Biological and environmental effects of nuclear war: summary-analysis of hearings, June 22-26, 1959. (8 MB PDF download, 68 Pages, linked here.) This summary-analysis contains no testimony, but is exceptionally well written and brief, setting out the case for examining the effects of nuclear weapons when such weapons could be used against us by terrorists and rogue states, and some of the effects (including a table the variation of the mean gamma ray energy with time after fallout, measured by Triffet) and some of the countermeasures known in 1959. It includes a summary of Herman Kahn's testimony at the end, explaining that civil defence is vital to back up deterrence, since Britain was intimidated by Hitler during the 1930s due to having no civil defence (a result of grossly exaggerating weapons effects). However, most of the vital nuclear effects data is given in the full 980 page volume of testimony at the hearings:
See page 205 of the hearings or 219 in the PDF file pagination for Triffet's discussion of this effect on gamma ray energy and shielding from fallout dangers:
"... it operates to reduce the average energy in this period and shielding is immensely more effective."
RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN STABLE ELECTRON STRUCTURE OF VOLATILE NOBEL GASES AND GENERALLY STABLE NUCLEAR STRUCTURE DUE TO "EVEN" ATOMIC NUMBERS, AND THE ADDITIONAL STABILITY GIVEN BY EVEN NUCLEON (I.E., MASS) NUMBERS
Apart from the presence of low gamma ray energy emitters formed by non-fission neutron capture in the U-238 pusher, tamper or casing of a nuclear weapon, there is also a fractionation effect on the mean gamma ray energy from fission products. Local fallout consists of particles which fall out of the fireball before all of the volatile gaseous fission fragments of xenon and krypton have had a chance to condense on to those rapidly falling fallout particles (either by cooling or by decaying into elements with higher boiling points), so the fallout is "fractionated", like any mixture of substances with different boiling points when heated.
The same applies in general to the nuclear structure and the gamma ray emission from excited nobel gas fission fragment nuclei in bomb fallout: they emit gamma rays with higher than average energy when falling to the ground state. Beta decay, which increases the atomic number, and changes the element, but keeps the mass number unchanged, leaves certain nucleons structures in an excited state, so gamma rays are soon emitted as they fall back to the ground state. The shell structure of the nucleus is more complex than that of the electron shells around it because of the presence of neutrons: as far as the strong nuclear force is concerned (this binds the nucleus together), neutrons and protons are similar, but the electromagnetic force only acts to produce repulsion between the protons. So while the atomic electron shell structure is determined purely by the number of electric charges, the nuclear shell structure is also influenced by the total number of nucleons.
The Pauli exclusion principle, which in the nucleus tends to pairs up protons with opposite spins and neutrons with opposite spins, basically creates orbital alpha particles in the outer shells of heavy even number nuclei, and this effect makes even-numbers of protons and nucleons more stable in the nucleus than odd numbers, thus explaining why U-233, U-235 and Pu-239 (all odd numbers of nucleons, i.e. 233, 235, and 239) are more easily fissioned i.e. are more unstable than U-238 and other istotopes with even numbers of nucleons in their nuclei, like 238.
This nucleon shell structure nuclear model helped Niels Bohr, the founder of the electron structure model of the atom, to correctly explain the initially perplexing nuclear fission cross-section data as a function of neutron energy for natural uranium in 1939, simply by guessing that the low energy neutron fission was occurring in the U-235 impurity, not in the more abundant U-238 which should be less likely to be split by a low energy neutron just because it has an even number of nucleons! Hence, volatile nobel gas fission fragments are associated with stable ground states composed of even numbers of protons and in cases like xenon-138 (which decays into rubidium 88 and cesium 138, predominating in the fission fragment gamma dose rate contributions at 1 hour after detonation) even numbers of nucleons (e.g., 138), so the stability means that there is a big gap in energy level between the excited and the ground state.
This big gap in energy levels between excited and ground state generally implies that a lot of gamma ray energy is emitted in the fall of nucleons from the excited to the ground state, so volatile fission fragments and their decay chains tend to emit higher than average gamma ray energies for the fission product mixture; thus their loss from local fallout due to fractionation tends to lower the mean gamma energy from the most intense and hazardous close-in fallout from dirty U-238 cased bombs, making the gamma radiation easier to shield.
This, in combination with the low gamma ray energy contributions from Np-239, U-237, Np-240 and U-240 (for their contributions to bomb fallout, see for instance the data compiled in the earlier blog post linked here), shows that shielding can be done more efficiently by simple, quick improvised civil defence countermeasures than suggested by published standard shielding experiments using Co-60 with 1.25 MeV mean energy gamma rays, or by standard computer calculations based on pure, unfractionated fission products which have hard spectrum with a mean energy generally of 0.7-1 MeV.
Pages 10 and 20 of the 1971 report NOLTR-71-103 by Leland R. Bunney and Daniel Sam, Gamma Ray Spectra of Fractionated Fission Products show, for instance, that the fractionated fission product Cs-138 which predominates (with the largest contribution to the gamma ray dose rate from unfractionated fallout) at 1 hour after detonation, is emitting extremely "hard" or high energy gamma ray line spectra, which include lines at 1.02, 1.45, 2.25, and 2.65 MeV. Fractionation depletes most of this hard gamma emitter Cs-138 from the local fallout, leaving predominantly lower-energy or "softer" unfractionated gamma emitters, thus softening the gamma spectrum of fallout by allowing the lower energy nuclides to predominate. Hence, the average gamma ray energy in fractionated fallout falls below that from unfractionated fission products, quite apart from the effect of important neutron induced activities U/Np-239, U-237 and U/Np-240 (all of which have high boiling points and thus are refractory, i.e. don't fractionate significantly) in U-238 cased "dirty" thermonuclear weapons. Cs-138 predominates as the maximum contributor to the gamma dose rate from unfractionated fission products for times of up to 1.3 hours. Such fission products are volatile and so are depleted from land surface burst local fallout, as explained quantitatively by Triffet in WT-1317. See also Glenn R. Crocker's report Radiation Properties of Fractionated Fallout; Predictions of Activities, Exposure Rates and Gamma Spectra for Selected Situations, U.S. Naval Radiological Defense Laboratory, USNRDL-TR-68/134, 1968.
Effect of fractionation on the gamma ray spectrum of fallout
Glenn R. Crocker's 287 pages long report Radiation Properties of Fractionated Fallout; Predictions of Activities, Exposure Rates and Gamma Spectra for Selected Situations, U.S. Naval Radiological Defense Laboratory, USNRDL-TR-68-134, 27 June 1968 does not appear to be listed in any online database, although it is cited in the experimental report linked here, so we have created a PDF file which tabulates some of Crocker's most important gamma spectra data, linked here. This shows that for the fission of U-238 in a H-bomb by thermonuclear neutrons, the mean gamma ray energy for unfractionated fission products is 0.81 MeV at one hour and 0.48 MeV at 1 week after detonation, while for fission products in which 90% of the Sr-89 is depleted (i.e. where only 10% of the Sr-89 expected - from the abundance of unfractionated Nb-95 - is present), the mean gamma ray energy is just 0.71 MeV at 1 hour and 0.44 MeV at one week after detonation.
Hence, the depletion of volatile fission products due to fractionation does cause a shift in the spectrum to lower gamma ray energy. As explained above, this shift is due to the fact that the most highly volatile fission products are shell structures for both electrons and nuclear properties via the exclusion principle which result in higher than average gamma ray energy emissions. The loss of these high gamma ray energies from fallout due to fractionation results in a downward shift in the mean gamma ray energy. This is quite apart from the additional effect of very low energy gamma ray contributions from non-fission neutron captures in U-238 which produce large quantities of Np-239, U-237, U-240, etc., in the fallout, causing an additional massive reduction in the mean gamma ray energy and making shielding against fallout (at least for low to moderate protection factors, where the low energy gamma rays are easily filtered out, leaving only the smaller proportion of higher energy gamma rays to continue).
Another source of data on the low mean gamma ray energy and its effects on emergency improvised protection from fallout in the period of a few hours to a few weeks after detonation is the U.K. Government Home Office research at nuclear tests. As mentioned in an earlier post, George R. Stanbury, civil defence project officer at the HURRICANE Monte Bello, Australian nuclear test in 1952 (a simulated terrorist attack by a nuclear bomb smuggled inside the hull of a ship in a shallow harbour), in November 1959 wrote the Confidential Home Office report A12/SA/RM 75, The Contribution of U239 and Np239 to the Radiation from Fallout, U.K. National Archives document HO 226/75, based on British TOTEM nuclear fallout data from 1953 for pure fission, plutonium core bombs with a thick, neutron-absorbing U-238 tamper. His calculation for U-239 contains a trivial calculation error (this is unimportant, since U-239 contributes a maximum percentage to fallout radiation at 40 minutes after detonation), but for Np-239 he correctly found that in such thick U-238 tamper bombs, Np-239 can easily contribute 40% of the gamma dose rate at 4 days after detonation (the time of maximum percentage contribution from any nuclide in fallout decaying as a whole at the rate t-1.2 is the half life of the nuclide multiplied by 1.2/ln2 or 1.73, hence for a 56 hours half life of Np-239 the time of maximum contribution is 1.73x56 = 97 hours or 4 days after burst).
In Hiroshima, 40 kg/m2 of combustibles per unit of total ground area was necessary to create even the relatively weak firestorm with low intensity fire winds in that city, so all firestorms occurred in city areas with wooden buildings, like Hiroshima or the medieval part of Hamburg. The combustible fuel load in the firestorm area of Hamburg in 1943 was 156 kg/m2. (These data are taken from page 11-143 of Philip J. Dolan's originally secret Capabilities of Nuclear Weapons, U.S. Defence Nuclear Agency: unfortunately the declassified version of chapter 11 is the only chapter not available as a PDF file, although it is available on microfiche at the British Library reference depository in Boston Spa. Dolan states on page 11-143: "The intensity of a large fire depends, in part, on the average amount of combistible material per unit area. In Hamburg, where 45 percent of the firestorm area was covered by buildings containing about 70 lbs/ft2 of fuel, the average loading was 32 lbs/ft2. A strong firestorm was produced in the area from the World War II incendiary bomb raid. In Hiroshima the average fuel loading [for the firestorm area] is estimated to have been 8 lbs/ft2." Dolan also points out in Capabilities of Nuclear Weapons that few fires are predicted: "The low incidence of predicted indoor ignitions results from the low elevation angle of the fireball. The artificial horizon of trees and buildings obscures the fireball from most residential windows ... the average elevation angle of the artificial horizon is about 6 degrees for New Orleans.") In typical American surburbs the fuel loading is just 10-24 kg/m2, according to the 1979 U.S. Office of Technology Assessment report The Effects of Nuclear War.
The first recorded ‘firestorm’ was in warehouses filled with combustibles at the Surrey Docks in London, not in city buildings (it occurred on 7-8 September 1940, requiring 300 water pumps and killing 306 people). The role of the building construction in firestorm history was analysed by L. E. Frost and E.L. Jones, ‘The Fire Gap and the Greater Durability of Nineteenth-Century Cities’, published in Planning Perspectives, vol. 4 (1989), pp. 333-47. Each medieval city was built of inflammable ‘tinderbox’ wooden houses, using trees from the surrounding countryside.
