What Happens to Nuclear Power Plants Following an EMP?

ReadyNutrition guys and gals, we have covered some bases on the EMP (Electromagnetic Pulse) and how to prepare the home and supplies against it.  One of the major problems with the EMP is not just what will not work regarding unshielded equipment, but what will happen when certain things do not run anymore.  What I’m referring to the real danger of nuclear power plants throughout the United States.  Not only will there be a shortage of power, but there will be a larger problem: radiation.

A large percentage of electricity goes into maintaining and cooling the spent fuel rods in a nuclear power plant installation.  A prime example is a Nuclear Facility that may have one working (running) reactor and two that are shut down with spent fuel rods.  This is not uncommon to find.  Now, follow the reasoning: when the primary power shuts down and the backup is rendered inoperable, how is coolant water to be pumped to cool the spent fuel rods?

We saw what happened with Fukushima, and most of us remember the horror story that almost emerged with Three Mile Island nuclear power facility in Harrisburg, PA.  The reason this is being mentioned here is that these things need to be taken into account with regard to your preparations.  What good is it to make it through the initial nuclear attack when the attack renders your nearest nuclear power facility a ticking time bomb regarding spent fuel rods?

I strongly recommend reading Cresson Kearney’s materials (downloadable for free) on Nuclear War Survival.  You will learn about doses and dosimeters, rads and fallout.  You will receive the plans on how to construct your own Kearney Fallout Meter from household materials.  The series contains a wealth of information that you can burn off…information that may save your life.

Advanced Tactical Gas Mask – Are You Ready for a Biological, Nuclear or Chemical Attack?

There was an interesting movie entitled Olympus Has Fallen starring Gerald Butler.  The premise revolved around terrorists wishing to turn the tables and utilize all of the US nuclear sites against itself…missiles, reactors, and what not.  This is not far-fetched.  A good thing to research would be the proximity of the nuclear sites to your home.  This photo comes from the International Nuclear Safety Center, and I think it substantiates my concerns.

You can see by the photo that the largest concentration of nuclear power facilities is located in the Northeast and the Great Lakes regions of the United States.  Localize these facilities in your home state and you can then conduct the kind of research you need that will help protect you.  There are some questions you should ask.  What are the containment procedures in case of a power loss?  How much material is being stored in the facility?  What are all your distances of the facility from your home, where you and your family work and go to school, etc.  What routes would you use should the unthinkable actually occur?

You may wish to consider a good fallout meter (also known as a radiological survey meter, or Geiger counter), along with dosimeters and other cumulative radiation monitors.  The Nukalert monitor will actually let out a “chirping” noise when you come into a nuclear-irradiated area.  There are also hazmat suits/NBC suits that you may purchase.  As in all dangers and disasters, there are a certain amount of things that are out of your control; however, there are also many things you can do to prepare for them.  Research and planning is crucial in your preparations, and I highly recommend studying your area for as much information as you can find regarding this important topic.  Have a good day, and keep up the good work!


Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.

Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.

Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Originally published March 8th, 2016
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23 Responses to What Happens to Nuclear Power Plants Following an EMP?

  1. shadows_edge says:

    I think you mean still happening in regards to fukashima… they are going to be in melt down for decades… and the folks on the west coast and being irradiated every day. Other than that good article JJ

  2. clarioncaller says:

    You can thank the peanut farmer for his EO that ‘deep sixed’ breeder reactors and reprocessing nuclear fuel. We now have tons of radioactive waste which, if an EMP destroys the grid, will begin to emit it’s deadly payload.

  3. asimov says:

    Being a former nuclear power plant operator, I can tell you how the plants I worked at prepared a total lack of power, a situation in which grid power was lost, generator power was lost, EVERY source of power was gone. The plant(s) had a convection emergency cooling system. Cool water from the lake, river, ocean, whatever would circulate through cooling pipes, the flow driven by thermal driving head. The emergency system did not engage immediately, in case power was restored within a short time. The inlet valves of the cooling system were held closed by compressed air. The compressed air holding tank had an vent valve held shut by electricity. A throttle valve in the vent line allowed timing of the air release. With a total loss of power, the vent valve opened releasing air. If power was restored within the design parameters of the cooling system, the vent vale shut and emergency cooling was aborted. If power loss continued, the air tank completely vent, the emergency cooling inlet valves opened initiating emergency cooling.

  4. IMHO says:

    Not to diminish the dangers of nuclear power, which is the dumbest and most deadly form of power generation their is, but, too much fear is being generated about EMPs. The effects of an EMP would be minimal and would not be hard to rectify afterwards.
    Lets just stick to the fact that Nuclear Power is just another way that people have condemned their offspring with a “kick the problem down the road mentality”. Just like the National Debt fraud, the Health Insurance Fraud, the Medical Industry Fraud, etc….
    The human race has gone insane.

    • Nathan Togain says:

      You don’t know jack-ßhit about EMP’s do you?

      • IMHO says:

        Apparently I know way more than you do BOY. And I will tell you that I know Mr. &hyt personally and he says for you to shut your stupid mouth and stop spelling his name wrong.

      • Nathan Togain says:

        No you don’t obviously, once it goes off your unprotected electronics fry.

    • 1Worker says:

      Not at all. Nuclear power is clean and extremely efficient. 5cents per Kw is very cheap. Coal is cheaper but they are using it as a scapegoat to cripple your savings. The farther they push us from cheap coal the closer they push us to dirty coal.

