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Title: 'Do-it-yourself' fallout/blast shelter evaluation. Final report

Abstract

Expedient fallout shelters recommended to the general public were evaluated for their potential to provide safety to occupants during nuclear blast. The blast threat was in the 2 to 50 psi overpressure range from a 1 megaton (MT) yield weapon. Research included a literature search for expedient shelter designs and evaluations of the designs to certify their ability to protect occupants. Shelters were evaluated systematically by first analyzing each design for expected failure loads. Next, scale model tests were planned and conducted in the Fort Cronkhite shock tunnel. Structural responses and blast pressures were recorded in a series of twelve experiments involving 96 structural response models. Two rigid models were included in each test to measure internal blast pressure leakage. Probabilities of survival were determined for each of the shelters tested. Expected failure mechanisms were identified for each of the eight U.S. shelters. One shelter, tilt-up doors and earth, was eliminated from consideration because of uncertainties for the associated permanent structure. Failure loads of the remaining seven shelters were determined through analysis. Analyses included failure by overturning/translation, trench collapse, or roof collapse. A car-over-trench shelter was evaluated solely through analysis. The threshold for human tolerance to blast pressures (lung damage)more » was calculated as 8 psi with a 99 percent survival rate at 28 psi. Thresholds for trench wall stability were calculated based on material strengths and shelter geometries.« less

Authors:
; ; ; ;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Southwest Research Inst., San Antonio, TX (USA)
OSTI Identifier:
6763942
Report Number(s):
AD-A-141688/2; SWRI-7531; UCRL-15606
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
42 ENGINEERING; FALLOUT SHELTERS; EVALUATION; NUCLEAR EXPLOSIONS; PROBABILITY; ROOFS; SCALE MODELS; EXPLOSIONS; SHELTERS; STRUCTURAL MODELS 420202* -- Engineering-- Protective Structures & Equipment

Citation Formats

Nash, P.T., Baker, W.E., Esparza, E.D., Westine, P.S., and Blaylock, N.W.. 'Do-it-yourself' fallout/blast shelter evaluation. Final report. United States: N. p., 1984. Web.
Nash, P.T., Baker, W.E., Esparza, E.D., Westine, P.S., & Blaylock, N.W.. 'Do-it-yourself' fallout/blast shelter evaluation. Final report. United States.
Nash, P.T., Baker, W.E., Esparza, E.D., Westine, P.S., and Blaylock, N.W.. 1984. "'Do-it-yourself' fallout/blast shelter evaluation. Final report". United States. doi:.
@article{osti_6763942,
title = {'Do-it-yourself' fallout/blast shelter evaluation. Final report},
author = {Nash, P.T. and Baker, W.E. and Esparza, E.D. and Westine, P.S. and Blaylock, N.W.},
abstractNote = {Expedient fallout shelters recommended to the general public were evaluated for their potential to provide safety to occupants during nuclear blast. The blast threat was in the 2 to 50 psi overpressure range from a 1 megaton (MT) yield weapon. Research included a literature search for expedient shelter designs and evaluations of the designs to certify their ability to protect occupants. Shelters were evaluated systematically by first analyzing each design for expected failure loads. Next, scale model tests were planned and conducted in the Fort Cronkhite shock tunnel. Structural responses and blast pressures were recorded in a series of twelve experiments involving 96 structural response models. Two rigid models were included in each test to measure internal blast pressure leakage. Probabilities of survival were determined for each of the shelters tested. Expected failure mechanisms were identified for each of the eight U.S. shelters. One shelter, tilt-up doors and earth, was eliminated from consideration because of uncertainties for the associated permanent structure. Failure loads of the remaining seven shelters were determined through analysis. Analyses included failure by overturning/translation, trench collapse, or roof collapse. A car-over-trench shelter was evaluated solely through analysis. The threshold for human tolerance to blast pressures (lung damage) was calculated as 8 psi with a 99 percent survival rate at 28 psi. Thresholds for trench wall stability were calculated based on material strengths and shelter geometries.},
doi = {},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = 1984,
month = 3
}

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  • The 100-man keyworker blast shelter that survived MINOR SCALE (a high explosive event) was retested using the High Explosive Simulation Technique (HEST) in August 1986. The test was conducted at White Sands Missile Range, N. Mex. The existing structure sustained minor damage (1/8-inch permanent midspan deflection) during MINOR SCALE at the predicted 75-psi peak overpressure level, and a retest was proposed to investigate the shelter's large deformation behavior. The shelter was tested using a 1-MT nuclear weapon simulation at 130- to 16-psi (depending on the duration of the simulation). The shelter survived the test with large plastic roof deformations rangingmore » from 8 to 17 inches at roof midspan. The failure mode of the shelter roof was very ductile, and the shelter had adequate reserve capacity to withstand large deformations without catastrophic failure. Survivability of occupants and mechanical equipment at this overpressure was investigated. The mechanical equipment inside the shelter was fully functional after the test except for the roof-mounted fluorescent-light fixtures. In-structure shock was within acceptable limits for shelter occupants, and high-speed movies of the mannequin movement reinforced this conclusion. Based on this test result, it is concluded that the shelter performed as designed in the buried configuration under ideal backfill conditions. Additional scale-model tests validated the shelter design in the bermed configuration and in various backfill types.« less
  • Shock tube experiments are described in which a model household basement fall-out shelter was exposed to shock waves having overpressures of approximately 5 psi. Shadow and Sehlieren photographs of the resulting movement of a smoke stream and of the wave system in the shelter are given. It is concluded that the present geometrical design of the household basement fall-out shelter can give a useful degree of protection against the effects of blast waves, provided that it can be made with sufficient physical strength to be at least as resistant to collapse as the rest of the basement. (auth)
  • This report presents a preliminary, detailed evaluation of various shelter options for use if the President orders crisis relocation of the US urban population because of strong expectation of a nuclear war. The availability of livable shelter space at 40 ft/sup 2/ per person (congregate-care space) by state is evaluated. Options are evaluated for construction of fallout shelters allowing 10 ft/sup 2/ per person - such shelters are designed to provide 100% survival at projected levels of radioactive fallout. The FEMA concept of upgrading existing buildings to act as fallout shelters can, in principle, provide adequate shelter throughout most ofmore » the US. Exceptions are noted and remedies proposed. In terms of upgrading existing buildings to fallout shelter status, great benefits are possible by turning away from a standard national approach and adopting a more site-specific approach. Existing FEMA research provides a solid foundation for successful crisis relocation planning, but the program can be refined by making suitable modifications in its locational, engineering, and institutionally specific elements.« less