Carbon Emissions: An opportunity for Alberta.

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montrealer58 montrealer58's picture
Carbon Emissions: An opportunity for Alberta.

This is not intended to bash Alberta. But let's look at some federal government stats and work from there.

In raw terms, Alberta's GHGs passed Ontario's in the past few years. I expect it has a lot to do with the tar sands and the energy needed to process that goo. I cannot see how an Albertan needs to consume more energy than an Ontarian. The weather is about the same.

As consumers our appliances and vehicles consume less energy over time with new technology. My laptop consumes 90W, my old desktop had 360W. There are many other examples like that.

I hate nuclear, but it may be a stop-gap for 20 years or so while Alberta could switch to renewables and more energy efficiency with things like zero net power buildings and the like. If you want to rule out nuclear, you won't hear a peep from me.

In terms of business opportunity, there are many more job opportunities in energy efficiency and clean energy. People will pay Alberta through no government program at all to reduce emissions.

I could set up a crowdfunding site, and if I had a decent business plan and a high probability of execution, people would give me money expecting no return to clean up Alberta. There would be a huge amount of good will for this.

Alberta not only has the right to cut carbon emissions, but it has the right to make money and jobs doing so. It may even be more lucrative than Big Oil.

I would go after the coal-fired plants first. Of course there are many in the coal industry who will fight me tooth and nail on this. Changing those to natural gas would reduce by 3 million tonnes, and changing them to nuclear would reduce by 6 million. It would be a good start.

montrealer58 montrealer58's picture

Not needing the 5.7 gW and shutting them off would be an even better start.


Sorry, but where they want to build that nuclear power plant is here in Saskatchewan. That's the plan our premier has tried to revive a few times, anyway. No thank you. 


Maybe Rachel's appointment secretary could arrange things like this:

Wind power lobbyist - the premier will see you right away

Solar power lobbyist - the premier will also see you right away

Oil industry lobbyist - the premier might be able to squeese you in for 15 minutes in late November, 2017.


Alberta NDP’s rise to power raises hopes for renewable energy


Greenpeace further outlines the numerous problems associated with nuclear energy.


Despite what the nuclear industry tells us, building enough nuclear power stations to make a meaningful reduction in greenhouse gas emissions would cost trillions of dollars, create tens of thousands of tons of lethal high-level radioactive waste, contribute to further proliferation of nuclear weapons materials, and result in a Chernobyl-scale accident once every decade. Perhaps most significantly, it will squander the resources necessary to implement meaningful climate change solutions.  (Briefing: Climate change - Nuclear not the answer.) ...

Things are moving slowly in the right direction. In November 2000 the world recognised nuclear power as a dirty, dangerous and unnecessary technology by refusing to give it greenhouse gas credits during the UN Climate Change talks in The Hague. Nuclear power was dealt a further blow when a UN Sustainable Development Conference refused to label nuclear a sustainable technology in April 2001.




montrealer58 wrote:

Alberta not only has the right to cut carbon emissions, but it has the right to make money and jobs doing so. It may even be more lucrative than Big Oil.

I would go after the coal-fired plants first. Of course there are many in the coal industry who will fight me tooth and nail on this. Changing those to natural gas would reduce by 3 million tonnes, and changing them to nuclear would reduce by 6 million. It would be a good start.

Substituting nuclear energy for fossil fuels creates a long-term environmental disaster that would last tens, if not hundreds of thousands, of years.

Especially when renewable energy sources, that have relatively minor consequences in comparison, are not only becoming increasingly avaiable, why would anyone, other than the nuclear industry and its flacks, push this as a solution?


