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Posted: 9/16/2001 10:08:42 AM EDT
The following summary of effects is based on a 20-megaton ground-burst nuclear detonation above a city with a population of 2.8 million during the day time when many people from outlying areas would be in the city working or shopping. Ground Zero to Two Miles: Within 1/1000th of a second, a fireball would form enveloping downtown and reaching out for two miles in every direction from ground zero, the point where the bomb went off. Temperatures would rise to 20 million degrees Fahrenheit, and everything--buildings, trees, cars, and people--would be vaporized. Two Miles to Four Miles from Ground Zero: Out to a distance of 4 miles, the blast would produce pressures of 25 pounds per square inch and winds in excess of 650 miles per hour. These titanic forces would rip buildings apart and level everything, including reinforced concrete and steel structures. Even deep underground bomb shelters would be crushed. Four Miles to Ten Miles from Ground Zero: As far as six miles from the center of the explosion, the heat would vaporize automobile sheet metal. Glass would melt. Out to a distance of ten miles in all directions, the heat would still be intense enough to melt sheet metal. At this distance, the blast wave would create pressures of 7 to 10 pounds per square inch and winds of 200 miles per hour. Reinforced concrete buildings would be heavily damaged and all other buildings--masonry and wood frame--would be leveled. Sixteen Miles from Ground Zero: At a distance of 16 miles from the center, the heat would ignite all easily flammable materials--houses, paper, cloth, leaves, gasoline, heating fuel--starting hundreds of thousands of fires. Fanned by blast winds still in excess of 100 miles per hour, these fires would merge into a giant firestorm more than 30 miles across and covering 800 square miles. Everything within this entire area would be consumed by flames. Temperatures would rise to 1400 degrees Fahrenheit. The death rate would approach 100%. Firestorms of this type, though on a smaller scale, developed in Hamburg and Dresden and in parts of Tokyo after conventional bombing attacks during World War II. The information gained from these experiences has particular relevance to the question of fallout shelters. In these earlier firestorms only those who left their bomb shelters had any chance of surviving. Those who remained in underground shelters were killed, roasted as their bunkers were turned into ovens and suffocated as the fires consumed all of the oxygen in the air.
Link Posted: 9/16/2001 10:09:57 AM EDT
Beyond Sixteen Miles: At 21 miles from ground zero, the blast would still produce pressures of two pounds per square inch, enough to shatter glass windows and turn each of them into hundreds of lethal missiles flying outward from the center at 100 miles per hour. At 29 miles away from the center the heat would be so intense that all exposed skin, not protected by clothing, would suffer third degree burns. To a distance of 32 miles second degree burns. Even as far as 40 miles from ground zero anyone who turned to gaze at the sudden flash of light would be blinded by burns on the retina at the back of their eyes. Major Injuries Caused by a Nuclear Explosion: Casualties Within minutes after the bomb exploded 1,000,000 people would die. Among the 1,800,000 survivors more than 1,100,000 would be fatally injured. Another 500,000 would have major injuries from which they might recover if they received adequate medical care. Less than 200,000 people would remain without injuries. Burn Wounds In the immediate post attack period, burns would constitute the most common and serious medical problem. Hundreds of thousands of people would have sustained major second and third degree burns, some from the direct effects of the heat flash on exposed skin, others injured in the thousands of fires that would rage on the periphery of the great firestorm. These people would need urgent and intensive medical therapy. It would not be available. Facilities for Treating Burn Wounds In most major metropolitan areas there are only 100 burn beds and most of these would have been destroyed by the bomb. At best, a tiny fraction of the hundreds of thousands of burn patients would receive appropriate medical care. The rest would die. Other Types of Injuries In addition to these burn patients there would be many thousands of other injuries. People blinded by the blast flash or deafened when the pressure wave ruptured their ear drums. People with lungs collapsed by the tremendous pressures. People with stab wounds of the head chest and abdomen who had been struck by flying debris. People with bones broken when they had been hurled through the air by the hurricane force winds or trapped under collapsing buildings. The Effects of Radiation Sickness The Effects of Fall-Out Shortly after the explosion, there would be added to this list of casualties tens of thousands of others suffering from a unique form of injury: radiation sickness. The precise extent of radiation injuries would depend to a great deal on weather conditions; particularly the direction and speed of the wind at the time of the explosion. These factors would determine how far, and in what direction, the fallout would spread.
