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NUCLEAR SAFETY ISSUES

Excellent Source of Nuclear Preparedness Information: KI4U

Dirty Bomb Web Site and Background Information

Impact of Different Levels of Nuclear Blast on Safety

Suitcase Nuclear Weapons

Nuclear Shelter Options
 

Nuclear Blast Preparedness (Ready.Gov) Site Safety and Response Recommendations

Radiation Threat Preparedness (Ready.Gov) Site Safety and Response Recommendations

 

Nuclear Blast WHO Protection Recommendations


How can I protect my family and myself from during a nuclear blast?

In the event of a nuclear blast, a national emergency response plan would be activated and would include federal, state, and local agencies. Following are some steps recommended by the World Health Organization if a nuclear blast occurs:

If you are near the blast when it occurs:

If you are outside when the blast occurs:

If you are already in a shelter or basement:

If you are advised to evacuate:

 

READY.GOV - IF THERE IS A NUCLEAR BLAST
 

A nuclear blast is an explosion with intense light and heat, a damaging pressure wave and widespread radioactive material that can contaminate the air, water and ground surfaces for miles around. During a nuclear incident, it is important to avoid radioactive material, if possible. While experts may predict at this time that a nuclear attack is less likely than other types, terrorism by its nature is unpredictable.

IF THERE IS A NUCLEAR BLAST

If there is advanced warning of an attack:


Take cover immediately, as far below ground as possible, though any shield or shelter will help protect you from the immediate effects of the blast and the pressure wave.

If there is no warning:

  1. Quickly assess the situation.
  2. Consider if you can get out of the area or if it would be better to go inside a building to limit the amount of radioactive material you are exposed to.
  3. If you take shelter go as far below ground as possible, close windows and doors, turn off air conditioners, heaters or other ventilation systems. Stay where you are, watch TV, listen to the radio, or check the Internet for official news as it becomes available.
  4. To limit the amount of radiation you are exposed to, think about shielding, distance and time.

     

Use available information to assess the situation. If there is a significant radiation threat, health care authorities may or may not advise you to take potassium iodide. Potassium iodide is the same stuff added to your table salt to make it iodized. It may or may not protect your thyroid gland, which is particularly vulnerable, from radioactive iodine exposure. Consider keeping potassium iodide in your emergency kit, learn what the appropriate doses are for each of your family members. Plan to speak with your health care provider in advance about what makes sense for your family

 

 

SAFETY IN RADIATION WEAPON ATTACK SCENARIO

With the dismantling of much of Russia’s nuclear weapons, the USA has a significantly reduced threat of large scale radiation weapon attacks for the first time in nearly 40 years.  However, at the same time, Muslim Extremist Terrorists are gaining greater access to small level radiation sources in plans for attacks against the Civilized World.  The Muslim weapons are likely to be so small and imperfect that any traditional protection radiation weapon safety approach does not readily apply. 

Given this new type of Radiation Weapon threat, such Radiation Attacks are ultimately MORE SURVIVABLE than the past 40 years, but it is essential that you are careful in planning how you protect yourself from radiation and fallout.

Radiation Weapon General Safety Plan and Tools.

Unless you have warning of a radiation weapon attack, the best course of action is to go to your SAFE ROOM and hunker down until you receive information from the authorities.  If you do have warning, and can reasonably distance yourself from vicinity of likely radiation weapon attack, that is generally a good idea.  You want to find a way to put either THICKNESS of MATERIAL (OR) PHYSICAL DISTANCE between you and radiation.  The following general safety plan rules and tools would apply to any radiation attack. 

Potassium Iodide Thyroid Pills (KI)

Code Red Emergency Kits are provided with Potassium Iodide (KI) pills.  These should be taken IMMEDIATELY upon your notification of a radiation attack within 50 miles of you.   KI should be taken in 130mg dosages daily for 2 weeks (14 days).  You have an FDA-approved foil package of IOSTAT KI pills in the FRONT POCKET of your Code Red Emergency Kit.  You are also provided with bottles of RADBLOCK KI pills in 65mg tablets (200 per bottle).  You would take 2 per day, or 100 doses.  Taking MORE KI pills than necessary will NOT help you.  Your body’s thyroid gland can only abosorb so much iodide.  The KI pills are taken to fill your thyroid with Iodide so that your thyroid gland is not susceptible to Radiation causing Thyroid Cancer.  In all probability, this may be the ONLY protection you ever need.  But be prepared to take additional steps if necessary.