Risks Posed by High Level Wastes

Nuclear reactors produce high level radioactive wastes which present a variety of problems that must be considered for safe disposal. [4] Some waste products will generate considerable heat as they decay while others will remain intensely radioactive for very long time periods. Because of these hazards, disposal regulations require isolation of the wastes from the public and the environment for tens of thousands of years. Some of the most concerning byproducts from spent fuel are Plutonium-239 (half-life 24,000 years), Technetium-99 (half-life 220,000 years), and Iodine-129 (half-life 15.7 million years). [4] Without a permanently safe location for these byproducts, society will have to carry the burden of storing and guarding nuclear wastes for many centuries. This turns the nuclear energy process into a moral issue involving sustainability and the fact that the power consumed today will leave radioactive garbage for future generations. [5] While the nuclear fuel cycle hardly exacerbates global warming, nuclear power still poses globally significant risks. Two that dominate the discussion are the vulnerability of spent nuclear fuel in storage pools to terrorist attack and leakage from geologic repositories that are designed to isolate high level waste from the natural environment. [3] The biggest problem is how to keep radioactive waste in storage when there is nothing that could be built that would be definitively safe until the waste becomes benign after hundreds of thousands of years. A final high level waste deposit must be absolutely reliable, because the quantities of poison are tremendous, and it must be permanently guarded which requires a society with stability that has not yet been demonstrated by humankind. [5] ....



Nuclear materials generate high level waste that is extremely hazardous and capable of harming living organisms and the environment. While low and intermediate level radioactive wastes are being appropriately disposed, high level radioactive waste is still stored at temporary locations awaiting disposal at permanent facilities. [8] And still, there are no permanent facilities, even though approximately 270,000 metric tons of high level radioactive waste has accumulated in 30 countries and an additional 9,000 metric tons are being added annually. [8] Despite being in the title of this paper, high level nuclear waste "disposal" is a misnomer. [5] Even the strongest promoters of nuclear energy will not claim that ultimate disposal methods are yet achievable. Any idea conceived will have to solve problems regarding storage, guardianship, and management of the waste. [5] Without a known solution to the nuclear energy waste problem, and with continued electricity production from reactors, high level waste will continue to build up around the world. And as debates over this controversial issue continue, the waste will patiently decay as its gets passed from generation to generation for hundreds of thousands of years.





Everyone focuses on the oil sands but Alberta has a real dirty secret. We burn more coal than the rest of the country combined.


jerrym wrote:

Greenpeace further outlines the numerous problems associated with nuclear energy.


Despite what the nuclear industry tells us, building enough nuclear power stations to make a meaningful reduction in greenhouse gas emissions would cost trillions of dollars, create tens of thousands of tons of lethal high-level radioactive waste, contribute to further proliferation of nuclear weapons materials, and result in a Chernobyl-scale accident once every decade. Perhaps most significantly, it will squander the resources necessary to implement meaningful climate change solutions.  (Briefing: Climate change - Nuclear not the answer.) ...

Things are moving slowly in the right direction. In November 2000 the world recognised nuclear power as a dirty, dangerous and unnecessary technology by refusing to give it greenhouse gas credits during the UN Climate Change talks in The Hague. Nuclear power was dealt a further blow when a UN Sustainable Development Conference refused to label nuclear a sustainable technology in April 2001.



 I trust Greenpeace at this point on ecological policy as much as I trust the Fraser Institute on tax policy.


Quebec-Ontario climate change alliance could expand to Alberta:

After the defeat of a 44-year PC dynasty in Alberta, are we about to see an even broader pan-Canadian realignment?


Brachina wrote:

 I trust Greenpeace at this point on ecological policy as much as I trust the Fraser Institute on tax policy.

Rather than provide evidence for your position, you engage in the rhetorical trick of attacking the source of contrary evidence. Nevertheless, I will provide more evidence of the great dangers associated with nuclear power.


Dirty, Dangerous and Expensive: The Truth About Nuclear Power ...

The nuclear industry seeks to revitalize itself by manipulating the public’s concerns about global warming and energy insecurity to promote nuclear power as a clean and safe way to curb emissions of greenhouse gases and reduce dependence on foreign energy resources.  Despite these claims by industry proponents, a thorough examination of the full life-cycle of nuclear power generation reveals nuclear power to be a dirty, dangerous and expensive form of energy that poses serious risks to human health, national security and U.S. taxpayers.

Nuclear Power is Dirty

Each year, enormous quantities of radioactive waste are created during the nuclear fuel process, including 2,000 metric tons of high-level radioactive waste(1)  and 12 million cubic feet of low-level radioactive waste(2) in the U.S. alone. More than 58,000 metric tons of highly radioactive spent fuel already has accumulated at reactor sites around the U.S. for which there currently is no permanent repository.  Even without new nuclear production, the inventory of commercial spent fuel in the U.S. already exceeds the 63,000 metric ton statutory capacity of the controversial Yucca Mountain repository, which has yet to receive a license to operate.  Even if Yucca Mountain is licensed, the Department of Energy has stated that it would not open before 2017.

