In order to participate in the GunBroker Member forums, you must be logged in with your GunBroker.com account. Click the sign-in button at the top right of the forums page to get connected.

effects of a nuclear blast

buschmasterbuschmaster Member Posts: 14,255 ✭✭✭
edited January 2008 in General Discussion
The Effects of Nuclear Weapons
by Russell D. Hoffman

As many as 9 out of 10 people -- or more -- who die from a nuclear blast, do not die in the explosion itself. Most people probably think that if they die from a nuclear blast, they will simply see a flash and get quickly cooked.

Those within approximately a six square mile area (for a 1 megaton blast) will indeed be close enough to "ground zero" to be killed by the gamma rays emitting from the blast itself. Ghostly shadows of these people will be formed on any concrete or stone that lies behind them, and they will be no more. They literally won't know what hit them, since they will be vaporized before the electrical signals from their sense organs can reach their brains.

Of the many victims of a nuclear war, these are the luckiest ones, of course.

Outside the circle where people will be instantly vaporized from the initial gamma radiation blast, the light from the explosion (which is many times hotter than the sun) is so bright that it will immediately and permanently blind every living thing, including farm animals (including cows, sacred or otherwise), pets, birds while in flight and not to mention peasants, Maharajah's, and Government officials -- and soldiers, of course. Whether their eyes are opened or closed. This will happen for perhaps 10 miles around in every direction (for a 1 megaton bomb) -- further for those who happen to be looking towards the blast at the moment of detonation. Even from fifty miles away, a 1 megaton blast will be many times brighter than the noonday sun. Those looking directly at the blast will have a large spot permanently burned into their retinas, where the light receptor cells will have been destroyed. The huge bright cloud being nearly instantly formed in front of them (made in part from those closer to the blast, who have already "become death"), will be the last clear image these people will see.

Most people who will die from the nuclear explosion will not die in the initial gamma ray burst, nor in the multi-spectral heat blast (mostly X-ray and ultraviolet wavelengths) which will come about a tenth of a second after the gamma burst. Nor will the pressure wave which follows over the next few seconds do most of them in, though it will cause bleeding from every orifice. Nor even will most people be killed by the momentary high winds which accompany the pressure wave. These winds will reach velocities of hundreds of miles an hour near the epicenter of the blast, and will reach velocities of 70 miles per hour as far as 6 miles from the blast (for a 1 megaton bomb). The high winds and flying debris will cause shrapnel-type wounds and blunt-trauma injuries.

Together, the pressure wave and the accompanying winds will do in quite a few, and damage most of the rest of the people (and animals, and structures) in a huge circle -- perhaps hundreds of square miles in area.

Later, these people will begin to suffer from vomiting, skin rashes, and an intense unquenchable thirst as their hair falls out in clumps. Their skin will begin to peel off. This is because the internal molecular structure of the living cells within their bodies is breaking down, a result of the disruptive effects of the high radiation dose they received. All the animals will be similarly suffering. Since they have already received the dose, these effects will show up even if the people are immediately evacuated from the area -- hardly likely, since everything around will be destroyed and the country would be at war.

But this will not concern them at this time: Their immediate threat after the gamma blast, heat blast, pressure wave and sudden fierce wind (first going in the direction of the pressure wave -- outwardly from the blast -- then a moment later, a somewhat weaker wind in the opposite direction), will be the firestorm which will quickly follow, with its intense heat and hurricane-force winds, all driving towards the center where the radioactive mushroom-shaped cloud will be rising, feeding it, enlarging it, and pushing it miles up into the sky.

The cloud from a 1 megaton blast will reach nearly 10 miles across and equally high. Soon after forming, it will turn white because of water condensation around it and within it. In an hour or so, it will have largely dissipated, which means that its cargo of death can no longer be tracked visually. People will need to be evacuated from under the fallout, but they will have a hard time knowing where to go. Only for the first day or so will visible pieces of fallout appear on the ground, such as marble-sized chunks of radioactive debris and flea-sized dots of blackened particles. After that the descending debris from the radioactive cloud will become invisible and harder to track; the fallout will only be detectible with geiger counters carried by people in "moon suits". But all the moon suits will already be in use in the known affected area. Probably, no one will be tracking the cloud. One U.S. test in the South Pacific resulted in a cigar-shaped contamination area 340 miles long and up to 60 miles wide. It spread 20 miles *upwind* from the test site, and 320 miles downwind. Where exactly it goes all depends on the winds and the rains at the time. It is difficult to predict where the cloud will travel before it happens, and it is likewise difficult to track the cloud as it moves and dissipates around the globe. While underground testing is bad enough for the environment, a single large above-ground explosion is likely to result in measurable global increases of a whole spectrum of health effects. India or Pakistan will deny culpability for these deaths, of course. The responsible nations, including my own, always do.

But the people who were affected by the blast itself will not be worrying about the fallout just yet.

A 1 megaton nuclear bomb creates a firestorm that can cover 100 square miles. A 20 megaton blast's firestorm can cover nearly 2500 square miles. Hiroshima and Nagasaki were small cities, and by today's standards the bombs dropped on them were small bombs.