Civil Defense V-742 Dosimeters and Charger

If you have a Civil Defense V-742 Dosimeter this will measure the radiation that you have been subjected to.  The V-750 Charger Battery that comes with the Dosimeter is designed to allow you to recharge the dosimeter and also to “reset” it to “zero” if the hairline is off.   To view the Dosimeter status, you aim the bottom of it toward a light source, and your look through the top like a eyehole.  You will see a Roentgen Scale.

 


Roentgens are a measurement of RADIATION.  You want to try to keep your exposure UNDER 50 Roentgens at all times.

 

Radiation Attack Types and Safety Risks

All of the radiation attack studies have been performed in a different era, when USA was preparing for multiple 5 to 25 Megaton Nuclear Blast attacks.  These studies has little relevance in today’s era.  Realistically, it is highly unlikely that a Islamist  Extremist Terrorist Group could develop even a 1 Megaton Nuclear Bomb, let alone the large nuclear bombs anticipated by previous generations. 

THIS DOES NOT MEAN THAT ANY RADIATION WEAPON IS NOT DEADLY AND DANGEROUS.  A radiation weapon attack remains the NUMBER ONE threat to USA lives.

In today’s world, we are looking at radiation weapon risks in the general area of:

 ·      ---  “Dirty” Explosive Bomb – Directly Impacting Less than 1 Mile from Ground Zero
        ---  20 - 200 Kiloton Weapon –  in Worst Case, Directly Destroying Wood Frame Houses 2.2 Miles from Ground Zero.  Greatest chance of this would be in 20-50 Kiloton Improvised Nuclear Device, which may destroy very concentrated area only, but spread fallout
        --- (Very Unlikely )  1 Megaton Weapon – Directly Destroying Wood Frame Houses 5.5 Miles from Ground Zero)

 

With the prevalence of concrete, brick, steel structures which are more resistant to such explosions, the use of basement areas as shelters, and the effective use of KI pills and protective measures, even a small Radiation Weapon attack close to Ground Zero can be survivable.

 

Highest Probability – Dirty Bomb Attack

U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft announced on June 10, 2002 that a U.S. citizen had been arrested and charged with plotting to detonate a "dirty bomb," probably in Washington, D.C. Dirty bombs do not use a nuclear reaction, but instead use conventional explosives to disperse radioactive materials for VERY CLOSE PROXIMITY of the explosive blast. 

If you are somehow NEAR a Dirty Bomb blast, a bomb that emits some sort of radiation, the first thing you're supposed to do is take off your clothes. That may sound strange, but the reason is that if there is any radiation that has gotten on your clothing, or dirt that has gotten on your clothing, you want that off. And once you've taken that off, that is a huge step because you've gotten rid of that surface the radiation might have gotten onto.

The second thing that you're supposed to do is wash up, preferably a shower. If not, then wash hands and face and other areas that might not have been protected by the clothing. In fact, if people come running to a hospital ... the first thing they would do would be to tell you, 'You can't come in here,' and they will theoretically have set up stations outside the hospital to do the kind of decontamination that I was talking about.  

The other thing that's very important is that if you feel that you're at risk, if there's been any kind of dirty bomb with radiation, use your mouth/nose face mask as well to prevent inhalation of radioactive material.  I have just learned that there is a mask to provide specific such protection call an N-95 mask, which we will look into obtaining.  After that, you should IMMEDIATELY take your Potassium Iodide pill to protect your thyroid from any radiation.

So clothes off, wash up, use a face mask to prevent inhaling radioactive material, and take Potassium Iodide pill.

