“... Freedom is the right to question, and change the established way of doing things. It is the continuing revolution ... It is the understanding that allows us to recognize shortcomings and seek solutions. It is the right to put forth an idea ....” – Ronald Reagan, Moscow State University, May 31, 1988 (quoted at our physics site, www.quantumfieldtheory.org). Text in blue on this blog is hyperlinked directly to reference material (so can be opened in another tab by right-clicking on it):

Click here for the key declassified nuclear testing and capability documents compilation (EM-1 related USA research reports and various UK nuclear weapon test reports on blast and radiation), from nukegate.org

We also uploaded an online-viewable version of the full text of the 1982 edition of the UK Goverment's Domestic Nuclear Shelters - Technical Guidance, including secret UK and USA nuclear test report references and extracts proving protection against collateral damage, for credible deterrence (linked here).

For a review of this site see: https://www.nextbigfuture.com/2016/02/are-nuclear-weapons-100-times-less.html which states: "Cook is a master researcher who digs up incredible piles of research on all topics nuclear and the following is digest of various writings of his gathered for easy access centered on the remarkable thesis that the effects of nuclear weapons, while literally awesome, have been exaggerated or misunderstood to an even greater extent, with perhaps very considerable military consequences." Also see some key extracts from this blog published over at http://www.militarystory.org/nuclear-detonations-in-urban-and-suburban-areas/ and blog statistics (over 2.3 million views) linked here (populist pseudo-critics love to falsely claim that "nobody takes any notice of the truth, justifying their decision to ignore the facts by following the fake fashion herd groupthink agenda"). (Or, for Field Marshall Slim's "the more you use, fewer you lose" success formula for ending war by winning in Burma against Japan - where physicist Herman Kahn served while his friend Sam Cohen was calculating nuclear weapon efficiencies at the Los Alamos Manhattan Project, which again used "overkill" to convince the opponent to throw in the towel - please see my post on the practicalities of really DETERRING WWIII linked here; this is the opposite of the failure to escalate formula used to drag out war until bankrupcy aka the Vietnam effect.)

This blog's url is now "www.nukegate.org". When this nuclear effects blog began in 2006, "glasstone.blogspot.com" was used to signify the key issue of Glasstone's obfuscating Effects of Nuclear Weapons, specifically the final 1977 edition, which omitted not just the credible deterrent "use" of nuclear weapons but the key final "Principles of protection" chapter that had been present in all previous editions, and it also ignored the relatively clean neutron bombs which had been developed in the intervening years, as a credible deterrent to the concentrations of force needed for aggressive invasions, such as the 1914 invasion of Belgium and the 1939 invasion of Poland; both of which triggered world wars. Those editors themselves were not subversives, but both had nuclear weapons security clearances which constituted political groupthink censorship control, regarding which designs of nuclear weapons they could discuss and the level of technical data (they include basically zero information on their sources and the "bibliographies" are in most cases not to their classified nuclear testing sources but merely further reading); the 1977 edition had been initially drafted in 1974 solely by EM-1 editor Dolan at SRI International, and was then submitted to Glasstone who made further changes. The persistent and hypocritical Russian World Peace Council's and also hardline arms controllers propaganda tactic - supported by some arms industry loons who have a vested interest in conventional war - has been to try to promote lies on nuclear weapons effects to get rid of credible Western nuclear deterrence of provocations that start war. Naturally, the Russians have now stocked 2000+ tactical neutron weapons of the sort they get the West to disarm.

This means that they can invade territory with relative impunity, since the West won't deter such provocations by flexible response - the aim of Russia is to push the West into a policy of massive retaliation of direct attacks only, and then use smaller provocations instead - and Russia can then use its tactical nuclear weapons to "defend" its newly invaded territories by declaring them to now be part of Mother Russia and under Moscow's nuclear umbrella. Russia has repeatedly made it clear - for decades - that it expects a direct war with NATO to rapidly escalate into nuclear WWIII and it has prepared civil defense shelters and evacuation tactics to enable it. Herman Kahn's public warnings of this date back to his testimony to the June 1959 Congressional Hearings on the Biological and Environmental Effects of Nuclear War, but for decades were deliberately misrepresented by most media outlets. President Kennedy's book "Why England Slept" makes it crystal clear how exactly the same "pacifist" propaganda tactics in the 1930s (that time it was the "gas bomb knockout blow has no defense so disarm, disarm, disarm" lie) caused war, by using fear to slow credible rearmament in the face of state terrorism. By the time democracies finally decided to issue an ultimatum, Hitler had been converted - by pacifist appeasement - from a cautious tester of Western indecision, into an overconfident aggressor who simply ignored last-minute ultimatums.

Glasstone and Dolan's 1977 Effects of Nuclear Weapons (US Government) is written in a highly ambiguous fashion (negating nearly every definite statement with a deliberately obfuscating contrary statement to leave a smokescreen legacy of needless confusion, obscurity and obfuscation), omits nearly all key nuclear test data and provides instead misleading generalizations of data from generally unspecified weapon designs tested over 60 years ago which apply to freefield measurements on unobstructed radial lines in deserts and oceans. It makes ZERO analysis of the overall shielding of radiation and blast by their energy attenuation in modern steel and concrete cities, and even falsely denies such factors in its discussion of blast in cities and in its naive chart for predicting the percentage of burns types as a function of freefield outdoor thermal radiation, totally ignoring skyline shielding geometry (similar effects apply to freefield nuclear radiation exposure, despite vague attempts to dismiss this by non-quantitative talk about some scattered radiation arriving from all angles). It omits the huge variations in effects due to weapon design e.g. cleaner warhead designs and the tactical neutron bomb. It omits quantitative data on EMP as a function of burst yield, height and weapon design.

It omits most of the detailed data collected from Hiroshima and Nagasaki on the casualty rates as a function of type of building or shelter and blast pressure. It fails to analyse overall standardized casualty rates for different kinds of burst (e.g. shallow underground earth penetrators convert radiation and blast energy into ground shock and cratering against hard targets like silos or enemy bunkers). It omits a detailed analysis of blast precursor effects. It omits a detailed analysis of fallout beta and gamma spectra, fractionation, specific activity (determining the visibility of the fallout as a function of radiation hazard, and the mass of material to be removed for effective decontamination), and data which does exist on the effect of crater soil size distribution upon the fused fallout particle size distribution (e.g. tests like Small Boy in 1962 on the very fine particles at Frenchman Flats gave mean fallout particle sizes far bigger than the pre-shot soil, proving that - as for Trinitite - melted small soil particles fuse together in the fireball to produce larger fallout particles, so the pre-shot soil size distribution is irrelevant for fallout analysis).

By generally (with few exceptions) lumping "effects" of all types of bursts together into chapters dedicated to specific effects, it falsely gives the impression that all types of nuclear explosions produce similar effects with merely "quantitative differences". This is untrue because air bursts eliminate fallout casualties entirely, while slight burial (e.g. earth penetrating warheads) eliminates thermal (including fires and dust "climatic nuclear winter" BS), the initial radiation and severe blast effects, while massively increasing ground shock, and the same applies to shallow underwater bursts. So a more objective treatment to credibly deter all aggression MUST emphasise the totally different collateral damage effects, by dedicating chapters to different kinds of burst (high altitude/space bursts, free air bursts, surface bursts, underground bursts, underwater bursts), and would include bomb design implications on these effects in detail. A great deal of previously secret and limited distributed nuclear effects data has been declassified since 1977, and new research has been done. Our objectives in this review are: (a) to ensure that an objective independent analysis of the relevant nuclear weapons effects facts is placed on the record in case the currently, increasingly vicious Cold War 2.0 escalates into some kind of limited "nuclear demonstration" by aggressors to try to end a conventional war by using coercive threats, (b) to ensure the lessons of tactical nuclear weapon design for deterring large scale provocations (like the invasions of Belgium in 1914 and Poland in 1939 which triggered world wars) are re-learned in contrast to Dulles "massive retaliation" (incredible deterrent) nonsense, and finally (c) to provide some push to Western governments to "get real" with our civil defense, to try to make credible our ageing "strategic nuclear deterrent". We have also provided a detailed analysis of recently declassified Russian nuclear warhead design data, shelter data, effects data, tactical nuclear weapons employment manuals, and some suggestions for improving Western thermonuclear warheads to improve deterrence.

‘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 Effects of the Atomic Bomb on Hiroshima, Japan, US Strategic Bombing Survey, Pacific Theatre, report 92, volume 2 (May 1947, secret):

Volume one, page 14:

“... 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:

Page 24:

“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!]

Page 88:

“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.”

There is now a relatively long introduction at the top of this blog, due to the present nuclear threat caused by disarmament and arms control propaganda, and the dire need to get the facts out past pro-Russian media influencers or loony mass media which has never cared about nuclear and radiation effects facts, so please scroll down to see blog posts. The text below in blue is hyperlinked (direct to reference source materials, rather than numbered and linked to reference at the end of the page) so you can right-click on it and open in a new tab to see the source. This page is not about opinions, it provides censored out facts that debunk propaganda, but for those who require background "authority" nonsense on censored physics facts, see stuff here or here. Regarding calling war-mongering, world war causing, terrorism-regime-supporting UK disarmers of the 20th century "thugs" instead of "kind language": I was put through the Christianity grinder as a kid so will quote Jesus (whom I'm instructed to follow), Matthew 23:33: "Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of Hell?" The fake "pacifist" thugs will respond with some kindly suggestion that this is "paranoid" and that "Jesus was rightfully no-platformed for his inappropriate language"! Yeah, you guys would say that, wouldn't ya. Genuine pacifism requires credible deterrence! Decent people seem to be very confused about the facts of this. Jesus did not say "disarm to invite your annihilation by terrorists". You can't "forgive and forget" when the enemy is still on the warpath. They have to be stopped, either by deterrence, force, defense, or a combination of all these.

Above: Edward Leader-Williams on the basis for UK civil defence shelters in SECRET 1949 Royal Society's London Symposium on physical effects of atomic weapons, a study that was kept secret by the Attlee Government and subsequent UK governments, instead of being openly published to enhance public knowledge of civil defence effectiveness against nuclear attack. Leader-Williams also produced the vital civil defence report seven years later (published below for the first time on this blog), proving civil defence sheltering and city centre evacuation is effective against 20 megaton thermonuclear weapons. Also published in the same secret symposium, which was introduced by Penney, was Penney's own Hiroshima visit analysis of the percentage volume reduction in overpressure-crushed empty petrol cans, blueprint containers, etc., which gave a blast partition yield of 7 kilotons (or 15.6 kt total yield, if taking the nuclear blast as 45% of total yield, i.e. 7/0.45 = 15.6, as done in later AWRE nuclear weapons test blast data reports). Penney in a 1970 updated paper allowed for blast reduction due to the damage done in the city bursts.

The June 1957 edition of Glasstone's Effects of Nuclear Weapons was the first to include the effects of blast duration (which increases with the cube-root of weapon yield) on blast damage from nuclear weapons. This is significant for wind drag loading to drag-sensitive targets, but is minimal to diffraction-sensitive targets which respond to peak pressures, especially where the blast pressure rapidly equalizes around the structure (e.g. utility poles or buildings with large expanses of glass which shattersm allowing rapid pressure equalization). For example, Glasstone 1957, Fig. 6.41b (p253, using Fig. 3.94a on p109 to convert scaled distances to overpressures from a surface burst on open deserted terrain) shows that for yields of 1 kt, 20 kt (approximately the 16 kt Hiroshima and 21 kt Nagasaki yields), and 1 megaton, peak overpressures of 55, 23 and 15 psi, respectively, are required for collapse (severe damage) to modern multistory concrete buildings with light walls (Fig. 6.41a shows that about 5 psi will demolish a wood frame house - no longer in modern city centres - regardless of yield). Notice that this means that modern cities are extremely resistant to blast from ~1 kt neutron bombs, requiring more than twice the peak overpressure for collapse than was needed in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Also notice that very large amounts of energy are absorbed from the blast in causing severe damage to modern reinforced concrete city buildings, causing rapid attenuation of free-field pressure so that ocean and desert test validated cube-root damage scaling laws break down for high yield bursts in modern cities (see latest blog post here for examples of calculations of this energy absorption in both oscillating a building in the elastic deflection engineering graph zone, and the much larger energy absorption in causing plastic zone distortion to reinforced concrete - basically the former typically absorbs about 1% of blast energy, whereas the latter takes up something like 10 times more energy, or 10%, a factor entirely dismissed by Glasstone and Dolan but analyzed by Penney). Above a megaton or so, the increasing blast duration has less and less effect on the peak overpressure required for severe damage, because for destruction a threshold blast loading exists, regardless of the blast duration. (A 1 mile/hour wind will not blow a wall down, regardless of how long it lasts. In other words, large impulses cease to be damage criteria if the blast pressure drops below a threshold needed for damage.) Glasstone 1957 Fig 6.41c on p255 shows that automobiles suffer severe damage 36 psi peak overpressure for 1 kt, 18 psi for 20 kt, and 12 psi for 1 megaton. (These pressures for destruction of cars are similar to the severe damage data for multistorey steel frame office buildings with light walls, given in Fig. 3.94a on p109.) The main point here is that low-yield (around 1 kt) tactical nuclear weapons produce far less collateral damage to civilian infrastructure than high yield bursts, and even the effects of the latter are exaggerated severely for modern cities when using wooden house data in unobstructed terrain at ocean or desert terrain nuclear tests.

ABOVE: The 1996 Northrop EM-1 (see extracts below showing protection by modern buildings and also simple shelters very close to nuclear tests; note that Northrop's entire set of damage ranges as a function of yield for underground shelters, tunnels, silos are based on two contained deep underground nuclear tests of different yield scaled to surface burst using the assumption of 5% yield ground coupling relative to the underground shots; this 5% equivalence figure appears to be an exaggeration for compact modern warheads, e.g. the paper “Comparison of Surface and Sub-Surface Nuclear Bursts,” from Steven Hatch, Sandia National Laboratories, to Jonathan Medalia, October 30, 2000, shows a 2% equivalence, e.g. Hatch shows that 1 megaton surface burst produces identical ranges to underground targets as a 20 kt burst at >20m depth of burst, whereas Northrop would require 50kt) has not been openly published, despite such protection being used in Russia! This proves heavy bias against credible tactical nuclear deterrence of the invasions that trigger major wars that could escalate into nuclear war (Russia has 2000+ dedicated neutron bombs; we don't!) and against simple nuclear proof tested civil defence which makes such deterrence credible and of course is also of validity against conventional wars, severe weather, peacetime disasters, etc.

The basic fact is that nuclear weapons can deter/stop invasions unlike the conventional weapons that cause mass destruction, and nuclear collateral damage is eliminated easily for nuclear weapons by using them on military targets, since for high yields at collateral damage distances all the effects are sufficiently delayed in arrival to allow duck and cover to avoid radiation and blast wind/flying debris injuries (unlike the case for the smaller areas affected by smaller yield conventional weapons, where there is little time on seeing the flash to duck and cover to avoid injury), and as the original 1951 SECRET American Government "Handbook on Capabilities of Atomic Weapons" (limited report AD511880L, forerunner to today's still secret EM-1) stated in Section 10.32:

"PERHAPS THE MOST IMPORTANT ITEM TO BE REMEMBERED WHEN ESTIMATING EFFECTS ON PERSONNEL IS THE AMOUNT OF COVER ACTUALLY INVOLVED. ... IT IS OBVIOUS THAT ONLY A FEW SECONDS WARNING IS NECESSARY UNDER MOST CONDITIONS TO TAKE FAIRLY EFFECTIVE COVER. THE LARGE NUMBER OF CASUALTIES IN JAPAN RESULTED FOR THE MOST PART FROM THE LACK OF WARNING."

As for Hitler's stockpile of 12,000 tons of tabun nerve gas, whose strategic and also tactical use was deterred by proper defences (gas masks for all civilians and soldiers, as well as UK stockpiles of fully trial-tested deliverable biological agent anthrax and mustard gas retaliation capacity), it is possible to deter strategic nuclear escalation to city bombing, even within a world war with a crazy terrorist, if all the people are protected by both defence and deterrence.

J. R. Oppenheimer (opposing Teller), February 1951: "It is clear that they can be used only as adjuncts in a military campaign which has some other components, and whose purpose is a military victory. They are not primarily weapons of totality or terror, but weapons used to give combat forces help they would otherwise lack. They are an integral part of military operations. Only when the atomic bomb is recognized as useful insofar as it is an integral part of military operations, will it really be of much help in the fighting of a war, rather than in warning all mankind to avert it." (Quotation: Samuel Cohen, Shame, 2nd ed., 2005, page 99.)

‘The Hungarian revolution of October and November 1956 demonstrated the difficulty faced even by a vastly superior army in attempting to dominate hostile territory. The [Soviet Union] Red Army finally had to concentrate twenty-two divisions in order to crush a practically unarmed population. ... With proper tactics, nuclear war need not be as destructive as it appears when we think of [World War II nuclear city bombing like Hiroshima]. The high casualty estimates for nuclear war are based on the assumption that the most suitable targets are those of conventional warfare: cities to interdict communications ... With cities no longer serving as key elements in the communications system of the military forces, the risks of initiating city bombing may outweigh the gains which can be achieved. ...

‘The elimination of area targets will place an upper limit on the size of weapons it will be profitable to use. Since fall-out becomes a serious problem [i.e. fallout contaminated areas which are so large that thousands of people would need to evacuate or shelter indoors for up to two weeks] only in the range of explosive power of 500 kilotons and above, it could be proposed that no weapon larger than 500 kilotons will be employed unless the enemy uses it first. Concurrently, the United States could take advantage of a new development which significantly reduces fall-out by eliminating the last stage of the fission-fusion-fission process.’

- Dr Henry Kissinger, Nuclear Weapons and Foreign Policy, Harper, New York, 1957, pp. 180-3, 228-9. (Note that sometimes the "nuclear taboo" issue is raised against this analysis by Kissenger: if anti-nuclear lying propaganda on weapons effects makes it apparently taboo in the Western pro-Russian disarmament lobbies to escalate from conventional to tactical nuclear weapons to end war as on 6 and 9 August 1945, then this "nuclear taboo" can be relied upon to guarantee peace for our time. However, this was not only disproved by Hiroshima and Nagasaki, but by the Russian tactical nuclear weapons reliance today, the Russian civil defense shelter system detailed on this blog which showed they believed a nuclear war survivable based on the results of their own nuclear tests, and the use of Russian nuclear weapons years after Kissinger's analysis was published and criticised, for example their 50 megaton test in 1961 and their supply of IRBM's capable of reaching East Coast mainland USA targets to the fanatical Cuban dictatorship in 1962. So much for the "nuclear taboo" as being any more reliable than Chamberlain's "peace for our time" document, co-signed by Hitler on 30 September 1938! We furthermore saw how Russia respected President Obama's "red line" for the "chemical weapons taboo": Russia didn't give a toss about Western disarmament thugs prattle about what they think is a "taboo", Russia used chlorine and sarin in Syria to keep Assad the dictator and they used Novichok to attack and kill in the UK in 2018, with only diplomatic expulsions in response. "Taboos" are no more valid to restrain madmen than peace treaties, disarmament agreements, Western CND books attacking civil defense or claiming that nuclear war is the new 1930s gas war bogyman, or "secret" stamps on scientific facts. In a word, they're crazy superstitions.)

(Quoted in 2006 on this blog here.)

All of this data should have been published to inform public debate on the basis for credible nuclear deterrence of war and civil defense, PREVENTING MILLIONS OF DEATHS SINCE WWII, instead of DELIBERATELY allowing enemy anti-nuclear and anti-civil defence lying propaganda from Russian supporting evil fascists to fill the public data vacuum, killing millions by allowing civil defence and war deterrence to be dismissed by ignorant "politicians" in the West, so that wars triggered by invasions with mass civilian casualties continue today for no purpose other than to promote terrorist agendas of hate and evil arrogance and lying for war, falsely labelled "arms control and disarmament for peace":

"Controlling escalation is really an exercise in deterrence, which means providing effective disincentives to unwanted enemy actions. Contrary to widely endorsed opinion, the use or threat of nuclear weapons in tactical operations seems at least as likely to check [as Hiroshima and Nagasaki] as to promote the expansion of hostilities [providing we're not in a situation of Russian biased arms control and disarmament whereby we've no tactical weapons while the enemy has over 2000 neutron bombs thanks to "peace" propaganda from Russian thugs]." - Bernard Brodie, pvi of Escalation and the nuclear option, RAND Corp memo RM-5444-PR, June 1965.

Russian project 49 dual-primary thermonuclear weaponeer Dr Yuri Trutnev has an officially "proatom.ru"-published technical history of the design of the Russian nuclear weapons (which differ from UK-USA designs fundamentally) here (extracted from Russian "Atomic Strategy" No. 18, August 2005): "the problem of ensuring spherically symmetric compression of the secondary module was radically solved, since the time of “symmetrization” of the energy around the secondary module was much less than the time of compression of this module. ... The first two-stage thermonuclear charge, designated RDS-37, was developed in 1955 and successfully tested on November 22, 1955. The energy release of the charge in the experiment was 1.6 Mt, and since for safety reasons at the Semipalatinsk test site the charge was tested at partial power, the predicted full-scale energy release of the charge was ~ 3 Mt. The energy release amplification factor in RDS-37 was about two orders of magnitude, the charge did not use tritium, the thermonuclear fuel was lithium deuteride, and the main fissile material was U-238. ... Particular attention should be paid to the works of 1958. This year, a new type of thermonuclear charge, “product 49,” was tested [the double-primary H-bomb], which was the next step in the formation of a standard for thermonuclear charges (its development was completed in 1957, but testing on the SIP did not take place). The ideologists of this project and the developers of the physical charge circuit were Yu. N. Babaev and I. The peculiarity of the new charge was that, using the basic principles of the RDS-37, it was possible to: • significantly reduce overall parameters due to a new bold solution to the problem of transfer of X-ray radiation, which determines implosion; • simplify the layered structure of the secondary module, which turned out to be an extremely important practical decision. According to the conditions of adaptation to specific carriers, “product 49” was developed in a smaller overall weight category compared to the RDS-37 charge, but its specific volumetric energy release turned out to be 2.4 times greater.

"The physical design of the charge turned out to be extremely successful; the charge was transferred to service and subsequently underwent modernization associated with the replacement of primary energy sources. In 1958, together with Yu. N. Babaev, we managed to develop 4 thermonuclear charges, which were tested on the field in 7 full-scale tests, and all of them were successful. This work was practically implemented within 8 months of 1958. All of these charges used a new circuit, first introduced in Product 49. Their energy release ranged from 0.3 to 2.8 Mt. In addition, in 1958, under my leadership M. V. Fedulov also developed the lightest thermonuclear charge at that time according to the “product 49” design, which was also successfully tested. Work on the miniaturization of thermonuclear weapons was new at that time, and it was met with a certain misunderstanding and resistance. ... One of the well-known pages in the history of work on thermonuclear weapons of the USSR is the creation of a superbomb - the most powerful thermonuclear charge. I will dwell on some points of this development. ... Among the features of this charge, it should be noted that the large volume of the charge (due to its high energy release) required significant amounts of X-ray energy to carry out implosion. The developed nuclear charges did not satisfy this condition, and therefore, a previously developed two-stage thermonuclear charge with a relatively low energy release was used as the primary source of the “super-powerful charge”. This charge was developed by me and Yu. N. Babaev. ... In the next project (a return to the untested 1958 system) that I supervised, every effort was made to ensure near-perfect implosion symmetry. This brilliant work led to success, and in 1962, the problem of implementing thermonuclear ignition was solved in a special device. In other full-scale tests that followed, this success was consolidated, and as a result, thermonuclear ignition provided the calculated combustion of the secondary module with an energy release of 1 Mt. My co-authors in this development were V.B. Adamsky, Yu.N. Babaev, V.G. Zagrafov and V.N. Mokhov. ... This principle has found a variety of applications in the creation of fundamentally new types of thermonuclear charges, from special devices for the use of nuclear explosions for peaceful purposes to significant military applications." (Note there is a 2017 filmed interview of Trutnev - in Russian - linked here.)

This is the basis for both the Russian isentropic-compressed pure fusion secondary (99.85% clean) neutron bomb and related progress with strategic warheads:

“In 1966, VNIIEF conducted a successful test of the second generation charge, in which an almost doubling of the power density was achieved by increasing the contribution of fission reactions in the thermonuclear module. These results were subsequently used to create new third-generation products.” - A. A. Greshilov, N. D. Egupov and A. M. Matushchenko, Nuclear shield (official Russian nuclear weapons history), 2008, p171 (linked here: https://elib.biblioatom.ru/text/greshilov_yaderny-schit_2008/p171/ ). Note that first double-primary Project 49 Russian test on 23 February 1958 was rapidly weaponised as the 1364 kg 8F12/8F12N warhead for the 8K63 missile in 1959, according to http://militaryrussia.ru/blog/index-0-5.html which also gives a table of yields and masses of other Russian warheads: the 2.3 megaton warhead 8K15 for the 8K65 missile had a mass of 1546 kg; the 5 megaton 8F116 warhead for the 8K64 and 8K65 missiles had a mass of 2175 kg; the 6 megaton 8F117 for the 8K64 and other missiles had a mass of 2200 kg, etc. The diagram below shows a cut-away through the shells in the isentropically-compressed megaton secondary stage of the first Russian weapon without a central fission neutron-producing sparkplug (1.1 megaton Russian test number 218 at Novaya Zemlya on 24 December 1962, an air drop detonating at 1320 m altitude). This diagram was declassified in the official Russian "History of the domestic nuclear project - Report by the scientific director of RFNC-VNIIEF, Academician of the Russian Academy of Sciences R.I. Ilkaeva at the General Meeting, Department of Physical Sciences of the Russian Academy of Sciences December 17, 2012, RAS", after John H. Nuckolls' summary of the similar, 99.9% clean 10 megaton Ripple-2, tested 30 October 1962 as detailed in posts below (the detailed interior design analysis of the Russian megaton nuclear warhead for the R13 - which is on display in a Russian nuclear warhead design museum - is from the Russian sites here and here).

https://hbr.org/1995/05/why-the-news-is-not-the-truth/ (Peter Vanderwicken in the Harvard Business Review Magazine, May-June 1995): "The news media and the government are entwined in a vicious circle of mutual manipulation, mythmaking, and self-interest. Journalists need crises to dramatize news, and government officials need to appear to be responding to crises. Too often, the crises are not really crises but joint fabrications. The two institutions have become so ensnared in a symbiotic web of lies that the news media are unable to tell the public what is true and the government is unable to govern effectively. That is the thesis advanced by Paul H. Weaver, a former political scientist (at Harvard University), journalist (at Fortune magazine), and corporate communications executive (at Ford Motor Company), in his provocative analysis entitled News and the Culture of Lying: How Journalism Really Works ... The news media and the government have created a charade that serves their own interests but misleads the public. Officials oblige the media’s need for drama by fabricating crises and stage-managing their responses, thereby enhancing their own prestige and power. Journalists dutifully report those fabrications. Both parties know the articles are self-aggrandizing manipulations and fail to inform the public about the more complex but boring issues of government policy and activity. What has emerged, Weaver argues, is a culture of lying. ... The architect of the transformation was not a political leader or a constitutional convention but Joseph Pulitzer, who in 1883 bought the sleepy New York World and in 20 years made it the country’s largest newspaper. Pulitzer accomplished that by bringing drama to news—by turning news articles into stories ... His journalism took events out of their dry, institutional contexts and made them emotional rather than rational, immediate rather than considered, and sensational rather than informative. The press became a stage on which the actions of government were a series of dramas. ... The press swarmed on the story, which had all the necessary dramatic elements: a foot-dragging bureaucracy, a study finding that the country’s favorite fruit was poisoning its children, and movie stars opposing the pesticide. Sales of apples collapsed. Within months, Alar’s manufacturer withdrew it from the market, although both the EPA and the Food and Drug Administration stated that they believed Alar levels on apples were safe. The outcry simply overwhelmed scientific evidence. That happens all too often, Cynthia Crossen argues in her book Tainted Truth: The Manipulation of Fact in America. ... Crossen writes, “more and more of the information we use to buy, elect, advise, acquit and heal has been created not to expand our knowledge but to sell a product or advance a cause.” “Most members of the media are ill-equipped to judge a technical study,” Crossen correctly points out. “Even if the science hasn’t been explained or published in a U.S. journal, the media may jump on a study if it promises entertainment for readers or viewers. And if the media jump, that is good enough for many Americans.” ... A press driven by drama and crises creates a government driven by response to crises. Such an “emergency government can’t govern,” Weaver concludes. “Not only does public support for emergency policies evaporate the minute they’re in place and the crisis passes, but officials acting in the emergency mode can’t make meaningful public policies. According to the classic textbook definition, government is the authoritative allocation of values, and emergency government doesn’t authoritatively allocate values.” (Note that Richard Rhodes' Pulitzer prize winning books such as The making of the atomic bomb which uncritically quote Hiroshima firestorm lies and survivors nonsense about people running around without feet, play to this kind of emotional fantasy mythology of nuclear deterrence obfuscation so loved by the mass media.)

ABOVE: "missile gap" propaganda debunked by secret 1970s data; Kennedy relied on US nuclear superiority. Using a flawed analysis of nuclear weapons effects on Hiroshima - based on lying unclassified propaganda reports and ignorant dismissals of civil defense shelters in Russia (again based on Hiroshima propaganda by groves in 1945) - America allowed Russian nuclear superiority in the 1970s. Increasingly, the nuclear deterrent was used by Russia to stop the West from "interfering" with its aggressive invasions and wars, precisely Hitler's 1930s strategy with gas bombing knockout-blow threats used to engineer appeasement. BELOW: H-bomb effects and design secrecy led to tragic mass media delusions, such as the 18 February 1950 Picture Post claim that the H-bomb can devastate Australia (inspiring the Shute novel and movie "On the Beach" and also other radiation scams like "Dr Strangelove" to be used by Russia to stir up anti Western disarmament movement to help Russia win WWIII). Dad was a Civil Defense Corps Instructor in the UK when this was done (the civil defense effectiveness and weapon effects facts on shelters at UK and USA nuclear tests were kept secret and not used to debunk lying political appeasement propaganda tricks in the mass media by sensationalist "journalists" and Russian "sputniks"):

Message to mass-media journalists: please don't indulge in lying "no defence" propaganda as was done by most of the media in previous pre-war crises!

ABOVE: Example of a possible Russian 1985 1st Cold War SLBM first strike plan. The initial use of Russian SLBM launched nuclear missiles from off-coast against command and control centres (i.e. nuclear explosions to destroy warning satellite communications centres by radiation on satellites as well as EMP against ground targets, rather than missiles launched from Russia against cities, as assumed by 100% of the Cold War left-wing propaganda) is allegedly a Russian "fog of war" strategy. Such a "demonstration strike" is aimed essentially at causing confusion about what is going on, who is responsible - it is not quick or easy to finger-print high altitude bursts fired by SLBM's from submerged submarines to a particular country because you don't get fallout samples to identify isotopic plutonium composition. Russia could immediately deny the attack (implying, probably to the applause of the left-wingers that this was some kind of American training exercise or computer based nuclear weapons "accident", similar to those depicted in numerous anti-nuclear Cold War propaganda films). Thinly-veiled ultimatums and blackmail follow. America would not lose its population or even key cities in such a first strike (contrary to left-wing propaganda fiction), as with Pearl Harbor in 1941; it would lose its complacency and its sense of security through isolationism, and would either be forced into a humiliating defeat or a major war.

Before 1941, many warned of the risks but were dismissed on the basis that Japan was a smaller country with a smaller economy than the USA and war was therefore absurd (similar to the way Churchill's warnings about European dictators were dismissed by "arms-race opposing pacifists" not only in the 1930s, but even before WWI; for example Professor Cyril Joad documents in the 1939 book "Why War?" his first hand witnessing of Winston Churchill's pre-WWI warning and call for an arms-race to deter that war, as dismissed by the sneering Norman Angell who claimed an arms race would cause a war rather than avert one by bankrupting the terrorist state). It is vital to note that there is an immense pressure against warnings of Russian nuclear superiority even today, most of it contradictory. E.g. the left wing and Russian-biased "experts" whose voices are the only ones reported in the Western media (traditionally led by "Scientific American" and "Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists"), simultaneously claim Russia imposes such a terrible SLBM and ICBM nuclear threat that we must desperately disarm now, while also claiming that Russian tactical nuclear weapons probably won't work so aren't a threat that needs to be credibly deterred! This only makes sense as Russian siding propaganda. In similar vein, Teller-critic Hans Bethe also used to falsely "dismiss" Russian nuclear superiority by claiming (with quotes from Brezhnev about the peaceful intentions of Russia) that Russian delivery systems are "less accurate" than Western missiles (as if accuracy has anything to do with high altitude EMP strikes, where the effects cover huge areas, or large city targets. Such claims would then by repeatedly endlessly in the Western media by Russian biased "journalists" or agents of influence, and any attempt to point out the propaganda (i.e. he real world asymmetry: Russia uses cheap countervalue targetting on folk that don't have civil defense, whereas we need costly, accurate counterforce targetting because Russia has civil defense shelters that we don't have) became a "Reds under beds" argument, implying that the truth is dangerous to "peaceful coexistence"!

“Free peoples ... will make war only when driven to it by tyrants. ... there have been no wars between well-established democracies. ... the probability ... that the absence of wars between well-established democracies is a mere accident [is] less than one chance in a thousand. ... there have been more than enough to provide robust statistics ... When toleration of dissent has persisted for three years, but not until then, we can call a new republic ‘well established.’ ... Time and again we observe authoritarian leaders ... using coercion rather than seeking mutual accommodation ... Republican behaviour ... in quite a few cases ... created an ‘appeasement trap.’ The republic tried to accommodate a tyrant as if he were a fellow republican; the tyrant concluded that he could safely make an aggressive response; eventually the republic replied furiously with war. The frequency of such errors on both sides is evidence that negotiating styles are not based strictly on sound reasoning.” - Spencer Weart, Never at War: Why Democracies Will Not Fight One Another (Yale University Press)

The Top Secret American intelligency report NIE 11-3/8-74 "Soviet Forces for Intercontinental Conflict" warned on page 6: "the USSR has largely eliminated previous US quantitative advantages in strategic offensive forces." page 9 of the report estimated that the Russian's ICBM and SLBM launchers exceed the USAs 1,700 during 1970, while Russia's on-line missile throw weight had exceeded the USA's one thousand tons back in 1967! Because the USA had more long-range bombers which can carry high-yield bombs than Russia (bombers are more vulnerable to air defences so were not Russia's priority), it took a little longer for Russia to exceed the USA in equivalent megatons, but the 1976 Top Secret American report NIE 11-3/8-76 at page 17 shows that in 1974 Russia exceeded the 4,000 equivalent-megatons payload of USA missiles and aircraft (with less vulnerability for Russia, since most of Russia's nuclear weapons were on missiles not in SAM-vulnerable aircraft), amd by 1976 Russia could deliver 7,000 tons of payload by missiles compared to just 4,000 tons on the USA side. These reports were kept secret for decades to protect the intelligence sources, but they were based on hard evidence. For example, in August 1974 the Hughes Aircraft Company used a specially designed ship (Glomar Explorer, 618 feet long, developed under a secret CIA contract) to recover nuclear weapons and their secret manuals from a Russian submarine which sank in 16,000 feet of water, while in 1976 America was able to take apart the electronics systems in a state-of-the-art Russian MIG-25 fighter which was flown to Japan by defector Viktor Belenko, discovering that it used exclusively EMP-hard miniature vacuum tubes with no EMP-vulnerable solid state components.

There are four ways of dealing with aggressors: conquest (fight them), intimidation (deter them), fortification (shelter against their attacks; historically used as castles, walled cities and even walled countries in the case of China's 1,100 mile long Great Wall and Hadrian's Wall, while the USA has used the Pacific and Atlantic as successful moats against invasion, at least since Britain invaded Washington D.C. back in 1812), and friendship (which if you are too weak to fight, means appeasing them, as Chamberlain shook hands with Hitler for worthless peace promises). These are not mutually exclusive: you can use combinations. If you are very strong in offensive capability and also have walls to protect you while your back is turned, you can - as Teddy Roosevelt put it (quoting a West African proverb): "Speak softly and carry a big stick." But if you are weak, speaking softly makes you a target, vulnerable to coercion. This is why we don't send troops directly to Ukraine. When elected in 1960, Kennedy introduced "flexible response" to replace Dulles' "massive retaliation", by addressing the need to deter large provocations without being forced to decide between the unwelcome options of "surrender or all-out nuclear war" (Herman Kahn called this flexible response "Type 2 Deterrence"). This was eroded by both Russian civil defense and their emerging superiority in the 1970s: a real missiles and bombers gap emerged in 1972 when the USSR reached and then exceeded the 2,200 of the USA, while in 1974 the USSR achieve parity at 3,500 equivalent megatons (then exceeded the USA), and finally today Russia has over 2,000 dedicated clean enhanced neutron tactical nuclear weapons and we have none (except low-neutron output B61 multipurpose bombs). (Robert Jastrow's 1985 book How to make nuclear Weapons obsolete was the first to have graphs showing the downward trend in nuclear weapon yields created by the development of miniaturized MIRV warheads for missiles and tactical weapons: he shows that the average size of US warheads fell from 3 megatons in 1960 to 200 kilotons in 1980, and from a total of 12,000 megatons in 1960 to 3,000 megatons in 1980.)

