Nuclear Accidents and Disasters

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Nuclear Power is a six-volume set that explores the science, mechanisms, divergent developments, dangers, successes, disasters, and lessons [earned by a complex industry that will influence society for generations. Nuclear technology today is focused on issues related to dwindling energy resources and minimizing negative environmental effects, yet it was first developed under military secrecy because of its destructive capability. The books in this set, designed to complement science curricula, detail this conflicted history, the expansion of nuclear power in the near future, and the potential need for it as humankind penetrates the greater universe.

For more than half a century, the world has used nuclear power as a cleaner and more efficient alternative to the energy-production processes of the past. Yet over the years, nuclear power has proven not to be without danger, as meltdowns and other incidents worldwide have shown. Nuclear Accidents and Disasters features some of the most significant of these incidents, examining their long- and short-term damage, causes, and the lessons learned within the nuclear-power industry from their occurrence. In addition to discussions of such events as the nuclear meltdowns at Chernobyl, Three Mile Island, and Chalk River, this volume includes a special sidebar dedicated to an analysis of the 2011 disaster at the Fukishima I Nuclear Power Plant in Japan.

The volume also includes information on

fuel-processing facilities

the ghost village of Prypiat

nuclear reactors, safety concerns

nuclear reactors, types of

nuclear reactors in space

radiation sickness

Santa Susana Field Laboratory

the Windscale fire

The book contains more than 40 color photographs and four-color line illustrations, sidebars, a chronology, a glossary, a detailed list of print and Internet resources, and an index. Nuclear Power is essential for high school students, teachers, and general readers who wish to learn about the present and future impact of this branch of technology on the global environment.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780816076505
  • Publisher: Facts on File, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 10/1/2010
  • Series: Nuclear Power Series
  • Pages: 162
  • Age range: 14 - 18 Years
  • Product dimensions: 0.79 (w) x 0.36 (h) x 0.39 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface v

Acknowledgments viii

Introduction ix

1 New Problems in a New Industry 1

The Discovery of Radiation Sickness 2

The Radithor Scandal 9

Mass Casualties in the Radium Industry 11

2 Troubles at the Chalk River Nuclear Laboratories in Canada 14

A Problem with the ZEEP Reactor 15

The World's First Reactor Meltdown 19

Former President Jimmy Carter (1924- ): A Formative Experience 23

A Fire in the National Research Universal Reactor 25

3 Tests Gone Awry at the National Reactor Testing Station 30

The Mystery of the SL-1 Reactor Explosion 31

Immediate Changes in Reactor Design Principles from SL-1 41

The Experimental Breeder-Reactor Number 1 Meltdown 42

4 The Seliafield Facility in the United Kingdom 47

The Windscale Fire 49

An Effect on Milk Production 56

A MAGNOX Fuel Incident at Chapelcross 62

5 Highly Technical Problems 66

Early Trouble at the Santa Susana Field Laboratory 67

A Nuclear Accident in Outer Space 70

A Core Melt in the Fermi 1 Fast Breeder Reactor 73

6 Accidents at Fuel-Processing Facilities 79

Fatality and Power Excursions at the Mayak Production Association 81

Criticality Mishaps in the United States 89

More Critical Excursions in Russia and Japan 94

7 Meltdown at Three Mile Island in Harrisburg Pennsylvania 102

The Water-Cooled Reactors 103

The China Syndrome 106

A Failed Pump, a Stuck Valve, and a Melted Core 108

8 The Disaster at Charnebyl, Russia 114

The RBMK-1000 Graphite Reactors 115

The Earthquake in Japan 119

The Fatal Experiment 122

The Ghost Village of Prypiat 124

Heroism, Evacuation, and a Problem Too Big to Cover Up 127

Conclusion 132

Chronology 138

Glossary 148

Further Resources 153

Index 157

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