Tag Archives: nuclear reactor

this day in the yesteryear: Three Mile Island nuclear power plant radiation release Accident (1979)


Three Mile Island Accident (1979)

Both mechanical failure and human error contributed to the 1979 failure of a nuclear reactor cooling system at the Three Mile Island Nuclear Generating Station in Pennsylvania, which led to overheating, partial melting of the reactor’s uranium core, and the release of radioactive gases. Though it caused no immediate deaths or injuries, the incident increased public fears about the safety of nuclear power. What nuclear accident-themed film was released just two weeks before the incident? More… Discuss

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THIS DAY IN THE YESTERYEAR: SOVIET SATELLITE BREAKS UP UPON REENTRY, SCATTERING NUCLEAR DEBRIS (1978)


Soviet Satellite Breaks Up upon Reentry, Scattering Nuclear Debris (1978)

Cosmos 954 was a Soviet reconnaissance satellite that used radar to observe ocean traffic. It was launched in September 1977 and quickly began to experience problems. Within months, it had deviated from its designed orbit. A malfunction prevented the safe separation of its onboard nuclear reactor, so when the satellite reentered the Earth’s atmosphere, it scattered radioactive debris over northern Canada, necessitating an extensive clean-up operation. How much did Canada bill the USSR for this? More… Discuss

 

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This Day in the Yesteryear: DEADLY INCIDENT AT EXPERIMENTAL US NUCLEAR POWER REACTOR (1960)


Deadly Incident at Experimental US Nuclear Power Reactor (1960)

The only fatal nuclear reactor incident in US history occurred at the US Army’s SL-1 experimental nuclear reactor. It was being restarted after an 11-day shutdown when a control rod was withdrawn too far, causing a “prompt critical” reaction. Water surrounding the core explosively vaporized and lifted the enormous reactor vessel more than 9 ft (2.7 m) off the ground. All three operators—one of whom was impaled and pinned to the ceiling—died. Why was the incident rumored to be a murder-suicide? More…Discuss