The term "equivalent megatons" roughly takes account of the fact that the areas of cratering, blast and radiation damage scale not linearly with energy but as something like the 2/3 power of energy release; but note that close-in cratering scales as a significantly smaller power of energy than 2/3, while blast wind drag displacement of jeeps in open desert scales as a larger power of energy than 2/3. Comparisons of equivalent megatonnage shows, for example, that WWII's 2 megatons of TNT in the form of about 20,000,000 separate conventional 100 kg (0.1 ton) explosives is equivalent to 20,000,000 x (10-7)2/3 = 431 separate 1 megaton explosions! The point is, nuclear weapons are not of a different order of magnitude to conventional warfare, because: (1) devastated areas don't scale in proportion to energy release, (2) the number of nuclear weapons is very much smaller than the number of conventional bombs dropped in conventional war, (3) because of radiation effects like neutrons and intense EMP, it is possible to eliminate physical destruction by nuclear weapons by a combination of weapon design (e.g. very clean bombs like 99.9% fusion Dominic-Housatonic, or 95% fusion Redwing-Navajo) and burst altitude or depth for hard targets, and create a weapon that deters invasions credibly (without lying local fallout radiation hazards), something none of the biased "pacifist disarmament" lobbies (which attract Russian support) tell you, and (4) people at collateral damage distances have time to take cover from radiation and flying glass, blast winds, etc from nuclear explosions (which they don't in Ukraine and Gaza where similar blast pressures arrive more rapidly from smaller conventional explosions). There's a big problem with propaganda here.

(These calculations, showing that even if strategic bombing had worked in WWII - and the US Strategic Bombing Survey concluded it failed, thus the early Cold War effort to develop and test tactical nuclear weapons and train for tactical nuclear war in Nevada field exercises - you need over 400 megaton weapons to give the equivalent of WWII city destruction in Europe and Japan, are often inverted by anti-nuclear bigots to try to obfuscate the truth. What we're driving at is that nuclear weapons give you the ability to DETER the invasions that set off such wars, regardless of whether they escalate from poison gas - as feared in the 20s and 30s thus appeasement and WWII - or nuclear. Escalation was debunked in WWII where the only use of poison gases were in "peaceful" gas chambers, not dropped on cities. Rather than justifying appeasement, the "peaceful" massacre of millions in gas chambers justified war. But evil could and should have been deterred. The "anti-war" propagandarists like Lord Noel-Baker and pals who guaranteed immediate gas knockout blows in the 30s if we didn't appease evil dictators were never held to account and properly debunked by historians after the war, so they converted from gas liars to nuclear liars in the Cold War and went on winning "peace" prices for their lies, which multiplied up over the years, to keep getting news media headlines and Nobel Peace Prizes for starting and sustaining unnecessary wars and massacres by dictators. There's also a military side to this, with Field Marshall's Lord Mountbatten, lord Carver and lord Zuckerman in the 70s arguing for UK nuclear disarmament and a re-introduction of conscription instead. These guys were not pacifist CND thugs who wanted Moscow to rule the world, but they were quoted by them attacking the deterrent but not of course calling for conscription instead. The abolishment of UK conscription for national service in 1960 was due to the H-bomb, and was a political money-saving plot by Macmillan. If we disarmed our nuclear deterrent and spend the money on conscription plus underground shelters, we might well be able to resist Russia as Ukraine does, until we run out of ammunition etc. However, the cheapest and most credible deterrent is tactical nuclear weapons to prevent the concentration of aggressive force by terrorist states..)

Britain was initially in a better position with regards to civil defense than the USA, because in WWII Britain had built sufficient shelters (of various types, but all tested against blast intense enough to demolish brick houses, and later also tested them at various nuclear weapon trials in Monte Bello and Maralinga, Australia) and respirators for the entire civilian population. However, Britain also tried to keep the proof testing data secret from Russia (which tested their own shelters at their own nuclear tests anyway) and this meant it appeared that civil defense advice was unproved and would not work, an illusion exploited especially for communist propaganda in the UK via CND. To give just one example, CND and most of the UK media still rely on Duncan Campbell's pseudo-journalism book War Plan UK since it is based entirely on fake news about UK civil defense, nuclear weapons, Hiroshima, fallout, blast, etc. He takes for granted that - just because the UK Government kept the facts secret - the facts don't exist, and to him any use of nuclear weapons which spread any radioactivity whatsoever will make life totally impossible: "What matters 'freedom' or 'a way of life' in a radioactive wasteland?" (Quote from D. Campbell, War Plan UK, Paladin Books, May 1983, p387.) The problem here is the well known fallout decay rate; Trinity nuclear test ground zero was reported by Glasstone (Effects of Atomic Weapons, 1950) to be at 8,000 R/hr at 1 hour after burst, yet just 57 days later, on September 11, 1945, General Groves, Robert Oppenheimer, and a large group of journalists safely visited it and took their time inspecting the surviving tower legs, when the gamma dose rate was down to little more than 1 R/hr! So fission products decay fast: 1,000 R/hr at 1 hour decays to 100 at 7 hours, 10 at 2 days, and just 1 at 2 weeks. So the "radioactive wasteland" is just as much a myth as any other nuclear "doomsday" fictional headline in the media. Nuclear weapons effects have always been fake news in the mainstream media: editors have always regarded facts as "boring copy". Higher yield tests showed that even the ground zero crater "hot spots" were generally lower, due to dispersal by the larger mushroom cloud. If you're far downwind, you can simply walk cross-wind, or prepare an improvised shelter while the dust is blowing. But point any such errors out to fanatical bigots and they will just keep making up more nonsense.

Duncan Campbell's War Plan UK relies on the contradiction of claiming that the deliberately exaggerated UK Government worst-case civil defense "exercises" for training purposes are "realistic scenarios" (e.g. 1975 Inside Right, 1978 Scrum Half, 1980 Square Leg, 1982 Hard Rock planning), while simultaneously claiming the very opposite about reliable UK Government nuclear effects and sheltering effectiveness data, and hoping nobody would spot his contradictory tactics. He quotes extensively from these lurid worst-case scenario UK civil defense exercises ,as if they are factually defensible rather than imaginary fiction to put planners under the maximum possible stress (standard UK military policy of “Train hard to fight easy”), while ignoring the far more likely limited nuclear uses scenario of Sir John Hackett's Third World War. His real worry is the 1977 UK Government Training Manual for Scientific Advisers which War Plan UK quotes on p14: "a potential threat to the security of the United Kingdom arising from acts of sabotage by enemy agents, possibly assisted by dissident groups. ... Their aim would be to weaken the national will and ability to fight. ... Their significance should not be underestimated." On the next page, War Plan UK quotes J. B. S. Haldane's 1938 book Air Raid Precautions (ARP) on the terrible destruction Haldane witnessed on unprotected people in the Spanish civil war, without even mentioning that Haldane's point is pro-civil defense, pro-shelters, and anti-appeasement of dictatorship, the exact opposite of War Plan UK which wants Russia to run the world. On page 124 War Plan UK the false assertion is made that USA nuclear casualty data is "widely accepted" and true (declassified Hiroshima casaulty data for people in modern concrete buildings proves it to be lies) while the correct UK nuclear casualty data is "inaccurate", and on page 126, Duncan Campbell simply lies that the UK Government's Domestic Nuclear Shelters- Technical Guidance "ended up offering the public a selection of shelters half of which were invented in the Blitz ... None of the designs was ever tested." In fact, Frank Pavry (who studied similar shelters surviving near ground zero at Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945 with the British Mission to Japan_ and George R. Stanbury tested 15 Anderson shelters at the first UK nuclear explosion, Operation Hurricane in 1952, together with concrete structures, and many other improvised trench and earth-covered shelters were nuclear tested by USA and UK at trials in 1955, 1956, 1957, and 1958, and later at simulated nuclear explosions by Cresson Kearny of Oak Ridge National Laboratory in the USA, having also earlier been exposed to early Russian nuclear tests (scroll down to see the evidence of this). Improved versions of war tested and nuclear weapons tested shelters! So war Plan UK makes no effort whatsoever to dig up the facts, and instead falsely claims the exact opposite of the plain unvarnished truth! War Plan UK shows its hypocrisy on page 383 in enthusiastically praising Russian civil defense:

"Training in elementary civil defence is given to everyone, at school, in industry or collective farms. A basic handbook of precautionary measures, Everybody must know this!, is the Russian Protect and Survive. The national civil defence corps is extensive, and is organized along military lines. Over 200,000 civil defence troops would be mobilized for rescue work in war. There are said to be extensive, dispersed and 'untouchable' food stockpiles; industrial workers are issued with kits of personal protection apparatus, said to include nerve gas counteragents such as atropine. Fallout and blast shelters are provided in the cities and in industrial complexes, and new buildings have been required to have shelters since the 1950s. ... They suggest that less than 10% - even as little as 5% - of the Soviet population would die in a major attack. [Less than Russia's loss of 12% of its population in WWII.]"

'LLNL achieved fusion ignition for the first time on Dec. 5, 2022. The second time came on July 30, 2023, when in a controlled fusion experiment, the NIF laser delivered 2.05 MJ of energy to the target, resulting in 3.88 MJ of fusion energy output, the highest yield achieved to date. On Oct. 8, 2023, the NIF laser achieved fusion ignition for the third time with 1.9 MJ of laser energy resulting in 2.4 MJ of fusion energy yield. “We’re on a steep performance curve,” said Jean-Michel Di Nicola, co-program director for the NIF and Photon Science’s Laser Science and Systems Engineering organization. “Increasing laser energy can give us more margin against issues like imperfections in the fuel capsule or asymmetry in the fuel hot spot. Higher laser energy can help achieve a more stable implosion, resulting in higher yields.” ... “The laser itself is capable of higher energy without fundamental changes to the laser,” said NIF operations manager Bruno Van Wonterghem. “It’s all about the control of the damage. Too much energy without proper protection, and your optics blow to pieces.” ' - https://lasers.llnl.gov/news/llnls-nif-delivers-record-laser-energy

NOTE: the "problem" very large lasers "required" to deliver ~2MJ (roughly 0.5 kg of TNT energy) to cause larger fusion explosions of 2mm diameter capsules of frozen D+T inside a 1 cm diameter energy reflecting hohlraum, and the "problem" of damage to the equipment caused by the explosions, is immaterial to clean nuclear deterrent development based on this technology, because in a clean nuclear weapon, whatever laser or other power ignition system is used only has to be fired once, so it needs to be less robust than the NIF lasers which are used repeatedly. Similarly, damage done to the system by the explosion is also immaterial for a clean nuclear weapon, in which the weapon is detonated once only! This is exactly the same point which finally occurred during a critical review of the first gun-type assembly nuclear weapon, in which the fact it would only ever be fired once (unlike a field artillery gun) enabled huge reductions in the size of the device, into a practical weapon, as described by General Leslie M. Groves on p163 of his 1962 book Now it can be told: the story of the Manhattan Project:

"Out of the Review Committee's work came one important technical contribution when Rose pointed out ... that the durability of the gun was quite immaterial to success, since it would be destroyed in the explosion anyway. Self-evident as this seemed once it was mentioned, it had not previously occurred to us. Now we could make drastic reductions in ... weight and size."

This principle also applies to weaponizing NIF clean fusion explosion technology. General Groves' book was reprinted in 1982 with a useful Introduction by Edward Teller on the nature of nuclear weapons history: "History in some ways resembles the relativity principle in science. What is observed depends on the observer. Only when the perspective of the observer is known, can proper corrections be made. ... The general ... very often managed to ignore complexity and arrive at a result which, if not ideal, at least worked. ... For Groves, the Manhattan project seemed a minor assignment, less significant than the construction of the Pentagon. He was deeply disappointed at being given the job of supervising the development of an atomic weapon, since it deprived him of combat duty. ... We must find ways to encourage mutual understanding and significant collaboration between those who defend their nation with their lives and those who can contribute the ideas to make that defense successful. Only by such cooperation can we hope that freedom will survive, that peace will be preserved."

General Groves similarly comments in Chapter 31, "A Final Word" of Now it can be told:

"No man can say what would have been the result if we had not taken the steps ... Yet, one thing seems certain - atomic energy would have been developed somewhere in the world ... I do not believe the United States ever would have undertaken it in time of peace. Most probably, the first developer would have been a power-hungry nation, which would then have dominated the world completely ... it is fortunate indeed for humanity that the initiative in this field was gained and kept by the United States. That we were successful was due entirely to the hard work and dedication of the more than 600,000 Americans who comprised and directly supported the Manhattan Project. ... we had the full backing of our government, combined with the nearly infinite potential of American science, engineering and industry, and an almost unlimited supply of people endowed with ingenuity and determination."

Update: Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory's $3.5 billion National Ignition Facility, NIF, using ultraviolet wavelength laser beam pulses of 2MJ on to a 2mm diameter spherical beryllium shell of frozen D+T inside a 1 cm-long hollow gold cylinder "hohlraum" (which is heated to a temperature where it then re-radiates energy at much higher frequency, x-rays, on to the surface of the beryllium ablator of the central fusion capsule, which ablates causing it to recoil inward (as for the 1962 Ripple II nuclear weapon's secondary stage, the capsule is compressed efficiently, mimicking the isentropic compression mechanism of a miniature Ripple II clean nuclear weapon secondary stage), has now repeatedly achieved nuclear fusion explosions of over 3MJ, equivalent to nearly 1 kg of TNT explosive. According to a Time article (linked her) about fusion system designer Annie Kritcher, the recent breakthrough was in part due to using a ramping input energy waveform: "success that came thanks to tweaks including shifting more of the input energy to the later part of the laser shot", a feature that minimises the rise in entropy due to shock shock wave generation (which heats the capsule, causing it to expand and resist compression) and increases isentropic compression which was the principle used by LLNL's J. H. Nuckolls to achieve the 99.9% clean Ripple II 9.96 megaton nuclear test success in Dominic-Housatonic on 30 October 1962. Nuckolls in 1972 published the equation for the idealized input power waveform required for isentropic, optimized compression of fusion fuel (Nature, v239, p139): P ~ (1 - t)-1.875, where t is time in units of the transit time (the time taken for the shock to travel to the centre of the fusion capsule), and -1.875 a constant based on the specific heat of the ionized fuel (Nuckolls has provided the basic declassified principles, see extract linked here). To be clear, the energy reliably released by the 2mm diameter capsule of fusion fuel was roughly a 1 kg TNT explosion. 80% of this is in the form of 14.1 MeV neutrons (ideal for fissioning lithium-7 in LiD to yield more tritium), and 20% is the kinetic energy of fused nuclei (which is quickly converted into x-rays radiation energy by collisions). Nuckolls' 9.96 megaton Housatonic (10 kt Kinglet primary and 9.95 Mt Ripple II 100% clean isentropically compressed secondary) of 1962 proved that it is possible to use multiplicative staging whereby lower yield primary nuclear explosions trigger off a fusion stage 1,000 times more powerful than its initiator. Another key factor, as shown on our ggraph linked here, is that you can use cheap natural LiD as fuel once you have a successful D+T reaction, because naturally abundant, cheap Li-7 more readily fissions to yield tritium with the 14.1 MeV neutrons from D+T fusion, than expensively enriched Li-6, which is needed to make tritium in nuclear reactors where the fission neutron energy of around 1 MeV is too low to to fission Li-7. It should also be noted that despite an openly published paper about Nuckolls' Ripple II success being stymied in 2021 by Jon Grams, the subject is still being covered up/ignored by the anti-nuclear biased Western media! Grams article fails to contain the design details such as the isentropic power delivery curve etc from Nuckolls' declassified articles that we include in the latest blog post here. One problem regarding "data" causing continuing confusion about the Dominic-Housatonic 30 October 1962 Ripple II test at Christmas Island, is made clear in the DASA-1211 report's declassified summary of the sizes, weights and yields of those tests: Housatonic was Nuckolls' fourth and final isentropic test, with the nuclear system inserted into a heavy steel Mk36 drop case, making the overall size 57.2 inches in diameter, 147.9 long and 7,139.55 lb mass, i.e. 1.4 kt/lb or 3.0 kt/kg yield-to-mass ratio for 9.96 Mt yield, which is not impressive for that yield range until you consider (a) that it was 99.9% fusion and (b) the isentropic design required a heavy holhraum around the large Ripple II fusion secondary stage to confine x-rays for relatively long time during which a slowly rising pulse of x-rays were delivered from the primary to secondary via a very large areas of foam elsewhere in the weapon, to produce isentropic compression.

Additionally, the test was made in a hurry before an atmospheric teat ban treaty, and this rushed use of a standard air drop steel casing made the tested weapon much heavier than a properly weaponized Ripple II. The key point is that a 10 kt fission device set off a ~10 Mt fusion explosion, a very clean deterrent. Applying this Ripple II 1,000-factor multiplicative staging figure directly to this technology for clean nuclear warheads, a 0.5 kg TNT D+T fusion capsule would set off a 0.5 ton TNT 2nd stage of LiD, which would then set off a 0.5 kt 3rd stage "neutron bomb", which could then be used to set off a 500 kt 4th stage or "strategic nuclear weapon". In practice, this multiplication factor of 1,000 given by Ripple II in 1962 from 10 kt to 10 Mt may not be immediately achievable to get from ~1 kg TNT yield to 1 ton TNT, so a few more tiny stages may be needed for the lower yield. But there is every reason to forecast that with enough research, improvements will be possible and the device will become a reality. It is therefore now possible not just in "theory" or in principle, but with evidence obtained from practical experimentation, using suitable already-proved technical staging systems used in 1960s nuclear weapon tests successfully, to design 100% clean fusion nuclear warheads! Yes, the details have been worked out, yes the technology has been tested in piecemeal fashion. All that is now needed is a new, but quicker and cheaper, Star Wars program or Manhattan Project style effort to pull the components together. This will constitute a major leap forward in the credibility of the deterrence of aggressors.

ABOVE: as predicted, the higher the input laser pulse for the D+T initiator of a clean multiplicatively-staged nuclear deterrent, the lower the effect of plasma instabilities and asymmetries and the greater the fusion burn. To get ignition (where the x-ray energy injected into the fusion hohlraum by the laser is less than the energy released in the D+T fusion burn) they have had to use about 2 MJ delivered in 10 ns or so, equivalent to 0.5 kg of TNT equivalent. But for deterrent use, why use such expensive, delicate lasers? Why not just use one-shot miniaturised x-ray tubes with megavolt electron acceleration, powered a suitably ramped pulse from a chemical explosion for magnetic flux compression current generation? At 10% efficiency, you need 0.5 x 10 = 5 kg of TNT! Even at 1% efficiency, 50 kg of TNT will do. Once the D+T gas capsule's hohlraum is well over 1 cm in size, to minimise the risk of imperfections that cause asymmetries, you don't any longer need focussed laser beams to enter tiny apertures. You might even be able to integrate many miniature flash x-ray tubes (each designed to burn out when firing one pulse of a MJ or so) into a special hohlraum. Humanity urgently needs a technological arms race akin to Reagan's Star Wars project, to deter the dictators from invasions and WWIII. In the conference video above, a question was asked about the real efficiency of the enormous repeat-pulse capable laser system's efficiency (not required for a nuclear weapon whose components only require the capability to be used once, unlike lab equipment): the answer is that 300 MJ was required by the lab lasers to fire a 2 MJ pulse into the D+T capsule's x-ray hohlraum, i.e. their lasers are only 0.7% efficient! So why bother? We know - from the practical use of incoherent fission primary stage x-rays to compress and ignite fusion capsules in nuclear weapons - that you simply don't need coherent photons from a laser for this purpose. The sole reason they are approaching the problem with lasers is that they began their lab experiments decades ago with microscopic sized fusion capsules and for those you need a tightly focussed beam to insert energy through a tiny hohlraum aperture. But now they are finally achieving success with much larger fusion capsules (to minimise instabilities that caused the early failures), it may be time to change direction. A whole array of false "no-go theorems" can and will be raised by ignorant charlatan "authorities" against any innovation; this is the nature of the political world. There is some interesting discussion of why clean bombs aren't in existence today, basically the idealized theory (which works fine for big H-bombs but ignores small-scale asymmetry problems which are important only at low ignition energy) understimated the input energy required for fusion ignition by a factor of 2000:

The early calculations on ICF (inertial-confinement fusion) by John Nuckolls in 1972 had estimated that ICF might be achieved with a driver energy as low as 1 kJ. ... In order to provide reliable experimental data on the minimum energy required for ignition, a series of secret experiments—known as Halite at Livermore and Centurion at Los Alamos—was carried out at the nuclear weapons test site in Nevada between 1978 and 1988. The experiments used small underground nuclear explosions to provide X-rays of sufficiently high intensity to implode ICF capsules, simulating the manner in which they would be compressed in a hohlraum. ... the Halite/Centurion results predicted values for the required laser energy in the range 20 to 100MJ—higher than the predictions ..." - Garry McCracken and Peter Stott, Fusion, Elsevier, 2nd ed., p149.

In the final diagram above, we illustrate an example of what could very well occur in the near future, just to really poke a stick into the wheels of "orthodoxy" in nuclear weapons design: is it possible to just use a lot of (perhaps hardened for higher currents, perhaps no) pulsed current driven microwave tubes from kitchen microwave ovens, channelling their energy using waveguides (simply metal tubes, i.e. electrical Faraday cages, which reflect and thus contain microwaves) into the hohlraum, and make the pusher of dipole molecules (like common salt, NaCl) which is a good absorber of microwaves (as everybody knows from cooking in microwave ovens)? It would be extremely dangerous, not to mention embarrassing, if this worked, but nobody had done any detailed research into the possibility due to groupthink orthodoxy and conventional boxed in thinking! Remember, the D+T capsule just needs extreme compression and this can be done by any means that works. Microwave technology is now very well-established. It's no good trying to keep anything of this sort "secret" (either officially or unofficially) since as history shows, dictatorships are the places where "crackpot"-sounding ideas (such as douple-primary Project "49" Russian thermonuclear weapon designs, Russian Sputnik satellites, Russian Novichok nerve agent, Nazi V1 cruise missiles, Nazi V2 IRBM's, etc.) can be given priority by loony dictators. We have to avoid, as Edward Teller put it (in his secret commentary debunking Bethe's false history of the H-bomb, written AFTER the Teller-Ulam breakthrough), "too-narrow" thinking (which Teller said was still in force on H-bomb design even then). Fashionable hardened orthodoxy is the soft underbelly of "democracy" (a dictatorship by the majority, which is always too focussed on fashionable ideas and dismissive of alternative approaches in science and technology). Dictatorships (minorities against majorities) have repeatedly demonstrated a lack of concern for the fake "no-go theorems" used by Western anti-nuclear "authorities" to ban anything but fashionable groupthink science.

ABOVE: 1944-dated film of the Head of the British Mission to Los Alamos, neutron discoverer James Chadwick, explaining in detail to American how hard it was for him to discover the neutron, taking 10 years on a shoe-string budget, mostly due to having insufficiently strong sources of alpha particles to bombard nuclei in a cloud chamber! The idea of the neutron came from his colleague Rutherford. Chadwick reads his explanation while rapidly rotating a pencil in his right hand, perhaps indicating the stress he was under in 1944. In 1946, when British participation at Los Alamos ended, Chadwick wrote the first detailed secret British report on the design of a three-stage hydrogen bomb, another project that took over a decade. In the diagram below, it appears that the American Mk17 only had a single secondary stage like the similar yield 1952 Mike design. The point here is that popular misunderstanding of the simple mechanism of x-ray energy transfer for higher yield weapons may be creating a dogmatic attitude even in secret nuclear weaponeer design labs, where orthodoxy is followed too rigorously. The Russians (see quotes on the latest blog post here) state they used two entire two-stage thermonuclear weapons with a combined yield of 1 megaton to set off their 50 megaton test in 1961. If true, you can indeed use two-stage hydrogen bombs as an "effective primary" to set off another secondary stage, of much higher yield. Can this be reversed in the sense of scaling it down so you have several bombs-within-bombs, all triggered by a really tiny first stage? In other words, can it be applied to neutron bomb design?

ABOVE: 16 kt at 600m altitude nuclear explosion on a city, Hiroshima ground zero (in foreground) showing modern concrete buildings surviving nearby (unlike the wooden ones that mostly burned at the peak of the firestorm 2-3 hours after survivors had evacuated), in which people were shielded from most of the radiation and blast winds, as they were in simple shelters.

The 1946 Report of the British Mission to Japan, The Effects of the Atomic Bombs at Hiroshima and Nagasaki, compiled by a team of 16 in Hiroshima and Nagasaki during November 1945, which included 10 UK Home Office civil defence experts (W. N. Thomas, J. Bronowski, D. C. Burn, J. B. Hawker, H. Elder, P. A. Badland, R. W. Bevan, F. H. Pavry, F. Walley, O. C. Young, S. Parthasarathy, A. D. Evans, O. M. Solandt, A. E. Dark, R. G. Whitehead and F. G. S. Mitchell) found: "Para. 26. Reinforced concrete buildings of very heavy construction in Hiroshima, even when within 200 yards of the centre of damage, remained structurally undamaged. ... Para 28. These observations make it plain that reinforced concrete framed buildings can resist a bomb of the same power detonated at these heights, without employing fantastic thicknesses of concrete. ... Para 40. The provision of air raid shelters throughout Japan was much below European standards. ... in Hiroshima ... they were semi-sunk, about 20 feet long, had wooden frames, and 1.5-2 feet of earth cover. ... Exploding so high above them, the bomb damaged none of these shelters. ... Para 42. These observations show that the standard British shelters would have performed well against a bomb of the same power exploded at such a height. Anderson shelters, properly erected and covered, would have given protection. Brick or concrete surfac shelters with adequate reinforcement would have remained safe from collapse. The Morrison shelter is designed only to protect its occupants from the refuge load of a house, and this it would have done. Deep shelters such as the refuge provided by the London Underground would have given complete protection. ... Para 60. Buildings and walls gave complete protection from flashburn."

Glasstone and Dolan's 1977 Effects of Nuclear Weapons in Table 12.21 on p547 flunks making this point by giving data without citing its source to make it credible to readers: it correlated 14% mortality (106 killed out of 775 people in Hiroshima's Telegraph Office) to "moderate damage" at 500m in Hiroshima (the uncited "secret" source was NP-3041, Table 12, applying to unwarned people inside modern concrete buildings).

"A weapon whose basic design would seem to provide the essence of what Western morality has long sought for waging classical battlefield warfare - to keep the war to a struggle between the warriors and exclude the non-combatants and their physical assets - has been violently denounced, precisely because it achieves this objective." - Samuel T. Cohen (quoted in Chapman Pincher, The secret offensive, Sidgwick and Jackson, London, 1985, Chapter 15: The Neutron Bomb Offensive, p210).

The reality is, dedicated enhanced neutron tactical nuclear weapons were used to credibly deter the concentrations of force required for triggering of WWIII during the 1st Cold War, and the thugs who support Russian propaganda for Western disarmament got rid of them on our side, but not on the Russian side. Air burst neutron bombs or even as subsurface earth penetrators of relatively low fission yield (where the soil converts energy that would otherwise escape as blast and radiation into ground shock for destroying buried tunnels - new research on cratering shows that a 20 kt subsurface burst creates similar effects on buried hard targets as a 1 Mt surface burst), they cause none of the vast collateral damage to civilians that we see now in Ukraine and Gaza, or that we saw in WWII and the wars in Korea and Vietnam. This is 100% contrary to CND propaganda which is a mixture of lying on nuclear explosion collateral damage, escalation/knockout blow propaganda (of the type used to start WWII by appeasers) and lying on the designs of nuclear weapons in order to ensure the Western side (but not the thugs) gets only incredible "strategic deterrence" that can't deter the invasions that start world wars (e.g. Belgium in 1914 and Poland in 1939.) "Our country entered into an agreement in Budapest, Hungary when the Soviet Union was breaking up that we would guarantee the independence of Ukraine." - Tom Ramos. There really is phoney nuclear groupthink left agenda politics at work here: credible relatively clean tactical nuclear weapons are banned in the West but stocked by Russia, which has civil defense shelters to make its threats far more credible than ours! We need low-collateral damage enhanced-neutron and earth-penetrator options for the new Western W93 warhead, or we remain vulnerable to aggressive coercion by thugs, and invite invasions. Ambiguity, the current policy ("justifying" secrecy on just what we would do in any scenario) actually encourages experimental provocations by enemies to test what we are prepared to do (if anything), just as it did in 1914 and the 1930s.

ABOVE: 0.2 kt (tactical yield range) Ruth nuclear test debris, with lower 200 feet of the 300 ft steel tower surviving in Nevada, 1953. Note that the yield of the tactical invasion-deterrent Mk54 Davy Crockett was only 0.02 kt, 10 times less than than 0.2 kt Ruth.

It should be noted that cheap and naive "alternatives" to credible deterrence of war were tried in the 1930s and during the Cold War and afterwards, with disastrous consequences. Heavy "peaceful" oil sanctions and other embargoes against Japan for its invasion of China between 1931-7 resulted in the plan for the Pearl Harbor surprise attack of 7 December 1941, with subsequent escalation to incendiary city bombing followed nuclear warfare against Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Attlee's pressure on Truman to guarantee no use of tactical nuclear weapons in the Korean War (leaked straight to Stalin by the Cambridge Spy Ring), led to an escalation of that war causing the total devastation of the cities of that country by conventional bombing (a sight witnessed by Sam Cohen, that motivated his neutron bomb deterrent of invasions), until Eisenhower was elected and reversed Truman's decision, leading not to the "escalatory Armageddon" assertions of Attlee, but to instead to a peaceful armistice! Similarly, as Tom Ramos argues in From Berkeley to Berlin: How the Rad Lab Helped Avert Nuclear War, Kennedy's advisers who convinced him to go ahead with the moonlit 17 April 1961 Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba without any USAF air support, which led to precisely what they claimed they would avoid: an escalation of aggression from Russia in Berlin, with the Berlin Wall going up on 17 August 1961 because any showing weakness to an enemy, as in the bungled invasion of Cuba, is always a green light to dictators to go ahead with revolutions, invasions and provocations everywhere else. Rather than the widely hyped autistic claims from disarmers and appeasers about "weakness bringing peace by demonstrating to the enemy that they have nothing to fear from you", the opposite result always occurs. The paranoid dictator seizes the opportunity to strike first. Similarly, withdrawing from Afghanistan in 2021 was a clear green light to Russia to go ahead with a full scale invasion of Ukraine, reigniting the Cold War. von Neumann and Morgenstein's Minimax theorem for winning games - minimise the maximum possible loss - fails with offensive action in war because it sends a signal of weakness to the enemy, which does not treat war as a game with rules to be obeyed. Minimax is only valid for defense, such as civil defense shelters used by Russia to make their threats more credible than ours. The sad truth is that cheap fixes don't work, no matter how much propaganda is behind them. You either need to militarily defeat the enemy or at least economically defeat them using proven Cold War arms race techniques (not merely ineffective sanctions, which they can bypass by making alliances with Iran, North Korea, and China). Otherwise, you are negotiating peace from a position of weakness, which is called appeasement, or collaboration with terrorism.

"Following the war, the Navy Department was intent to see the effects of an atomic blast on naval warships ... the press was invited to witness this one [Crossroads-Able, 23.5 kt at 520 feet altitude, 1 July 1946, Bikini Atoll]. ... The buildup had been too extravagant. Goats that had been tethered on warship decks were still munching their feed, and the atoll's palm trees remained standing, unscathed. The Bikini test changed public attitudes. Before July 1, the world stood in awe of a weapon that had devastated two cities and forced the Japanese Empire to surrender. After that date, the bomb was still a terrible weapon, but a limited one." - Tom Ramos (LLNL nuclear weaponeer and nuclear pumped X-ray laser developer), From Berkeley to Berlin: How the Rad Lab Helped Prevent Nuclear War, Naval Institute Press, 2022, pp43-4.

ABOVE: 16 February 1950 Daily Express editorial on H Bomb problem due to the fact that the UN is another virtue signalling but really war mongering League of Nations (which oversaw Nazi appeasement and the outbreak of WWII); however Fuchs had attended the April 1946 Super Conference during which the Russian version of the H-bomb involving isentropic radiation implosion of a separate low-density fusion stage (unlike Teller's later dense metal ablation rocket implosion secondary TX14 Alarm Clock and Sausage designs) were discussed and then given to Russia. The media was made aware only that Fuchs hade given the fission bomb to Russia. The FBI later visited Fuchs in British jail, showed him a film of Harry Gold (whom Fuchs identified as his contact while at Los Alamos) and also gave Fuchs a long list of secret reports to mark off individually so that they knew precisely what Stalin had been given. Truman didn't order H-bomb research and development because Fuchs gave Stalin the A-bomb, but because he gave them the H-bomb. The details of the Russian H-bomb are still being covered up by those who want a repetition of 1930s appeasement, or indeed the deliberate ambiguity of the UK Cabinet in 1914 which made it unclear what the UK would do if Germany invaded Belgium, allowing the enemy to exploit that ambiguity, starting a world war. The key fact usually covered up (Richard Rhodes, Chuck Hansen, and the whole American "expert nuclear arms community" all misleadingly claim that Teller's Sausage H-bomb design with a single primary and a dense ablator around a cylindrical secondary stage - uranium, lead or tungsten - is the "hydrogen bomb design") here is that two attendees of the April 1946 Super Conference, the report author Egon Bretscher and the radiation implosion discoverer Klaus Fuchs - were British, and both contributed key H-bomb design principles to the Russian and British weapons (discarded for years by America). Egon Bretscher for example wrote up the Super Conference report, during which attendees suggested various ways to try to achieve isentropic compression of low-density fusion fuel (a concept discarded by Teller's 1951 Sausage design, but used by Russia and re-developed in America on Nuckolls 1962 Ripple tests), and after Teller left Los Alamos, Bretscher took over work on Teller's Alarm Clock layered fission-fusion spherical hybrid device before Bretscher himself left Los Alamos and became head of nuclear physics at Harwell, UK,, submitting UK report together with Fuchs (head of theoretical physics at Harwell) which led to Sir James Chadwick's UK paper on a three-stage thermonuclear Super bomb which formed the basis of Penney's work at the UK Atomic Weapons Research Establishment. While Bretscher had worked on Teller's hybrid Alarm Clock (which originated two months after Fuchs left Los Alamos), Fuchs co-authored a hydrogen bomb patent with John von Neumann, in which radiation implosion and ionization implosion was used. Between them, Bretscher and Fuchs had all the key ingredients. Fuchs leaked them to Russia and the problem persists today in international relations.

ILLUSTRATION: the threat of WWII and the need to deter it was massively derided by popular pacifism which tended to make "jokes" of the Nazi threat until too late (example of 1938 UK fiction on this above; Charlie Chaplin's film "The Great Dictator" is another example), so three years after the Nuremberg Laws and five years after illegal rearmament was begun by the Nazis, in the UK crowds of "pacifists" in Downing Street, London, support friendship with the top racist, dictatorial Nazis in the name of "world peace". The Prime Minister used underhand techniques to try to undermine appeasement critics like Churchill and also later to get W. E. Johns fired from both editorships of Flying (weekly) and Popular Flying (monthly) to make it appear everybody "in the know" agreed with his actions, hence the contrived "popular support" for collaborating with terrorists depicted in these photos. The same thing persists today; the 1920s and 1930s "pacifist" was also driven by "escalation" and "annihilation" claims explosions, fire and WMD poison gas will kill everybody in a "knockout blow", immediately any war breaks out.

