We do a lot of talking about electrical power in the prepping and survival community: specifically, how we can survive without it. But surviving without electrical power isn’t the only way that we should be concerned about it. Electrical power production can be dangerous in and of itself, especially when we talk about things like nuclear power.
There are plenty of statistics around, which show just how safe nuclear power is. But there are also some rather spectacular examples of accidents involving nuclear power plants.
While nuclear power is safe, when all those safety measures fail, the results can be catastrophic. All anyone has to do is mention nuclear power and people instantly remember the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster of 2011, the Chernobyl disaster in 1986 and the Three Mile Island accident in 1979. Those aren’t the only reactor accidents, by the way; but they three of the top five.
We currently have 60 commercially operated nuclear power plants, containing a total of 98 nuclear reactors. Surprisingly, the state of Illinois has the most, with a total of 11 operating reactors. A total of 12 states generate more than 30% of their power through the use of nuclear power.
Related: Alphabetical List of Operating Nuclear Power Reactors by Name
In addition to these, there are another 39 smaller nuclear reactors which are not used for the generation of electrical power, but are housed in research facilities. These reactors produce radioisotopes for nuclear medicine, as well as being used in training and as laboratory tools. Some are working on developing new technologies, seeking to make nuclear power even safer for use.
Our fleet of nuclear power plants is aging though, with the average age being 39 years. That’s fairly serious, when we consider that they have been designed to last a mere 50 years. The oldest of those plants entered service in 1969, putting it over that 50 year threshold. That’s only one of four which have already surpassed their expected service life.
On the other end of that scale, there is only one nuclear power plant which is less than 20 years old. Thanks to environmental activists, it is extremely difficult to open nuclear power plants, even though it is one of the cleanest forms of energy production there is.
How Much Risk is There?
In today’s day and age, the big question isn’t so much how many reactors we have or whether they are inherently safe, but whether anyone could make them unsafe. Stories abound about hackers trying to break into our electrical grid, including our nuclear power plant. There’s even one story about some foreign power hacking into one of our nuclear power plants and taking control of it for several hours.
The potential damage that could be caused by someone taking control of one of our reactors is definitely something to be concerned about. Can you imagine the panic that would occur if one of the recent ransomware attacks that have hit our country were to have been aimed against one of our nuclear power plants? Or how about if the pilots who flew those airliners into the twin towers on 9-11 had aimed for a nuclear power plant instead?
The truth of the matter is, with people who are willing to do anything, including putting their own lives on the table as gambling chips, our nuclear power plants are vulnerable to attack. While I have been assured that the computer controls to those plants are not tied into the internet or any other network, making them supposedly impervious to hacking, all it would take is one unscrupulous worker accepting a bribe to make them vulnerable. There are also many ways in which a direct attack on one of the plants could be catastrophic.
Related: The First Thing You Should Do After a Nuclear Attack
Our big question isn’t whether something could happen to a nuclear power plant, but how bad it would be and whether or not we should be concerned. That will vary for all of us, depending on how close we live to one of those plants. Even the 19 states which don’t have a nuclear power plant could be at risk of fallout, if a plant were to be destroyed upwind of them.
Nuclear Emergency Planning Zones
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has established two different types of emergency planning zones (EPZs) around every nuclear reactor in the country. The closer in zone is called the “plume exposure pathway EPZ” and extends about 10 miles in every direction around a nuclear plant.
The big concern in this case, is the inhalation of airborne radioactive contamination. The farther zone is called the “ingestion pathway EPZ” and is concerned with food and liquids which might become contaminated and then ingested. This zone extends roughly 50 miles around the power plant.
As the power plants are constantly monitored, with extensive redundancy in the monitoring methods used, the NRC expects to be able to issue warnings and alerts should any unexpected radiation escape from one of our nuclear power plants.
But there is ample reason to question these EPZs, based upon past nuclear accidents. Japanese officials weren’t able to determine a proper safe zone from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station. As a compromise, they set a distance of just 30 km, with the first 20 km being a mandatory evacuation zone and the following 10 km being voluntary.
Many organizations, including the UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) came out saying that 30 km wasn’t far enough. Several countries, including the United States, recommended that citizens visiting Japan keep a minimum of 80 km away.
Yet radiation from that accident spread from four of the six reactors, contaminating the Pacific Ocean. That radiation, as well as airborne radiation carried by air currents reached the western coast of the United States, killing a considerable amount of marine life.
