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Past Nuclear Accidents Updated: 2011-03-13 12:00:00 KST

Past Nuclear Accidents
In March 1979, large amounts of nuclear reactor coolant escaped at the Three Mile Island Nuclear Generating Station in Pennsylvania, United States, resulting in the release of radioactive gases.
The accident prompted the evacuation of roughly 140-thousand people, and although no leaks were reported outside the plant, 11 out of every 1,000 local residents has suffered from cancer since the accident.
The Chernobyl disaster, which is considered the worst nuclear power plant accident in history, occurred in Ukraine in April 1986.
A series of explosions took place at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant during a systems test, and the release of radioactive materials continued for ten days, with fallout being detected even in parts of Eastern Europe thousands of kilometers away.
Thirty people were killed immediately after the accident and the death toll rose to about 300 over the next four years.
Also, the number of cancer and leukemia patients continued to increase, as well as the number of reports of still births and birth defects.
In July 1998, a radioactive material leak of 1,500 times the safe level occurred from a crack in Japan's Tsuruga nuclear reactor pipe.
And another nuclear radiation accident took place in Tokai-mura in September 1999 at a fuel reprocessing facility.
Three workers received doses above permissible limits, while dozens of emergency workers and nearby residents were hospitalized.
And while authorities have said that the leaks at the Fukushima plant are minimal, if the worst case scenario takes place, there is no way to know to what extent the damage will be.
Oh Jee-hyun, Arirang News.
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