What hasn't been explained very well (or at all) is that everything we've seen is a possible side-effect of a loss of coolant anticipated by the reactor designers, and the reactors were specifically designed to deal with them without loss of containment. And absent a loss of containment there is no significant public health hazard. You see where this is going?

Reactor design has been around for almost 70 years. There aren't a lot of mysteries left. What I'm talking about is Reactor Design 101.

If you lose coolant, the core is hot as fuck and can melt. But what does the metlting DO? The answer is actually "not much of anything" if you stick it in a giant fuckoff containment and then sit THAT on a giant fuckoff slab. Melting by itself is ultimately a "so fucking what" as a public health issue.

If the core is hot as fuck and not cooled, what coolant is left is turned to steam and can react with metals to produce hydrogen and oxygen (or will just break down into those things by itself at high enough temperatures) and you get hydrogen explosions. So you build the thing to survive hydrogen explosions because you already know they can happen.

If the core is hot as fuck and not cooled fires can start. So you design the containment to survive fire.

You may notice a pattern developing. Most of the events reported are literally true but is so far out of context as to be meaningless.

sean10mm on Something Awful