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How much is destroyed with a mid-sized nuke?

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posted on Mar, 3 2005 @ 08:44 AM
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I have been doing some research on nuke explosions, but am unable to find some good references.

How large of an area would be destroyed by a mid-sized nuke? For example, if a nuke went off in New York city, of course the city would be dead. How much of New Jersy and Connecticut would also suffer from fallout? Obviously Connecticut would get more due to the winds.




posted on Mar, 3 2005 @ 08:57 AM
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Define mid-sized.

BIG nukes are measured in megatons, I'd say 'little' nukes are measured in fractions of a kiloton, so what's a medium nuke?

New York City is a small island, and so a nuke attack would be particularly devastating, but I don't think the entire city would be destroyed (reduced to rubble). The endless layers of concrete and steel would 'soak' most of the blast within the first few blocks assuming a ground burst. An air burst would be much, much more devastating, but that technology is far from accesible, if we're talking about terrorists.

Define medium nuke, and we'll go from there. In the meantime here's some information that might help you.

www.nationalterroralert.com...

nuclearweaponarchive.org...



posted on Mar, 3 2005 @ 09:11 AM
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When I say a mid-sized nike, I mean something that syria or north krea would use. Something less than the US's biggest nuke.

Thanks for the links.



posted on Mar, 3 2005 @ 09:29 AM
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If you're just talking about Korea and Iran then just look at Nagasaki. The weapon used there was about 20kt the same as N Korea is capable of building.



posted on Mar, 3 2005 @ 09:32 AM
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OK, then in that example, how far away from the explosion did people die? Including the slow deaths?



posted on Mar, 3 2005 @ 09:54 AM
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Originally posted by godservant
OK, then in that example, how far away from the explosion did people die? Including the slow deaths?



people would have been killed outright up to 1.5 km from the explosion. Slow deaths as in radiation exposure depends mostly on the winds at the time and the height of the detonation. The more dust sucked into the explsion the more radiation will be dispersed.

Nagasaki was about 1600 ft I think, can't remember though.



posted on Mar, 3 2005 @ 10:05 AM
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Wait a minute; regardless of the yield of the device (in kilotons in this case), there are three other factors that are involved.

(1) Air burst versus ground burst. A detonation at, say, ten thousand feet, will increase the initial damage, since the heat and prompt gammas, as well as the other radiation, will not be blocked by buildings. In the case of an air burst, probably most people within two miles or so of ground zero would be roasted or killed in short order by initial radiation effects, and to overpressure (say four or five pounds' worth) would spread out to a radius of maybe 3-4 miles from ground zero (4 lb overpressure makes large buildings go away).

Also, the radius of the fire would be about 4-5 miles. If there's enough combustible material there, you will have a cyclonic storm which feeds the firestorm a la the Dresden attacks of 1945, and people in basements outside the firestorm would die because of the oxygen being sucked out to feed the fire through the cyclonic mini-weather system.

A ground burst, on the other hand, will dig a big crater -- maybe a quarter mile in diameter -- and everything there will become vapor or, at best, volcanic glass. The blast effects after the cratering will be primarily lateral, which will destroy buildings, but many buildings, as they take the brunt of the overpressure and heat, will shield buildings and people behind them from the blast. As a result, initial casualties will be substantially lower, because the blast is contained by its own crater and adjacent objects,

However, the ground burst will loft tons of highly radioactive particles into the air which will come down and probably (depending on the population of the suburbs and exurbs) kill as many folks as died in the initial blast. How many people die from the subsequent fallout depends on the wind patterns; whether it rains or not; the half-life of the fallout (typically, for statistical purposes, planners use 14 days); and whether there’re mountains between the target and the fallout area.

The good news (if you can see anything “good” about a nuclear attack) is that a terrorist nuclear attack would almost assuredly be a ground burst, since any terrorist can come up with a delivery method for the atomic bomb: a one-ton Ford Econoline van.

(2) Bomb casing material. Depending on how the bomb is made, the same yield device could result in an enhanced-radiation blast (‘neutron bomb’) which would kill a lot of people but lower the damage level of the blast effects. Or, if there were a cobalt or cesium casing, the resulting radioisotopes created would make the fallout much more deadly.

(3) Time of day. In a big city like New York, the population and thus the casualties would be much higher during the workday. At night or during the weekend, a large portion of the folks would’ve retreated to their suburban homes. A bomb going off at rush hour would be even more effective, as it would trap and kill untold thousands of subway riders.

I’m sorry I can't come up with anything more concrete; the planning for a nuclear attack is a tough one indeed, not only because of the horrendous casualty figures, but because there are so many variables.

If you’re looking for further reading (in additional to the citations already provided) I’d suggest, as “light” reading, the book “Pulling Through” by Dean C. Ing.



posted on Mar, 3 2005 @ 10:41 AM
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how manny prople would die? ALOT



posted on Mar, 3 2005 @ 10:54 AM
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Originally posted by Off_The_Street
Wait a minute; regardless of the yield of the device (in kilotons in this case), there are three other factors that are involved.

