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#243237 - 03/16/12 08:32 PM Fed study of DC nuke scenario
Dagny Offline

Registered: 11/25/08
Posts: 1916
Loc: Washington, DC
In sum, duck and cover....


Posted at 10:48 AM ET, 03/16/2012

Government study predicts the fallout of a nuclear terrorist attack in D.C.

"A recent study conducted by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) analyzed the specific implications of nuking the intersection of 16th and K streets NW.

The key to the question, it seems, is the size of the bomb. Ten kilotons is considered “small” by nuclear weapon standards and would presumably leave survivors, according to the study."

The study itself:


"Another urge to overcome is the desire to flee the area (or worse, run into fallout areas to reunite with family members), which can place people outdoors in the first few minutes and hours when fallout exposures are the greatest.Those outside or in vehicles will have little protection from the penetrating radiation coming off fallout particles as they accumulate on roofs and the ground.

Sheltering is an early imperative for the public within the broken glass and blast damage area, which could extend for several miles in all directions from a blast.There is a chance that many parts of the area may not be affected by fallout; however, it will be virtually impossible to distinguish between radioactive and non- radioactive smoke, dust, and debris that will be generated by the event (see Figure 5). Potentially dangerous levels of fallout could begin falling within a few minutes."


#243238 - 03/16/12 08:52 PM Re: Fed study of DC nuke scenario [Re: Dagny]
Dagny Offline

Registered: 11/25/08
Posts: 1916
Loc: Washington, DC

This little nuke could cause "flash blindness" during daytime out to 12 miles - the blindness could last from several seconds to minutes. That'll make the traffic cams interesting viewing.

Also EMP discussion. Lots of interesting detail in this report.

Must remember: bright flash = don't look out the windows.

"Because of EMP and effects of a blast wave on critical infrastructure (e.g., power and communication substations), for planning purposes it should be expected that electricity and land line communication would not be functional in the SDZ, MDZ, and LDZ.The disrupting nature of the detonation, including a sudden loss of electrical load on the power grid and the possibility of cascading infrastructure issues may affect the electrical and communication infrastructure of surrounding counties.

Fortunately it is likely that most battery (or hand crank) radios in the LDZ will still function. Moreover, emergency radio broadcasts from surrounding areas will be received and instructions provided (EMPC, 2008). Modern vehicles would also likely be unaffected outside of the SDZ and MDZ; however, debris on roadways, traffic accidents caused by flash blindness, and the loss of traffic control systems (one of the more sensitive electronic systems with respect to EMP effect) will make vehicular travel challenging in the LDZ."


#243239 - 03/16/12 08:57 PM Re: Fed study of DC nuke scenario [Re: Dagny]
Andy Offline

Registered: 09/13/07
Posts: 378
Loc: SE PA
Makes for happy thoughts as I ride Amtrak home after my once a week visit to DC...
In a crisis one does not rise to one's level of expectations but rather falls to one's level of training.

#243240 - 03/16/12 09:01 PM Re: Fed study of DC nuke scenario [Re: Andy]
ILBob Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 02/05/10
Posts: 776
Loc: Northern IL
Would it be considered bad form to root for such an event here?
Warning - I am not an expert on anything having to do with this forum, but that won't stop me from saying what I think. smile


#243243 - 03/16/12 09:51 PM Re: Fed study of DC nuke scenario [Re: Dagny]
LesSnyder Offline

Registered: 07/11/10
Posts: 1540
Loc: New Port Richey, Fla
for us old farts, that as kids grew up with the blockade of the Suez Canal, Cuban Missile Crisis, Conelrad marked radios, participated in "duck and cover" drills at school...later spent a good portion of military service targeted against Cold War targets...whose friends handled SADM (backpackable) and MADM (vehicle portable) atomic munitions...it would seem very likely that a few of those old Cold War relics, or more likely purchased from some rogue former Block nation might still be floating around.... we know there are individuals willing to use them

#243244 - 03/16/12 10:04 PM Re: Fed study of DC nuke scenario [Re: Dagny]
Dagny Offline

Registered: 11/25/08
Posts: 1916
Loc: Washington, DC

The information that brick row houses -- which are dominant in my neighborhood -- offer pretty good protection, is encouraging. There will have to be a concerted pr effort to get people to not reflexively jump in their cars.

