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Nuclear waste has been around since the Manhattan project during World War II.From radioactive fallout, to reactor leaks, to contaminated earth from atomic bomb testing, to a B-25 plane crash that let loose three hydrogen bombs in Spain, nuclear accidents are far more common than most people know.
SPIEGEL published a detailed list of nuclear disasters. We’ve identified the places with still-elevated radiation.
UPDATE: Four months after Fukushima, Japan announced that clean-up could take decades.
WHITE SANDS NUCLEAR TESTING GROUND: The trinity testing site in 1941 is now a National Monument with 10 times higher than normal radiation today
HANFORD SITE, WASHINGTON: 216 million litres of radioactive liquid waste and cooling water leaking from a Cold War plutonium refinery -- cleanup continues today
MAYAK PLUTONIUM PLANT: Hundreds of square miles in Russia are still contaminated after 80 tons of radioactive liquid waste exploded in 1957
NEVADA PROVING GROUNDS: From Cold War atom bomb testing this is still one of the most contaminated sites in the United States today
FRENCH REGGANE, ALGERIA: A 1960 French nuclear test left as much radiation here as the first three bombs of the U.S., US.S.R. and the UK combined
SITE OF 1966 B-52 CRASH IN SPAIN: Three hydrogen bombs fell to earth and after a massive clean it's believed there is still up to half a kilogram of plutonium left in the soil
MORSLEBEN, EAST GERMANY: The salt deposits are saturated with radioactive waste dumped over dozens of years -- cleanup continues today
BIKINI ATOLL AND OTHER SITES: The South Pacific was used in atomic bomb tests for decades and the fish in some areas are still unsafe to eat
ASSE STORAGE FACILITY, GERMANY: A former salt mine converted to a nuclear storage site that floods with 12,000 litres of water daily -- cleanup is underway
CHERNOBYL: It's estimated that up to 100,000 people died in the worst nuclear disaster ever and radiation levels are still 700 times greater than normal
No lingering radiation is reported in Hiroshima, though people suffered from the atomic bomb drop for decades
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