- Monday | 30 Aug, 2021
- Mahmood A. Khwaja
- Research Reports,Project Publications
Nuclear accidents have happened in the past. In March, 1979, an accident occurred in a PWR (nuclear reactor cooled by water under pressure) commercial nuclear reactor, at Three Miles Island, near Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, USA. The reactor core was severely damaged but there was little escape of radioactivity (Iodine & rare gases Krypton & Xenon) beyond the containment (Roberts et al 1990). The health consequences were considered minimal (Kemeny 1979). The accident in RBMK (graphite-moderated water-cooled reactor) large commercial nuclear reactor, in April, 1986, at Chernobyl, Ukraine (former USSR) was worse. The emitted overheated fragments of fuel, followed by a gas explosion shattered the top of reactor, opening its core to the atmosphere. The escape of radioactivity continued for nine days and the resulting nuclear cloud gradually spread to northern, eastern and western Europe (Roberts et al 1990; Beck 1994).
The nuclear accidents may continue to happen in future, accidently (earth quakes; floods), leakage from nuclear plants and routine decommissioning of end of life nuclear plants, Failures of trusted safeguards/automation, miscalculations of risk quantum or needed security or due to possible nuclear plant workers’ poor training, know how, inefficiency or even possible neglect. The enormous reported creditable research and data, establishes the releases of most hazardous radiations and radionuclides (like volatile Iodine-131 and Cesium-137) and the resulting, known established horrific human and environmental consequences, amounting to destruction of human life, health and environment (huge fertile land) at an unimaginable scale (UNSCEAR Report, 2019).