did receive the dose of 7.8 rem. The exact sequence of activities inside the labyrinth could not be determined. The contractors' employer carried its own license for use of the radioactive source and station personnel were not directly involved in overseeing the work in the bunker. A similar event occurred at the station in 2001, when a different radiography contractor working within the same bunker, also under the contractor's own license and radiological controls, experienced an exposure of 10 rem on his TLD.
2006 (Jan 5 – Feb 1) Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom A 15-year-old female patient was receiving radiation therapy for a tumor at Beatson Oncology Centre in Glasgow. She was given 17 treatments over a period of time with the first on 5 January. As a result of human error, all 17 treatments were far in excess of the prescribed dose (one report states the doses were 65% too high). The error was not identified until after all treatments were administered, shortly before the patient was informed on 1 February. Symptoms as of early February 2006 included large sores on the scalp and ears and permanently higher than normal body temperature. The total dose was reported as potentially fatal; the localized dose to the brain and neck posed a risk of brain damage, paralysis, or death through damage to blood vessels in nerve tissue. The patient's condition, including damage to the eyes, had improved by late February in response to hyperbaric treatment. On 19 October the patient died (then aged 16); she had been recovering from surgery in September to remove fluid from her brain. An investigation into the cause of the accident was reportedly in its final stages as of October. Subsequently her death was attributed by health officials to her cancer. Reports indicate that 39 other patients at Beatson had received overdoses during radiotherapy between 1985 and 2006, most with no adverse results.
2006 (Mar 11) Fleurus, Belgium A worker received an accidental radiation exposure at a facility for irradiation of medical devices. The facility uses a cobalt-60 source in an exposure cell but stowed in a pool when personnel are present, using a safety interlock system. On 11 March the employee noticed a radiation monitor alarm was activated with no irradiation in progress and the cell door open. He reset the alarm and entered the cell for 20 seconds to close the cell door. The worker was not carrying a Geiger counter as required by company procedures. He suffered nausea and vomiting soon afterward but made no connection to the irradiator. Several weeks later he suffered massive hair loss and went to a doctor, when it was determined he suffered an exposure of 420 rem; this estimate was subsequently revised to 440-480 rem. The individual was admitted to a French hospital for treatment of radiation sickness on 31 March. Primary cause of the accident has been suggested to be a failure of the hydraulic control system that raises and lowers the source from safe storage in its pool.
2006 (May 26) McLeod Regional Medical Center, Florence, South Carolina, United States A pregnant woman was administered a thyroid ablation treatment involving 15 mCi of metastable technetium-99 (Tc-99m) and 14 uCi of iodine-131. The woman signed a statement that she was not pregnant and persuaded the administering technician that she was not pregnant; the technician failed to perform a pregnancy test as required by procedure. The woman was 17 weeks' pregnant at the time, however. Her obstetrician reported the issue to the nuclear medicine licensee on 3 October 2006, who estimated the dose to the fetus as 5.17 rad whole body and 13,920 rad to the thyroid. The child was born November 2006 with underactive thyroid gland but no other apparent health problems. The child is receiving thyroid supplement.
2006 (Aug) Dakar, Senegal, and Abidjan, Ivory Coast Following use of an iridium-192 source in radiography equipment in Dakar, Senegal, the source failed to retract into the shielded storage container. Users were not aware that the source was not secure, and the equipment was stored under a staircase for several weeks and later moved to Abidjan, Ivory Coast, for use there. Operators discovered the source was not secure when preparing to use it again. Between the two locations, four employees suffered sufficient exposure to warrant transfer to Paris, France, for medical treatment: all with localized radiation injuries and one additionally reportedly in "particularly serious" condition. Other employees at both sites were tested for exposure.
2006 (Oct 9) North Korea tests first atomic bomb, Hwadae-ri (<1 KT). Test was underground and may have been an incomplete compression of a plutonium core.
2006 (Nov 23) Former Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko dies of apparent Po-210 poisoning in Britian. Litvinenko who in a statement said to have been written shortly before his death alleged that he had been poisoned November 1st on the orders of Russian president Vladimir Putin. Reportedly Litvinenko's symptoms and time from exposure to death are consistent with the ingestion of about 5 microcuries of polonium-210 (about 1 microgram, equivalent to a sphere 0.6 millimeters in diameter).
