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Title: Fallout risk following a major nuclear attack on the United States

Abstract

Fallout distributions are calculated for nuclear attacks on the contiguous United States. Four attack scenarios are treated, including counterforce and counterforce-countervalue attacks, for meteorological conditions associated with a typical day in summer and one in winter. The countervalue attacks contain mostly airbursts. To determine fallout effects, the population surviving the prompt effects is first calculated. For the prompt effects, a 'conflagration-type' model is used. The counterforce attack produces about 8 million prompt deaths, and the counterforce-countervalue case projects 98 million prompt deaths. Partial relocation before attack to low-risk fallout areas at least 15 km from potential strategic targets would result in a decrease in projections of deaths by tens of millions. For fallout risk calculations, only the dose received in the first 48 h (the early or local fallout) is considered. Populations are assumed to be sheltered, with a shelter protection factor profile that varies for a large urban area, a small urban area, or a rural area. With these profiles, without relocation, the fallout fatalities for all four attack scenarios are calculated to be less than one million people. This can be compared to fallout fatalities of about 10 million for a hypothetical unsheltered 'phantom' population.

Authors:
; ;  [1]
  1. (Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Livermore, CA (Unites States))
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
5948175
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Health Physics; (United States); Journal Volume: 62:1
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
45 MILITARY TECHNOLOGY, WEAPONRY, AND NATIONAL DEFENSE; 63 RADIATION, THERMAL, AND OTHER ENVIRON. POLLUTANT EFFECTS ON LIVING ORGS. AND BIOL. MAT.; FALLOUT; RISK ASSESSMENT; NUCLEAR EXPLOSIONS; HUMAN POPULATIONS; MATHEMATICAL MODELS; RADIATION DOSES; RADIATION HAZARDS; WARFARE; DOSES; EXPLOSIONS; HAZARDS; HEALTH HAZARDS; POPULATIONS; 450200* - Military Technology, Weaponry, & National Defense- Nuclear Explosions & Explosives; 560151 - Radiation Effects on Animals- Man

Citation Formats

Harvey, T.F., Shapiro, C.S., and Wittler, R.F. Fallout risk following a major nuclear attack on the United States. United States: N. p., 1992. Web. doi:10.1097/00004032-199201000-00003.
Harvey, T.F., Shapiro, C.S., & Wittler, R.F. Fallout risk following a major nuclear attack on the United States. United States. doi:10.1097/00004032-199201000-00003.
Harvey, T.F., Shapiro, C.S., and Wittler, R.F. Wed . "Fallout risk following a major nuclear attack on the United States". United States. doi:10.1097/00004032-199201000-00003.
@article{osti_5948175,
title = {Fallout risk following a major nuclear attack on the United States},
author = {Harvey, T.F. and Shapiro, C.S. and Wittler, R.F.},
abstractNote = {Fallout distributions are calculated for nuclear attacks on the contiguous United States. Four attack scenarios are treated, including counterforce and counterforce-countervalue attacks, for meteorological conditions associated with a typical day in summer and one in winter. The countervalue attacks contain mostly airbursts. To determine fallout effects, the population surviving the prompt effects is first calculated. For the prompt effects, a 'conflagration-type' model is used. The counterforce attack produces about 8 million prompt deaths, and the counterforce-countervalue case projects 98 million prompt deaths. Partial relocation before attack to low-risk fallout areas at least 15 km from potential strategic targets would result in a decrease in projections of deaths by tens of millions. For fallout risk calculations, only the dose received in the first 48 h (the early or local fallout) is considered. Populations are assumed to be sheltered, with a shelter protection factor profile that varies for a large urban area, a small urban area, or a rural area. With these profiles, without relocation, the fallout fatalities for all four attack scenarios are calculated to be less than one million people. This can be compared to fallout fatalities of about 10 million for a hypothetical unsheltered 'phantom' population.},
doi = {10.1097/00004032-199201000-00003},
journal = {Health Physics; (United States)},
number = ,
volume = 62:1,
place = {United States},
year = {Wed Jan 01 00:00:00 EST 1992},
month = {Wed Jan 01 00:00:00 EST 1992}
}