Related: A Strange Thing That Might Save Your Life in A Nuclear Aftermath
What About Explosion?
One of the big questions about nuclear power plants is whether or not they can explode. This has been a popular theme in science fiction and even a few movies; but in reality, a nuclear power plant cannot produce a fission explosion. The nuclear fuel is too dilute to form the critical mass necessary to produce a chain reaction, leading to an explosion. So at least we’re all safe from that.
While we don’t have to worry about a nuclear explosion from the reactors, that doesn’t mean any of us are safe. The Fukushima accident was created by an earthquake that caused a tsunami. Other similar disasters could cause similar results at literally any other nuclear reactor, anywhere in the world.
Are You in Danger?
Whether or not you are in danger from a nuclear power accident depends mostly on your proximity to a nuclear power plant. Fortunately, this information is public and easy to find. All you have to do is search online for nuclear power plants and you can find the information, either in map form or in list form.
Check the location of nuclear power plants in your state and in neighboring states if you live near the state’s border. If you are outside the 50 mile zone, about the only way that you could be affected by a nuclear power plant catastrophe, would be if someone blew the plant up with a large enough bomb to cast nuclear material into the atmosphere, creating fallout. Other than that, you’re safe.
If you live within the danger zone, I’d recommend having an emergency evacuation plan in place; one which will take you far enough away to keep your family safe. That plan has to be one that you can put into place quickly, so that you can beat everyone else who might be evacuating as well. Don’t stop for anything, including driving back home to pick up your bug out bag. This is the type of disaster where it’s best to take action first, and then do the analysis later.
That means you have to have a supply cache somewhere outside the EPZ, so that you will have basic supplies to use if you find yourself forced to evacuate. I’d recommend establishing it at or near your survival retreat, either at the home of a friend or in a rented storage unit.
What About Fallout?
If someone actually manages to blow up one of our nuclear power plants, sending nuclear material into the upper atmosphere, then the abovementioned EPZs won’t really matter all that much. They weren’t done with that scenario in mind. Nevertheless, if you live within the 10 km zone, I’d still bug out.
The bigger, more difficult question will be about fallout. Where fallout occurs, how long it lasts and how far it extends all depend on the weather. The National Weather Service will be monitoring that, in conjunction with other government agencies. You can be sure that the government will be providing constantly updated information about that.
Evacuation isn’t necessarily required due to fallout, although it isn’t a bad idea. But you can do just as good sheltering in place, in your basement (assuming you have a basement). The fine particles of radioactive material that are fallout won’t penetrate below the ground. So as long as you are in your basement, you’re fairly well protected.
Depending on the situation, you might have to shelter in place for as long as 30 days. That means having enough supplies and other essentials stored in your basement, for your family to survive that long.
You’ll also need such things as bathroom facilities and a means to cook food. Essentially, you’ll need to plan on living in your basement, as if it were a bunker.
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Ok I’ve been in the power industry over 15 years and industrial maintenance my whole life!! Nuclear power is NOT the cleanest source! Hydroelectric power is with zero byproducts!! The genius scientists and engineers never figured out what to do with the waste from Nuclear power other than Hide it underground and hopefully no one finds out that it’s there in there state!!!
But hydro electric power is bad for the fishies. They can’t get past those nasty dams to have sex and lay eggs. That’s one of the reasons the PDRK is having both electrical shortage problems and drought problems as dams that were supposed to be built to supply hydro power and provide water for drought situations were never built and some dams that were built are being taken down so the fishies can swim up stream. There is a huge outcry here in this community to restore the rivers so the steelhead trout which are a pelagic special can swim up river and spawn.
There haven’t been steelhead trout in the 50+ years I have lived here in this town and from old-timers who were here long before I was even a gleam in my pappy’s eye I have gleaned that the last steelhead trout was sighted in local waters sometime in the late 19th century.
The Channel Islands are being restored “to their original condition” by the U.S. Forest Service after they managed to wrest control of them from the families who had owned them since the 19th century.
My only question is: pigmy mastodon skeletons were found on the island. So to restore the islands to “their original condition” one might gather that pigmy mastodons will be once again introduced to the Channel Islands. Query: Where has the U.S. Forest Service been cloning pigmy mastodons?
