Izvestiya vuzov. Yadernaya Energetika

The peer-reviewed scientific and technology journal. ISSN: 0204-3327

Emergencies at Nuclear Power Plants for the Period 1952 – 2012, Evaluated According to the International Scale of Nuclear Events INES

3/28/2023 2023 - #01 Global safety, reliability and diagnostics of nuclear power installations

Titov S.A. Barbin N.M.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.26583/npe.2023.1.08

UDC: 621.039.586

In the article, based on materials taken from open sources (the Internet, the Rosatom website [1]), a systematic and statistical analysis of emergency events that occurred at nuclear power plants (NPP) included in the INES international scale of nuclear events for the period 1952 – 2012 was carried out. The year of occurrence of accidents and incidents is indicated. The countries in which nuclear power plant emergencies occurred with the release of radioactivity were identified (USA, Japan, USSR, England, Russia, Germany, Spain, France, Canada, Switzerland, Slovakia, Hungary, Ukraine, Sweden, Czech Republic, Pakistan, India). The main objects of emergency situations related to radioactive emissions have been identified (reactor core, control system failure and automation failures, transformers and cable channels, reactor circuit and cooling systems, other accidents, steam generators and steam pipeline systems, pipeline systems, reactor vessels, pumps and pumping systems, technological channel). The causes of emergency events have been identified (due to the fault of personnel, due to technical malfunctions, due to short circuits, due to natural disasters (earthquakes), due to automation failures). The types of reactors where accidents and incidents occurred with radioactive emissions were noted (PWR, BWR, RBMK, VVER, PHWR, FBR, NRX, Windscale-1, SL-1, UNGG, VHTR, GCR, AGR, BN). Conclusions are drawn from the obtained results of statistical and system analysis. During the period from 1952 to 2012, 33 nuclear power plant accidents with radioactive emissions occurred in 17 countries. Most often, accidents and incidents with radioactivity emissions occurred in the following countries: the USA, Japan and the USSR. The two largest accidents of the seventh level on the INES scale were registered in the USSR and Japan. Safe operation of a nuclear power plant depends on the design and construction of the plant, as well as on compliance with special norms and rules of work of the plant personnel, which will ensure the protection of personnel and the public from the effects of radiation accidents.


  1. Rosatom State Atomic Energy Corporation: Official Website. Available at: http://www.rosatom.ru / (accessed Oct. 02, 2022) (in Russian).
  2. The IAEA Database on Nuclear Power Reactors. Available at: https://pris.iaea.org/pris/ (accessed Oct. 02, 2022).
  3. Kazantsev A.A., Supotnitskaya O.V., Ivanova E.A., Moskovchenko I.V., Mukhamadeev R.I., Timofeev V.F., Astakhova N.E. Hydrogen Explosion Safety in the Conditions of an Out-of-Design Accident for the EGP-6 Reactor of the Bilibino NPP. Izvestiya vuzov. Yadernaya Energetika.– 2022. – No. 4. – PP. 67-77; DOI: https://doi.org/10.26583/npe.2022.4.06 (in Russian).
  4. Nayak A., Kulkarni P. Serious Accidents at Nuclear Reactors. Woodhead Publishing, 2021. Available at: https://www.elsevier.com/books/severe-accidents-in-nuclear-reactors/nayak/978-0-12-822304-8/ (accessed Oct. 02, 2022).
  5. Velkin V.I. Nuclear Power Engineering of the World. Status and Prospects. Yekaterinburg. UrFU Publ., 2021, 442 p. (in Russian).
  6. INES Guide for Users of the International Scale of Nuclear and Radiological Events. Vienna. IAEA, 2010, 235 p.
  7. Prister B.S., Klyuchnikov A.A., Baryakhtar V.G., Shestopalov V.M., Kukhar V.P. Problems of Nuclear Power Safety. Chernobyl Lessons – Chernobyl (Kiev Region). Kiev. Institute of NPP Safety Problems of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine Publ., 2016, pp. 71-77 (in Russian).
  8. Klyuchnikov A.A., Pazukhin E.M., Shigera Yu.M., ShigeraV.Yu. Nuclear Power Plant Radioactive Waste and Methods of Handling Them. Kiev. Institute of NPP Safety Problems of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine Publ., 2005, 487 p. (in Russian).
  9. Arutyunyan R.V., Bolshov L.A., Borovoy A.A., Velikhov E.P. System Analysis of the Causes and Consequences of the Accident at the Fukushima61 NPP. Moscow. Nuclear Safety Institute of RAS Publ., 2018, 408 p. (in Russian).
  10. Accident at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. Report of the Director General. Vienna. IAEA, 2015, pp. 14-127.
  11. Solovyov S.P. Accidents and Incidents at Nuclear Power Plants. Obninsk. IATE Publ., 1992, 300 p. (in Russian).
  12. Barbin N.M., Titov S.A., Kobelev A.M. Accidents that Occurred at Nuclear Power Plants in 1952-1972. IOP Conf. Series: Earth and Environmental Science. 666 (2021) 022018; DOI: https://doi.org/10.1088/1755-1315/666/2/022018 .
  13. Barbin N.M., Titov S.A., Kobelev A.M. Analysis of Accidents and Incidents What Happened at Nuclear Power Plants in Russia from 1992 to 2019. IOP Conf. Series: Earth and Environmental Science. 988 (2022) 022026; DOI: https://doi.org/10.1088/1755-1315/988/2/022026 .
  14. Titov S.A., Barbin N.M., Kobelev A.M. Emergency Situations that Occurred at Nuclear Power Plants During the Period 1952 – 1991. Tekhnosfernaya Bezopasnost’. 2021, no. 4 (33), pp. 113-125. Available at: https://uigps.ru/userfls/ufiles/nauka/journals/ttb/TB%2033/14.pdf (accessed Oct. 02, 2022) (in Russian).
  15. Titov S.A. Barbin N.M., Kobelev A.M. The Analysis of Emergency Situations Related to Fires at Nuclear Power Plants. Pozharovzryvobezopasnost. 2021, v. 30, no. 5, pp. 66-75; DOI: https://doi.org/10.22227/0869-7493.2021.30.05.66-75 (in Russian).
  16. Dillon Byb. S. Safety, Reliability, the Human Factor and Human Errors at Nuclear Power Plants. 2017, pp. 62-88; DOI: https://doi.org/10.1201/b22260-7 .
  17. Yakovlev R.M., Obukhova I.A. On the Way to Safe Nuclear Energy. Biosfera. 2017, no. 2, pp. 123-135; DOI: https://doi.org/10.24855/biosfera.v9i2.354 (in Russian).
  18. Safety of Nuclear Power Plant: Design. Vienna. IAEA, 2016, 99 p. Available at: https://regelwerk.grs.de/sites/default/files/cc/dokumente/SSR-2_1%20Rev%201.pdf (accessed Oct. 02, 2022).
  19. Evaluation of the Status of National Nuclear Infrastructure Development. Vienna. IAEA, 2009, 82 p.

nuclear power plants emergency events accidents incidents reactors statistical and system analysis technical malfunctions

Link for citing the article: Titov S.A., Barbin N.M. Emergencies at Nuclear Power Plants for the Period 1952 – 2012, Evaluated According to the International Scale of Nuclear Events INES. Izvestiya vuzov. Yadernaya Energetika. 2023, no. 1, pp. 96-107; DOI: https://doi.org/10.26583/npe.2023.1.08 (in Russian).