The Allied firebombing of nearly 150 cities during World War Two in Germany and Japan seldom destroyed more than 25 square miles at a time, and each of those raids required upwards of 400 planes, and thousands of crewmembers going into harm's way. It was not done lightly. And, they did not leave a lingering legacy of lethal radioactive contamination.

In the span of a lunch hour, one multi-warhead nuclear missile can destroy more cities than all the incendiary raids in history, and the only thing the combatant needs to do to carry off such a horror is to sit in air-conditioned comfort hundreds or even thousands of miles away, and push a button. He would barely have to interrupt his lunch. With automation, he wouldn't even have to do that! The perpetrator of this crime against humanity may never have seen his adversary. He only needs to be good at following the simplest of orders. A robot could do it. One would think, that ONLY a robot WOULD do it.

Nuclear war is never anything less than genocide.

The developing firestorm is what the survivors of the initial blast will be worrying about -- if they can think straight at all. Many will have become instantly "shell-shocked" -- incapacitated and unable to proceed. Many will simply go mad. Perhaps they are among the "lucky" ones, as well.

The firestorm produces hurricane-force winds in a matter of minutes. The fire burns so hot that the asphalt in the streets begins to melt and then burn, even as people are trying to run across it, literally melting into the pavement themselves as they run. Victims, on fire, jump into rivers, only to catch fire again when they surface for air. Yet it is hard to see even these pitiable souls as the least lucky ones in a nuclear attack.
For the survivors of the initial blast who do not then die in the firestorm that follows, many will die painfully over the next few weeks, often after a brief, hopeful period where they appear to be getting better. It might begin as a tingling sensation on the skin, or an itching, which starts shortly after the blast. These symptoms are signs that the body is starting to break down internally, at the molecular level. The insides of those who get a severe dose of gamma radiation, but manage to survive the other traumas, whose organs had once been well defined as lungs, liver, heart, intestines, etc., begin to resemble an undefined mass of bloody pulp. Within days, or perhaps weeks, the victim, usually bleeding painfully from every hole and pore in their body, at last dies and receives their final mercy.

But this too will probably not be how most victims of a nuclear attack will die. A significant percentage, probably most, of the people who die from a nuclear attack will die much later, from the widespread release of radioactive material into the environment. These deaths will occur all over the world, for centuries to come. Scattered deaths, and pockets of higher mortality rates, will continue from cancer, leukemia, and other health effects, especially genetic damage to succeeding generations.

Nuclear weapons do not recognize the end of a war, or signed peace treaties, or even the deaths of all the combatants. They simply keep on killing a percentage of whoever happens to inhale or ingest their deadly byproducts.

Some deaths will occur hundreds and even thousands of miles away, because low levels of ionizing radiation are capable of causing the full spectrum of health effects, albeit at a lower rate within the population. Not to mention the radioactive runoff from the rivers and streams that flow through the blast area and the area under the radioactive mushroom cloud's drift. It may carry its deadly cargo for thousands of miles, raining a fallout of death only on some cities, and not on others.

Comments

  • BlackgunsBlackguns Member Posts: 496 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    [xx(][xx(][xx(]
  • reloader44magreloader44mag Member Posts: 19,356 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    shoulda killed those 30,000 chickens with one of those
  • tccoxtccox Member Posts: 8,417
    edited November -1
    Damn good info
    ! Who do we use it on first, China or Russia? I think common sense dictates that before we are wiped out, we must retialiate with as much firepower as we can bring to bear. Tom
  • 11b6r11b6r Member Posts: 16,725
    edited November -1
    An interesting book (in paperback) to add to your SHTF library- "Pulling Through" by Dean Ing. Out of print, but you should be able to find a copy for a dollar or so. And for my fellow paranoids- you can still pick up Civil Defense Surplus radiation meters for a few dollars over on Ebay. Use one D cell battery, several different models available. Of course, the primary defense against attack with a nuclear eapon is to be somewhere that allows you to say "Did you hear something?"[:p]
  • cahascahas Member Posts: 4,064
    edited November -1
    In service we were taught this-In case of a nuclear bomb attack,hit the ground, head toward the blast{because of your mighty helmet}rifle under you,so the blast won,t blow it away,face in dirt,arms flat to the side.At 18 this sounded bleak,still does.
  • davealddaveald Member Posts: 2,078 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    in case of a N-blast you may as well try to see if you can lick your own______ and have a little fun.
  • charliemeyer007charliemeyer007 Member Posts: 7,346 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Did we ever solve the deep mine gap? And what was the final lucky male to female ratio? 1 to 30
  • steeltoe1978steeltoe1978 Member Posts: 3,248
    edited November -1
    The scary thing is... this is based off of a 1 megaton nuclear blast. That is child's play in this day and age.
  • 11b6r11b6r Member Posts: 16,725
    edited November -1
    Steeltoe- actually, as guidance systems improved, the size (yield) of nukes has DECLINED. Nowadays, a 150 Kiloton weapon is a large one. However, damage is not a direct correlation to weapon yield (200 kt is not twice as destructive as a 100 kt, etc)
  • CaptplaidCaptplaid Member Posts: 20,271 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Bring it on!


