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Title: Fallout sheltering: is it feasible

Abstract

The feasibility of sheltering the U.S. population from fallout resulting from a large-scale nuclear attack is assessed using a mathematical model. The model is used to calculate the reduction in cumulative dose received by a sheltered survivor, as a function of five adjustable parameters. Three time periods are postulated: time in the shelter, a transition period during which time out of the shelter increases and a final period in which half the time is spent outside the shelter. The parameters are varied independently, and the resulting dose reduction factor is compared with what seems to be necessary for survival in different regions of the country under the postulated attack. Another model developed by K.S. Gant and C.V. Chester is compared with this one. Similarities and differences are pointed out, and where possible the results of the two are checked for compatibility. An important question addressed in this paper is whether under the conditions of a large-scale nuclear attack sheltering a relatively unprepared population is at all feasible. Sensitivity tests of the various parameters in our model show that relatively low protection factor areas such as basements or inner rooms already existing in homes or other buildings could quite adequately servemore » as shelters for most of the area of the contiguous United States. Furthermore, continuous stays in these shelters of more than three weeks do not seem to be necessary for these large parts of the United States.« less

Authors:
;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
George Mason Univ., Fairfax, VA
OSTI Identifier:
6867909
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 6867909
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Health Phys.; (United States); Journal Volume: 3
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
42 ENGINEERING; FALLOUT; RADIATION PROTECTION; FALLOUT SHELTERS; MATHEMATICAL MODELS; BIOLOGICAL SHIELDING; FEASIBILITY STUDIES; HUMAN POPULATIONS; NUCLEAR EXPLOSIONS; RADIATION DOSES; WARFARE; DOSES; EXPLOSIONS; POPULATIONS; SHELTERS; SHIELDING 420202* -- Engineering-- Protective Structures & Equipment

Citation Formats

Ehrlich, R., and Ring, J. Fallout sheltering: is it feasible. United States: N. p., 1987. Web. doi:10.1097/00004032-198703000-00001.
Ehrlich, R., & Ring, J. Fallout sheltering: is it feasible. United States. doi:10.1097/00004032-198703000-00001.
Ehrlich, R., and Ring, J. Sun . "Fallout sheltering: is it feasible". United States. doi:10.1097/00004032-198703000-00001.
@article{osti_6867909,
title = {Fallout sheltering: is it feasible},
author = {Ehrlich, R. and Ring, J.},
abstractNote = {The feasibility of sheltering the U.S. population from fallout resulting from a large-scale nuclear attack is assessed using a mathematical model. The model is used to calculate the reduction in cumulative dose received by a sheltered survivor, as a function of five adjustable parameters. Three time periods are postulated: time in the shelter, a transition period during which time out of the shelter increases and a final period in which half the time is spent outside the shelter. The parameters are varied independently, and the resulting dose reduction factor is compared with what seems to be necessary for survival in different regions of the country under the postulated attack. Another model developed by K.S. Gant and C.V. Chester is compared with this one. Similarities and differences are pointed out, and where possible the results of the two are checked for compatibility. An important question addressed in this paper is whether under the conditions of a large-scale nuclear attack sheltering a relatively unprepared population is at all feasible. Sensitivity tests of the various parameters in our model show that relatively low protection factor areas such as basements or inner rooms already existing in homes or other buildings could quite adequately serve as shelters for most of the area of the contiguous United States. Furthermore, continuous stays in these shelters of more than three weeks do not seem to be necessary for these large parts of the United States.},
doi = {10.1097/00004032-198703000-00001},
journal = {Health Phys.; (United States)},
number = ,
volume = 3,
place = {United States},
year = {Sun Mar 01 00:00:00 EST 1987},
month = {Sun Mar 01 00:00:00 EST 1987}
}
  • In peacetime nuclear tests the weather conditions are carefully considered, but it can hardly be assumed that during a war any attention can be paid to the potential danger in neighboring countries due to radioactive fallout. For this reason even such neutral states that do not consider it appropriate to spend sufficient means on structural protection of the population in primary targets of nuclear attack should be well aware of the implications of radiological protection of the population. The necessity of training investigative personnel is mentioned as a particularly important factor in this respect.
  • Several earth-sheltered housing designs by a New Hampshire architect are described. One house plan may be adapted to a southeast, southwest, or south slope. Earth-sheltered houses are considered to have low energy consumption, little maintenance, and long-term life-spans. Commercial buildings not requiring windows, stadiums, and theaters are considered highly suitable for earth-sheltered designs.
  • Earth-sheltered buildings allow goods to be produced and energy use minimized simultaneously, a feature that is valuable in times of energy strain. The steady-state principle is explained as it pertains to earth-sheltered buildings. Three successful earth-sheltered structures designed for Control Data Corp. are described.
  • The Bureau of Mines, US Department of the Interior, is conducting atmospheric corrosion tests on five alloys and two coated steel products at five sites as part of the National Acid Precipitation Assessment Program. Samples tested are boldly exposed to the atmosphere, sheltered from the atmosphere, and facing skyward and groundward. Details of the corrosion process related to orientation and sheltering and involving particulates, corrosion film chemistry and morphology, and the dissolution/reprecipitation process were established. The corrosion film on zinc saturates with sulfur at -- 7 wt% with increasing ambient sulfur dioxide concentration. Zinc corrosion on the skyward side appearsmore » to be cathodically protected in two-sided bold exposures. Only large particulates are present on the surface of sheltered copper and zinc; small particulates dissolve and disperse into the corrosion film. The dissolution/reprecipitation process occurs primarily during the final stages of drying.« less
  • Energy conservation and reduced visual impact are the most commonly extalled virtues of underground buildings. But the decision of whether to build above or below the ground also includes such considerations as cost impact, end use, climatic environment, foundation conditions, and the nature of the surrounding area. The advantages and disadvantages of below-ground construction are discussed.