Link Posted: 9/16/2001 10:10:35 AM EDT
Effects of High Doses of Radiation Sickness People who were exposed to very high doses of radiation, 4000 to 5000 Rads, would suffer what is known as the central nervous system syndrome. Their brain tissue, damaged by the radiation, would swell, causing nausea, vomiting, explosive diarrhea, and progressive difficulty walking talking and thinking clearly. They would develop convulsions and pass into a coma and die, usually within the first day or two after the bomb. Once someone had been exposed to doses in this range, there would be no effective treatment. Effects of Medium Doses of Radiation Sickness People exposed to lesser doses of radiation, down to about 400 to 600 Rads, would suffer a gastrointestinal form of radiation sickness. They would experience nausea, vomiting and diarrhea soon after exposure which would last for several days and then seem to improve. But, after a few days to a week, the symptoms would return and become worse. The diarrhea and vomit would become bloody as the lining of their stomachs and intestines, damaged by the radiation, began to shed. The majority of these patients would also die, despite the most intensive medical therapy. Effects of Low Doses of Radiation Sickness People with even smaller radiation exposure, in the 100 to 300 Rad range, would suffer from the hematologic radiation syndrome. They also would suffer nausea, vomiting and diarrhea for a few days, but these symptoms would resolve. About three weeks after exposure, their bone marrow would stop producing normal numbers of blood cells. As their white blood cell count fell, they would become prey to infection. Sores would form in their mouths. Burns and other wounds suffered in the initial attack would become infected and fail to heal. They would also have a fall in the number of platelets, the cell fragments that help blood to clot. They would hemorrhage into their skin, and new bleeding would begin in the intestines and stomach. Chances For Survival From Radiation Sickness Those who had received doses in the lower end of this range would have a very great chance of surviving if they received adequate care. Those at the upper end of the exposure scale would have a much worse prognosis, even if they received intensive therapy. Unfortunately it would be impossible to tell how much radiation a given patient had received. Except at the very highest doses, the initial symptoms would be the same. The already overwhelming problem of caring for the wounded would be complicated by an inability to decide who might benefit from therapy and should receive whatever resources might be available.
Link Posted: 9/16/2001 10:11:24 AM EDT
The Effects of a Nuclear Explosion on Medical Care Effects of a Nuclear Explosion on Health Care Professionals There would be only the most limited medical resources available to care for the million and a half casualties. Doctors, who tend to live and work in and near big cities, would be killed and wounded at rates even higher than the general population. Nearly 70 percent of the doctors in the metropolitan area would be killed outright or fatally wounded, and another 15 percent would suffer from lesser wounds. Less than 1000 doctors would survive uninjured. That would mean more than 1500 seriously injured patients for each doctor. Ability of Health Care Professionals to Treat the Wounded If each of these doctors spent only 10 minutes with each patient, and worked 20 hours each day, it would take 2 weeks before each injured person was seen for the first time. Even this grim picture is extremely optimistic. It assumes that all of the wounded were efficiently brought to medical facilities, a near impossible task in the twisted wreckage that would remain after the blast, where even roads would have been torn up or filled with rubble. It assumes that the available doctors would have the strength, both physical and emotional, to work 20 hours a day caring for these horribly injured patients. That they would be willing to abandon their family responsibilities and to expose themselves to continued radioactive contamination in order to meet their professional responsibilities. That they would spend no time caring for pre-existing medical problems, or for new acute problems --heart attacks, strokes-- that would occur, independent of the bomb, at the usual expected rates. That they would spend no time comforting, or even talking to the bereaved. That they would not have to take time to see people who were not actually physically injured, but thought they were. That their would not be interrupted by frantic parents demanding more attention for their wounded and dying children. Resources Available to Health Care Professionals Following a Nuclear Explosion But even assuming that each patient did receive ten minutes of medical care, what difference would it make? Doctors would be working without any of the supplies and equipment that are essential to modern medicine. There would be fewer than 200 general hospital beds left in the entire metropolitan area. There would be few X-ray machines and no electricity to run those that were not destroyed. Whatever stocks of medicine were not consumed in the initial blast and fire would be rapidly exhausted. There would be no antibiotics to treat infection, no sterile surgical instruments to debride the wounds. There would be no blood, plasma, or intravenous solutions to maintain those who were bleeding or unable to drink. In fact, there would be almost no water for those who could drink, and what scant supplies remained would be contaminated with radioactive debris, and probably also with bacteria. There would be no bandages to dress the burns and no plaster to set the broken bones. There would not even be narcotics to ease the pain. And so this ten minutes of medical care would matter very little to those who were seen. But, of course, most would not find their way to care. They would suffer alone, trapped in the wreckage, and untended. And they would die. Even among the half million wounded whose injuries were not necessarily fatal, most would die.