    Oh wait, that was my response to another posting. Well some carp say Biblical prophecy does not indicate the United States of America will exist.

    You know, I find it interesting a carp will predict Armageddon when Jews are still looking for a Messiah. It would seem that the Messiah must come before the end of the world.
  • bobskibobski Member Posts: 17,868 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    yawn, every human growing up in the cold war era knows all of this by heart....[:I]
    Retired Naval Aviation
    Former Member U.S. Navy Shooting Team
    Former NSSA All American
    Navy Distinguished Pistol Shot
    MO, CT, VA.
  • TxsTxs Member Posts: 18,801
    edited November -1
    "Sir, we must not allow a mineshaft gap!"
    -Gen. Buck Turgidson

    bradley-clock-talking-strangelove.jpg
  • D1D1 Member Posts: 11,412
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by Captplaid
    Bring it on!


    Oh wait, that was my response to another posting. Well some carp say Biblical prophecy does not indicate the United States of America will exist.

    You know, I find it interesting a carp will predict Armageddon when Jews are still looking for a Messiah. It would seem that the Messiah must come before the end of the world.




    someone please tell me what the meaning of "carp" is here and in other postings i've seen
  • allen griggsallen griggs Member Posts: 34,332 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Countries around the world spend their national treasure, and get their best and brightest scholars to create these bombs.
    The human race is insane.
  • mcasomcaso Member Posts: 1,120 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Who is this R.D. Hoffman and what is the date of this. Over the years there has been a lot of misleading info. "...one multi-warhead nuclear missile can destroy more cities..." The last word I heard about multi-headed nukes was that when the first one of the multi-head goes off it will probably destroy the others(it's brothers). "...especially genetic damage to succeeding generations." Records of birth defects in the two Japaness cities show no more birth defects after the bombings than before.
  • buschmasterbuschmaster Member Posts: 14,255 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by drjew
    quote:Originally posted by Captplaid
    ... Oh wait, that was my response to another posting. Well some carp say Biblical prophecy does not indicate the United States of America will exist.

    You know, I find it interesting a carp will predict Armageddon when Jews are still looking for a Messiah. It would seem that the Messiah must come before the end of the world.someone please tell me what the meaning of "carp" is here and in other postings i've seen
    I think he's referring to one of these http://forums.gunbroker.com/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=280086
  • bigtirebigtire Member Posts: 24,800
    edited November -1
    I say go ahead and use them in the middle east. Even though it is more humane than they deserve![:(!][:(!][:(!]

    Nerve gas would work much better. Leaves structures intact but kills the people, disipates quickly. Problem is I don't think we have enough in stock to kill every muslim on the face of the planet.[:(]
  • ammo guyammo guy Member Posts: 810 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I suspect this is largely Anti- nuke propaganda. I know for a fact that the statement about the increase of the "fire storm" going from 100 sq miles to 2500 from a one Megaton to a 20 meg. war head it pure bunk. A 20 meg. warhead is only 2-3 times more powerful than a one meg. one. This is why none were ever fielded. I have a copy of the US Military's "Effects of Nuclear Weapons" that was published in the mid -60's. It has the actual details(effects) of the two bombs dropped on Japan as well as the various tests done in the late 40's and early 50's of the Thermo-nuclear tests conducted in the west and pacific. In reality other than the radioactive aspects of the explosion, the EMP and heat the effects, they are not all that different from a standard detonation, just on at larger scale. In military terms most nuke's would be detonated as an air burst so residual radiation would not be a major problem. In the case of a terrorist situation that would change. The major problem would be in the "down wind" zone and the immediate area of the detonation. Sadly there is a great deal of false and misleading info being put out on this subject.
  • FrancFFrancF Member Posts: 35,278 ******
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by Txs
    "Sir, we must not allow a mineshaft gap!"
    -Gen. Buck Turgidson

    bradley-clock-talking-strangelove.jpg


    [:D] I watched Dr. Strangelove not to long ago!
  • select-fireselect-fire Member Posts: 69,449 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    The Japanese bombs were Atomic. Today's warheads are hydrogen. Hydrogen are around 100 times more powerfull.Worry about the surface winds being like a hurricane...IF the firestorm don't get you. Go deep.. real real deep.. The atomic drop will be like nothing compared to a Hydrogen Thermonuclear blast.. read below..

    http://www.answers.com/topic/hydrogen-bomb?cat=technology
  • PATBUZZARDPATBUZZARD Member Posts: 3,556
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by cahas
    In service we were taught this-In case of a nuclear bomb attack,hit the ground, head toward the blast{because of your mighty helmet}rifle under you,so the blast won,t blow it away,face in dirt,arms flat to the side.

    Don't forget the all important plug your ears so you won't have your ear drums blown out!!
  • mateomasfeomateomasfeo Member Posts: 27,143
    edited November -1
    I love that story!
  • select-fireselect-fire Member Posts: 69,449 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Comparing an atomic bomb to a H bomb is like shooting a BB gun and a .50 BMG.

    http://www.jaysnet.com/666nuke.html
Sign In or Register to comment.