• Bulgaria recently experienced a problem, described by Bulgarian
    nuclear physicist Georgi Kaschiev as “a serious security system
    failure,” at its Kozloduy nuclear power plant, its sole nuclear
    installation. Sofia news agency reported on May 8 that Bulgaria’s Nuclear
    Regulatory Agency announced that the March accident at Bulgaria’s
    Kozloduy Nuclear Power Plant was officially rated Level Two according
    to the International Nuclear Events Scale after initially grading it
    Level Zero. Level Seven is the most serious. NRA head Sergey Tsochev said that the event’s rating was increased
    after taking into account various additional factors, including
    equipment failure. In December 2002 Bulgaria began decommissioning some of Kozloduy’s
    six reactors after the European Union pressured Bulgaria to close four
    of the site’s reactors for safety reasons. Kozloduy is on the Danube,
    125 miles north of the capital Sofia. Democrats for Strong Bulgaria (DSB) called Tuesday for the
    resignation of Economy and Energy Minister Rumen Ovcharov over the
    incident. http://www.upi.com/SecurityTerrorism/view.php?StoryID=20060509-033422-7380r
  • MISTAKES made during a major nuclear accident exercise held in
    Edinburgh last year would have left real casualties trapped in vehicles
    and spread deadly radioactive contamination, an official report has
    Serious communication failures between the Ministry of
    Defence (MoD) and Scottish emergency services led to blunders that in a
    real nuclear incident could have had fatal consequences. Previous
    exercises over the past 10 years have thrown up similar problems. But
    nothing seems to have been learnt from them, campaigners said. http://www.sundayherald.com/55448
  • Officials at an experimental Japanese nuclear fuel reprocessing
    plant are investigating the leakage of a small amount of radioactive
    material earlier this week, the operator said Friday. No
    radioactive material leaked into the atmosphere and no one was exposed
    to radiation, said Yukio Takahashi, spokesman for Japan Nuclear Fuel
    Ltd. Plant officials are investigating why about seven liters
    (1.8 gallons) of radioactive chemical leaked from a pipe joint onto the
    floor of a refining building at the plant in Rokkasho, 580 kilometers
    (360 miles) northeast of Tokyo, Takahashi said. The leak was discovered
    by a worker late Wednesday and stopped after the chemical process was
    shut down, he said.
    In July 2005, plant officials noticed that a reagent was oozing
    through a joint in a different section of the same pipe. In that case,
    carbon was found to have been mistakenly included in the manufacturing
    of the joint, causing part of it to corrode, Takahashi said. It was not
    immediately clear whether the new leak might have a similar cause.
  • In 1999 Japanese technicians mixing up
    fuel for an experimental reactor violated the safety procedures and
    created a critical mass of uranium which caused an increasing nuclear
    reaction until the container with the mixture boiled over and stopped
    the reaction. Three people were hospitalized, two of whom died. The
    press, especially AFP which is anti-nuclear billed this as the worst
    nuclear accident since Chernobyl in 1986. Losing two people in 13 years
    isn’t much. That’s good for an energy source.