Nuclear Disasters - Chernobyl, Fukushima and 3 Mile Island

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1. Fukishima

1.1. events

1.1.1. Following a 9.0 earthquake, a 15-metre tsunami disabled the power supply and cooling of three reactors, causing a nuclear accident on 11 March 2011 All three cores largely melted in the first three days.

1.1.2. A 7.1 and 6.3 earthquakes also hitting the following days, yet causing no further issues with the power core

1.1.3. 7.03 pm Friday 11 March- Nuclear Emergency declared, an evacuation order for people within 2 km of the plant . When then extended to 20 km by the Prime Minister a day after

1.1.4. it's estimated that around 1,600 people died as a result of evacuation procedures and stress-induced factors.

1.2. impact

1.2.1. 300 tons of radioactive water from Fukushima is entering the water everyday

1.2.2. The earthquake and flood wave beforehand killed more than 15,000 people along Japan’s east coast

1.2.3. 40 - 60 people died either through being left behind or because of the immediate trauma of their removal.

1.2.4. There have been around 85 suicides linked to the accident and evacuation from depression, drinking and overdose

2. Chernobyl

2.1. events

2.1.1. April 26, 1986- 2 explosions blew the 1,000-ton roof off one of the plant’s reactors 400 times more radiation compared to Hiroshima's bomb

2.1.2. Later, the Soviet government had mobilized troops to help fight the blaze took nearly two weeks to extinguish all the fires using sand, lead and nitrogen

2.1.3. 5.a.m 27th- Reactor No. 3 was shut down. Some 24 hours later, Reactors No. 1 and 2 were also shut down.

2.1.4. April 27- government began evacuations of Pripyat’s 50,000 residents These residents were told they would be away for just a few days, so they took very little with them. Most would never return to their homes.

2.1.5. April 28- Kremlin reported on the accident following state broadcasts of U.S. nuclear accident at Three Mile Island and other nuclear incidents in western countries

2.2. impact

2.2.1. Most people, even within the Ukraine, were still unaware of the accident, and its deaths within the first few days

2.2.2. Plant released a large quantity of radioactive substances: iodine-131, cesium-137, plutonium and strontium-90, into the air for 10 days.

2.2.3. A radioactive cloud was deposited nearby as dust and debris, but was also carried by wind over the Ukraine, Belarus, Russia, Scandinavia and other parts of Europe.

2.2.4. Ukraine’s government declared in 1995 that 125,000 people had died from the effects of Chernobyl radiation.

2.2.5. Resulted in huge area of radiation-tainted land 1200 km wide Ukrainian authorities have said it will not be safe for people to live in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone for more than 24,000 years.

3. 3 Mile Island

3.1. events

3.1.1. On Wednesday, March 28, 1979, the plant experienced a failure in the secondary, non-nuclear section of the plant (one of two reactors on the site).

3.1.2. To minimize disaster, the workers stopped the flow of water thus without the reactor coolant pumps circulating wate, the water level in the pressure vessel dropped and the core overheated.

3.2. impact

3.2.1. estimated two million people were exposed to small amounts of radiation

3.2.2. cleanup effort lasted 14 years and cost an estimated 1 billion dollars

3.2.3. No major health effects of environment or people found however some believe that the government is hiding information Eg. a local survey of 450 residents in the area found nine cancer deaths between 1980 and 1984 -more than seven times above normal.