During the 1st OPEC oil embargo there was a popular bumper sticker in Texas, FREEZE A YANKEE! Back then there was a law passed by old Sam Rayburn and Senator Johnson, The Oil Depletion Allowance , that said, in part, Texas didn’t have to sell oil to the N.E. if we didn’t want to. Them were the days, boys…
Now we need a new bumper sticker on our 400 h.p. pickups, Let Califa Drink Sand! Because we don’t have trout and salmon here, you people need to blow up your dams! Expect us to eat steak every night?
LCC: Kali is going geothermal and they’re slowly taking down dams. The only ones hurt by geo is save the earth fanatics who adhere to Hitler’s green dream, that the earth is man’s only god. I do not like nuke power. When living in PA, Berwick’s plant had a small rumble, very small. Yet it was enough to crack the concrete shields the dems cheated on when building it. 3 Mile Island was another case of cheat construction. niio
Heads up LCC! Today’s News reports California is closing it’s last nuclear energy plant.
In all honesty, I’m a bit more worried about the byproducts than a major event. I can’t imagine byproducts getting into the wrong hands. That along with our wide-open borders equals sleepless nights.
The dirty bomb is a highly overrated threat, it would take an OKC size truck bomb to scatter nuclear waste any distance, at most it might contaminate a couple city blocks. All the casualties would be from the conventional explosion, the main expense would be cleanup. Medical waste is considered more of a dirty bomb threat because of its accessibility and because it can be high in a Cesium isotope that remains radioactive for decades and is hard to clean up.
The border ain’t wide open, the problem in Texas is that the International Boundary is the middle of the Rio Grande River. You can’t build a wall in the river or its floodplain, halfway across the river migrants become our problem, not Mexico’s. Our ancient old fool politicians are incapable of reforming our immigration laws to deal with the problems we’re having. It’s going to be a real mess if 50,000 Haitians come wading across the river, I guess 50,000 illegals/asylum seekers pooping in port a potties under the bridge is the ultimate dirty bomb.
WELL! ONE THING I WOULD LIKE TO KNOW IS WHY! WHY WOULD YOU USE KM ETC.. FOR WE THAT LIVE IN THE US? PLEASE FROM NOW ON USE MI.S ETC.. OK?! AND WHAT IS THE FIRST MAP ABOUT? IF IT IS NOT IMPORTANT WHY IS IT THE FIRST ONE WE SEE? WHAT ARE ALL THE ICONS ON IT AND THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THEM IE. MEANINGS? THANK YOU, I FOR ONE REALLY WANT TO KNOW! FOR ME IT IS REALLY FRUSTRATING PLEASE LET ME KNOW, THANKS
LatteLady: I am deaf but don’t need all caps in posts. That said, making a conversion is quite simple multiply the km by .6 and that will give you miles. So 30 km is 18 miles. See how easy that was? It’s not precise enough for predator strike but it is close enough for nucular (as Bush Jr. used to call them) hand grenades. 100 km is very close to 62 miles, so the .6 isn’t right on point but close enough for math dummies like me.
As a preppier, no one is going to lead you by the hand. Did you go to the list of nucular plants to see if you were close to one? Generally speaking, winds blow from west to east but like any general rule, the only general rule is there is no general rule. Here where I live we generally get mild offshore winds in the morning followed by increasingly stronger onshore winds towards late afternoon. That is except when the winds blow from the north or the south. So if you are 50 km due east from a nucular plant and it blows up or melts down, you probably ought to have a bug out plan or a nicely equipped basement.
LL9, I fully agree with your assessment of the utter uselessness of the graphics used to illustrate the somewhat over dramatized, yet salient points of the article. There definitely should be some sort of legend to note each icon’s meaning. Perhaps it was inadvertently clipped, and overlooked in the author’s rush to press. Who knows, it’s hard to say, chalk it up to simple human error, Forgive and Forget, then move on… Instead focus on the WHO would even dream of doing such a diabolical thing, and WHY? Then We The People can Vote them Som Bucks OUT OF EXISTANCE, or Hang their Sorry, Treasonous, Collective, DemonicRATic Socialist, Commie Butts!! Just saying, Ya’ll…
There’s a guy named Dana Durnford that explains how Nuclear is a misery machine. He operates a web site called thenuclearproctologist.org. also check him out on utube. Because of the Wigner Effect nuclear plants are emmiting radiation all the time & it gets worse every year
In 2006, while riding the train from New Orleans to Memphis, I had an interesting conversation with one of our group. I don’t know how we got started on the topic, but he told me that he had been hired to write a piece on nuclear energy for electric generation. He said the piece was supposed to show how bad NE was for the earth. He said he started out with that mindset and that was one of the influencing factors in his getting the assignment.