Link Posted: 9/16/2001 10:17:19 AM EDT
Sounds like just the recipe for the middle east. Got Nukes?
Link Posted: 9/16/2001 10:18:44 AM EDT
That's pretty depressing news for the average North American survivalist. _Fs
Link Posted: 9/16/2001 10:27:38 AM EDT
Home Sweet Home = Ground Zero. Why would you want to be anywhere else?
Link Posted: 9/16/2001 10:30:54 AM EDT
USNJoe: My daughter read your post and was interested to know where did you get your info. Are you involved in dealing with nuclear materials? Thanks USA! USA! USA!
Link Posted: 9/16/2001 10:37:49 AM EDT
That info sounds like it came from Physicians for Social Responsibility: [url]http://www.psr.org/Helfand1.htm[/url] . Just FYI, PSR is an anti-gun organization.
Link Posted: 9/16/2001 11:03:18 AM EDT
Hmm., how do we expose Bin Laden to the right amount of Radiation so he'll spend a while vomiting the lining of his stomach.
Link Posted: 9/16/2001 11:22:27 AM EDT
Don't want to sound ignorant ( I am, I just don't want to sound that way) but, how does a 20 megaton compare to the Hiroshima bomb? Also would 20 megaton be considered a tactical nuke or are they smaller output?
Link Posted: 9/16/2001 11:39:06 AM EDT
Yes, that fit's in pretty much what we were taught at NBC Warfare Defense School when I was in the Military. By the way the 400 MPH + winds are part of what is called a "Mach Stem". The Radiation will be composed mainly of Alpha, Beta and Gamma "Rays", close to "Ground Zero" will be what is known as the "Initial Radiation", you will not survive that at all. Alpha and Beta are not a so penetrating and can be protected against with less shielding. Gamma is a serious problem as the shielding would have to be much greater depending on material such as earth, steel, concrete, lead, etc. There is a formula for all of this which in part has to do with Time and Distance, etc. There are different methods of where the "Device" is detonated. Some are the "Air Burst", the "Surface Burst" (this is where material is picked up from the ground in the initial "Fireball". Then you have "Sub-Surface" and so on. The subject can be very interesting. I still remember from my school day's of drills that would cause us to dive under our desks to protect ourselves. That's before we knew any better. I was part of one of the "Tests" in the late 50's. Much of the result's of a Nuclear attack and the "Fallout" afterwards are of course tied in to what type of burst in was, landscape, weather, daytime or nighttime, etc. The duration of the radiation is measured in half-life's before it decay's where it is no longer a serious problem. half-life's are measured for some particles in thousands of years. Just mentioned this to further wet the appetite of members interested in what USNJoe just posted. I won't bother going in the Biological and Chemical part of the school.
Link Posted: 9/16/2001 11:46:49 AM EDT
Originally Posted By GWF: Don't want to sound ignorant ( I am, I just don't want to sound that way) but, how does a 20 megaton compare to the Hiroshima bomb? Also would 20 megaton be considered a tactical nuke or are they smaller output?
