Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Biggest nuclear accidents

Biggest nuclear accidents

Biggest nuclear accidents
The crisis at Japan's Fukushima plant has become one of the three biggest accidents in the history of nuclear power. Here's how the International Nuclear and Radiological Event Scale (INES) classifies each nuclear issue and a look at the biggest nuclear accidents.

Date: April 26, 1986

Level: 7 on INES (only 7 to date)

Comparison: Chernobyl released significantly more radiation into the atmosphere than the Hiroshima bombing during World War II.
Three Mile Island
Date: March 28, 1979

Level: 5 on INES

Comparison: Three Mile Island is said to have released a very low level of radiation. Some figures say the average exposure was equivalent to a medical test
Date: March 11, 2011

Level: Initially 4 on INES

Comparison: According to Japanese officials, the radiation levels near the plant rose to roughly twice those that constitute an emergency situation.

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