Uranium, which must be removed from the ground, is used to fuel nuclear reactors.  Uranium mining, which creates serious health and environmental problems, has disproportionately impacted indigenous people because much of the world’s uranium is located under indigenous land.  Uranium miners experience higher rates of lung cancer, tuberculosis and other respiratory diseases. The production of 1,000 tons of uranium fuel generates approximately 100,000 tons of radioactive tailings and nearly one million gallons of liquid waste containing heavy metals and arsenic in addition to radioactivity.(3)  These uranium tailings have contaminated rivers and lakes. A new method of uranium mining, known as in-situ leaching, does not produce tailings but it does threaten contamination of groundwater water supplies.

Serious Safety Concerns

Despite proponents’ claims that it is safe, the history of nuclear energy is marked by a number of disasters and near disasters. The 1986 Chernobyl disaster in Ukraine is one of the most frightening examples of the potentially catastrophic consequences of a nuclear accident.  An estimated 220,000 people were displaced from their homes, and the radioactive fallout from the accident made 4,440 square kilometers of agricultural land and 6,820 square kilometers of forests in Belarus and Ukraine unusable.  It is extremely difficult to get accurate information about the health effects from Chernobyl.  Government agencies in Ukraine, Russia, and Belarus estimate that about 25,000 of the 600,000 involved in fire-fighting and clean up operations have died so far because of radiation exposure from the accident.(4)  According to an April 2006 report commissioned by the European Greens for the European Parliament, there will be an additional 30,000 to 60,000 fatal cancer deaths worldwide from the accident.(5

In 1979, the United States had its own disaster following an accident at the Three Mile Island Nuclear Reactor in Pennsylvania.  Although there were no immediate deaths, the incident had serious health consequences for the surrounding area.  A 1997 study found that those people living downwind of the reactor at the time of the event were two to ten times more likely to contract lung cancer or leukemia than those living upwind of the radioactive fallout.(6)   The dangers of nuclear power have been underscored more recently by the close call of a catastrophic meltdown at the Davis-Besse reactor in Ohio in 2002, which in the years preceding the incident had received a near-perfect safety score.(3)

Climate change may further increase the risk of nuclear accidents.  Heat waves, which are expected to become more frequent and intense as a result of global warming, can force the shut down or the power output reduction of reactors.  During the 2006 heat wave, reactors in Michigan, Pennsylvania, Illinois, and Minnesota, as well as in France, Spain and Germany, were impacted.  The European heat wave in the summer of 2003 caused cooling problems at French reactors that forced engineers to tell the government that they could no longer guarantee the safety of the country’s 58 nuclear power reactors.(3)

Proliferation, Loose Nukes and Terrorism

The inextricable link between nuclear energy and nuclear weapons is arguably the greatest danger of nuclear power.  The same process used to manufacture low-enriched uranium for nuclear fuel also can be employed for the production of highly enriched uranium for nuclear weapons.  As it has in the past, expansion of nuclear power could lead to an increase in the number of both nuclear weapons states and ‘threshold’ nuclear states that could quickly produce weapons by utilizing facilities and materials from their ‘civil’ nuclear programs a scenario many fear may be playing out in Iran.  Expanded use of nuclear power would increase the risk that commercial nuclear technology will be used to construct clandestine weapons facilities, as was done by Pakistan.

In addition to uranium, plutonium can also be used to make a nuclear bomb.  Plutonium, which is found only in extremely small quantities in nature, is produced in nuclear reactors.  Reprocessing spent fuel to separate plutonium from the highly radioactive barrier in spent fuel rods, as is being proposed as a ‘waste solution’ under the Global Nuclear Energy Partnership program, increases the risk that the plutonium can be diverted or stolen for the production of nuclear weapons or radioactive ‘dirty’ bombs.  Reprocessing is also the most polluting part of the nuclear fuel cycle.  The reprocessing facility in France, La Hague, is the world’s largest anthropogenic source of radioactivity and its releases have been found in the Arctic Circle.