Update (4 January 2024): on the important world crisis, https://vixra.org/abs/2312.0155 gives a detailed review of "Britain and the H-bomb" (linked here), and why the "nuclear deterrence issue" isn't about "whether we should deter evil", but precisely what design of nuclear warhead we should have in order to do that cheaply, credibly, safely, and efficiently without guaranteeing either escalation or the failure of deterrence. When we disarmed our chemical and biological weapons, it was claimed that the West could easily deter those weapons using strategic nuclear weapons to bomb Moscow (which has shelters, unlike us). That failed when Putin used sarin and chlorine to prop up Assad in Syria, and Novichok in the UK to kill Dawn Sturgess in 2018. So it's just not a credible deterrent to say you will bomb Moscow if Putin invades Europe or uses his 2000 tactical nuclear weapons. An even more advanced deterrent, the 100% clean very low yield (or any yield) multiplicative staged design without any fissile material whatsoever, just around the corner. Clean secondary stages have been proof-tested successfully for example in the 100% clean Los Alamos Redwing Navajo secondary, and the 100% clean Ripple II secondary tested 30 October 1962, and the laser ignition of very tiny fusion capsules to yield more energy than supplied has been done on 5 December 2022 when a NIF test delivered 2.05 MJ (the energy of about 0.5 kg of TNT) to a fusion capsule which yielded 3.15 MJ, so all that is needed is to combine both ideas in a system whereby suitably sized second stages - ignited in the first place by a capacitative charged circuit sending a pulse of energy to a suitable laser system (the schematic shown is just a sketch of principle - more than one laser would possibly be required for reliability of fusion ignition) acting on tiny fusion capsule as shown - are encased to two-stage "effective primaries" which each become effective primaries of bigger systems, thus a geometric series of multiplicative staging until the desired yield is reached. Note that the actual tiny first T+D capsule can be compressed by one-shot lasers - compact lasers used way beyond their traditional upper power limit and burned out in a firing a single pulse - in the same way the gun assembly of the Hiroshima bomb was based on a one-shot gun. In other words, forget all about textbook gun design. The Hiroshima bomb gun assembly system only had to be fired once, unlike a field artillery piece which has to be ready to be fired many thousands of times (before metal fatigue/cracks set in). Thus, by analogy, the lasers - which can be powered by ramping current pulses from magnetic flux compressor systems - for use in a clean bomb will be much smaller and lighter than current lab gear which is designed to be used thousands of times in repeated experiments. The diagram below shows cylindrical Li6D stages throughout for a compact bomb shape, but spherical stages can be used, and once a few stages get fired, the flux of 14 MeV neutrons is sufficient to go to cheap natural LiD. To fit it into a MIRV warhead, the low density of LiD constrains such a clean warhead will have a low nuclear yield, which means a tactical neutron deterrent of the invasions that cause big wars; a conversion of incredible strategic deterrence into a more credible combined strategic-tactical deterrent of major provocations, not just direct attacks. It should also be noted that in 1944 von Neumann suggested that T + D inside the core of the fission weapon would be compressed by "ionization compression" during fission (where a higher density ionized plasma compresses a lower density ionized plasma, i.e. the D + T plasma), an idea that was - years later - named the Internal Booster principle by Teller; see Frank Close, "Trinity", Allen Lane, London, 2019, pp158-159 where Close argues that during the April 1946 Superbomb Conference, Fuchs extended von Neumann's 1944 internal fusion boosting idea to an external D + T filled BeO walled capsule:

"Fuchs reasoned that [the very low energy, 1-10 kev, approximately 10-100 lower energy than medical] x-rays from the [physically separated] uranium explosion would reach the tamper of beryllium oxide, heat it, ionize the constituents and cause them to implode - the 'ionization implosion' concept of von Neumann but now applied to deuterium and tritium contained within beryllium oxide. To keep the radiation inside the tamper, Fuchs proposed to enclose the device inside a casing impervious to radiation. The implosion induced by the radiation would amplify the compression ... and increase the chance of the fusion bomb igniting. The key here is 'separation of the atomic charge and thermonuclear fuel, and compression of the latter by radiation travelling from the former', which constitutes 'radiation implosion'." (This distinction between von Neumann's "ionization implosion" INSIDE the tamper, of denser tamper expanding and thus compressing lower density fusion fuel inside, and Fuchs' OUTSIDE capsule "radiation implosion", is key even today for isentropic H-bomb design; it seems Teller's key breakthroughs were not separate stages or implosion but rather radiation mirrors and ablative recoil shock compression, where radiation is used to ablate a dense pusher of Sausage designs like Mike in 1952 etc., a distinction not to be confused for the 1944 von Neumann and 1946 Fuchs implosion mechanisms!

It appears Russian H-bombs used von Neumann's "ionization implosion" and Fuchs's "radiation implosion" for RDS-37 on 22 November 1955 and also in their double-primary 23 February 1958 test and subsequently, where their fusion capsules reportedly contained a BeO or other low-density outer coating, which would lead to quasi-isentropic compression, more effective for low density secondary stages than purely ablative recoil shock compression. This accounts for the continuing classification of the April 1946 Superbomb Conference (the extract of 32 pages linked here is so severely redacted that it is less helpful than the brief but very lucid summary of its technical content, in the declassified FBI compilation of reports concerning data Klaus Fuchs sent to Stalin, linked here!). Teller had all the knowledge he needed in 1946, but didn't go ahead because he made the stupid error of killing progress off by his own "no-go theorem" against compression of fusion fuel. Teller did a "theoretical" calculation in which he claimed that compression has no effect on the amount of fusion burn because the compressed system is simply scaled down in size so that the same efficiency of fusion burn occurs, albeit faster, and then stops as the fuel thermally expands. This was wrong. Teller discusses the reason for his great error in technical detail during his tape-recorded interview by Chuck Hansen at Los Alamos on 7 June 1993 (C. Hansen, Swords of Armageddon, 2nd ed., pp. II-176-7):

"Now every one of these [fusion] processes varied with the square of density. If you compress the thing, then in one unit's volume, each of the 3 important processes increased by the same factor ... Therefore, compression (seemed to be) useless. Now when ... it seemed clear that we were in trouble, then I wanted very badly to find a way out. And it occurred to be than an unprecedentedly strong compression will just not allow much energy to go into radiation. Therefore, something had to be wrong with my argument and then, you know, within minutes, I knew what must be wrong ... [energy] emission occurs when an electron and a nucleus collide. Absorption does not occur when a light quantum and a nucleus ... or ... electron collide; it occurs when a light quantum finds an electron and a nucleus together ... it does not go with the square of the density, it goes with the cube of the density." (This very costly theoretical error, wasting five years 1946-51, could have been resolved by experimental nuclear testing. There is always a risk of this in theoretical physics, which is why experiments are done to check calculations before prizes are handed out. The ban on nuclear testing is a luddite opposition to technological progress in improving deterrence.)

(This 1946-51 theoretical "no-go theorem" anti-compression error of Teller's, which was contrary to the suggestion of compression at the April 1946 superbomb conference as Teller himself refers to on 14 August 1952, and which was corrected only by comparison of the facts about compression validity in pure fission cores in Feb '51 after Ulam's argument that month for fission core compression by lens focussed primary stage shock waves, did not merely lead to Teller's dismissal of vital compression ideas. It also led to his false equations - exaggerating the cooling effect of radiation emission - causing underestimates of fusion efficiency in all theoretical calculations done of fusion until 1951! For this reason, Teller later repudiated the calculations that allegedly showed his Superbomb would fizzle; he argued that if it had been tested in 1946, the detailed data obtained - regardless of whatever happened - would have at least tested the theory which would have led to rapid progress, because the theory was wrong. The entire basis of the cooling of fusion fuel by radiation leaking out was massively exaggerated until Lawrence Livermore weaponeer John Nuckolls showed that there is a very simple solution: use baffle re-radiated, softened x-rays for isentropic compression of low-density fusion fuel, e.g. very cold 0.3 kev x-rays rather than the usual 1-10 kev cold-warm x-rays emitted directly from the fission primary. Since the radiation losses are proportional to the fourth-power of the x-ray energy or temperature, losses are virtually eliminated, allowing very efficient staging as for Nuckolls' 99.9% 10 Mt clean Ripple II, detonated on 30 October 1962 at Christmas Island. Teller's classical Superbomb was actually analyzed by John C. Solem in a 15 December 1978 report, A modern analysis of Classical Super, LA-07615, according to a Freedom of Information Act request filed by mainstream historian Alex Wellerstein, FOIA 17-00131-H, 12 June 2017; according to a list of FOIA requests at https://www.governmentattic.org/46docs/NNSAfoiaLogs_2016-2020.pdf. However, a google search for the documents Dr Wellerstein requested shows only a few at the US Gov DOE Opennet OSTI database or otherwise online yet e.g. LA-643 by Teller, On the development of Thermonuclear Bombs dated 16 Feb. 1950. The page linked here stating that report was "never classified" is mistaken! One oddity about Teller's anti-compression "no-go theorem" is that the even if fusion rates were independent of density, you would still want compression of fissile material in a secondary stage such as a radiation imploded Alarm Clock, because the whole basis of implosion fission bombs is the benefit of compression; another issue is that even if fusion rates are unaffected by density, inward compression would still help to delay the expansion of the fusion system which leads to cooling and quenching of the fusion burn.)

ABOVE: the FBI file on Klaus Fuchs contains a brief summary of the secret April 1946 Super Conference at Los Alamos which Fuchs attended, noting that compression of fusion fuel was discussed by Lansdorf during the morning session on 19 April, attended by Fuchs, and that: "Suggestions were made by various people in attendance as to the manner of minimizing the rise in entropy during compression." This fact is vitally interesting, since it proves that an effort was being made then to secure isentropic compression of low-density fusion fuel in April 1946, sixteen years before John H. Nuckolls tested the isentropically compressed Ripple II device on 30 October 1962, giving a 99.9% clean 10 megaton real H-bomb! So the Russians were given a massive head start on this isentropic compression of low-density fusion fuel for hydrogen bombs, used (according to Trutnev) in both the single primary tests like RDS-37 in November 1955 and also in the double-primary designs which were 2.5 times more efficient on a yield-to-mass basis, tested first on 23 February 1958! According to the FBI report, the key documents Fuchs gave to Russia were LA-551, Prima facie proof of the feasibility of the Super, 15 Apr 1946 and the LA-575 Report of conference on the Super, 12 June 1946. Fuchs also handed over to Russia his own secret Los Alamos reports, such as LA-325, Initiator Theory, III. Jet Formation by the Collision of Two Surfaces, 11 July 1945, Jet Formation in Cylindrical lmplosion with 16 Detonation Points, Secret, 6 February 1945, and Theory of Initiators II, Melon Seed, Secret, 6 January 1945. Note the reference to Bretscher attending the Super Conference with Fuchs; Teller in a classified 50th anniversary conference at Los Alamos on the H-bomb claimed that after he (Teller) left Los Alamos for Chicago Uni in 1946, Bretscher continued work on Teller's 31 August 1946 "Alarm Clock" nuclear weapon (precursor of the Mike sausage concept etc) at Los Alamos; it was this layered uranium and fusion fuel "Alarm Clock" concept which led to the departure of Russian H-bomb design from American H-bomb design, simply because Fuchs left Los Alamos in June 1946, well before Teller invented the Alarm Clock concept on 31 August 1946 (Teller remembered the date precisely simply because he invented the Alarm Clock on the day his daughter was born, 31 August 1946! Teller and Richtmyer also developed a variant called "Swiss Cheese", with small pockets or bubbles of expensive fusion fuels, dispersed throughout cheaper fuel, in order to kinder a more cost-effective thermonuclear reaction; this later inspired the fission and fusion boosted "spark plug" ideas in later Sausage designs; e.g. security cleared Los Alamos historian Anne Fitzpatrick stated during her 4 March 1997 interview with Robert Richtmyer, who co-invented the Alarm Clock with Teller, that the Alarm Clock evolved into the spherical secondary stage of the 6.9 megaton Castle-Union TX-14 nuclear weapon!).

In fact (see Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory nuclear warhead designer Nuckolls' explanation in report UCRL-74345): "The rates of burn, energy deposition by charged reaction products, and electron-ion heating are proportional to the density, and the inertial confinement time is proportional to the radius. ... The burn efficiency is proportional to the product of the burn rate and the inertial confinement time ...", i.e. the fusion burn rate is directly proportional to the fuel density, which in turn is of course inversely proportional to the cube of its radius. But the inertial confinement time for fusion to occur is proportional to the radius, so the fusion stage efficiency in a nuclear weapon is the product of the burn rate (i.e., 1/radius^3) and time (i.e., radius), so efficiency ~ radius/(radius^3) ~ 1/radius^2. Therefore, for a given fuel temperature, the total fusion burn, or the efficiency of the fusion stage, is inversely proportional to the square of the compressed radius of the fuel! (Those condemning Teller's theoretical errors or "arrogance" should be aware that he pushed hard all the time for experimental nuclear tests of his ideas, to check if they were correct, exactly the right thing to do scientifically and others who read his papers had the opportunity to point out any theoretical errors, but was rebuffed by those in power, who used a series of contrived arguments to deny progress, based upon what Harry would call "subconscious bias", if not arrogant, damning, overt bigotry against the kind of credible, overwhelming deterrence which had proved lacking a decade earlier, leading to WWII. This callousness towards human suffering in war and under dictatorship existed in some UK physicists too: Joseph Rotblat's hatred of anything to deter Russia be it civil defense or tactical neutron bombs of the West - he had no problem smiling and patting Russia's neutron bomb when visiting their labs during cosy groupthink deluded Pugwash campaigns for Russian-style "peaceful collaboration" - came from deep family communist convictions, since his brother was serving in the Red Army in 1944 when he alleged he heard General Groves declare that the bomb must deter Russia! Rotblat stated he left Los Alamos as a result. The actions of these groups are analogous to the "Cambridge Scientists Anti-War Group" in the 1930s. After Truman ordered a H-bomb, Bradbury at Los Alamos had to start a "Family Committee" because Teller had a whole "family" of H-bomb designs, ranging from the biggest, "Daddy", through various "Alarm Clocks", all the way down to small internally-boosted fission tactical weapons. From Teller's perspective, he wasn't putting all eggs in one basket.)

Above: declassified illustration from a January 1949 secret report by the popular physics author and Los Alamos nuclear weapons design consultant George Gamow, showing his suggestion of using x-rays from both sides of a cylindrically imploded fission device to expose two fusion capsules to x-rays to test whether compression (fusion in BeO box on right side) helps, or is unnecessary (capsule on left side). Neutron counters detect 14.1 Mev T+D neutrons using time-of-flight method (higher energy neutrons traver faster than ~1 Mev fission stage neutrons, arriving at detectors first, allowing discrimination of the neutron energy spectrum by time of arrival). It took over two years to actually fire this 225 kt shot (8 May 1951)! No wonder Teller was outraged. A few interesting reports by Teller and also Oppenheimer's secret 1949 report opposing the H bomb project as it then stood on the grounds of low damage per dollar - precisely the exact opposite of the "interpretation" the media and gormless fools will assert until the cows come home - are linked here. The most interesting is Teller's 14 August 1952 Top Secret paper debunking Hans Bethe's propaganda, by explaining that contrary to Bethe's claims, Stalin's spy Klaus Fuch had the key "radiation implosion"- see second para on p2 - secret of the H-bomb because he attended the April 1946 Superbomb Conference which was not even attended by Bethe!  It was this very fact in April 1946, noted by two British attendees of the 1946 Superbomb Conference before collaboration was ended later in the year by the 1946 Atomic Energy Act, statement that led to Sir James Cladwick's secret use of "radiation implosion" for stages 2 and 3 of his triple staged H-bomb report the next month, "The Superbomb", a still secret document that inspired Penney's original Tom/Dick/Harry staged and radiation imploded H-bomb thinking, which is summarized by security cleared official historian Arnold's Britain and the H-Bomb.  Teller's 24 March 1951 letter to Los Alamos director Bradbury was written just 15 days after his historic Teller-Ulam 9 March 1951 report on radiation coupling and "radiation mirrors" (i.e. plastic casing lining to re-radiate soft x-rays on to the thermonuclear stage to ablate and thus compress it), and states: "Among the tests which seem to be of importance at the present time are those concerned with boosted weapons. Another is connected vith the possibility of a heterocatalytic explosion, that is, implosion of a bomb using the energy from another, auxiliary bomb. A third concerns itself with tests on mixing during atomic explosions, which question is of particular importance in connection with the Alarm Clock."

There is more to Fuchs' influence on the UK H-bomb than I go into that paper; Chapman Pincher alleged that Fuchs was treated with special leniency at his trial and later he was given early release in 1959 because of his contributions and help with the UK H-bomb as author of the key Fuchs-von Neumann x-ray compression mechanism patent. For example, Penney visited Fuchs in June 1952 in Stafford Prison; see pp309-310 of Frank Close's 2019 book "Trinity". Close argues that Fuchs gave Penney a vital tutorial on the H-bomb mechanism during that prison visit. That wasn't the last help, either, since the UK Controller for Atomic Energy Sir Freddie Morgan wrote Penney on 9 February 1953 that Fuchs was continuing to help. Another gem: Close gives, on p396, the story of how the FBI became suspicious of Edward Teller, after finding a man of his name teaching at the NY Communist Workers School in 1941 - the wrong Edward Teller, of course - yet Teller's wife was indeed a member of the Communist-front "League of women shoppers" in Washington, DC.

Chapman Pincher, who attended the Fuchs trial, writes about Fuchs hydrogen bomb lectures to prisoners in chapter 19 of his 2014 autobiography, Dangerous to know (Biteback, London, pp217-8): "... Donald Hume ... in prison had become a close friend of Fuchs ... Hume had repaid Fuchs' friendship by organising the smuggling in of new scientific books ... Hume had a mass of notes ... I secured Fuchs's copious notes for a course of 17 lectures ... including how the H-bomb works, which he had given to his fellow prisoners ... My editor agreed to buy Hume's story so long as we could keep the papers as proof of its authenticity ... Fuchs was soon due for release ..."

Chapman Pincher wrote about this as the front page exclusive of the 11 June 1952 Daily Express, "Fuchs: New Sensation", the very month Penney visited Fuchs in prison to receive his H-bomb tutorial! UK media insisted this was evidence that UK security still wasn't really serious about deterring further nuclear spies, and the revelations finally culminated in the allegations that the MI5 chief 1956-65 Roger Hollis was a Russian fellow-traveller (Hollis was descended from Peter the Great, according to his elder brother Chris Hollis' 1958 book Along the Road to Frome) and GRU agent of influence, codenamed "Elli". Pincher's 2014 book, written aged 100, explains that former MI5 agent Peter Wright suspected Hollis was Elli after evidence collected by MI6 agent Stephen de Mowbray was reported to the Cabinet Secretary. Hollis is alleged to have deliberately fiddled his report of interviewing GRU defector Igor Gouzenko on 21 November 1945 in Canada. Gouzenko had exposed the spy and Groucho Marx lookalike Dr Alan Nunn May (photo below), and also a GRU spy in MI5 codenamed Elli, who used only duboks (dead letter boxes), but Gouzenko told Pincher that when Hollis interviewed him in 1945 he wrote up a lengthy false report claiming to discredit many statements by Gouzenko: "I could not understand how Hollis had written so much when he had asked me so little. The report was full of nonsense and lies. As [MI5 agent Patrick] Stewart read the report to me [during the 1972 investigation of Hollis], it became clear that it had been faked to destroy my credibility so that my information about the spy in MI5 called Elli could be ignored. I suspect that Hollis was Elli." (Source: Pincher, 2014, p320.) Christopher Andrew claimed Hollis couldn't have been GRU spy Elli because KGB defector Oleg Gordievsky suggested it was the KGB spy Leo Long (sub-agent of KGB spy Anthony Blunt). However, Gouzenko was GRU, not KGB like Long and Gordievsky! Gordievsky's claim that "Elli" was on the cover of Long's KGB file was debunked by KGB officer Oleg Tsarev, who found that Long's codename was actually Ralph! Another declassified Russian document, from General V. Merkulov to Stalin dated 24 Nov 1945, confirmed Elli was a GRU agent inside british intelligence, whose existence was betrayed by Gouzenko. In Chapter 30 of Dangerous to Know, Pincher related how he was given a Russian suitcase sized microfilm enlarger by 1959 Hollis spying eyewitness Michael J. Butt, doorman for secret communist meetings in London. According to Butt, Hollis delivered documents to Brigitte Kuczynski, younger sister of Klaus Fuchs' original handler, the notorious Sonia aka Ursula. Hollis allegedly provided Minox films to Brigitte discretely when walking through Hyde Park at 8pm after work. Brigitte gave her Russian made Minox film enlarger to Butt to dispose of, but he kept it in his loft as evidence. (Pincher later donated it to King's College.) Other more circumstantial evidence is that Hollis recruited the spy Philby, Hollis secured spy Blunt immunity from prosecution, Hollis cleared Fuchs in 1943, and MI5 allegedly destroyed Hollis' 1945 interrogation report on Gouzenko, to prevent the airing of the scandal that it was fake after checking it with Gouzenko in 1972.

It should be noted that the very small number of Russian GRU illegal agents in the UK and the very small communist party membership had a relatively large influence on nuclear policy via infiltration of unions which had block votes in the Labour Party, as well the indirect CND and "peace movement" lobbies saturating the popular press with anti-civil defence propaganda to make the nuclear deterrent totally incredible for any provocation short of a direct all-out countervalue attack. Under such pressure, UK Prime Minister Harold Wilson's government abolished the UK Civil Defence Corps, making the UK nuclear deterrent totally incredible against major provocations, in March 1968. While there was some opposition to Wilson, it was focussed on his profligate nationalisation policies which were undermining the economy and thus destabilizing military expenditure for national security. Peter Wright’s 1987 book Spycatcher and various other sources, including Daily Mirror editor Hugh Cudlipp's book Walking on Water, documented that on 8 May 1968, the Bank of England's director Cecil King, who was also Chairman of Daily Mirror newspapers, Mirror editor Cudlipp and the UK Ministry of Defence's anti-nuclear Chief Scientific Adviser Sir Solly Zuckerman, met at Lord Mountbatten's house in Kinnerton Street, London, to discuss a coup e'tat to overthrow Wilson and make Mountbatten the UK President, a new position. King's position, according to Cudlipp - quite correctly as revealed by the UK economic crises of the 1970s when the UK was effectively bankrupt - was that Wilson was setting the UK on the road to financial ruin and thus military decay. Zuckerman and Mountbatten refused to take part in a revolution, however Wilson's government was attacked by the Daily Mirror in a front page editorial by Cecil King two days later, on 10 May 1968, headlined "Enough is enough ... Mr Wilson and his Government have lost all credibility, all authority." According to Wilson's secretary Lady Falkender, Wilson was only told of the coup discussions in March 1976.

CND and the UK communist party alternatively tried to claim, in a contradictory way, that they were (a) too small in numbers to have any influence on politics, and (b) they were leading the country towards utopia via unilateral nuclear disarmament saturation propaganda about nuclear weapons annihilation (totally ignoring essential data on different nuclear weapon designs, yields, heights of burst, the "use" of a weapon as a deterrent to PREVENT an invasion of concentrated force, etc.) via the infiltrated BBC and most other media. Critics pointed out that Nazi Party membership in Germany was only 5% when Hitler became dictator in 1933, while in Russia there were only 200,000 Bolsheviks in September 1917, out of 125 million, i.e. 0.16%. Therefore, the whole threat of such dictatorships is a minority seizing power beyond it justifiable numbers, and controlling a majority which has different views. Traditional democracy itself is a dictatorship of the majority (via the ballot box, a popularity contest); minority-dictatorship by contrast is a dictatorship by the fanatically motivated minority by force and fear (coercion) to control the majority. The coercion tactics used by foreign dictators to control the press in free countries are well documented, but never publicised widely. Hitler put pressure on Nazi-critics in the UK "free press" via UK Government appeasers Halifax, Chamberlain and particularly the loathsome UK ambassador to Nazi Germany, Sir Neville Henderson, for example trying to censor or ridicule appeasement critics David Low, to fire Captain W. E. Johns (editor of both Flying and Popular Flying, which had huge circulations and attacked appeasement as a threat to national security in order to reduce rearmament expenditure), and to try to get Winston Churchill deselected. These were all sneaky "back door" pressure-on-publishers tactics, dressed up as efforts to "ease international tensions"! The same occurred during the Cold War, with personal attacks in Scientific American and Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists and by fellow travellers on Herman Kahn, Eugene Wigner, and others who warned we need civil defence to make a deterrent of large provocations credible in the eyes of an aggressor.

Chapman Pincher summarises the vast hypocritical Russian expenditure on anti-Western propaganda against the neutron bomb in Chapter 15, "The Neutron Bomb Offensive" of his 1985 book The Secret Offensive: "Such a device ... carries three major advantages over Hiroshima-type weapons, particularly for civilians caught up in a battle ... against the massed tanks which the Soviet Union would undoubtedly use ... by exploding these warheads some 100 feet or so above the massed tanks, the blast and fire ... would be greatly reduced ... the neutron weapon produces little radioactive fall-out so the long-term danger to civilians would be very much lower ... the weapon was of no value for attacking cities and the avoidance of damage to property can hardly be rated as of interest only to 'capitalists' ... As so often happens, the constant repetition of the lie had its effects on the gullible ... In August 1977, the [Russian] World Peace Council ... declared an international 'Week of action' against the neutron bomb. ... Under this propaganda Carter delayed his decision, in September ... a Sunday service being attended by Carter and his family on 16 October 1977 was disrupted by American demonstrators shouting slogans against the neutron bomb [see the 17 October 1977 Washington Post] ... Lawrence Eagleburger, when US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, remarked, 'We consider it probably that the Soviet campaign against the 'neutron bomb cost some $100 million'. ... Even the Politburo must have been surprised at the size of what it could regard as a Fifth Column in almost every country." [Unfortunately, Pincher himself had contributed to the anti-nuclear nonsense in his 1965 novel "Not with a bang" in which small amounts of radioactivity from nuclear fallout combine with medicine to exterminate humanity! The allure of anti-nuclear propaganda extends to all who which to sell "doomsday fiction", not just Russian dictators but mainstream media story tellers in the West. By contrast, Glasstone and Dolan's 1977 Effects of Nuclear Weapons doesn't even mention the neutron bomb, so there was no scientific and technical effort whatsoever by the West to make it a credible deterrent even in the minds of the public it had to protect from WWIII!]

"The Lance warhead is the first in a new generation of tactical mini-nukes that have been sought by Army field leading advocates: the series of American generals who have commanded the North Atlantic Treaty organization theater. They have argued that the 7,000 unclear warheads now in Europe are old, have too large a nuclear yield and thus would not be used in a war. With lower yields and therefore less possible collateral damage to civilian populated areas, these commanders have argued, the new mini-nukes are more credible as deterrents because they just might be used on the battlefield without leading to automatic nuclear escalation. Under the nuclear warhead production system, a President must personally give the production order. President Ford, according to informed sources, signed the order for the enhanced-radiation Lance warhead. The Lance already has regular nuclear warheads and it deployed with NATO forces in Europe. In addition to the Lance warhead, other new production starts include: An 8-inch artillery-fired nuclear warhead to replace those now in Europe. This shell had been blocked for almost eight years by Sen. Stuart Symington (D-Mo.), who had argued that it was not needed. Symington retired last year. The Pentagon and ERDA say the new nuclear 8-inch warhead would be safer from stealing by terrorists. Starbird testified. It will be "a command disable system" to melt its inner workings if necessary. ... In longer-term research, the bill contains money to finance an enhanced-radiational bomb to the dropped from aircraft." - Washington post, 5 June 1977.

This debunks fake news that Teller's and Ulam's 9 March 1951 report LAMS-1225 itself gave Los Alamos the Mike H-bomb design, ready for testing! Teller was proposing a series of nuclear tests of the basic principles, not 10Mt Ivy-Mike which was based on a report the next month by Teller alone, LA-1230, "The Sausage: a New Thermonuclear System". When you figure that, what did Ulam actually contribute to the hydrogen bomb? Nothing about implosion, compression or separate stages - all already done by von Neumann and Fuchs five years earlier - and just a lot of drivel about trying to channel material shock waves from a primary to compress another fissile core, a real dead end. What Ulam did was to kick Teller out of his self-imposed mental objection to compression devices. Everything else was Teller's; the radiation mirrors, the Sausage with its outer ablation pusher and its inner spark plug. Note also that contrary to official historian Arnold's book (which claims due to a misleading statement by Dr Corner that all the original 1946 UK copies of Superbomb Conference documentation were destroyed after being sent from AWRE Aldermaston to London between 1955-63), all the documents did exist in the AWRE TPN (theoretical physics notes, 100% of which have been perserved) and are at the UK National Archives, e.g. AWRE-TPN 5/54 is listed in National Archives discovery catalogue ref ES 10/5: "Miscellaneous super bomb notes by Klaus Fuchs", see also the 1954 report AWRE-TPN 6/54, "Implosion super bomb: substitution of U235 for plutonium" ES 10/6, the 1954 report AWRE-TPN 39/54 is "Development of the American thermonuclear bomb: implosion super bomb" ES 10/39, see also ES 10/21 "Collected notes on Fermi's super bomb lectures", ES 10/51 "Revised reconstruction of the development of the American thermonuclear bombs", ES 1/548 and ES 1/461 "Superbomb Papers", etc. Many reports are secret and retained, despite containing "obsolete" designs (although UK report titles are generally unredacted, such as: "Storage of 6kg Delta (Phase) -Plutonium Red Beard (tactical bomb) cores in ships")! It should also be noted that the Livermore Laboatory's 1958 TUBA spherical secondary with an oralloy (enriched U235) outer pusher was just a reversion from Teller's 1951 core spark plug idea in the middle of the fusion fuel, back to the 1944 von Neumann scheme of having fission material surrounding the fusion fuel. In other words, the TUBA was just a radiation and ionization imploded, internally fusion-boosted, second fission stage which could have been accomplished a decade earlier if the will existed, when all of the relevant ideas were already known. The declassified UK spherical secondary-stage alternatives linked here (tested as Grapple X, Y and Z with varying yields but similar size, since all used the 5 ft diameter Blue Danube drop casing) clearly show that a far more efficient fusion burn occurs by minimising the mass of hard-to-compress U235 (oralloy) sparkplug/pusher, but maximising the amount of lithium-7, not lithium-6. Such a secondary with minimal fissionable material also automatically has minimal neutron ABM vulnerability (i.e., "Radiation Immunity", RI). This is the current cheap Russian neutron weapon design, but not the current Western design of warheads like the W78, W88 and bomb B61.

So why on earth doesn't the West take the cheap efficient option of cutting expensive oralloy and maximising cheap natural (mostly lithium-7) LiD in the secondary? Even Glasstone's 1957 Effects of Nuclear Weapons on p17 (para 1.55) states that "Weight for weight ... fusion of deuterium nuclei would produce nearly 3 times as much energy as the fission of uranium or plutonium"! The sad answer is "density"! Natural LiD (containing 7.42% Li6 abundance) is a low density white/grey crystalline solid like salt that actually floats on water (lithium deuteroxide would be formed on exposure to water), since its density is just 820 kg/m^3. Since the ratio of mass of Li6D to Li7D is 8/9, it would be expected that the density of highly enriched 95% Li6D is 739 kg/m^3, while for 36% enriched Li6D it is 793 kg/m^3. Uranium metal has a density of 19,000 kg/m^3, i.e. 25.7 times greater than 95% enriched li6D or 24 times greater than 36% enriched Li6D. Compactness, i.e. volume is more important in a Western MIRV warhead than mass/weight! In the West, it's best to have a tiny-volume, very heavy, very expensive warhead. In Russia, cheapness outweights volume considerations. The Russians in some cases simply allowed their more bulky warheads to protrude from the missile bus (see photo below), or compensated for lower yields at the same volume using clean LiD by using the savings in costs to build more warheads. (The West doubles the fission yield/mass ratio of some warheads by using U235/oralloy pushers in place of U238, which suffers from the problem that about half the neutrons it interacts with result in non-fission capture, as explained below. Note that the 720 kiloton UK nuclear test Orange Herald device contained a hollow shell of 117 kg of U235 surrounded by a what Lorna Arnold's book quotes John Corner referring to a "very thin" layer of high explosive, and was compact, unboosted - the boosted failed to work - and gave 6.2 kt/kg of U235, whereas the first version of the 2-stage W47 Polaris warhead contained 60 kg of U235 which produced most of the secondary stage yield of about 400 kt, i.e. 6.7 kt/kg of U235. Little difference - but because perhaps 50% of the total yield of the W47 was fusion, its efficiency of use of U235 must have actually been less than the Orange Herald device, around 3 kt/kg of U235 which indicates design efficiency limits to "hydrogen bombs"! Yet anti-nuclear charlatans claimed that the Orange Herald bomb was a con!)

ABOVE: USA nuclear weapons data declassified by UK Government in 2010 (the information was originally acquired due to the 1958 UK-USA Act for Cooperation on the Uses of Atomic Energy for Mutual Defense Purposes, in exchange for UK nuclear weapons data) as published at http://nuclear-weapons.info/images/tna-ab16-4675p63.jpg. This single table summarizes all key tactical and strategic nuclear weapons secret results from 1950s testing! (In order to analyze the warhead pusher thicknesses and very basic schematics from this table it is necessary to supplement it with the 1950s warhead design data declassified in other documents, particularly some of the data from Tom Ramos and Chuck Hansen, as quoted in some detail below.) The data on the mass of special nuclear materials in each of the different weapons argues strongly that the entire load of Pu239 and U235 in the 1.1 megaton B28 was in the primary stage, so that weapon could not have had a fissile spark plug in the centre let alone a fissile ablator (unlike Teller's Sausage design of 1951), and so the B28 it appears had no need whatsoever of a beryllium neutron radiation shield to prevent pre-initiation of the secondary stage prior to its compression (on the contrary, such neutron exposure of the lithium deuteride in the secondary stage would be VITAL to produce some tritium in it prior to compression, to spark fusion when it was compressed). Arnold's book indeed explains that UK AWE physicists found the B28 to be an excellent, highly optimised, cheap design, unlike the later W47 which was extremely costly. The masses of U235 and Li6 in the W47 shows the difficulties of trying to maintain efficiency while scaling down the mass of a two-stage warhead for SLBM delivery: much larger quantities of Li6 and U235 must be used to achieve a LOWER yield! To achieve thermonuclear warheads of low mass at sub-megaton yields, both the outer bomb casing and the pusher around the the fusion fuel must be reduced:

"York ... studied the Los Alamos tests in Castle and noted most of the weight in thermonuclear devices was in their massive cases. Get rid of the case .... On June 12, 1953, York had presented a novel concept ... It radically altered the way radiative transport was used to ignite a secondary - and his concept did not require a weighty case ... they had taken the Teller-Ulam concept and turned it on its head ... the collapse time for the new device - that is, the amount of time it took for an atomic blast to compress the secondary - was favorable compared to older ones tested in Castle. Brown ... gave a female name to the new device, calling it the Linda." - Dr Tom Ramos (Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory nuclear weapon designer), From Berkeley to Berlin: How the Rad Lab Helped Avert Nuclear War, Naval Institute press, 2022, pp137-8. (So if you reduce the outer casing thickness to reduce warhead weight, you must complete the pusher ablation/compression faster, before the thinner outer casing is blown off, and stops reflecting/channelling x-rays on the secondary stage. Making the radiation channel smaller and ablative pusher thinner helps to speed up the process. Because the ablative pusher is thinner, there is relatively less blown-off debris to block the narrower radiation channel before the burn ends.)

"Brown's third warhead, the Flute, brought the Linda concept down to a smaller size. The Linda had done away with a lot of material in a standard thermonuclear warhead. Now the Flute tested how well designers could take the Linda's conceptual design to substantially reduce not only the weight but also the size of a thermonuclear warhead. ... The Flute's small size - it was the smallest thermonuclear device yet tested - became an incentive to improve codes. Characteristics marginally important in a larger device were now crucially important. For instance, the reduced size of the Flute's radiation channel could cause it to close early [with ablation blow-off debris], which would prematurely shut off the radiation flow. The code had to accurately predict if such a disaster would occur before the device was even tested ... the calculations showed changes had to be made from the Linda's design for the Flute to perform correctly." - Dr Tom Ramos (Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory nuclear weapon designer), From Berkeley to Berlin: How the Rad Lab Helped Avert Nuclear War, Naval Institute press, 2022, pp153-4. Note that the piccolo (the W47 secondary) is a half-sized flute, so it appears that the W47's secondary stage design miniaturization history was: Linda -> Flute -> Piccolo:

"A Division's third challenge was a small thermonuclear warhead for Polaris [the nuclear SLBM submarine that preceeded today's Trident system]. The starting point was the Flute, that revolutionary secondary that had performed so well the previous year. Its successor was called the Piccolo. For Plumbbob [Nevada, 1957], the design team tested three variations of the Piccolo as a parameter test. One of the variants outperformed the others ... which set the stage for the Hardtack [Nevada and Pacific, 1958] tests. Three additional variations for the Piccolo ... were tested then, and again an optimum candidate was selected. ... Human intuition as well as computer calculations played crucial roles ... Finally, a revolutionary device was completed and tested ... the Navy now had a viable warhead for its Polaris missile. From the time Brown gave Haussmann the assignment to develop this secondary until the time they tested the device in the Pacific, only 90 days had passed. As a parallel to the Robin atomic device, this secondary for Polaris laid the foundation for modern thermonuclear weapons in the United States." - Dr Tom Ramos (Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory nuclear weapon designer), From Berkeley to Berlin: How the Rad Lab Helped Avert Nuclear War, Naval Institute press, 2022, pp177-8. (Ramos is very useful in explaining that many of the 1950s weapons with complex non-spherical, non-cylindrical shaped primaries and secondaries were simply far too complex to fully simulate on the really pathetic computers they had - Livermore got a 4,000 vacuum tubes-based IBM 701 with 2 kB memory in 1956, AWRE Aldermaston in the Uk had to wait another year for theirs - so they instead did huge numbers of experimental explosive tests. For instance, on p173, Ramos discloses that the Swan primary which developed into the 155mm tactical shell, "went through over 100 hydrotests", non-nuclear tests in which fissile material is replaced with U238 or other substitutes, and the implosion is filmed with flash x-ray camera systems.)

