Sunday, 22 June 2014

Zombies vs Nuclear Power - How To Survive

Like you, I have a Zombie Plan. It’s very interesting what your plan can sometimes say about you. Some people want to kill themselves immediately to avoid the trauma and constant burden of hardcore survival. If they’re running zombies then even I will admit this is a strong Plan B. Some people want to head north and wait for the zombies to freeze. Some want to head south where it’ll be warm and fertile. Some just want to go zombie-hunting. Some want to loot. Some want to seal themselves underground in a nuclear fallout shelter. Some want to find a blimp and coast breezily over the apocalypse.

Yes this seems feasible

Those people in the fallout shelter might have the right idea. The other day someone pointed out to me that nuclear power plants require constant attendance. Otherwise within two weeks, the coolant will have evaporated. That’s an important component. Without it, people start using words like ‘radiation poisoning’ and ‘disaster’ and ‘meltdown’. There are currently nine active nuclear power plants in the UK.

After the break, we’ll see how this factor can be included in the Zombie Plan.

Personally I have two plans. My first plan is fun and dumb: get myself a blue Mohawk and leather jacket, all the rope I can carry, and climb from rooftop to rooftop across London above a sea of undead commuters, raiding all the expensive shops and offices, decorating my nest with all the sparkly things. This is obviously suicide by stupidity but you can’t deny it’d be badass. The other plan is my sensible one, and here’s a hint: it’s boat-oriented. I know how to sail a boat and if it has an engine that’s even easier. I know how to build a solar still to purify seawater (if I have the materials). My granddad tried to take me fishing once. After we’re at sea we have plenty of time to figure everything out, provided we grabbed some how-to books while we were collecting the rest of our supplies.

Anything is simple when you have the materials

But if your plan is to hang around on the land like some kind of chump, how do we account for the nuclear fallout factor? I’m sure there are ways to make them safe before they’re abandoned but I’m a big believer in the old saying: hope for the best, plan for the worst. Maybe there’ll be no meltdowns at all and it’ll just be the zombies we have to deal with. But what’s the worst case scenario?

Yes, worse than this

This is a handy webpage where you can see a map of the danger zones depending on which reactor has a disaster. They even have various options for wind direction. I don’t fully understand how they worked it out but setting it to 270 degrees makes much more stuff go red so that can’t be good. Here’s a few of the various disaster zones:

Sweet Jesus Christ. Okay. Don’t panic. I tell you what, these are all maps of individual power plants’ disaster zones. If we layer them, maybe we’ll be able to see a safe zone emerge. After all, we don’t know which ones might go off so let’s stay away from every single one. Maybe there’ll be a lucky little spot that won’t get touched by any of it. I’m hopeful about the Welsh border.


OH MY GOD. Okay. Oh god. Okay. So… okay. Deep breaths. We can adapt to this. Let’s not freak out. So the British Isles would be a zombie-ridden wasteland of boiling nuclear poison. Even if atmospheric contamination doesn’t get you – meaning the miles-high plumes of radioactive particles belching out of the ruined structures – then the ecological contamination will. It’ll get into the groundwater, lakes, rivers and reservoirs. The water around Chernobyl, for example, is still completely undrinkable even now, thirty years later. How much bottled water do you think you can carry? Hell, how much do you think you can find? And canned food? While being chased by zombies? This just reinforces my sensible boat-plan. We really gotta leave.

As much as I believe we can live on the ocean forever, at some point we’ll probably have to make landfall. The British Isles are off the menu. So is Europe and Japan. So are large chunks of the USA. It’s easier just to look at this map:

The blue dots are nuclear power stations. Don’t worry about the red patches, they’re just earthquake zones. No biggie. This makes it pretty clear where we have to go in my magical miracle boat. Leaving from the UK, our best bet looks like either Ireland or Norway. Maybe Iceland but from what I gather it’s already quite desolate. North Africa is also an option but holy crap it’s really warm down there. The last thing I want after escaping an undead nuclear apocalypse is to be all sweaty.


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