In addition to the threat of nuclear materials, nuclear reactors are themselves potential terrorist targets.  Nuclear reactors are not designed to withstand attacks using large aircraft, such as those used on the September 11, 2001.(7)  A well-coordinated attack could have severe consequences for human health and the environment.  A study by the Union of Concerned Scientists concluded that a major attack on the Indian Point Reactor in Westchester County, New York, could result in 44,000 near-term deaths from acute radiation sickness and more than 500,000 long-term deaths from cancer among individuals within 50 miles of the reactor.(8)

Nuclear Power Doesn’t Mean Energy Independence

Assertions that nuclear power can lead us to energy independence are incorrect.  In 2007, more than 90 percent of the uranium used in U.S. nuclear power reactors was imported.(9)  The U.S. only has the ninth largest reasonably assured uranium resources in the world.(10)  Most of it is low to medium grade, which is not only more polluting but also less economical than uranium found in other nations.  The U.S.’s high-priced uranium resources and world uranium price volatility mean that current dependence on foreign sources of uranium is not likely to change significantly in the future.

One country that the U.S. continues to rely on for uranium is Russia.  The Continuing Resolution signed into law in September 2008 extended and expanded the program to import Russian highly enriched uranium that has been down-blended for use in U.S. commercial reactors.  This program, which was set to expire in 2013, has been extended through 2020 and expanded to allow more uranium imports per year from Russia.  While the program is an important non-proliferation measure (highly enriched uranium can be used to make a nuclear weapon), it means that the U.S. will continue to rely on Russia for a significant amount of uranium for commercial nuclear reactors.

Nuclear is Expensive

In 1954, then Chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission Lewis Strauss promised that the nuclear industry would one day provide energy “too cheap to meter.”(5)  More than 50 years and tens of billions of dollars in federal subsidies later, nuclear power remains prohibitively expensive.  Even among the business and financial communities, it is widely accepted that nuclear power would not be economically viable without government support.(11)  Despite this poor economic performance, the federal government has continued to pour money into the nuclear industry the Energy Policy Act of 2005 included more than $13 billion in production subsidies, tax breaks and other incentives for nuclear power.

The most important subsidy for the nuclear industry and the most expensive for U.S. taxpayers comes in the form of loan guarantees, which are promises that taxpayers will bail out the nuclear utilities by paying back their loans when the projects fail.  According to the Congressional Budget Office, the failure rate for nuclear projects is “very high well above 50 percent.”(12)   The nuclear industry is demanding $122 billion in federal loan guarantees for 21 reactors.  If these guarantees were authorized, taxpayers would be on the hook for at least $61 billion.

Making the Safe, Sustainable Investment

It is clear that alternatives to fossil fuels must be developed on a large scale.  However, nuclear power is neither renewable nor clean and therefore not a wise option.  Even if one were to disregard the waste problems, safety risks and dismal economics, nuclear power is both too slow and too limited a solution to global warming and energy insecurity.  Given the urgent need to begin reducing greenhouse gas emissions, the long lead times required for the design, permitting and construction of nuclear reactors render nuclear power an ineffective option for addressing global warming.

Taxpayer dollars would be better spent on increasing energy conservation, efficiency and developing renewable energy resources.  In fact, numerous studies have shown that improving energy efficiency is the most cost-effective and sustainable way to concurrently reduce energy demand and curb greenhouse gas emissions. Wind power already is less expensive than nuclear power.  And while photovoltaic power is currently more expensive than nuclear energy, the price of electricity produced by the sun, as with wind and other forms of renewable energy, is falling quickly.  Conversely, the cost of nuclear power is rising.(3,11)

When the very serious risk of accidents, proliferation, terrorism and nuclear war are considered, it is clear that investment in nuclear power as a climate change solution is not only misguided, but also highly dangerous.  As we look for solutions to the dual threats of global warming and energy insecurity, we should focus our efforts on improving energy conservation and efficiency and expanding the use of safe, clean renewable forms of energy to build a new energy future for the nation.



The following article from the World Health Organization, WHO (a United Nations body), discusses the deaths caused by Chernobyl.


A total of up to 4000 people could eventually die of radiation exposure from the Chernobyl nuclear power plant (NPP) accident nearly 20 years ago, an international team of more than 100 scientists has concluded.

As of mid-2005, however, fewer than 50 deaths had been directly attributed to radiation from the disaster, almost all being highly exposed rescue workers, many who died within months of the accident but others who died as late as 2004.

