China Syndrome Meaning

(medicine) A rare disease, first characterized in the early 1990s, which resembles poliomyelitis but which has somewhat different characteristics and occurs in persons vaccinated for poliomyelitis.

Example: 1971, Ralph E. Lapp, "Thoughts on Nuclear Plumbing," New York Times, 12 Dec., p. E11:
  The Ergen report contains an analysis showing that the high-temperature mass would sink into the earth and grow in size for about two years. . . . This behavior projection is known as the China syndrome.
2002, Douglas Chapin et al., "Nuclear Power Plants and Their Fuel as Terrorist Targets," Science, vol. 297, no. 5589, p. 1997:
  The molten mass did not even fully penetrate the 0.5-cm cladding, confirming tests in Karlsruhe, Germany, and in Idaho, that the "China syndrome" is not a credible possibility.
1983, Dorothy S. Zinberg, Uncertain Power: The Struggle for a National Energy Policy, ISBN 9780080293882, p. 43:
  The report judged the risks of catastrophic nuclear power plant accidents (known as core meltdowns or China syndromes) to be socially acceptable.
2000, "Now It's Time to Figure Out Who Caused All the Y2K Fuss,", 11 Jan.:
  Contrary to accounts in the media, he states, "bugs of this nature don't cause China Syndromes or missile launches, at least not generally."
2005, Justin Lahart. "Ahead of the Tape," Wall Street Journal (Eastern ed.), 6 Oct., p. C1:
  And then there is the China syndrome. . . . China now represents about 20% of Korea's total trade.
2006, Pan American Health Organization, Poliomyelitis Eradication: Field Guide, ISBN 9789275116074, p. 49:
  Unlike poliomyelitis, paralysis in China syndrome is symmetrical. In addition, cases are seasonal.