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What happened at the Windscale fire?

What happened at the Windscale fire?

The accident occurred on October 8, 1957, when a routine heating of the No. 1 reactor’s graphite control blocks got out of control, causing adjacent uranium cartridges to rupture. The uranium thus released began to oxidize, releasing radioactivity and causing a fire that burned for 16 hours before it was put out.

Who was responsible for the Windscale fire?

On 10 October 1957, at the age of 39, Thomas Tuohy was deputy to the general manager at the Windscale and Calder works of the Ministry of Supply (now known as Sellafield) when one of the “piles” – primitive nuclear reactors – making plutonium for Britain’s first atomic bombs overheated.

How many people died from the Windscale fire?

The two graphite-moderated reactors, referred to at the time as “piles,” had been built as part of the British post-war atomic bomb project. Windscale Pile No….Windscale fire.

The Windscale Piles (centre and right) in 1985
Date 10 October 1957
Deaths Estimated 100 to 240 cancer fatalities in the long term

How could the Windscale fire been prevented?

Such a fire now old of 50 years could not happen again today, even with the English reactors like Magnox or AGR still using graphite as moderator. Indeed, the air which cooled Windscale «piles» and supplied graphite combustion is now replaced by carbon dioxide gas that smothers the burning.

Is Windscale still open?

Windscale Advanced Gas Cooled Reactor (WAGR) Construction was carried out by Mitchell Construction and completed in 1962. This reactor was shut down in 1981, and is now part of a pilot project to demonstrate techniques for safely decommissioning a nuclear reactor.

Did Britain suppress details of the 1957 Windscale atomic disaster?

“Britain Suppressed Details of ’57 Atomic Disaster”. The New York Times. Retrieved 12 July 2020. ^ Arnold, Lorna (1995). Windscale 1957: Anatomy of a Nuclear Accident (Second ed.).

What is Windscale 1957?

Windscale 1957: Anatomy of a Nuclear Accident (Second ed.). London: Palgrave Macmillan UK. p. 83. ISBN 9781349240081.

What was the result of the Windscale fire?

Windscale fire. The fire left about 10 tons of radioactive fuel melted in the reactor core. The Windscale fire also caused the release of sizable amounts of radioactive iodine into the atmosphere. As a consequence, the government banned for several weeks the sale of milk produced in a 500-square-km (200-square-mile) area around the reactor site.

What was the name of the nuclear fire in 1957?

Windscale fire. Written By: Windscale fire, accident in 1957 at the Windscale nuclear reactor facility and plutonium-production plant in the county of Cumberland (now part of Cumbria), in northwestern England, that was the United Kingdom’s most serious nuclear power accident. The Windscale plant consisted of two gas-cooled nuclear reactors.