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China syndrome

noun
1.
a hypothetical nuclear-reactor accident in which the fuel would melt through the floor of the containment structure and burrow into the earth.
Origin
1970-1975
1970-75; from the jocular notion that the hot reactor core would pass through to the other side of the earth
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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