By 1800, Britain had cut down most of its easily accessible forests for fuel and to build wooden houses, so the price of wood rapidly increased due to the expense of transporting wood long distances, until it finally exceeded the originally higher price of brick and stone. So from then on all new buildings were built of brick when wooden ones decayed or burned in fires. This replacement of wooden houses with brick and later reinforced concrete construction rapidly reduced the fire risk. Also, in 1932, British Standard 476 was issued, which specified the fire resistance of building materials. In addition, new cities were built with wider streets and rubbish disposal to prevent tinder accumulation in alleys, which created more effective fire breaks. You can't make brick or concrete burn by increasing the number of matches: ignition is not solely dependent upon raising the temperature! Wooden cities did not need incendiaries or nuclear weapons to burn, as proved by the Great Fire of London in 1666, the fires of Hamburg in 1842, Chicago in 1871, Baltimore in 1904, San Francisco in 1906, and Tokyo in 1923 killing 142,807 and destroying 575,000 dwellings in Tokyo and Yokohama, although some deaths were from the earthquake which caused the fire by upsetting thousands of cooking braziers in paper screen and bamboo filled wooden houses (a mechanism similar to the blast ignition of the firestorm in Hiroshima, but of course far more devastating).
As early as 1950, the U.K. Home Office was well aware of the lying propaganda exaggerating the effects of nuclear weapons and attacking civil defence countermeasures for communist appeasement:
Above: the 1950 U.K. Home Office Scientific Adviser's Branch report The Number of Atomic Bombs Equivalent to the Last War Air Attacks on Great Britain and Germany, CD/SA 16 (National Archives document reference HO 225/16) was written by the scientists of the British Mission to Japan who in 1945 surveyed the damage in Hiroshima and Nagasaki from nuclear weapons and compared that damage to what they had surveyed from conventional bombing in England during World War II. It was Top Secret until 1958, and then only degraded to Restricted (for another 22 years). It was never published, but formed the backdrop to British civil defence planning. It found that due to the non-linear scaling of blast damage areas and casualties from bombs, the effects are not directly proportional to the energy of the explosives: it estimated that the 60,670 civilians killed by bombing England in World War II was equivalent to the effects from 52 nuclear bombs, while the damage to Germany was equivalent to 330. The few megatons of TNT equivalent dropped in World War II in the form of many small bombs was equivalent to a far greater amount of explosive equivalent in the form of a few hundred nuclear weapons (we will go into the numbers in detail later in this post):
"This figure for the weight of high explosive equivalent to the atomic bomb for causing casualties increases as the amount of protection of the population increases. Thus for the night raiding conditions on London in the last war, where something like 60% of the population were in houses, 35% in shelter and 5% in the open [Home Guard, air raid wardens, fire watchers, police, etc.], the number killed in inner London per ton of bombs was 4."
Scaling up this figure of 4 killed per ton to 20 kt by the two-thirds of energy power law (for blast diffraction type damage and casualties) gives a prediction of 4(20,000)2/3 = 2,950 killed. By contrast, for unwarned people standing outdoors with no protection at Smithfield Market in London on 8 March 1945 (photograph below), the 1 ton TNT warhead of a supersonic V2 killed 110, about 28 times as many people who were killed on average after taking warning. Scaling the 110 from 1 ton up to 20 kt gives 110(20,000)2/3 = 81,000 killed, which is on the order of the casualty rates for Hiroshima and Nagasaki (allowing for differences in population density, etc.) where no effective air raid warning was given and no countermeasures were taken, not even "duck and cover" to avoid line-of-sight flash burns, flying glass, etc.:
Above Phil Bolsover, author of a 1974 children's book called One day in Russia 1917 (which justifies Lenin's Communist revolution, by explaining the problems of imperialism), wrote the May 1980 best-selling CND booklet, Civil Defence: The Cruellest Confidence Trick, in response to the civil defence booklet Protect and Survive published that month by the U.K. Government. The dust jacket of Bolsover's One Day in Russia 1917 states: "On November 7th, the discontent of the Russian soldiers, workers and peasants had reached such a peak that, under the leadership of Lenin and his party, the Bolshevik Revolution took place in Petrograd (later renamed Leningrad) [renamed Saint Petersburg when the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991]. Philip Bolsover creates the atmosphere of those turbulent times by introducing us to several characters and showing us their everyday lives, surrounded by the spirit of revolution." Bolsover writes on pages 9-10:
"There had been the great strikes and demonstrations led by 30,000 workers from the now famous Putilov metal plant [in Petrograd, between 3-5 July 1917]; the peasant revolt against the landowners; the mass desertions from the army; and, simultaneously, the creation of soviets, or councils, of workers in factories, peasants in villages, soldiers and sailors in the armed forces.
"The Tsar's government, aware of growing discontent, had prepared an elaborate military plan to deal with revolt, and had brought in 160,000 soldiers to strengthen the city's garrison. But in the end this was worse than useless, for the soldiers, many of them newly conscripted from factories and villages, joined the demonstrators, taking their arms with them."
Above: a still from the biased BBC "documentary" film the War Game, attacking Civil Defence (the cover photos from the first edition of the pamphlet are stills from the same film): the main worry for CND in the second edition (March 1982) of Civil Defence: the Cruellest Confidence Trick seemed to be not the bomb itself, but the threat of surviving a nuclear war only to be shot under martial law for being Communist agents. This photo is printed filling two pages of the second edition, which states on page 36:
In brief summary (we will examine all the points in detail later on, most of which have already been explained on an earlier post linked here), Bolsover tries to debunk civil defence by falsely claiming that if any fallout dust gets inside a building being used as a shelter and contaminates someone, the protection is useless. In fact gamma ray dosages come from a median radius of 15 metres at 1 metre height over smooth, unobstructed, uniformly contaminated terrain, so half the dose comes from an area of 700 m2, and the percentage coming from the fallout within a few square metres is negligible; therefore even in the worst case (if your building has no roof), surviving outer walls will still protect you against most of the radiation which is direct gamma rays coming in the horizontal direction, not straight upwards from the tiny percentage of the dose contributed from nearby fallout under your feet (for the 15 metres median radius for gamma ray fallout doses and a 103 metres mean free path for 0.7 MeV gamma ray Compton effect air scatter implied by data in Glasstone and Dolan 1977, the fraction of direct radiation is simply e-15/103 = 0.86, so only 14% is air scatter).
In fact, of course, the heaviest bombing in history was received by Vietnam: America dropped 11.3 megatons of TNT equivalent in the form small conventional explosives, some 331 kg of high explosive for every man, woman and child in Vietnam, at a cost of $150,000 million, without winning:
"... more than 10 billion pounds of TNT was dropped on Germany, Japan and Italy during World War II, this equalled more than 50 pounds for every man, woman and child. ... Arithmetically considered, the result should have been the total annihilation of one and all. ... During the Vietnam War, more than 25 billion pounds of TNT were dropped ... an average of 730 pounds for each of a total population of 34 million. ... yet the USA was unable to kill enough people, or to disrupt economic life, transportation or communication sufficiently."
On page 12 of the second edition of Bolsover's Civil Defence: The Cruellest Confidence Trick booklet, published in March 1982, he repeats that lying CND quotation but falsely attributes it as a direct quotation from the U.S. Department of Defence book The Effects of Nuclear Weapons! Switching back to page 7 of Bolsover's first edition (May 1980), he rejects all the evidence of sharp burns shadows from Hiroshima, Nagasaki and nuclear tests which prove that the majority of the thermal radiation which causes burns travels in the direct line from the bomb:
On this last point, Bolsover quite apart from ignoring the attenuation of thermal radiation by fog (the omission of the effects of atmospheric visibility on thermal transmission is one of the failings of Glasstone and Dolan 1977), he is also ignoring the fact that highly scattered, diffusive thermal radiation, coming from many angles, is less effective in starting fires because it spreads out more (reducing the exposure per unit area, and thus the ignition risk) after entering a window than the line-of-sight direct radiation:
"In a room, for instance, the thermal radiation coming through the window would be spread over the walls and floor instead of falling on an area the size of the window."
Having thus lied (by ignoring equivalent megatonnage) that nuclear blast destruction could be a more destructive than conventional weapons, and that World War II wooden city firestorm data is applicable to modern brick and concrete buildings, Bolsover then lies about radiation. Protect and Survive states:
"The further you can get within your home, from the radioactive dust that is on or around it, the safer you will be ... Still greater protection is necessary ... you should build an inner refuge."
Alternatively, Protect and Survive points out that you can use the the cupboard under the stairs and pile items to absorb radiation on the stairs, and around the cupboard. Bolsover uses the biased BBC anti-nuclear propagandaPanorama documentary of 10 March 1980 to try to discredit Kearny's improvised core shelter:
"They [the BBC Panorama team] found that the householder would need 100 bags or similar containers [most rolls of plastic bags contain roughly that number], strength enough to lift a ton of earth [use water, clothing, bedding, books, etc., instead, carry water in buckets one at a time or use a hose pipe as Kearny does; you don't need to carry all the shielding matter in a single go, fallout is carried by the wind and takes time to arrive and be deposited, and more time is then needed to accumulate a radiation dose while it decays], and a number of floor joists to take the weight [simply use the ground floor for the refuge room in a house; in multistorey buildings floors are generally concrete and will provide adequate protection from fallout on the roof and "skyshine" scattered gamma rays without additional shielding]. ...
The fear-mongering BBC Panorama television programme propaganda of 10 March 1980 which falsely attacked Protect and Survive countermeasures achieved its anti-civil defence purpose, according to the following letter, published in the Guardian newspaper on 13 March 1980:
"Watching these programmes with an increasing feeling of distress and alarm, I realise that if there is to be a nuclear attack I do not want to survive and I do not want my children to survive. ... I do not want us to spend days and weeks behind an improvised and useless screen of sandbags and cushions, probably suffering agonies from radiation burns and sickness, aware that friends, neighbours and countless others are dead and dying.
"And if we were relatively unscathed and did come out after some time from our shelter, whatever sort of world would we find? How could we begin to cope with the destruction and the devastation, the lack of food, water, light, heat, communications, the knowledge of suffering all around, and the certainty that we ourselves were doomed to die, lingeringly and in pain ...
"My feeling at the moment is that if the unbelievable does happen, I want my preparation for it to be a pill for all of use, quick, painless and final."
Such radiation level measurements tell you the protective factor of a refuge and also tell you how long you need to either take shelter or evacuate for: you can easily estimate the total infinite time future dose from decaying fallout since it is roughly four times the beginning radiation level (in dose units per hour) multiplied by the time (in hours) after the explosion that exposure begins. The dose rate from fission products falls by a factor of 10 for every 7 fold increase in time until 200 days, and then it falls even faster. The total dose from a bomb with a cobalt jacket instead of uranium is actually less than that because each neutron absorbed by cobalt in the bomb leads to the release of a total of only 2.5 MeV of gamma radiation energy from cobalt-60, compared to uranium-238 when fissioned by one neutron, which emits 6 MeV as delayed fission product gamma rays, and about 200 MeV altogether! (Glasstone and Dolan, 1977, p. 12.) Total gamma radiation doses are approximately directly proportional to the total gamma ray energy emitted, so a uranium-238 jacket emits 6/2.5 = 2.4 times as much residual gamma radiation as a cobalt-60 jacket, and emits 200/2.5 = 80 times as much energy in total! This is why Stanley Kubrick's cobalt-60 hype is a complete lie: the fallout hazard from any design of nuclear weapon is always easily survivable. The relatively low decay rates of fallout nuclides with long half lives simply allows time for natural weathering or deliberate decontamination, before getting a significant dose from them.