(2) Bomb casing material. Depending on how the bomb is made, the same yield device could result in an enhanced-radiation blast (‘neutron bomb’) which would kill a lot of people but lower the damage level of the blast effects. Or, if there were a cobalt or cesium casing, the resulting radioisotopes created would make the fallout much more deadly.



You are exactly correct on enhanced radiation, but the casings have little to do with it. Some systems were designed with Tritium Tubes, which caused the radiation enhancement. They were in everything from artillery fired tactical nukes, to mid range tactical missles (Pershing II and Lance). The yield was between 50k to 150k.

These systems were destroyed between 1990-1992. Thank you INF Treaty.



posted on Mar, 3 2005 @ 11:10 AM
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So then folks over 50 miles away are generally safe even from our biggest nukes?



posted on Mar, 3 2005 @ 11:11 AM
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www.johnstonsarchive.net...

www.ki4u.com...

Those are some good sites for nuke info.



posted on Mar, 3 2005 @ 11:19 AM
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50 miles won't do squat if prevailing winds are against you, give it a few hours and radioactive isotopes are nesting in your lungs. It depends on variables like wind speed, air pressure, and humidity, but lethal range can be as far downwind as the wind blows, theoretically. It only takes one particle to kill, and even an air burst will leave millions of particles 'unburned.'

The casing can be a contributing factor, there were a few designs that utilzed a highly radioactive inner case, a shielded outer case, and a standard core. Those bombs produced about 50% less blast damage, but a huge amount of residual radiation due to micro shrapnel. Conversely, there were also cleaner bombs, that used a more efficient combination of fusion and fission to reduce the amount of leftovers, I don't know the test history but I presume they're effective. At least the specs look good.



posted on Mar, 3 2005 @ 11:29 AM
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Great inputs and great links too, especially Kozzy's first one. I know much more now.

Reason I asked - I live about 70 miles east of NY city. Since it is a likely target, I am just planning, just in case.

Thanks so far for some very valuable input.



posted on Mar, 3 2005 @ 11:36 AM
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Originally posted by WyrdeOne

The casing can be a contributing factor, there were a few designs that utilzed a highly radioactive inner case, a shielded outer case, and a standard core. Those bombs produced about 50% less blast damage, but a huge amount of residual radiation due to micro shrapnel. Conversely, there were also cleaner bombs, that used a more efficient combination of fusion and fission to reduce the amount of leftovers, I don't know the test history but I presume they're effective. At least the specs look good.


Hey Wyrde!

I forgot about that. I stand corrected. There was one specific shell that we worked with that had a "1 meter Rule', meaning all personel not actively working on the shell had to stay at least a meter away. All nukes have this rule with regards to maintenance, but there was one in specific that this rule was strictly enforced.



posted on Mar, 3 2005 @ 11:41 AM
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Godservant says:

"Reason I asked - I live about 70 miles east of NY city."

Are you a fish?



posted on Mar, 3 2005 @ 11:48 AM
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Originally posted by Off_The_Street
Godservant says:

"Reason I asked - I live about 70 miles east of NY city."

Are you a fish?


I was thinking the same thing. Perhaps he meant west.



posted on Mar, 3 2005 @ 11:51 AM
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Godservant says:

"Reason I asked - I live about 70 miles east of NY city."

Are you a fish?


You're on a roll, hehe....

Sure you didn't mean WEST???

Here's a fun site...put in the megatons, find out the damage...

www.stardestroyer.net...

(minus many variables, such as OTS mentioned)....



posted on Mar, 3 2005 @ 12:04 PM
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Godservant: If you live 70 miles outside NYC, you will need a bunker to jump into, plain and simple. You need at least six inches of concrete between you and all those radioactive particles that would be drifting through the air and landing on the ground after the blast. A nuke shelter needn't be sealed if it's positively ventilated (a hand-operated bellows is not hard to build) and the entryway is not open to the outside. The entryway should have switchbacks or snake-like walls at its entrance to drop the radiation levels. You could dig a WWI type trench and get the floorplan of your shelter done, then cover it with strong timbers for the roof, then cover the roof with say four-feet of packed dirt. It'll be better than nothing.

Generally, if surviving the overpass of a nuclear cloud is the goal, you should plan to stay underground for two to four weeks before outside radiation will be tolerable even for small periods. The weather and wind will play a large role in how the fallout comes down and how quickly. If you can hide underground while the radiation dissipates, you'll increase your chances for survival. You will want potassium iodide also, to save your thyroid in the event of any radiation intake.



posted on Mar, 3 2005 @ 12:10 PM
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Yes EAST. I know you think that 95 north actually goes north, but between NY and here is goes east - or east north east to be exact. Yes, 95 north goes east here.

Connecticut - ENE of NY



posted on Mar, 3 2005 @ 12:18 PM
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Godservant's right -- more or less. You can go 70 miles east (okay, with a tad north) and still be on Long Island.

My bad!



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