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A 20 megaton nuke is much, much more powerful (1333 times) than the Hiroshima bomb, which had a yield of about 15 kilotons. Most strategic nuclear missiles have warheads in the 100-500 kiloton range. Warheads have gotten smaller as guidance systems have improved since a direct hit with a small bomb is as good as near hit with a big bomb. Also, a MIRVed missile can hit multiple targets instead of inflicting massive overkill on a single target. But the Russians do still have some SS-18s armed with 20 megaton warheads.
Link Posted: 9/16/2001 12:21:48 PM EDT
1 megaton=1 million tons TNT 1 kiloton=1 thousand tons TNT
Link Posted: 9/16/2001 12:25:27 PM EDT
Yes, that is where I got the info from. Anti-gun or not it is still valid info. [img]http://www.fas.org/nuke/guide/usa/slbm/pg63l.jpg[/img] Launch of a Trident D-5, 5 MIRV's with 475 kilotons of power each. The USA had the MK-41, it was a 25 megaton air dropped bomb. The last one was "retired" in 1975. Our largest "device" we have is the B-83 air dropped bomb, it can go as high as 1.2 megatons of power. [img]http://www.fas.org/nuke/hew/Usa/Weapons/B83release.jpg[/img] All the info you could ever want on nuclear weapons: [url]http://www.fas.org/nuke/hew/index.html[/url]
Originally Posted By Renamed: That info sounds like it came from Physicians for Social Responsibility: [url]http://www.psr.org/Helfand1.htm[/url] . Just FYI, PSR is an anti-gun organization.
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Link Posted: 9/16/2001 1:44:46 PM EDT
Just put me at ground zero.
Link Posted: 9/16/2001 2:06:19 PM EDT
I am about 50 miles from Los Angeles, but I have hills in the way, so I would not be directly affected by a nuke detonation in that city. If I bugged out right after the detonation, I would probably get away with no harm done. Unfortunately I am directly east of LA which puts me in the fallout path so I wouldn't be able to stick around here for any time at all. What is that stuff in the pills you take to keep your thyroid from absorbing radiation? I need to get some of that. It would probably save my life in my situation.
Link Posted: 9/16/2001 2:20:14 PM EDT
I remember reading that back in 1961, the Soviet Union tested the largest hydrogen bomb ever built, it reportedly exploded with a force of 58 megatons. Now thats one big bomb!
Link Posted: 9/16/2001 3:13:30 PM EDT
Originally Posted By book: I remember reading that back in 1961, the Soviet Union tested the largest hydrogen bomb ever built, it reportedly exploded with a force of 58 megatons. Now thats one big bomb!
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Yep "Tsar Bomba". It was a trinary, dirty divice. If you put U238 shell back on a B53 it will do 20-25Mt also with a lot of fallout, but they have been made "clean" and have a tungstin shell. The high yeald version also spread lots of cesium, strontium, plutonium and other radioactive contaminants from incomplete fission of that outer shell. Anyplace the dirty bomb dropped would be impassible for 100 years. It was the Clinton admins decision to include these devices in the "enduring stockpile". Knowing how those wakos think, I beleve they were actually kept to use on a meteor or comet! They are stored in pieces, and when they dissasembled them they only kept the physics package not the bomb body.
Link Posted: 9/16/2001 3:30:03 PM EDT
Thanks, I am even more depressed. Just sit my a$$ at gound zero. I won't want to live through all of that. Good info though.
Link Posted: 9/16/2001 3:36:47 PM EDT
Link Posted: 9/16/2001 3:42:22 PM EDT
the chemical to prevent thyroid damage is potassium iodide tablets. you take them and it saturates your thyroid so the thyroid doesn't take up any radioactive iodine. However, radioactive iodine is a tertiary concern when you are BEING NUKED :) In a situation like this, assuming you survive the heat, wind, overpressure, and fire, the second you know the big one is here, put on an NBC gas mask. The only thing you can do to protect against the primary radiation of an H-Bomb is lots of shelter. but assuming you survive that, w/o NBC gear you are as good as dead from radioactive fallout consumption. alphabeta
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