Nuclear/Radioactive Incidents – Notable


The following table indicates nuclear power plant accidents with more than $140 million in property damage:[1]

Table: Nuclear Plant Incidents - Notable

DatePlant - LocationDescription
1979 March 28

Three Mile Island - Londonderry Township, Pennsylvania, US

Loss of coolant and partial core meltdown. The health effects of the 1979 Three Mile Island nuclear accident are widely, but not universally, agreed to be very low level. According to the official radiation release figures, average local radiation exposure was equivalent to a chest X-ray, and maximum local exposure equivalent to less than a year's background radiation.
1985 March 9

Browns Ferry - Athens, Alabama, US

Instrumentation systems malfunction during startup, which led to suspension of operations at all three Units.
1986 April 11

Pilgrim - Plymouth, Massachusetts, US

Recurring equipment problems force emergency shutdown of Boston Edison’s plant.
1986 April 26Chernobyl - Ukraine (former Soviet Union) On April 26, 1986 an accident occurred at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in northern Ukraine. The accident caused more than 28 short-term deaths from radiation burns and exposure. Four thousand cases of thyroid cancer, including 15 thyroid cancer deaths, resulted, as of 2005, with several thousands more expected to develop among people who were children when the accident occurred. The accident resulted in the evacuation of about 360,000 people from contaminated regions of Belarus, Ukraine and Russia (115,000 in 1986 with subsequent relocation of 220,000 after 1990).


1987 March 31

Peach Bottom - Delta, Pennsylvania, US

Units 2 and 3 shutdown due to cooling malfunctions and unexplained equipment problems.
1987 December 19

Nine Mile Point - Scriba, New York, US

Malfunctions force Niagara Mohawk Power Corporation to shut down Unit 1.
1996 February 20

Millstone - Waterford, Connecticut, US

Leaking valve forces shutdown of Units 1 and 2, multiple equipment failures found.
1996 September 2

Crystal River - Crystal River, Florida, US

Balance-of-plant equipment malfunction forces shutdown and extensive repairs.
2010 February 1

Vermont Yankee - Vernon, Vermont, US

Deteriorating underground pipes leak radioactive tritium into groundwater supplies
2011 March 11Ōkuma, Fukushima, JapanOn 11 March 2011, there was a catastrophic failure at the Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant, resulting in a meltdown of three of the plant's six nuclear reactors. The failure occurred when the plant was hit by the tsunami triggered by the Tōhoku earthquake.