The Environment Chronicle Notable environmental events between 1990 and 1999 Deselect
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- 1920 1 Event (Disaster)
- 1930 1 Event (Disaster)
- 1940 2 Events (Disaster)
- 1950 6 Events (Disaster)
- 1960 8 Events (Disaster)
- 1970 19 Events (Disaster)
- 1980 28 Events (Disaster)
- 1990 57 Events (Disaster)
- 2000 3 Events (Disaster)
- 2001 4 Events (Disaster)
- 2002 4 Events (Disaster)
- 2003 2 Events (Disaster)
- 2004 3 Events (Disaster)
- 2005 2 Events (Disaster)
- 2006 4 Events (Disaster)
- 2007 9 Events (Disaster)
- 2008 10 Events (Disaster)
- 2009 22 Events (Disaster)
- 2010 11 Events (Disaster)
- 2011 21 Events (Disaster)
- 2012 10 Events (Disaster)
- 2013 20 Events (Disaster)
- 2014 10 Events (Disaster)
- 2015 7 Events (Disaster)
- 2016 3 Events (Disaster)
- 2017 3 Events (Disaster)
- 2018 1 Event (Disaster)
- 2019 0 Events (Disaster)
The Gulf War oil spill was one of the largest oil spills in history, resulting from the Gulf War in 1991. The apparent strategic goal was to foil a potential landing by US Marines. It also made commandeering oil reserves dangerous for US forces as visibility and movement were inhibited. The immediate reports from Baghdad said that American air strikes had caused a discharge of oil from two tankers. Coalition forces determined the main source of oil to be the Sea Island terminal in Kuwait. On January 26, three US F-117 fighter-bombers destroyed pipelines to prevent further spillage into the Persian Gulf. Several other sources of oil were found to be active: tankers and a damaged Kuwaiti oil refinery near Mina Al Ahmadi, tankers near Bubiyan Island, and Iraq's Mina Al Bakr terminal.
The cruiser "Moby Prince" rams the tanker "Agip Abruzzo". 140 die, the Mediterranean is polluted with a large amount of oil.
The "Haven" catches fire and sinks in the Mediterranean, carrying 143,000 t crude oil.
The "ABT Summer", carrying 260,000 t oil, catches fire off the coast of Angola.
Documentation of accidents in industrial facilities or involving hazardous substances. 2 editions.
A faulty pipe allows a large cloud of gaseous chlorine to escape into a production facility at the Buna AG in Schkopau. At least 186 sustain serious respiratory damage.
The Katina P. loses 72,000 t oil.
The Aegean Sea strikes a rock off the coast of Spain, spilling 1,000 t crude oil into the bay of La Coruna.
The surrounding area is seriously contaminated by an o-nitroanisole mixture. Irritation of the eyes, nose and skin, as well as digestive system, suffered by at least 192, doctors report increased incidence of allergies and infections in the affected area.
The Braer suffers mechanical problems and is driven towards the Shetland Islands, where it breaks up, spilling c. 85,000 t crude oil into the sea.
The Danish supertanker "Maersk Navigator" is rammed off the coast of Sumatra and loses an unknown amount of oil.
On August 10, 1993, a freighter and two tug-assisted barges collided near the entrance of Tampa Bay, Florida. The collision resulted in a fire on one of the barges and caused a major oil spill. Over 32,000 gallons of jet fuel, diesel, and gasoline and about 330,000 gallons of heavy fuel oil spilled from the barges. Despite emergency cleanup efforts, the oil fouled 13 miles of beaches and caused injury to birds, sea turtles, mangrove habitat, seagrasses, salt marshes, shellfish beds, water column resources and bottom sediments.
On 8 December 1993 the French-flag container ship Sherbro lost a number of containers overboard in the English Channel. As a result, hundreds of thousands of plastic sachets containing the pesticide Apron plus entered the sea and were subsequently washed up on the coasts of France, Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany.
On 13 March 1994 the oil tanker Nassia and the cargo vessel Shipbroker collided in the Bosporus strait. At the time of the accident the Nassia was carrying 98,600 tons of crude oil. Both vessel immediately caught fire. The accident caused extensive marine and air pollution in the Straits, Black Sea and the Sea of Marmara.
On 20 June 1994 the Apollo Sea, a bulk ore carrier, sank near Dassen Island on the west coast, South Africa. She was carrying some 2 400 tonnes of fuel oil at that time. The oil spill had a major impact on the coastline of the Cape Peninsula. Besides affecting large numbers of African penguins, the amenity beaches in the area were also badly polluted.
