[ RadSafe ] N. Korea Nuclear test

Victor Anderson victor.anderson at frontier.com
Wed Feb 13 19:20:39 CST 2013

Good Afternoon,

Yes indeed, North Korea does pose a problem.  The government is run by
madmen who are likely as not to nuke someone.  The only thing that holds
them back (in my opinion) is the specter of US retaliation.  And yes,
whoever the president is, that person will be virtually forced to retaliate
with a nuclear strike.  The issue of any city being hit with a nuke weapon
is really nasty.  Those who want the messy details can download Effects of
Nuclear Weapons by Glasstone and Dolan.  If memory serves me correctly, it
is on the Princeton website.  For a ground burst of 10 kt, you can expect
lethal levels of fallout out to about 20 miles downwind depending on weather
conditions.  Essentially everybody within a one mile diameter of ground zero
is dead.  Forget about long term effects.  You will have bigger fish to fry.
Like providing care for tens of thousands of people with radiation syndrome.
Then there are the thermal injuries and shattered glass injuries and so on.
It gets worse.  For those of you with a morbid sense of curiosity go to LLNL
website and download the "HOTSPOT" health physics code.  One of the modules
allows you to model nuclear weapons effects for various yields, weather
conditions, etc.  The other issue is probable warhead size.  DOE after a
little study settled on 10 kilotons as the most probable yield for a
terrorist improvised nuclear weapon (IND).  All well and good.  Now we have
an outlaw nation building the damm things.  When you do the research (and I
have), the non-classified information indicates that for military purposes
current thinking is about 500 kt set off in an airburst with multiple
warheads for a large target (Think NYC or the Los Angeles metroplex).
Effects tend to go up as the cube root of the yield.  So, life gets much
more difficult.  The good news is that air bursts don't make as much fallout
as ground bursts.  A ground burst will generate ungodly amounts of highly
radioactive stuff.  Having just one US city nuked will use up all of the
health physics talent we can muster.  It will also strain our emergency
management system.  California now has one response plan for an nuke strike
at the public health department level.  Don't know the details as it was
completed after I left.  Los Angeles County has a response plan as does
Ventura County.  And that's about it. If your city, state, county does not
have a response plan, I strongly suggest that you write, call, whatever and
try and to get the wheels moving.  Saying the federal government has one is
not good enough.  Federal response time is three days.  With initial dose
rates post explosion in excess of 10 Gy/hr over many square kilometers, the
local and state organizations better have a plan.  Otherwise lots of people
are going to needlessly die.  There are so many issues that there is just
not enough room to go into them.  For example, fire departments and haz mat
teams need to understand to keep their amateur, untrained asses out of
ground zero.  They are not going to save anyone and will just commit suicide
with a long term messy death.  Setting up medical care on a mass basis is
another.  But enough.  We should have invaded North Korea instead of Iraq.
End of rant.

Victor Anderson

-----Original Message-----
From: radsafe-bounces at health.phys.iit.edu
[mailto:radsafe-bounces at health.phys.iit.edu] On Behalf Of JPreisig at aol.com
Sent: Wednesday, February 13, 2013 3:03 PM
To: radsafe at health.phys.iit.edu
Subject: [ RadSafe ] N. Korea Nuclear test

Dear Radsafe,
     If the North Koreans are getting very proficient  in Uranium and/or 
Plutonium enrichment, then it is time to start worrying about  their ability

to put a nuclear device on a cruise missile and/or a rocket  launched
from a submarine or destroyer or whatever.  This no longer becomes a  west 
coast USA/ICBM
problem.  The east coast of the USA and/or gulf coast would also  become 
potential targets to nuclear
attack (also a global problem).  Hope Team USA is on its toes.
    I also hope any cargo shipments from North Korea into  the USA are 
receiving extra scrutiny.
    According to TV News reports, Mainland China is having  discussions 
with North Korea about their
Nuclear testing.
    Anybody see any radiation readings on their detectors  from this below 
ground nuclear test???
    Regards,  Joe Preisig

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