>The Day After: 24 Hours Following a Nuclear Blast in an American City

>Please take the time to download this recent joint Harvard/Stanford report on what the first 24 hours would be like in a typical American city hit without warning by a 10-kiloton fission weapon.

You also should take the time to read this press release and this report on the medical facility impact of such an attack.

Key section:

Among the study’s findings:

– A 20-kiloton detonation would leave debris tens of feet thick in downtown areas with buildings 10-stories or higher. Roughly half of the population in downtown areas would be killed, mainly from collapsing buildings. Most of those surviving the initial blast in downtown areas would be exposed to a fatal dose of radiation.
– While the main effects from a 20-kiloton explosion would be from the blast and the radiation it releases, a 550-kiloton explosion would create additional and substantial casualties from burns. Such an explosion would superheat the blast zone, causing buildings to spontaneously combust. Mass fires would consume cities, reaching out nearly four miles (6.3 km) in all directions from the detonation site.
– A 550 kiloton detonation in New York would result in a fallout plume extending the length of Long Island, resulting in more than 5 million deaths. – A 550 kiloton detonation in Washington, D.C. would destroy hospitals in the District, but its fallout plume would also incapacitate hospitals in Baltimore, nearly 40 miles away.

The researchers note that in all four cities studied, hospitals are concentrated in the area most likely to be destroyed. Another weak link is the inability of the nation’s hospital system to treat the burn victims a 550-kiloton detonation would create. A 550-kiloton detonation in Atlanta, the least densely populated of the four cities studied, would result in nearly 300,000 serious burn victims.

“The hospital system has about 1,500 burn beds in the whole country, and of these maybe 80 or 90 percent are full at any given time,” Bell said. “There’s no way of treating the burn victims from a nuclear attack with the existing medical system.”

Now, consider whether you should adjust your plans accordingly.

Oh, and by the way, these folks are reliable providers of radiological measurement and training supplies.

One response to “>The Day After: 24 Hours Following a Nuclear Blast in an American City

  1. >For those of us unlucky enough to be caught in a “plume” area, consider adding potassium iodide to your preps. It’s cheap and has a reasonable shelf life.From Wikipedia:Potassium iodide may also be used to protect the thyroid from radioactive iodine in the event of an accident or attack at a nuclear power plant, or other nuclear attack, especially where a nuclear reactor is breached and the volatile radionuclides, which contain significant amount of 131I, are released into the environment. Radioiodine is a particularly dangerous radionuclide because the body concentrates it in the thyroid gland. Potassium iodide cannot protect against other causes of radiation poisoning, however, nor can it provide any degree of protection against a dirty bomb unless the bomb happens to contain a significant amount of radioactive iodine. In case of a nuclear emergency, iodine used for the cleaning of wounds should not be ingested.[7] It is a poison.Recommended Dosage for Radiological Emergencies involving radioactive iodine[8] Age KI in mg KIO3 in mg Over 12 years old 130 170 3 – 12 years old 65 85 1 – 36 months old 32 42 < 1 month old 16 21 TC