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Title: Underground infrastructure damage for a Chicago scenario

Estimating effects due to an urban IND (improvised nuclear device) on underground structures and underground utilities is a challenging task. Nuclear effects tests performed at the Nevada Test Site (NTS) during the era of nuclear weapons testing provides much information on how underground military structures respond. Transferring this knowledge to answer questions about the urban civilian environment is needed to help plan responses to IND scenarios. Explosions just above the ground surface can only couple a small fraction of the blast energy into an underground shock. The various forms of nuclear radiation have limited penetration into the ground. While the shock transmitted into the ground carries only a small fraction of the blast energy, peak stresses are generally higher and peak ground displacement is lower than in the air blast. While underground military structures are often designed to resist stresses substantially higher than due to the overlying rocks and soils (overburden), civilian structures such as subways and tunnels would generally only need to resist overburden conditions with a suitable safety factor. Just as we expect the buildings themselves to channel and shield air blast above ground, basements and other underground openings as well as changes of geology will channel andmore » shield the underground shock wave. While a weaker shock is expected in an urban environment, small displacements on very close-by faults, and more likely, soils being displaced past building foundations where utility lines enter could readily damaged or disable these services. Immediately near an explosion, the blast can 'liquefy' a saturated soil creating a quicksand-like condition for a period of time. We extrapolate the nuclear effects experience to a Chicago-based scenario. We consider the TARP (Tunnel and Reservoir Project) and subway system and the underground lifeline (electric, gas, water, etc) system and provide guidance for planning this scenario.« less
Authors:
 [1] ;  [1]
  1. Los Alamos National Laboratory
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
1049962
Report Number(s):
LA-UR-11-00566; LA-UR-11-566
TRN: US201218%%384
DOE Contract Number:
AC52-06NA25396
Resource Type:
Conference
Resource Relation:
Conference: MACWG meeting ; February 15, 2011 ; Chicago, IL
Research Org:
Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL)
Sponsoring Org:
DOE
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
45 MILITARY TECHNOLOGY, WEAPONRY, AND NATIONAL DEFENSE; 99 GENERAL AND MISCELLANEOUS//MATHEMATICS, COMPUTING, AND INFORMATION SCIENCE; BASEMENTS; EXPLOSIONS; FOUNDATIONS; GEOLOGY; NEVADA TEST SITE; NUCLEAR WEAPONS; OVERBURDEN; PLANNING; RADIATIONS; SAFETY; SHIELDS; SHOCK WAVES; SOILS; STRESSES; TESTING