• 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
    the world's 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.
    An Emergency Response System is set up in support of the conventions.
  • In December, the Rarotonga Treaty enters into force, for establishing a nuclear-weapon-free zone
    in the South Pacific and requiring IAEA safeguards.

     
    Review of the Chernobyl accident at an international meeting at the IAEA in August 1986