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If the world has a super SHTF where nuclear reactors/entombment stops, survival prep = useless?

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posted on Apr, 14 2011 @ 11:13 PM
Title should have read: If the world has a super-major SHTF where no-one can maintain nuclear reactors/entombment, is survival preparation useless?

I was watching a Chernobyl video and how they have to encase it, and thinking about Japan at the same time. These are a few of hundreds, if not thousands (?) of nuclear plants exist on this planet. What would happen to them if society breaks down to the point where its dog-eat-dog and fruitless warring for basic resources? I assume no one is going to maintain the nuclear reactors since food would be cut off [unless they have some huge backup which I don't know about], which means they'd have to loot or leave.

I was talking to someone who used to run a nuclear power plant, and what I gathered is that they have rods that drop in and stop the nuclear process. This means it's near impossible for a meltdown of active rods to happen, but what I gathered is that the stored fuel rods have issues... and that is what I heard happen in Japan. Please note I'm not an expert so this could be wrong or maybe I heard it wrong.

Anyways lets pretend that tomorrow, TSHTF. BOOM! The world is sent backwards into the dark ages for whatever reason, crops fail, oil dries out completely; who knows. The main thing is there'd be some huge die-offs and all, though lets assume most of our 'bug out core preparers' get through, made it to their own farm and lived happily ever after with little adversity to the land in a best case scenario.

So what happens when the sarcophagus of Chernobyl starts to deteriorate to the point where nuclear radiation starts leaking out? What about other power plants like Japan? What about the fuel rods that are spent in all these other plants, or even nuclear material (I have no idea on what containment measures are for active nuclear warheads and stuff like this). It almost seems like society needs to survive if we want to stand a chance at survival.

Now the good news of course is that unless they all have some meltdown... Japan + Chernobyl will not end the world. It's a pretty big place, and I'm sure many places like the southern most point of Chile won't even see much radiation. Hey-- once again I could be wrong, but the odds look pretty in favor for that place. Other good news would be that we'd have no crap food flowing through our veins. Our immune system would be in the shape hopefully that we'd want it to be [hopefully, I'm not saying the wild would not test it in its own ways...], which can help stop cancer if global radiation level rises. Another bonus is that were adaptive and I think even if it did build up over time, our bodies would adapt... much like it adapted to radiation from the sun and all. We have pretty sophisticated bodies from what I've learned

But... in the end, could all those nuclear plants be our undoing if society 'undoes' itself? Could preparation just be for short to medium survival?

Am I advocating no survival preparation? Of course not, in fact-- even in light of this thought/thread I'd still be preparing either way because life is a fun game
, though please note I use 'fun' loosely.
edit on 4/14/11 by NuclearMitochondria because: (no reason given)

posted on Apr, 14 2011 @ 11:32 PM
Yea I've been thinking about the same thing lately and it's been worrying me a bit. I cant even imagine what it would be like if that happened. It's a shame that we've put ourselves in the situation where that could happen.

posted on Apr, 15 2011 @ 12:41 AM
Older fuel in the cooling ponds is not a major problem. Its the newer spent rods(up to 2 and 4 years after they are removed from a reactor.)

The older fuel will not melt but can put off high levels of gamma radioactivity in the area right around the pool without water to shield the area. this will not travel with the wind.

What i would fear is a targeted nuclear weapon that is aimed at a large cooling pond and vaporizes the spent fuel.

This would be a very dirty bomb as it would spread high level lethal radioactive material for thousands of miles.

At this time i believe all older spent fuel should be moved to a inland secure cooling pool site where it can be protected without being near populated areas.

The nuclear test site in Nevada would be perfect for this. Its already contaminated and has no cities nearby to endanger.

Waste heat from the cooling ponds could be used to power the facility by boiling low temperature refrigerants and powering turbines with power to spare to sell to pay for the site.

