The kiloton nuclear device would most likely be assembled near a large U. Using a van or SUV, the device could easily be delivered to the heart of a city and detonated.
The effects and response planning from a nuclear blast are determined using statics from Washington, the most likely target. An estimated 5, casualties would be killed within. Estimates could climb to as much as , after 24 hours. Buildings within three miles are severely damaged. The contaminated area would be roughly 3, square miles depending on environmental factors such as weather and terrain. An electromagnetic pulse EMP damages much of electronic devices, power grids and communication systems in the surrounding area. The detonation will cause many secondary hazards.
The intense heat of a nuclear explosion would produce fires throughout the immediate blast zone. Damaged buildings, downed power and phone lines, broken gas lines and water mains, and weakened bridges and tunnels are hazardous conditions that will need to be assessed depending on the type of industries present. For example, chemical or petroleum production, industrial storage facilities, and manufacturing operations could cause significant releases of hazardous materials. Environmental considerations such as nearby bodies of water, prevailing winds and the general type of terrain have to be considered for an emergency response and evacuation.
An explosion in a large city would result in an estimated , to , displaced persons flooding into nearby states. Furthermore, the electronic magnetic pulse EMP , a high-voltage spike that radiates out from the detonation site, can disrupt the communication networks and electronic equipment within a 3-mile range from a kiloton ground blast. The electrical power grid is likely to be damaged by the destruction of substations, power production facilities and distribution installations.
The grid damage may cause power outages over wide areas and over several states. These outages should be repaired within several days to a couple of weeks. Communication systems would suffer similar damage and will likely be repaired within similar time frames.
There will likely be significant damage to general public support infrastructures. These systems include transportation such as air, water, rail, highway, power generation and distribution facilities and food and fuel distribution points. There will be safety concerns about the reliability of many structures like dams, levees, nuclear power plants, hazardous material storage facilities and still standing tall buildings all of which could become additional hazards.
Structures may be damaged that are used to provide essential services such as hospitals, schools, police and fire departments. Non-radioactive injuries from the blast itself would result from the human body being thrown and from impacts from objects. The detonation would produce intense heat that will cause burns to exposed skin and eyes. There are two general categories of nuclear radiation produced in a detonation. First, is the prompt nuclear radiation that is created from the initial explosion. This radiation may expose unprotected people to large gamma ray or neutron doses.
Radioactive fallout in the form of a large dust cloud would begin within two hours after the explosion and would dissipate within minutes to weeks. The radiation from the fallout could contaminate an area for many years. The largest radiation concerns following an incident will be the radioactive material deposited on the ground, as people are evacuated from the fallout areas. These effects are likely to have significantly larger impacts on the population than internal doses. Internal doses tend to expose the body to relatively small radiation doses over a long period of time, which produces different effects than large radiation doses received during a short period of time.
As the distance from ground zero increases to twelve miles, injuries due to radiation exposure will decrease, and lower level contamination, evacuation, and sheltering issues will become the major concern and distances greater than miles from ground zero of a nuclear detonation, acute health concerns will not become a significant issue.
Years or even decades after an explosion, there will still be health concerns such as cancers in the exposed population. The number of these cancers will likely run into the thousands and cause a large social and financial cost. Historically, decontamination of sites involves the removal of all affected material, so most buildings in the immediate downwind fallout path will likely have to be destroyed in the decontamination effort. As the distance from the detonation site increases, the contamination level will decrease but buildings that have not been destroyed will require decontamination and will take years at a high financial cost at times becoming more expensive than the building itself.
Roughly 3, square miles of land will have to undergo decontamination requiring decades and billions of dollars to complete. Service disruption will not be restored for years because the affected area will not be returned to use until the decontamination is complete and structures rebuilt.
The city water supply is unlikely to become substantially contaminated with radiation by way of water main breaks, but is likely to suffer from small amounts of radiation and large amounts of debris. Replacement of lost private property and goods could add billions to the cost. A national recession will most likely result from the attack.
This effort will be the most expensive and time-consuming part of recovery and will likely cost many billions of dollars and take many years. In response a governor can request Federal assistance, including assistance under the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act Stafford Act , when local and State capabilities have been determined insufficient to handle the emergency and is triggered by a Presidential declaration of a major disaster or emergency. Under this directive assistance such as funding, resources, and critical services, will be provided but will always respect the sovereignty of local, tribal, and State governments while giving assistance.
Furthermore, under Homeland Security Presidential Directive 5 four criteria exist for an immediate call for help from the local level to the federal government. Initially, the local first responders such as the fire department would become the incident commander. As the situation escalates and more and more agencies become involved the President would have overall authority.