"An integral feature of the W47, from the very start of the program, was the use of an enriched uranium-235 pusher around the cylindrical secondary." - Chuck Hansen, Swords 2.0, p. VI-375 (Hansen's source is his own notes taken during a 19-21 February 1992 nuclear weapons history conference he attended; if you remember the context, "Nuclear Glasnost" became fashionable after the Cold War ended, enabling Hansen to acquire almost unredacted historical materials for a few years until nuclear proliferation became a concern in Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran and North Korea). The key test of the original (Robin primary and Piccolo secondary) Livermore W47 was 412 kt Hardtack-Redwood on 28 June 1958. Since Li6D utilized at 100% efficiency would yield 66 kt/kg, the W47 fusion efficiency was only about 6%; since 100% fission of u235 yields 17 kt/kg, the W47's Piccolo fission (the u235 pusher) efficiency was about 20%; the comparable figures for secondary stage fission and fusion fuel burn efficiencies in the heavy B28 are about 7% and 15%, respectively:

ABOVE: the heavy B28 gave a very "big bang for the buck": it was cheap in terms of expensive Pu, U235 and Li6, and this was the sort of deterrent which was wanted by General LeMay for the USAF, which wanted as many weapons as possible, within the context of Eisenhower's budgetary concerns. But its weight (not its physical size) made it unsuitable for SLBM Polaris warheads. The first SLBM warhead, the W47, was almost the same size as the B28 weapon package, but much lighter due to having a much thinner "pusher" on the secondary, and casing. But this came at a large financial cost in terms of the quantities of special nuclear materials required to get such a lightweight design to work, and also a large loss of total yield. The fusion fuel burn efficiency ranges from 6% for the 400 kt W47 to 15% for the 1.1 megaton B28 (note that for very heavy cased 11-15 megaton yield tests at Castle, up to 40% fusion fuel burn efficiency was achieved), whereas the secondary stage ablative pusher fission efficiency ranged from 7% for a 1.1 inch thick natural uranium (99.3% U238) ablator to 20% for a 0.15 inch thick highly enriched oralloy (U235) ablator. From the brief description of the design evolution given by Dr Tom Ramos (Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory), it appears that when the x-ray channelling outer case thickness of the weapon is reduced to save weight, the duration of the x-ray coupling is reduced, so the dense metal pusher thickness must be reduced if the same compression factor (approximately 20) for the secondary stage is to be accomplished (lithium deuteride, being of low density, is far more compressable by a given pressure, than dense metal). In both examples, the secondary stage is physically a boosted fission stage. (If you are wondering why the hell the designers don't simply use a hollow core U235 bomb like Orange Herald instead of bothering with such inefficient x-ray coupled two-stage designs as these, the answer is straightforward: the risk of large fissile core meltdown by neutrons Moscow ABM defensive nuclear warheads, neutron bombs.)

The overall weight of the W47 was minimized by replacing the usual thick layer of U238 pusher with a very thin layer of fissile U235 (supposedly Teller's suggestion), which is more efficient for fission, but is limited by critical mass issues. The W47 used a 95% enriched Li6D cylinder with a 3.8mm thick U235 pusher; the B28 secondary was 36% enriched Li6D, with a very heavy 3cm thick U238 pusher. As shown below, it appears the B28 was related to the Los Alamos clean design of the TX21C tested as 95% clean 4.5 megatons Redwing-Navajo in 1956 and did not have a central fissile spark plug. From the declassified fallout composition, it is known the Los Alamos designers replaced the outer U238 pusher of Castle secondaries with lead in Navajo. Livermore did the same for their 85% clean 3.53 megatons Redwing-Zuni test, but Livermore left the central fission spark plug, which contributed 10% of its 15% fission yield, instead of removing the neutron shield, using foam channel filler for slowing down the x-ray compression, and thereby using primary stage neutrons to split lithium-6 giving tritium prior to compression. Our point is that Los Alamos got it wrong in sticking too conservatively to ideology: for clean weapons they should have got rid of the dense lead pusher and gone for John H. Nuckolls idea (also used by Fuchs in 1946 and the Russians in 1955 and 1958) of a low-density pusher for isentropic compression of low-density fusion fuel. This error is the reason why those early cleaner weapons were extremely heavy due to unnecessary 2" thick lead or tungsten pushers around the fusion fuel, which massively reduced their yield-to-weight ratios, so that LeMay rejected them!

Compare these data for the 20 inch diameter, 49 inch, 1600 lb, 1.1 megaton bomb B28 to the 18 inch diameter, 47 inch, 700 lb, 400 kt Mk47/W47 Polaris SLBM warhead (this is the correct yield for the first version of the W47 confirmed by UK data in Lorna Arnold Britain and the H-bomb 2001 and AB 16/3240; Wikipedia wrongly gives the 600 kt figure in Hansen, which was a speculation or a later upgrade). The key difference is that the W47 is much lighter, and thus suitable for the Polaris SLBM unlike the heavier, higher yield B28. Both B28 and W47 used cylindrical sausages, but they are very different in composition; the B28 used a huge mass of U238 in its ablative sausage outer shell or pusher, while the W47 used oralloy/U235 in the pusher. The table shows the total amounts of Pu, Oralloy (U235), Lithium-6 (excluding cheaper lithium-7, which is also present in varying amounts in different thermonuclear weapons), and tritium (which is used for boosting inside fissile material, essentially to reduce the amount of Pu and therefore the vulnerability of the weapon to Russian enhanced neutron ABM warhead meltdown). The B28 also has an external dense natural U (99.3% U238) "ablative pusher shell" whose mass is not listed in this table. The table shows that the 400 kt W47 Polaris SLBM warhead contains 60 kg of U235 (nearly as much as the 500 kt pure fission Mk18), which is in an ablative pusher shell around the lithium deuteride, so that the cylinder of neutron-absorbing lithium-6 deuteride within it keeps that mass of U235 subcritical, until compressed. So the 400 kt W47 contains far more Pu, U235, Li6 and T than the higher yield 1.1 megaton B28: this is the big $ price you pay for reducing the mass of the warhead; the total mass of the W47 is reduced to 44% of the mass of the B28, since the huge mass of cheap U238 pusher in the B28 is replaced by a smaller mass of U235, which is more efficient because (as Dr Carl F. Miller reveals in USNRDL-466, Table 6), about half of the neutrons hitting U238 don't cause fission but instead non-fission capture reactions which produce U239, plus the n,2n reaction that produces U237, emitting a lot of very low energy gamma rays in the fallout. For example, in the 1954 Romeo nuclear test (which, for simplicity, we quote since it used entirely natural LiD, with no expensive enrichment of the Li6 isotope whatsoever), the U238 jacket fission efficiency was reduced by capture as follows: 0.66 atom/fission of U239, 0.10 atom/fission of U237 and 0.23 atom/fission of U240 produced by fission, a total of 0.66 + 0.10 + 0.23 ~ 1 atom/fission, i.e. 50% fission in the U238 pusher, versus 50% non-fission neutron captures. So by using U235 in place of U238, you virtually eliminate the non-fission capture (see UK Atomic Weapons Establishment graph of fission and capture cross-sections for U235, shown below), which roughly halves the mass of the warhead, for a given fission yield. This same principle of using an outer U235/oralloy pusher instead of U238 to reduce mass - albeit with the secondary cylindrical "Sausage" shape now changed to a sphere - applies to today's miniaturised, high yield, low mass "MIRV" warheads. Just as the lower-yield W47 counter-intuitively used more expensive ingredients than the bulkier higher-yield B28, modern compact, high-yield oralloy-loaded warheads literally cost a bomb, just to keep the mass down! There is evidence Russia uses alternative ideas.

This is justified by the data given for a total U238 capture-to-fission ratio of 1 in the 11 megaton Romeo test and also the cross-sections for U235 capture and fission on the AWE graph for relevant neutron energy range of about 1-14 Mev. If half the neutrons are captured in U238 without fission, then the maximum fission yield you can possibly get from "x" kg of U238 pusher is HALF the energy obtained from 100% fission of "x" kg of U238. Since with U238 only about half the atoms can undergo fission by thermonuclear neutrons (because the other half undergo non-fission capture), the energy density (i.e., the Joules/kg produced by the fission explosion of the pusher) reached by an exploding U238 pusher is only half that reached by U235 (in which there is less non-fission capture of neutrons, which doubles the pusher mass without doubling the fission energy release). So a U235 pusher will reach twice the temperature of a U238 pusher, doubling its material heating of fusion fuel within, prolonging the fusion burn and thus increasing fusion burn efficiency. 10 MeV neutron energy is important since it allows for likely average scattering of 14.1 MeV D+T fusion neutrons and it is also the energy at which the most important capture reaction, the (n,2n) cross-section peaks for both U235 (peak of 0.88 barn at 10 Mev) and U238 (peak of 1.4 barns at 10 Mev). For 10 Mev neutrons, U235 and U238 have fission cross-sections of 1.8 and 1 barn, respectively. For 14 Mev neutrons, U238 has a (n,2n) cross section of 0.97 barn for U237 production. So ignoring non-fission captures, you need 1.8/1 = 1.8 times greater thickness of pusher for U238 than for U235, to achieve the same amount of fission. But this simple consideration ignores the x-ray ablation requirement of the explosing pusher, so there are several factors requiring detailed computer calculations, and/or nuclear testing.

Note: there is an extensive collection of declassified documents released after Chuck Hansen's final edition, Swords 2.0, which are now available at https://web.archive.org/web/*/http://www.nnsa.energy.gov/sites/default/files/nnsa/foiareadingroom/*, being an internet-archive back-up of a now-removed US Government Freedom of Information Act Reading Room. Unfortunately they were only identified by number sequence, not by report title or content, in that reeding room, and so failed to achieve wide attention when originally released! (This includes extensive "Family Committee" H-bomb documentation and many long-delayed FOIA requests submitted originally by Hansen, but not released in time for inclusion in Swords 2.0.) As the extract below - from declassified document RR00132 - shows, some declassified documents contained very detailed information or typewriter spaces that could only be filled by a single specific secret word (in this example, details of the W48 linear implosion tactical nuclear warhead, including the fact that it used PBX9404 plastic bonded explosive glued to the brittle beryllium neutron reflector around the plutonium core using Adiprene L100 adhesive!).

ABOVE: Declassified data on the radiation flow analysis for the 10 megaton Mike sausage: http://nnsa.energy.gov/sites/default/files/nnsa/foiareadingroom/RR00198.pdf Note that the simplistic "no-go theorem" given in this extract, against any effect from varying the temperature to help the radiation channelling, was later proved false by John H. Nuckolls (like Teller's anti-compression "no-go theorem" was later proved false), since lowered temperature delivers energy where it is needed while massively reducing radiation losses (which go as the fourth power of temperature/x-ray energy in kev).

ABOVE: Hans A. Bethe's disastrous back-of-the-envelope nonsense "non-go theorem" against lithium-7 fission into tritium by 14.1 Mev D+T neutrons in Bravo (which contained 40% lithium-6 and 60% lithium-7; unnecessarily enriched - at great expense and effort - from the natural 7.42% lithum-6 abundance). It was Bethe's nonsense "physics" speculation, unbacked by serious calculation, who caused Bravo to go off at 2.5 times the expected 6 megatons and therefore for the Japanese Lucky Dragon tuna trawler crew in the maximum fallout hotspot area 80 miles downwind to be contaminated by fallout, and also for Rongelap's people to be contaminated ("accidents" that inevitably kickstarted the originally limited early 1950s USSR funded Communist Party anti-nuclear deterrence movements in the West into mainstream media and thus politics). There was simply no solid basis for assuming that the highly penetrating 14.1 Mev neutrons would be significantly slowed by scattering in the fuel before hitting lithium-7 nuclei. Even teller's 1950 report LA-643 at page 17 estimated that in a fission-fusion Alarm Clock, the ratio of 14 Mev to 2.5 Mev neutrons was 0.7/0.2 = 3.5. Bethe's complacently bad guesswork-based physics also led to the EMP fiasco for high altitude bursts, after he failed to predict the geomagnetic field deflection of Compton electrons at high altitude in his secret report “Electromagnetic Signal Expected from High-Altitude Test”, Los Alamos report LA-2173, October 1957, Secret. He repeatedly caused nuclear weapons effects study disasters. For the true utility of lithium-7, which is actually BETTER than lithum-6 at tritium production when struck by 14.1 Mev D+T fusion neutrons, and its consequences for cheap isentropically compressed fusion capsules in Russian neutron bombs, please see my paper here which gives a graph of lithium isotopic cross section versus neutron energy, plus the results when Britain used cheap lithium-7 in Grapple Y to yield 3 megatons (having got lower yields with costly lithium-6 in previous tests!).

Update (15 Dec 2023): PDF uploaded of UK DAMAGE BY NUCLEAR WEAPONS (linked here on Internet Archive) - secret 1000 pages UK and USA nuclear weapon test effects analysis, and protective measures determined at those tests (not guesswork) relevant to escalation threats by Russia for EU invasion (linked here at wordpress) in response to Ukraine potentially joining the EU (this is now fully declassified without deletions, and in the UK National Archives at Kew):

Hiroshima and Nagasaki terrorist liars debunked by secret American government evidence that simple shelters worked, REPORT LINKED HERE (this was restricted from public view and never published by the American government, and Glasstone's lying Effects of Nuclear Weapons book reversed its evidence for propaganda purposes, a fact still covered by all the lying cold war pseudo "historians" today), Operation Hurricane 1952 declassified nuclear weapon test data (here), declassified UK nuclear tested shelter research reports (here), declassified EMP nuclear test research data (here), declassified clandestine nuclear bombs in ships attack on Liverpool study (here), declassified fallout decontamination study for UK recovery from nuclear attack (here), declassified Operation Buffalo surface burst and near surface burst fallout patterns, water decontamination, initial radiation shielding at Antler nuclear tests, and resuspension of deposited fallout dust into the air (inhalation hazard) at different British nuclear tests, plus Operation Totem nuclear tests crater region radiation surveys (here), declassified Operation Antler nuclear blast precursor waveforms (here), declassified Operation Buffalo nuclear blast precursor waveforms (here), declassified UK Atomic Weapons Establishment nuclear weapons effects symposium (here), and declassified UK Atomic Weapons Establishment paper on the gamma radiation versus time at Crossroads tests Able and Baker (here, paper by inventor of lenses in implosion weapons, James L. Tuck of the British Mission to Los Alamos and Operation Crossroads, clearly showing how initial gamma shielding in an air burst can be achieved with a few seconds warning and giving the much greater escape times available for residual radiation dose accumulations in an underwater burst; key anti-nuclear hysteria data kept covered up by Glasstone and the USA book Effects of Nuclear Weapons), and Penney and Hicks paper on the base surge contamination mechanism (here), and Russian nuclear warhead design evidence covered-up by both America and the so-called arms control and disarmament "experts" who always lie and distort the facts to suit their own agenda to try to start a nuclear war (linked here). If they wanted "peace" they'd support the proved facts, available on this blog nukegate.org since 2006, and seek international agreement to replace the incredible, NON-war deterring strategic nuclear weapons with safe tactical neutron warheads which collateral damage averting and invasion-deterring (thus war deterring in all its forms, not only nuclear), plus civil defence against all forms of collateral damage from war, which reduces escalation risks during terrorist actions, as proved in wars which don't escalate because of effective civil defence and credible deterrence (see below). Instead, they support policies designed to maximise civilian casualties and to deliberately escalate war, to profit "politically" from the disasters caused which they blame falsely on nuclear weapons, as if deterrence causes war! (Another lie believed by mad/evil/gullible mainstream media/political loons in "authority".) A good summary of the fake news basis of "escalation" blather against credible tactical nuclear deterrence of the invasions that set off wars is inadvertently provided by Lord David Owen's 2009 "Nuclear Papers" (Liverpool Uni Press), compiling his declassified nuclear disarmament propaganda reports written while he was UK Foreign Secretary 1977-9. It's all Carter era appeasement nonsense. For example, on pp158-8 he reprints his Top Secret 19 Dec 1978 "Future of the British Deterrent" report to the Prime Minister which states that "I am not convinced by the contention ... that the ability to destroy at least 10 major cities, or inflict damage on 30 major targets ... is the minimum criterion for a British deterrent." (He actually thinks this is too strong a deterrent, despite the fact it is incredible for the realpolitik tactics of dictators who make indirect provocations like invading their neighbours!) The reality Owens ignores is that Russia had and still has civil defence shelters and evacuation plans, so threatening some damage in retaliation is not a credible deterrent against the invasions that set off both world wars. On page 196, he gives a Secret 18 April 1978 paper stating that NATO then had 1000 nuclear artillery pieces (8" and 155mm), 200 Lance and Honest John tactical nuclear missile systems, 135 Pershing; all now long ago disarmed and destroyed while Russian now has over 2000 dedicated tactical nuclear weapons of high neutron output (unlike EM1's data for the low yield option of the multipurpose NATO B61). Owen proudly self-congratulates on his Brezhnev supporting anti-neutron bomb ranting 1978 book, "Human Rights", pp. 136-7. If Owen really wants "Human Rights", he needs to back the neutron bomb now to deter the dictatorships which destroy human rights! His 2009 "Nuclear Papers" at p287 gives the usual completely distorted analysis of the Cuban missiles crisis, claiming that despite the overwhelming American tactical and strategic nuclear superiority for credible deterrence in 1962, the world came "close" to a nuclear war. It's closer now, mate, when thanks to your propaganda we no longer have a credible deterrent, civil defence, tactical neutron warheads. Pathetic.

ABOVE secret reports on Australian-British nuclear test operations at Maralinga in 1956 and 1957, Buffalo and Antler, proved that even at 10 psi peak overpressure for the 15 kt Buffalo-1 shot, the dummy lying prone facing the blast was hardly moved due to the low cross-sectional area exposed to the blast winds, relative to standing dummies which were severely displaced and damaged. The value of trenches in protecting personnel against blast winds and radiation was also proved in tests (gamma radiation shielding of trenches had been proved at an earlier nuclear test in Australia, Operation Hurricane in 1952). (Antler report linked here; Buffalo report linked here.) This debunks the US Department of Defense models claiming that people will automatically be blown out of the upper floors of modern city buildings at very low pressures, and killed by the gravitational impact with the pavement below! In reality, tall buildings mutually shield one another from the blast winds, not to mention the radiation (proven in the latest post on this blog), and on seeing the flash most people will have time to lie down on typical surfaces like carpet which give a frictional resistance to displacement, ignored in fiddled models which assume surfaces have less friction than a skating rink; all of this was omitted from the American 1977 Glasstone and Dolan book "The Effects of Nuclear Weapons". As Tuck's paper below on the gamma radiation dose rate measurements on ships at Operation Crossroads, July 1946 nuclear tests proved, contrary to Glasstone and Dolan, scattered radiation contributions are small, so buildings or ships gun turrets provided excellent radiation "shadows" to protect personnel. This effect was then calculated by UK civil defence weapons effects expert Edward Leader-Williams in his paper presented at the UK's secret London Royal Society Symposium on the Physical Effects of Atomic Weapons, but the nuclear test data as always was excluded from the American Glasstone book published the next year, The Effects of Atomic Weapons in deference to lies about the effects in Hiroshima, including an "average" casualty curve which deliberately obfuscated huge differences in survival rates in different types of buildings and shelters, or simply in shadows!

Note: the DELFIC, SIMFIC and other computer predicted fallout area comparisons for the 110 kt Bikini Atoll Castle-Koon land surface burst nuclear test are false since the distance scale of Bikini Atoll is massively exaggerated on many maps, e.g. in the Secret January 1955 AFSWP "Fall-out Symposium", the Castle fallout report WT-915, and the fallout patterns compendium DASA-1251! The Western side of the Bikini Atoll reef is at 165.2 degrees East, while the most eastern island in the Bikini Atoll, Enyu, is at 165.567 degrees East: since there are 60 nautical miles per degree by definition, the width of Bikini Atoll is therefore (165.567-165.2)(60) = 22 nautical miles, approximately half the distance shown in the Castle-Koon fallout patterns. Since area is proportional to the square of the distance scale, this constitutes a serious exaggeration in fallout casualty calculations, before you get into the issue of the low energy (0.1-0.2 MeV) gamma rays from neutron induced Np239 and U237 in the fallout enhancing the protection factor of shelters (usually calculated assuming hard 1.17 and 1.33 MeV gamma rads from Co60), during the sheltering period of approximately 1-14 days after detonation.

"Since the nuclear stalemate became apparent, the Governments of East and West have adopted the policy which Mr Dulles calls 'brinkmanship'. This is a policy adopted from a sport ... called 'Chicken!' ... If one side is unwilling to risk global war, while the other side is willing to risk it, the side which is willing to run the risk will be victorious in all negotiations and will ultimately reduce the other side to complete impotence. 'Perhaps' - so the practical politician will argue - 'it might be ideally wise for the sane party to yield to the insane party in view of the dreadful nature of the alternative, but, whether wise or not, no proud nation will long acquiesce in such an ignominious role. We are, therefore, faced, quite inevitably, with the choice between brinkmanship and surrender." - Bertrand Russell, Common Sense and Nuclear Warfare, George Allen and Unwin, London, 1959, pp30-31.

Emphasis added. Note that Russell accepts lying about nuclear weapons just as gas weapons had been lied about in the 1920s-30s by "arms controllers" to start WWII, then he simply falls into the 1930s Cambridge Scientists Antiwar Group delusional propaganda fraud of assuming that any attempt to credibly deter fascism is immoral because it will automatically result in escalatory retaliation with Herman Goering's Luftwaffe drenching London with "overkill" by poison gas WMDs etc. In particular, he forgets that general disarmament pursued in the West until 1935 - when Baldwin suddenly announced that the Nazis had secretly produced a massive, unstoppable warmachine in two years - encouraged aggressors to first secretly rearm, then coerce and invade their neighbours while signing peace promises purely to buy more time for rearmament, until a world war resulted. Not exactly a great result for disarmament propaganda. So after obliterating what Reagan used to call (to the horror of commie "historians") the "true facts of history" from his mind, he advocates some compromise with the aggressors of the 30 September 1938 Munich Agreement peace-in-our-time sort, the historically proved sure fire way to really escalate a crisis into a major war by showing the green lamp to a loon to popular media acclaim and applause for a fairy tale utopian fantasy; just as the "principled" weak, rushed, imbecile withdrawl from Afghanistan in 2021 encouraged Putin to invade Ukraine in 2022, and also the green lamp for Hamas to invade Israel in 2023.

"... deterrence ... consists of threatening the enemy with thermonuclear retaliation should he act provocatively. ... If war is 'impossible', how can one threaten a possible aggressor with war? ... The danger, evoked by numerous critics, that such research will result in a sort of resigned expectation of the holocaust, seems a weak argument ... The classic theory of Clausewitz defines absolute victory in terms of disarmament of the enemy ... Today ... it will suffice to take away his means of retaliation to hold him at your mercy." - Raymond Aron, Introduction to Herman Kahn's 1962 Thinking About the Unthinkable, Weidenfield and Nicholson, London, pp. 9-12. (This is the commie support for arms control and disarmament has achieved, precisely the weakening of the West to take away credible deterrence.)

"75 years ago, white slavery was rampant in England. ... it could not be talked about openly in Victorian England, moral standards as to the subjects of discussion made it difficult to arouse the community to necessary action. ... Victorian standards, besides perpetuating the white slave trade, intensified the damage ... Social inhibitions which reinforce natural tendencies to avoid thinking about unpleasant subjects are hardly uncommon. ... But when our reluctance to consider danger brings danger nearer, repression has gone too far. In 1960, I published a book that attempted to direct attention to the possibility of a thermonuclear war ... people are willing to argue that it is immoral to think and even more immoral to write in detail about having to fight ... like those ancient kings who punished messengers who brought them bad news. That did not change the news; it simply slowed up its delivery. On occasion it meant that the kings were ill informed and, lacking truth, made serious errors in judgement and strategy. ... We cannot wish them away. Nor should we overestimate and assume the worst is inevitable. This leads only to defeatism, inadequate preparations (because they seem useless), and pressures toward either preventative war or undue accommodation." - Herman Kahn's 1962 Thinking About the Unthinkable, Weidenfield and Nicholson, London, pp. 17-19. (In the footnote on page 35, Kahn notes that original nuclear bullshitter, the 1950 creator of fake cobalt-60 doomsday bomb propaganda, Leo Szilard, was in the usual physics groupthink nutters club: "Szilard is probably being too respectful of his scientific colleagues who also seem to indulge in ad hominem arguments - especially when they are out of their technical specialty.")

"Ever since the catastropic and disillusioning experience of 1914-18, war has been unthinkable to most people in the West ... In December 1938, only 3 months after Munich, Lloyd's of London gave odds of 32 to 1 that there would be no war in 1939. On August 7, 1939, the London Daily Express reported the result of a poll of its European reporters. 10 out of 12 said, 'No war this year'. Hitler invaded Poland 3 weeks later." - Herman Kahn's 1962 Thinking About the Unthinkable, Weidenfield and Nicholson, London, p. 39. (But as the invasion of Ukraine in 2022 proved, even the label "war" is now "controversial": the aggressor now simply declares they are on a special operation of unifying people under one flag to ensure peace! So the reason why there is war in Ukraine is that Ukraine is resisting. If it waved a white flag, as the entire arms control and disarmament lobby insists is the only sane response to a nuclear-armed aggressor, there would be "peace," albeit on Russia's terms: that's why they disarmed Ukraine in 1994. "Peace propaganda" of "disarmers"! Free decent people prefer to fight tyranny. But as Kahn states on pp. 7-9:

"Some, most notably [CND's pseudo-historian of arms race lying] A. J. P. Taylor, have even said that Hitler was not like Hitler, that further appeasement [not an all-out arms race as was needed but repeatedly rejected by Baldwin and Chamberlain until far too late; see discussion of this fact which is still deliberately ignored or onfuscated by "historians" of the A. J. P. Taylor biased anti-deterrence left wing type, in Slessor's The Central Blue, quoted on this blog] would have prevented World War II ... If someone says to you, 'One of us has to be reasonable and it is not going to be me, so it has to be you', he has a very effective bargaining advantage, particularly if he is armed with thermonuclear bombs [and you have damn all civil defense, ABM, or credible tactical deterrent]. If he can convince you he is stark, staring mad and if he has enough destructive power ... deterrence alone will not work. You must then give in or accept the possibility of being annihilated ... in the first instance if we fight and lose; in the second if we capitulate without fighting. ... We could still resist by other means ranging from passive resistance of the Gandhi type to the use of underground fighting and sabotage. All of these alternatives might be of doubtful effectiveness against [the Gulag system, KGB/FSB torture camps or Siberian salt mines of] a ruthless dictatorship."

Sometimes people complain that Hitler and the most destructive and costly war and only nuclear war of history, WWII, is given undue attention. But WWII is a good analogy to the danger precisely because of the lying WMD gas war propaganda-based disarmament of the West which allowed the war, because of the attacks by Hitler's fans on civil defense in the West to make even the token rearmament after 1935 ineffective as a credible deterrent, and because Hitler has mirrors in Alexander the Great, Attila the Hun, Ghengis Khan, Tamerlane, Napoleon and Stalin. Kahn explains on p. 173: "Because history has a way of being more imaginative and complex than even the most imaginative and intelligent analysts, historical examples often provide better scenarios than artificial ones, even though they may be no more directly applicable to current equipment, postures, and political situations than the fictional plot of the scenario. Recent history can be especially useful.")

"One type of war resulting at least partly from deliberate calculation could occur in the process of escalation. For example, suppose the Soviets attacked Europe, relying upon our fear of their reprisal to deter a strategic attack by us; we might be deterred enough to pause, but we might evacuate our cities during this pause in the hope we could thereby convince the Soviets we meant business. If the Soviets did not back down, but continued their attack upon Europe, we might decide that we would be less badly off if we proceeded ... The damage we would receive in return would then be considerably reduced, compared with what we would have suffered had we not evacuated. We might well decide at such a time that we would be better off to attack the Soviets and accept a retalitory blow at our dispersed population, rather than let Europe be occupied, and so be forced to accept the penalty of living in the hostile and dangerous world that would follow." - Herman Kahn's 1962 Thinking About the Unthinkable, Weidenfield and Nicholson, London, pp. 51-2.

"We must recognise that the stability we want in a system is more than just stability against accidental war or even against an attack by the enemy. We also want stability against extreme provocation [e.g. invasion of allies, which then escalates as per invasion of Belgium 1914, or Poland 1939]." - Herman Kahn's 1962 Thinking About the Unthinkable, Weidenfield and Nicholson, London, p. 53(footnote).

Note: this 1962 book should not be confused with Kahn's 1984 "updated" Thinking About the Unthinkable in the 1980s, which omits the best material in the 1962 edition (in the same way that the 1977 edition of The Effects of Nuclear Weapons omits the entire civil defense chapter which was the one decent thing in the 1957 and 1962/4 editions!) and thus shows a reversion to the less readable and less helpful style of his 1960 On Thermonuclear War, which severely fragmented and jumbled up all the key arguments making it easy for critics to misquote or quote out of context. For example, Kahn's 1984 "updated" book starts on the first page of the first chapter with the correct assertion that Johnathan Schell's Fate of the Earth is nonsense, but doesn't say why it's nonsense, and you have to read through to the final chapter - pages 207-8 of chapter 10 - to find Kahn writing in the most vague way possible, without a single specific example, that Schell is wrong because of "substantive inadequacies and inaccuracies", without listing a single example such as Schell's lying that the 1954 Bravo nuclear test blinded everyone well beyond the range of Rongelap, and that it was impossible to easily shield the radiation from the fallout or evacuate the area until it decays, which Schell falsely attributed to Glasstone and Dolan's nonsense in the 1977 Effects of Nuclear Weapons! Kahn eventually in the footnote on page 208 refers readers to an out-of-print article for facts: "These criticisms are elaborated in my review of The Fate of the Earth, see 'Refusing to Think About the Unthinkable', Fortune, June 28, 1982, pp. 113-6. Kahn does the same for civil defense in the 1984 book, referring in such general, imprecise and vague terms to Russian civil defence, with no specific data, that it is a waste of time, apart possibly one half-baked sentence on page 177: "Variations in the total megatonnage, somewhat surprisingly, do not seem to affect the toll nearly as much as variations in the targetting or the type of weapon bursts." Kahn on page 71 quotes an exchange between himself and Senator Proxmire during the US Congressional Hearings of the Joint Committee on Defense Production, Civil preparedness and limited nuclear war where on page 55 of the hearings, Senator Proxmire alleges America would escalate a limited conflict to an all-out war because: "The strategic value and military value of destroying cities in the Soviet Union would be very great." Kahn responded: "No American President is likely to do that, no matter what the provocation." Nuclear war will be limited, according to Herman Kahn's analysis, despite the bullshit fron nutters to the contrary.

Kahn on page 101 of Thinking About the Unthinkable in the 1980s correctly and accurately condemns President Carter's 1979 State of the Union Address, which claimed falsely that just a single American nuclear submarine is required by America and has an "overwhelming" deterrent against "every large and medium-sized city in the Soviet Union". Carter ignored Russian retaliation on cities if you bomb theirs: America has avoided the intense Russian protection efforts that make the Russian nuclear threat credible, namely civil defense shelters and evacuation plans, and also the realpolitik of deterrence of world wars, which so far have only been triggered due to invasions of third parties (Belgium '14, Poland '39). Did America strategically nuke every city in Russia when it invaded Ukraine in 2022? No, debunking Proxmire and the entire Western pro-Russian "automatic escalation" propaganda lobby, and it didn't even have tactical neutron bombs to help deter the Russians like Reagan in the 1980s, because in the 1990s America had ignored Kahn's argument, and went in for MINIMAL deterrence of the least credible sort (abolishing the invasion-deterring dedicated neutron tactical nuclear stockpile entirely; the following quotation is from p101 of Kahn's Thinking About the Unthinkable in the 1980s):

"Minimum deterrence, or any predicated on an escessive emphasis on the inevitably of mutual homocide, is both misleading and dangerous. ... MAD principles can promote provocation - e.g. Munich-type blackmail on an ally. Hitler, for example, did not threaten to attack France or England - only Austria, Czechoslovakia, and Poland. It was the French and the British who finally had to threaten all-out war [they could only do this after rearmament and building shelters and gas masks to reduce the risk of reprisals in city bombing, which gave more time for Germany to prepare since it was rearming faster than France and Britain which still desperately counted on appeasement and peace treaties and feared provoking a war by an arms-race due to endless lying propaganda from Lord Grey that his failure to deter war in 1914 had been due to an arms-race rather than the incompetence of the procrastination of his anti-war Liberal Party colleagues in the Cabinet] - a move they would not and could not have made if the notion of a balance of terror between themselves and Germany had been completely accepted. As it was, the British and French were most reluctant to go to war; from 1933 to 1939 Hitler exploited that reluctance. Both nations [France and Britain] were terrified by the so-called 'knockout blow', a German maneuver that would blanket their capitals with poison gas ... The paralyzing effect of this fear prevented them from going to war ... and gave the Germans the freedom to march into the Ruhr, to form the Anschluss with Austria, to force the humiliating Munich appeasement (with the justification of 'peace in our time'), and to take other aggressive actions [e.g. against the Jews in the Nuremberg Laws, Kristallnacht, etc.] ... If the USSR were sufficiently prepared in the event a war did occur, only the capitalists would be destroyed. The Soviets would survive ... that would more than justify whatever sacrifice and destruction had taken place.

"This view seems to prevail in the Soviet military and the Politburo even to the present day. It is almost certain, despite several public denials, that Soviet military preparations are based on war-fighting, rather than on deterrence-only concepts and doctrines..." - Herman Kahn, Thinking About the Unthinkable in the 1980s, 1984, pages 101-102.

Kahn adds, in his footnote on p111, that "Richard Betts has documented numerous historical cases in which attackers weakened their opponents defenses through the employment of unanticipated tactics. These include: rapid changes in tactics per se, false alarms and fluctuating preparations for war ... doctrinal innovations to gain surprise. ... This is exactly the kind of thing which is likely to surprise those who subscribe to MAD theories. Those who see a need for war-fighting capabilities expect the other side to try to be creative and use tactical innovations such as coercion and blackmail, technological surprises, or clever tactics on 'leverage' targets, such as command and control installations. If he is to adhere to a total reliance on MAD, the MADvocate has to ignore these possibilities." See Richard Betts, "Surprise Despite Warning: Why Sudden Attacks Succeed", Political Science Quarterly, Winter 1980-81, pp. 551-572.)

Compare two situations: (1) Putin explodes a 50 megaton nuclear "test" of the warhead for his new nuclear reactor powered torpedo, Poseidon, a revamped 1961 Tsar Bomba, or detonates a high-altitude nuclear EMP "test" over neutral waters but within the thousands of miles range of USA or UK territory; (2) Putin invades Poland using purely conventional weapons. Our point here is that both nuclear AND conventional weapons trigger nuclear threats and the risk of nuclear escalation, as indeed they have done (for Putin's nuclear threats scroll down to videos with translations below). So the fashionable CND style concept that only nuclear weapons can trigger nuclear escalation is bullshit, and is designed to help Russia start and win WWIII to produce a world government, by getting us to undertake further unilateral (not multilateral) disarmament, just as evolved in the 1930s, setting the scene for WWII. Japan for example did not have nuclear weapons in August 1945, yet triggered not just tactical nuclear war (both cities had some military bases and munitions factories, as well as enormous numbers of civilians), and the decision to attack cities rather than just "test" weapons obove Tokyo bay as Teller demanded but Oppenheimer rejected (for maximum impact with a very small supply of nuclear weapons) showed some strategic nuclear war thinking. Truman was escalating to try to shock Japan into rapid surrender emotionally (many cities in Japan had already been burned out in conventional incendiary air raids, and the two nuclear attacks while horrible for civilians in those cities contributed only a fraction of the millions killed in WWII, despite anti-nuclear propaganda lies to the contrary). Truman's approach escalating to win is the opposite of the "Minimax game theory" (von Neumann's maths and Thomas Schelling's propaganda) gradual escalation approach that's currently the basis of nuclear deterrence planning despite its failure wherever it has been tried (Vietnam, Afghanistan, etc). Gradual escalation is supposed to minimise the maximum possible risk (hence "minimax" name), but it guarantees failure in the real world (unlike rule abided games) by maximising the build up of resentment. E.g. Schelling/Minimax say that if you gradually napalm civilians day after day (because they are the unprotected human shields used by terrorists/insurgents; the Vietcong are hiding in underground tunnels, exactly like Hamas today, and the Putin regime's metro 2 shelter tunnels under Russia) you somehow "punish the enemy" (although they don't give a toss about the lives of kids which is why you're fighting them!) and force them to negotiate for peace in good faith, then you can pose for photos with them sharing a glass of champagne and there is "world peace". That's a popular fairy tale, like Marxist mythology.

