Go to Home Page
  Key Issues Nuclear Weapons Issues Accidents 2000s

Accidents: 2000s


15 February: After a steam generator ruptured in New York’s Indian Point II power plant, a small amount of radioactive steam was leaked, but not enough to threaten the safety of the public.

12 August: The Kursk, Russia’s Northern Fleet nuclear submarine, sank into 354 feet of water while completing exercises in the Barents Sea, with 118 sailors aboard, after a torpedo exploded on board. Although 23 members were able to gather in a dry compartment with hopes of being rescued, Norwegian divers declared everyone aboard dead due to the flooding of the submarine that they found.

Printer Friendly

See Also
Back to Nuclear Accidents Home


21 February: The Greenville, a 360-foot U.S. Navy submarine based at Pearl Harbor, sinks a Japanese trawler after colliding with it, killing nine civilians aboard the fishing boat.


6 March: A foot long cavity was discovered in the reactor vessel head at Ohio’s Davis-Besse nuclear plant. Borated water had decomposed the metal to a 3/16 inch stainless steel liner which held back over 80,000 gallons of highly pressurized radioactive water.

23 October: An unidentified nuclear submarine caught fire while at Sevmorput shipyard in Russia. Reports did not disclose what submarine it was, if there were any casualties, and if any radiation leaked out.


5 March: A Sierra I class submarine from Russia caught on fire while it was in a dry dock at Roslyakovo shipyard. The fire was put out, and no casualties or radiation discharge were reported, although the rubber coating was damaged. The cause was unknown.

23 March: Vladimir Kuroyedov declares Russia’s nuclear battleship, the “Peter the Great” as a risk of exploding at any time, and demands it be rushed back to port after taking a tour. Most think this is an exaggeration.

25 October: USS Hartford (US sub) ran aground north of Sardinia, Italy in the Mediterranean Sea. The US tried to hide the accident, but when relatives of the crew found out that the submarine trip was cut short by a month, they began to speak to the media. It hit the rocky bottom so hard that rudders, sonar and other electronic equipment were severely damaged. Italy was furious about the cover up.


17 February: During nuclear war exercises including battle ships, bomber aircrafts, and six nuclear ballistic missile and general purpose submarines in Russia with President Vladimir Putin onboard one of the ballistic missile submarines, a ballistic nuclear missile failed to fire from the Novomoskovsk. It was a great embarrassment to Northern Fleet commanders, as the enemy would not have gotten any reciprocation had it attacked or been an actual war.

9 August: In Mihama, Japan, non-radioactive steam leaked from a nuclear power plant, killing four workers and severely burning seven others. It was considered Japan’s worst nuclear accident.


7 January: The USS San Francisco hit an uncharted sea mountain underwater, causing 23 injuries and 1 death, due to human collisions with mechanisms inside the submarine. According to the US Navy, there were no environmental effects and there was no damage to the submarine’s weapons systems.

1 August: The third compartment of a submarine located at Zvyozdochka, in Russia, that was stripped of its nuclear fuel and reactors, and was being dismantled for scrap metal caught on fire, leaving two workers, ages 18 and 22, dead. The welding torch ignited fuel vapor that had built up in one compartment of the submarine.


26 July: One of the nuclear submarines from Russia’s Northern Fleet suffered a leak in the first reactor circuit. Crew members who got rid of the leakage were sent to the hospital, as some Russian Navy representatives stated that the water was radioactive and others stated it was not.

6 September: Two crew members were killed and one was injured during a fire that broke out on a Victor III class submarine K-414 belonging to the Russian Northern Fleet during a routine patrol. According to reports, the K-414 was overdue for maintenance checks. There was no threat of a radiation leak or nuclear pollution.

12 September: At the Kjeller reactor (known as the Jeep II) in Norway, there was a leak in a pump used with the recombination circuit. The Norwegian Institute for Energy Technology said radiation seeped out for about 15 minutes. This was not the first time that there was an accident at the Kjeller reactor; there were 3 serious accidents from 2001 to 2006.
2November: A fire took place on the Russian K-317 nuclear submarine during repairs at Severodvinsk.


26 July: A submarine undergoing repairs to its high air pressure system endured excessive air pressure, resulting in an explosion at the Northern Russian naval repair yard in Severodivnsk. The explosion caused no damage, no injuries or deaths, and no radiation escaped.

21 March: While using a back up ventilation system on a Royal Navy nuclear attack submarine, the HMS Tireless, an explosion occurred, killing two sailors and injuring one. The nuclear reactor was not affected, and there was only minimal damage to the submarine. The reason for the sailors using the back up system was unknown and had to undergo investigation.


2 September: The German government confirmed that the Asse II facility, a nuclear waste storage that held 126,000 barrels of waste, has a leak, and has been leaking for over twenty years. After this confirmation, Germany was forced to think about another place for storing all the waste.

8 November: Twenty sailors were killed and twenty-one injured on a Russian Akula Class attack submarine during sea trials held in the Sea of Japan. These victims suffocated from freezing and toxic liquid Freon gas from a faulty fire suppression system. The siren to alert the crew that there was danger may have been delayed, according to authorities. No radiation accidents were reported.


3 February: British and French submarines loaded with nuclear weapons collided in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. Both submarines were powered by nuclear reactors. According to reports, the French submarine was able to return to its port under its own power; the British submarine was towed back to port. The British submarine suffered significant damage to the propeller area in the rear, and the French craft was heavily damaged at the front.