Beyond being directly impacted by a Dirty Bomb, it's the chaos, not the chemicals, that likely would cause the most harm should a "dirty bomb" explode, experts say. Heart attacks, not radiation poisoning, might claim more victims. People within a half-mile radius of even a particularly potent dirty bomb would be exposed to less than the average dose of radiation a person receives naturally within a year, according to the American Institute of Physics' Web site. Most people who work in radiation environments annually receive 10 times the exposure of a person within a half-mile of a dirty bomb, the site states. Stress and fear-induced heart attacks are more likely to cause deaths after a dirty bomb explosion than the radioactive material.


Other Possibilities – Nuclear Plant Attack

Even the worst nuclear disaster in history in Chernobyl, Ukraine, only directly affected an 18 mile perimeter around the Chernobyl Nuclear Plant.  Most of the deaths were the direct result of NOT having Potassium Iodide (KI) on hand for protection on Thyroid Cancer.  There were only 100 direct deaths during the Chernobyl nuclear disaster.
 

There are over 100 Nuclear Power plants in the United States.  A majority of these are on the Eastern Coast.  Washington DC and New York City are close to several of these

 

Radiation Dispersion – Nuclear Devices

Nuclear fallout from a meltdown can travel downwind for OVER 100 miles. 

 

While this is SIGNIFICANTLY GREATER than the probability of any Nuclear Device in our age (a 15 megaton nuclear bomb), the point is that being DOWNWIND of nuclear plant attack or radiation attack is particularly dangerous. This was the fallout pattern 36 hours after a single 15-megaton thermonuclear device (the Bravo shot of Operation Castle at Bikini Atoll - March 1, 1954) was detonated. The eventual extension of the fallout was more than 20 miles upwind and over 320 miles downwind. The width in cross section was variable, the maximum being over 60 miles. This means there was substantial fallout contamination over an area of more than 7000 square miles.

It is important to note that persons anywhere downwind would not have had to travel more than 40 miles in a direction crosswind to be perfectly safe. Secondly, assuming upperwinds of 150 miles per hour and descent times of 30 minutes, persons 150 to 200 miles away would have over an hour in which to either evacuate the area or to take shelter.

Examples of the Effects of Radiation on Humans

 
Roentgens  Duration     Total dosage of     Number that    Deaths will
per hour   of exposure  radiation received  will die       occur in
---------  -----------  ------------------  -----------    -----------
 
  5-10     2- 5 hours     10-  50R           none
 50        1- 4 hours     50- 200R           less than  5%  60 or more days
100        2- 4 hours    200- 400R           less than 50%  30 to 60 days
100        4- 6 hours    400- 600R           more than 50%  about one month
100        6-10 hours    600-1000R           all            less than two weeks
200 plus   3 hours plus  600R plus           all            the more intense
                                                            the radiation the
                                                            shorter the time
                                                            before death
  1.0      1 week        150R                none
  0.3      1 month       200R                none
  0.1      4 months      300R                none
  1.5      1 week        250R                 5%            3 months
  0.5      1 month       350R                 5%            6 months
  0.2      4 months      500R                 5%            9-18 months
  2.7      1 week        450R                50%            1-3 months

  0.8      1 month       600R                50%            2-6 months

 

Radiation Weapon Shielding.

Unlike the Anthrax Airborne Attack Scenario, where you would seek a SAFE ROOM on a higher floor, in a Radiation Attack Scenario you would seek a SAFE ROOM on a lower floor or basement (if possible).  The purpose here is that a basement typically provides more THICKNESS of material between you and radioactive fallout.   Thickness of material between you and radioactive fallout does not have to be “heavy” material (e.g., lead), it can be any thick material – even feathers with the same level of “thickness” would achieve the same function.  Per the diagram below, the goal is to minimize radioactive rays that can actually reach you..

 
Radioactive Fallout

Your goal in a Radioactive attack is to avoid contact or closeness to radioactive fallout.  Radioactive fallout is physical debris from a radioactive explosion that carries deadly radiation with it.

