Wow didn't know that...
It is not in the interests of the west to say nice things about Chernobyl, but the radiation didn't kill everything within a 1,000 mile radius and the mutants depicted in STALKER were not created, though actual mutants and mutations did occur they were real mutations and mutants... not movie ones. Getting bitten by a radioactive spider in a movie turns you into Spiderman. In the 1980s there were a series of cheap B movies about a nerd that is pushed and falls into toxic waste and he becomes the toxic avenger... in real life if you don't die it inflicts pain and suffering and shortens your life and makes things much harder.
Western countries were interested in blaming the Soviets so of course they monitored radiation levels and increased funding to healthcare regarding cancer and people got checked more thoroughly than they normally would... any increase in cancers could therefore be blamed on the Soviets and Chernobyl.
As I mentioned at the time and even right now the key to surviving cancer is early detection and treatment... technology being rather better today than back then, but people keep dying from cancer.
I would not be so sure. Water is gone, temperature goes up. Control bars or they mechanisms could be damaged by the warhead too, it is not so crazy to think that I would say.
Actually that is wrong... if the water goes then the temperature does go up but who cares? The temperature will never go up high enough to create fusion or even fission because the material is fuel grade enriched and not weapon grade enriched so you will never achieve critical mass.
If you leave the water there however it is under pressure so the boiling temperature is increased... running normally the water temperature is 5 or 6 hundred degrees C and it only just starts to turn into steam to drive turbines because of the immense pressure it is under... hence they are called Pressurised water reactors or PWRs. If you keep heating it up to thousands of degrees it gets very energetic and the hydrogen and oxygen separate but are still mixed together and at those temperatures you don't need a spark and you have oxygen and hydrogen mixed together in gas form hydrogen being a fuel and oxygen being an oxidiser and heat... = boom. Not a nuke boom, but still a boom which releases the now melted radioactive materials.
But modern nuclear reactors have safety measures... one of the ones introduced is that a matrix of control rods that are normally moved between the fuel rods to stop the reactions are designed to operate automatically. One common method is to use electromagnets to hold the control rods above the fuel rods when the reactor is running. If there is a power cut or some problem the magnetic field holding the control rods up either goes off in a power cut or can be turned off manually... making the control rods drop into place and effectively shut down the reactor by stopping the reaction.
Earth quake, Tsunami, fire, or any other problem and it automatically shuts down... if it is a false alarm then you can turn it back on again easily enough.
Even used up fuel rods left without water heat up badly too. Fukushima gave us some nasty surprises about how nuclear reactors work and what happens when supporting systems are damaged. Not every system is intrinsically safe, much less when things get blown to pieces wit explosives
The Soviets and Russians learned a lot regarding Chernobyl and started building safety features into their reactors. Fukushima is an old American design that had backup generators and things like that but once the whole reactor was ironically swamped with water and sea water at that... the electric generators stopped working and backups stopped too and without power they were unable to shut down the reactors properly. The earthquake did some damage but it was the water damage from the Tsunami that really created the problems... and of course poor design in terms of safety... but you wont hear that latter fact from western sources...
Fission happens naturally on radioactive materials, and if you put them close to each other the process reinforces itself... not saying they are going to explode like an atom bomb. What did you understand?
Fission is not an issue as you explain... fission is only a problem when critical mass is achieved and a runaway nuclear reaction takes place, which as I said is not possible because the material is not enriched to weapon grade levels so even a thousand tons of the stuff stacked together will just get hot enough to melt and then dribble down into the ground... it will not go boom.
CMs/BMs and specially bunker-buster bombs can go through meters and in some cases tens of meters of reinforced concrete and steel before going off, so I very much doubt a reactor contention structure has any chance, unless it was like 100 m below ground...
Yeah... all they have to do is penetrate Russian air defences with a bomber big enough to carry this huge bunker buster munitions and not get shot down by aircraft or SAMs on the way to or around the target... and of course be fully aware that they will likely respond in kind and using mach 10 hypersonic missiles would probably make replying in kind actually much easier for them...
If Israel does it to Iran I am sure they will be scooping up the radiated material and popping it in cannisters to launch at Israel... which is a much smaller country and much easier to contaminate with radioactive materials.
They have the capability to enrich various materials to dangerous levels and put them in a ceramic container lined with control rod materials and over the target eject the fissile material over the enemy territory...