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Fallout is a grim and long lasting feature of ground burst atomic munitions. Essentially, fallout is the irradiated dust and debris particles resulting from a nuclear blast. The half life of these particles can range from an hour, to a week, to many years depending on the intensity of the blast. All radiation is toxic in varying degrees and doses.
The mixture of radioactive elements formed in a nuclear explosion is so complex, with both short- and long-lasting isotopes, that radioactive decay can only be estimated. During the first hour after a nuclear explosion, radioactivity levels drop precipitously. Radioactivity levels are further reduced by about 90% after another 7 hours and by about 99% after 2 days. That is for short term radioactive material. Long term, such as Plutonium, is a different matter. For more information, see here...
The immediate threat is direct exposure to skin from rainfall and dust particles riding on low breezes. The result is external radiation burns and ARS (Acute Radiation Syndrome). In Jericho, the direct exposure from the rainfall was addressed by seeking shelter. It appears that all Jericho citizens save Stanley Richmond were not directly exposed to the radioactive rainfall.
Precipitation clears the irradiated particles from the air, but that is not the end of the problem. As things dry up, normal, every day dust is kicked up as well. Much of that will carry the contaminants. You breath them in, they embed in your lung tissue. Depending on the level of exposure, this can result in death from radiation poisoning in a number of hours or days or can lead to long term health risks such as cancer and leukemia.
The solution to the radioactive particles on the ground is by removing the top 18 inches of soil and disposing of them in an isolated and safe area. The definition of an "isolated and safe area" is subject to debate, and while some suggest burying the radioactive material underneath a mountain, others suggest disposal in the ocean (salt water is an excellent buffer of radiation). However, these solutions are environmentally controversial.
Note: Nuclear fallout particles will not "re-evaporate" from water sources. They are heavier than water and will sink.
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|Anonymous||Nuclear winter... about as true as global warming...||3||Sep 14 2012, 1:53 AM EDT by physicsguy66|
Thread started: Nov 30 2006, 12:08 AM EST Watch
The nuclear winter theory holds even less weight than the global warming theory. How many nukes have been set off without having even a regional climate effect. A nuke doesn't kick up nearly enough dust/ash to cause nuclear winter as popularized in Terminator and The Matrix. As one poster noted; it would take every nuke in the world going off at once to even produce less than one degree of a global climate change.
On the other hand, the radiation poisoning is real and would be less than fun.
|Anonymous||Whoa slow down there||1||Mar 28 2008, 2:23 PM EDT by Six-Actual|
Thread started: Dec 23 2006, 9:45 AM EST Watch
OK Lets start basic here.
The smaller a device is the less it damages everything.
Anyone disagree? No? Good
Now fall out is going to happen with any device of this class. How much depends on size. How bad depends on how close to the ground. And what kind of ground.
Anyone that tells you that 10 20KT bombs will kick off a "Nuclear Winter" is completely ignorant of what a Nuclear Winter is let alone what it would take to create one. The bomb that was dropped on the bikini islands had more explosive force then all of these bombs combined. Why did we not have a "Nuclear Winter" then? Get over it! Yes fallout can be dangerous, and yes it would suck to be in the range of ANY fallout. But the end of the world? Heck no. Even if you were in a fallout zone you would have to ride it out say two months tops and then it would be safe to get out of the area. The radiation levels would have subsided to a less then lethal level by then. BTW those numbers are based on crowd pleasers of 20MT not tactical nukes.
It is entirely possible that tactical nukes would not even be noticed on the larger scale of things. Have you ever been to a location where a nuke has gone off? I have. I stood outside and walked all around it. And when I got back my dosimeter registered NOTHING. Now I grant you that it was the first atomic blast ever but less then 60 years later all effects are gone.
To much public education.
|Anonymous||Nuclear Bomb Fallout: The essentials...||1||Mar 25 2008, 7:55 PM EDT by carmeniris|
Thread started: Dec 8 2006, 6:53 AM EST Watch
Basically, you have so many variables when it comes to radioactive exposure, that it is usually easier to follow the basic rules.
ALARA. This acronym is used in the Nuclear industry to represent the following: "As Low As Reasonably Achievable" This means that there is no "Safe" level of radiation. The less you get, the better your chances that you will not have undesiirable effects.
then, you have: Time, Distance and Shielding
Time: Limit the amount of time near or around radioactive materials
Distance: Each time your double the distance from a radioactive source, you drop your expsure down to only 1/4 of original exposure.
Shielding: Dense materials such as lead or tungsten can reduce exposure to most radiation. Alpha and Beta particles can be shielded with a sheet of paper to a piece of aluminum foil.
Note, some shielding can actually increase your exposure.
ok, thats enough from me.
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