Author Topic: The World’s Worst Nuclear Disaster  (Read 267 times)


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The World’s Worst Nuclear Disaster
« on: August 04, 2017, 01:59:45 AM »

If asked to name the worst nuclear disasters in history, pretty much every reader of this article would be able to come up with Chernobyl and Fukushima. Far fewer would know number three, the Kyshtym disaster of 1957, named for a town in the south of Russia. As with Chernobyl, the main cause of the disaster was really, really bad decision making—specifically, implementing a cooling system for nuclear waste that couldn’t be repaired. When the coolant for one tank at the nuclear plant began to leak, the operators simply switched it off and left it for a year. Really, though, who needs cooling systems in Siberia?

People with nuclear waste storage tanks, it turns out. The temperature in the tank rose to over 650 degrees Fahrenheit (350 degrees Celsius) eventually causing an explosion that threw the 160 ton concrete lid into the air—from its initial location, twenty-seven feet underground. The radioactive fallout spread over 7700 square miles (20,000 square kilometres)—more than the combined area of Connecticut and Rhode Island.

The homes of 11,000 people were demolished following evacuation of the area and 270,000 people were exposed to radioactivity from the site. It was 1976 when a Soviet emigrant first hinted at the disaster for the Western public. The CIA had known about the disaster since the sixties but—fearful of public backlash against America’s nuclear industry—downplayed the seriousness of accounts. It wasn’t until 1989, three years after Chernobyl, that details of the disaster became public.
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« Reply #1 on: August 05, 2017, 03:08:53 AM »
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Re: The World’s Worst Nuclear Disaster
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