2007 (Aug 1) Clinton, Michigan, United States David Hahn (press dubbed "Radioactive Boy Scout") was arrested 1 August 2007 for stealing smoke detectors, apparently to collect radioactive sources from them. He was specifically charged with stealing at least 13 smoke detectors (containing americium-241) from several buildings in his apartment complex. At the time his face was covered with open sores reported related to exposure to radioactive materials. On 27 August he pled guilty. On 2 October he was sentenced to a 90-day jail term to be served in six months after he was assessed and treated by doctors at a Veterans Administration Hospital. Hahn had, around 1993 at age 17, accumulated large amounts of commercial radioactive sources including americium, thorium, radium, and tritium, in an effort to build a homemade breeder reactor. The effort was accidentally discovered by local authorities; the radioactive materials were eventually disposed of by federal authorities.
2007 (Oct 22) SGS Tecnos SA, Spain An accidental overexposure occurred at a facility using a 55 Ci Co-60 source for industrial radiography in an enclosed room. In place of a broken interlock access control system, two fixed radiological sensors with visual alarms were being used. A worker was in the room using a dosimeter with an acoustic alarm and a radiometer, but these had been failing occasionally. The worker missed the visual alarms from the fixed sensors and was in the room with the source exposed for 10-15 minutes. The worker's dosimeter indicated a dose of 71.8 rem. On 29 October the worker was sent for medical examination.
2008 (Jan 17) a fuel-handling operator at Cernavoda Nuclear Power Plant received an unplanned dose of 1.52 rem because of inadequate personal radiation monitoring while cleaning up a spill of heavy water and repairing a level indicator in the on-line fuel machine maintenance room. The operator was unaware that radiological conditions had changed as a result of a highly activated component in the room.
2008 (Jan 23) A 23-month old boy received a radiation overexposed during multiple CT scans at Mad River Community Hospital. The boy was brought to the hospital ER for a possible neck injury. The CT technologist made a total of 151 CT scans of the boy's face and neck area over a period of 65 minutes, until the boy's father objected to the process. The technologist stated she thought the machine was broken and pushed the scan button four times in order to register a complete image. A second technologist made 25 successful CT scan images about 90 minutes later in a one minute period. The second technician was "horrified" when she saw the records of the earlier scans and reported the imaging department manager. The boy developed radiation burns on the cheeks and around the head and neck in a plane from under the eyes through the ears and neck. A subsequent investigation concluded that the first technician had to have pushed the scan button 151 times, and estimated the boy received a localized dose of 280 rad or up to 1100 rad "using a factor of four for pediatric size and makeup," also estimating an additional lifetime risk of fatal cancer of 39%.
2008 (Feb – Aug 2009) Following implementation of a new procedure for CT imaging at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, stroke patients were overexposed during CT scans. From Feburary 2008 to August 2009, 206 patients received an estimated 300-400 rad exposures to the brain rather than the 50-100 rad intended. The error was discovered when a patient in August 2009 reported localized hair loss. After the incident case to the attention of the FDA in October 2009, similar accidental overdoses were reported from other sites: 14 cases at Glendale Adventist Medical Center, Los Angeles; an undetermined number of cases at St. Joseph's Medical Center in Burbank, California; and an unspecified number of cases at an unreported location in Alabama. Reportedly more than 250 patients were overexposed, with a limited number suffering skin redness and some hair loss.
2008 (Mar 14) Asco Nuclear Power Plant in Spain, a weekly radiological survey of areas outside of the controlled zone detected radioactive contamination near the Unit 1 containment equipment hatch. In the following days, additional contamination was detected in the same area, on the building roofs next to the continuous discharge stack, and in several other areas around Unit 1. Radioactive contamination was also found outside the protected area and on a truck used to transport scrap metal from the plant to an off-site dumping facility. The contamination was the result of the radioactive particles transported by the fuel building ventilation system from inside to the exterior areas.
2008 (Mar 28) Rades, Tunisia A worker carried an unshielded industrial radiography Ir-192 source by hand for some period, sustaining a 200 rem whole body dose. IAEA was notified 19 April 2008. The worker was transported to France on 1 May 2008 for treatment for radiation injury.
2009 (Mar 3) Jinju, Argus, Republic of Korea A radiographer was injured by exposure to a 56-curie Ir-192 source in radiography equipment. The worker was not using survey or personal dosimeters and failed to manually retract the source to a shielded position. The worker sustained severe radiation burns on the fingers from 5,000 rad localized dose and a whole body dose of 20 rem.