On page 15, Bolsover lies about the effects of radiation in Hiroshima and Nagasaki:
"In March, 1977, 32 years after the two small atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, there were still 366,523 people registered as Hibakusha - sufferers from the effects of the bombs."
See also the more extensive reviews of long term radiation effects in the recent blog posts on lying radiation effects exaggerations here and here.
Bolsover begins on page 1 of Civil Defence: The Cruellest Confidence Trick (1st ed., May 1980) by stating that his motivation is the publication of Protect and Survive: "The Government has produced a pamphlet Protect and Survive which purports to provide us all with a do-it-yourself guide in nuclear war. The sale of this pamphlet is on one hand a careful political move at a time when efforts are being made to work up a renewal of the cold war; and on the other hand a mass confidence trick, a public fraud of the most heartless kind because it deals in human lives. ... Nuclear weapons - always more of them, always getting bigger [false: they had been getting smaller since the 1960s due to the development of MIRV technology, putting many very small warheads on one missile to avoid collateral damage by reducing the total yield, an effect of "equivalent megatonnage" which we will explain below] - have been a cloud on the far horizon, real, but not so real that people were forced to look at them steadily, to see what they could do to each one of us. ... How many will be contaminated inside the shelters; how many will be affected if they emerge for even a few minutes? How many will appear unaffected after an attack, but will, in fact, be in the first stages of a lingering death? ...
"1. We must throw away our costly, terribly dangerous nuclear weapons. "2. We must tell the Americans we are not stupid enough to remain their advanced nuclear base; that we will not allow them to make our country a target by basing H-bombers, Cruise missiles and nuclear-armed submarines here. ... [Emphasis by Bolsover.]
"The Government would maintain that these proposals are not realistic. Mrs Thatcher might say in her best captain-of-the-school voice that they are wet. The Defence Minister and his generals would call them mad.
"But these people want us to sit under our tables to protect ourselves against H-bombs that have a power of millions of tons of dynamite. That idea is not so much wet as waterlogged."
So a terrorist explodes a nuclear bomb. Light travels faster than air shock, so many people within range of window breakage effects would have the chance to duck and cover, or at least turn away, to reduce the risks of being blinded by flying glass. (As Glasstone noted, the eyes are relatively transparent - unlike skin - so they do not heat up to the same extent as skin, and - contrary to typical propaganda - nobody had their eyes "burned out" at Hiroshima. A small retinal burn with a minimal impact upon eyesight will occur if the fireball is within the field of view. Eyesight loss in Hiroshima was primarily due to flying glass fragments.)
Closer to the explosion, some people within buildings will be trapped by the collapse of those buildings. This isn't unprecedented or specifically a nuclear weapons problem. Buildings collapse in earthquakes, tornadoes, hurricanes, and conventional TNT bombing in warfare. The effects of area attacks by conventional bombing in World War II were often comparable to nuclear weapons effects due to the "equivalent megatonnage" two-thirds of yield scaling law: a single one megaton TNT bomb produces the same area of blast diffraction damage as not one million separate one-ton TNT bombs (which simple arithmetic tells you!), but to only 10,000 one ton TNT bombs, since 10,000(1/1,000,000)2/3 = 1(1)2/3.
So only 10 kt of TNT delivered as 1 ton bombs dropped randomly over a large area target will produce the same area destruction as a single 1 megaton bomb. The smaller the individual bomb size, the smaller the total number of bombs you need to deliver in order to produce the same amount of destruction you get from a single bomb. This is why the two megatons of total yield from the 11 million conventional bombs with an average yield of around 175 kg (according to the British Home Office, which measured the destruction in Britain from bombing in World War II, and organized rescue) dropped during World War II bombing is comparable to a nuclear war consisting of not merely 2 separate one megaton bombs dropped on cities, but to one consisting of 11,000,000(0.175/1,000,000)2/3 = 344 one megaton bombs, contrary to political propaganda which ignores the science and tries to compare the amount of energy.
To demonstrate how well known equivalent megatonnage was in the 1980s, in 1983 Britain's 4 Polaris submarines each carried 16 SLBMs, each MIRVed with 3 warheads of 40 kilotons each; a total of 192 warheads and a linear sum of 7.68 megatons. But the equivalent megatonnage (EMT) was not 192(0.04) = 7.68 megatons, but 192(0.042/3) = 22.46 megatons. Having exactly the same total yield distributed over a greater number of low yield warheads increases the overall power, but when using low yield nuclear weapons (including neutron bombs) it reduces collateral damage because the area damaged by each individual bomb is smaller, and can be accurately targeted on military objectives, not innocent civilians. (The Polaris A3 missile was 9.45 m high, 1.37 m in diameter, 12.7 metric tons and had a range of 4,500 km with a maximum speed of 11,000 km/hour.)
Above: the 1960 Civil Defence Handbook No. 7, Rescue, was based on the practical experience of World War II bombing, when repeated attacks by bomber aircraft, V1 subsonic cruise missiles and V2 inertially guided supersonic rockets led to an effective rescue scheme. As shown in the previous post, the greatest casualty rate is always to personnel standing outside: they get physically blown off their feet and carried by the blast winds, sustaining injury upon impact and also being hit by flying debris (especially window glass fragments and roof tiles). They are the first to be rescued and given first aid first. Then lightly to moderately damaged buildings are searched and marked when cleared of trapped casualties. Finally, voids in heavily damaged buildings are assessed for trapped casualties by trained dogs, and outdoor rubble blocking streets is removed quickly by bulldozers to permit heavy rescue including cranes and other mechanical aids, to temporarily shore up debris against further collapse, allowing the rapid yet safe extrication of trapped survivors during World War II air raids. Notice the last illustration above, showing the improvised use of doors or other suitable items salvaged from rubble debris as stretchers. The civil defence training stresses the fact that the enormous scale of destruction in a nuclear attack on a city necessitates training in several expedient or improvisation techniques including the use of debris as stretchers, and the supervision of large numbers of untrained personnel in rescue (unlike standard fire brigade training).
"We know that the Soviet Union dominates the world. Recent experience in Afghanistan proves that. It is prepared to exploit any weakness that it may find. ... The advantage held by the Soviet Union is that it is on the attack while we are on the defensive. In a democracy it is harder to prepare for war. There is no doubt in my mind that the Soviet Union will use military means when it believes that that will achieve its aims at acceptable cost.
"Britain is almost totally dependent on our nuclear deterrent. Unfortunately, our conventional forces are insignificant in comparison with the vast conventional forces of the Soviet bloc. Nuclear weapons will deter only if this country is prepared to use them. If the Soviet Union feels that we are not prepared to use them, the invasion of Britain may come into the category of an acceptable loss.
"I believe that the Soviet Union is entitled to take the view that, as we have no civil defence worth speaking of, at the same time we have no wish to use our nuclear weapons and virtually no will to resist."
In the previous post, we made the point that in 1932 former and future Prime Minister Baldwin openly claimed in the House of Commons that there is no protection possible against air raids, encouraging the secret rearmament of fascist states. Then, once the threat had been produced by the denial of civil defence countermeasures, the Government in 1938 had to issue to every household in Britain The Protection Of Your Home Against Air Raids. Similarly, Bolsover in each edition (1980 and 1982) of Civil Defence: The Cruellest Confidence Trick quotes denials of civil defence from various personalities ignorant of the facts concerning the effects of nuclear weapons:
"In the event of nuclear war ... there will be no survivors - all will be obliterated. ... the nuclear arms race has no military purpose. [Wrong: the arms race bankrupted and thus defeated the Soviet Union!]"
- Lord Louis Mountbatten, former Chief of the British Defence Staff, speech at Strasbourg, 11 May 1979.
"As our own White Paper put it as long ago as 1957, there was then no means of protecting the population against the consequences of a nuclear war. There are none today ... [Wrong!]"
- Lord Zuckerman, Chief Scientific Adviser to the War Office, 1964-71, letter to The Times, 21 January 1980.
"The survivors, of any, would live in despair amid the poisoned ruins of a civilization that had committed suicide."
- President Carter's 15 January 1981 farewell speech following Reagan's election.
- Nobel Laureate Joseph Rotblat, Professor of Physics, London University, Nuclear Radiation in Warfare, Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, 1981.
The effectiveness of "duck and cover" against explosion produced flying debris and bodily displacement by blast winds is the whole basis for taking cover on a battlefield: it is not propaganda or trickery. Under random bombardment by high explosive shells, troops lying down in the open are only 40% as likely to be killed by blast as those standing up with the whole body area exposed to the blast winds and horizontally travelling debris. Troops in shell craters or ditches had only 20% of the mortality risk of those standing in the open. (Those in open trenches had only 10% of the risk of being killed as those standing in the open, while for those in thick earth-covered trench shelters the risk was only 1% of that from standing in the open.) The value of "duck and cover" against nuclear weapons is even greater, because in addition to protection from blast winds and debris, it easily eliminates the main danger from the direct thermal radiation to bare skin and part of the direct nuclear radiation due to self-shielding along the long axis of the body.
Bolsover's CND Propaganda and the Neutron Bomb
The greatest deception CND ever did (with Soviet Union "World Peace Council" propaganda backing) was lying about Samuel Cohen's neutron bomb. On page 22 of the May 1980 1st edition of Civil Defence: The Cruellest Confidence Trick Bolsover states:
"If such a [unilateral disarmament] movement is strong enough, nothing can stand against it - Government policies can be changed, decisions cancelled, bases dismantled, weapons scrapped. The campaign against the neutron bomb is an example. When America proposed to arm NATO forces with this horrible [tactical, anti-tank, rather than collateral damage causing] weapon - to bring it to European countries [to negate the superior Soviet/Warsaw Pact conventional forces and tank invasion threat], and of course Britain - a massive campaign forced the postponement and possible cancellation of the project. It can be done again."
President John F. Kennedy on the need for British civil defence to credibly deter thugs
Future U.S. President John F. Kennedy worked in the American Embassy in London while Britain was trying to prevent war by falsely claiming civil defence is just a "fraud and a plot of Ministers to create a war psychology", and compiled vital information about it in his published 1940 thesis called Why England Slept (which we have already quoted in the previous post in connection to Sir Edward Grey's propaganda about the cause of World War I, which was largely his fault as blundering British Foreign Minister). Kennedy wrote in Why England Slept that public apathy in England towards civil defence encouraged fascist aggression by sending Hitler the message that Britain was unprepared to really threaten to stop the Nazis:
"In England we can see vividly where democracy failed. In the case of A.R.P. [Air Raid Precautions, later renamed civil defence], for example, the Government failed to get enough volunteers until after the Munich crisis had driven home the seriousness of the situation. But Germany had 12,000,000 members by 1936 ... We cannot tell anyone to keep out of our hemisphere unless our armaments and the people behind these armaments [emphasis by Kennedy] are prepared to back up the command ..."