However, he said after he had done a significant amount of research on the subject so that he could write a coherent piece that would be free from attack because of erroneous information, he reached the conclusion that NE was the only way to go to have less impact on earth’s environment. He said that there was a more modern method of using NE that didn’t leave radioactive material as a residue but in fact left no residue that was radioactive. He knew a lot more about NE than I did, so I mainly nodded and tried to ask semi-intelligent questions. I don’t know enough about NE to know if he knew what he was talking about, but to an uninitiated, it sounded to me as if he did. He said there were no plants in this country using it but that it was being used in, I think this many years later, France. He said the U.S. Feds had not approved it for use in the U.S. as of then, mostly for political reasons, i.e., 3-Mile and Chernobyl and, of course, now, Fukushima. So there are at least two opposing opinions about the viability of nuclear energy as a source of electric power. Me, I’m like Sgt Schultz, “I know nuzzing, nuzzing at all.”
I do have a strong feeling that all the windmills, solar panels, batteries and rubbing two sticks together are not going to replace petrochemical-fired steam generating plants for the massive amounts of electricity we are going to need for all the electric cars and ever-increasing use of electrical power not only in the U.S. but world wide.
I also feel that energy use is going to be the privilege of the overlord class and the hoi polloi — that’s us who are followers of this list — will have to do with very limited amounts of energy. Individual motorized transportation will be reserved for the overlords as will energy use in our homes. We already see some signs of that with the wealthy flying in their private jets from their private airfields at their McMansions to a bacchanal on giant private yachts to discuss global climate change and how we just have to stop using so much petroleum based products for energy. Take Al Gore as perhaps the leading example of the privileged class. He flies to give speeches on preserving Mother Gaiea on his private jet, burning more fuel in one trip than I will have used in my lifetime and lives in what is it, an 85,000 square foot mansion? His light bill for one month is probably more than my lifetime electric and gas bill combined. But, of course, it is all right for him to do that as he buys “carbon credits” so it is okay.
Well, got to get off my soap box and get busy.
GW: Even better, geothermal. Perfectly natural (if I may, and please don’t gag 🙂 it’s ‘green’ to the max. Kalifornicate is replacing nukes and damns with it, at last. Lib green terrorists were run over to get it done. Reagan wanted to when gov, but was stopped. He tried again when president and was stopped. Dems don’t play nice and just threw protestors in jail. 🙂 niio
Jack, There is another option that has been on the table for nearly 70 years:
This option is perhaps a thousand times cleaner than current nuclear reactors, safer, more abundant, and cheaper in the long run. Much like hydrogen powered vehicles it doesn’t fit our self-proclaimed Globalista Elite’s Plan to “Obliterate/Poison 90% of the Population on our Blue Marble.” The Vv Axe, isn’t working as well as they had hoped, and a nuclear option is definitely on the list of Really Scary Events they could unleash to herd us over their poorly designed cliff, to control our pre-programmed hive minds… Like most Super Villains, they never quite reach their full potential. Some Pesky Do-Gooder always messes up their Evil Plans. We Need more Pesky Do-Gooders STAT!! Cheers
Good topic. Just last year we were headed home from a hunting trip and stopped for lunch in the little town of Glen Rose, TX. One of the prettiest little rivers in the state, the Paluxy, runs through the middle of town which is in the northern Texas hill country. Only 60 miles from Dallas you’d expect the town to be booming with growth, but that is not the case because they sited the Comanche Peak nuclear power plant 4 and a half miles away. There are signs all over town warning you when to shelter in place or where to run and what all the sirens mean if there is an accident at the plant. It’s spooky enough to scare development off.
Chernobyl produced a lot of fallout because, during normal operations, faulty design caused a large hydrogen gas bubble in the reactor that exploded, spreading radioactive debris for a distance of several kms, hot enough that the Russkies created a huge exclusion zone around the town. More radioactivity was spread by steam plumes as the meltdown superheated the cooling water. This fallout disrupted agriculture in a large part of W Europe.
