Nuclear power has something of a checkered history.
The Soviet government released little information about the accident, but was forced to evacuate 10,000 people in the affected area after reports surfaced of people's skin literally falling off.The radiation is estimated to have directly caused the deaths of 200 people due to cancer.The reactor's power fell to less than one percent, and so the power had to be slowly increased to 25 percent.Just a few seconds after facility operators began the test, however, the power surged unexpectedly and the reactor's emergency shutdown failed. The reactor's fuel elements ruptured and there was a violent explosion.About 200,000 people had to be permanently relocated after the disaster.
IAEA reported in 2005 that 56 deaths could be linked directly to the accident.
During a routine test, the plant's safety systems were turned off to prevent any interruptions of power to the reactor.
The reactor was supposed to be powered down to 25 percent of capacity, but this is when the problems began.
The water was able to put the fire out without an explosion.
It is estimated that 200 people in Britain developed cancer because of Windscale, half of them fatal.
The fuel rods melted after reaching a temperature over 3,600 degrees Fahrenheit.