Being retired, I have a bit more time to do research than many of you. With all the problems in today’s world, there are many different aspects of potential problems that we all face. One is the threat of nuclear terrorism.
Nuclear terrorism is one problem that many of us are not fully equipped to deal with and while there is a lot of information in print, much of it is confusing and not readily accessible. There are some excellent books like Nuclear Warfare Survival Skills by Cresson Kearny. But even his book has a problem; it is based on the cold war strategy of fallout shelters. During this time period, they thought that there would be enough tension prior to an attack, that they could evacuate the cities and improvise fallout shelters.
Personally, I think that this was fallacy. However, the government now has prepared a good study on how to respond if the nuclear detonation is a complete surprise. This study deals with small nuclear weapons in the kiloton range. The name of this study is “Key Response Planning Factors for the Aftermath of Nuclear Terrorism”. It can be downloaded at https://narac.llnl.gov/uploads/IND_ResponsePlanning_LLNL-TR-410067web.pdf.
If you live in or near a large city, plan to visit one or have family living in one you may want to download this file. This is an interesting study on nuclear terrorism and gives some good guidelines on how to protect yourself from fallout.
It is a combination of evacuation and shelter in place. The study states that the “The largest potential for reducing casualties during the post-detonation response phase comes from reducing exposure to fallout radiation. This can be accomplished through early, adequate sheltering followed by informed, delayed evacuation.”
As with any government study, it has weaknesses. It is dependent on the government coming to your rescue and providing you with information. I would be concerned about this and have my own radiological instruments. Here is a link to a post I wrote on one possible source of detectors. Old Civil Defense Radiation Detectors
When dealing with the aftereffects of a nuclear detonation I have not found a single source that provides clear and detailed information on how to deal with the problems that would occur. It is a complex problem and requires some study, but I think it may be worth your time.