For this reason, Kennedy refused in Why England Slept to place the blame for Nazi appeasement on the Prime Minister (Chamberlain). Kennedy quotes Herbert Morrison, the Labour Leader in 1939, describing as follows the severe Labour Party abuse he received about civil defence, the main objections being completely paranoid and to a certain extent also contradictory, namely that (1) civil defence is obviously so very effective it will produce a war psychology, intimidating Hitler, and that (2) civil defence is obviously so very ineffective that it is a complete fraud:
"At the beginning I got plenty of abuse from the irresponsibles because I said that Labour administrators must play their full part in Air Raid Precautions, which was denounced as a fraud and a plot of Ministers to create war psychology. For Labour local authorities to cooperate with state departments in this task was treachery. Anyway, no Air Raid Precautions could possibly be effective [the quacks alleged]."
This 1930s attack on civil defence by irresponsible, paranoid Labour authorities was repeated in 1982 when Britain's Home Secretary, William Whitelaw, was forced to cancel the civil defence exercise "Hard Rock" after 24 of 52 Labour county councils refused to cooperate. President Ronald Reagan's American civil defence program met exactly the same fate:
"New York City's City Council voted to reject the Reagan Administration's Crisis Relocation Plan and New York Mayor Ed Koch stated that it would be 'impossible to evacuate in any timely, acceptible way.' Hundreds of local governments throughout the nation also refused to cooperate with the new federally sponsored civil defence program even before it was funded."
As discussed in the previous post, President Kennedy in Why England Slept attributes the problem of appeasement to Sir Edward Grey's excuse for blunders he made as Foreign Secretary which led to World War I:
"The enormous growth of armaments in Europe, the sense of insecurity, and fear caused by them; it was these that made war inevitable."
- Sir Edward Grey, quoted by Kennedy, Why England Slept.
Actually, Grey was lying because the first declaration of war in World War I was by Germany and if he had clearly communicated Britain's position to Germany before it mobilized, instead of obfuscating in inept indecision and political fear, World War I Prime Minister Lloyd George was certain the disaster was not stopped by Grey's incompetence:
"It is a mistaken view of history to assume that its episodes were entirely due to fundamental causes ... and that they were not precipitated or postponed by the intervention of personality ... Of one thing there can be no doubt; he [British Foreign Minister Sir Edward Grey] failed calamitously in his endeavours to avert the Great War ... [failures which were caused by] Grey's hesitations during the fateful days when the thunderclouds were deepening and rapidly darkening the sky ..."
"In 1914, Grey played a key role in the July Crisis leading to the outbreak of World War I. His attempts to mediate the dispute between Austria-Hungary and Serbia by a "Stop in Belgrade" came to nothing, owing to the tepid German response. He also failed to clearly communicate to Germany that a breach of the treaty not merely to respect but also to protect the neutrality of Belgium — of which both Britain and Germany were signatories — would cause Britain to declare war against Germany. When he finally did make such communication, German forces were already massed at the Belgian border, and Helmuth von Moltke convinced Kaiser Wilhelm II it was too late to change the plan of attack. Thus when Germany declared war on France (3 August) and broke the treaty by invading Belgium (4 August), the British Cabinet voted almost unanimously to declare war on August 4, 1914." - Wikipedia.
Kennedy explains in Why England Slept the indirect role of Grey's World War I excuse in causing World War II:
"Armaments were looked upon as something horrible, as being the cause of war, not a means of defence. Again and again, through the 'thirties, opponents of rearament quoted Grey ... Closely linked with this attitude towards armaments and the League [of Nations] was the great hope the British people put into their efforts towards disarmament in general ..."
To demonstrate the value of civil defence, consider the following facts. In 1938, Britain had 38 million gas masks manufactured and ready for issue, while Germany had only 9 million in 1939 due to a rubber shortage (although Hitler was invading European countries, none had tropical rubber trees, unlike British colonies). According to Moore (1987), Germany had 10,000 tons of poison gas ready for use in 1939, while Britain had only 1,000 tons. Did England's gas masks make Germany use gas against England? No, having civil defence instead helps to deter an attack. Another factor is the wind direction and speed, which - as in the case of nuclear fallout - does not increase the confidence of offensive military planners in such weapons: the only reliable thing about gas or nuclear fallout is the fact that they will cause civilian panic if the population is scared, unprepared and ignorant. (This applies to the 12,000 tons of tabun nerve gas the Nazis produced during World War II, which would have been absorbed by the activated charcoal in all British gas masks carried all the time by everyone; skin absorption lethality requires much higher doses than inhalation.)
It is important to point out that innocent Jews were being herded into concentration camps or otherwise abused by the Nazis during the 1930s, while Hitler invaded country after country and disarmament fanatics quoted Grey's lie and attacked the civil defence which was needed to allow Britain to deter Hitler: on 2 August 1937, the British Manchester Guardian newspaper openly published the fact that no less than 40 concentration camps were then under construction in Germany. Nobody cared. In 1938, the 209th (revised) edition of Hitler's Mein Kampf was openly published stating on page 372 for the first time clearly stating that he wanted the Jewish problem to be "ausgerottet". Nazi Propaganda Minister Goebbels insisted that the ends justify the means in his speech at Stuttgart on 4 September 1938: "The methods by which a people forces its way upwards are of no moment; only the goal which is achieved is important."
Likewise, the Bolshevik communist Yaroslavsky declared: "Whatever coincides with the interests of the Proletarian Revolution is ethical." (Watkins, 1978.)
After World War II, President Truman slashed the American military from 12 million to 1.5 million personnel with the military budget falling from £90 billion/year to just $11 billion/year. This was reflected by the renaming of the U.S. War Department the "Department of Defense" in 1949 (Britain's War Office was renamed the "Ministry of Defence" on April fools day in 1963). This post war disarmament was not mirrored by the Soviet Union, which acquired Czechoslovakia in a Soviet organized coup in 1948 and Hungary in 1949, the year the Soviet Union tested its first nuclear weapon. In 1950, the Soviet Union backed a communist revolutionary war in Korea which was one step too far for President Truman, who explained his defence of Korea (using conventional weapons) on 10 April 1951:
"In the simplest terms what we are doing in Korea is this: we are trying to prevent a Third World War ... The communists in the Kremlin are engaged in a monstrous conspiracy to stamp out freedom all over the world."
But, as explained in a previous post, President Truman made the error of giving a personal guarantee to Britain's Prime Minister Attlee that he would under no circumstances use nuclear weapons to defend Korea, which communist spies in the British government leaked to the Kremlin, effectively giving them a free hand to do whatever they wanted in Korea until the election of President Eisenhower, who took a stronger approach and finally ended the war in 1953:
"... it was a vindication of the strategy of the nuclear deterrent. It was only when they thought atomic weapons were about to be used against them that the Communists concluded an armistice agreement. This fact is still not fully appreciated in the West."
Korea checked Soviet territorial expansion and accelerated the arms race while they sought military superiority over the free world. The terrific bombing in Vietnam during the Cold War was due to very strong communist diehard idealists, demonstrating the problems of trying to impose capitalist democracy on primitive societies. France's war against communist insurgency in Vietnam after World War II was first supported by President Eisenhower on 8 May 1953, when he announced $60 million support. However the Pentagon Papers showed that he also stated in 1953:
"I can conceive of no greater tragedy than for the U.S. to become involved in an all-out war in Indiochina [Vietnam]."
France was defeated in Vietnam at Dien Bien Phu in May 1954, where 6,000 French troops were killed or wounded and 10,000 were captured. Vietnam was consequently divided on a piece of paper at Geneva on 21 July 1954, with democracy in the South and communists in the North, and Eisenhower supported the South. The communists in the North then fought a war of terrorism against the South which was unable to support itself without American backing, escalating gradually into the heaviest conventional bombing war in history by the late 1960s. Meanwhile, the Soviet Union ruthlessly suppressed uprisings in Hungary (1956) and Prague (1968).
During this time, there were repeated calls for disarmament in the belief that it would increase security, despite the fact that British disarmament after World War I reduced security and led to World War II, as was well appreciated back in 1946:
"In a world made bombless by treaty, the first to violate the treaty would gain an enormous advantage. Under such conditions the opportunities for world dominance would be breathtaking!"
Another delusion is economic interdependence, which was claimed to be a means to make war impossible. This is debunked because in 1914, Britain and Germany were each other's "biggest trading partner" but still went to war (as pointed out by the Tofflers in War and Antiwar, 1993, who also emphasise that the Cold War was in some respects as devastating as a World War, since 8.4 million soldiers were killed in World War II compared to 7.2 million soldiers killed in 155 conflicts during the Cold War period of 1945-92).
By the early 1970s, the arms race against America was becoming a heavy burden upon the Soviet Union. On 11 June 1971 even Premier Leonid Brezhnev (the Soviet leader from 1964-1982) admitted in his propaganda speech called "Achieving International Peace" that there was an effect of the arms race upon Soviet economic development, and called for an end to the need for more arms by encouraging Western disarmament fanatics and Vietnam peace protestors to lobby their governments for peaceful surrender to communist aggression:
"Socialism is sufficiently strong to ensure both reliable defences and economic development, although it is true that without the great expenditure on defence we would have ensured a much faster advance of our economy ... In the United States the 'Peace' movement is assuming an increasingly mass-scale and is bringing strong pressure to bear on the government. Resistance to the increase in military spending is growing in other NATO countries, too."
"November, 1974. In sub-zero temperatures, Leonid Brezhnev, the Soviet general secretary, waved to Gerald Ford as the US president entered Airforce One to return to Washington DC. The two leaders had just completed a summit meeting about strategic nuclear arms limitation, and Brezhnev was pleased with the results. ... He and the Soviet Union were at the pinnacle of their power: they had strategic nuclear parity with the United States and were supporting a wave of successful national liberation struggles in the Third World. But on that bitter winter evening Brezhnev was falling apart, as the state he ran was beginning to do. ... Brezhnev's personal doctor between 1975 and 1982 maintains that he had taken a drug overdose ... 'So let me make it clear: Leonid Ilyich Brezhnev was taking sedatives and tranquillisers, but in such huge quantities that he was effectively a drug addict. We always called them 'sedatives' to avoid stating the facts, and he would too, to fool himself, but it wasn't the truth.'
"The truth is that, for the last seven years of his life, Brezhnev was a mental cripple. His doctors needed four to six weeks to prepare him for public meetings, and even then things would go wrong: film of Brezhnev's public speeches in the late 1970s shows a decrepit amnesiac who could hardly mouth even the robotic language of Soviet-speak.
"Some people close to Brezhnev found it convenient to keep him in this state: the country was run by a ''troika'' KGB chief Yuri Andropov, defence minister Dimitri Ustinov and, looming over them, the ''grey cardinal'', Mikhail Suslov, sour and pedantic guardian of the ideology, the sacred texts that justified their every action. Between them, these men had power without responsibility: if things went wrong, they could always blame Brezhnev.
"The story of Brezhnev's addiction is not just a bizarre tale of the truth behind the facade: it is a perfect cameo of the Soviet system. It was a world of absolute secrecy and ultimate absurdity. The passion for secrecy was an essential component of the system, a logical consequence of its origins as a conspiratorial regime built up by a small group of fanatics. ... perhaps the most interesting aspect of the Brezhnev-era offensive was the Soviet attempt to win the battle of ideas by fostering the western peace movement of the late 1970s. The Russians tried very hard to stoke up the peace movement, and their paw marks can be found all over some of the main events, particularly the neutron bomb and cruise missile campaigns. Their operations have been known about in the intelligence and foreign affairs community for some years, but this is the first time that senior Soviet figures of the time have admitted it on camera. ...