Problem at Fukushima was also poor design, actual stupidity, the Japanese put the emergency power and cooling systems in the basement where they were completely destroyed by the tidal wave. Doh! The meltdown contaminated the whole town, radiation inside the reactor buildings is still so intense it destroys the robots they send inside. They pour millions of gallons of water on the mess, the radioactive water is then piped into the ocean. Biggest mess ever.
You can’t escape fallout just by going down in the basement. The radioactive material is shooting out atomic particles, some energetic enough to pass through your ceiling and floor and penetrate your body, destroying cells and damaging DNA, especially in the long bones of the legs. A properly designed fallout shelter is 2 inches of concrete buried under 4 feet of packed soil.
Of course, in addition to poor plant design there was the little problem of a giant earthquake in excess of 9 on the Richter scale and off the scale for the one the Japanese use. They had to rejuggle their scale in order to accommodate 9+ earthquakes. The most interesting thing about the whole Fukushima tragedy is that up in the hills behind one of the cities that got wiped out in the tsunami was a rock that had been placed after the huge earthquake and tsunami in the 1600s. It said in ancient Japanese “The tsunami reached here. Don’t build any closer to the ocean than this point.”
Ahh, what did those old guys know anyway? We have modern building codes to protect us. What is the saying, Man Plans and God Laughs?
We only have one nucular(sic) plant left in the PDRK. It may be the only electric generating plant left in the PDRK. Most of the other ones have been closed because we are going to use green energy.
More ancient wisdom, I read an unusually good article on the discovery of human footprints at White Sands, the prints dated 23,000 years ago. One thing the article said was they were layed down at the height of the last glacial period and that so much water was locked up in glaciers the ocean was 400′ lower than now. Sea level 400′ lower! I am not a Climate Change skeptic but it seems silly to worry about it coming up another few inches. Just think if we still had to worry about the incredibly diverse Pleistocene Megafauna going extinct because it was getting warmer!
Jedge: I am not a climate change sceptic either. I only differ in the causation. I read an interesting book about the Little Ice Age which started somewhere around 1450 and lasted to somewhere around 1850. In her book the author relates how there have been five major — I mean major weather changes in Europe since the founding of the Roman Empire which preceded the time change from old time to current time. Right this minute, I don’t recall how long the Roman Empire existed prior to the current era but it strikes me it was a couple of centuries. I have often stated that when the Romans were busy conquering Jolly Old Blighty, they were growing wine grapes there. The Brits still import their wine as it is still, despite frightened shrieks about global warming, too cold to grow a decent cab maybe too cold even for E.&J. Gallo Hearty Burgundy. So there is a clue even in our historic past earth or at least Europe and G.B. were warmer than they are today. As to what steps we can take to do something about it, I suggest we don’t have any choice but to go along for the ride.
If Northern North America was covered with a huge ice cap and Northern Europe, and I suspect Northern Russia and Siberia as well, what caused all that ice to melt away? It certainly wasn’t the Cro Magnon with their camp fires causing global warming. From my readings, it was touch and go whether they would out of the few breeding pairs that existed to continue as a species. According to folks who claim to have studied all the telltale signs there were less than 500 couples responsible the billions and billions of folks running around on the planet today. According to biologists that would put us on the endangered species list today.
I looked more carefully at the maps later today. It appears to me that the first map is of spots in the U.S. that have attractive targets for some hostile fat guy living in luxury in the poorest country in the world. That is as contrasted to places that have nucular(sic) electric generating plants which is what the second map is.
Well, it’s simple physics, if you add CO2 to a planet’s atmosphere, that atmosphere will hold more heat. I just don’t see how they quantify it, predict its effects, and separate it from 20,000 years of natural warming. They say Texas will have milder winters and a lot more rain, nobody here will complain. Miami will go underwater, I’m okay with that. If the Greenland ice sheet melts they say the Gulf Stream will stop flowing, result being Britain and Northern Europe will get so cold agriculture collapses there. There are a million acres of highway median in Texas, bet we could grow enough grain to keep the Euros eating scones and drinking that horrible dark beer.
Australians p and moan about climate change, have massive drought and widespread fire, but keep mining and selling huge amounts of coal to the Chinese. You’re right, we’re just along for the ride.