The new numbers are presented in a landmark digest report, “Chernobyl’s Legacy: Health, Environmental and Socio-Economic Impacts,” just released by the Chernobyl Forum. The digest, based on a three-volume, 600-page report and incorporating the work of hundreds of scientists, economists and health experts, assesses the 20-year impact of the largest nuclear accident in history. The Forum is made up of 8 UN specialized agencies, including the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), World Health Organization (WHO), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN-OCHA), United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR), and the World Bank, as well as the governments of Belarus, the Russian Federation and Ukraine.




Here's more evidence of the risks of nuclear power, including why it is misleading to see it as free of carbon dioxide release and global warming effects.


Nuclear is not, and has never been, a major energy force. Global annual nuclear energy generation peaked in 2006. Meanwhile its percentage contribution to global electricity generation has declined from its historic peak in 1993 of 17% to about 10% today. The only countries with significant growth are China, India, Russia and South Korea. In the rest of the world, retirements of ageing reactors are likely to outweigh new builds.

Greenhouse emissions

Nuclear advocates are fond of claiming that nuclear energy has negligible greenhouse gas emissions and hence must play an important role in mitigating climate change. However, the greenhouse case for new nuclear power stations is flawed.

In a study published in 2008, nuclear physicist and nuclear energy supporter Manfred Lenzen compared life-cycle emissions from several types of power station. For nuclear energy based on mining high-grade uranium ore, he found average emissions of 60 grams of CO2 per kilowatt hour of electricity generation, compared with 10–20 g per kWh for wind and 500–600 g per kWh for gas. Now comes the part that most nuclear proponents try to ignore.

The world has, at most, a few decades of high-grade uranium ore reserves left. As ore grades inevitably decline, more diesel fuel is needed to mine and mill the uranium, and so the resulting CO2 emissions rise. Lenzen calculated the life-cycle emissions of a nuclear power station running on low-grade uranium ore to be 131 g per kWh.

This is unacceptable in terms of climate science, especially given that Lenzen’s assumptions favoured nuclear energy. Mining in remote locations will be one of the last industries to transition to low-carbon fuels, so new nuclear reactors will inevitably become significant greenhouse gas emitters over their lifetimes.

The next generation of reactors

Some generation IV reactors are potentially lower in life-cycle greenhouse gas emissions, but these are not yet commercially available.

All are likely to be even more expensive than conventional reactors. The fast breeder reactor is even more complex, dangerous, expensive and conducive to weapons proliferation than conventional nuclear reactors. Despite several decades of expensive pilot and demonstration plants, fast breeders have not been successfully commercialised, and may never be.

Advocates try to justify the integral fast reactor and the thorium reactor on the fallacious grounds that they cannot be used to produce nuclear weapons explosives. However, if not operated according to the rules, the integral fast reactor can actually make it easier to extract weapons-grade plutonium and hence make bombs. To be useful as a nuclear fuel, thorium must first be converted to uranium-233, which can be fissioned either in a nuclear reactor or an atomic bomb, as the United States has demonstrated.

The small modular reactor (SMR) has been a dream of the nuclear industry for decades, amid hopes that future mass production could make its electricity cheaper than from existing large reactors. However, offsetting this is the economy of scale of large reactors. The Union of Concerned Scientists, which is not anti-nuclear, has serious safety and security concerns about SMRs.

Weapons proliferation

Nuclear proponents dismiss the danger that civil nuclear energy will drive the development of nuclear weapons, by saying that the nuclear industry is now under strong international oversight. This ignores the harsh reality that India, Pakistan, North Korea and South Africa have all used civil nuclear energy to help build their nuclear weapons. Furthermore, Australia, Argentina, Brazil, Iran, Libya, South Korea and Taiwan all used civil nuclear energy to cloak their commencement of nuclear weapons programs, although fortunately all except Iran have now discontinued them.

Thus nuclear energy contributes to the number of countries with nuclear weapons, or the capacity to build them, and hence increases the probability of nuclear war.


Analyses of the damage done by major nuclear accidents, such as Chernobyl in 1986 and Fukushima in 2011, should properly consider not just the short-term deaths from acute radiation syndrome, but also the cancers that appear over the ensuring decades, and which represent the major contribution to death and disabilities from these incidents.