"Soviet central committee documents confirm that by 1976 the leadership was committed to fostering the peace movement. Its chance was just around the corner. In the mid-1970s KGB intelligence learned that America was developing the neutron bomb, a weapon with lower blast and higher radiation emissions than conventional nuclear weapons.
"According to General Nikolai Leonov, KGB head of analysis, the Russians knew in advance about the neutron bomb. This allowed them to launch an extensive and co-ordinated propaganda campaign the very moment that President Jimmy Carter announced, in July 1977, the weapon's development and possible deployment in Europe.
"There were shoals of Moscow radio propaganda broadcasts; 28 communist parties published statements denouncing the ''barbarous nature'' of the weapon; an ''International Week of Action'' was called by the Soviet-controlled World Peace Council for August 1977. Hundreds of meetings, demonstrations and protests were organised across the world.
"In Britain, when we examined the Communist Party of Great Britain (CPGB) archives, we confirmed that peace campaigning was a big part of communist activities. Communists were certainly active in CND: the chairman of CND at that time, John Cox, was a well-known party member and former member of the executive committee of the CPGB (1971-73). In the mid-1970s, two of CND's three full-time workers were Communist party members. In Holland epicentre of the Soviet campaign communists were prominent and successful. ...
"The anti-neutron-bomb campaign was the breakthrough for the Russians, and the peace movement took off. In the end, it was a close-run thing. A few years later, hundreds of thousands came out on the streets to protest at the siting of missiles, and western governments only just held their nerve. One of the leading figures in the Soviet peace campaign, Tair Tairov, believes it was a good thing that they did. 'If they hadn't, that would have given the Soviet leadership a false argument, or a distorted vision of their power, which they would have misused. Moscow would have celebrated, started dictating to Western Europe, and that perhaps could have brought on a real tragedy...'
"To understand these East-West confrontations, you have to start with the ideological claim of the party. The Soviet Union was not just a state but a mission: it existed to lead the working class to communism all over the world. By that mission, party leaders from Lenin through Stalin, Khrushchev, Brezhnev and Gorbachev justified their power over all aspects of Soviet life. Without the mission, what would the party leaders be but just another bunch of criminal dictators battening on a ravaged, bleeding nation? With it, they were messengers of an 'inevitable' future.
"In the words of Mikhail Kapitsa, former deputy foreign minister of the Soviet Union: 'This ideology cost us billions and billions. Billions for nothing. Billions for just ideas.'
"The best proof that the Soviet Union was the ideology came with its collapse. In the summer of 1988, Eduard Shevardnadze, then foreign minister, announced the abandonment of the central ideological principle, ''the class struggle in international relations''. The trouble was that without the ideology, the whole gigantic, ruinous structure made no sense. Within a year the Berlin Wall had fallen. Within three, the Soviet Union was no more."
Phil Bolsover in the Foreword to the March 1982 second edition of his CND pamphlet Civil Defence: The Cruellest Confidence Trick, states:
"Since this pamphlet was first published early in 1980, the movement for nuclear disarmament in Britain has been transformed by an astonishing increase in national support. National membership of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) has grown from 2,500 to (at the time of writing) 40,000, with local group membership estimated at 300,000. Many new local organisations with the same basic aims as CND have been set up all over the country. ... 250,000 people marched through London in October 1981, to protest against nuclear weapons ...
"Of course the Government itself had been partly responsible for the revival of the nuclear disarmament campaign. In 1979-80, at a time of heightened international tension [due to the Brezhnev's Soviet invasion of Afghanistan to impose communist dictatorship], it made three important decisions: it decided to spend £5,000 million (later estimates said £7,000 million) on four Trident submarines, one of the most destructive weapons ever invented; it agreed to install 160 American owned and operated cruise missiles in Britain, and it issued Protect and Survive."
On page 56 of that edition, Bolsover points out that Protect and Survive was published after John F. Wallace (member of NATO's Civil Defence Committee) in the February 1980 NATO Review wrote:
"In the final analysis, the military ability to fight, and even to survive, is going to depend on what is happening in the civil sector."
Civil defence in British mainstream Party Politics
In 1935, the then Labour Party Leader in Britain, Clement Attlee (who later - when Prime Minister - secretly ordered the clandistine manufacture of Britain's first nuclear bomb), declared:
"There is no security in armaments, and we shall be no party to piling them up."
The Labour Party was in opposition to the Conservatives who were in power, and who were already appeasing Hitler in the belief that "peaceful co-existence" with the Nazis was possible and desirable, compared to the risk from confrontation and war. This was due essentially to (1) the lying popular exaggeration of the effects of aerial bombardment, and (2) the lying popular denial of the effectiveness of civil defence. So there was no effective political opposition in the House of Commons to what the Conservatives were doing in making friends with Hitler. Churchill was ignored.
Unlike the 1930s when British political opinion was united in offering the hand of friendship and collaboration to Hitler up to and after the Munich crisis, in the 1980s the appeasement of the Soviet Union became a Party Political issue in Britain. The Conservatives led by Thatcher issued Civil Defence handbooks like Protect and Survive in order to strengthen Western will to resist Soviet intimidation, while in 1982 the Labour Party committed itself to unilateral nuclear disarmament. The Labour Party remained out of power in Britain until it had abandoned that policy.
President Reagan's propaganda against the Soviet Union
On 29 November 1982, Henry Kissinger, former U.S. Secretary of State and author of the 1957 endorsement of clean nuclear warfare against military targets, Nuclear Weapons and Foreign Policy, wrote an article in Newsweek called "How to Deal with Moscow":
"... economic stagnation must raise serious doubts in the minds of some Soviet leaders whether the country's security is compatible over the long term with an unrestrained arms race."
President Reagan's administration decided to follow Kissinger's idea and issue psychological propaganda to demoralize Moscow's World Peace Council, instead of letting them reap all the kudos of their lying "peace" propaganda. On 15 January 1983, U.S. National Security Adviser William Clark wrote an open letter to Cardinal Bernardin stating:
"For moral, political and military reasons, the United States does not target the Soviet civilian population ... We do not threaten the existence of Soviet civilisation by threatening Soviet cities. Rather, we hold at risk the war-making capability of the Soviet Union ..."
Then on 1 February 1983, U.S. Defence Secretary Caspar Weinberger stated in his Annual Report to Congress:
"The Reagan administration's policy is that in no circumstances may such weapons be used deliberately for the purpose of destroying populations."
Finally, President Reagan himself came up with the ultimate peace "vision" (Reagan's term, not his critics!) and announced it in his television address on 23 March 1983:
"I've become more and more deeply convinced that the human spirit must be capable of rising above dealing with other nations and human beings by threatening their existence ... Let me share with you a vision of the future which offers hope. It is that we embark on a program to counter the awesome Soviet missile threat with measures that are defensive."
Defence is the biggest threat you can make to an empire which has economically crippled itself by making offensive weapons. Reagan took away the Soviet dream, paving the way for communist reform and collapse.
posted by Nuclear Weapons Effects 8:43 am0 comments
Historically, it has been proved that having weapons is not enough to guarantee a reasonable measure of safety from terrorism and rogue states; countermeasures are also needed, both to make any deterrent credible and to negate or at least mitigate the effects of a terrorist attack. Some people who wear seatbelts die in car crashes; some people who are taken to hospital in ambulances, even in peace-time, die. Sometimes, lifebelts and lifeboats cannot save lives at sea. This lack of a 100% success rate in saving lives doesn't disprove the value of everyday precautions or of hospitals and medicine. Hospitals don't lull motorists into a false sense of security, causing them to drive faster and cause more accidents. Like-minded ‘arguments’ against ABM and civil defense are similarly vacuous.
‘As long as the threat from Iran persists, we will go forward with a missile system that is cost-effective and proven. If the Iranian threat is eliminated, we will have a stronger basis for security, and the driving force for missile-defense construction in Europe will be removed.’
‘The [ABM] treaty was in 1972 ... The theory ... supporting the ABM treaty [which prohibits ABM, thus making nations vulnerable to terrorism] ... that it will prevent an arms race ... is perfect nonsense because we have had an arms race all the time we have had the ABM treaty, and we have seen the greatest increase in proliferation of nuclear weapons that we have ever had. ... So the ABM treaty preventing an arms race is total nonsense. ...
‘The Patriot was not a failure in the Gulf War - the Patriot was one of the things which defeated the Scud and in effect helped us win the Gulf War. One or two of the shots went astray but that is true of every weapon system that has ever been invented. ...
‘President Bush said that we were going ahead with the defensive system but we would make sure that nobody felt we had offensive intentions because we would accompany it by a unilateral reduction of our nuclear arsenal. It seems to me to be a rather clear statement that proceeding with the missile defence system would mean fewer arms of this kind.
‘You have had your arms race all the time that the ABM treaty was in effect and now you have an enormous accumulation and increase of nuclear weapons and that was your arms race promoted by the ABM treaty. Now if you abolish the ABM treaty you are not going to get another arms race - you have got the arms already there - and if you accompany the missile defence construction with the unilateral reduction of our own nuclear arsenal then it seems to me you are finally getting some kind of inducement to reduce these weapons.’
Before the ABM system is in place, and afterwards if ABM fails to be 100% effective in an attack, or is bypassed by terrorists using a bomb in a suitcase or in a ship, civil defense is required and can be effective at saving lives:
‘Paradoxically, the more damaging the effect, that is the farther out its lethality stretches, the more can be done about it, because in the last fall of its power it covers vast areas, where small mitigations will save very large numbers of people.’
‘The purpose of a book is to save people [the] time and effort of digging things out for themselves. ... we have tried to leave the reader with something tangible – what a certain number of calories, roentgens, etc., means in terms of an effect on the human being. ... we must think of the people we are writing for.’
“FY 1997 Plans: ... Provide text to update Glasstone's book, The Effects of Nuclear Weapons, the standard reference for nuclear weapons effects. ... Update the unclassified textbook entitled, The Effects of Nuclear Weapons. ... Continue revision of Glasstone's book, The Effects of Nuclear Weapons, the standard reference for nuclear weapons effects. ... FY1999 Plans ... Disseminate updated The Effects of Nuclear Weapons.”
‘The evidence from Hiroshima indicates that blast survivors, both injured and uninjured, in buildings later consumed by fire [caused by the blast overturning charcoal braziers used for breakfast in inflammable wooden houses filled with easily ignitable bamboo furnishings and paper screens] were generally able to move to safe areas following the explosion. Of 130 major buildings studied by the U.S. Strategic Bombing Survey ... 107 were ultimately burned out ... Of those suffering fire, about 20 percent were burning after the first half hour. The remainder were consumed by fire spread, some as late as 15 hours after the blast. This situation is not unlike the one our computer-based fire spread model described for Detroit.’
- Defense Civil Preparedness Agency, U.S. Department of Defense, DCPA Attack Environment Manual, Chapter 3: What the Planner Needs to Know About Fire Ignition and Spread, report CPG 2-1A3, June 1973, Panel 27.
“... the city lacked buildings with fire-protective features such as automatic fire doors and automatic sprinkler systems”, and pages 26-28 state the heat flash in Hiroshima was only:
“... capable of starting primary fires in exposed, easily combustible materials such as dark cloth, thin paper, or dry rotted wood exposed to direct radiation at distances usually within 4,000 feet of the point of detonation (AZ).”