Once you grasp this fact, that nuclear weapons have been and will again be "used" explosively without automatic escalation, for example provocative testing as per the 1961 Russian 50 megaton bomb test, or the 1962 high altitude EMP bursts, you should be able to grasp the fact that the "escalation" deception used to dismiss civil defense and tactical nuclear deterrence against limited nuclear war, is fake news from Russian fellow-travellers like Corbyn. Once you assign a non-unity probability to "escalation", you're into conventional war territory: if you fight a conventional war, it can "escalate" to nuclear war as on 6 August 1945. Japan did not avoid nuclear attack by not having nuclear weapons on 6 August 1945. If it had nuclear weapons ready to be delivered, a very persuasive argument could be made that unless Truman wanted to invite retaliation, World War II would have remained strategically non-nuclear: no net strategic advantage would have been achieved by nuclear city bombing so only war-ending tactical nuclear threats could have prevailed in practice. But try explaining this to the groupthink pseudosocialist bigoted mass murderers who permeate fake physics with crap; it's no easier to explain to them the origins of particle masses or even dark energy/gravitation; in both cases groupthink lying hogwash persists because statements of proved facts are hated and rejected if them debunk religious style fairy tales the mass media loves. There were plenty of people warning that mass media gas war fear mongering was disguised Nazi supporting propaganda in the 1930s, but the public listened to that crap then just as it accepted the "eugenics" (anti-diversity evolution crap of Sir Galton, cousin of Darwin) basis for Hitler's Mein Kampf without question, just as they accepted the lying propaganda from the UK "Cambridge Scientists Anti-War Group" which like CND and all other arms control and disarmament lobbies supporting terrorist states today, did more than even Hitler to deliberately lay the foundations for the Holocaust and World War II, while never being criticised in the UK media! Thus, it's surely time for people to oppose evil lying on civil defence to save lives in all disasters from storms to conventional war, to collateral damage risks in nuclear terrorism by mad enemies. At some point, the majority has to decide to either defend itself honestly and decently against barbarism, or be consumed by it as a price for believing bullshit. It's time for decent people to oppose lying evil regarding the necessity to have credible tactical (not incredible strategic) nuclear weapons, as Oppenheimer called for in his 1951 speech, to deter invasions.

Democracy can't function when secrecy is used to deliberately cover-up vital data from viewing by Joe Public. Secrecy doesn't protect you from enemies who independently develop weapons in secret, or who spy from inside your laboratories:

"The United States and Great Britain resumed testing in 1962, and we spared no effort trying to find out what they were up to. I attended several meetings on that subject. An episode related to those meetings comes to mind ... Once we were shown photographs of some documents ... the photographer had been rushed. Mixed in with the photocopies was a single, terribly crumpled original. I innocently asked why, and was told that it had been concealed in panties. Another time ... questions were asked along the following lines: What data about American weapons would be most useful for your work and for planning military technology in general?"

- Andrei Sakharov, Memoirs, Hutchinson, London, 1990, pp225-6.

ABOVE: The British government has now declassified detailed summary reports giving secret original nuclear test data on the EMP (electromagnetic pulse) damage due to numerous nuclear weapons, data which is still being kept under wraps in America since it hasn't been superseded because Western atmospheric nuclear tests were stopped late in 1962 and never resumed - even though the Russians have even more extensive data - completely debunking Glasstone and Dolan's disarmament propaganda nonsense in the 1962, 1964 and 1977 Effects of Nuclear Weapons which ignores EMP piped far away from low altitude nuclear tests by power and communications cables and falsely claims instead that such detonations don't produce EMP damage outside the 2psi blast radius! For a discussion of the new data and also a link to the full 200+ pages version (in addition to useful data, inevitably like all official reports it also contains a lot of "fluff" padding), please see the other (physics) site: https://nige.wordpress.com/2023/09/12/secret-emp-effects-of-american-nuclear-tests-finally-declassified-by-the-uk-and-at-uk-national-archives/ (by contrast, this "blogspot" uses old non-smartphone proof coding, no longer properly indexed any long longer by "google's smartphone bot"). As long ago as 1984, Herman Kahn argued on page 112 of his book Thinking About the Unthinkable in the 1980s: "The effects of an EMP attack are simply not well understood [in the West, where long powerlines were never exposed on high altitude nuclear tests, unlike the Russian's 1962 Operation K, so MHD-EMP or E3 damage wasn't even mentioned in the 1977 Glasstone and Dolan Effects of Nuclear Weapons], but the Soviets seem to know - or think they know - more than we do."

BELOW: declassified British nuclear war planning blast survival data showing that even without special Morrison table shelters, the American assumption that nobody can survive in a demolished house is false, based on detailed WWII British data (the majority of people in houses flattened within 77 ft from V1 Nazi cruise missiles survived!), and secret American reports (contradicting their unclassified propaganda) proved that blast survival occurred at 16 psi overpressure in Hiroshima's houses, e.g. see limited distribution Dirkwood corp DC-P-1060 for Hiroshima, also the secret 1972 Capabilities of Nuclear Weapons DNA-EM-1 table 10-1, and WWII report RC-450 table 8.2, p145 (for determining survival of people sheltered in brick houses, the WWII A, B, C, and D damage versus casualty data from V1 blast was correlated to similar damage from nuclear blast as given Glasstone's 1957 Effects of Nuclear Weapons page 249, Fig. 6.41a, and page 109 Fig. 3.94a, which show that A, B, C, and D damage to brick houses from nuclear weapons occur at peak overpressures of 9, 6, 3 and 0.5 psi, respectively; the longer blast from higher yields blows the debris over a wider area, reducing the load per unit area falling on to people sheltered under tables etc), and the declassified UK government assessment of nuclear terrorist attack on a port or harbour, as well as the confidential classified UK Government analysis of the economic and social effects from WWII bombing (e.g. the recovery times for areas as a function of percentage of houses destroyed):

Unofficial Russian video on the secret Russian nuclear shelters from Russian Urban Exploration, titled "Проникли на секретный Спецобъект Метро!" = "We infiltrated a secret special facility of the Metro!":

ABOVE: Moscow Metro and Metro-2 (secret nuclear subway) horizonially swinging blast doors take only 70 seconds to shut, whereas their vertically rising blast doors take 160 seconds to shut; both times are however far shorter than the arrival time of Western ICBMs or even SLBMs which take 15-30 minutes by which time the Russian shelters are sealed from blast and radiation! In times of nuclear crisis, Russia planned to evacuate from cities those who could not be sheltered, and for the remainder to be based in shelters (similarly to the WWII British situation, when people slept in shelters of one kind or another when there was a large risk of being bombed without notice, particularly in supersonic V2 missile attacks where little warning time was available).

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ABOVE: originally SECRET diagrams showing the immense casualty reductions for simple shelters and local (not long distance as in 1939) evacuation, from a UK Home Office Scientific Advisers’ Branch report CD/SA 72 (UK National Archives document reference HO 225/72), “Casualty estimates for ground burst 10 megaton bombs”, which exposed the truth behind UK Cold War civil defence (contrary to Russian propaganda against UK defence, which still falsely claims there was no scientific basis for anything, playing on the fact the data was classified SECRET). Evacuation plus shelter eliminates huge casualties for limited attacks; notice that for the 10 megaton bombs (more than 20 times the typical yield of today’s MIRV compact warheads!), you need 20 weapons, i.e. a total of 10 x 20 = 200 megatons, for 1 million killed, if civil defence is in place for 45% of people to evacuate a city and the rest to take shelter. Under civil defence, therefore, you get 1 million killed per 200 megatons. This proves that civil defence work to make deterrence more credible in Russian eyes. For a discussion of the anti-civil defence propaganda scam in the West led by Russian agents for Russian advantage in the new cold war, just read posts on this blog started in 2006 when Putin's influence became clear. You can read the full PDF by clicking the link here. Or see the files here.

ABOVE: the originally CONFIDENTIAL classified document chapters of Dr D.G. Christopherson’s “Structural Defence 1945, RC450”, giving low cost UK WWII shelter effectiveness data, which should also have been published to prove the validity of civil defence countermeasures in making deterrence of future war more credible by allowing survival of “demonstration” strikes and “nuclear accidents / limited wars” (it’s no use having weapons and no civil defence, so you can’t deter aggressors, the disaster of Munich appeasement giving Hitler a green light on 30 September 1938, when Anderson shelters were only issued the next year, 1939!). For the original WWII UK Government low cost sheltering instruction books issued to the public (for a small charge!) please click here (we have uploaded them to internet archive), and please click here for further evidence for the effectiveness of indoor shelters during WWII from Morrison shelter inventor Baker's analysis, please click here (he titled his book about WWII shelters "Enterprise versus Bureaucracy" which tells you all you need to know about the problems his successful innovations in shelter design experienced; his revolutionary concept was that the shelter should be damaged to protect the people inside because of the vast energy absorption soaked up in the plastic deformation of steel - something which naive fools can never appreciate - by analogy, if your car bumper is perfectly intact after impact you're unlikely to be because it has not absorbed the impact energy which has been passed on to you!). We have also placed useful declassified UK government nuclear war survival information on internet archive here and here. There is also a demonstration of how proof-tested WWII shelters were tested in 1950s nuclear weapon trials and adapted for use in Cold War nuclear civil defence, here, thus permanently debunking the somewhat pro-dictatorship/anti-deterrence Jeremy Corbyn/Matthew Grant/Duncan Campbell anti-civil defence propaganda rants which pretend to to based on reality, but obviously just ignore the hard, yet secret, nuclear testing facts upon which UK government civil defence was based as my father (a Civil Defence Corps instructor) explained here back in 2006. The reality is that the media follows herd fashion to sell paper/airtime; it doesn't lead it. This is why it backed Nazi appeasement (cheering Chamberlain's 1938 handshakes with Hitler for instance) and only switched tune when it was too late to deter Nazi aggression in 1939; it made the most money that way. We have to face the facts!

NUKEGATE - Western tactical neutron bombs were disarmed after Russian propaganda lie. Russia now has over 2000... "Disarmament and arms control" charlatans, quacks, cranks, liars, mass murdering Russian affiliates, and evil genocidal Marxist media exposed for what it is, what it was in the 1930s when it enabled Hitler to murder tens of millions in war. Glasstone's and Dolan's 1977 Effects of Nuclear Weapons deceptions totally disproved. Professor Brian Martin, TRUTH TACTICS, 2021 (pp45-50): "In trying to learn from scientific publications, trust remains crucial. The role of trust is epitomised by Glasstone’s book The Effects of Atomic Weapons. Glasstone was not the author; he was the editor. The book is a compilation of information based on the work of numerous contributors. For me, the question was, should I trust this information? Was there some reason why the editors or authors would present fraudulent information, be subject to conflicts of interest or otherwise be biased? ... if anything, the authors would presumably want to overestimate rather than underestimate the dangers ... Of special interest would be anyone who disagreed with the data, calculations or findings in Glasstone. But I couldn’t find any criticisms. The Effects of Nuclear Weapons was treated as the definitive source, and other treatments were compatible with it. ... One potent influence is called confirmation bias, which is the tendency to look for information that supports current beliefs and dismiss or counter contrary information. The implication is that changing one’s views can be difficult due to mental commitments. To this can be added various forms of bias, interpersonal influences such as wanting to maintain relationships, overconfidence in one’s knowledge, desires to appear smart, not wanting to admit being mistaken, and career impacts of having particular beliefs. It is difficult to assess the role of these influences on yourself. "

Honest Effects of Nuclear Weapons!

ABOVE (VIDEO CLIP): Russian State TV Channel 1 war inurer and enabler, NOT MERELY MAKING "INCREDIBLE BLUFF THREATS THAT WE MUST ALL LAUGH AT AND IGNORE LIKE DR GOEBBELS THREATS TO GAS JEWS AND START A WORLD WAR" AS ALMOST ALL THE BBC SCHOOL OF "JOURNALISM" (to which we don't exactly belong!) LIARS CLAIM, but instead preparing Russians mentally for nuclear war (they already have nuclear shelters and a new Putin-era tactical nuclear war civil defense manual from 2014, linked and discussed in blog posts on the archive above), arguing for use of nuclear weapons in Ukraine war in 2023: "We should not be afraid of what it is unnecessary to be afraid of. We need to win. That is all. We have to achieve this with the means we have, with the weapons we have. I would like to remind you that a nuclear weapon is not just a bomb; it is the heritage of the whole Russian people, suffered through the hardest times. It is our heritage. And we have the right to use it to defend our homeland [does he mean the liberated components of the USSR that gained freedom in 1992?]. Changing the [nuclear use] doctrine is just a piece of paper, but it is worth making a decision."

NOTE: THIS IS NOT ENGLISH LANGUAGE "PROPAGANDA" SOLELY ADDRESSED AS A "BLUFF" TO UK AND USA GOV BIGOTED CHARLATANS (those who have framed photos of hitler, stalin, chamberlain, baldwin, lloyd george, eisenhower, et al., on their office walls), BUT ADDRESSED AT MAKING RUSSIAN FOLK PARTY TO THE NEED FOR PUTIN TO START A THIRD WORLD WAR! Duh!!!!! SURE, PUTIN COULD PRESS THE BUTTON NOW, BUT THAT IS NOT THE RUSSIAN WAY, ANY MORE THAN HITLER SET OFF WWII BY DIRECTLY BOMBING LONDON! HE DIDN'T. THESE PEOPLE WANT TO CONTROL HISTORY, TO GO DOWN THE NEXT "PUTIN THE GREAT". THEY WANT TO GET THEIR PEOPLE, AND CHINA, NORTH KOREA, IRAN, ET Al. AS ALLIES, BY APPEARING TO BE DEFENDING RATIONALITY AND LIBERTY AGAINST WAR MONGERING WESTERN IMPERIALISM. For the KGB mindset here, please read Chapman Pincher's book "The Secret offensive" and Paul Mercer's "Peace of the Dead - The Truth Behind the Nuclear Disarmers". Please note that the link to the analysis of the secret USSBS report 92, The Effects of the Atomic Bomb on Hiroshima, Japan (which google fails to appreciate is a report with the OPPOSITE conclusions to the lying unclassified reports and Glasstone's book on fire, is on internet archive in the PDF documents list at the page "The effects of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan" (the secret report 92 of the USSBS, not the lying unclassified version or the Glasstone book series). If you don't like the plain layout of this blog, you can change it into a "fashionable" one with smaller photos you can't read by adding ?m=1 to the end of the URL, e.g. https://glasstone.blogspot.com/2022/02/analogy-of-1938-munich-crisis-and.html?m=1

PLEASE BEAR WITH US - THIS SITE WAS DEVELOPED IN 2006 BEFORE GOOGLE SMARTPHONE BOT CACHING (GOOGLE BOTS CAN'T INDEX THIS FORMAT ANYMORE AS IT IS SIMPLY UNSUITABLE TO SMARTPHONES WHICH DIDN'T EXIST BACK IN 2006 - WILL MOVE TO A NEW DOMAIN SOON TO OVERCOME THIS. (HOPEFULLY THE TEXT WILL ALSO BE EDITED AND RE-WRITTEN TO TAKE OUT TYPING ERRORS AND DEAD LINKS DATING BACK TO 2006 WHEN THE BLOG BEGAN - A LOT HAS CHANGED SINCE THEN!)

Glasstone's Effects of Nuclear Weapons exaggerations completely undermine credible deterrence of war: Glasstone exaggerates urban "strategic" nuclear weapons effects by using effects data taken from unobstructed terrain (without the concrete jungle shielding of blast winds and radiation by cities!), and omits the most vital uses and most vital effects of nuclear weapons: to DETER world war credibly by negating the concentrations of force used to invade Belgium, 1914 (thus WWI) and Poland (WWII). The facts from Hiroshima and Nagasaki for the shielding of blast and radiation effects by modern concrete buildings in the credible nuclear deterrence of invasions (click here for data) which - unlike the countervalue drivel that failed to prevent WW2 costing millions of human lives - worked in the Cold War despite the Western media's obsession with treating as Gospel truth the lying anti-nuclear propaganda from Russia's World Peace Council and its allies (intended to make the West disarm to allow Russian invasions without opposition, as worked in Ukraine recently)! If we have credible W54's and W79's tactical nukes to deter invasions as used to Cold War, pro Russian World Peace Council inspired propaganda says: "if you use those, we'll bomb your cities", but they can bomb our cities with nuclear if we use conventional weapons, or even if we fart, if they want - we don't actually control what thugs in dictatorships - it is like saying Hitler had 12,000 tons of tabun nerve agent by 1945, so lying we had to surrender for fear of it. Actually, he had to blow his brains out because he had an incredible deterrent, as retaliation risk plus defence (masks) negated it!

Credible deterrence necessitates simple, effective protection against concentrated and dispersed invasions and bombing. The facts can debunk massively inaccurate, deliberately misleading CND "disarm or be annihilated" pro-dictatorship ("communism" scam) political anti-nuclear deterrence dogma. Hiroshima and Nagasaki anti-nuclear propaganda effects lies on blast and radiation for modern concrete cities is debunked by solid factual evidence kept from public sight for political reasons by the Marx-media which is not opposed by the remainder of the media, and the completely fake "nuclear effects data" sneaks into "established pseudo-wisdom" by the back-door. Another trick is hate attacks on anyone telling the truth: this is a repeat of lies from Nobel Peace Prize winner Angell and pals before WWI (when long-"outlawed" gas was used by all sides, contrary to claims that paper agreements had "banned" it somehow) and WWII (when gas bombing lies prior to the war by Angell, Noel-Baker, Joad and others were used as an excuse to "make peace deals" with the Nazis, again, not worth the paper they were printed on). Mathematically, the subset of all States which keep agreements (disarmament and arms control, for instance) is identical to the subset of all States which are stable Democracies (i.e., tolerating dissent for the past several years), but this subset is - as Dr Spencer Weart's statistical evidence of war proves in his book Never at War: Why Democracies Won't Fight One Another - not the bloody war problem! Because none of the disarmaments grasp set theory, or bother to read Dr Weart's book, they can never understand that disarmament of Democracies doesn't cause peace but causes millions of deaths.

PLEASE CLICK HERE for the truth from Hiroshima and Nagasaki for the shielding of blast and radiation effects by modern concrete buildings in the credible nuclear deterrence of invasions which - unlike the countervalue drivel that failed to prevent WW2 costing millions of human lives - worked in the Cold War despite the Western media's obsession with treating as Gospel truth the lying anti-nuclear propaganda from Russia's World Peace Council and its allies (intended to make the West disarm to allow Russian invasions without opposition, as worked in Ukraine recently)! Realistic effects and credible nuclear weapon capabilities are needed for deterring or stopping aggressive invasions and attacks which could escalate into major conventional or nuclear wars. Credible deterrence is through simple, effective protection against concentrated and dispersed invasions and aerial attacks, debunking inaccurate, misleading CND "disarm or be annihilated" left political anti-nuclear deterrence dogma. Hiroshima and Nagasaki anti-nuclear propaganda effects lies on blast and radiation for modern concrete cities is debunked by solid factual evidence kept from public sight for political reasons by the Marx-media.

Glasstone's and Nukemap's fake Effects of Nuclear Weapons effects data for unobstructed deserts, rather than realistic blast and radiation shielding concrete jungles which mitigate countervalue damage as proved in Hiroshima and Nagasaki by Penney and Stanbury, undermine credible world war deterrence just as Philip Noel-Baker's 1927 BBC radio propaganda on gas war knock-out blow lies were used by Nazi propaganda distributing "pacifist disarmers" to undermine deterrence of Hitler's war, murdering tens of millions deliberately through lies (e.g. effective gas masks don't exist) that were easy to disprove, but supported by the mainstream fascist leaning press in the UK. There is not just one country, Russia, which could trigger WW3, because we know from history that the world forms alliances once a major war breaks out, apart from a few traditional neutral countries like Ireland and Switzerland, so a major US-China war over Taiwan could draw in support from Russia and North Korea, just as the present Russian invasion and war against Ukraine has drawn in Iranian munitions support for Russia. So it is almost certain that a future East-vs-West world war will involve an alliance of Russia-China-North Korea-Iran fighting on multiple fronts, with nuclear weapons being used carefully for military purposes (not in the imaginary 1930s massive "knockout blow" gas/incendiary/high explosive raids against cities that was used by the UK media to scare the public into appeasing Hitler and thus enabling him to trigger world war; Chamberlain had read Mein Kampf and crazily approved Hitler's plans to exterminate Jews and invade Russia starting a major war, a fact censored out of biased propaganda hailing Chamberlain as a peacemaker).

Realistic effects and credible nuclear weapons capabilities are VITAL for deterring or stopping aggressive invasions and attacks which could escalate into major conventional or nuclear wars debunk Marx media propagandarists who obfuscate because they don't want you to know the truth, so activism is needed to get the message out against lying frauds and open fascists in the Russian supporting Marx mass media, which sadly includes government officialdom (still infiltrated by reds under beds, sorry to Joe MaCarthy haters, but admit it as a hard fact that nuclear bomb labs in the West openly support Russian fascist mass murders; I PRAY THIS WILL SOON CHANGE!).

ABOVE: Tom Ramos at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (quoted at length on the development details of compact MIRV nuclear warhead designs in the latest post on this blog) explains how the brilliant small size primary stage, the Robin, was developed and properly proof-tested in time to act as the primary stage for a compact thermonuclear warhead to deter Russia in the 1st Cold War, something now made impossible due to Russia's World Peace Council propaganda campaigns. (Note that Ramos has a new book published, called From Berkeley to Berlin: How the Rad Lab Helped Avert Nuclear War which describes in detail in chapter 13, "First the Flute and Then the Robin", how caring, dedicated nuclear weapons physicists in the 1950s and 1960s actually remembered the lesson of disarmament disaster in the 1930s, and so WORKED HARD to develop the "Flute" secondary and the "Robin" primary to enable a compact, light thermonuclear warhead to help deter WWIII! What a difference to today, when all we hear from such "weaponeers" now is evil lying about nuclear weapons effects on cities and against Western civil defence and against credible deterrence on behalf of the enemy.)

ABOVE: Star Wars filmmaker Peter Kuran has at last released his lengthy (90 minutes) documentary on The neutron bomb. Unfortunately, it is not yet being widely screened in cinemas or on DVD Blu Ray disc, so you have to stream it (if you have fast broadband internet hooked up to a decent telly). At least Peter managed to interview Samuel Cohen, who developed the neutron bomb out of the cleaner Livermore devices Dove and Starling in 1958 (Ramos says Livermore's director, who invented a wetsuit, is now trying to say Cohen stole the neutron bomb idea from him! Not so, as RAND colleague and 1993 Effects Manual EM-1 editor Dr Harold L. Brode explains in his recent brilliant book on the history of nuclear weapons in the 1st Cold War (reviewed in a post on this blog in detail) that Cohen was after the neutron bomb for many years before Livermore was even built as a rival to Los Alamos. Cohen had been into neutrons when working in the Los Alamos Efficiency Group of the Manhattan project on the very first nuclear weapons, used with neutron effects on people by Truman, back in 1945 to end a bloody war while the Livermore director was in short pants.)

For the true effects in modern city concrete buildings in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, disproving the popular lies for nudes in open deserts used as the basis for blast and radiation calculations by Glasstone and Nukemap, please click here The deceptive bigots protraying themselves as Federation of American Scientists genuine communist disarmers in the Marx media including TV scammers have been suppressing the truth to sell fake news since 1945 and in a repetition of the 1920s and 1930s gas war media lying for disarmament and horror news scams that caused disarmament and thus encouraged Hitler to initiate the invasions that set off WWII!

Glasstone's Effects of Nuclear Weapons exaggerations completely undermine credible deterrence of war: Glasstone exaggerates urban "strategic" nuclear weapons effects by using effects data taken from unobstructed terrain (without the concrete jungle shielding of blast winds and radiation by cities!), and omits the most vital uses and most vital effects of nuclear weapons: to DETER world war credibly by negating the concentrations of force used to invade Belgium, 1914 (thus WWI) and Poland (WWII). Disarmament and arms control funded propaganda lying says any deterrent which is not actually exploded in anger is a waste of money since it isn't being "used", a fraud apparently due to the title and content of Glasstone's book which omits the key use and effect of nuclear weapons, to prevent world wars: this is because Glasstone and Dolan don't even bother to mention the neutron bomb or 10-fold reduced fallout in the the Los Alamos 95% clean Redwing-Navajo test of 1956, despite the neutron bomb effects being analysed for its enhanced radiation and reduced thermal and blast yield in detail in the 1972 edition of Dolan's edited secret U.S. Department of Defense Effects Manual EM-1, "Capabilities of Nuclear Weapons", data now declassified yet still being covered-up by "arms control and disarmament" liars today to try to destroy credible deterrence of war in order to bolster their obviously pro-Russian political anti-peace agenda. "Disarmament and arms control" charlatans, quacks, cranks, liars, mass murdering Russian affiliates, and evil genocidal Marxist media exposed for what it is, what it was in the 1930s when it enabled Hitler to murder tens of millions in war .

ABOVE: 11 May 2023 Russian state TV channel 1 loon openly threatens nuclear tests and bombing UK. Seeing how the Russian media is under control of Putin, this is like Dr Goebbels rantings, 80 years past. But this doesn't disprove the world war threat any more than it did with Dr Goebbels. These people, like the BBC here, don't just communicate "news" but attempt to do so selectively and with interpretations and opinions that set the stage for a pretty obviously hate based political agenda with their millions of viewers, a trick that worked in the 1st Cold War despite Orwell's attempts to lampoon it in books about big brother like "1984" and "Animal Farm". When in October 1962 the Russians put nuclear weapons into Cuba in secret without any open "threats", and with a MASSIVELY inferior overall nuclear stockpile to the USA (the USA had MORE nuclear weapons, more ICBMs, etc.), the media made a big fuss, even when Kennedy went on TV on 22 October and ensured no nuclear "accidents" in Cuba by telling Russia that any single accidentally launched missile from Cuba against any Western city would result in a FULL RETALITORY STRIKE ON RUSSIA. There was no risk of nuclear war then except by accident, and Kennedy had in his 25 May 1961 speech on "Urgent National Needs" a year and a half before instigated NUCLEAR SHELTERS in public basement buildings to help people in cities survive (modern concrete buildings survive near ground zero Hiroshima, as proved by declassified USSBS reports kept covered up by Uncle Sam). NOE THAT THERE IS A CREDIBLE THREAT OF NUCLEAR TESTS AND HIROSHIMA TYPE INTIMIDATION STRIKES, THE BBC FINALLY DECIDES TO SUPPRESS NUCLEAR NEWS SUPPOSEDLY TO HELP "ANTI-NUCLEAR" RUSSIAN PROPAGANDA TRYING TO PREVENT US FROM GETTING CREDIBLE DETERRENCE OF INVASIONS, AS WE HAD WITH THE W79 UNTIL DISARMERS REMOVED IT IN THE 90s! This stinks of prejudice, the usual sort of hypocrisy from the 1930s "disarmament heroes" who lied their way to Nobel peace prizes by starting a world war!

The facts from Hiroshima and Nagasaki for the shielding of blast and radiation effects by modern concrete buildings in the credible nuclear deterrence of invasions (click here for data) which - unlike the countervalue drivel that failed to prevent WW2 costing millions of human lives - worked in the Cold War despite the Western media's obsession with treating as Gospel truth the lying anti-nuclear propaganda from Russia's World Peace Council and its allies (intended to make the West disarm to allow Russian invasions without overwhelming, effective deterrence or opposition, as worked in Ukraine recently)!

Realistic effects and credible nuclear weapon capabilities are required now for deterring or stopping aggressive invasions and attacks which could escalate into major conventional or nuclear wars. Credible deterrence necessitates simple, effective protection against concentrated and dispersed invasions and bombing. The facts can debunk massively inaccurate, deliberately misleading CND "disarm or be annihilated" pro-dictatorship ("communism" scam) political anti-nuclear deterrence dogma. Hiroshima and Nagasaki anti-nuclear propaganda effects lies on blast and radiation for modern concrete cities is debunked by solid factual evidence kept from public sight for political reasons by the Marx-media, which is not opposed by the fashion-obsessed remainder of the media, and so myths sneak into "established pseudo-wisdom" by the back-door.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Samuel Glasstone and Philip J. Dolan


DR SAMUEL GLASSTONE (3 May 1897 - 16 November 1986), founding editor of The Effects of Atomic Weapons (U.S. Department of Defense, 1950)/The Effects of Nuclear Weapons (1957 online browser version, 1957 key pages in high definition PDF, 1962/1964 book as 188 MB file here with 74 pages of key thermal ignition civil defense nuclear tests and civil defense final chapter as 43.8 MB PDF file here; browser version of April 1962 edition here, and browser version of February 1964 revised edition here), author of the originally secret reports, WASH-1037/8, An Introduction to Nuclear Weapons (1962, 1963, 1972a and 1972b) and co-editor - with Philip J. Dolan - of the 1977 Effects of Nuclear Weapons, 3rd ed. (high-definition browser version linked here), received his PhD and DSc in 1922 and 1926, respectively, in chemistry from London University.

His first book was the 250 pages-long Chemistry in Daily Life, published in 1929 while he was a Lecturer in Chemistry at the University of Sheffield. In May 1928, he had broadcast five talks on ‘Chemistry in Daily Life’ for BBC radio.

He wrote in the preface of Chemistry in Daily Life that the enthusiastic response of the radio listeners had motivated him to write the book: ‘Curiously enough, amongst the letters received one came from a Harley Street doctor and another from a school-girl!’

The diagrams and manuscript were prepared for the press by Violette Collingwood, who later married him, and later co-authored Glasstone's The Food You Eat (University of Oklahoma Press, 1943). In America, Glasstone became Professor of Chemistry at the University of Oklahoma and applied quantum mechanics to chemical reaction rates.

Altogether, he authored 40 books, ranging from chemical textbooks such as Thermodynamics for Chemists, Theory of Rate Processes, and Theoretical Chemistry: An Introduction to Quantum Mechanics, Statistical Mechanics, and Molecular Spectra for Chemists, to physics and engineering textbooks such as The Elements of Nuclear Reactor Theory (co-authored with Milton Edlund), Principles of nuclear reactor engineering, The Book of Mars (1968), Sourcebook on the Space Sciences (both written at the request of NASA) and Nuclear Reactor Engineering, while his strong conviction against scientific prejudice led him to author the 276 pages-long study Public Safety and Underground Nuclear Detonations (published by the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission, 1970), and to co-author the 400 page-long discussion, Nuclear Power and Its Environmental Effects (1980). He also authored many Los Alamos National Laboratory reports, and the 1982 Energy Deskbook.

A President of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, Bruce Alberts, in June 2005 praised Samuel Glasstone highly for his 1,300 pages long Textbook of Physical Chemistry, 1943:

'As Bruce Alberts steps down July 1 as one of the most accomplished and distinguished presidents of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS), he is singularly focused on education—specifically, teaching his students about real science. He has been brewing an idea for a new science course that he would like to teach to graduate students ... Alberts' hopes for more explosions and hands-on experiments were dashed soon after he arrived at Harvard University ... Instead of self-directed learning, he found himself exposed to mind-numbing facts. "Science words are not science," Alberts says. "I always feel that I want to understand things and not just memorize them." In his physical chemistry class during his junior year, Alberts was particularly frustrated by the textbooks. "So I went to the library and found a big, fat, older physical chemistry book," he says of the 1,300-page tome written by Samuel Glasstone. "It contained a lot of words. Most of the textbooks in physical chemistry have relatively few words, and they emphasize equations," Alberts says. "But Glasstone was a person who really wanted people to understand the essence of the subject, and he wrote beautifully about it. And I discovered from his book that I could actually get the understanding that I was looking for".'

On another site, a book reviewer comments:

'Perhaps one of the best technical writers of the last century was Samuel Glasstone. His volumes on Chemistry and Nuclear Engineering were very easy to read, understand, and use. This is because he endeavored to number every new topic so that easy reference could be made. This also provided logic to the subject matter, which assisted in the flow of the information that the text was providing.'

In 1959, Glasstone was awarded the Worchester Reed Warner Medal by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers for his ‘outstanding contribution to permanent engineering literature in writings on atomic energy.’ In 1968, Glasstone received the Arthur Holly Compton Award from the American Nuclear Society for his ‘distinguished contributions to nuclear science and engineering education.’

In 1972, aged 75, Glasstone wrote Inner Space: The Structure of the Atom, published as a free education by the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission which explains in detail how the four quantum numbers of each atomic electron under the Pauli exclusion principle allows electron shells which predict the periodic table of chemical elements, before explaining the shell structure of the nucleus and radioactivity.

Glasstone had witnessed the exaggeration of aerial bombardment effects and the resulting appeasement of dictatorships during the 1930s, when all kinds of appeasement, treaties, embargoes, and economic sanctions fooled politicians into believing that they were safe when the dictatorships were secretly preparing for war:

'... history is apparently not among the areas of expertise claimed by IPPNW [international physicians for the prevention of nuclear war]. Its spokesmen have yet to comment on the Washington Naval Treaty of 1922, the Kellogg-Briand Pact of 1928 (for which Kellogg and Briand received the Nobel Peace Prize), the Oxford Peace Resolution of 1934, the Munich Agreement of 1938, or the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact of 1939, and on the effectiveness of these measures in preventing World War II. ...

'Sir Norman Angell (also a Nobel Peace Prize winner), in his 1910 best-seller entitled The Great Illusion, showed that war had become so terrible and expensive as to be unthinkable. The concept of ‘destruction before detonation’ was not discovered by Victor Sidel (Sidel, V. W., ‘Destruction before detonation: the impact of the arms race on health and health care’, Lancet 1985; ii: 1287-1289), but was previously enunciated by Neville Chamberlain, who warned his Cabinet about the heavy bills for armaments: ‘even the present Programmes were placing a heavy strain upon our resources’ (Minutes of the British Cabinet meeting, February 3, 1937: quoted in Fuchser, L. W., ‘Neville Chamberlain and Appeasement: a Study in the Politics of History’, Norton, New York, 1982). ...

'Psychic numbing, denial, and ‘missile envy’ (Caldicott, H., Missile envy: the arms race and nuclear war, New York: William Morrow, 1984) are some of the diagnoses applied by IPPNW members to those who differ with them. However, for the threats facing the world, IPPNW does not entertain a differential diagnosis, nor admit the slightest doubt about the efficacy of their prescription, if only the world will follow it. So certain are they of their ability to save us from war that these physicians seem willing to bet the lives of millions who might be saved by defensive measures if a nuclear attack is ever launched.

'Is this an omnipotence fantasy?'


- ‘International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War: Messiahs of the Nuclear Age?’, The Lancet (British medical journal), 18 November 1988, pp.1185-6, by Jane M. Orient, MD.

Dr Jane Orient, 'Homeland Security for Physicians', Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons, vol. 11, number 3, Fall 2006, pp. 75-9:


'In the 1960s, a group of activist physicians called Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR) undertook to "educate the medical profession and the world about the dangers of nuclear weapons," beginning with a series of articles in the New England Journal of Medicine. [Note that journal was publishing information for anti-civil defense propaganda back in 1949, e.g. the article in volume 241, pp. 647-53 of New England Journal of Medicine, which falsely suggests that civil defense in nuclear war would be hopeless because a single burned patient in 1947 with 40% body area burns required 42 oxygen tanks, 36 pints of plasma, 40 pints of whole blood, 104 pints of fluids, 4,300 m of gauze, 3 nurses and 2 doctors. First, only unclothed persons in direct line of sight without shadowing can get 40% body area burns from thermal radiation, second, duck and cover offers protection in a nuclear attack warning, and G. V. LeRoy had already published, two years earlier, in J. A. M. A., volume 134, 1947, pp. 1143-8, that less than 5% of burns in Hiroshima and Nagasaki were caused by building and debris fires. In medicine it is always possible to expend vast resources on patients who are fatally injured. The comparison of Hiroshima and Nagasaki flash burns casualties with gasoline-drenched peacetime burns casualties is inappropriate: the latter heating lasts for much longer than the nuclear flash, causing much deeper burns, because nuclear bombs don't drench people with gasoline! The same applies to the fires in the World Trade Centre; unlike aircraft, nuclear explosions don't flood buildings with gasoline. Clothing and even sheets of white paper provided protection from the thermal flash in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Even when dark-colored clothing did ignite on the side facing the explosion (usually it didn't ignite because it wasn't as dry as in the ignition experiments during nuclear tests in the extremely low-humidity desert regions of the world), it didn't burn as fast as petrol-soaked clothing in peacetime accidents, so the flames could be rolled out before serious burns resulted in most cases, as documented by the U. S. Strategic Bombing Survey in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.] On its website, www.psr.org, the group boasts that it "led the campaign to end atmospheric nuclear testing." With this campaign, the linear no-threshold (LNT) theory of radiation carcinogenesis became entrenched. It enabled activists to calculate enormous numbers of potential casualties by taking a tiny risk and multiplying it by the population of the earth. As an enduring consequence, the perceived risks of radiation are far out of proportion to actual risks, causing tremendous damage to the American nuclear industry. ... Efforts to save lives were not only futile, but unethical: Any suggestion that nuclear war could be survivable increased its likelihood and was thus tantamount to warmongering, PSR spokesmen warned. ...


'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.


'Ethical physicians should stand ready to help patients to the best of their ability, and not advocate sacrificing them in the name of a political agenda. Even very basic knowledge, especially combined with simple, inexpensive advance preparations, could save countless lives.'




