Why didn't the sensors/scientists on the Ark station (when it was still in orbit) pick up the nuclear radiation storms brewing all over the world?

Or did they only form after arkfall? Surely the unmaintained nuclear arsenals/power stations would still have released something into the atmosphere in the preceeding 97years!

I didn't think much of the scientists on the Ark (and the 'science') before this but now I'm losing any respect I could have had for the 'science' of the show.

I'll admit that watching the 100 is one of my guilty pleasures but I haven't visited any fansites etc so apologise if this has already been asked somewhere other than SE.

  • 1
    My understanding was that the Ark didn't know anything about the Earth at all...they hoped it would be habitable which is why they sent the 100 to test it.
    – Paulie_D
    Aug 31, 2016 at 11:11

2 Answers 2


or did they only form after ark fall?

Yes. The power plants started to melt recently, simultaneously and after the "Ark fall"

To be exact, 4 months before the events in the 16th episode of the third season. As Alie says

The nuclear power plants that were destroyed by the bombshave begun to melt down.

My drones detected the first of them 4 months ago.

There are more than a dozen at-risk plants around the world, 7 currently burning.

Global radiation levels are already rising.

The Ark landed in the end of the first season. According to this timeline, that will be, Oct 11, 2149

Season 3 starts Jan 27, 2150, ~ three and half months later. And estimated to end by the end of February.

So season 3 ended after ~ four and half months from the "Ark fall". Means the power plants started to melt ~ half a month after the Arc fall (The scientists, the stations and every one was already on the ground).

And to explain why the power plants started to melt at the same time

When Clarke Asked Raven to check if Alie is telling the truth, here's what she found

Raven: After the second Fukushima disaster, Panacea Power patented a fail safe system with multiple redundancies.

By 2048, two dozen mega reactors were built to withstand any disaster, even a nuclear attack.

Harper : But that's good, right?

Jasper : There's always a catch.

Raven : The plants were built to be self-sustaining for a hundred years.

Monty : So the warrantee just ran out.


Becca was a scientist and the owner of the Polaris space station. Becca's company designed most of the tech on the space stations that made up the Ark. She also designed A.L.I.E. that destroyed most of mankind. They did not let Polaris dock with the other 12 stations. Becca did not want to turn over her research. Polaris was destroyed but Becca managed to escape and return to Earth in an escape pod with A.L.I.E. 2.0 and with some vials of nightblood.

It is quite posible that losing the Polaris station caused the Ark to lose a number of high tech systems as well as communications with the ground and even ELIGIUS Corporation that Becca was also doing research for. The nightblood was researched originally for ELIGIUS so they could travel into deep space and not be affected by radiation.

One would think that Mt. Weather or even the Ark would have detected or known about the nuclear plants melting down soon. We saw that the leadership both on the Ark and at Mt. Weather were very secretive about what was really happening. How much they really knew is anyone's guess.

Raven and Jaha were able to dig into files once on the ground and discover the meltdown and about the New Dawn having a bunker, etc. If Clarke had not snooped around and escaped from Mt. Weather we never would have known about all the secret research they were doing. Then again, the Mt. Weather leadership and scientists did not seem to know anything about nightblood and the A.L.I.E. chip or Becca's Island.

I tend to agree that there should be more continuity with the scientific aspects of the show. It would seem that the writers are more focused on what the fans want: the savage behavior of the grounder culture, the moral dilemas and choices they face, and the relationships between the characters on the show.

  • Good points. Haven't watched any of the last season. Maybe they answered the question in one of tose episodes? Will have to find a free weekend soon and find out! Jul 24, 2017 at 8:17

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.