New Advice On How to Survive Nuclear Attack

Politics,Science — Zac Townsend @ December 16, 2010 8:58 am

New "scientific analysis" shows that if a nuclear attack happens near you, that you shouldn't flee. Your chances of survival go up a great deal if you stay inside some structure (even a car, but preferably something like a basement): "a nuclear attack is much more survivable if you immediately shield yourself from the lethal radiation that follows a blast, a simple tactic seen as saving hundreds of thousands of lives." The Times' reporting on the results continue:

The results were revealing. For instance, the scientists found that a bomb’s flash would blind many drivers, causing accidents and complicating evacuation.

The big surprise was how taking shelter for as little as several hours made a huge difference in survival rates.

“This has been a game changer,” Brooke Buddemeier, a Livermore health physicist, told a Los Angeles conference. He showed a slide labeled “How Many Lives Can Sheltering Save?”

If people in Los Angeles a mile or more from ground zero of an attack took no shelter, Mr. Buddemeier said, there would be 285,000 casualties from fallout in that region.

Taking shelter in a place with minimal protection, like a car, would cut that figure to 125,000 deaths or injuries, he said. A shallow basement would further reduce it to 45,000 casualties. And the core of a big office building or an underground garage would provide the best shelter of all.

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