posted on Mar, 11 2011 @ 01:51 PM
Originally posted by crazydaisy
If a nuclear castrotophe occurs in just one reactor what amount of distance would the damage and radiation cover. How far could the winds carry the
radiation. Anyone have an idea on this.
I am by no means an expert, but my understanding is that there are several possible issues.
First, if pressure is building in the containment vessel, they will have to "vent" (release) the gases building up in there. This might not have a
permanent impact on the surrounding area, but people breathing-in or otherwise being exposed to the radioactive material (if only on the short-term
before it disperses) would be deadly. That's why the evacuation of the immediate area (currently 3-kilometer radius)
Second, if the reactor(s) can not be properly cooled, that end-event is potentially a Nuclear
event. In this scenario, the nuclear fuel continues to heat-up, and essentially "burns" or "melts" it's way out the bottom of both
the inner "containment vessel" and outer "reactor building". This is would be catastrophic. As the fuel burns it's way into the surrounding rock or
soil, it will likely encounter ground-water (especially true when reactor's are located near rivers or ocean-side areas - which always seems to be
case). When it does, that ground-water could become super-heated - resulting in a mixture of super-heated water/steam (also carrying other
radioactive material from the melt-down) bursting-out of the ground as steam-vents or boiling-out into watersheds. The net effect would be less like
a nuclear bomb, and more like a terrorist-delivered "dirty-bomb" - but far worse. The contamination would be wide-spread, with really no way to
contain it. The water systems and/or wind could carry the contamination for indeterminate distances. Obviously, if the authorities had any reason to
believe they were getting close to a melt-down, there would be a far greater area to be evacuated (50+ mile radius?).
Again, I am not an expert in this field. Maybe someone with experience in this field, or with knowledge of what the radius of destruction from
who can jump in with better details. I believe that Chernobyl still has a 30
kilometer (19 mile) "exclusion zone" around it. But, it's widely believed there are impacts way outside that zone. That's just the area nobody is
allowed back into without special permission from the government.
edit on 2011-3-11 by EnhancedInterrogator because: more spellings and grammers.