PHILIP J. DOLAN, editor of the first two-part edition of the U.S. Department of Defense’s ‘Secret – Restricted Data’ 1,651 pages long manual, Capabilities of Nuclear Weapons (DNA-EM-1, 1 July 1972) and co-editor of the Effects of Nuclear Weapons 1977 edition, graduated in physics from West Point in 1945 and was assigned to the Manhattan Project, Los Alamos, in 1948. Later U.S. Army assignments included the U.S. Armed Forces Special Weapons Project in Albuquerque and the Defense Atomic Support Agency in Washington, D.C.

In 1956, he received his MSc from the University of Virginia. He later calculated the neutron induced activity in the soil, and predicted the hazard from the rainout of radioactivity from air bursts in thunderstorms. In August 1959, Dolan’s secret report, Theoretical Dose Rate Decay Curves for Contamination Resulting from Land Surface Burst Nuclear Weapons (DASA-528), was the first study to take account of fission product thermal fractionation and bomb neutron-induced activities (including Np-239, U-240, and U-237) in fallout. Glasstone used Dolan's decay curves in the 1962 and later editions of The Effects of Nuclear Weapons. Dolan held posts ranging from 'Instructor in Nuclear Weapons Employment,' at the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, to 'Nuclear Effects Project Officer' for the Ballistic Missile Defense Office of the Advanced Research Projects Agency.

After retiring from the U.S. Army in 1967, Dolan managed the Nuclear Studies Program at Stanford Research Institute (SRI International), and in 1981 joined Lockheed Missiles and Space Company, by which time he had published over 70 technical papers, reports, and books.

In 1963, Dolan compiled the famous U.S. Army Field Manual, Nuclear Weapons Employment, FM 101-31. Professor Freeman Dyson reviewed it in his 1984 book, Weapons and Hope:

‘The military doctrines summarised in FM 101-31 were valid... when tactical nuclear wars might have been small-scale and truly limited. The handbook represents a sincere attempt to put Oppenheimer’s philosophy of local nuclear defence into practice.’

J. Robert Oppenheimer, wartime director of Los Alamos, said: 'I am not qualified, and if I were qualified I would not be allowed, to give a detailed evaluation of the appropriateness of the use of atomic weapons against any or all such (military) targets; but one thing is very clear. It is clear that they can be used only as adjuncts in a military campaign which has some other components, and whose purpose is a military victory. They are not primarily weapons of totality or terror, but weapons used to give combat forces help that they would otherwise lack. They are an integral part of military operations. Only when the atomic bomb is recognized as useful insofar as it is an integral part of military operations, will it really be of much help in the fighting of a war, rather than in warning all mankind to avert it.'

This quotation is from Samuel T. Cohen's book Shame (online 2nd ed., 2005 version, page 99). Sam Cohen's earlier book, The Truth About the Neutron Bomb: the Inventor of the Bomb Speaks Out, William Morrow and Co., New York, 1983, on page 30 gives the source of this quotation as Oppenheimer's speech 'Comments on the Military Value of the Atom', given to the American Bar Association in February 1951. That of course was during the Korean War, which was eventually ended with a cease fire in 1953 due to an indirect threat from President Eisenhower to deploy nuclear weapons against China (which was supporting the war effort of North Korea).

The first U.S. Army Field Manual on tactical nuclear war was FM-100-31, Tactical Use of Atomic Weapons, issued in November 1951 and classified Confidential. It was revised in May 1955 (160 pages), and Nuclear Weapons Employment was issued in May 1959 (221 pages).

Colonel George Cooper Reinhardt and Lieutenant William Roscoe Kintner, PhD (1915-97) co-authored the first openly published textbook on the combat use of tactical nuclear weapons, Atomic Weapons in Land Combat (1st edition 1953, 2nd edition 1954), which stated “atomic weapons, tactically employed, should be incorporated into our first line of defense against any creeping aggression”. It was a news story in the New York Times of August 17, 1953: “Two in Army Write on Atomic Tactics”. Reinhardt in November 1964 discussed the evolution of the tactics in his RAND Corporation paper P-3011, Nuclear Weapons and Limited Warfare, remarking on page 10 that political fears of escalation led to “a growing realization that authority to employ nuclear weapons in ‘small’ wars might be time consuming and difficult for the field commander to obtain. Instances appeared in war games where that delay ran into a number of days, sometimes permitting aggressor troops to reach densely populated (friendly civilians) areas where tactical nuclear strikes were precluded. ... An illustration of the incredulity with which young officers received these findings can be unearthed at a distinguished military school where the student body labelled a lecturer on these studies ‘that genius who could lose a unilateral atomic war’.”

Oppenheimer's outlook on tactical nuclear warfare was echoed by Robert S. McNamara, the U.S. Secretary of Defence, in his 25 September 1961 television interview at the Pentagon during the Berlin crisis (when the Soviet Union aggressively built a wall in Augist 1961 to trap East Berliners in the Soviet sector and murdered any who tried to climb the wall, leaving them to bleed to death after being shot in full view of the world's outraged media):

Interviewer: ‘Do you mean to imply, Sir, that you would then perhaps use nuclear weapons in connection with the Berlin situation?’

U.S. Defense Secretary McNamara: ‘Yes, I definitely do. We will use nuclear weapons whenever we feel it necessary to protect our vital interests. Our nuclear stockpile is several times that of the Soviet Union, and we will use either tactical weapons or strategic weapons in whatever quantities, wherever, whenever it is necessary to protect this nation and its interests.’

Before election, President John F. Kennedy published a book in 1960 called The Strategy of Peace (Harper and Brothers, New York; but note that the page numbers given for the quotations below are for the British edition, published by Hamish Hamilton, London, 1960), where he explained (pages 183-4) why the normal strategic nuclear weapons are not adequate:

"We must be prepared in this nation to fight an all-out nuclear war - or else we cannot deter an all-out nuclear attack upon us. ... But it is not the only answer to all threats of Communist aggression. ... It cannot deter Communist aggression which is too limited to justify atomic war. It cannot protect uncommitted nations against a Communist takeover using local or guerrilla forces. It cannot be used in so-called 'brush-fire' peripheral wars. ... In short, it cannot prevent the Communists from gradually nibbling away at the fringe of the Free World's territory and strength, until our security has been steadily eroded in peacemeal fashion - each Red advance being too small to justify massive retaliation with all its risks. And history demonstrates that this is the greater threat - not an all-out nuclear attack."


On pages 166-72 of The Strategy of Peace, Kennedy brilliantly pointed out the need for a greater number of physicists and engineers to be educated to compete with Communist education in science, to develop "new scientific weapons" that will deter all aggression and avert WWIII:

"They attend classes six days a week, ten months a year. ... They have approximately 17 pupils per teacher, we have 27. ... The ten-year curriculum includes, on a compulsory basis, five years of physics, five years of biology, four years of chemistry, one year of astronomy, and ten years of mathematics ... Few, if any, twelve-year curricula in America cover as much. ... In fact, more than half of our high schools do not teach any physics at all. In the last year for which statistics are available, we produced only 125 new physics teachers - although we have at least 28,000 high schools. ... The Russians are graduating ten times as many engineers as they did a generation ago - and at a rate two and one half times greater than the United States. They have enrolled and are graduating more scientists. ... We can sit back and wait for the Russian system to collapse. We can hope that education will be their undoing [leading to rebellion against Communist authority, i.e. dissidents]. We can believe that our system will prevail ... On the other hand, we could compete with the Russians by imitating them."







Above: Little Feller I, a Nevada test on 17 July 1962 of the W54 Davy Crockett warhead (reportedly a scaled down version of the two-point implosion Swan fission device successfully tested as Redwing-Inca), this entire weapon casing was just 30 inches long and 11 inches in diameter at the widest point, and weighing just 51 pounds it was the smallest and lightest fission bomb ever deployed by the United States. In Little Feller I a live Davy Crockett warhead was fired from a 155 millimeter launcher Operation Ivy Flats and detonated at a height of burst of 20 feet some 9,357 feet (1.7 miles) from the launch point with a 0.018 kt yield yield. The test was the last atmospheric detonation at the Nevada test site, and was observed by Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy and presidential adviser General Maxwell D. Taylor (seen above in stills from the film of Operation Ivy Flats, which was finally declassified on 22 December 1997).

The 58.6 pound B54 was another application of the same device called the Special Atomic Demolition Munition (SADM), a nuclear land mine deployed in Europe, South Korea, Guam, and the United States from 1964-1989.

The Davy Crockett was launched from either a 120-millimeter (XM-28) or 155-millimeter (XM-29) recoiless rifle with a maximum range of 1.24 miles (120 millimeter) to 2.49 miles (155 millimeter). An identical warhead was tested as Little Feller II 10 days earlier yielded 0.022 kt, demonstrating the good reliability of the bomb yield. Kennedy and Taylor were convinced that subkiloton air bursts were necessary to credibly deter dictators without the risk of collateral fallout, blast and thermal injury to innocent civilians and friendly forces in Europe, or the escalation that the use of massive countervalue megaton warheads would inevitably involve. It's obvious that the smaller the warhead, the lower the risk of escalating the war, while you can still deter military aggression such as massed tank invasions. At subkiloton yields, initial nuclear radiation (not fallout, blast or heat) predominates, a fact which led to the neutron bomb:

“With regard to atomic weapons ... emphasis should be placed upon developing those of very low yield, which offer no hazards of fall-out nor serious danger to friendly troops and allied populations.”

- General Maxwell Taylor, The Uncertain Trumpet, Harper, New York, 1959, page 151.

Taylor was the first Allied general to land in France on the D-Day invasion of Normandy, 6 June 1944, heading the 101st Airborne division. A great part of tactical weapons effects training at the Nevada nuclear test site was dedicated to the tactical use of nuclear air bursts with low collateral damage in order to prevent the type of conventional warfare carnage that occurred on D-Day. Kennedy’s “flexible response” nuclear policy (replacing the “massive retaliation” policy of Dulles and Eisenhower), was based on Taylor’s recommendations in his book The Uncertain Trumpet. In April 1961, Kennedy appointed Taylor to investigate the failure of the Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba (a plan inherited from Eisenhower’s administration). On 1 October 1962, Kennedy appointed Taylor as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, a position in which he served until 1964. The Atomic Battle Group was charged with the protection of Europe from the Warsaw Pact between 1961 and 1971, when 2,100 of the Davy Crockett’s were deployed. They were withdrawn by President Nixon’s administration in 1971, just when the Soviet Union was reaching parity and stockpiling 40,000 main battle tanks in Eastern Europe ready for invasion of the West.

In his speech of 18 September 1967 to the United Press International Editors and Publishers, U.S. Secretary of Defence McNamara explained why such a strong will is required to deter aggression:

‘The point is that a potential aggressor must himself believe that our assured destruction capability is in fact actual, and that our will to use it in retaliation to an attack is in fact unwaivering.’

The determination by Kennedy and McNamara to stand up to fanatical Soviet evil was briefly lost, due entirely to Robert McNamara's Vietnam War financial and military disaster at a time when the Soviet nuclear stockpile and conventional tank stockpile in the Warsaw Pact began to exceed the 1,000 American Minuteman missiles and Western conventional arms (any war of insurgency against snipers is like 'cutting soup with a knife' as T. E. Lawrence said, and is even worse in Vietnamese jungle conditions with camouflaged pitfall traps, regardless of how much is spent in terms of money and human lives), until President Reagan appointed Caspar Weinberger as U.S. Secretary of Defense and went back to outbuilding the Soviet Union by spending money on nuclear deterrence to forcefully preserve peace:

'During the 1950s and 1960s we had a first-strike capability. This was one of the strongest preservatives of peace, and that was lost. Now we have got to regain it.'

- U.S. Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger, 1981.

'I think of World War II and how long it took to prepare for it, to convince people that rearmament for war was needed. I fear we will not be ready. I think time is running out ... but I have faith.'

- U.S. Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger, New York Times, August 1982.



Despite the fact that the BBC still fakes all nuclear explosion films with the sound of the blast falsely superimposed on the explosion flash, to make civil defense duck and cover seem stupid (actually, like thunder after lightning, the blast wave travels slower than light so the flash occurs in silence until the blast arrives, which can be many seconds later for the case of large areas of devastation from a nuclear explosion, giving plenty of time for “duck and cover” action to avoid flying glass when the blast finally arrives), the BBC did make one honest film about the Soviet Union’s “peace offensive” propaganda lies, the four-part 1995 “Messengers from Moscow” documentary. Dimitri K. Simes reviewed “Messengers from Moscow” in the 1 June 1995 issue of Confirmation Time:

“The end of Soviet communism has given Westerners unprecedented access to Moscow's historical resources. Various archives have been opened and living witnesses to history are suddenly prepared to tell their stories, even in front of foreign television cameras. ... the four-part documentary series Messengers from Moscow, shown in the United States by PBS and in Britain by the BBC, represents a powerful blow to two fundamentals of the liberal dogma - namely, that the Cold War resulted from a Western overreaction to largely defensive, even if rather heavy-handed, Soviet policies and that the preoccupation with the communist menace inside Western democracies amounted to a vicious witch hunt. The series, ably directed by Daniel Wolf and produced by Eugene B. Shirley with Herbert E. Ellision as chief consultant, is based on numerous on-camera interviews with Soviet insiders ranging from Stalin’s second-in-command Vyacheslav Molotov to Brezhnev’s personal physician. The accounts they present are sobering. Molotov, in a 1972 taped conversation with poet Felix Chuyev, stated point blank that expanding Soviet borders “as far as possible” was his official duty. In Molotov's view, “there could not be a peaceful Germany unless it takes a socialist path.” But he cautioned that it had to be accomplished “carefully,” without provoking a war with the West.”


After President Nixon’s Watergate scandal and failure in Vietnam, to deflect media attacks from Nixon, America began to press ahead with negotiations with the Soviet Union for SALT treaties just when the Soviet threat was reaching parity with the Western arms stockpile, and when Soviet civil defense was being transferred from civilian control to military control with vastly increased spending. If the arms race had been stopped, the Soviet Union might have survived instead of going effectively bankrupt when Reagan manipulated oil prices in the 1980s. In 1975, America signed the Helsinki Act, for the first time agreeing to the borders of the Soviet Union and its Warsaw Pact in Europe. This officially handed over those countries and people to Soviet control. After it was signed, the Chairman of the Soviet KGB (secret police), Yuri Andropov, stated in a letter to the Soviet Central Committee on 29 December 1975: “It is impossible at present to cease criminal prosecutions of those individuals who speak out against the Soviet system, since this would lead to an increase in especially dangerous state crimes and anti-social phenomena.” After a succession of appeasers, President Reagan finally spelled out some of the problems in his famous "evil empire" speech, much to the frustration and amusement of the communists who clearly wanted to encourage "peaceful" invasions and war, at the expense of liberty.

Nuclear winter and related lies debunked by actual firestorm data

Of thousands of nuclear test explosions, the one “nuclear winter” from the Hiroshima fire storm blocked out the sun for 25 minutes (from burst time at 8:15 am until 8:40) in Hiroshima as shown by the meteorological sunshine records printed in Figure 6 (3H) of Drs. Ashley W. Oughterson, Henry L. Barnett, George V. LeRoy, Jack D. Rosenbaum, Averill A. Liebow, B. Aubrey Schneider, and E. Cuyler Hammond, Medical Effects of Atomic Bombs: The Report of the Joint Commission for the Investigation of the Effects of the Atomic Bomb in Japan, Volume 1, Office of the Air Surgeon, report NP-3036, April 19, 1951, U.S. Atomic Energy Commission. Nobody is recorded as being a casualty from the 25 minutes of sunlight deprivation!

The reason? The soot is hydroscopic. It absorbs water and falls out in black rain. The firestorm took 30 minutes to start and was at peak intensity 2-3 hours later, so radioactive mushroom cloud been blown many miles downwind before the black rain occurred over Hiroshima, contrary to ignorant lies about “fallout radiation”. The soot doesn’t freeze the planet. The soot was instead rapidly precipitated in a self-induced rainout as was pointed out back in 1983 by J. B. Knox in Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory report UCRL-89907, which nuclear propaganda ignored. No other nuclear explosion ever created a firestorm. Even those near naturally forested Pacific islands failed to ignite the vegetation by thermal radiation.

Targeting oil wells instead of cities reduces the moisture effect, but the soot doesn't rise high enough from burning oil wells, as proved when Saddam set fire to all of Kuwait’s oil fields. This has all been intensively researched and documented. Regarding the non-soot dust injected into the stratosphere, unlike soot it’s not a strong absorber of sunlight and weather records were intensively studied for signs of both nuclear winter and ozone depletion during hundreds of megatons of atmospheric 1945-62 nuclear tests, with failure.

The initial gamma radiation from a nuclear explosion produces more ozone than it destroys. Gamma radiation produces large amounts of ozone from atmospheric oxygen regardless of the burst altitude, but ozone-destroying nitrogen oxides are only produced by the high-density air blast of low-altitude nuclear explosions. Those nitrogen oxides then combine with water vapour in the turbulent toroidal circulation of the mushroom cloud to form nitric acid, which does not destroy ozone but simply gets deposited, very diluted, in rain. This was proved in the 1970s when aircraft were flown through mushroom clouds from Chinese nuclear tests. In high altitude nuclear explosions, there is no compressed blast wave that forms nitrogen oxides, so you actually get a boost to the ozone layer since the explosion produces vast amounts of ozone due to the gamma radiation.

Even the “nuclear winter” from mass fires, dust, and other effects from the well-established 100 million megatons K-T explosion 65 million years ago failed to wipe out plants and mammals. Instead, it made extinct the dangerous cold-blooded reptiles that were preventing freedom for peaceful mammal evolution. The idea that there is no protection and no possibility of surviving against a big explosion is false. Claiming that nuclear wars cannot be won if you lie and exaggerate the effects of nuclear weapons and the effects of nuclear war while downplaying countermeasures, is exactly what encouraged the terrorists to exploit the most feared weapons in the 1930s while peace-loving nations disarmed and thus effectively signed the death warrant for six million Jews on “peace treaties” with liars.

One of the Scientific American’s Cold War publishers, Gerard Piel, had a long history of lying and publishing lies about fires from nuclear weapons to attack civil defense readiness, just as his predecessors did in Britain during the 1930s (which made the Prime Minister appease Hitler, encouraging him to start WWII). Typical example of lie:

“A heading in one recent report concerned with effects of nuclear detonations reads, ‘Megatons Mean Fire Storms,’ and the report predicts that a 20-megaton nuclear burst is sure to produce a 300-square mile fire storm. [Reference: Gerard Piel (then the anti-civil defense publisher of the Scientific American), ‘The Illusion of Civil Defense,’ published in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, February 1962, pp. 2-8.] The report further states that blastproof bomb shelters afforded no protection in World War II fire storms, and the reader is left to conclude that vast fire storm areas in which there will be no survivors are an assured consequence of future nuclear attacks. ... the 40,000-50,000 persons killed by the fire storm at Hamburg constituted only 14 to 18 percent of the people in the fire storm area and 3 to 4 percent of Hamburg’s total population at the time of the attack. ... Two of three buildings in a 4.5 square mile area were burning 20 minutes after the incendiary attack began at Hamburg, and similar figures were reported for other German fire storm cities.”

- Robert M. Rodden, Floyd I. John, and Richard Laurino, Exploratory Analysis of Fire Storms, Stanford Research Institute, AD616638, 1965, pages 1, 5.

Media lying about the thermal ignitions (leading to lies about firestorms and nuclear winter caused by the soot of such fires blocking sunlight) can be traced back to the secret classification of the full three-volume 1947 report on Hiroshima by the Strategic Bombing Survey, which was edited out of the brief single volume “summary” that the openly published a year earlier, 1946. Here is the key revelation (originally ‘secret’ May 1947 U.S. Strategic Bombing Survey report on Hiroshima, pp. 4-6):

‘Six persons who had been in reinforced-concrete buildings within 3,200 feet [975 m] of air zero stated that black cotton black-out curtains were ignited by flash heat… A large proportion of over 1,000 persons questioned was, however, in agreement that a great majority of the original fires were started by debris falling on kitchen charcoal fires ... There had been practically no rain in the city for about 3 weeks. The velocity of the wind ... was not more than 5 miles [8 km] per hour.... Hundreds of fires were reported to have started in the centre of the city within 10 minutes after the explosion... almost no effort was made to fight this conflagration ... There were no automatic sprinkler systems in building...’ [Emphasis added.]


No modern city today is built out of 1945 Hiroshima style wood frame houses with charcoal stoves amid bamboo furnishings and paper screens. Even Hiroshima is no longer built like that, it’s a modern steel, concrete, and brick city and would not suffer a firestorm if a bomb dropped on it again.

Even where city firestorms have actually occurred in obsolete wooden city areas of Japan and Europe, there was not a nuclear winter. What about the theoretical predictions that a nuclear attack on oil supplies will cause a nuclear winter, made by the founder of nuclear winter hype, Paul Crutzen? Saddam Hussein’s Iraqi army invaded Kuwait and set all of its oil wells on fire as it was driven back into Iraq by America in 1991.

Peter Aldhous, ‘Oil-well climate catastrophe?’, Nature, vol. 349 (1991), p. 96:

“The fears expressed last week centred around the cloud of soot that would result if Kuwait’s oil wells were set alight by Iraqi forces ... with effects similar to those of the ‘nuclear winter’ ... Paul Crutzen, from the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry in Mainz, has produced some rough calculations which predict a cloud of soot covering half of the Northern Hemisphere within 100 days. Crutzen ... estimates that temperatures beneath such a cloud could be reduced by 5-10 degrees C ...”

Dr Richard D. Small of Pacific-Sierra Research Corporation, California, responded in Nature, vol. 350 (1991), pp. 11-12, that 16,000 metric tons of actual soot is produced from 220,000 metric tons of oil burned every day, and anyway:

“My estimates of the smoke produced by destruction of Kuwait’s oil wells and refineries and the smoke stabilization altitude do not support any of the purported impacts. The smoke is not injected high enough to spread over large areas of the Northern Hemisphere, nor is enough produced to cause a measurable temperature change or failure of the monsoons.”

It turned out that the nuclear winter hype was false, because even if you do somehow manage to start a firestorm in the modern world (the overcrowded fire-hazard wooden medieval areas of Hamburg, Dresden, and Hiroshima weren’t rebuilt with wood after they burned in firestorms), it simply doesn’t produce a stable layer of soot in the stratosphere like the computer simulation. At Hiroshima the soot returned to the ground promptly because it is hydroscopic: it forms water droplets, rain. (It wasn’t fallout: the firestorm took over 20 minutes to get doing, by which time the radioactive mushroom cloud had been blown miles downwind.)




Philip J. Dolan's Staff Officers Field Manual: Nuclear Weapons Employment Effects Data, U.S. Army Field Manual FM 101-31-2, classified Secret - Restricted Data, was revised and issued on 20 December 1995 by the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) as Joint Publication 3-12.2. According to an unclassified review of it by Dr David W. Bash in the Spring/Summer 1998 issue of the NBC Report (pages 12-13):

'Joint Pub 3-12.2 is a comprehensive presentation of the specifications and performance capabilities of the whole range of U.S. nuclear weapons and, as such, is a major analytical work. About 90 percent of the data used to generate the joint publication has been revised since the late 1980s and is based upon a large body of new research. That research includes work from Defense Special Weapon Agency (DSWA, formerly the Defense Nuclear Agency) documents: EM-1, Capabilities of Nuclear Weapons; U.S. Nuclear Weapons/Devices Output Handbook; and Nuclear Weapon Characteristics Report. ...

'The new publication considers nuclear weapons effects of all U.S. nuclear weapon systems, and there is a separate chapter for each system. Weapons effects considered are: safety and collateral damage distances, personnel effects, materiel damage effects, exposed personnel coverage, personnel in open foxholes coverage, personnel in tanks coverage, and moderate damage to materiel coverage. The personnel response data are from the new but published Personnel Risk and Casualty Criteria (PRCC) document written by USANCA (U.S. Army Nuclear and Chemical Agency). These new analyses have also led to better definitions and more accurate data about human responses. ... For the first time, Joint Pub 3-12.2 combines thermal radiation injury with nuclear radiation injury for latent ineffectiveness casualties of exposed personnel.

'Joint Pub 3-12.2 also includes a detailed description of all targetting techniques (which were previously published in a separate manual), and thus, the current publication now is a complete stand alone targeteering document. ... An addendum to the Joint Pub 3-12.2 for the earth penetrating modification to the B61 bomb, the mod-11, has been pepared for use by USSTRATCOM.'



Seen in 1999, Sam Cohen holds up a peace medal given to him by Pope John Paul I. He designed the neutron bomb with just pencil, paper and a slide rule. (San Jose Mercury News)

“The first objection to battlefield ER weapons is that they potentially lower the nuclear threshold because of their tactical utility. In the kind of potential strategic use suggested where these warheads would be held back as an ultimate countervalue weapon only to be employed when exchange had degenerated to the general level, this argument loses its force: the threshold would long since have been crossed before use of ER weapons is even contemplated. In the strategic context, it is rather possible to argue that such weapons raise the threshold by reinforcing the awful human consequences of nuclear exchange: the hostages recognize they are still (or once again) prisoners and, thus, certain victims.”


- Dr Donald M. Snow (Associate Professor of Political Science and Director of International Studies, University of Alabama), “Strategic Implications of Enhanced Radiation Weapons”, Air University Review, July-August 1979 issue (online version linked here).


'The neutron bomb, so-called because of the deliberate effort to maximize the effectiveness of the neutrons, would necessarily be limited to rather small yields - yields at which the neutron absorption in air does not reduce the doses to a point at which blast and thermal effects are dominant. The use of small yields against large-area targets again runs into the delivery problems faced by chemical agents and explosives, and larger yields in fewer packages pose a less stringent problem for delivery systems in most applications. In the unlikely event that an enemy desired to minimize blast and thermal damage and to create little fallout but still kill the populace, it would be necessary to use large numbers of carefully placed neutron-producing weapons burst high enough to avoid blast damage on the ground [500 metres altitude for a neutron bomb of 1 kt total yield], but low enough to get the neutrons down. In this case, however, adequate radiation shielding for the people would leave the city unscathed and demonstrate the attack to be futile.'


- Dr Harold L. Brode, RAND Corporation, Blast and Other Threats, pp. 5-6 in Proceedings of the Symposium on Protective Structures for Civilian Populations, U.S. National Academy of Sciences, National Research Council, Symposium held at Washington, D.C., April 19-23, 1965.


“You published an article ‘Armour defuses the neutron bomb’ by John Harris and Andre Gsponer (13 March, p 44). To support their contention that the neutron bomb is of no military value against tanks, the authors make a number of statements about the effects of nuclear weapons. Most of these statements are false ... Do the authors not realise that at 280 metres the thermal fluence is about 20 calories per square centimetre – a level which would leave a good proportion of infantrymen, dressed for NBC conditions, fit to fight on? ... Perhaps they are unaware of the fact that a tank exposed to a nuclear burst with 30 times the blast output of their weapon, and at a range about 30 per cent greater than their 280 metres, was only moderately damaged, and was usable straight afterwards. ... we find that Harris and Gsponer’s conclusion that the ‘special effectiveness of the neutron bomb against tanks is illusory’ does not even stand up to this rather cursory scrutiny. They appear to be ignorant of the nature and effects of the blast and heat outputs of nuclear weapons, and unaware of the constraints under which the tank designer must operate.”


- C. S. Grace, Royal Military College of Science, Shrivenham, Wiltshire, New Scientist, 12 June 1986, p. 62.


FM 101-31 is available in three parts, part 1, 'Nuclear Weapons Employment, Doctrine and Procedures' (FM 101-31-1, unclassified) which in February 1963 was 165 pages with 89 illustrations, part 2, 'Nuclear Weapons Employment Effects Data' (FM 101-31-2, classified Secret - Restricted Data), and part 3, 'Nuclear Weapons Employment Effects Data' (FM 101-31-3, unclassified). Notice that anyone is allowed access to the political side (doctrine and procedural) of nuclear information, and the secrecy is confined to the scientific facts. However, some vital data relevant to making the civil defence aspects of nuclear weapons effects more clearly and scientifically known, has now been declassified and we will discuss the following manual in detail later on in this post:



Capabilities of Nuclear Weapons, DNA-EM-1
Philip J. Dolan (Editor), Stanford Research Institute
July 1, 1972
Change 1: July 1, 1978
Change 2: August 1, 1981
DEFENSE NUCLEAR AGENCY, WASHINGTON, D.C.

Declassified on 13 February 1989.

PDF download of Philip J. Dolan (Editor), DNA-EM-1 Capabilities of Nuclear Weapons, Part 1 preliminary pages and contents pages, Change 2, August 1981 (45 pages, 1.6 MB) These pages are also available here.


Part 1. Phenomenology.

Chapter 1. Introduction. 30 pages.
Chapter 2. Blast and Shock Phenomena. 306 pages. Blast wave section is here and ground shock/cratering/water bursts/underwater bursts section is here.
Chapter 3. Thermal Radiation Phenomena. 114 pages.
Chapter 4. X-Ray Radiation Phenomena. 30 pages.
Chapter 5. Nuclear Radiation Phenomena. 151 pages.
Chapter 6. Transient-Radiation Effects on Electronics (TREE) Phenomena. 16 pages.
Chapter 7. Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) Phenomena. 40 Pages.
Chapter 8. Phenomena Affecting Electromagnetic Propagation. 94 pages.

PDF download of Philip J. Dolan (Editor), DNA-EM-1 Capabilities of Nuclear Weapons, Part 2 preliminary pages and contents pages, Change 2, August 1981 (50 pages, 1.7 MB)


Part 2. Damage Criteria.

Chapter 9. Introduction to Damage Criteria. 187 Pages.
Chapter 10. Personnel Casualties. 38 Pages.
Chapter 11. Damage to Structures. 50 Pages.
Chapter 12. Mechanical Damage Distances for Surface Ships and Submarines Subjected to Nuclear Explosions. 147 Pages.
Chapter 13. Damage to Aircraft. 81 Pages.
Chapter 14. Damage to Military Field Equipment. 46 Pages.
Chapter 15. Damage to Forest Stands. 64 Pages.
Chapter 16. Damage to Missiles. 121 Pages.
Chapter 17. Radio Frequency Signal Degradation Relevant to Communications and Radar Systems. 32 pages.
Appendices A-F. 112 pages.


Dolan's Capabilities of Nuclear Weapons, U.S. Department of Defense manual EM-1 (1651 pages in two parts, 'Phenomenology' and 'Damage Criteria'; both originally loose-leaf binders to allow page updates) is the massive and complete 'Secret-Restricted Data' classified nuclear weapons effects compendium source used to write the relatively brief and less detailed unclassified book, The Effects of Nuclear Weapons. The problem with the latter is that it omits vital nuclear effects data for civil defence, which we will review below. Now Dolan's massive secret compilation of nuclear test facts and computer simulation results is going online as PDF files. One thing that is blanked-out in DNA-EM-1 is the graph showing predicted EMP electric field strengths at the earth's surface from high altitude nuclear detonations of various yields and altitudes, but that graph occurs in another declassified document as explained in a post on high altitude EMP effects, linked here.

The contents of DNA-EM-1 has altered greatly since 1981, with the longer chapters being subdivided to produce extra chapters as we shall see later in this post.

Why grossly exaggerating the effects of aerial bombardment caused World War II

Tens of millions died in World War II because of the 1930s efforts to negotiate with totalitarians through a false fear of war due to the quantitative exaggeration of the effects of aerial attack, and a widespread belief that peace could be guaranteed by exaggerating the effects of war into a dogmatic religion of pseudo-science, which would brainwash humanity into avoiding war. This lying only encouraged the proliferation of weapons to the despotic dictatorships which wanted to have the threat of such weapons in order to achieve political intimidation, ‘peaceful invasions’ and genocide without opposition.



There is a need to debunk general Planet of the Apes style nuclear effects exaggeration hype by politicans which simultaneously encourages misguided nuclear proliferation (rogue states, dictators and terrorists think that simply having a nuclear threat will get them anything they want by intimidation, due to the exaggeration in the popular media) and discourages simple civil defense countermeasures from being taken seriously. If you're in the crater region, you don't need civil defense, but even the crater sizes have been grossly exaggerated in the public domain: the 'overkill' areas are actually trivial compared to the areas over which even the simplest informed civil defense countermeasures like duck and cover and getting out of the immediate downwind area (or under cover there) before the wind blows fallout there, is effective at saving lives.

The tragedy of the exaggeration of the offensive capabilities of aerial attack was plain to see during the 1930s. Public opinion was on British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain's side (appeasing Hitler) because the effects of war had been exaggerated in 1938 by the British War Office: aerial bombing was (inaccurately) predicted to cause 121 casualties/ton, and the German air force was expected (for no reason other than doom mongering, it seems) to deliver its maximum capacity of 600 tons of chemical incendiary, gas and explosive bombs daily on Britain, killing 2.2 million people per month.

Chamberlain and the British public were scared by these false "predictions" which were based on the WWI unopposed attacks in daylight and had no relevance for inaccurate nighttime bombing when enemy bombers were subject to AA and fighter defenses.

In World War II a total of 71.27 kilotons (in average units of 175 kg of explosive, according to the British Home Office) of bombs, V1 cruise missiles and V2 supersonic ballistic missiles hit Britain, killing 60,595 and injuring 86,182, a casualty rate of 2 casualties/ton, 60 times fewer than the prediction based on World War I data!



Above: the data proving the life-saving effectiveness of even poor, improvised protection such as "duck and cover" countermeasures against blast and blast wind carried flying debris during World War II bombing air raid attacks on U.K. cities; from page 12 of the U.K. Home Office, Civil Defence Manual of Basic Training, Vol. 2, Pamphlet No. 5, Basic Methods of Protection Against High Explosive Missiles, H.M. Stationery Office, London, 1949. Pages 12-18 explain:

"It cannot be too strongly emphasised that it is most important, from the point of view of reducing casualties as a whole, for everyone in an area under attack to make use of any shelter that is available. Recent research has shown that there would be less fatal casualties if everyone were in relatively poor shelter than if half the population were in shelter twice as good and the other half remained in the open. ... Protection against blast and splinters from a 500 lb. medium cased bomb exploding 50 ft. away will be afforded by the following materials of the thickness indicated:-

Lateral protection

(i) Mild steel plate - 1.5 inches
(ii) Reinforced concrete - 12 inches
(iii) Brickwork or masonry - 13.5 inches
(iv) Unreinforced concrete - 15 inches
(v) Ballast or broken stone - 24 inches
(vi) Earth or sand - 30 inches
(vii) Solidly stacked timber - 36 inches

Overhead protection

(i) Mild steel plate - 5/16 inches
(ii) Reinforced concrete - 6 inches
(iii) Efficient brick arching - 9 inches
(iv) Earth, sand or ballast - 18 inches
(v) The inside of an existing substantial building having a roof and not less than two storey floors overhead, provided that the floor above the protected space is supported to enable it to resist the debris load. ... Shelters providing protection against medium case type bombs also provide a measure of protection against the atomic bomb."


If Chamberlain and - more important - the general public had known the true civilian threat in 1938 from aerial attack instead of the hysterical exaggerations officially promoted, then Hitler might have been stopped or effectively deterred earlier on, with less cost in human lives. Delaying the war gave Germany years to prepare for war, which made the war worse than it would otherwise have been.

Herman Kahn's 1959 testimony to the 22-26 June 1959 U.S. Congressional Hearings on the Biological and Environmental Effects of Nuclear War is much more concise than his books on nuclear weapons effects, so I will quote it here to show you the kind of factual arguments Kennedy heard as a Senator attending nuclear weapons effects hearings (which also led Samuel Glasstone to edit the revised 1962/4 edition of The Effects of Nuclear Weapons so as to bring out the reasons for civil defense countermeasures in the final chapter Principles of Protection):

Page 833:

'Let me start by making some remarks about quantitative computations. The most important reason for being quantitative is because one may, in fact, be able to calculate what is happening. Many of the witnesses have emphasized the uncertainities of thermonuclear war but ... Napoleon ... would have been impressed with the relevance of quantitative calculations; impressed with the accuracy with which people predict what a nuclear war is like. ... This is of some real interest; before World War II, for example, many of the staffs engaged in estimating the effects of bombing over-estimated the effects of bombing by large amounts. This was one of the main reasons that at the Munich Conference and earlier occasions the British and the French chose appeasement to standing firm or fighting. Incidentally, these staff calculations were more lurid than the worst imaginations of fiction. [Air bombing was predicted to destroy whole cities in firestorms in a single air raid, with clouds of poison gas killing everyone for hundreds of miles downwind, like fallout exaggerations from megaton surface bursts which assume that people are constantly outdoors on a smooth infinite unobstructed plane, etc.]'


