It’s been over a year and a half since the terrible events of Fukushima. They’re still dealing with the aftermath and will be for years to come. Imagine what it would be like if that happened on US soil? What a mess.
In my opinion, if there’s anything that the Fukushima disaster should have taught us is that our nuclear reactors–which are touted as both the safest and cleanest form of energy available–are really quite fragile in that they both require continuous human intervention and that they’re much more hazardous to our local environments than we realize.
What really bothers me is what could happen to these reactors if things truly go south in this country. It wasn’t that long ago when I generally discounted the threat that nuclear disasters can have on our society and my life, in particular. And, although there are literally tens of thousands of ready-to-fire nuclear missiles across the planet and even the potential for dirty bomb mayhem, in reality, the most likely threat we face is a Fukushima-like event.
Certainly, this even could be triggered from any number of scenarios, such as a natural disaster (tsunami, hurricane, earthquake, dam failure, etc), man-made causes, EMP (again man-made or from a solar flare), and even from an economic collapse.
While I assume that our government has very serious continuity of operation plans in place to continue operating these plants, not only to keep the power grid functioning, but also to avoid such catastrophes, I do wonder how robust these plans truly are. Just take a moment and look at the map to the right.
If you haven’t seen something similar before, it’s a map of all the nuclear power plants facilities in the United States; there are dozens. Obviously, if you live east of the Mississippi river you should take heed for sure. Perhaps the only potentially safe place on the map is the American Redoubt so often touted by Mr. Rawles. The thing is that most of us do not live in the American Redoubt, so the potential for a nuclear catastrophe to affect our lives SHOULD be on our radar screens.
Since I don’t live on the east cost I’m not extremely concerned–if you do perhaps you should be–but I do live in the Midwest with a few reactors close enough to be troublesome. To me, it’s really more than just the potential for fallout contamination. The Fukushima disaster has shown that much, much more can be contaminated (think water and food supplies) than we realize. And this is what you should be concerned about for your long term survival.
While small scale disasters would be bad enough, consider what life would be like if a major event occurred. One where the entire United States power grid were affected. An EMP, solar flare, or even economic collapse are major events that come to mind. They are possible and should not be discounted. Even if the entire USA is not affected, what happens if just the northeastern grid were affected, for example?
Look at the map again. Would you want to live in any of the several states in the northeast that are littered with reactors if something catastrophic were to happen? I know I wouldn’t. I would suggest that just the proximity of reactors to one another alone would be a huge drawback living in any of the northeast. I don’t want to seem like I’m picking on the northeastern states, I’m not… I’m just concerned because if something happened to even one plant in that area the odds of a domino effect have to much higher because of their proximity to one another, whereas if one plant were affected nearby me the chances of a domino effect are probably less.
As I eluded to earlier, the potential for water and food sources to be contaminated, even hundreds of miles away, and for many years should not be understated. Fukushima and Chernobyl should be glaring examples of this problem. Ask yourself: are you literally downriver from a nuclear power plant? What happens to your quality of life if you are?
So, what happens if things get really bad and the entire United States is affected by something, such as an EMP, if you like. Considering that life will be hectic enough due to a general lack of food, water, power, etc… how likely would it be that the authorities in charge of these nuclear reactors will be able to keep them from malfunctioning, let alone continuing to provide power if they’re able to? Would it be months, years, indefinitely? I don’t know.
Now, add in the human factor. For instance, assuming the nuclear reactor operators have their own family to deal with, their own food shortages, security issues, and so on, how many (or how long) would these people continue to do their jobs? I suspect that they’re no different than the rest of us. Hopefully the government would take charge and fill the gaps; in fact, I expect it.
But, nuclear reactors need both a steady supply of diesel to keep generators running and a steady supply of water to keep the spent fuel rods from overheating and literally melting. Can the authorities keep this steady supply flowing for years on end? What happens if civilians become so desperate that they begin to attack anything that moves (including military convoys transporting diesel to these reactors) and significantly disrupt the flow of diesel that is necessary to keep generators running?
Also understand that things break down and wear out. In a normally functioning society, parts should be available and easily transported from one location to another, even overnight. But what happens if these parts aren’t available, in short supply, or cannot be delivered to where they’re needed in time?
I know I’m posing many more questions than answers here but I feel they do need to be asked. While I don’t expect you or I to have any solutions to these questions, you should begin to re-consider how much of an impact any number of scenarios may have on your long term survival plans, especially if things get really bad in the States. To think that ALL of these nuclear power plants would continue to function without any major problems or even a meltdown is asking a lot.
Last, you might find the following Nuclear Power Plant Emergency Fact Sheet from PrepperIdeas.com useful.
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