Estimates of future Chernobyl deaths by reputable impartial authors range from 16,000 by the International Centre for Research on Cancer, to 93,000 by an international group of medical researchers.

Four years after Fukushima, the plant is still leaking radiation, while a reported 120,000 people remain displaced and Japanese taxpayers face a bill that could run to hundreds of billions of dollars.


Proponents often cherry-pick highly optimistic projections of the future cost of nuclear energy. However, past and present experience suggests that such projections have little basis in reality. Apart from the Generation IV reactors, which are not commercially available and hence cannot be costed credibly, all of the much-touted current (Generation III+) power reactors under construction (none is operating) are behind schedule and over budget.

In Finland, Olkiluoto-3 is nearly a decade behind schedule and nearly three times its budgeted cost; in France, Flamanville-3 is five years behind schedule and double budgeted cost; in Georgia, USA, Vogtle is three years behind schedule and about US$700 million over budget. Britain’s proposed Hinkley Point C will receive a guaranteed inflation-linked price for electricity over 35 years, starting at about US$180 per megawatt hour – double the typical wholesale price of electricity in the UK. It will also receive a loan guarantee of about US$20 billion and insurance backed by the British taxpayer. It’s doubtful whether any nuclear power station has ever been built without huge subsidies.

Nuclear waste vs renewable energy

High-level nuclear wastes will have to be safeguarded for 100,000 years or more, far exceeding the lifetime of any human institution.

Meanwhile, Denmark is moving to 100% renewable electricity by 2035, and Germany to at least 80% by 2050. Two German states are already at 100% net renewable energy and South Australia is nudging 40%. Hourly computer simulations of the National Electricity Market suggest that it too could be operated on 100% renewables, purely by scaling up commercially available technologies.

The variability of wind and solar power can be managed with mixes of different renewable energy technologies, at geographically dispersed locations to smooth out the supply. Why would we need to bother with nuclear?





Here is  a list of nuclear accidents with multiple fatalities and/or greater than $100 million dollars in damage further illustrating the risks of nuclear power. 



September 29, 1957MayakKyshtymRussiaThe Kyshtym Nuclear disaster was a radiation contamination incident that occurred at Mayak, a Nuclear fuel reprocessing plant in the Soviet Union.

October 10, 1957SellafieldCumberlandUnited KingdomA fire at the British atomic bomb project destroyed the core and released an estimated 750 terabecquerels (20,000 curies) of radioactive material into the environment.

January 3, 1961Idaho FallsIdahoUnited StatesExplosion at SL-1 prototype at the National Reactor Testing Station. All 3 operators were killed when a control rod was removed too far.

October 5, 1966Frenchtown Charter Township,MichiganUnited StatesPartial core meltdown of the Fermi 1 Reactor at the Enrico Fermi Nuclear Generating Station. No radiation leakage into the environment.

January 21, 1969Lucens reactorVaud,SwitzerlandOn January 21, 1969, it suffered a loss-of-coolant accident, leading to a partial core meltdown and massive radioactive contamination of the cavern, which was then sealed.

Sosnovyi Bor, Leningrad OblastRussiaThere was reportedly a partial nuclear meltdown in Leningrad nuclear power plant reactor unit 1.

December 7, 1975GreifswaldEast GermanyElectrical error causes fire in the main trough that destroys control lines and five main coolant pumps.

January 5, 1976Jaslovské Bohunice,CzechoslovakiaMalfunction during fuel replacement. Fuel rod ejected from reactor into the reactor hall by coolant (CO2).

24February 22, 1977Jaslovské Bohunice,CzechoslovakiaSevere corrosion of reactor and release of radioactivity into the plant area, necessitating total decommission01,

March 28, 1979Three Mile Island,PennsylvaniaUnited StatesLoss of coolant and partial core meltdown due to operator errors. There is a small release of radioactive gases. See also Three Mile Island accident health effects.

September 15, 1984Athens, AlabamaUnited StatesSafety violations, operator error, and design problems force a six-year outage at Browns Ferry Unit.

March 9, 1985Athens, AlabamaUnited StatesInstrumentation systems malfunction during startup, which led to suspension of operations at all three Browns Ferry Units.

