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China Syndrome

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by CATO, Aug 6, 2011.

  1. CATO

    CATO Monkey+++

    My wife and I just got through watching China Syndrome on TV and I was telling her some of the theories on what would happen to these plants if there was an EMP...in addition to many assertions that I thought the movie was commie propaganda from the anti-nuke hippies of the day.

    Further discussion took us back to core melt-down at Three-Mile Island in 1979. I was only 7 or 8 at the time, so I only have a vague recollection of it, so I looked it up on Wiki.

    When I saw the date of the accident, March 28, 1979, I commented that "Hey, wouldn't it be something if the movie happened before the real event...the statistical probability of that happening is very improbable." So, I got on IMDB and looked the release date for the movie: March 16, 1979.

    The China Syndrome (1979) - IMDb

    Twelve days...the movie still playing in theaters and then the real thing happens. That should surely convince the public that nuclear energy is not safe, eh? :cool: Very coincidental...or, perhaps the problem had a little help. We can see throughout history that problems at nuclear plants are a rarity, so the odds of this one happening a week and a half after the release of the movie are also rare.

    Three Mile Island accident - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    True believers: these are the kind of people that believe so strongly on an issue and know they are right, but just can't prove it with the current data, that they are willing to help nature just a bit by intervening (think back to fudging of all the global warming data to support the scientists' claims. They KNEW there is global warming and it is harming the planet, but, the data don't show it...so, they fudged the number to coincide with what the believed to be true). I think scientists do this a lot...I have even witnessed it.

    So, what are the odds that the 3MI incident had a little help from true believers? To put another way, to what extent would true believers go to prove their point, given that if 3MI had turned out worse, a large portion of PA would've been uninhabitable for a while (much like Chernobyl)?

    (Mods: maybe this should go in the Tin Foil Hat Lounge...feel free to re-locate)
    Gordo likes this.
  2. gunbunny

    gunbunny Never Trust A Bunny

    I too was only 7 years old when the incident at TMI occurred. You have an interesting theory, but I'm not inclined to believe that that was what happened. I'm not trying to be a downer, I have my reasons.

    I worked at TMI during one of the many scheduled refueling outages, and worked side-by-side with engineers that were present when the plant had a partial meltdown. I worked in the ghost town of reactor building two and the empty (except for one lonely operator) control room.

    What happened there was human error and egotism, plain and simple. The reactor cooling system was doing it's job, the plant was shutting down thew way it was designed to, but one of the controllers second-guessed the system and made the mistake of acting on his huntch. The engineers there talk about the incident with great remorse, and sadness.

    What happened was truely a pivital event in the history of our industrialized society. If this event had not happened, four more reactors would be on Three Mile Island, suppling almost 20 megawatts of electricity to the northern East coast. I'm sure there would be quite a few more plants everywhere else, too.

    Would this have been better for us? seesaw Hard to say, but probably not. Like peak oil, some say that we have surpassed peak uranium. We would probably have three times the nuclear waste than the heaping gob we have now.

    Nothing made by the hands of man is infallable, and Japan is a good reminder of that. TMI is in a geoloical stable area, but everything is still designed for a certain level (I don't remember- so sue me! I don't live where there is seismic activity, so the richter scale doesn't mean much to me) of a quake. The containment building was designed to take a direct impact from a fully loaded 747 because Harrisburg International Airport is just a few miles away and on the flightpath with the runway.

    So, with everything that I've seen, and all the people that I've met, I don't believe what you propose is what happened. I'm still not throwing it completely out either, as there is always a probability of anything.
    Falcon15 likes this.
  3. ghrit

    ghrit Ambulatory anachronism Administrator Founding Member

    Those of you that really have an interest in what happened at TMI, glom onto a copy of the Rogovin Report. Lays it out from start to end of the accident itself.
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