Page 904:

'I would like to emphasise: Britain declared war on Germany in 1914. Britain declared war on Germany in 1939. If they had not been able to declare war in either of those 2 years, they would have had to let the Germans do whatever they wanted to do. ... I have a book ... which I recommend to those who want to exaggerate the impact of thermonuclear war. It is called Munich: Prologue to Tragedy, by Wheeler Bennett [this book is similar in many respects to President John F. Kennedy's own excellent book written from first hand experience in London when World War II broke out, on the perils of appeasement due to exaggeration of the effects of war, Why England Slept; remember that Hitler was widely praised by pacifists globally after he announced with a lot of hype but of course no sincerity, his grand '25-Year-Peace-Plan' on March 7, 1936]. Among other things Wheeler Bennett discusses why Chamberlain and Daladier folded. When they returned from Munich [where they enjoyed lovely tea and cakes while making useless pacifist treaties on bits of paper not worth a cent with the evil Adolf Hitler in 1938, being far too fearful of Hitler's ever increasing military power and its exaggerated explosive and poison gas effects to challenge him over his evil treatment of Jews even at that time] they were cheered by their people in Paris and London, because war had been averted. Over that weekend some people began to understand that war had been averted by a sellout of the worst sort. And on Monday some few were prepared to criticize. But ... The people who critized Chamberlain and Daladier, with a couple of exceptions, did not criticize them for not going to war; they said, "Hitler was bluffing, and you should have stood your ground".

'As far as we can tell, Hitler was not bluffing. The men who were in the room with him could see he was not bluffing. It was easy for the people back home to say he was bluffing, but not for the men who had the decision to make. The German people did not want war. The German Army did not want war. ... But Hitler seems to have been willing to have a war if he couldn't have his way.'


Pages 909-15:

'Our study distinguishes three types of deterrence in examining the implications for nonmilitary defense:

'Type I - Deterrence of a direct attack on the United States. ... It is not that the Soviets could reliably expect to be untouched, but that a situation might arise in which the Soviets might feel that going to war was the least risky of the available alternatives. ...

'Type II - Deterrence of extremely provocative behavior. The Soviets ... ask themselves if they can force the United States to accept peacefully the consequences of some extremely provocative action (say a large-scale attack on Europe or a Munich-type crisis). ... If the Soviets were not deterred then the United States might actually carry out an evacuation to try to persuade them to desist. If the evacuation did not persuade the Soviets to desist, then in the last resort the United States might decide that it was less risky to go to war than to acquiesce. ...

'Type III - Deterrence of moderately provocative actions. [Berlin Wall of 1961, Cuban missiles crisis of 1962, the Soviet backed war against South Vietnam, etc.] In this case it would be wishful thinking to expect deterrence to work most of the time. However, Soviet calculations which contemplate provoking the United States might be influenced by the existence of a U.S. plan for a crash nonmilitary defense program. ... Experience has shown that attempts to conduct large and overcoordinated programs tend to create inflexibility and to stifle new, unproven ideas or independent approaches.'


In the 22-26 June 1959 U.S. Congressional Hearings on the Biological and Environmental effects of Nuclear War following Kahn was the Nobel Laureate Willard F. Libby who stated on pages 924-5:

'We are led, when we review the history of man, ancient and modern, to the conclusion that it is wise to take out some insurance for our protection in the event that something goes wrong and peaceful international relations come to an end. The nature of the effects of modern nuclear weapons and the ranges over which these effects can produce casualties may provoke the question: "Is there really anything we can do?" My answer to this question is, "Yes." ...

'The committee will recall that we have announced that the fallout from the [15 megatons Castle-Bravo surface burst of] March 1, 1954, detonation at Bikini Atoll would have created radiation casualties in an area estimated at 7,000 square miles if no protective measures were taken. Casualties, seriously injured and dead from the initial effects of this bomb would have occurred in an area of perhaps 250 to 300 square miles [for people standing up, fully exposed to the effects of flying glass and thermal radiation from a 15 megatons bomb which is now long since obsolete and replaced by bombs with typically 100 times smaller yield, 150 kt]. There is a great difference between the two areas and I should like to focus on the need for protection and the capability for protecting the people in the 6,700 square miles or more beyond the range of initial blast, thermal and nuclear radiation. We can save them easily. We can lose them easily. ...

'The first action for anyone who does not already possess the knowledge is to learn what these weapons effects are. No one can be expected to act properly or at all for that matter on any problem unless he understands what makes it. It is necessary for people to learn about fallout, about nuclear radiation, about the effects of nuclear radiation on people, animals, plants, food, water: the things that are immutably linked to life.'


Dr Paul Tompkins of the U.S. Naval Radiological Defense Laboratory stated on pages 953-4 of the Hearings:

'I had the experience of being on the Manhattan Division [developing the first nuclear weapons] in 1943. I am very familiar with the psychology of revulsion against the effect these weapons can produce. ... the results are catastropic enough in their own right. They need no imaginary amplification. The facts themselves are bad enough. However, it is crucially important to look those facts squarely in the face if one is going to face the necessity for survival if against your will or despite anything you can do about it, it is imposed on you. As far as I am concerned, if the chips ever go down and avoiding a conflict is not possible in the scheme of human events of the future, I for one do not propose to see this Nation come out the loser. ...

'The world of the future is going to be dangerous. The human capacity to inflict such damage will inevitably be there. The threat of the employment of that damage is something with which we will have to live unless something very drastic changes in our international relations. ... I personally never expect to see consequences of the type displayed on these maps. ...

'As far as I am personally concerned, by looking at the problems, understanding what they are composed of, and by necessity being an incurable optimist, I never expect to see a war of this kind happen. It is possible that more limited engagements of a more sharply defined type will be fought under the sword of Damocles hanging over our heads some time in the future. If so, let us be prepared for that. So, that at least, is my personal view as to the role that the nonmilitary defense should play, and it will never be perfect.'


Chairman Holifield then concluded the 1959 Hearings on pages 954-5 with the following words:

'These long technical testimonies were necessary in order that the basic record might be presented in as fair a way as we know how. In conclusion I want to say the challenge of the nuclear age is enormous and inescapable.

'The facts of nuclear war and the effects of nuclear war once established will not fade away because they are unpleasant. If we are prudent we will not ignore them.

'They will not disappear. Each of us must accept personal responsibilities because the nuclear war is a personal threat to our survival.

'The problem is too large to leave solely in the hands of the diplomats and the generals.'


As an example, what could happen when Iran gets the U-235, and maybe gets some lithium and heavy water to make lithium deuteride to get a H-bomb (it's now known than lithium-6 deuteride isn't necessary; the 11-Mt Castle-Romeo nuclear test used only natural lithium and was a great success)? It may be just like Munich and Iran will be appeased through fear of a nuclear war, due to lying exaggerations hyped in the media just like the prediction of 2.2 million casualties per month from Nazi air raids.

Update: the nuclear weapons proliferation exaggerated threat is already causing Britain to appease Iran and take no notice of violation of human rights, according to Martin Fletcher's front page story in The Times newspaper, 24 September 2009.

Britain is appeasing Iran, Nobel laureate Shirin Ebadi says
by Martin Fletcher
The Times online, September 24, 2009


The only Iranian to win the Nobel Peace Prize accused Britain of ignoring the regime’s savage suppression of opposition in order to safeguard talks on its nuclear programme.

Shirin Ebadi, the human rights lawyer, said that her worst fears were confirmed when she saw the British Ambassador at President Ahmadinejad’s inauguration.

“That’s when I felt that human rights were being neglected,” she told The Times. “I’m very sorry to say the West cares more about its own security than human rights. I think they’re wrong . . . Undemocratic countries are more dangerous than a nuclear bomb. It’s undemocratic countries that jeopardise international peace.”

Dr Ebadi said that sanctions should have been imposed on the Iranian regime over the alleged theft of the election and the subsequence killing, beating and imprisoning of opponents. She has called for the downgrading of Western embassies, the withdrawal of ambassadors and the freezing of the assets of Iran’s leaders.
...

Dr Ebadi plans to go home in two months, daring the regime to arrest the first Muslim woman to win a Nobel prize. In 2000 she spent three weeks in solitary confinement after lodging a complaint against Tehran’s police chief for a lethal attack on pro-democracy students.

If not imprisoned, she will fight to secure justice for the families of those killed in the crackdown — a trail that could lead all the way to the Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. She has been approached by the mother of Neda Soltan, the student whose death made her an icon of the opposition.

Dr Ebadi said that she was enraged by the crimes that the regime had perpetrated in the name of Islam, but that ordinary Iranians were united as never before, with women at the fore, and that they would not forgive or forget the regime’s crimes. “The opposition has gained unstoppable momentum,” she said. “The people have reached a point of no return. I am sure they will be victorious, but when? The fall of the Berlin Wall was totally predictable but no one could say when.”


Before 9/11, Weinberger was quizzed by skeptical critics on BBC News Talking Point on Friday, 4 May, 2001, Caspar Weinberger quizzed on new US Star Wars ABM plans:


It is like saying we don't like chemical warfare - we don't like gas attacks - so we are going to give up and promise not to have any defences ever against them and that of course would mean then we are perfectly safe. ...


‘The ... idea that you are somehow endangering people by having a defence strikes me almost as absurd as saying you endanger people by having a gas mask in a gas attack. ...


‘Now if you tell an aggressive nation that [chemical or nuclear weapons are] the one system of weapons that is never going to be defended against - what are they going to do? They are going to make every effort to get that kind of system of weapons. That is what is happening ...’



Former and future British Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin stated incorrectly to Parliament in 1932: 'I think it is well also for the man in the street to realise that there is no power on earth that can protect him from being bombed, whatever people may tell him.' Samuel Glasstone witnessed the tragic effects of the exaggeration of the effects of weapons in the lead up to World War II: the exaggeration led to a policy of appeasement during which the Nazis terrorised Jews and simultaneously rearmed with impunity. The whole problem was that the grossly exaggerated effects of aerial bombardment of civilian populations with incendiaries, high explosives and poison gas (with predicted results of many millions dead and utter devastation forecast to be far worse than even modern day nuclear weapons could cause!) forced 1930s governments to give a free hand to terrorists, rogue nations, dictatorships, genocidal regimes, etc., rather than risk the threat of war. It was only later that it became clear that this gross exaggeration of aerial bombardment was making the situation worse: if you have some mad Hitler-like terrorist dictatorship threatening to terrorize your nation, you might have to fight even if the cost is relatively high, just to regain stability. Likewise, if you’re an ethnic minority and some thugs want to slaughter you, the risks of war might be less than the gains of fighting for survival. The pacifist case asks all the wrong questions, or it assumes that wars are all a giant misunderstanding and that something short of physically hurting evil thugs, like chatting to them or trading with them, will avert war. Nope. That was tried with Hitler, Stalin, Saddam, etc. It’s obvious why war can’t be averted: absolute power corrupts, so dictators will always be threatening/hurting others unless they are deterred by a credible threat.


Above: the recovery of Germany from World War I was impeded by the French imposed punishment of massive reparations, which crippled the Germany economy and led to hyperinflation in the early 1920s. After the global economic crisis of 1929, the extremist politician Hitler gained increasing public sympathy in Germany and became dictator in 1933. He ended unemployment by conscripting a massive army and invaded the Rhineland on 7 March 1936, violating the Treaty of Versailles. Nearly universal pacifism after the destruction and loss of life in World War I, had led to disarmament and a negative public opinion towards military action in other European states, which were therefore unable to block Germany. Fear of annihilation in war led to a reduction in armaments, encouraging dictators to take advantage by building up their power and endlessly testing resolve by taking provocative actions. For example, French journalist Geneviève Tabouis wrote on page 8 of the 4th revised Penguin Books (England) edition of her popular Blackmail or War, published in May 1938 (the first Penguin edition had been published on 25 February 1938):

'Public opinion takes the point of view that war, which may perhaps be inevitable, would involve the utter ruin of our civilization.'


Above: David Low's illustration in the London Evening Standard newspaper of July 8, 1936, showing Hitler free to walk over the 'spineless leaders of democracy' (the steps of Hitler are labelled 'Rearmament', 'Rhineland fortified', 'Dantzig' ... 'Boss of the Universe'). After World War I, at the insistence of French officialdom, German was made to pay £1,000,000,000 damages on account immediately, with a final settlement of £6,600,000,000 damages to be paid decided in 1921. The effect on Germany was hyperinflation and economic ruin. The resentment produced was exploited by Hitler. Simultaneously, a generation of pacifist politicians and appeasement supporting journalists were produced in reaction to the carnage of the First World War. John F. Kennedy, the future American President, worked in the American Embassy in London at the outbreak of the war and his thesis on the reasons why British politicians appeased Hitler, Why England Slept (published by Hutchinson, London, 1940) concluded:

'I believe, as I have stated frequently, that leaders are responsible for their failures only in the governing sector and cannot be held responsible for the failure of a nation as a whole.'

This is because leaders of democracy are elected to represent the people and are influenced by the free press of a democracy. They are elected to do what the majority of the people want, so instead of blaming the leaders of democracy for the failure to stand up to Hitler, a major part of the blame needs to be placed squarely upon the shoulders of those in the media who spread false propaganda (or did not take the care and trouble to debunk propaganda successfully), and thereby supported pacifism when it was clearly encouraging Nazi aggression. The major Nazi encouraging pacifist of the period was C. E. M. Joad who presented the pacifist case in the infamous Oxford Union Society debate, on 9 February 1933 (ten days after Hitler became Chancellor of Germany), of the proposition: “That this House will in no circumstances fight for its King and Country.” Joad's eloquence led the motion to be passed by a vote of 275 to 153. Joad's argument simply omitted altogether the whole problem that if you don't fight a tyrant, the tyrant is free to massacre in cold blood, to starve ethnic minorities, and so on:



'My case is that war is not something that is inevitable, but is the result of certain man-made circumstances; that man can abolish them, as he abolished the circumstances in which plague flourished.'

- C. E. M. Joad, Why War?, Penguin Books, August 1939 (front cover).

Of course, France officially avoided war with Germany by surrendering and allowing a 'peaceful invasion' (although the Resistance fought while under occupation). The problem with simply giving up weapons is that you thereby open your door to all forms of intimidation, thuggery, dictatorship, and are unable to help those in need without being shot yourself. In the 1933 debate, Joad was asked what he would do if an enemy soldier raped his sister, and replied sarcastically (he was a serial womanizer).

"When asked what he would do if he saw a German raping his sister, he replied in his famous falsetto voice: 'I should try and come between them'."

- Martin Ceadel, "The ‘King and Country’ Debate, 1933: Student Politics, Pacifism and the Dictators", The Historical Journal vol. 22 (1979), pp. 397-422.

"Winston Churchill condemned the motion in a speech on 17 February, 1933 to the Anti-Socialist and Anti-Communist Union as "that abject, squalid, shameless avowal... [it] was a very disquieting and very disgusting symptom. One could almost feel the curl of contempt upon the lips of the manhood of Germany, Italy and France when they read the message sent out by Oxford University in the name of Young England".[8] In March 1933 the "Oxford Pledge", as the resolution came to be called, was adopted by the University of Manchester and the University of Glasgow.[8]

"Three weeks after it was passed, Randolph Churchill proposed a resolution at the Oxford Union to delete the "King and Country" motion from the Union's records but this was defeated by 750 votes to 138 in a rowdy debate, where Churchill was met by a barrage of hisses and stink bombs. A bodyguard of Oxford Conservatives and police escorted Churchill back to his hotel after the debate.[3][9]

"In a speech in the House of Commons on 20 July, 1934, the Liberal MP Robert Bernays described a visit he made to Germany: 'I remember very vividly, a few months after the famous pacifist resolution at the Oxford Union visiting Germany and having a talk with a prominent leader of the young Nazis. He was asking about this pacifist motion and I tried to explain it to him. There was an ugly gleam in his eye when he said, "The fact is that you English are soft". Then I realized that the world enemies of peace might be the pacifists.'[10]" - Wikipedia.


This is a very important point, because it underlines the point that once the effects of weapons of war have been exaggerated sufficiently to make war seem worse than any imaginable oppression, the pacifist case is invincible and has historically ridden roughshod over all conceivable objections: if you claim that war will destroy everyone and everything, you will have to surrender to terrorism or be destroyed.

German Zeppelin airships and Gotha bombers dropped a total of 0.30 kiloton of bombs on Britain in World War I, killing 1,413 people and injuring 3,407. The most efficient attacks were two daylight air raids in 1917 by Gotha bombers which dropped 6.9 tons of bombs and caused 832 casualties including 216 deaths, i.e. 121 casualties/ton. In World War II a total of 71.27 kilotons of bombs, V1 cruise missiles and V2 supersonic ballistic missiles hit Britain, killing 60,595 and injuring 86,182, a casualty rate of 2 casualties/ton. So in Britain the World War II average casualty rate from aerial bombing was only 1.7% of the most efficient bombing in World War I. Assuming (falsely) that future bombing effects with improved technology would be as efficient as the best World War I bombing, and that the German air force could deliver 600 tons of bombs daily, the 1938 British official predicted horrific effects which were actually very similar to the effects later predicted for a smaller number of individually more destructive nuclear weapons in a Soviet attack: even the supposedly 'unique' fire and fallout radiation effects were mimicked in conventional bombing by magnesium and phosphorus incendiary bombs and by the delayed effects mustard gas bombs which contaminate areas with slowly evaporating liquid mustard agent. Half of the buildings in London were predicted to be destroyed within a month, over a million people would be dead or injured despite air raid precautions and shelters, three million would be homeless and there would be four million psychiatric casualties. In 1939 the Ministry of Health printed a million burial forms to be ready for war. (Source: Peter Laurie, Beneath the City Streets: A Private Inquiry into the Nuclear Preoccupations of Government, Penguin, 1974.)

All of this was wrong, due to quantitative exaggeration and a lack of scientific understanding of the way in which countervalue uses of weapons would be deterred, hindered, and rendered ineffective. Human nature resolutely opposes the hatred manifested by indiscriminate violence by an enemy, and sees it as immoral and insane. This was why countervalue bombing during World War II was a military failure. It was found to increase rather than weaken the resolve of the attacked population to support its leadership in sustaining war against the opposition.

On 1 September 1939, American President Franklin D. Roosevelt issued an 'Appeal against aerial bombardment of civilian populations' which stated:

'The ruthless bombing from the air of civilians in unfortified centers of population during the course of the hostilities which have raged in various quarters of the earth during the past few years [e.g., in the Spanish Civil War in 1937], which has resulted in the maiming and in the death of thousands of defenseless men, women, and children, has sickened the hearts of every civilized man and woman, and has profoundly shocked the conscience of humanity.

'If resort is had to this form of inhuman barbarism during the period of the tragic conflagration with which the world is now confronted, hundreds of thousands of innocent human beings who have no responsibility for, and who are not even remotely participating in, the hostilities which have now broken out, will lose their lives. I am therefore addressing this urgent appeal to every government which may be engaged in hostilities publicly to affirm its determination that its armed forces shall in no event, and under no circumstances, undertake the bombardment from the air of civilian populations or of unfortified cities, upon the understanding that these same rules of warfare will be scrupulously observed by all of their opponents.'

Britain abided until 15 May 1940, due to public opinion after the 'phoney war' period was ended by the German invasion of France on 10 May, and by the German air bombing of Rotterdam on 13 May. Pressure for air bombing of Germany was increased after the Soviet Union was attacked by Germany in 1941, since it was the only action Britain could take to relieve pressure on the German-Russian front, and 'with the technology available at the time, the precision bombing of military targets was only possible by daylight (and difficult even then). Daylight bombing involved unacceptably high losses of British aircraft. Bombing by night led to far lower British losses, but was of necessity indiscriminate.' The German capital, Berlin, was subjected to 363 air raids and German as a whole received 1,300,000 tons of air dropped bombs (1.3 megatons, although equivalent to a lot more nuclear megatons due to the inefficiency of releasing a similar amount of energy in a single explosion) between 1940 and 1945:

'These raids caused immense devastation and loss of life in Berlin. The 22 November 1943 raid killed 2,000 Berliners and rendered 175,000 homeless. The following night 1,000 were killed and 100,000 made homeless. During December and January regular raids killed hundreds of people each night and rendered between 20,000 and 80,000 homeless each time.[17] Overall nearly 4,000 were killed, 10,000 injured and 450,000 made homeless.[18]

'Despite the devastation they caused, however, these raids failed to achieve their objectives. German civilian morale did not break, the city's defences and essential services were maintained, and war production in greater Berlin did not fall: in fact German war production continued to rise until the end of 1944. Area bombing consistently failed to meet its stated objective, which was to win the war by bombing Germany until its economy and civilian morale collapsed. ... It is generally accepted that the Battle of Berlin was a failure for the RAF ...'




Above: Herman Kahn and Albert Wohlstetter of the RAND Corporation studied the reasons for the 7 December 1941 surprise attack on Pearl Harbor in Oahu, Hawaii. It was a military target, and substantial damage was done to American Naval capabilities by the use of specially designed torpedoes which could operate in the shallow harbour water. America had ignored the torpedo threat because the water was shallower than the usual textbook minimum depth for the use of torpedoes. The reason for the surprise attack was a simple calculation by the Imperial Japanese navy, which predicted that at the end of 1941 Japan would have 70 percent of the warship strength of America, but this strength: 'would fall to 65 percent in 1942, to 50 percent in 1943, and to a disastrous 30 percent in 1944.' (Source: H. P. Willmott, Empires in the Balance, Annapolis, 1982, p. 62.) Only the bombing of military targets has achieved success: the effects of the delivery of 1.3 megatons of conventional bombs dropped on Germany in World War II failed to win Germany public support let alone the war, just as German bombing on Britain failed to achieve its objective and was largely counterproductive in hardening resolve.

'In all, there were more than 146,000 civilian casualties in Britain during the war ... Now, here’s a comparison between what actually happened in 1939-1945 and what British government officials in 1938 predicted might happen if a war started in 1939 — that’s the knock-out blow: over a million casualties per month, half of them fatalities, over only two months. Nearly two orders of magnitude more destructive than what actually happened.



'These estimates were not plucked out of thin air, but they weren’t much more than naive extrapolations from the First World War experience: divide the number of casualties between 1914 and 1918 by the tonnage of bombs dropped, and then multiply by the number of bombers the enemy had and the amount of bombs they could carry. This turned out to be a huge exaggeration, but you can see why everyone was so worried! In extreme versions of the knock-out blow, civilisation itself would collapse, as the complex webs of commerce, transport and social control which bind society together break apart, leaving people to fend for themselves as best they could. From the perspective of a later generation, this sounds a lot like the effects of nuclear war.'

- Overview of Brett Holman's PhD thesis.


The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord Elton) stated in the House of Lords debate on Civil Defence (General Local Authority Functions) Regulations, Hansard, vol. 444, cc. 523-49, 1 November 1983:

"As to the interlinking of the defence against an attack and provision to attack in kind, I think all of your Lordships in the House at the moment are old enough to recall our experience with gas in the last world war. There was gas in Germany, there was gas here. We had gas masks as part of our civil defence and gas was never used. I hope that I refer to a fruitful paradigm."




"The Germans did not use gas during the 1939-1945 war [except for hydrogen cyanide gas, used for example in the gas chambers from 1941 at Auschwitz concentration camp, which was stored in solid form called ‘Zyklon-B’ using a reaction with oxalic acid discovered by German chemist Dr Brune Tesch], but on its conclusion it was found that they held large stocks of both new and old war gases and some of these were ready for use in bombs and shells. [German chemist Dr Gerhard Schrader on December 23, 1936 discovered the first nerve gas, tabun, and the Nazis manufactured 12,000 tons of it between April 1942 and May 1945, but did not use it for fear of mustard gas reprisals, since Germany had a rubber shortage and hence not enough gas masks. Dr Gerhard Schrader and three others also discovered sarin nerve gas in Nazi Germany in 1938. Soman nerve gas was discovered in 1944 in Germany by a Nobel Laureate, vitamin expert Dr Richard Kuhn.] ... it is fair to assume that the knowledge that the population of this country all possessed efficient respirators [>by September 1939, no less than 38 million gas masks had been issued to civilians] and were trained in their use, together with the possibility of retaliation, was an important deterrent. [Note that standard British World War II gas masks with activated charcoal absorbers give protection against all nerve gases; the airborne LDt50 (concentration-time product) dose of tabun needed to kill by unprotected skin absorption is 3,700 times higher than that for inhalation, and 3,100 times higher for sarin. Therefore, wearing a gas mask without protective clothing will give a protection factor of several thousand, vastly increasing the amount of nerve gas needed to kill people even under suitable weather conditions.]"

- U.K. Home Office, Civil Defence Manual of Basic Training, Vol. 2, Pamphlet No. 1, Basic Chemical Warfare, H.M. Stationery Office, London, 1949, p. 3.

‘The Hungarian revolution of October and November 1956 demonstrated the difficulty faced even by a vastly superior army in attempting to dominate hostile territory. The [Soviet Union] Red Army finally had to concentrate twenty-two divisions in order to crush a practically unarmed population. ... With proper tactics, nuclear war need not be as destructive as it appears when we think of [World War II nuclear city bombing like Hiroshima]. The high casualty estimates for nuclear war are based on the assumption that the most suitable targets are those of conventional warfare: cities to interdict communications ... With cities no longer serving as key elements in the communications system of the military forces, the risks of initiating city bombing may outweigh the gains which can be achieved. ...

‘The elimination of area targets will place an upper limit on the size of weapons it will be profitable to use. Since fall-out becomes a serious problem [i.e. fallout contaminated areas which are so large that thousands of people would need to evacuate or shelter indoors for up to two weeks] only in the range of explosive power of 500 kilotons and above, it could be proposed that no weapon larger than 500 kilotons will be employed unless the enemy uses it first. Concurrently, the United States could take advantage of a new development which significantly reduces fall-out by eliminating the last stage of the fission-fusion-fission process.’

- Dr Henry Kissinger, Nuclear Weapons and Foreign Policy, Harper, New York, 1957, pp. 180-3, 228-9.

Kissinger's 1957 book, Nuclear Weapons and Foreign Policy, analyzed Soviet and Chinese military policy and opposed Secretary of State John Foster Dulles’s 'Massive Retaliation' policy. Kissenger argued that city bombing was obsolete and dangerous as a policy to either side in a nuclear war due to the risks of retaliation in kind, and that this would make 'countervalue' bombing (Herman Kahn's term for anti-civilian city strikes) unattractive as a political or military strategy. Instead, once the enemy has nuclear weapons (i.e., in the period after the Hiroshima and Nagasaki surprise attacks), the only use beyond deterrence for nuclear weapons is their tactical use against military targets. There would even be pressure on both sides to use nuclear weapons in such a way that collateral damage due to blast and fallout is minimised: the use of relatively clean nuclear air bursts to avert collateral damage to innocent civilians would carry a smaller risk of countervalue retaliation than an attack which caused a large number of civilian casualties and aroused anger and a determination to exact revenge. In his 1962 book Thinking about the Unthinkable (Horizon Press, New York, pp. 212-8), Herman Kahn listed the major nuclear threats from the spread of nuclear weapons as:

1. Rogue state use of nuclear weapons for intimidation, revenge, and terrorism.
2. Surprise attacks on military targets like Naval base Pearl Harbor in late 1941.
3. Diffusion of nuclear weapons to 'irresponsible private organizations'.

The credible nuclear threat against civilians is due to small scale terrorist or limited wars. The anti-nuclear politics lobby believes and promotes the false dogma that exaggerating the effects of nuclear weapons will make the world safer. In fact, that exaggeration fuels all of the threats, making them worse, at the same time as demeaning the value of civil defense countermeasures. Herbert York, a former weapons designer, claimed in a 1989 international TV series, The Nuclear Age, that a world police organization could prevent nuclear threats by analogy to the way that the police prevents crime between individuals. The problem here is obvious: it is that the police does not prevent crime, and acannot prevent crime. The objective of the police is not to prevent crime (which is a completely unattainable utopian fantasy which nobody who lives in the real world could possibly be deluded about), but to reduce crime and support a fair system of justice to avoid the problems of bias, prejudice, lynch mobs and the doctrine that 'might is right' which inevitably prevails where justice cannot be implemented.

Even in dictatorial police states where individual liberty and freedom is curtained, where people can be detained without charge and tortured to extract information, there are often unprevented uprisings by secret and underground organization of dissenters such as the Hungarian revolution which Khrushchev ruthlessly suppressed in 1956 and the Prague Spring in 1968.

In a democracy with any pretense of liberty and freedom, the police have even less chance to "prevent" crime than the secret police of dictatorships. The police in a democracy must only act by detaining and charging individuals after evidence is obtained: they cannot act before there is evidence of crime without violating the doctrine of innocent until proved guilty. The police do not always prevent crime even where they are authorized to try to do so. Therefore, Western disarmament supported by a world police system as an attempt to prevent rogue and terrorist nuclear threats, would not eliminate the threat. Dr Herbert York's analogy of nuclear safeguards to a police system actually illustrates the fact that disarmament and safeguards will be just as unable to prevent secret nuclear threats as the police is unable to prevent crime.

One of the ramifications for nuclear hysteria and anti-civil defence propaganda for disarmament is the encouragement of nuclear proliferation to dictators and terrorist organizations. The anti-nuclear lobby grotesquely misrepresents the dose-rate and DNA repair mechanism threshold effects of radioactivity and has misled the world with at best only unheard, feeble presentations of the facts from the peacetime nuclear industry and the civil defence authorities. In addition, the propaganda deliberately confuses the various different kinds of nuclear detonation effects, instead of confronting the fact that there are many uses of nuclear weapons and that none of them can ever duplicate the incendiary effects over the 1945 wood frame cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki which simply no longer exist as possible targets in the modern world.


Above: the target for Sam Cohen's neutron bomb was these T-54/55 Russian main battle tanks, which had the highest production run of any tank ever made (over 86,000 were manufactured). They were manufactured chiefly for the invasion of Western Europe, once tactical nuclear weapons had been removed by political lobbying of Western disarmament activists via the Kremlin-controlled World Peace Council based in Moscow.




Above: tactical nuclear warfare was rehearsed at Nevada nuclear tests during the Korean War. Here, soldiers survive in trenches and then approach the target area on foot after the May 1, 1952 deuterium-boosted 19 kt Operation Tumbler-Snapper DOG air burst at 1,040 feet altitude. Soldiers in open (uncovered) two-person foxholes 4.5 feet deep, 6 feet long and 2 feet wide, crouched low enough to avoid direct-line of sight radiation, have a protection factor against initial gamma radiation of 15 if the foxhole is side-on to the detonation, and 7.6 if the foxhole is exposed end-on. The neutron radiation dose protection factor for these foxholes was 3.4. (These data were actually measured at the 37 kt PLUMBBOB-PRISCILLA shot at 700 ft altitude: Nathaniel J. Davis, Jr., Protection Afforded by Field Fortifications Against Nuclear Weapons Effects, U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Laboratories, Report AD860811, 1958, pp. xiii-xiv. That report also states that 7 by 7 foot machine gun emplacements survived a peak overpressure of 40 psi facing away from that burst but were extremely vulnerable if facing the burst or side on to the burst. The Confidential Capabilities of Atomic Weapons TM 23-200 Table 6-5 on p. 6-11 states that the protection factor for foxholes is 10-20 for initial gamma radiation, 10-50 for fallout gamma radiation, and 3.3 for neutrons.)

Above: the DOG shot in 1952 produced no fallout hazards because it was an air burst: the radioactivity at ground zero was due to neutron capture in the soil, as in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The neutrons emitted by the bomb are of very high energy (in the MeV range), and are not captured significantly by soil elements of low atomic weight until the neutron energy has been reduced by scattering to about the normal thermal energy of nuclei at ambient temperature, about 0.025 eV. A 1 MeV neutron from the bomb must collide with hydrogen nuclei on average 17.5 times to undergo the 40,000,000 fold loss of kinetic energy needed to thermalize it to 0.025 eV energy. If the material is carbon, 111 nuclei collisions are required; for lead, 1,800 collisions. Once the neutron is thus slowed down, it is liable to be captured by a nucleus via adhesion by the virtual pion-mediated strong attraction, instead of bouncing back (scattering), as is more likely for high energy neutrons. For this reason, neutron induced activity is dependent only on soil type and the number of neutrons emited from the bomb; there is no significant effect of the neutron spectrum because the neutrons are all scattered around a lot and degraded to thermal energy, before being captured by the soil.

Above: the gamma radiation decay rates of Nevada and other soil and sand neutron induced activity, normalized to identical dose rates at 1 hour after burst. For a given type of nuclear weapon detonated over each of the different kinds of soil, the relative gamma dose rates at ground zero at 1 hour after burst will be 4,540 units/hour for Hawaiian lava clay (due to its massive manganese content, producing a vast amount of Mn-56), 379 units/hour for Nevada desert soil (sodium and manganese), 41.7 units/hour for Liberian soil in Africa, and 1 unit/hour for Pensacola beach sand (which is very nearly pure silicon dioxide, with only a trace of sodium). At times less than 1 hour after burst, aluminium-28 predominates in each case. There was great interest in the neutron induced activity on beaches due to air bursts in the 1950s, because it was realized that nuclear weapons would be used to clear beach defenses prior to an amphibious invasion like the D-Day landings. The main hazard covers a small area and the peak neutron induced activity occurs at a depth of 6-7 cm under the top of the ground, so the radiation emitted by the neutron induced activity is shielded by the ground to a considerable extent. A similar effect occurs in salt water, but the radioactive surface water layer is rapidly mixed by wave action with water at greater depths, diluting the activity and causing a great deal more shielding by the water mass.

Tactical and strategic uses were taken seriously because the one military use of nuclear weapons ever made was to end a war, to prevent a million deaths in the conventional invasion of Japan. Not even the worst dictators in history like Hitler or Stalin started a war in which they tried immediately to kill as quickly as possible as many of the enemy's civilians as possible by aerial bombardment and poison gas. Nuclear war could not consist of an all-out anti-civilian action of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki kind, because nuclear weapons are no longer genuinely capable of such action unless somehow they could be used against cities of wood-frame houses with bamboo and paper furnishings plus overturnable breakfast (Hiroshima) or lunch (Nagasaki) charcoal filled braziers:

(1) The very large size of the explosion (compared to conventional explosives) causes the various effects like initial hydrodynamic-enhanced fission product radiation and thermal radiation to be released slowly enough - and for blast and fallout to be released with sufficient delay time during its transit from source to personnel - for even the slowest people to take simple, cheap and effective protective actions for saving lives. The only exceptions are at distances so close to ground zero that the effects are lethal anyway; we will prove this fact later in this post using data from Hiroshima and Nagasaki which shows the immense value of any form of thermal shadowing in raising the nuclear radiation LD50 (lethal dose for 50%) due to the synergism mechanism; nuclear radiation proves lethal at small doses in combination with thermal blistering or charring because nuclear radiation can suppress the white blood cell count substantially for two months following exposure, during which infection in burns wounds will easily prove lethal. Avoid infected burns, and the LD50 rises sharply.

(2) Unlike the case of low yield conventional weapons, the areas affected by blast are so large that popularized unobstructed desert data is false due to the scientific fact that blast energy depletion is caused as the blast uses up its energy destroying buildings one after another in any radial line from ground zero, which though not an immense effect in old inflammable wood-frame cities (as measured at Hiroshima and Nagasaki by British investigator Penney in 1945) reduces the blast pressure areas dramatically in modern brick and concrete cities. This blast energy use will be discussed in physical detail later in this post.

(3) Thermal ablation occurs during exposure, so smoke-shadowing prevents fires.

(4) You don't need fallout sheltering downwind if you simply walk in the crosswind direction out of a visibly dangerous fallout area, before getting a sufficient dose to cause injury. This is possible due to the slow diffusive build-up of fallout which isn't all deposited instantaneously. The vertical fallout activity deposition rate is independent of wind speed. Rainout flushes fallout down drains or deep into the ground, where it is shielded by soil.

Politics is about 'groupthink' and its fashionable consensus; science by contrast is diametrically opposed to any form of ignorant fashionable consensus by definition, for science - unlike consensus and voting - is just about facts regardless of the widely held pseudoscientific political consensus and propaganda lies/'expert opinions' to the contrary:

‘Science is the organized skepticism in the reliability of expert opinion.’ - R. P. Feynman (quoted by Smolin, The Trouble with Physics, 2006, p. 307).

The issuing of properly tested civil defense countermeasures like general purpose gas masks and air raid shelters to all civilians in Britain before World War II helped to deter Hitler, who was unable to effectively use tabun and sarin nerve gases for fear of retaliation by British mustard gas because of the lack of German gas masks due to rubber shortage. Radar automated anti-aircraft guns and other technology also make enemy attacks less effective than predicted, even in WWI.