2009 (Apr) Ecuador A construction worker picked up a loose 16 Ci radiography source and carried it for some period next to his left leg, causing significant localized exposure. The worker was transported to France for treatment which was completed successfully in September. This incident represented the first activation of the International Atomic Energy Agency Response Assistance Network.
2009 (Aug 3) during a refueling outage at Beznau Unit 2, two workers received an unplanned whole-body dose greater than the annual individual dose limit of 2 rem allowed by the Swiss radiation protection code. The workers received doses of 3.78 rem and 2.54 rem, respectively. Deficiencies associated with the coordination of work activities that created high radiation levels below the reactor vessel contributed to this event.
2010 (Mar 12) Mayapuri, New Delhi, India A cobalt-60 source at a scrap metal shop in Mayapuri caused radiation injuries to several individuals. The University of Delhi ordered a campus-wide "spring cleaning", during which a Gammacell 220 research irradiator unused since 1985 was identified for disposal. A campus committee of chemists concluded that the Gammacell's cobalt-60 source was "manageable", and the unit was auctioned on 26 February 2010 to a scrap metal dealer. The unit arrived at a scrap metal dealer in Mayapuri on or before 12 March. Sometime in March the owner cut off a piece of the source and gave it to another dealer who put it in his wallet. By late March the shop owner developed diarrhea followed by skin legions; on 4 April the shop's owner was hospitalized with radiation sickness. Authorities found the source on 5 April. The dealer who had the sample developed local radiation injury on his buttock and later collapsed. By 14 April a total of seven individuals had been hospitalized with radiation injuries, with one more hospitalized and released. One individual, a 35-year-old male scrap marker worker, was transfered to another hospital on 13 April where he died on 26 April from multiple organ failure. Six individuals, including the owner of the first scrap dealer shop, remained hospitalized on 28 April at three hospitals; two individuals were in critical condition.
Authorities recovered eight sources at the original shop, two at a nearby shop, and one from the dealer's wallet. Many of these were fragments of the original cobalt-60 source. Authorities also removed some contaminated soil. India's Atomic Energy Regulatory Board announced on 28 April having traced the origin of the source to the University of Delhi and additionally ordered the University to suspend use of radioactive sources, and by early May had launched an audit of Gammacell units in use at Indian universities. On 5 May the AERB stated that all material from the Gammacell unit was accounted for. Further cleanup of the scrap metal site in Mayapuri was conducted 15-16 May; several other hotspots at nearby sites are reportedly not hazardous
2010 (June 3) Tumero, Aragua, Venezuela, An unshielded industrial radiography source containing 65 Ci of Ir-192 was handled by several workers. One of the workers received a significant exposure and was eventually transported to France for treatment including surgery and stem cell treatment, and recovered.
2011 (Mar 11) The Great Tohoku Earthquake and tsunami off the coast of Japan causes loss of off-site power and diesels to Fukushima Daichi power plants. Units 1, 2, and 3 suffer meltdown. Unit 4 has loss of water in fuel pool. Japanese authorities estimated that about 10 megacuries of radioactive iodine and cesium had been released through 12 April, with most of this release in the first week or so.
2011 (Mar) A Nuclear Medicine technologist received an overexposure to her extremity dosimeter for March 2011 while working in the basement of the Magnusen Health Sciences Building on the University of Washington (UW) Campus. The Extremity Dose was reported as 56,440 mrem. During the month of March, she performed several cell-labeling procedures involving 75mCi, 111mCi, and 108mCi amounts of Y-90. There were also several labeling procedures involving the use of I-131 during the same time frame. However, because the whole body badge showed no significant exposure, it is believed the majority of the exposure came from the technologist's work with Y-90.
2011 (Sept 12) Official inauguration of Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant on the Persian Gulf in Iran. The 1000 Mwe unit is built on the convergence of three tectonic plates in an atmosphere so laden with salt that even stainless steel rusts. This is the first civilian nuclear power plant built in the Middle East. It had gone on grid Sept 3rd. This is a WER-1000/446 reactor type, 4 loop Russian PWR with horizontal steam generators. Units 2 and 3 are still planned but Unit 4 is cancelled.
2011 (Sept 12) Lavaca, TX, A radiographer trainee removed a radiography camera source & touched it, resulting in radiation burns to the fingers and thumb of one hand.
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