My theme for my 2015 A to Z Challenge came from my Disaster Crimes series. Disasters are a theme in each story, so it got me thinking about all the disasters that occur from natural disasters to manmade disasters.
Today’s disaster is...
Nuclear Meltdowns occur within a nuclear reactor when the core melts due to extreme heat. Cooling systems are used to keep the temperatures of nuclear reactors from going above their limits, but sometimes things go wrong with these cooling systems. A loss of coolant, pressure, or a low flow rate can lead a nuclear reactor to reach its melting point. An external fire or failure to any part of the system can lead to a meltdown.
When a core melts, the area is contaminated by radiation and radioactive gases can then enter the environment, endangering humans and wildlife.
|Image from Pixabay|
FACT: The worst US nuclear power plant accident in history was when the Three Mile Island nuclear reactor in Pennsylvania had a partial meltdown in 1979. The cleanup cost about $1 billion.
When a nuclear meltdown occurs, zones close to the power plants will be evacuated. People will be urged to stay indoors and farmers will be asked to keep livestock under cover in precaution of radiation poisoning. Usually the only damage to occur lies within the reactor though, which causes damage to the reactor and the permanent shutdown of the plant such as was the case with the Three Mile Island plant.
FACT: In 2011, after an earthquake and tsunami hit Japan, the Fukushima Daiichi power plant suffered meltdowns to three of their six reactors. Most of the fuel in reactor No. 1 melted.
QUESTION: Do you live near a nuclear power plant?