Zodiac News Service—A Washington, DC research group contends that, despite industry claims to the contrary, the U.S. nuclear industry has been plagued by worker deaths, plant accidents, acts of terrorism and other serious mishaps during the last three decades.
The Center for Science in the Public Interest alleges that a careful study of government atomic energy records reveals there have been more than 300 worker deaths, no less than two dozen “meltdowns” or other serious accidents, dozens of threatened and actual terrorist acts, and numerous cases of lost nuclear material and human error.
The Center claims that all of these figures are buried in the statistics within hundreds of thousands of pages of official reports—compiled first by the Atomic Energy Commission and, later, by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission since 1945.
The Center quotes one A.E.C. safety report which notes that in the preceding 32 years, there had been 10,086 disabling injuries, including 321 fatalities. It adds that a recent study by the U.S. Consumer Protection Administration predicted that an additional 600 to 1,100 men who worked in uranium mines are expected to die of radiation-induced cancer by 1990.
Center researcher Bob Bossong says that a rereading of meltdown reports at U.S. reactor sites and other accidents indicates that the only reason there has not been an outright disastrous nuclear plant accident in America yet is—in Bosssong’s words—(Quote) “Sheer luck.”