    • sd says:

      Coal is the deadliest way we generate electricity. Nuclear has a ridiculously, ridiculously low deathrate. Wind power kills more people per kwhr than nuclear.

      • IMHO says:

        I would like to know just what you base that on. Coal may be attributed to certain deaths but that is a dubious calculation. The nuclear industry has a history of covering for their deadly profession. Although no deaths were initially attributed to Three Mile Island the subsequent health and death rate in the nearby areas do have a correlation. Chernobyl was officially attributed to a little over one hundred deaths but W.H.O. says that the number of premature death could be four thousand and some report it in the tens of thousands. Either way you know the Soviet Union did not give factual numbers and when you consider the wide spread initial dispersion from the explosion, determining the long term effects of such a pollutant entering the atmosphere is about as hard to determine as from coal exhaust. . They have only just now successfully enshrouded the building to stop radioactive dust from entering the atmosphere.

        There were only a few initial deaths from Fukushima but here it is six years later and that event is still ongoing and the continuing damages and health affects are just now coming to light. And since Fukushima IS still ongoing there is no way to determine what the end will be or how many deaths directly or indirectly will come of it.

        This is where the “kick the problem down the road” remark is relevant. There is so much nuclear waste that is piling up that is just a time bomb, so to speak, which future generations will have to deal with and/or die from. If Fukushima or Chernobyl had been coal plants then their stories would have been ended within days of their disasters but Fukushima is still exposing ionizing radiation which is being carried into the ocean and atmosphere. The structure that covers Chernobyl will only last about a hundred years, supposedly, and future generations will have to deal with that as well.

        There are many other aging and precarious nuclear plants throughout the world, including the U.S. that are subject to aging and possible natural disaster, just as Fukushima, which will inevitably cost the lives and health of untold numbers of people.

        So I think your statement is premature, short sighted and inconsiderate to future generations.

      • sd says:

        I base the comment on the VERIFIED death toll. If we assume the maximum estimates for Chernobyl and then estimate them out over the period it’s still gonna kill less people per kwhr than die in accidents for wind, and orders of magnitude fewer than coal, mostly mining. Consideration for future generations does not obligate me to regard speculation as more important than data.

      • IMHO says:

        Nice spin.

  5. Badger Badgerism says:


  6. Paul D says:

    That map has at least one mistake.

    It shows a nuke plant at the tip of the mitt in Michigan that closed back in 97.

  7. Horse says:

    This article was fairly useless.
    I have talked with someone at the Minn plant about three years ago,
    was told some about the backups.
    In the end he said if I don’t like my odds to move.
    I’m in the middle if WI in the path of anything coming from the mid west plants in Minn.

  8. 1Worker says:

    One second here. Fucashima had a problem with operations personnel. Nuclear reactors are equipped with a system understood as Thermal Syphoning. This is a cooling system which works on gravity if the valving in the system is correctly positioned. This will dissipate the heat generated by the fuel without any electrical systems functioning.
    General Electric Mark 1 reactors required this to be done manually and the valves had to be manipulated by personnel. On the other hand the CANDU reactor is built to have valves fail to this position as a safety and no manual positioning is required. All nuclear reactors are not built equally nor do they use the same fuel. American reactors use enriched uranium whereas CANDU reactors use naturally occurring uranium. Enriched is 7% natural is 0.5%. That is a huge difference. That difference is that Canadians don’t build bombs with the resultant product, plutonium.
    Canadian reactors have four levels of secondary power generation if systems begin to fail. The reactor itself has its own power siphoned to itself before anything gets to the grid and then there is drawing from the grid, jet turbine generation, Battery back up, diesel electric generation and finally a last if needed jet turbine generation in another standby mode and source.
    Canada built what everyone said could not be done. Then they made it the safest in the world.

  9. 1Worker says:

    Hey Butch, the two waters are contained in two different systems and never touch each other save in an exchange mechanism called a heat exchanger. Tubes have water flowing through them while in the shell water flows over them. The two do not touch. Yes there is excessive capacity in a heat exchanger such that if you were to plug 1/4 of the tubes it would still function. Hot water expands and rises. Cold water falls. It is called Thermal siphoning and requires no pumps.

  10. user87392601543 says:

    Europe is sending their nuclear waste to the US.
    Why is Islama allowing this crime against America? Ooops forgot. he hates us.
    We need Trump as fast as we can……..

  11. GRAMPA says:

    As an electrical contractor I know mechanical backup can be put in place with the loss of a control power. The plant could be brought to a default condition by preset latch methods that would unlatch only if total power was lost. The rods would lower under gravity power and stop the nuclear action. An attack on controls with EMP would have the unit closed down. Mechanical temperature devices would also set the mechanical devices in motion to close the rods down. This action would then allow them to switch to the isolated controls to restart and remove any virus.

  12. William Ingram says:

    I have heard (I don’t know if it is true)
    that should any Nuclear Plant be shut down because of a critical, technical or political reason it is to be flooded (not overflowing) and left to rot for 10,000 years or longer.

  13. Lee Johnson says:

    Seems likee no one cares about Fukushima. Let’s stick our heads in the sand and it will go away. How much longer can marine life survive in the Pacific Ocean.

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