1. On 7 March 1980 the oil tanker Tanio, carrying 26.000 tonnes fuel oil, broke in two during violent weather conditions off the coast of Brittany, France. As a result approximately 13.500 tonnes of cargo oil was spilled. Strong northwest winds moved the oil towards the Breton coast. The spilled oil contaminated about 200km of coastline to varying degrees.

  2. Fish stocks die due to lack of oxygen in the Baltic Sea.

  3. The "Globe Asami" loses c. 16,000 t oil on the Memel in Russia. Several thousand birds die.

  4. Fish stocks die due to lack of oxygen in the Baltic Sea.

  5. The "Assimi" loses 53,000 t oil near Muscat, off the coast of Oman.

  6. Leaks in some 20 fuel elements allow radioactive iodine 131 into the cooling water, with which it reacts. Since the iodine filters were not designed to remove some of the compounds now present in the exhaust gas, emissions of iodine 131 exceed permitted levels (source: Greenpeace).

  7. The Spanish supertanker "Castillo de Bellver" spills c. 155,000 t oil, before it is sunk, still holding c. 100,000 t.

  8. Greenpeace divers reveal that radioactive oil sludge is leaking from the waste pipes of the British reprocessing plant at Sellafield. 40 km of coastline are cordoned off.

  9. The Sellafield nuclear reprocessing plant in England contaminates the sea by releasing radioactive water.

  10. A defective tank at the Union Carbide pesticide factory in Bhopal leaks methylisocyanate, resulting in 3,400 deaths and c. 200,000 serious injuries.

  11. In the Federal Republic of Germany a smog alarm of level III was declared for the first time. Mainly the western Ruhr Basin was affected. Level III of the Smog Ordinance included a temporal ban on driving for private cars. The industrial production had to be reduced. The matter was the so-called "London-Smog". The interaction of fog and smoke prevented the pollutants to dissolve in the air. This kind of smog has become rare in the western industrial countries due to numerous counteractive measures.

  12. Tests later showed that the entire high pressure cooling system was not in working order. Only a small leak in the primary cooling system would very probably have caused a meltdown (source: Greenpeace).

  13. Following a fire and minor explosion in one of the four reactors in the Ukrainian atomic power station Chernobyl, 10,000 km2 of the surrounding area is contaminated radioactively, affecting 640 communities and 230,000 inhabitants. There are 35 immediate fatalities, and opinion is still divided as to the extent of the long-term consequences.

  14. During a serious accident at a chemicals plant in Basel, the waste water system lets c. 400 l of atrazine (a crop protection agent) into the Rhine.

  15. Water used to extinguish a major fire carries c. 30 t fungicide containing mercury into the Upper Rhine. Fish are killed over a stretch of 100 km. The shock drives many FEA projects forwards. See also "Pollution of the Rhine at Basel / Sandoz".

  16. The "Herald of Free Enterprise" capsizes off Zebrugge, killing 193. Some of the vehicles aboard are carrying dangerous loads, which pollute the North Sea.

  17. When a valve which had been accidentally left open is repaired, 107 l of cooling water are released (source: Greenpeace).

  18. Seepage of mineral fertilisers (phosphates) causes chrysochromulina algae to explode in the coastal seas. Life in the upper regions of the sea is suffocated.

  19. In January 1988, a four-million gallon oil storage tank owned by Ashland Oil Company, Inc., split apart and collapsed at an Ashland oil storage facility located in Floreffe, Pennsylvania, near the Monongahela River. The tank split while being filled to capacity for the first time after it had been dismantled and moved from an Ohio location and reassembled at the Floreffe facility. The split released diesel oil over the tank's containment dikes, across a parking lot on an adjacent property, and into an uncapped storm drain that emptied directly into the river. Within minutes the oil slick moved miles down river, washing over two dam locks and dispersing throughout the width and depth of the river. The oil was carried by the Monongahela River into the Ohio River, temporarily contaminating drinking water sources for an estimated one million people in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Ohio, contaminating river ecosystems and killing wildlife.

  20. The cargo ship "Anne Broere" sinks with c. 248 hl of toxic acrylonitrile.

  21. An electrical fault closes all the valves in the main steam system. An unsuccessful attempt to open them manually creates a shock wave in the steam lines, which can fortunately withstand the pressure. Otherwise, a meltdown could have been the result (source: Greenpeace).

  22. On 10 November 1988, the Liberian tanker Odyssey, almost fully loaded with a cargo of 132,157 tonnes of crude oil, broke in half and sank 700 nautical miles off the coast of Newfoundland in the Atlantic.

  23. The Argentinian tanker and supply ship "Bahia Paraiso" strikes a rock south of Cape Horn and sinks. 1,000 t diesel form a 10 km long oil slick on the hitherto untouched coast of the Antarctic.

  24. The "Bahia Paraiso" spills c. 680 t diesel oil.

  25. The Exxon Valdez runs aground on a reef (the captain was drunk), losing c. 40,000 t crude oil. 7,000 km of coastline are polluted, the cleanup and compensation for the State of Alaska and affected residents cost 2.5 billion US$. An additional fine of 15 billion US$ was demanded.

  26. When the freighter "Oostzee" enters heavy seas, some of the 4,000 barrels of epichlorhydrin begin to leak, although extensive salvage efforts prevent a catastrophe.

  27. The Khark 5 explodes north of the Canary Islands, losing c. 70,000 t light crude oil.

  28. The "Aragon" loses c. 25,000 t oil.