Volume two examines the firestorm and the ignition of clothing by the thermal radiation flash in Hiroshima:
“Scores of persons throughout all sections of the city were questioned concerning the ignition of clothing by the flash from the bomb. ... Ten school boys were located during the study who had been in school yards about 6,200 feet east and 7,000 feet west, respectively, from AZ [air zero]. These boys had flash burns on the portions of their faces which had been directly exposed to rays of the bomb. The boys’ stories were consistent to the effect that their clothing, apparently of cotton materials, ‘smoked,’ but did not burst into flame. ... a boy’s coat ... started to smoulder from heat rays at 3,800 feet from AZ.” [Contrast this to the obfuscation and vagueness in Glasstone, The Effects of Nuclear Weapons!]
“Ignition of the City. ... Only directly exposed surfaces were flash burned. Measured from GZ, flash burns on wood poles were observed at 13,000 feet, granite was roughened or spalled by heat at 1,300 feet, and vitreous tiles on roofs were blistered at 4,000 feet. ... six persons who had been in reinforced-concrete buildings within 3,200 feet of air zero stated that black cotton blackout curtains were ignited by radiant heat ... dark clothing was scorched and, in some cases, reported to have burst into flame from flash heat [although as the 1946 unclassified USSBS report admits, most immediately beat the flames out with their hands without sustaining injury, because the clothing was not drenched in gasoline, unlike peacetime gasoline tanker road accident victims]
“... but a large proportion of over 1,000 persons questioned was in agreement that a great majority of the original fires was started by debris falling on kitchen charcoal fires, by industrial process fires, or by electric short circuits. Hundreds of fires were reported to have started in the centre of the city within 10 minutes after the explosion. Of the total number of buildings investigated [135 buildings are listed] 107 caught fire, and in 69 instances, the probable cause of initial ignition of the buildings or their contents was as follows: (1) 8 by direct radiated heat from the bomb (primary fire), (2) 8 by secondary sources, and (3) 53 by fire spread from exposed [wooden] buildings.”
‘During World War II many large cities in England, Germany, and Japan were subjected to terrific attacks by high-explosive and incendiary bombs. Yet, when proper steps had been taken for the protection of the civilian population and for the restoration of services after the bombing, there was little, if any, evidence of panic. It is the purpose of this book to state the facts concerning the atomic bomb, and to make an objective, scientific analysis of these facts. It is hoped that as a result, although it may not be feasible completely to allay fear, it will at least be possible to avoid panic.’
‘The consequences of a multiweapon nuclear attack would certainly be grave ... Nevertheless, recovery should be possible if plans exist and are carried out to restore social order and to mitigate the economic disruption.’
‘Suppose the bomb dropped on Hiroshima had been 1,000 times as powerful ... It could not have killed 1,000 times as many people, but at most the entire population of Hiroshima ... [regarding the hype about various nuclear "overkill" exaggerations] there is enough water in the oceans to drown everyone ten times.’
In 1996, half a century after the nuclear detonations, data on cancers from the Hiroshima and Nagasaki survivors was published by D. A. Pierce et al. of the Radiation Effects Research Foundation, RERF (Radiation Research vol. 146 pp. 1-27; Science vol. 272, pp. 632-3) for 86,572 survivors, of whom 60% had received bomb doses of over 5 mSv (or 500 millirem in old units) suffering 4,741 cancers of which only 420 were due to radiation, consisting of 85 leukemias and 335 solid cancers.
‘Today we have a population of 2,383 [radium dial painter] cases for whom we have reliable body content measurements. . . . All 64 bone sarcoma [cancer] cases occurred in the 264 cases with more than 10 Gy [1,000 rads], while no sarcomas appeared in the 2,119 radium cases with less than 10 Gy.’
‘... it is important to note that, given the effects of a few seconds of irradiation at Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945, a threshold near 200 mSv may be expected for leukemia and some solid tumors. [Sources: UNSCEAR, Sources and Effects of Ionizing Radiation, New York, 1994; W. F. Heidenreich, et al., Radiat. Environ. Biophys., vol. 36 (1999), p. 205; and B. L. Cohen, Radiat. Res., vol. 149 (1998), p. 525.] For a protracted lifetime natural exposure, a threshold may be set at a level of several thousand millisieverts for malignancies, of 10 grays for radium-226 in bones, and probably about 1.5-2.0 Gy for lung cancer after x-ray and gamma irradiation. [Sources: G. Jaikrishan, et al., Radiation Research, vol. 152 (1999), p. S149 (for natural exposure); R. D. Evans, Health Physics, vol. 27 (1974), p. 497 (for radium-226); H. H. Rossi and M. Zaider, Radiat. Environ. Biophys., vol. 36 (1997), p. 85 (for radiogenic lung cancer).] The hormetic effects, such as a decreased cancer incidence at low doses and increased longevity, may be used as a guide for estimating practical thresholds and for setting standards. ...
‘Though about a hundred of the million daily spontaneous DNA damages per cell remain unrepaired or misrepaired, apoptosis, differentiation, necrosis, cell cycle regulation, intercellular interactions, and the immune system remove about 99% of the altered cells. [Source: R. D. Stewart, Radiation Research, vol. 152 (1999), p. 101.] ...
‘[Due to the Chernobyl nuclear accident in 1986] as of 1998 (according to UNSCEAR), a total of 1,791 thyroid cancers in children had been registered. About 93% of the youngsters have a prospect of full recovery. [Source: C. R. Moir and R. L. Telander, Seminars in Pediatric Surgery, vol. 3 (1994), p. 182.] ... The highest average thyroid doses in children (177 mGy) were accumulated in the Gomel region of Belarus. The highest incidence of thyroid cancer (17.9 cases per 100,000 children) occurred there in 1995, which means that the rate had increased by a factor of about 25 since 1987.
‘This rate increase was probably a result of improved screening [not radiation!]. Even then, the incidence rate for occult thyroid cancers was still a thousand times lower than it was for occult thyroid cancers in nonexposed populations (in the US, for example, the rate is 13,000 per 100,000 persons, and in Finland it is 35,600 per 100,000 persons). Thus, given the prospect of improved diagnostics, there is an enormous potential for detecting yet more [fictitious] "excess" thyroid cancers. In a study in the US that was performed during the period of active screening in 1974-79, it was determined that the incidence rate of malignant and other thyroid nodules was greater by 21-fold than it had been in the pre-1974 period. [Source: Z. Jaworowski, 21st Century Science and Technology, vol. 11 (1998), issue 1, p. 14.]’
‘Professor Edward Lewis used data from four independent populations exposed to radiation to demonstrate that the incidence of leukemia was linearly related to the accumulated dose of radiation. ... Outspoken scientists, including Linus Pauling, used Lewis’s risk estimate to inform the public about the danger of nuclear fallout by estimating the number of leukemia deaths that would be caused by the test detonations. In May of 1957 Lewis’s analysis of the radiation-induced human leukemia data was published as a lead article in Science magazine. In June he presented it before the Joint Committee on Atomic Energy of the US Congress.’ – Abstract of thesis by Jennifer Caron, Edward Lewis and Radioactive Fallout: the Impact of Caltech Biologists Over Nuclear Weapons Testing in the 1950s and 60s, Caltech, January 2003.
Dr John F. Loutit of the Medical Research Council, Harwell, England, in 1962 wrote a book called Irradiation of Mice and Men (University of Chicago Press, Chicago and London), discrediting the pseudo-science from geneticist Edward Lewis on pages 61, and 78-79:
‘... Mole [R. H. Mole, Brit. J. Radiol., v32, p497, 1959] gave different groups of mice an integrated total of 1,000 r of X-rays over a period of 4 weeks. But the dose-rate - and therefore the radiation-free time between fractions - was varied from 81 r/hour intermittently to 1.3 r/hour continuously. The incidence of leukemia varied from 40 per cent (within 15 months of the start of irradiation) in the first group to 5 per cent in the last compared with 2 per cent incidence in irradiated controls. …
‘What Lewis did, and which I have not copied, was to include in his table another group - spontaneous incidence of leukemia (Brooklyn, N.Y.) - who are taken to have received only natural background radiation throughout life at the very low dose-rate of 0.1-0.2 rad per year: the best estimate is listed as 2 x 10-6 like the others in the table. But the value of 2 x 10-6 was not calculated from the data as for the other groups; it was merely adopted. By its adoption and multiplication with the average age in years of Brooklyners - 33.7 years and radiation dose per year of 0.1-0.2 rad - a mortality rate of 7 to 13 cases per million per year due to background radiation was deduced, or some 10-20 per cent of the observed rate of 65 cases per million per year. ...
‘All these points are very much against the basic hypothesis of Lewis of a linear relation of dose to leukemic effect irrespective of time. Unhappily it is not possible to claim for Lewis’s work as others have done, “It is now possible to calculate - within narrow limits - how many deaths from leukemia will result in any population from an increase in fall-out or other source of radiation” [Leading article in Science, vol. 125, p. 963, 1957]. This is just wishful journalese.
‘The burning questions to me are not what are the numbers of leukemia to be expected from atom bombs or radiotherapy, but what is to be expected from natural background .... Furthermore, to obtain estimates of these, I believe it is wrong to go to [1950s inaccurate, dose rate effect ignoring, data from] atom bombs, where the radiations are qualitatively different [i.e., including effects from neutrons] and, more important, the dose-rate outstandingly different.’
‘From the earlier studies of radiation-induced mutations, made with fruitflies [by Nobel Laureate Hermann J. Muller and other geneticists who worked on plants, who falsely hyped their insect and plant data as valid for mammals like humans during the June 1957 U.S. Congressional Hearings on fallout effects], it appeared that the number (or frequency) of mutations in a given population ... is proportional to the total dose ... More recent experiments with mice, however, have shown that these conclusions need to be revised, at least for mammals. [Mammals are biologically closer to humans, in respect to DNA repair mechanisms, than short-lived insects whose life cycles are too small to have forced the evolutionary development of advanced DNA repair mechanisms, unlike mammals that need to survive for decades before reproducing.] When exposed to X-rays or gamma rays, the mutation frequency in these animals has been found to be dependent on the exposure (or dose) rate ...
‘At an exposure rate of 0.009 roentgen per minute [0.54 R/hour], the total mutation frequency in female mice is indistinguishable from the spontaneous frequency. [Emphasis added.] There thus seems to be an exposure-rate threshold below which radiation-induced mutations are absent ... with adult female mice ... a delay of at least seven weeks between exposure to a substantial dose of radiation, either neutrons or gamma rays, and conception causes the mutation frequency in the offspring to drop almost to zero. ... recovery in the female members of the population would bring about a substantial reduction in the 'load' of mutations in subsequent generations.’
George Bernard Shaw cynically explains groupthink brainwashing bias:
‘We cannot help it because we are so constituted that we always believe finally what we wish to believe. The moment we want to believe something, we suddenly see all the arguments for it and become blind to the arguments against it. The moment we want to disbelieve anything we have previously believed, we suddenly discover not only that there is a mass of evidence against, but that this evidence was staring us in the face all the time.’
From the essay titled ‘What is Science?’ by Professor Richard P. Feynman, presented at the fifteenth annual meeting of the National Science Teachers Association, 1966 in New York City, and published in The Physics Teacher, vol. 7, issue 6, 1968, pp. 313-20:
‘... great religions are dissipated by following form without remembering the direct content of the teaching of the great leaders. In the same way, it is possible to follow form and call it science, but that is pseudo-science. In this way, we all suffer from the kind of tyranny we have today in the many institutions that have come under the influence of pseudoscientific advisers.
