Talk:List of civilian radiation accidents

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Would it be appropriate to include here incidents involving high-energy photon or electron sources but no actual radioactive material (e.g., the Therac-25 fatalities)? - Schol-R-LEA, 24 Feb 2006

I would say yes.Cadmium

Yes, because the title implies ionizing radiation. I suggest that the scope be extended to include accidents involving ionizing radiation from devices that do not use radioactive material. Nuclear and radiation accidents currently says of radiation accidents: "accidents with non-radioactive X-ray and electron beam generators are also included in this class" Olli Niemitalo (talk) 10:52, 28 September 2008 (UTC)

Where is Chernobyl???[edit]

Why are there some relatively minor incidents included here, but not what is surely 'the' civilian nuclear accident, Chernobyl? BTW, I have checked in the list of military radiation accidents, and it isn't listed there either. WikiReaderer 09:57, 28 August 2007 (UTC)

Chernobyl is in the List of civilian nuclear accidents - I've added a link to it in the "See Also" section. This list is only for radiation accidents - which involve release/contamination by radioactive materials, but no actual nuclear reaction. Bobstay 12:45, 19 September 2007 (UTC)

"Hid it in his room-mate's alarm clock"[edit]

I've removed the bit about the columbia university student hiding the uranium he had stolen in his room-mate's alarm clock. On reading the source article, it seems the search team found the only radiation in the room was coming from the alarm clock - but doesn't say anything about the student having hidden the uranium there. I'm guessing the alarm clock had radium paint on the markings on its face - which would fit as these students were collecting chemicals and simialar materials for their "anarchist" experiments. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Bobstay (talkcontribs) 13:02, 19 September 2007 (UTC)

Format proposal[edit]

I would like to propose a format change for the entries. I recently reformatted the List of civilian nuclear accidents and I think it works well. Proposed format:

month day, year - location - type of accident
  • Description of the accident and related information. Description of the significant health effects, property damage or contamination that occurred. Description of response to the accident.

Instead of a wall of text the reader sees discreet entries with the most pertinent information presented up front. I am making a identical proposal for the List of military nuclear accidents since these articles are all on a very similar subject.Nailedtooth 00:29, 5 October 2007 (UTC)

Removal of word "fission" from scope[edit]

"Fission" in the nuclear sense is when an atom splits. Without fission there is no radiation, and radiation accidents are what this article is for. Fission must be occurring in all these accidents, so barring accidents where fission occurs makes no sense. Nailedtooth (talk) 16:42, 30 August 2008 (UTC)

Sorry, this is completely incorrect. There are four types of nuclear radiation (alpha, beta, gamma, and neutron) and of those only neutron radiation requires fission. Keithpickering (talk) 17:27, 31 October 2013 (UTC)
An X-ray machine can kill with radiation easily, yet there's not fission. NVO (talk) 12:15, 28 September 2008 (UTC)
From the scope and entries, I was under the impression the article was about nuclear radiation. Perhaps we need an article about civilian electromagnetic radiation accidents. Nailedtooth (talk) 16:51, 28 September 2008 (UTC)
Accidents involving accelerated particles (for example electron beam) would not fit there, and it would be nice to have them listed as well. Olli Niemitalo (talk) 13:38, 29 September 2008 (UTC)

New accident (Tue, Sep 9, 2008)[edit]

Yahoo! News reports that 3 Chinese men tried to smuggle and sell 274Kg of depleted uranium. Clueless uranium smugglers spared jail. I imagine this should be added but I'm not very good at adding to articles. --Madrat (talk) 05:25, 10 September 2008 (UTC)

This doesn/t appear to meet the guidelines of the scope. There were no health consequences, and I don't think you can contaminate anything with non-irradiated depleted uranium. Simesa (talk) 11:49, 10 September 2008 (UTC)

Nuclear Crime[edit]

There is also this incident: [1] - technically it is not an accident, but a crime, but it seems noteworthy. —Preceding unsigned comment added by OttoA (talkcontribs) 14:57, 18 February 2009 (UTC)

Removed very unclear entree[edit]

I removed the following entree because it does not make any sense. "August 2010 - Sofia,Bulgaria. A radiation that was 60 times over its normal state was reported in one of the abandoned areas where random civilians approach the unprotected open door where it is located in hidden forests." (talk) 21:04, 29 August 2010 (UTC)

Separate out medical radiation events into its own page?[edit]

Would it be worthwhile to separate out noteworthy medical radiation incidents/accidents into its own page (while adding new examples)? Or should medical incidents be integrated into this page? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:46, 5 November 2011 (UTC)

this line doesn't make sense in context.[edit]

"The patient was transported back to a nursing home where the source later fell out. " — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:10, 4 March 2013 (UTC)

Re-write of the Taiwan 1982 incident[edit]