The effect of a mere 10 roentgens per hour (arriving two or three days after a detonation and thus having already lost much of its rapid decay) would cause serious illness after one day's exposure, and (even with continued decay) would cause certain death within a couple of weeks. However, almost any expedient shelter would greatly minimize the effects.

As much care as possible should be taken to make sure the SAFE ROOM roof is below outside ground level. Otherwise, radiation could come in at an angle through the narrow basement wall

Seven/Ten Rule

         1 hour ------------------ 1000  roentgens/hour
         7 hours -----------------  100  roentgens/hour
        49 hours (2 days) --------   10  roentgens/hour
         2 weeks -----------------    1  roentgens/hour
        14 weeks -----------------  0.1  roentgens/hour
        98 weeks (2 1/2 years) ---  0.01 roentgens/hour

This chart indicates that if one started off with one thousand roentgens of radiation per hour at zero plus 1 hour, that it would take 2 weeks for the radiation to get down to 1 roentgen per hour.

 

Radiation Suit

If you MUST go outside, shield all of your clothing and leave what your “radiated” clothing outside of your SAFE ROOM. There is a fallacy about people wearing Radiation Suits, somehow being protected by radiation fallout. 

One of the reasons that those fallout or radiation suits that you see in all the pictures and movies and on TV are such a joke. Those things are not going to protect the guy from anything, that a couple of good garbage bags wrapped around his feet and made into a hood to go over his head, would not do as well. In fact the garbage bags are in many ways better. They would be considered disposable.  I have packed TWO 30 gallon Black Garbage Bags in YOUR Code Red Emergency Kit to assist you if necessary to provide a disposable fallout protection coverage for your feet if necessary.

The main purpose of the fallout suits is to prevent the wearer from tracking the fallout into the shelter. The user simply takes the suit off at the door. If the person were to wear it on inside, it would defeat the purpose. There are some clean handling techniques that are beneficial to know and practice, but in a wartime situation there is so much of the stuff around that peacetime standards of exposure and cleanliness lose their meaning.

The gamma rays are another matter. They are very penetrating. No fallout or radiation suit is going to protect you from them. It requires much more dense matter to protect you than you could lift, let alone lug around. This is why one must remain in a shelter when there is intense radiation. With good housekeeping there should not be so much dust inside a shelter as to create a hazard from gamma rays. However, be sure to dispose of the contaminated rinse water that you have used for cleaning the food containers and persons returning from outside. It may contain matter that is giving off gamma rays.

 

Be Informed - Nuclear Blast

A nuclear blast is an explosion with intense light and heat, a damaging pressure wave and widespread radioactive material that can contaminate the air, water and ground surfaces for miles around. While experts may predict at this time that a nuclear attack in less likely than other types, terrorism by its nature is unpredictable.

If There is a Nuclear Blast

Use available information to assess the situation, if there is a significant radiation threat, health care authorities may or may not advise you to take potassium iodide. Potassium iodide is the same stuff added to your table salt to make it iodized. It may or may not protect your thyroid gland, which is particularly vulnerable, from radioactive iodine exposure. Consider keeping potassium iodide in your emergency kit, learn what the appropriate doses are for each of your family members. Plan to speak with your health care provider in advance about what makes sense for your family.

For more information, see Potassium Iodide from Center for Disease Control.

For more general information, see "Are you Ready?" from Federal Emergency Management Agency.


Be Informed - Radiation

A radiation threat or "Dirty Bomb" is the use of common explosives to spread radioactive materials over a targeted area. It is not a nuclear blast. The force of the explosion and radioactive contamination will be more localized. While the blast will be immediately obvious, the presence of radiation will not be clearly defined until trained personnel with specialized equipment are on the scene. As with any radiation, you want to try to limit exposure.

If There is a Radiation Threat or "Dirty Bomb"

To limit the amount of radiation you are exposed to, think about shielding, distance and time.

As with any emergency, local authorities may not be able to immediately provide information on what is happening and what you should do. However, you should watch TV, listen to the radio, or check the Internet often for official news and information as it becomes available.

For more general information, see "Are you Ready?" from Federal Emergency Management Agency.

 


AlertsUSA Terror Alert / Incident Notification Service