Judge: China cut off the aussies’ coal. Now they’re in the deep end with blackouts. SE Asia is arming itself against them.
If you look at the anti-global warming/cooling scam, you’ll find CO2 is not the problem. More CO2, more plants feeding on it, depositing it deep in the soil profile as humus. No CO2, no plants. After so many years if not used it breaks down to nitrogen and other gasses. Plants cannot get enough CO2, which is why greenhouse operators buy dry ice or use gas burners to manufacture it. You can find good fact based science on https://www.youtube.com/c/TonyHeller
The global scam came out of Hitler’s green movement, and was begun by Greta Thunberg;’s great-grandfather, a Nazi. There is no science, only money.
“We currently have 60 commercially operated nuclear power plants, containing a total of 98 nuclear reactors. Surprisingly, the state of Illinois has the most, with a total of 11 operating reactors. A total of 12 states generate more than 30% of their power through the use of nuclear power.”
possible misunderstanding – note the count of “reactors” and not nuke plants – the 11 IL based reactors are housed in 6 facilities – 5 being double reactors and all built & previously operated by ComEd – the single reactor is currently being planned as a double reactor site and operated by an independent power company ….
safety has everything to do with the company operating – basically following the FED rules & regs >> read the previous problems to examine the cause
I recommend everyone to have some KIO3 tablets on hand in case you ever do experience radioactive fallout, they’re fairly cheap, about $14 per bottle of 60 tablets, one a day per adult. I have two bottles in the medicine cabinet, just in case.
“Summary of Medical Corps Potassium Iodate (KiO3) Potassium Iodate (KiO3) is a superior form of KI. Potassium Iodate will shield (or block) the Thyroid and prevent it from absorbing radioactive Iodine. Each factory-sealed bottle contains 90 fresh tablets of Potassium Iodate 85 mg or 60 fresh tablets of Potassium Iodate 170mg.”
I have read that mapping of the world from current satellites reveal that growth of green products has spread some significant measure since the CO2 in the atmosphere increased just the slightest amount. Of course, current thought (remember when current thought was that the earth revolved around the sun and that the earth was flat?) is that the slight increase in atmospheric CO2 is the worst thing that could happen and sane voices are finding they don’t get goobermint grants and they are shouted down by the slobbering mob.
Except, perhaps, for tips on how to play computer games, I generally don’t take a whole bunch of advice from autistic 16 year olds, especially highly suspect scientific advice. I don’t care what Ms. Thunberg’s progenitors’ political leanings were, in my opinion, it is almost like the Children’s Crusade or the witchcraft trials in New England where young girls accused various people of being witches and created a whole bunch of hysteria and insane murders by torturous means. We have supposed adults following an autistic teenage girl like the Pied Piper of Hamlin. Good Grief, Charlie Brown.
3 specific items.
1) Three Mile Island was what’s known as a “Partial Meltdown” but that is a VERY wide category. The reality is that there was only minor damage to a couple-three or four Rods. This damage released mainly Fission By-Products, not the Uranium Fuel. And, the largest portion of the crap released was Radioactive Iodine. Not the type of Iodine that you have in your medicine cabinet, this was a gas that was held in solution in the cooling water. When they had to relieve a High Pressure condition in the Core, some of that water ended up being released into the outside atmosphere. The thing is, when the (incredibly highly) pressurized Cooling Water is vented out into the atmosphere, it INSTANTANEOUSLY flashes into Super Heated Steam.
And THAT process immediately liberated the Radioactive Iodine that was in solution. The VAST majority of the Radioactivity released at 3 Mile Island was this Radioactive Iodine gas. (Hence the recommendation of so many of this group to stock Iodine tablets. Taking them acts to Saturate your thyroid gland, preventing it from taking up any of the nasty iodine from the air. If your thyroid is so saturated, any iodine from the Reactor Accident will literally pass through you without causing any significant effect.
2) Chernobyl. Iodine tablets would not have done sh… umm.. jack for you. The Hydrogen Bubble explosion mentioned earlier still wouldn’t have been a huge problem except for one main problem. It DID blow a HUGE hole in the top of the Reactor, but the BIG problem was that their Reactor design seperate 2 components which are 1 in the same for our reactors. They had a Coolant System that was different from their Moderator. I won’t go into a long explanation as to what a Moderator is, but suffice it to say that the atomic bullets that allow one Nuclear Fission to set off another are moving too d@mn fast to bother to “look” for other Uranium atoms. They have to be “slowed” before they’ll even see their friends. That’s one really good thing about our reactors, we use Water for both the Coolant and the Moderator. If we crack a pipe and lose the Coolant, we also have no Moderator (which means that the Reactor immediately (and inevitably) shuts down – no questions asked, ‘Go directly to Off, do not pass Go’.
