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An Infamous First

Storm_Clouds_over_Sellafield_-_geograph.org.uk_-_330062

The worst nuclear accident in Great Britain’s history happens to be it’s first, and one of the world’s first. Known as the Windscale Fire, it occurred at the Windscale, Cumberland (know called Sellafield, Cumbria) Pile No. 1. Luckily, a system that engineers did not want and deemed unnecessary may have saved the day.

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Not-so Great Moments in History – Chernobyl

Chernobyl 1986

Today marks the somber 25th anniversary of the Chernobyl disaster, that on 26 April 1986 turned the small sleepy Ukrainian town of Pripyat into one of the most infamous and feared locations on earth.

The disaster sent a plume of radioactive contamination over much of Europe and Eastern Russia, crippled the economy of the former superpower USSR, and remains the single worst nuclear disaster the world has had to face.

While the current Fukushima disaster resulting from last month’s 9.0 earthquake and Tsunami in Japan ranks a similarly classified Level Seven on the International Nuclear and Radiological Event Scale (INES), it is considered much less serious than the event in Chernobyl due to factors including containment, deaths and contamination.

In the early days of the 1986 accident, the seriousness of the unfolding disaster wasn’t fully understood even by officials within the USSR who were alerted to high radiation levels by neighboring countries. And it wasn’t until recent years that the full extent of the danger has been fully revealed. Continue reading Not-so Great Moments in History – Chernobyl

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Startup: A Bit of Perspective

The remains of the Chernobyl reactor.

On April 26, 1986, engineers at the Chernobyl power plant in Ukraine began an experiment to test whether residual energy in the nuclear reactor’s steam turbines could be used to provide enough power to bridge the gap between the time a reactor failed, and the time a […]

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