American slang for a nuclear fission meltdown accident in which the molten nuclear core heats and melts the ground beneath it, thus sinking into the earth, and heading towards China (which is roughly on the opposite side of the globe (actually I always thought that Australia was on the other side of the globe, whatever)).

Also a movie released in 1979 starring Jane Fonda and Michael Douglas. The movie has a very anti-nuclear energy slant to it. Coincidentally, just days after this movie's release in theaters the near-meltdown at Three Mile Island occured.

In one episode of The Simpsons I believe Homer claimed to have caused a China Syndrome.

Source: The Internet Movie Database

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