Since this has already been done at geothermal plants it a proven technology.

posted on Apr, 15 2011 @ 08:43 AM
I'm only seventeen, and haven't had much experience in the whole SHTF preparedness idea. But couldn't a fallout shelter help you? Prep yourself with enough food and water, as well as a vacuum that pumps backwards that'll keep you until you feel comfortable. And then get your gas mask and a rain poncho and you're good?

posted on Apr, 15 2011 @ 08:56 PM
Yes the active reaction will not be the problem at all. It is the used fuel storage. the water needs to continue to keep these cool or like in japan it will boil off and the a fuel fire will start. This was stopped before it became serious in Japan.

I am probly off a little as this comes from a show i watched sometime back but the thery is right as show in Japan.

1/ If power is stopped to the cooling pumps they have deisel generator backup that will last 2 weeks ish from memory.

2/ If these are not refilled and maintained the coolant will stop and a fire will then be the outcome and the plume it will send up is huge. I wouldnt be downwind.

3/ I think this thing on these control rods falling into place is not true for all plants I am sure most modern ones it is so. But If this were the case Japan would not be a problem correct?
edit on 15-4-2011 by Bavarian because: (no reason given)

posted on Apr, 15 2011 @ 09:08 PM
reply to post by Sforscott

For how long ? SHTF can kill us already, let alone super SHTF.

posted on Apr, 15 2011 @ 10:55 PM
reply to post by NuclearMitochondria

Depends how prepared you were.

If all the plants stopped being taken care of they would go critical and would release a large amount of radiation quickly. If you made yourself a fallout shelter that could support growing your own food and was self sufficient you could make it a while, but the half life of cesium is about 30 years, so you would have to be outfitted pretty well.

You could have hepa filters for breathing, reverse osmosis drinking water, and an underground/fallout shelter, it would be possible.

Although if a situation like this arose there would be people that had a natural resistance to radiation and those would be the likely ones to survive, creating a bottleneck in evolution. So after that event, the human race would be resistant to radiation.

It would make a cool movie.


posted on Apr, 15 2011 @ 11:38 PM
There are over 400 nuclear power plants worldwide, this doesn't include smaller plants on ships and subs. If for whatever reasons humans stopped showing up at work to maintain these reactors, it would most likely lead to the extinction of all life on the planet.

posted on Apr, 15 2011 @ 11:57 PM

Originally posted by LDragonFire
There are over 400 nuclear power plants worldwide, this doesn't include smaller plants on ships and subs. If for whatever reasons humans stopped showing up at work to maintain these reactors, it would most likely lead to the extinction of all life on the planet.

Life survived a 6 mile wide meteor hitting the earth, a couple dozen ice ages, probably 1000's of volcanos exploding and much much more carnage, you think the nuke plants could end life?

You give human too mich credit, life will survive anything, that's how it made it as far as us, it is unbelievably adaptable. There are fungi that eat radiation.

Nothing has wiped out life on earth for at least 600+ million years, it has survived and thrived, and it has had some serious events happen, if all the nuke plants exploded, life would adapt and thrive once again.

edit on 15-4-2011 by predator0187 because: Grammar

posted on Apr, 15 2011 @ 11:58 PM
if you had all the money in the world to waste , you might have somewhat of a chance to survive where others would not for a while. if for any reason those nuclear plants are left unattended its true they will extinct the planet of at least humans, as with chernobyl, the animals are still living, they're just radioactive and cannot be eaten.

underground is your only protection, you might consider buying a missile launch station and outfit it with the latest in breathing technology, water purification technology, and stockpiling every single thing you could possibly think of to keep you fat n happy underground, because you aren't ever coming up for air, your shelter will become your tomb, but at least you wont suffer radiation poisoning with death, you'll most likely suffocate when you cant make oxygen anymore , or stave to death when you run out of uncontaminated food

you actually could drive around and find uncontaminated foods and supplies if you had the right gear and were encased in a lead suit

posted on Apr, 16 2011 @ 12:06 AM
reply to post by predator0187

I see your point, and agree that humans along with insects and animals could survive in a self sustaining underground bunker.

However our magnetic field protects us from solar and cosmic radiation, without this shield Earth would be a dead planet. If radiation from all the nuke plants on Earth melted down unchecked I feel this would cause 99.9% of all life vanishing....leaving only bacteria.

edit on 16-4-2011 by LDragonFire because: (no reason given)

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