On 26 April, a disastrous nuclear power plant accident at the Chernobyl site
in the USSR destroys
unit-4 of the reactor, causes deaths and injuries, and
releases radiation across national boundaries;
it is first internationally
detected and reported by experts in Sweden and Finland.
- In August, the IAEA
becomes the site for post-accident review conference, which provides
first authoritative account of the accident. The IAEA's Laboratories are mobilized
to analyze and assess Chernobyl's radiological impact.
- In September, following
work of preparatory groups of experts, IAEA Member States adopt two international
safety conventions on early notification of a nuclear accident and emergency
assistance and response, and endorse an expanded nuclear safety programme.
Response System is set up in support of the conventions.
December, the Rarotonga
Treaty enters into force, for establishing a nuclear-weapon-free zone
in the South Pacific and requiring IAEA safeguards.