[ RadSafe ] Fallout

Douglas Minnema DouglasM at dnfsb.gov
Wed Mar 7 10:02:03 CST 2012

I believe that the simple answer is that both bombings were air bursts.  Technically, what this means is that the bombs exploded at a high enough altitude that the fireballs did not touch the ground. Therefore, there was much less (and much finer) debris and dust incorporated into the fireball, and the resulting fallout was more readily dispersed farther afield.

In contrast, a ground-level burst would be much different.  The local fallout plume would easily produce lethal doses many miles downwind of ground zero.

Doug Minnema, PhD, CHP
Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board

From: radsafe-bounces at health.phys.iit.edu [mailto:radsafe-bounces at health.phys.iit.edu] On Behalf Of Jim Conca
Sent: Wednesday, March 07, 2012 9:12 AM
To: radsafe at health.phys.iit.edu
Subject: [ RadSafe ] Fallout

Dear members,

I am in need of clarification. Everything I've seen from the effects of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki detonations suggest that the initial burst of rad during the blast in the 3-km annulus around, but outside of, the blast zone caused the radiation-related cancers and deaths in the surviving cohort, and when I plot cancers, it is indeed linear with dose down to about 10 rem where it merges with background (Figure attached), but that fallout did nothing measurable. Is this correct? Is it because doses from fallout were so low?

Thank you,


Dr. James Conca, Director
Center for Laboratory Science
RJ LeeGroup, Inc.
2710 N. 20th Ave
Pasco, WA 99301
509-545-4989 office
509-205-7541 cell
jconca at rjlg.com<mailto:jconca at rjlg.com>

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