A striking coincidence

The China Syndrome (Columbia Pictures)

March 16 1979: “The China Syndrome” came out in theaters all over US. The movie revolves around a small team of journalists that happen to witness an accident while doing a report on a nuclear power plant. Although determined to get the word out with the help of the Shift Supervisor they soon meet strong resistance from the plant management who are trying to cover up the full extent of the event. It is mainly through this movie that many heard for the first time about the “China Syndrome”, a nuclear accident concept involving a total melting of the core followed by a fictitious trip through the Earth’s crust all the way down to the antipodes.1

March 28 1979 (less than 2 weeks afterward): Unit 2 in Three Mile Island Nuclear Power Plant, Pennsylvania, went through a serious accident that was completely tackled only a week later. The health and environmental effects were fortunately very limited if not non-existent, even though after opening the reactor vessel many years later it was discovered that the core had partially melted.

Dead Man's Letters (Lenfilm)

March 1986: Konstantin Lopushansky had just finished the shooting of “Dead Man’s Letters” (Pisma myortvogo cheloveka) in Soviet Union. This movie follows a group of humans barely surviving underground after a nuclear war set off by mistake, under a radioactivity-polluted land. Five weeks later, on April 26 1986, Unit 4 in the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant exploded and contaminated several thousands of km² of neighbouring land.

Aun – the beginning and the end of all things (Edgar Honetschläger)

January 29 2011: World Premiere of “AUN: The Beginning and the End of All Things” at the in International Film Festival Rotterdam. This Austrian-Japanese production focused on the tragic fate of a Japanese scientist looking for alternative energy sources, as well as his son seems to hold the key to protect mankind from self-destruction.2

March 11 2011: the Tohoku earthquake and subsequent tsunami wreaked havoc on 4 Units of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant and thus triggered the worst nuclear disaster in Japan.

Wait a minute…

According to the current statistical consensus a 3-element sample is enough to draw conclusions with certainty (for example the results of this study are based on a difference of 3 cases). In light of the previous correlations it can then be established that nuclear disasters are caused not by engineering mistakes or natural events but by the film industry!



  1. Interestingly enough if we exclude Hawaii and Alaska US antipodes are actually not located in China but right in the middle of the Indian Ocean. The only dry land in this area is the French Southern and Antarctic Land (Kerguelen, Amsterdam and St. Paul islands). []
  2. I have to admit that I did not see this movie and that I didn’t even understand its synopsis, so please don’t be too upset if I took some liberties with the story. []
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