"In aggregate, the existing Washington, DC structures offered better than adequate protection. If all residents adopted a shelter-in-place strategy, it would reduce the number of potential acute radiation casualties by 98%"

#243245 - 03/16/12 10:52 PM Re: Fed study of DC nuke scenario [Re: Dagny]
Dagny Offline

Registered: 11/25/08
Posts: 1916
Loc: Washington, DC
Sample message for the Federal public alert system:

Suggested for local or state spokesperson: Fire Chief, Mayor, Governor

We believe a nuclear explosion has occurred at [Location] here in [City].

If you live anywhere in the metropolitan area, get inside a stable building immediately.

You can greatly increase your chance of survival if you take the following steps.

Go deep inside

Find the nearest and strongest building you can and go inside to avoid
radioactive dust outside. ;

If better shelter, such as a multi-story building or basement can be reached
within a few minutes, go there immediately. If you are in a car, find a building for shelter immediately.

Cars do not provide adequate protection from radioactive material.

Go to the basement or the center of the middle floor of a multi-story building
(for example the center floors (e.g., 3 – 8) of a 10-story building).

These instructions may feel like they go against your natural instinct to
evacuate from a dangerous area; however, health risks from radiation exposure can be greatly reduced by:

Putting building walls, brick, concrete or soil between you and the radioactive material outside, and

Increasing the distance between you and the exterior walls, roofs, and ground, where radioactive material is settling.

Stay inside:

Do not come out until you are instructed to do so by authorities or emergency

All schools and daycare facilities are now in lockdown. Adults and children in
those facilities are taking the same protective actions you are taking and they will not be released to go outside for any reason until they are instructed to do so by emergency responders.

Stay tuned to television and radio broadcasts for important updates;

If your facility has a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
(NOAA) Weather Radio, this is a good source of information

If you have been instructed to stay inside, stay tuned because these
instructions will change.

Radiation levels are extremely dangerous after a nuclear detonation,
but the levels reduce rapidly in just hours to a few days.

During the time when radiation levels are the highest, it is safest to
stay inside, sheltered away from the material outside.

When evacuating is in your best interest, you will be instructed to do so. People in the path of the radioactive plume – downwind from the detonation -
may also be asked to take protective measures


#243246 - 03/16/12 10:59 PM Re: Fed study of DC nuke scenario [Re: Dagny]
Dagny Offline

Registered: 11/25/08
Posts: 1916
Loc: Washington, DC

Several meters of debris... So we're to assume 20 feet or more deep? That'd be some slow progress.

"Glass, building facades, and rooftop mechanical equipment will create several meters of debris in urban street canyons in built-up areas within a few kilometers of the detonation site. Obstructions and debris will force evacuees to walk out rather than drive; thus, volunteers should be used to identify and create safe passages when it is safe to do so. Possible alternate evacuation routes can include subway tunnels or travel through large, intact structures."

#243247 - 03/16/12 11:02 PM Re: Fed study of DC nuke scenario [Re: Dagny]
Dagny Offline

Registered: 11/25/08
Posts: 1916
Loc: Washington, DC
Hope you all don't mind me excerpting particularly salient points:

"NO VICTIMS: An incident the scale of an IND detonation does not allow for the luxury of narrowly defined responders who rescue victims. Rather, everyone alive is a survivor who must support other survivors and the nation in response. The public, private sector, and even the injured can play important roles in reducing the burden on traditional response organizations by using actionable information to guide behavior while supporting a whole community response."


#243248 - 03/16/12 11:13 PM Re: Fed study of DC nuke scenario [Re: ]
Russ Online   content
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 06/02/06
Posts: 4987
Originally Posted By: IzzyJG99
... I just hope this sort of situation never occurs.
The Genie has been out of the bottle and will be again, human nature being what it is. Be careful what you wish for wink (not directed at you Izzy -- but I do hope Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is more thoughtful than he appears)

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