I'm re-writing this paragraph. The current version too often violates NPOV, and there are assertions (such as the alleged "harassment" of one scientist) not supported by the cited sources. Further, the most frequently cited source is a newspaper article (which is not necessarily a problem), but that article cites research that has apparently not been published or not passed peer-review. (A Google Scholar search for the author's name, Chang, combined with "Taiwan" and "cobalt-60" gave 33 hits, none of which was the research discussed in the newspaper article.) The assertion of "at least 40" cancer deaths is both incorrect (the newspaper article says 39) as well as misleading (because we have no idea how many of those would be expected in a population that size without irradiation -- that is, we don't know the number of excess cancer deaths, which is the only important number). Keithpickering (talk) 18:02, 31 October 2013 (UTC)

December 2000 – Three woodcutters in the nation of Georgia...strontium-90...[edit]

This sounds like the same incident that was written about in a book on the Chernobyl disaster. However, the book was published well before the year 2000. I recall taking the book out from the public library in the late 1980's, probably around 1988. I believe the incident actually occurred in the late 1950s. The canisters were emitters of beta radiation, according to the book. The information in the Wikipedia article does seem to jibe with my memory, except for the given date of 2000 and the mention of beta radiation. Joseph Meisenhelder (talk) 23:54, 5 December 2013 (UTC)

The incident was actually misfiled under 2000 instead of 2001. That's now been fixed, and I've added some IAEA citations. The exposure of the woodcutters took place in December 2001, with recovery of the sources in 2002. Whatever incident you're remembering must be a separate one - though an incident in the 1950s seems dubious, given that development of RTGs only started late that decade, and the Soviet Union did not start mass production of RTGs until the 1970s. Kolbasz (talk) 17:28, 6 December 2013 (UTC)

I really wonder how likely it is that the two same stories can exist without casting doubt on the later one. It points to a possible error in the later documents. That's what I mean. Unfortunately, Google Books seems not to have the book that I read scanned into its system, and that late '50s date I remembered was probably of another incident that also happened in the Ural Mountains in 1957 , which was most certainly mentioned in the book, too, my memory of it being in there having returned to me.

I'm suggesting not having that part on the strontium-90 canisters in the article because of accuracy doubts, at least until the date can be corrected to the probable '70s one (or up to a late '80s one, at the latest, up until the time the book was written), or until two same sounding stories both really being true can be verified. I think it is good policy to not have any doubts about accuracy of an article page.

There's a problem we all face with working just online and not in the physical world. For example, I visited an online version of the Library of Congress Catalog, and its description says something to the effect that it has links to only 16 million items. The Website said there are 147 million items in that library. A completely comprehensive catalog for just non-fiction books alone would have a card for each word in the index in the back of each book. That sounds like an impossible task. I can see why physical libraries are still important so that the actual books can be gone through. Accessing knowledge existing only in physical formats is a hard-to-solve problem. How can every written thing, at least items in libraries, be scanned and converted to digital storage, and then made accessible online? That is our enduring question. Alas.

I appreciate your work on the article. Joseph Meisenhelder (talk) 01:34, 7 December 2013 (UTC)

The IAEA is a reliable source. Half-remembered books are not. Kolbasz (talk) 01:46, 7 December 2013 (UTC)

"Incident" vs. "Accident"?[edit]

In some places, such as the lead of List of civilian nuclear accidents, there is an attempt to distinguish between "incidents" and "accidents". The usage of the terms in Wikipedia seems very mixed and inconsistent. Is there any formal distinction defined between these terms (by whom?), and are there references for this usage? The distinction (or lack thereof) should be clarified in the leads of both this article (List of civilian radiation accidents) and List of civilian nuclear accidents. Without clear guidance, there is confusion about where to look for or add new material, and the potential for partially-duplicated coverage. If there is no distinction, then the two articles should be merged or renamed more clearly. Reify-tech (talk) 19:47, 29 August 2014 (UTC)

For nuclear/radiological events, INES would be the most generally accepted. The distinction between incidents and accidents has been borrowed from general safety engineering/risk management, where the terms "hazard", "incident" and "accident" mean roughly "a situation where an incident or accident could occur", "an event that had the potential to cause death or major property damage" and "an event that did cause death or major property damage", respectively (the exact definitions vary; Google is kind of failing me now, but here are a couple of examples: [2] [3] [4])
However, the difference between the two articles - list of civilian nuclear accidents and list of civilian radiation accidents - has nothing to do with a distinction between accidents and incidents, but rather the distinction between nuclear and radiological. The former involves fission/fusion but not necessarily ionizing radiation, while the latter involves ionizing radiation but not necessarily fission/fusion. There would be some overlap between the two, but for some reason the stated scope of list of civilian radiation accidents excludes nuclear events.
Looking at list of civilian nuclear accidents, I can see that the scope statement has been mangled and become contradictory to the lead and title at some point, which may be why there are misfiled entires (e.g. "April 21, 1964 – Indian Ocean – Launch failure of a RTG powered satellite" which describes a military satellite with an RTG - i.e. neither nuclear nor civilian). Guess it's time for a cleanup. Kolbasz (talk) 12:09, 30 August 2014 (UTC)