But, as mentioned b4, Chernobyl split those duties and their Moderator was Big Asş Blocks of Graphite. Which, after an explosion may as well be Coal. Burning like a Coal Mine Fire. Oh, and did we mention that the Top of the Damň Reactor was blew up… So, imagine a Radioactive Open Pit Coal Mine burning after a kiloton firey explosion set it on fire, with nothing to hold back all that billowing sooty smoke. Without any cooling, and with the Reaction Supporting Graphite still all around the Core (albeit on fire) the Power and heat continued to escalate, melted the core so bad that it went all taffy into the basement. It was REALLY bad.
3) Taka Daishi (sorry for spelling) was another really Crappy Design failure waiting to happen. The International Nuclear Power Community had recommended YEARS prior that they relocate the Emergency Diesel Generators from the basement to an upper level. If they had done that, we would have been applauding TepCo, not reviling them for the next century. But an earthquake bourn tsunami flooded the Coolant Pump Room -and- the Emergency Diesel Generators, so not only could the Coolant Pumps not work when the public power went out, but they had no backup capability. And before they could get Portable Generators in place, it all went to hęll and made the site too dangerous (deadly) to hook ’em up. The Cores melted so badly that they cracked the lower containment vessel AND the concrete AND the bedrock beneath them, allowing (at least) hundreds of thousands of gallons of radioactive water to flow into the sea. Oh, and by the way, nobody is actually certain about the status or condition of the cores. There is a significant chance that the melting laval cores could be melting their own way down through the bedrock. We literally just don’t know yet.
And ladies and gentlemen, that’s not fear mongering. I was a, let’s just say “worker”, in the Nuclear Power Industry with contacts that had more “inside information.”
So, 2 main take-aways from all this:
▪ Don’t split your Coolant Medium and your Moderator, and
▪ If the brightest minds in the International Nuc Power Community say “that’s a really bad idea, do this instead” Listen!
I say go geothermal. Kali is replacing nuke plants with geo and protesters are being arrested now, but were allowed anything they wanted by the dems before this. AZ, my state, has 1 nuke plant, and even conservatives protested that. The rest are fossil fuels. But, there’s a lot of geothermal areas to tap, and that’s what we’re looking at to replace coal-fired–the idiots under obama closed down the biggest coal mine in the Americas, the Navajo mine on Black Mesa. niio
Very good info. If you click on the map it opens a much better map explaining the icons.
Fubar-shima had multiple reactors melt down and they also had “spent rods” of Cesium-137 stored there…not the worst radioactive material…with a half life of only several years…it is estimated the radiation levels will be safe in 20-30 years…not long considering…
But if there had been a release of U-238 or several other types of similar radioactive isotopes…that could be billions of years for each radioactive “half-life”. VERY BAD.
We all know we have to have clean air, clean water, clean food…a dirty bomb would not be effective against air or food over an entire large metroplex…but a water supply contamination might turn a booming city into a ghost town.
Speaking of water…I am not sure of the exact science, but I believe the hydrogen atoms in water blocks almost ALL ionizing radiation (from nuclear fallout). The strongest is Gamma radiation and that would be reduced by a water barrier, but would need some distance from the fallout, and help from concrete and dirt. The water in sealed containers would not get contaminated, and can still be consumed.
Doing some homework on ionizing types of alpha, beta, gamma, and neutron radiation…some of these forms of radiation can be stopped by a thin wall. And it may be possible to create a “water barrier” solution at ground level to stop strong gamma radiation from entering your bugout location.
Astronauts on a Mars mission will probably have the water supplies for their Aquaponics and Hydroponics labs engineered into the outer hull of the spaceship to block high the levels of solar radiation found in space.
Some of these 99 old reactors in the US of A are counting down to a random failure…tick tock tick tock.., they need to be upgraded or shut down.
Sooner rather than later.
Interesting that the author thinks EVERYONE has a basement.