14 Nuclear Disaster Sites That Are Still Unsafe For Humans

Mayak

Photo: wikipedia commons

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

Source: SPIEGEL

HANFORD SITE, WASHINGTON: 216 million litres of radioactive liquid waste and cooling water leaking from a Cold War plutonium refinery -- cleanup continues today

Source: SPIEGEL

WINDSCALE, BRITAIN: 15 tons of radioactive debris are still at the site today after a 1957 fire

Source: SPIEGEL

Source: SPIEGEL

MAYAK PLUTONIUM PLANT: Hundreds of square miles in Russia are still contaminated after 80 tons of radioactive liquid waste exploded in 1957

Source: SPIEGEL

NEVADA PROVING GROUNDS: From Cold War atom bomb testing this is still one of the most contaminated sites in the United States today

Source: SPIEGEL

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

Source: SPIEGEL

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

Source: SPIEGEL

THAR DESERT, RAJASTHAN: Used for five atomic tests as recently as 1998

Source: SPIEGEL

MORSLEBEN, EAST GERMANY: The salt deposits are saturated with radioactive waste dumped over dozens of years -- cleanup continues today

Source: SPIEGEL

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

Source: SPIEGEL

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

Source: SPIEGEL

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

Source: SPIEGEL

TOKAI POWER PLANT: In 1997, uranium from about 2,000 barrels escaped in a shaft at the plant

Source: SPIEGEL

No lingering radiation is reported in Hiroshima, though people suffered from the atomic bomb drop for decades

Source: SPIEGEL

No lingering radiation is reported at Three Mile Island, following extensive clean-up over 12 years

Source: SPIEGEL

Source: SPIEGEL

Fukushima has been upgraded to a level 7 disaster

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