The DHS would appoint a Federal Security Officer FSO to become a central official for coordination of federal resources and the central communication focus for all departments and agencies. They would begin activating Federal teams and other resources as requested by DHS or in accordance with department or agency authorities.
The State Governor would have authority over all state resources including the National Guard. The Governor would also interact with other governors to bring in resources from other states. If a nuclear device were to destroy the heart of Washington, D. The highly secretive and classified COG plans or the Continuity of Government are protocols that are in place to deal with such a contingency.
After a nuclear detonation near the center of Washington, D. COG details the line of succession and be a sort of shadow government. It prevents the US from becoming completely leaderless. It also allows the US to deal with the catastrophe, defend itself and to begin fighting a war that it would find itself in. The new leadership would be made up of unelected officials and representatives of each department and agency. These would be career officials and not political appointees.
This contingency would only be in place until the Presidency and Congress can be reconstituted which could take years. Local fire, police and hospitals would be overwhelmed or damaged to the point of non-functionality. The immediate search and rescue of a city struck by a nuclear explosion would be that of civilian, law enforcement or military leadership. In the case of an attack on Washington, the president or the presidential successor along with any potential surviving members of Congress, military leadership, department and agency heads, and Supreme Court justices would be high-value rescue targets.
Editorial Reviews. About the Author. Arthur Guess was born and raised in East Tennessee Nuclear Lockdown (1) - Kindle edition by Arthur Guess. Download it. The Hanford nuclear site in Washington state - one of the largest and most contaminated storehouses of radioactive waste in the US - is.
The initial rescue would be from U. Army helicopters stationed around the Capitol.
In essence, the country responsible would become a sitting target. Unit One has a generating capacity of MW of electricity, and came online on May 21, RTR 3 would be designated collection points to transport the injured away from the area. Requires a Nuclear Silo equipped with a Nuke. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. May 25 UPI -- Foreign reporters in North Korea to witness the demolition of the country's nuclear site were banned from leaving their hotel for several hours, following U.
Rescue efforts would be directed toward zones of survivability. The coast guard would conduct river and off shore rescue operations under the direction of FEMA. Resources from surrounding states including Fire, police, EMT and National Guard would begin arriving within 24 hours. Expected radiation levels will limit the total time workers can spend in the affected area, quickly leading to a shortage of willing, qualified, and trained workers.
The United States Department of Labor would monitor the time the rescue and medical personnel working within the affected areas to insure they are not overly exposed to hazardous working conditions. Thousands will require decontamination and treatment.
Due to a high number of casualties, the level of care may be significantly lower than normally expected. When overwhelmed with victims who need care, decisions must be made based on the fact that the sooner the onset of the symptoms, the higher the dose received and the less likely the victim is to survive even with medical intervention.
This method of triage ensures that resources are best utilized in a way that will make maximum impact. Soon after the collapse, Frame posted to Twitter that the tunnel is "full of highly contaminated materials, such as hot, radioactive trains that transported fuel rods". There's also no confirmation that any radioactive material has been released.
She said the Hanford Fire Department "is on the scene and investigating it, and everyone is being sheltered", adding that no one appears to be hurt at this time, and that approximately fewer than 10 people are currently inside the PUREX facility. Frame is posting pictures from the site, including one of a TALON military-grade robot that's being used to determine whether or not there's a leak of radioactive materials:. This robot is being used at Hanford right now to sample contamination in the air and on the ground.
Some reports suggest that vibrations from nearby road work may have caused the tunnel roof collapse. However, Destry said it's "too early to know what caused the roof to cave in", and that "we may not know that for some time". PUREX was the "workhorse" of Cold War-era production of plutonium Pu , a fissile material that can be used in bombs to create nuclear explosions. The fuel rods were dissolved with acid to sort any plutonium from leftover uranium fuel and radioactive waste.
The plant "is longer than three football fields, stands 64 feet above the ground, and extends another 40 feet below ground," according to the Hanford website, and "[c]oncrete walls up to six feet thick were used in the plant to shield workers from the radiation of the building.
From to , and again from until , PUREX processed about 75 percent of the plutonium produced at Hanford. Some scientists believe that more plutonium was processed at PUREX than any other building on the planet, as it processed more than 70, tons of uranium fuel rods during its operations. Its walls are surrounded by razor wire and barbed wire fences.
Several rail cars used to transport the irradiated fuel rods from the Hanford nuclear reactors to the processing canyons are temporarily buried inside a tunnel near PUREX as a result of becoming contaminated. The rail cars buried next to the facility will also be decontaminated, removed, and permanently buried.