Multiple Nuclear Meltdowns

Discussion in 'General Survival and Preparedness' started by Silversnake, Jul 16, 2014.

  1. Silversnake

    Silversnake Silverback

    Worldwide, there are upwards of 450 civil nuclear reactors, 250-plus research reactors, a hundred or so nuclear ships and thousands of nuclear warheads. Including those all in this thread may be mixing some apples and oranges.

    For the group, what would worldwide contamination look like after a Black Swan (global pandemic, EMP, etc.)? Is it survivable? How does it change what one may do to survive and endure?

    I would expect the PTB in the US and Western Europe to work through the Black Swan to some degree to achieve cold shutdown, but that means secure convoys carrying diesel or other power and manning with life support (food, water and security) to all of the reactors being shut down. China or Russia might not do as well as the West, or they may do much better.

    Clearly, location of long-term settlement is the starting point for having the best chance at this. (The Mat-Su Valley may be calling me back again).

    Anyway, I don't know what I don't know and there is a tremendous amount of knowledge on the members here, so have at it. Thanks.
  3. BTPost

    BTPost Old Fart Snow Monkey Moderator

    The issue in that Senerio is keeping the Reactor Core COOL, until All the residual Nuclear Heat has been dissipated. In the Fukushima Incident, this wouldn't have been an Issue, at ALL, IF the PowerLines that the Plants were feeding, to the Grid, had been Functional, instead of being destroyed by the Earthquake. If they had continued to function, there would have been NO NEED for the BackUp Generators to function, at all, which they did, right up until the Tsunami flooded the Generator Bays, which were closeto the shoreline. At Three Mile Island, the issue was a Stuck Valve that dumped the Primary Cooling Water from the System and the Instrumentation didn't allow the Inadequately trained Plant Operators to recognize the Issue, and they thought that there was "To Much Cooling Water" instead of what was really happening "To little Cooling Water" in the Primary System. The Backup Cooling System couldn't coming OnLine, because it's Main Valves were NOT Operational due to Routine Maintenance. This was a DIRECT Violation of the NRC Operation Rules. The Operators realized, their Mistake in understanding what the Real Issue was. In the mean time the Reactor Core Melted, when it became Uncovered by the loss of Cooling Water, in the Primary Cooling System. In these type of Nuclear Power Plants Cooling Water is EVERYTHING. If you got it, you are COOL, if NOT you are in the Deep End of the ShitPool, and had better be working on the Backup Plan quickly.... Because if the Core comes uncovered, it Melts, and if it melts, you just can't then go in and remove the Fuel Rods, to SAFE the Plant. To Bad for YOU, and your Neighbors......
    Yard Dart, Silversnake and Brokor like this.
  4. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    Partially inaccurate. The Rogovin Report ( has the details on TMI. An excellent, easy read, non technical, and accurate as verified by a friend of mine that was there.
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2014
  5. Brokor

    Brokor Live Free or Cry Moderator Site Supporter+++ Founding Member

    I think this report to assess the threat to the United States from EMP attack is a decent read.
    Link: Other - EMP Attack Assessment (start on page 49)

    Also, start on page 95 (Chapter 5) for an introduction to Petroleum and Natural Gas and their vulnerabilities to an EMP attack.
  6. Silversnake

    Silversnake Silverback

    Good input so far. The nature of the Black Swan in this thread is irrelevant (EMP, zombie plague, etc). The main questions here are if, say, half of the world's nuclear reactors melt down, 1) how bad will contamination be (local, regional, and global) ? and 2) What can be done about it?
  7. Brokor

    Brokor Live Free or Cry Moderator Site Supporter+++ Founding Member

    Huge "if", very bad. Nothing short term. I wonder what would cause the hypothetical situation you described? As far as I see it, I do not classify EMP attack in the same category as "zombie plagues". In fact, the United States has thus far taken EMP attack threats very lightly, and as the report I linked has shown, we can suffer months and years before any moderate repairs could be made to our infrastructure. The nuclear facilities rank high in protection due to back up systems and training, but are also susceptible to losing their electronic controls to EMP. I would not brush off this threat lightly. Even a natural event from solar flares could be catastrophic.
  8. Silversnake

    Silversnake Silverback

    It seems the main, long-term radioactive culprit in this scenario will be Cesium 137 with a half-live of 30 years. It will take 210 years for it to decay to 1% of its original radioactivity levels at release. Cs 137 mostly (95%) decays by beta decay (electron discharge) which is ionizing radiation with limited penetration of tissue. This makes is more of a risk when ingested or inhaled since it won't penetrate enough tissue to escape the body. It is water soluble as a salt and behave similarly to potassium. Known Cs 137 ingestion has a biological half-life of 70 days, which can be cut to 30 days with administration of Prussian Blue.
  9. Silversnake

    Silversnake Silverback

    From Wikipedia article about the Chernobyl incident

    Of the 440,350 wild boar killed in the 2010 hunting season in Germany, over 1000 were found to be contaminated with levels of radiation above the permitted limit of 600 becquerels per kilogram, due to residual radioactivity from Chernobyl.[125] Germany has "banned wild game meat because of contamination linked to radioactive mushrooms"
  10. Silversnake

    Silversnake Silverback

    It also appears the Alienation Zone around Chernobyl is 19 miles in radius from the plant and will be not be able to be safely inhabited for 20,000 years.
  11. kellory

    kellory An unemployed Jester, is nobody's fool. Banned

    Prime real estate, and a buyer's market, if you think in the long term, and can afford to wait on your investment....[sarc1]
  12. Silversnake

    Silversnake Silverback

    The cesium is water soluble and after Chernobyl, most of it fell regionally and was either bound in soil or washed into closed lakes. I'd like to see a map with all the reactors with down wind hazard maps based on prevailing weather patterns. Weather moisture at time of incident must be a key factor, but difficult to predict.
  13. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    Each reactor site (in the US, at least) is required to do an environmental assessment prior to permitting. These assessments include exactly those maps with probabilities, and are part of the public record. I've not looked for any of them on line, but there's little doubt that they are available.
    gunbunny, Brokor and Silversnake like this.


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