Brief Chrono Continued



Power Generation Era


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 (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1965 (Sept) ICRP 9 published as a revision of ICRP 6 (superseded by ICRP 26).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 buried under avalanche at headwaters of Ganges.

1965 (Dec 5) A-4 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 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

1966-1967 (Winter) One of three reactors on Soviet icebreaker Lenin suffers meltdown; allegedly kills 27 to 30.

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 (June) Peach Bottom 1, a HTGR, goes on-line in Peach Bottom, PA; closed Oct 31, 1974.

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 26) William March Rice U. AGN 211 reactor, 15 Wt, in Houston, TX is closed.

1967 (Oct 4) McCandless, Zemla, & Czwalga exposed to x-rays & neutrons while working on an operating accelerator; Czwalga receives 6000 rem to hands; 600 rem whole body.

1967 (Oct 9) U. of Akron AGN 201 reactor, 0.1 Wt, in Akron, Ohio, is closed.

1967 Federal Radiation Council recommends radon exposure limit to 1 WL (12 WLM/yr.).

1967 Project Ketch proposed to explode over 1000 nuclear bombs to build underground gas storage cavities.

1968 (Jan 21) US Air Force plane carrying four nuclear weapons crashes on ice near Thule (Greenland); fire spreads burning plutonium over ice; sixty-seven 25,000 gal. containers filled with contamination buried in US.

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 (May 3 - 4) Worker carries Cs-137 radiography source in pocket; dose 50 to 1700 rad leads to amputation of both legs; Buenos Aires (Argentina).

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 serious accident aboard an experimental Soviet nuclear submarine, the K-27, allegedly kills five crew members; the rest are hospitalized. After lengthy repair attempts, the sub is scrapped near Novaya Zemlya, USSR, along with its nuclear fuel.

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 (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 (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 (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 (June) La Platte, Argentine, 18 persons accidentally exposed to a radiography Cs-137 source, worker exposed coworkers in lockeroom, carried source in front pocket RT & LT total of 17 hr. (est. doses: 40 rad to coworkers).

1968 (Aug 1) Wisconsin, Argonne Cancer Hospital, 1 person fatally exposed to a liver scan with Au-198.

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 (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 (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 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) 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.

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 (May 11) Battelle Mem. Plastics Moderated Critical Assembly, 200 Wt, in W. Jefferson, OH is closed.

1970 (Apr 14) USSR nuclear submarine K-8 sinks in the Bay of Biscay, allegedly killing captain and 52 crewmen.

1970 (Apr 17) SNAP device attached to lunar module of Apollo 13 drops into South Pacific near Tonga; never recovered.

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 (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 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 (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 (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 (Dec 29) USS Dace, nuclear submarine, accidentally releases 500 gal. of reactor coolant into Thames River at New London, Connecticut.

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 (Mar) Oconee Unit 1, Seneca (SC.), suffers extensive core damage due to loose metal parts inside reactor.

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 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 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 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) Caterpiller 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.

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.

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) 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 Wash-1535 environmental impact statement for LMFBRs published.

1974 Unnilhexium, element 106, discovered.

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. 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 (Mar) Riverside Methodist Hospital Columbus, OH, 403 persons exposed to Co-60 misapplication of therapy source.

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 (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 (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 Follow-up reports on radium patients and dial workers.

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 (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 27) St. Anthony Hospital, Denver, CO, 1 person overexposed by a misadministration of P-32 instead of I-131.

1977 (Jan) ICRP 26 published (supersedes ICRP 1, 6, & 9).

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) 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 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 International Commission on Radiation Protection publishes ICRP-26; introduces concepts of stochastic and non-stochastic effects; organ dose limits replaced by weighted committed dose equivalent of each organ.

1977 Meltdown of half the fuel assemblies at Beloyarsk 2 (USSR); repairs take about a year; cause personnel overirradiation.

Three Mile Island Era


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 (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) ICRP 29 "Radionuclide Release into the Environment -- Assessment of Doses to Man" published.

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 overirradiated organizing cooling flow to reactor.

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 (Feb 26) U. of Delaware AGN 201 reactor, 0.1 Wt, in Newark, Delaware, is closed.

1979 (March 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) ICRP 31 "Biological Effects of Inhaled Radionuclides" published.

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) Nord 4, a PWR, goes on-line in Lubmin, Greifswald Region (E. Germany); closed June 1990.

1979 Radium-224 cases sufficient for definitive summary.

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) 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.

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 stolen iridium-192 source; 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 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 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.

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 (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 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 Unnilennium, element 109, discovered.

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 (Sept 23) Operator fatally exposed (2000 rad gamma, 1700 rads 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 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.

1984 (March) 30 Ci. Iridium-192 radiography source found by a laborer; kills entire family of eight 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 (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 (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.

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 (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 (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 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) Ten men killed and area contaminated in a refueling accident on Soviet nuclear submarine at Chazma 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) 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.


Go on to the Chernobyl Era 1986-1990


Return to the top of this page

Return to the begining of this Chronology

Return to the HomePage