A nuclear power plant is a thermal power station in which the heat source is a nuclear reactor. As is typical of thermal power stations, heat is used to generate steam that drives a steam turbine connected to a generator that produces electricity. One infamous incident is the Chernobyl Nuclear disaster.
1 day after people: Nuclear reactors across the world begin shutting down into safe mode. A mechanical system automatically engages to halt the nuclear reaction. The uranium used for fuel in these plants is naturally radioactive, meaning it releases energetic particles as it decays. The cooling pool may look harmless, but danger is simmering just beneath the surface.
10 days after people: Discarded fuel rods are primed for a toxic reawakening. With power lost to the cooling pools, heat from the rods is causing the water to boil away. Once the water level dips below the tops of the rod, and their temperature hits 700 degrees, the entire pool becomes a bonfire. Radiation has unleashed across from all direction
1 year after people: The areas around nuclear power plants have been devastated. There are now large irradiated dead zones for up to a mile radius around nuclear power plants.
175 years after people: The cooling pool fires at nuclear power plants went out long ago and life has returned to the dead zones. The power plants themselves are now structurally unstable. The most iconic structures in a nuclear power plant were the cooling towers. A steel lattice ring at the base supports the 50 foot tall concrete cooling tower but after nearly two centuries of corrosion the steel lattice ring doesn’t have any strength left. The cooling towers now fail at the base and tip over and humanity’s mighty power plants of the future are reduced to rubble.