Sodium circulating in the secondary system (loop C) breaks the casing of the cylindrical thermometer, which explodes and cause the sodium to burn in the main system. Sodium escaped from loop C (source: Greenpeace).
Disastrous fire caused by improper welding work. The fire kills 17, injures about 20 and impairs the health of a further 100.
The "Sea Empress" strikes a rock off the Welsh coast and spills c. 70,000 t crude, killing dolphins, seals, rare sea birds and crustaceans.
Vynilchloride released in a rail accident. At least 328 suffer impaired health: irritation of the eyes, nose and skin, also gastrointestinal problems.
Reactor block 2 must be shut down when the sealing rings on one of the four pumps in the main cooling system overheats (source: Greenpeace).
The Russian tanker Nachodka capsizes off the coast of Japan with 17,000 t oil.
A Russian tanker breaks up and sinks in the seas off Japan. Helicopters and a lifeboat rescue 31 sailors. The tanker was carrying 19,000 t oil bound for the Russian peninsula Kamschatka. A 1.8 km by 100 m oil slick is subsequently observed.
In thick fog north-west of Dunkirk, the Mexican chemicals tanker "Teoatl" collides with the Bahaman registered "Bona Fulmar". A 3x4 m hole is punched in the Bona Fulmar's stern, from which some 4,500 m_ petrol escape into the sea. The rest of the cargo was pumped into other tanks. Since the petrol evaporates quickly, there is no threat to the coastlines, the Teoatle was carrying no cargo.
After an explosion, the "ML Petron" spills 200,000 l oil off the south coast of the Philippines.
During the night, c. 12 t toxic toluyl-endiamin escape, damaging the paintwork on c. 100 cars. The operator claims that no humans were harmed.
The "Diamond Grace", registered in Panama, runs aground near Tokyo and loses c. 1,500 t oil.
A defective pump floods part of the cooling system in reactor B (which was shut down at the time). Even when not in operation, the entire basin containing a reactor core must be cooled. Failure in the cooling system can cause serious problems (source: Greenpeace).
Due to a problem in the cooling system, the Ukrainian reactor must be shut down, and radioactive cooling water escapes (source: Greenpeace).
Toxic chemicals in water from a burst dam belonging to a mine contaminate the Coto de Donana nature reserve in southern Spain. C. 5 million m_ of mud containing sulphur, lead, copper, zinc and cadmium flow down the Rio Guadimar. Experts estimate that Europe's largest bird sanctuary, as well as Spain's agriculture and fisheries, will suffer permanent damage from the pollution.
During the search for a leak in the turbine oil system, human error leads to a dramatic rise in steam pressure. After an emergency shut-down, it emerged that a valve which had been wrongly shut by hand could not be opened. There were no radioactive emissions, but the incident scored 2 on the INES scale of 1-7 (source: Greenpeace).
A fuel element becomes jammed during a routine inspection. The Lower Saxony Environment Ministry claims that a radioactive leak could have resulted, if the fuel element had been damaged (source: Greenpeace).
Two leaks appear in separate cooling loops. The Hessian Environment Ministry and the operator RWE differ in their assessment of the seriousness of the incident (source: Greenpeace).
During maintenance, for which the station was shut down on the 19th July, a safety screw on the control rods in the reactor's pressure tank was found to be loose, and the thread on the holding bolt was bare. Special tests had earlier found evidence of structural defects in the water feed pipes (source: Greenpeace).
A second loose screw is found near the control rods in the pressure tank. The operators concede that the "finding indicates systemic errors" (source: Greenpeace).
As in October, slightly radioactive water leaks from a defective weld in the water feed to Block C (source: Greenpeace).
After a breakdown in the security lock, the French nuclear power station in Alsace is shut down. The incident rates a 1 on the 7-point INES scale (source: Greenpeace).
Defects in the earthquake protection system are found in all four reactors in the French power station. In case of an earthquake, this could cause the control systems to fail (source: Greenpeace).
An employee is killed during a fire at the nuclear power station north of Moscow. The fire was caused by painting work in the ventilation shafts. Both reactors continued to operate, further damage is unknown (source: Greenpeace).
On February 4, 1999, the supertanker New Carissa ran aground near Coos Bay/ Oregon leaking about 70,000 gallons of oil and killing 2,300 seabirds.
The simplest safety work at the nuclear power station near St Petersburg (of the same type as that at Chernobyl) is now subject to delays of at least 2 years. A burst pipe in the cooling system is still not under control (source: Greenpeace).