Database of radiological incidents and related events--Johnston's Archive

Deadliest radiation accidents and other events causing radiation casualties

compiled by Wm. Robert Johnston
last updated 29 November 2022

This is a listing of radiation accidents and other radiological events resulting in at least 4 acute fatalities. It is a subset of the Database of Radiological Incidents and Related Events. Links in the table are to more detailed incident summaries.

The 16 events below include:

Notes on table:

datelocation/link to entrytype of accident/eventcodehighest dose (rem)deathsinjuriespublicsourcerelease
06 Aug 1945Hiroshima, Japancombat use of nuclear weaponNW(~80,000--N)45,000 (130,000)60,000? (86,000)x* NW 
09 Aug 1945Nagasaki, Japancombat use of nuclear weaponNW(~200,000--N)20,000 (65,000)50,000? (75,000)x* NW 
04 Jul 1961K-19 submarine, North Atlanticreactor accidentA-NR6,000831   
21 Mar 1962 - Aug 1962Mexico City, Mexicolost radiography sourceA-os5,20041xCo-60 
24 May 1968K-27 submarine, Barents Seanaval reactor accidentA-NR?983   
1974 - 1976Columbus, Ohio, USAradiotherapy accidentA-mrL1088mCo-60 
1980Houston, Texas, USAradiotherapy accidentA-mrL?7?mY-90 
05 Oct 1982Baku, Azerbaidjan, USSRlost sourceA-os?513 Cs-137 
19 Mar 1984Casablanca, Moroccolost radiography sourceA-os?83xIr-192 
10 Aug 1985K-431 submarine, Chazhma Bay, Vladivostok, Russia, USSRreactor accident during refuelingA-NR2200 (10)49  ~1 kCi
26 Apr 1986 - 06 May 1986Chernobyl, Ukraine, USSRsteam explosion and fire in graphite-moderated power reactorA-PR1,60028 (31)238+x 52 MCi
12 Sep 1987 - 29 Sep 1987Goiania, Goias, Brazilaccidental dispersal of lost radiography sourceA-osd700520xCs-1371375 Ci
10 Dec 1990 - 20 Dec 1990Zarragosa, Spainradiotherapy accidentA-mrL189m  
22 Aug 1996 - 27 Sep 1996San Jose, Costa Ricaradiotherapy accidentA-mrL781mCo-60 
Aug 2000 - 24 Mar 2001Panama City, Panamaradiotherapy accidentA-mrL1711m  
08 Aug 2019Nyonoksa, Russiaexplosion of experimental reactorAC-Rlarge4 (5)6 (13)x  

© 2007, 2022 by Wm. Robert Johnston.
Last modified 29 November 2022.
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