Saturday, February 11, 2012

Distance is the Only Security From Nuclear Fallout!

There is a 1.1 megawatt TRIGA nuclear reactor 11.6 miles from my house. According to Oregon State University, that means:  a water-cooled research reactor which uses uranium/zirconium hydride fuel elements in a circular grid array. The reactor is licensed by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission to operate at maximum steady state power of 1.1 MW, and can also be pulsed up to a peak power of about 3000 MW. 

I recently read an article called 400 Chernobyls: Solar Flares, EMP, and Nuclear Armegeddon by Matthew Stein, P.E. over on Rawles' Survival Blog. One of the key paragraphs for me was:

"If an extreme GMD (geomagnetic disturbance) were to cause widespread grid collapse (which it most certainly will), in as little as one or two hours after each nuclear reactor facility’s backup generators either fail to start, or run out of fuel, the reactor cores will start to melt down. After a few days without electricity to run the cooling system pumps, the water bath covering the spent fuel rods stored in “spent fuel ponds” will boil away, allowing the stored fuel rods to melt down and burn. Since the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) currently mandates that only one week’s supply of backup generator fuel needs to be stored at each reactor site, it is likely that after we witness the spectacular night-time celestial light show from the next extreme GMD we will have about one week in which to prepare ourselves for Armageddon."

Then last night I woke up at 3:30 and envisioned trying to pack my 11 people, year of food, supplies, survival book collection etc etc into my truck and finding cash to get fuel and head a minimum of 250 miles away to... where?

All of my prepping is centered on staying in place. I have five kids, animals, elderly, and a ton (probably literally) of preps. I was focusing my energies on staying with my support system, building up reserves and security here. Now, I'm questioning everything. The idea of bugging-out-never-come-back-nuclear-disaster-no-more-grid was so overwhelming that I got up and read Psalms for an hour.

Today I read about the zones of destruction here at the DHS site. Seems like at 11 miles, the house will get broken windows, damage to trees, all people who see the blast will get a sunburn, and 25% people will get injured by flying debris. Ok, I'm thinking.

Then I continue to read about fallout and the minimum distance for surviving fallout is 160 miles.

Now, Wikipedia tells me that "Fallout can also refer to nuclear accidents, although a nuclear reactor does not explode like a nuclear weapon. The isotopic signature of bomb fallout is very different from the fallout from a serious power reactor accident (such as Chernobyl or Fukushima). The key differences are in volatility and half-life."  HUH?! This, unfortunately, is easier to understand: "A meltdown is considered very serious because of the potential, however remote, that radioactive materials with long half-lives could breach all containment and escape (or be released) into the environment, resulting in radioactive contamination and fallout, and leading to radiation poisoning of people and animals nearby."

I am concerned for the liklihood of increased solar activity in upcoming years as the solar cycle peaks. It seems that the closer you are to the Equator, the less likely a GMD effects you, however, with the US's electrical grid so interdependent upon itself, if the grid goes out up north, I am not confident that ours will stay running in Texas. Maybe authorities would cut off power to the homes and businesses in order to keep the reactors cool in that event? I hesitate to leave us in their hands.

Reading the symptoms of radiation poisoning was exhausting. It seems the only prudent thing to do would be move, or get a cabin 250 miles away and stock it there.

*sigh*

Here is a map of truck routes carrying nuclear cargo. ugh.
We're so pleased you are reading Farming Salt and Light! Choose how you live!

1 comment:

Chief Instructor said...

We used to have one in the Sacramento region - Rancho Seco - but that was closed down a while back. My closest is a couple hundred miles away - Diablo Canyon - in the San Luis Obisbo area.

We've got potassium iodide pills in the event a dirty nuke goes off, or weather patterns bring fallout our way from an accident at a plant. Cheap insurance, IMO.