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Other incidents (and one 'accident') have been completely confined to the plant.
Apart from Chernobyl, no nuclear workers or members of the public have ever died as a result of exposure to radiation due to a commercial nuclear reactor incident.
In avoiding such accidents the industry has been very successful.
In over 17,000 cumulative reactor-years of commercial operation in 32 countries, there have been only three major accidents to nuclear power plants - Three Mile Island, Chernobyl, and Fukushima - the second being of little relevance to reactor design outside the old Soviet bloc.
No industry is immune from accidents, but all industries learn from them.
In civil aviation, there are accidents every year and each is meticulously analysed.
With nuclear power, the high energy density makes the potential hazard obvious, and this has always been factored into the design of nuclear power plants.
The use of nuclear energy for electricity generation can be considered extremely safe.
Every year several thousand people die in coal mines to provide this widely used fuel for electricity.
The safety of operating staff is a prime concern in nuclear plants.
Radiation exposure is minimised by the use of remote handling equipment for many operations in the core of the reactor.