1. meltdown, nuclear meltdown, overheating

usage: severe overheating of the core of a nuclear reactor resulting in the core melting and radiation escaping

2. meltdown, calamity, catastrophe, disaster, tragedy, cataclysm

usage: a disaster comparable to a nuclear meltdown; "there is little likelihood of a meltdown comparable to the American banking collapse in March 1933"

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See also: meltdown (Dictionary)