‘We have many studies in teaching, for example, in which people make observations, make lists, do statistics, and so on, but these do not thereby become established science, established knowledge. They are merely an imitative form of science analogous to the South Sea Islanders’ airfields - radio towers, etc., made out of wood. The islanders expect a great airplane to arrive. They even build wooden airplanes of the same shape as they see in the foreigners' airfields around them, but strangely enough, their wood planes do not fly. The result of this pseudoscientific imitation is to produce experts, which many of you are. ... you teachers, who are really teaching children at the bottom of the heap, can maybe doubt the experts. As a matter of fact, I can also define science another way: Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts.’
Richard P. Feynman, ‘This Unscientific Age’, in The Meaning of It All, Penguin Books, London, 1998, pages 106-9:
‘Now, I say if a man is absolutely honest and wants to protect the populace from the effects of radioactivity, which is what our scientific friends often say they are trying to do, then he should work on the biggest number, not on the smallest number, and he should try to point out that the [natural cosmic] radioactivity which is absorbed by living in the city of Denver is so much more serious [than the smaller doses from nuclear explosions] ... that all the people of Denver ought to move to lower altitudes.'
Feynman is not making a point about low level radiation effects, but about the politics of ignoring the massive natural background radiation dose, while provoking hysteria over much smaller measured fallout pollution radiation doses. Why is the anti-nuclear lobby so concerned about banning nuclear energy - which is not possible even in principle since most of our nuclear radiation is from the sun and from supernova debris contaminating the Earth from the explosion that created the solar system circa 4,540 million years ago - when they could cause much bigger radiation dose reductions to the population by concentrating on the bigger radiation source, natural background radiation. It is possible to shield natural background radiation by the air, e.g. by moving the population of high altitude cities to lower altitudes where there is more air between the people and outer space, or banning the use of high-altitude jet aircraft. The anti-nuclear lobby, as Feynman stated back in the 1960s, didn't crusade to reduce the bigger dose from background radiation. Instead they chose to argue against the much smaller doses from fallout pollution. Feynman's argument is still today falsely interpreted as a political statement, when it is actually exposing pseudo-science and countering political propaganda. It is still ignored by the media. It has been pointed out by Senator Hickenlooper on page 1060 of the May-June 1957 U.S. Congressional Hearings before the Special Subcommittee on Radiation of the Joint Committee on Atomic Energy, The Nature of Radioactive Fallout and Its Effects on Man:
‘I presume all of us would earnestly hope that we never had to test atomic weapons ... but by the same token I presume that we want to save thousands of lives in this country every year and we could just abolish the manufacture of [road accident causing] automobiles ...’
Dihydrogen monoxide is a potentially very dangerous chemical containing hydrogen and oxygen which has caused numerous severe burns by scalding and deaths by drowning, contributes to the greenhouse effect, accelerates corrosion and rusting of many metals, and contributes to the erosion of our natural landscape: 'Dihydrogen monoxide (DHMO) is colorless, odorless, tasteless, and kills uncounted thousands of people every year. Most of these deaths are caused by accidental inhalation of DHMO, but the dangers of dihydrogen monoxide do not end there. Prolonged exposure to its solid form causes severe tissue damage. Symptoms of DHMO ingestion can include excessive sweating and urination, and possibly a bloated feeling, nausea, vomiting and body electrolyte imbalance. For those who have become dependent, DHMO withdrawal means certain death.'
Protein P53, discovered only in 1979, is encoded by gene TP53, which occurs on human chromosome 17. P53 also occurs in other mammals including mice, rats and dogs. P53 is one of the proteins which continually repairs breaks in DNA, which easily breaks at body temperature: the DNA in each cell of the human body suffers at least two single strand breaks every second, and one double strand (i.e. complete double helix) DNA break occurs at least once every 2 hours (5% of radiation-induced DNA breaks are double strand breaks, while 0.007% of spontaneous DNA breaks at body temperature are double strand breaks)! Cancer occurs when several breaks in DNA happen to occur by chance at nearly the same time, giving several loose strand ends at once, which repair proteins like P53 then repair incorrectly, causing a mutation which can be proliferated somatically. This cannot occur when only one break occurs, because only two loose ends are produced, and P53 will reattach them correctly. But if low-LET ionising radiation levels are increased to a certain extent, causing more single strand breaks, P53 works faster and is able deal with faster breaks as they occur, so that multiple broken strand ends do not arise. This prevents DNA strands being repaired incorrectly, and prevents cancer - a result of mutation caused by faults in DNA - from arising. Too much radiation of course overloads the P53 repair mechanism, and then it cannot repair breaks as they occur, so multiple breaks begin to appear and loose ends of DNA are wrongly connected by P53, causing an increased cancer risk.
1. DNA-damaging free radicals are equivalent to a source of sparks which is always present naturally.
2. Cancer is equivalent the fire you get if the sparks are allowed to ignite the gasoline, i.e. if the free radicals are allowed to damage DNA without the damage being repaired.
3. Protein P53 is equivalent to a fire suppression system which is constantly damping out the sparks, or repairing the damaged DNA so that cancer doesn’t occur.
In this way of thinking, the ‘cause’ of cancer will be down to a failure of a DNA repairing enzyme like protein P53 to repair the damage.
'For the mindset that engendered and enables this situation, which jeopardizes the existence of the United States as a nation as well as the lives of millions of its citizens, some American physicians and certain prestigious medical organizations bear a heavy responsibility.
Charles J. Hitch and Roland B. McKean of the RAND Corporation in their 1960 book The Economics of Defense in the Nuclear Age, Harvard University Press, Massachusetts, pp. 310-57:
‘With each side possessing only a small striking force, a small amount of cheating would give one side dominance over the other, and the incentive to cheat and prepare a preventative attack would be strong ... With each side possessing, say, several thousand missiles, a vast amount of cheating would be necessary to give one side the ability to wipe out the other’s striking capability. ... the more extensive a disarmament agreement is, the smaller the force that a violator would have to hide in order to achieve complete domination. Most obviously, “the abolition of the weapons necessary in a general or ‘unlimited’ war” would offer the most insuperable obstacles to an inspection plan, since the violator could gain an overwhelming advantage from the concealment of even a few weapons.’
Disarmament after World War I caused the following problem which led to World War II (reported by Winston S. Churchill in the London Daily Express newspaper of November 1, 1934):
‘Germany is arming secretly, illegally and rapidly. A reign of terror exists in Germany to keep secret the feverish and terrible preparations they are making.’
British Prime Minister Thatcher's address to the United Nations General Assembly on disarmament on 23 June 1982, where she pointed out that in the years since the nuclear attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, 10 million people had been killed by 140 non-nuclear conflicts:
‘The fundamental risk to peace is not the existence of weapons of particular types. It is the disposition on the part of some states to impose change on others by resorting to force against other nations ... Aggressors do not start wars because an adversary has built up his own strength. They start wars because they believe they can gain more by going to war than by remaining at peace.’
J. D. Culshaw, the then Director of the U.K. Home Office Scientific Advisory Branch, stated in his article in the Scientific Advisory Branch journal Fission Fragments, September 1972 (issue No. 19), classified 'Restricted':
'Apart from those who don't want to know or can't be bothered, there seem to be three major schools of thought about the nature of a possible Third World War ...
* 'The first group think of something like World War II but a little worse ...
* '... the second of World War II but very much worse ...
* 'and the third group think in terms of a catastrophe ...
'When the Armageddon concept is in favour, the suggestion that such problems exist leads to "way out" research on these phenomena, and it is sufficient to mention a new catastrophic threat [e.g., 10 years later this was done by Sagan with "nuclear winter" hype, which turned out to be fake because modern concrete cities can't produce firestorms like 1940s wooden-built areas of Hamburg, Dresden and Hiroshima] to stimulate research into the possibilities of it arising. The underlying appeal of this concept is that if one could show that the execution of all out nuclear, biological or chemical warfare would precipitate the end of the world, no one but a mad man would be prepared to initiate such a war. [However, as history proves, plenty of mad men end up gaining power and leading countries into wars.]'
J. K. S. Clayton, then Director of the U.K. Home Office Scientific Advisory Branch, stated in his introduction, entitled The Challenge - Why Home Defence?, to the 1977 Home Office Scientific Advisory Branch Training Manual for Scientific Advisers:
'Since 1945 we have had nine wars - in Korea, Malaysia and Vietnam, between China and India, China and Russia, India and Pakistan and between the Arabs and Israelis on three occasions. We have had confrontations between East and West over Berlin, Formosa and Cuba. There have been civil wars or rebellions in no less than eleven countries and invasions or threatened invasions of another five. Whilst it is not suggested that all these incidents could have resulted in major wars, they do indicate the aptitude of mankind to resort to a forceful solution of its problems, sometimes with success. ...'
It is estimated that Mongol invaders exterminated 35 million Chinese between 1311-40, without modern weapons. Communist Chinese killed 26.3 million dissenters between 1949 and May 1965, according to detailed data compiled by the Russians on 7 April 1969. The Soviet communist dictatorship killed 40 million dissenters, mainly owners of small farms, between 1917-59. Conventional (non-nuclear) air raids on Japan killed 600,000 during World War II. The single incendiary air raid on Tokyo on 10 March 1945 killed 140,000 people (more than the total for nuclear bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki combined) at much less than the $2 billion expense of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki nuclear bombs! Non-nuclear air raids on Germany during World War II killed 593,000 civilians. The argument that the enemy will continue stocking megaton fallout weapons if we go to cleaner weapons is irrelevant for deterrence, since we're not planning to start war, just to credibly deter invasions. You should not try to lower your standards of warfare to those of your enemy to appease groupthink taboos, or you will end up like Britain's leaders in the 1930s, trying to collaborate with fascists for popular applause.
Lord Hailsham of Saint Marylebone: ‘My Lords, if we are going into the question of lethality of weapons and seek thereby to isolate the nuclear as distinct from the so-called conventional range, is there not a danger that the public may think that Vimy, Passchendaele and Dresden were all right—sort of tea parties—and that nuclear war is something which in itself is unacceptable?’
Lord Trefgarne: ‘My Lords, the policy of making Europe, or the rest of the world, safe for conventional war is not one that I support.’
Mr. Bill Walker (Tayside, North): ‘I remind the House that more people died at Stalingrad than at Hiroshima or Nagasaki. Yet people talk about fighting a conventional war in Europe as if it were acceptable. One rarely sees demonstrations by the so-called peace movement against a conventional war in Europe, but it could be nothing but ghastly and horrendous. The casualties would certainly exceed those at Stalingrad, and that cannot be acceptable to anyone who wants peace’
On 29 October 1982, Thatcher stated of the Berlin Wall: ‘In every decade since the war the Soviet leaders have been reminded that their pitiless ideology only survives because it is maintained by force. But the day comes when the anger and frustration of the people is so great that force cannot contain it. Then the edifice cracks: the mortar crumbles ... one day, liberty will dawn on the other side of the wall.’
On 22 November 1990, she said: ‘Today, we have a Europe ... where the threat to our security from the overwhelming conventional forces of the Warsaw Pact has been removed; where the Berlin Wall has been torn down and the Cold War is at an end. These immense changes did not come about by chance. They have been achieved by strength and resolution in defence, and by a refusal ever to be intimidated.’