April 11, 1986Plymouth, Massachusetts,United StatesRecurring equipment problems force emergency shutdown of Boston Edison’s Pilgrim Nuclear Power Plant

April 26, 1986Chernobyl disasterUkrainian SSROverheating, steam explosion, fire, and meltdown, necessitating the evacuation of 300,000 people from Chernobyl and dispersing radioactive material across Europe (see Chernobyl disaster effects)

May 4, 1986Hamm-Uentrop, GermanyExperimental THTR-300 reactor releases small amounts of fission products (0.1 GBq Co-60, Cs-137, Pa-233) to surrounding area.

March 31, 1987Delta, PennsylvaniaUnited StatesPeach Bottom units 2 and 3 shutdown due to cooling malfunctions and unexplained equipment problems.

December 19, 1987Lycoming, New YorkUnited StatesMalfunctions force Niagara Mohawk Power Corporation to shut down Nine Mile Point

March 17, 1989Lusby, MarylandUnited StatesInspections at Calvert Cliff Units 1 and 2 reveal cracks at pressurized heater sleeves, forcing extended shutdowns.

March 1992Sosnovyi Bor, Leningrad OblastRussiaAn accident at the Sosnovy Bor nuclear plant leaked radioactive gases and iodine into the air through a ruptured fuel channel.

February 20, 1996Waterford, ConnecticutUnited StatesLeaking valve forces shutdown Millstone Nuclear Power Plant Units 1 and 2, multiple equipment failures found.

September 2, 1996Crystal River, FloridaUnited StatesBalance-of-plant equipment malfunction forces shutdown and extensive repairs at Crystal River Unit

September 30, 1999Ibaraki PrefectureJapanTokaimura nuclear accident killed two workers, and exposed one more to radiation levels above permissible limits.

February 16, 2002Oak Harbor, OhioUnited StatesSevere corrosion of control rod forces 24-month outage of Davis-Besse reactor

August 9, 2004Fukui PrefectureJapanSteam explosion at Mihama Nuclear Power Plant kills 4 workers and injures

July 25, 2006 ForsmarkSwedenAn electrical fault at Forsmark Nuclear Power Plant caused one reactor to be shut down.

March 11, 2011FukushimaJapanA tsunami flooded and damaged the 5 active reactor plants drowning two workers. Loss of backup electrical power led to overheating, meltdowns, and evacuations.[24] One man died suddenly while carrying equipment during the clean-up.

12 September 2011Marcoule, FranceOne person was killed and four injured, one seriously, in a blast at the Marcoule Nuclear Site. The explosion took place in a furnace used to melt metallic waste.



ETA: Brachina, the following article is about Fukoshima, so you can doubt it all you want since it's from Greenpeace, but you can't change the fact that the danger of radiation caused 150,000 people to have to leave the area because of radiation, to list only one of the effects of the radiation released from the Fukoshima nuclear reactor. You also cannot change the fact that both the government and regulators of the nuclear industry in Japan, as in many other countries, were complicit in this failure because of lobbying, political donations, corruption, and the revolving door between the industry and the regulating agencies. This means because of these regulatory problems, in addition to all the other problems enumerated above, we can expect more nuclear accidents elsewhere


The nuclear disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi plant that began unfolding on 11 March  2011 is the biggest since the Chernobyl disaster of 1986. The disaster was not simply the result of the earthquake and tsunami hitting the east coast of Japan, but due to the failure of Japanese authorities to regulate the nuclear industry and protect people. Just last week, Japan's nuclear safety chief admitted that Japan ignored the nuclear risks and that the regulations were fundamentally flawed. A story echoed around the world at many nuclear plants.  Following the accident, the Japanese public were withheld full information on radiation levels.

Radiation expert Rianne Teule, worked as a Greenpeace nuclear campaigner for ten years. Riannemade several trips to Fukushima following 11 March to conduct on-the-ground radiation testing, and to conduct monitoring and provide information to local people. Not only had people’s lives been completely disrupted, but the disaster then struck the most vital of necessities: radiation measurements of food supplies began to show contamination. “The most disturbing thing for me was the lack of information provided to the people being affected, they often had no idea of the radiation risks they were exposed to” Said Rianne.

A year later, 150,000 Japanese people in total have been displaced from their homes by the Fukushima disaster – some may never be able to return.