‘... peace cannot be guaranteed absolutely. Nobody can be certain, no matter what policies this or any other Government were to adopt, that the United Kingdom would never again be attacked. Also we cannot tell what form such an attack might take. Current strategic thinking suggests that if war were to break out it would start with a period of conventional hostilities of uncertain duration which might or might not escalate to nuclear conflict. ... while nuclear weapons exist there must always be a chance, however small, that they will be used against us [like gas bombs in World War II]. ... as a consequence of war between other nations in which we were not involved fall out from nuclear explosions could fall on a neutral Britain. ... conventional war is not the soft option that is sometimes suggested. It is also too easily forgotten that in World War II some 50 million people died and that conventional weapons have gone on killing people ever since 1945 without respite.’ - - The Minister of State, Scottish Office (Lord Gray of Contin), House of Lords debate on Civil Defence (General Local Authority Functions) Regulations, Hansard, vol. 444, cc. 523-49, 1 November 1983.
‘All of us are living in the light and warmth of a huge hydrogen bomb, 860,000 miles across and 93 million miles away, which is in a state of continuous explosion.’ - Dr Isaac Asimov.
‘Dr Edward Teller remarked recently that the origin of the earth was somewhat like the explosion of the atomic bomb...’ – Dr Harold C. Urey, The Planets: Their Origin and Development, Yale University Press, New Haven, 1952, p. ix.
‘But compared with a supernova a hydrogen bomb is the merest trifle. For a supernova is equal in violence to about a million million million million hydrogen bombs all going off at the same time.’ – Sir Fred Hoyle (1915-2001), The Nature of the Universe, Pelican Books, London, 1963, p. 75.
‘In fact, physicists find plenty of interesting and novel physics in the environment of a nuclear explosion. Some of the physical phenomena are valuable objects of research, and promise to provide further understanding of nature.’ – Dr Harold L. Brode, The RAND Corporation, ‘Review of Nuclear Weapons Effects,’ Annual Review of Nuclear Science, Volume 18, 1968, pp. 153-202.
Dr Paul K. Kuroda (1917-2001) in 1956 correctly predicted the existence of water-moderated natural nuclear reactors in flooded uranium ore seams, which were discovered in 1972 by French physicist Francis Perrin in three ore deposits at Oklo in Gabon, where sixteen sites operated as natural nuclear reactors with self-sustaining nuclear fission 2,000 million years ago, each lasting several hundred thousand years, averaging 100 kW. The radioactive waste they generated remained in situ for a period of 2,000,000,000 years without escaping. They were discovered during investigations into why the U-235 content of the uranium in the ore was only 0.7171% instead of the normal 0.7202%. Some of the ore, in the middle of the natural reactors, had a U-235 isotopic abundance of just 0.440%. Kuroda's brilliant paper is entitled, 'On the Nuclear Physical Stability of the Uranium Minerals', published in the Journal of Chemical Physics, vol. 25 (1956), pp. 781–782 and 1295–1296.
A type Ia supernova explosion, always yielding 4 x 1028 megatons of TNT equivalent, results from the critical mass effect of the collapse of a white dwarf as soon as its mass exceeds 1.4 solar masses due to matter falling in from a companion star. The degenerate electron gas in the white dwarf is then no longer able to support the pressure from the weight of gas, which collapses, thereby releasing enough gravitational potential energy as heat and pressure to cause the fusion of carbon and oxygen into heavy elements, creating massive amounts of radioactive nuclides, particularly intensely radioactive nickel-56, but half of all other nuclides (including uranium and heavier) are also produced by the 'R' (rapid) process of successive neutron captures by fusion products in supernovae explosions. Type Ia supernovae occur typically every 400 years in the Milky Way galaxy. On 4 July 1054, Chinese astronomers observed in the sky (without optical instruments) the bright supernova in the constellation Taurus which today is still visible as the Crab Nebula through telescopes. The Crab Nebula debris has a diameter now of 7 light years and is still expanding at 800 miles/second. The supernova debris shock wave triggers star formation when it encounters hydrogen gas in space by compressing it and seeding it with debris; bright stars are observed in the Orion Halo, the 300 light year diameter remains of a supernova. It is estimated that when the solar system was forming 4,540 million years ago, a supernova occurred around 100 light years away, and the heavy radioactive debris shock wave expanded at 1,000 miles/second. Most of the heavy elements including iron, silicon and calcium in the Earth and people are the stable end products of originally radioactive decay chains from the space burst fallout of a 7 x 1026 megatons thermonuclear explosion, created by fusion and successive neutron captures after the implosion of a white dwarf; a supernova explosion.
How would a 1055 megaton hydrogen bomb explosion differ from the big bang? Ignorant answers biased in favour of curved spacetime (ignoring quantum gravity!) abound, such as claims that explosions can’t take place in ‘outer space’ (disagreeing with the facts from nuclear space bursts by Russia and America in 1962, not to mention natural supernova explosions in space!) and that explosions produce sound waves in air by definition! There are indeed major differences in the nuclear reactions between the big bang and a nuclear bomb. But it is helpful to notice the solid physical fact that implosion systems suggest the mechanism of gravitation: in implosion, TNT is well-known to produce an inward force on a bomb core, but Newton's 3rd law says there is an equal and opposite reaction force outward. In fact, you can’t have a radially outward force without an inward reaction force! It’s the rocket principle. The rocket accelerates (with force F = ma) forward by virtue of the recoil from accelerating the exhaust gas (with force F = -ma) in the opposite direction! Nothing massive accelerates without an equal and opposite reaction force. Applying this fact to the measured 6 x 10-10 ms-2 ~ Hc cosmological acceleration of matter radially outward from observers in the universe which was predicted accurately in 1996 and later observationally discovered in 1999 (by Perlmutter, et al.), we find an outward force F = ma and inward reaction force by the 3rd law. The inward force allows quantitative predictions, and is mediated by gravitons, predicting gravitation in a checkable way (unlike string theory, which is just a landscape of 10500 different perturbative theories and so can’t make any falsifiable predictions about gravity). So it seems as if nuclear explosions do indeed provide helpful analogies to natural features of the world, and the mainstream lambda-CDM model of cosmology - with its force-fitted unobserved ad hoc speculative ‘dark energy’ - ignores and sweeps under the rug major quantum gravity effects which increase the physical understanding of particle physics, particularly force unification and the relation of gravitation to the existing electroweak SU(2) x U(1) section of the Standard Model of fundamental forces.
Even Einstein grasped the possibility that general relativity's lambda-CDM model is at best just a classical approximation to quantum field theory, at the end of his life when he wrote to Besso in 1954:
‘I consider it quite possible that physics cannot be based on the [classical differential equation] field principle, i.e., on continuous structures. In that case, nothing remains of my entire castle in the air, [non-quantum] gravitation theory included ...’
‘Science is the organized skepticism in the reliability of expert opinion.’ - Professor Richard P. Feynman (quoted by Professor Lee Smolin, The Trouble with Physics, Houghton-Mifflin, New York, 2006, p. 307).
‘The expression of dissenting views may not seem like much of a threat to a powerful organization, yet sometimes it triggers an amazingly hostile response. The reason is that a single dissenter can puncture an illusion of unanimity. ... Among those suppressed have been the engineers who tried to point out problems with the Challenger space shuttle that caused it to blow up. More fundamentally, suppression is a denial of the open dialogue and debate that are the foundation of a free society. Even worse than the silencing of dissidents is the chilling effect such practices have on others. For every individual who speaks out, numerous others decide to play it safe and keep quiet. More serious than external censorship is the problem of self-censorship.’
— Professor Brian Martin, University of Wollongong, 'Stamping Out Dissent', Newsweek, 26 April 1993, pp. 49-50
In 1896, Sir James Mackenzie-Davidson asked Wilhelm Röntgen, who discovered X-rays in 1895: ‘What did you think?’ Röntgen replied: ‘I did not think, I investigated.’ The reason? Cathode ray expert J. J. Thomson in 1894 saw glass fluorescence far from a tube, but due to prejudice (expert opinion) he avoided investigating that X-ray evidence! ‘Science is the organized skepticism in the reliability of expert opinion.’ - Richard Feynman, in Lee Smolin, The Trouble with Physics, Houghton-Mifflin, 2006, p. 307.
Mathematical symbols in this blog: your computer’s browser needs access to standard character symbol sets to display Greek symbols for mathematical physics. If you don’t have the symbol character sets installed, the density symbol 'r' (Rho) will appear as 'r' and the 'p' (Pi) symbol will as 'p', causing confusion with the use of 'r' for radius and 'p' for momentum in formulae. This problem exists with Mozilla Firefox 3, but not with Microsoft Explorer which displays Greek symbols.
Mean yield of the 5,192 nuclear warheads and bombs in the deployed Russian nuclear stockpile as of January 2009: 0.317 Mt. Total yield: 1,646 Mt.
Mean yield of the 4,552 nuclear warheads and bombs in the deployed U.S. nuclear stockpile as of January 2007: 0.257 Mt. Total yield: 1,172 Mt.
For diffraction damage where damage areas scale as the two-thirds power of explosive yield, this stockpile's area damage potential can be compared to the 20,000,000 conventional bombs of 100 kg size (2 megatons of TNT equivalent total energy) dropped on Germany during World War II: (Total nuclear bomb blast diffraction damaged ground area)/(Total conventional blast diffraction damaged ground area to Germany during World War II) = [4,552*(0.257 Mt)2/3]/[20,000,000*(0.0000001 Mt)2/3] = 1,840/431 = 4.3. Thus, although the entire U.S. stockpile has a TNT energy equivalent to 586 times that of the 2 megatons of conventional bombs dropped on Germany in World War II, it is only capable of causing 4.3 times as much diffraction type damage area, because any given amount of explosive energy is far more efficient when distributed over many small explosions than in a single large explosion! Large explosions are inefficient because they cause unintended collateral damage, wasting energy off the target area and injuring or damaging unintended targets!
In a controlled sample of 36,500 survivors, 89 people got leukemia over a 40 year period, above the number in the unexposed control group. (Data: Radiation Research, volume 146, 1996, pages 1-27.) Over 40 years, in 36,500 survivors monitored, there were 176 leukemia deaths which is 89 more than the control (unexposed) group got naturally. There were 4,687 other cancer deaths, but that was merely 339 above the number in the control (unexposed) group, so this is statistically a much smaller rise than the leukemia result. Natural leukemia rates, which are very low in any case, were increased by 51% in the irradiated survivors, but other cancers were merely increased by just 7%. Adding all the cancers together, the total was 4,863 cancers (virtually all natural cancer, nothing whatsoever to do with radiation), which is just 428 more than the unexposed control group. Hence, the total increase over the natural cancer rate due to bomb exposure was only 9%, spread over a period of 40 years. There was no increase whatsoever in genetic malformations.
‘If defense is neglected these weapons of attack become effective. They become available and desirable in the eyes of an imperialist dictator, even if his means are limited. Weapons of mass destruction could become equalizers between nations big and small, highly developed and primitive, if defense is neglected. If defense is developed and if it is made available for general prevention of war, weapons of aggression will become less desirable. Thus defense makes war itself less probable. ... One psychological defense mechanism against danger is to forget about it. This attitude is as common as it is disastrous. It may turn a limited danger into a fatal difficulty.’
Advice of Robert Watson-Watt (Chief Scientist on the World War II British Radar Project, defending Britain against enemy attacks): ‘Give them the third best to go on with, the second best comes too late, the best never comes.’