Herman Kahn used a 44-rung escalation ladder to explain the facts of history that lead from political disagreement to warfare and then up to anti-personnel attacks in his 1965 book On Escalation (Pall Mall, London). A dozen of the most important escalations are:
1. Disagreement over principles (democracy versus dictatorship)

2. Technology race (European arms race of 1914, space race of 1957-69)

3. Declarations of principles (e.g., Marxist world revolution)

4. Confrontations of words (verbal attacks on statements of enemy leaders)

5. Economic sanctions

6. General war talk and civil defense planning (Berlin, 1961)

7. Ultimatums and threats of war (Hitler: Munich, 1938)

8. Mobilization of military forces

9. Naval blockage or arms embargo (Cuban missiles crisis, 1962)

10. Conventional military confrontations (Korea 1953, Vietnam 1975)

11. Limited nuclear warfare within a conventional war or deliberate 'demonstration test' with the media invited to report the effects (Hiroshima and Nagasaki nuclear attacks, 1945; CROSSROADS fission air drop demonstration to Soviet Union via the world's media attending Bikini Atoll, 1946; REDWING-CHEROKEE thermonuclear air drop demonstration to Soviet Union via world's media attending Bikini Atoll, 1956; BOMBA TSAR 50 Mt thermonuclear air drop demonstration to United States, Novaya Zemlya, 1961)

12. Serious civil defense countermeasures analogous to the September 1939 evacuation of children and mothers in England from potential target cities and their dispersal and billeting into the countryside to minimise tragedy in war and to increase the credibility of the military deterrence for political leverage ('this is your last chance to come to the table and negotiate a peaceful settlement, before we destroy you, we're ready for war').


Although anti-civil defense propaganda always falsely presents evacuation as risking a pre-emptive strike, in fact the enemy would gain nothing by attacking during evacuation (effects would be much worse if the enemy attacks before evacuation begins, i.e. today!). A pre-emptive strike is always fruitless where the other side has a protected second-strike (retaliation) capability such as nuclear submarines hidden at sea. This protected second-strike capability takes away any incentive for the other side to strike first (contrary to the propaganda against civil defense). Herman Kahn added in that book that nuclear testing offers a wide range of psychological possibilities short of anti-civilian capabilities:

'Consider ... the use of nuclear weapons to coerce an opponent by means of a spectacular show of force. In this case, it is clear that there is an almost continuous spectrum of alternatives available. They can be ranked as follows:

'1. Testing a large weapon for purely technical reasons almost as part of a normal test programme.

'2. Testing a very large weapon, or testing on a day that has particular political significance, or both.

'3. Testing a weapon off the coast of the antagonist so that the populace can observe it.

'4. Testing a weapon high in outer space near the antagonist's airspace [EMP].

'5. Testing lower in outer space, or directly over the opponent's country [EMP].

'6. Testing so low that the shock wave is heard by everybody, and perhaps a few windows are broken.'




Above: President John F. Kennedy at the Nevada Test Site on 8 December 1962. Kennedy was the president who authorized the first Nevada test firing of Samuel Cohen's neutron bomb. The data from the 1962 atmospheric tests authorized by Kennedy led to the vital discovery of the magnetic dipole EMP mechanism from high altitude bursts, and clarified many other aspects of nuclear effects phenomenology, leading to revised editions of Glasstone's The Effects of Nuclear Weapons and Dolan's Capabilities of Nuclear Weapons, and providing data which was still being analyzed by increasingly sophisticated mathematical models and computer calculations in the 1990s.



Above: discussion of the Glasstone book based 'Nuclear Bomb Effects Computer' begins at 1 minute 40 seconds in this clip: Stanley Kubrick's 1964 film Dr Strangelove was marketed by sending out the plastic circular slide rules from the 1962 edition of Glasstone's Effects of Nuclear Weapons. However, there is no relationship between the actual computer's decay rate where the radiation drops by a factor of 10 for every 7-fold increase in time after detonation (which is for fission products, 72% of which have half lives under 24 hours and only 4% of which have half lives exceeding 1 year) and the totally fictional 100 year shelter period Dr Strangelove 'calculates':





Above: Stanley Kubrick's 1964 film, a classic 1960s satirical attack directed at the American military-political complex in general and - in particular - the ex-Nazi military scientists recruited by the American military-scientific establishment, like Dr Wernher von Braun. Click here for Tom Lehrer's 1960s song attacking Dr von Braun's development of Hitler's V2 missile before he developed the Saturn V to put American astronauts on the Moon before that decade was out, in accordance to President Kennedy's space-race against Communism: 'Vee do not care where the rockets come down; vee only care when the rockets go up'). Kubrick's film deliberately abuses the facts of nuclear weapons effects by including Dr Strangelove (Peter Sellers, who earlier starred in Kubrick's 1962 film Lolita) using the 'Nuclear Bomb Effects Computer' from the April 1962 edition of The Effects of Nuclear Weapons to lyingly "calculate" that people would need to shelter underground for 100 years from a cobalt-cased bomb. Kubrick had to lie about the effects of nuclear weapons to deliver his 1930s style message about warfare.

Actually, the amount of residual nuclear radiation energy given off by cobalt-60 or anything else that simply captures neutrons is always much less than that given off by the fission products produced by using the same number of neutrons for fission: cobalt-60 only emits two gamma rays, 1.17 MeV and 1.33 MeV (a total of 2.5 MeV of energy), given off in decay per atom, with a 50% decay probability within 5.3 years (the "half-life"). Using the same single neutron to cause fission releases 200 MeV, including 7 MeV of delayed fission product gamma rays. Therefore, you can get more explosive effects plus more residual radiation using a uranium-238 jacket, than you can using cobalt. The low specific activity of cobalt in fallout due to the 5.3 years half-life means it is not a hazard over the short time needed to decontaminate surfaces (by hose pipe flushing or street vacuum cleaning vehicles; radioactivity in drains underground is well shielded from people).

If there is a cobalt or other "salting" jacket, you get a few MeV of radiation energy per neutron captured by cobalt-59, creating cobalt-60; but if the jacket is U-238 you get 200 MeV of prompt blast, heat and cratering energy as well as more residual radiation energy than you would get from using the same neutron to change cobalt-59 into cobalt-60. Therefore, you lose effects including residual radiation energy by using a cobalt jacket instead of a U-238 (natural uranium) jacket to the bomb's fusion stage, and you don't gain anything by having less radiation energy given off very slowly, spread over many years by cobalt-60, because the lower dose rate you get from spreading out a fixed amount of energy as radiation exposure over long times rather than having it concentrated into a shorter time interval (higher dose rate). Cobalt-60 is thus less effective than a U-238 jacket on a thermonuclear bomb because it:

(1) permits decontamination (you sweep or flush it away, where it doesn't get naturally flushed down the drain by rain or washed/plowed deeply into the soil, which shields the radiation) before getting a significant dose, and

(2) spreading out the same few MeV per neutron capture over many years with cobalt-60 allows biological repair to proceed while the dose is accumulated: low level doses have been observed in properly controlled studies to not have the harmful short or long effects which can be extrapolated linearly from large doses. The whole basis of Kubrick's film is a lie, exaggerating the threat and promoting quack civil defense countermeasures. Fallout decontamination was intensively studied in the 1956 Operation Redwing nuclear test series at Bikini and Eniwetok Atolls, which despite being the ground zero locale for numerous multimegaton high-fission yield nuclear tests, were successfully decontaminated:




A nuclear attack cannot be in the form of complete annihilation for basic scientific reasons justified by evidence form Hiroshima, Nagasaki and nuclear tests which we will explain in detail in the post, and it cannot come in the form of a massive fast nuclear war for historically defensible political reasons: an all-out war would by definition use up all second-strike capabilities so both sides would be left without any bargaining chips. The 2005 Nobel Laureate Thomas C. Schelling of RAND Corp., a consultant to the U.S. Department of Defense from 1960-64, forcefully argued for the counterforce strategy against military targets to replace the older World War II countervalue (industrial and city targetting) bombing policy. Counterforce became military policy for the capabilities of nuclear weapons (as we will show with extracts from the declassified manuals by Philip J. Dolan), to save the enemy civilians as 'hostages' in order to de-escalate a nuclear war without a massacre of civilians. This was possible as missile accuracy improved. In World War II, aircraft bombing had a very low accuracy and could not target military bases without immense collateral damage. The accuracy of the early V1 missile in World War II was 10 miles, so it was only of use against large city targets. Improvements to the accuracy of missiles permitted a change in bombing strategy toward military targets, accompanied by a reduction of yield to reduce and in many cases totally eliminate collateral damage and fallout hazards. As missile accuracy improves, the nuclear explosive yield needed to achieve a constant probability of target destruction is reduced. So the major threat is from terrorism and limited warfare.

In 1979, as a result of having seen the appalling consequences of irrational anti-civil defense groupthink scare-mongering in allowing Hitler to build up enough power unopposed to start World War II despite Germany disarmament after World War I (because of irrational fear of even a minor war if Hitler had been opposed before he had enough armaments for a major war!), Glasstone helped Cresson H. Kearny to improve the nuclear weapons information in the official Oak Ridge National Laboratory Cold War-focussed civil defence manual, Nuclear War Survival Skills:

'Many strategists believe that the United States is more likely to suffer a relatively small nuclear attack than an all-out Soviet onslaught. These possible smaller nuclear attacks include:

' ° A limited Soviet attack ...

' ° An accidental or unauthorized launching ...

' ° A small attack on the United States by the fanatical ruler of an unstable country that may acquire small nuclear weapons and a primitive delivery system.

' ° A terrorist attack, that will be a more likely possibility once nuclear weapons become available in unstable nations. Fallout dangers could extend clear across America. For example, a single small nuclear weapon exploded in a West Coast city would cause lethal fallout hazards to unsheltered persons for several miles downwind from the part of the city devastated by blast and fire. It also would result in deposition of fallout in downwind localities up to hundreds of miles away, with radiation dose rates hundreds of times higher than the normal background. Fallout would be especially heavy in areas of rain-out; pregnant women and small children in those areas, following peacetime standards for radiation protection, might need to stay sheltered for weeks. Furthermore, in localities spotted across the United States, milk would be contaminated by radioiodine.'




“The foliage making up the crowns [upper branches and leaves] of the trees, while it has a high probability of being exposed to the full free-field radiation environment from air bursts... may, however, materially reduce the exposure of the forest floor by generating quantities of smoke and steam, as well as by direct shading.” - Philip J. Dolan, Capabilities of Nuclear Weapons, U.S. Defense Nuclear Agency, 1978 revision, Secret – Restricted Data, Chapter 15, Damage to Forest Stands, paragraph 15-9.

"Green leaves and needles on tree crowns smoke and char but do not ordinarily sustain ignition. This smoke production materially reduces the radiant exposure of the ground surface." - Capabilities of Atomic Weapons, U.S. Department of Defense, TM 23-200, Confidential, 1960, page 11-2.

“Fuels seldom burn vigorously, regardless of the wind conditions, when fuel moisture content exceeds about 16 percent. This corresponds to an equilibrium moisture content for a condition of 80 percent relative humidity. Rainfall of only a fraction of an inch will render most fuels temporarily nonflammable and may extinguish fires in thin fuels... Surface fuels in the interior of timber stands are exposed to reduced wind velocities; generally, these fuels retain their moisture as a result of shielding from the wind and shading from sunlight by the canopy.” - Philip J. Dolan, Capabilities of Nuclear Weapons, U.S. Defense Nuclear Agency, 1978 revision, Secret – Restricted Data, Chapter 15, "Damage to Forest Stands", page 15-60. (This material can also be found in the U.S. Department of Defense's Capabilities of Atomic Weapons, TM-23-200, Confidential, 1960, p. 11-3.)



Above: Figure 6.24a of the 1957 Effects of Nuclear Weapons showing effect of a nuclear explosion giving a peak overpressure of 3.8 psi to a natural Pisonia dominated forest stand (similar to American beech forests) with a mean tree height of 50 feet and a mean diameter at the stem base of 2 feet (note that the test report WT-921 states that at 8,800 feet where the peak overpressure was 4.2 psi some 58% of trees were snapped so the figure of 90% given by Glasstone 1957 is not justified; about 50% of the trees were broken by 3.8 psi not 90%); this photo is identified as Bikini Atoll's Eniirikku (codenamed Uncle by America) Island, at a position just 9,300 feet from the 110 kt CASTLE-KOON nuclear surface burst test of 1954 in Figure 3.8 on page 38 of the originally Secret - Restricted Data report on forest stands exposed at Operation Castle, WT-921. Notice that the forest was not ignited; it did not burn contrary to anti-civil defense lies which are popularized by propaganda (which we will discuss in detail later).



Above: Fig 6.24b in the 1957 Effects of Nuclear Weapons: 175 trees/acre natural Pisona tree stand on Rukoji (codenamed Victor by America) Island of Bikini Atoll, subjected to 2.4 psi peak overpressure at 62,500 ft or about 12 miles from CASTLE-BRAVO 14.8 Mt surface burst ground zero, Bikini Atoll, 1954. This photo is identified for distance and nuclear test at 33 minutes and 17-22 seconds time in the declassified film Military Effects Studies on Operation Castle, below. Pisona is a beech-like broadleaf tree and those in this forest stand has an average height of 80 feet with an average stem diameter at its base of 3 feet. Where 30% of the trees are blown down by the blast wind pressure, the overall effect is similar to the much longer-lasting 95 miles/hour winds of a natural hurricane. Notice that neither natural forest stand at Bikini Atoll was incinerated by fire!

According to Glasstone 1957, this forest stand suffered 30% tree stem breakage, but report WT-921 page 43 states that 65% of the tree stems in this stand were snapped. Glasstone 1957 just used the photographs to illustrate its predictive system which is based on 30% and 90% tree breakage, instead of reporting the actual percentage damage reported in WT-921. The CASTLE-BRAVO shot also produced light tree damage (no stem breakage, just 30% branch breakage) to a Pisonia forest on Eniirikku (codenamed Uncle by America) Island, 75,400 feet or about 14 miles from ground zero, where the peak overpressure was 1.7 psi, according to page 28 of W. L. Fons and Theodore G. Storey, Operation Castle, Project 3.3, Blast Effects on Tree Stand, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Division of Fire Research, Secret - Restricted Data, report WT-921, March 1955.

Other reports on Nevada effects on trees and forest stands are Operation Tumbler-Snapper report WT-509, 1953, and Operation Upshot-Knothole report WT-731, 1954. The Upshot-Knothole experiment exposed a coniferous tree stand of 145 ponderosa pine trees 51 feet in average height to 4.5 psi peak overpressure. The forest stand smoked during the thermal pulse, but did not ignite. Hence, both in Pacific and Nevada tests, trees did not burn even relatively close to ground zero. E. H. Engquist C. W. Forsthoff of Chemical and Radiological Labs., Maryland, reported in Operation Upshot-Knothole, Project 8.4-2, Evaluation of a Thermal Absorbing Carbon Smoke Screen, WT-769, February 1954, that a smoke screen similar in height to that produced by thermal radiation on a forest canopy, 80-90 feet above the ground, produced by burning about 275 gallons of carbon containing material per square mile, absorbed 78-90% of the thermal radiation on the ground.



These photos were both published in the 1957 edition of The Effects of Nuclear Weapons, but they were deleted from all subsequent editions of that unclassified book: they appeared ultimately in the highly classified (Secret - Restricted Data) film of the military effects of the test series and the locations are also identified in the report Operation Castle, Project 3.3, Blast Effects on the Tree Stand, weapon test report WT-921, U.S. Forest Service, W. L. Fons (Project Officer). The lack of thermal ignition of forests even using very high yield nuclear weapons was deemed secret. This hindered civil defense, by obfuscating the facts. Flawed thermal ignition tests and a thermal radiation transmission theory which grossly exaggerated the thermal effects both combined to exaggerate effects and make civil defense appear useless. (The nuclear test data was secret, with limited print runs that nobody in a position to repudiate anti-civil defense propaganda had proper access to - or if they did have access to it - they were prevented from publishing it by the severe penalties laid down in laws such as the Atomic Energy Act of 1954.)


Above: the gross exaggeration of the effects of nuclear weapons in mainstream, groupthink literature:

'Groupthink is a type of thought exhibited by group members who try to minimize conflict and reach consensus without critically testing, analyzing, and evaluating ideas. Individual creativity, uniqueness, and independent thinking are lost in the pursuit of group cohesiveness, as are the advantages of reasonable balance in choice and thought that might normally be obtained by making decisions as a group. During groupthink, members of the group avoid promoting viewpoints outside the comfort zone of consensus thinking. A variety of motives for this may exist such as a desire to avoid being seen as foolish, or a desire to avoid embarrassing or angering other members of the group. Groupthink may cause groups to make hasty, irrational decisions, where individual doubts are set aside, for fear of upsetting the group’s balance.'




Above: a page from the 1957 Effects of Nuclear Weapons indicating the reason why the trees didn't burn is the same as the reason why this wooden house didn't burn: the thermal pulse from a nuclear weapon is too brief to do more than ablate a thin surface layer of the material, literally creating a smoke screen which immediately protects the underlying material from ignition. Dolan explains this in the 1,651 pages long 1972 Secret - Restricted Data U.S. Department of Defense Capabilities of Nuclear Weapons but - although he and Glasstone explained it clearly in the 1977 Effects of Nuclear Weapons - the point was not widely grasped. There were relatively few fires in nuclear tests, compared to what propaganda forecasts by the use of totally naive assumptions concerning thermal radiation transmission through the atmosphere, and the energy needed to ignite materials. Hiroshima and Nagasaki were burned entirely by means of the blast wave overturning charcoal cooking braziers in thousands of homes at the breakfast and lunch times of the bombings, as was revealed in polls of survivors when the secret volumes of the U.S. Strategic Bombing Survey were eventually declassified, which we will discuss later in this post.




Above: pages 514-517 (click on pages to enlarge) from the 1957 edition of The Effects of Nuclear Weapons, showing the terrific effectiveness of simple civil defense countermeasures against blast damage in Nagasaki and the terrific effectiveness of simple countermeasures against the dynamic pressure (air drag or wind pressure) in Nevada nuclear tests: any terrain feature like a ditch or a shallow trench will protect you from the wind pressure of the blast wave which causes displacement! The wind of the blast wave is directional and just blows over the top of a ditch because it can't be deflected into it, unlike the overpressure which diffracts into the trench but then isn't accompanied by displacement-causing wind pressure. These simple facts were removed from future editions of the book. Unfortunately, the only way to get a complete understanding of the problem is to plough through all the different editions and also Dolan's declassified 1,651 pages long Capabilities of Nuclear Weapons. This is what we will do in this blog post, to expose the facts.

Editions of U.S. nuclear weapons effects publications


Above: Proof-copy of Glasstone’s 1950 Effects of Atomic Weapons, which as the label states (click image for larger view) was strictly embargoed until publication time, 7 pm (E.D.T.) on Saturday, August 12, 1950, more than five years after the nuclear attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. It was summarized briefly by the Chairman of the Board of Editors, Professor Joseph O. Hirshfelder, in the August 1950 issue of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, “Special Issue on Civil Defense Against Atomic Attack” (linked here).

Samuel Glasstone was the Executive Editor of this 456 pages long Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory book The Effects of Atomic Weapons, published by the U.S. Department of Defense in June 1950 and revised in September 1950. Based on kiloton-range explosion data on blast, thermal and radiation effects from the 16 July 1945 TRINITY nuclear test in New Mexico, the nuclear air bursts on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945 and the CROSSROADS-ABLE and -BAKER tests in 1946. Includes radiation dose patterns showing base surge and contamination from the 1946 CROSSROADS-BAKER underwater test (deleted from later editions), and the upwind fallout pattern from the first ever nuclear test, TRINITY shot (but is misleading and does not include the secret downwind pattern).

A Secret - Security Information supplement with further information, called Capabilities of Atomic Weapons, TM 23-200, was issued July 1951 and revised editions were issued in October 1952, June 1955, and November 1957 (when it was regraded Confidential - Restricted Data). It started out as the 162 pages long 1945 classified Handbook on the Capabilities of Atomic Weapons, AD511880 (PDF version located here):

“The purpose of this handbook is to set forth, in a concise and simple manner, criteria for estimating the effects of atomic weapons for use by the Services. It is designed to serve as a handy reference to aid Field Commanders and their staffs in determining the capabilities and effects of atomic weapons in respect to specific targets. The scope of this handbook includes thermal and nuclear radiation and blast effects of atomic weapons on items of military interest such as structures, materiel and personnel. These effects are analyzed with respect to Air, Surface, Underground, and Underwater Bursts. Sufficient information is presented to allow Field Commanders to determine the best type of Weapon and Burst to be employed to obtain maximum desired effects on various types of targets.”

A new edition of this supplement was renamed Capabilities of Nuclear Weapons on 16 November 1964 and the final single volume edition appeared in January 1968. On 1 July 1972 a major 1,651 pages two-volume revision of Capabilities of Nuclear Weapons, Defense Nuclear Agency Effects Manual Number 1, DNA-EM-1, classified Secret - Restricted Data, edited by Philip J. Dolan, was published, which we shall discuss in detail.

These secret manuals became the basis for the revisions of Glasstone's 579 pages long unclassified book, The Effects of Nuclear Weapons, first published June 1957, the rewritten and expanded 730 pages long edition published in April 1962, and the revision containing corrected thermal ignition data in February 1964.

The June 1957 edition 'Acknowledgement' page by the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission states: ‘Dr. Samuel Glasstone was responsible for the compiling, writing, and editing and, largely, for its successful completion.’ The Foreword by Charles E. Wilson (U.S. Secretary of Defense) and Lewis L. Strauss (Chairman, U.S. Atomic Energy Commission) states: ‘This handbook, prepared by the Armed Forces Special Weapons Project ... is a comprehensive summary of current knowledge on the effects of nuclear weapons.’

This was incorrect: the June 1957 edition only contained data for Japan-type air bursts and surface bursts. Full blast data as a function of burst altitude, plus the known thermal ‘precursor’ effect on the blast waves in Nevada tests, and data on the radio-flash (radiated electromagnetic pulse, EMP) were all excluded even a brief mention until the April 1962 edition. Even then, all data on damage caused by EMP during nuclear tests was still excluded. Research into the damage from EMP had begun in 1945, when the TRINITY electronic piezo-electric blast pressure waveform gauges were overloaded by EMP induced currents in cables (as reported in K. T. Bainbridge, editor, Trinity, Los Alamos report LA-1012, 1946, declassified and released as LA-6300-H, p. 53, in 1976), although the terrific collection of data on EMP induced damage at later tests was accidentally withheld from the U.S. Department of Defense by testing electronics contractor E.G. and G. until B. J. Stralser's Secret - Restricted Data report of 30 April 1961, Electromagnetic effects from nuclear tests, Edgerton, Germeshausen and Grier, Inc; while the dust loading of the blast wave was known from the TRINITY films in 1945 and the actual blast precursor was first photographed at the low-altitude shot DOG of TUMBLER-SNAPPER in the Nevada in 1952. Precursor effects on increasing drag damage by dust loading of the blast winds over a certain range of distances where the ground thermal popcorning coincides with the passage of the blast wave (like a sandstorm with hurricane winds) were later proved by comparison of the ENCORE and GRABLE test data in 1953. The second test was at lower altitude so the thermal radiation was able to popcorn the desert effectively, creating a hot dust layer through which the blast was modified into a precursor, with high density (due to the dust) and therefore vastly greater effects than ENCORE at the same overpressures for drag effects on jeeps, trucks, and other dynamic-pressure sensitive targets.


Above: in 1960, E. G. & G. developed this 4-inch diameter 'Nuclear Bomb Effects Computer', a plastic circular slide rule based on the data in the 1957 edition of The Effects of Nuclear Weapons, with an instruction leaflet stating: 'As a convenience to those interested in the effects of nuclear weapons, this circular computer was designed to make data easily available on various weapon effects - some as functions of both yield and range and others on yield alone ... The weapons data incorporated in this computer were taken from the very informative and useful text, The Effects of Nuclear Weapons, edited by Samuel Glasstone for the Armed Forces Special Weapons Project of the Department of Defense.'




Above: the April 1962 and February 1964 reprint contained a pocket inside the back cover for a double-sided plastic circular slide rule, the Nuclear Bomb Effects Computer, for quickly calculating (for both surface bursts and for effect-optimising air bursts over ideal terrain) the main blast, thermal, initial nuclear radiation, cratering, and fallout decay effects. The slide rule was not included in the $3 price of the book in 1962/4 but was sold separately for $1 by the U.S. Government Printing Office for those years (there was no computer issued with the 1950 or 1957 editions, although E. G. & G. developed one based on the 1957 edition in 1960, which was the forerunner to the ones developed by the Lovelace Foundation and issued for the 1962/64/77 printings). The December 1977 hardback edition came boxed, complete with a revised version of the slide rule inside the back cover. See the report by E. Royce Fletcher, Ray W. Albright, Robert F. Perret, Mary E. Franklin and I. G. Bowen, Nuclear Bomb Effects Computer (Including Slide-Rule Design and Curve Fits for Weapons Effects), U.S. Atomic Energy Commission, Civil Effects Tests Operations, report ADA384998, February 1963:

'Based on data from the 1962 edition of The Effects of Nuclear Weapons, a circular slide rule was designed to evaluate 28 different effects of nuclear weapons. Of these 28 different effects, 13 relate to blast, 5 to thermal radiation, 1 to initial nuclear radiation, 2 to early fallout, 6 to crater dimensions, and 1 to fireball dimensions. Most of the parameters are presented as functions of range and yield (1 kt to 20 Mt). Simple techniques are described which make it possible to estimate most of the effects parameters for yields greater than 20 Mt or smaller than 1 kt. The report presents (1) curve fits of weapons-effects data, (2) design analysis for the slide rule, and (3) instructions for use of the rule along with some of the implications of the data in regard to biological and structural damage. The machine techniques are mentioned which were used to prepare the original graphs necessary for the production of the slide rule.'


The 1962 edition Preface by Glasstone states: ‘After the cessation of U.S. nuclear tests at the end of October 1958, it was decided to prepare a revision ... A new chapter has been included on the effects of nuclear explosions on radio communications and radar ...’ The Foreword to the 1962 edition, signed by Robert S. McNamara (U.S. Secretary of Defense) and Dr Glenn T. Seaborg (Chairman, U.S. Atomic Energy Commission) states: ‘There is a need for widespread public understanding of the best information available on the effects of nuclear weapons.’

The 1962 edition was first to disclose in passing that, in 50% fission nuclear weapons, the low-energy (easily shielded) gamma rays from neutron capture activities (like Np-239 and U-237) contribute up to 40% of the radiation dose rate during the critical sheltering period of 20 hours to 2 weeks after burst.

Unfortunately, today all the hard facts from World War II conventional and nuclear weapons effects experience are ignorantly dismissed by cynical and anti-civil defence exaggerations of nuclear phenomenology for political purposes which have become fashion. The popular idea today is that people should have no knowledge of the facts which would make the free world better prepared and therefore stronger against terrorists. In fact, today the U.S. ‘Triad’ of nuclear silos, bombers and submarine missile platforms permitted the tactics of ‘cross-targeting’ (using different delivery platforms like aircraft and missiles) and ‘layering’ (multiple hits with very low yield weapons). Such tactics limit the risk of individual failures and simultaneusly reduces individual bomb yields to a minimum, which minimises or eliminates civilian collateral damage altogether, a fact not understood or rather not wanted by the enemies of freedom, but well emphasized by President John F. Kennedy in his television broadcast to the American public, 26 July 1963:

‘It is true that the Soviets have tested nuclear weapons of a yield higher than that which we thought necessary, but the 100-megaton bomb of which they spoke two years ago does not and will not change the balance of strategic power. The United States has chosen, deliberately, to concentrate on more mobile and more efficient weapons, with lower but entirely sufficient yield ...’

To give an idea of how Glasstone's collaborative editorship worked, there is an account of Glasstone's role in preparing for the press the book Theory of Rate Processes (which was published in 1941 and was the first book to apply quantum mechanics to chemical reaction rates, which up to that time had been empirically formulated as the exponential Arrhenius rate equation) in the journal Current Contents, No. 46 (November 14, 1988), 'This Week's Citation Classic: Glasstone S, Laidler K J & Eyring H., The theory of rate processes: the kinetics of chemical reactions, viscosity, diffusion and electrochemical phenomena, New York: McGraw-Hill, 1941. 611 pages.'

This article is by Glasstone's co-author Keith J. Laidler, an Oxford graduate who went to Princeton University aged 22 in 1938 to do a PhD under Henry Eyring. Erying had come up with a controversial theory of chemical reaction rates in 1935, which had been initially rejected by the Journal of Chemical Physics. As a result of the lack of comprehension with which his radical theoretical paper was greeted, Laidler realised that he would need to write a book in order to: 'present the basic theory in a fairly detailed way, discuss its implications and assumptions, and apply it to rate processes of various kinds. Eyring knew that he would find it difficult to settle down to long sessions of writing, which are necessary to produce a book. He therefore invited me to collaborate with him on the book, with the arrangement to be that I would do the actual writing, in regular consultation with him.'

Laidler undertook the writing of the book while working on his PhD, but Samuel Glasstone took over the editing in 1939 after arriving at Princeton:

'In the summer of 1939 Samuel Glasstone arrived in Princeton as a research associate in the Department of Chemistry. Glasstone, then aged about 40, had already had a successful research career at the University of Sheffield and was the author of several very successful books on physical chemistry. In view of his background, it was natural to enlist his help with the writing of the book, especially since it would be necessary for me to leave Princeton in 1940 to carry out war research. I provided Glasstone with everything I had written and continued to give him material as I wrote it during my second year at Princeton. At the same time, Glasstone, Erying, and I collaborated on research on overvoltage, a subject on which Glasstone had previously worked.

'Glasstone greatly supplemented the material I gave him for the book, and he put everything into final form. Eyring himself did hardly any of the writing, but he made numerous and valuable comments on everything we wrote, and I well remember many vigorous but always very friendly arguments on a number of fundamental points. Although World War II interrupted most basic scientific work for a few years after the book’s publication in 1941, the book attracted much attention from the start, particularly as it was the first comprehensive treatment of the new rate theory and of its applications to a variety of chemical and physical processes; it also contained a good deal of previously unpublished material. ... In 1948 a pirated Russian translation of the book appeared, and there have also been Japanese and Spanish editions.'

The hydrogen or thermonuclear bomb was first tested in 1952, and on 2 December 1954 Dr Willard F. Libby, on the board of the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission, announced openly that a new revised edition of The Effects of Atomic Weapons was being prepared.

In the February 1955 U.S. Congressional Hearings presided over by Senator William Stuart Symington on the hydrogen bomb’s fallout and other effects, Dr Willard Libby (who won the Nobel Prize in 1960 for the discovery of how naturally radioactive carbon-14 can be measured to accurately find the age of dead objects thousands of years old) was interrogated on the reason why the nuclear test effects reports on fallout were remaining secret:

Senator Symington: ‘Do you believe that the Soviets have exploded a hydrogen bomb?’
Dr W.F. Libby: ‘Yes, I believe so.’
Senator Symington: ‘Well, then, most of this information is available to them, isn’t it?’
Dr W.F. Libby: ‘It is a hard job to collect it.’


(Ref.: page 183 of the May 1955 issue of Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists.
Almost all of the Soviet nuclear weapons tests were air bursts, and therefore produced no local fallout information. Soviet military planners well recognised that an effect like fallout, depending on the wind direction after the explosion, was not a dependable military capability and so they concentrated on measuring the heat, blast, initial radiation and EMP effects from air bursts. Most of the nuclear effects subjects of greatest importance, therefore, were irrelevant to the enemy and need not have been kept secret, as Dr Willard F. Libby’s argued to the U.S. Congressional Hearings on the Biological and Environmental Effects of Nuclear War, 22-26 June 1959, pp. 924-5:

‘No one can be expected to act properly, or at all for that matter, on any problem unless he understands what makes it. It is necessary for people to learn about fallout, about nuclear radiation, about the effects of nuclear radiation on people, animals, plants, food, water: the things that are immutably linked to life.’

For a good idea of the sort of careful checking Glasstone did before including suggestions from scientists in the book, see his letter dated 1 February 1957 to Colonel Dent L. Lay, Chief, Weapons Effects Division, U.S. Armed Forces Special Weapons Project, Washington, D.C., a PDF file on the U.S. Government Opennet, on the topic of proposed revision of the Worldwide Fallout chapter in the draft for the June 1957 edition of The Effects of Nuclear Weapons. On page 4 of that letter, Glasstone writes of some calculations of global fallout of Sr-90 in children's bones, with various assumptions about the continued rate of atmospheric nuclear testing: 'The extrapolation beyond June 1956 is terrifying! I wonder if it is correct, and if so how wise it would be to put out anything of this kind. This requires careful consideration.'

The new edition of The Effects of Atomic Weapons was delayed, since it took time to assemble and evaluate the effects of the early hydrogen bombs, and in June 1957 the revised handbook, clearly renamed The Effects of Nuclear Weapons, was published containing an Acknowledgement by the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission:

‘At the request of the Atomic Energy Commission, the Armed Forces Special Weapons Project prepared this book with the assistance of the Commission. Dr. Samuel Glasstone was responsible for the compiling, writing, and editing and, largely, for its successful completion.’

The Foreword to the book was jointly signed by Charles E. Wilson, U.S. Secretary of Defence, and Lewis L. Strauss, Chairman of the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission:

‘This handbook, prepared by the Armed Forces Special Weapons Project of the Department of Defence in coordination with other cognizant governmental agencies and published by the Atomic Energy Commission, is a comprehensive summary of current knowledge on the effects of nuclear weapons. The effects information contained herein is calculated for yields up to 20 megatons and the scaling laws for hypothetically extending the calculations beyond this limit are given. The figure of 20 megatons however is not to be taken as an indication of capabilities or developments.’

In the Preface, Dr Glasstone stated:

‘The main purpose of this new handbook is to describe, within the limitations set by national security, the basic phenomena and the most recent data concerning the effects associated with explosions of nuclear weapons ... It is for use in planning against possible nuclear attack that this volume is intended.’

Herman Kahn of the RAND Corporation stated in his 1960 book On Thermonuclear War, Princeton University Press, p 24:

‘... those waging a modern war are going to be as much concerned with bone cancer, leukemia, and genetic malformations as they are with the range of a B-52 or the accuracy of an Atlas missile.’

'[There is] a tendency in our planning to confuse the unfamiliar with the improbable. The contingency we have not considered looks strange; what looks strange is therefore improbable; what seems improbable need not be considered seriously.'

- Thomas C. Schelling, in Roberta Wohlstetter, Pearl Harbor: Warning and Decision, Stanford University Press, 1962, p. vii.

In February 1962, a revised edition of The Effects of Nuclear Weapons was issued, in the Preface of which Dr Glasstone (then based at Los Alamos) stated:

‘When ‘The Effects of Atomic Weapons’ was published in 1950, the explosive energies of the atomic bombs known at that time were equivalent to some thousands of tons (i.e., kilotons) of TNT. The descriptions of atomic explosions and their effects were therefore based on a so-called ‘nominal bomb’ with an energy release equivalent to 20 kilotons of TNT. With the development of thermonuclear (hydrogen) weapons, having explosive energies in the range of millions of tons (i.e., megatons) of TNT, it became necessary to provide an entirely new presentation, ‘The Effects of Nuclear Weapons.’ The first edition of this work, issued in 1957, gave the best information then available concerning the effects on man and materials of nuclear weapons with explosive energy yields up to the equivalent of 20 megatons of TNT. After the cessation of U.S. nuclear tests at the end of October 1958, it was decided to prepare a revision of ‘The Effects of Nuclear Weapons’ incorporating new information which had become available. Although the testing of nuclear weapons has since been resumed, the time is nevertheless opportune for the publication of this revised edition ...

‘The material on the protection against nuclear explosions has been rewritten from a new standpoint so as to bring out the principles involved ... A new chapter has been included on the effects of nuclear explosions on radio communications and radar, and appendices dealing with nuclear weapons safety and methods for detecting distant nuclear explosions have been added. A list, with dates, times, and other unclassified information, of announced weapons tests, made by all countries prior to September 1961, is also provided.’

The Foreword to the 1962 edition by Robert S. McNamara, U.S. Secretary of Defence, and Dr Glenn T. Seaborg, Chairman of the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission, states:

‘There is a need for widespread public understanding of the best information available on the effects of nuclear weapons.’


The Effects of Nuclear Weapons

‘I think it probably is inevitable that a nuclear device will be used by terrorists at some time in the future, either as a serious threat or with an actual explosion ...’ – Philip J. Dolan, 1984, in J. C. Greene and D. J. Strom (Editors), Would the Insects Inherit the Earth? (Pergamon Press, London, 1988).

» CHAPTER-I-General Principles of Nuclear Explosions

Characteristics of Nuclear Explosions, 1
Scientific Basis of Nuclear Explosions, 12

» CHAPTER II-Descriptions of Nuclear Explosions. 26

Introduction. 26
Description of Air and Surface Bursts. 27
Description of High-Altitude Bursts. 45
Description of Underwater Bursts. 48
Description of Underground Bursts. 58
Scientific Aspects of Nuclear Explosion Phenomena. 63

» CHAPTER III-Air Blast Phenomena in Air and Surface Bursts. 80

Characteristics of the Blast Wave in Air. 80
Reflection of Blast Wave at a Surface. 86
Modification of Air Blast Phenomena. 92
Technical Aspects of Blast Wave Phenomena. 96

» CHAPTER IV-Air Blast Loading 127

Interaction of Blast Wave with Structures. 127
Interaction of Objects with Air Blast. 132

» CHAPTER V -Structural Damage from Air Blast. 154

Introduction. 154
Factors Affecting Response. 156
Commercial and Administrative Structures. 158
Industrial Structures 165
Residential Structures 175
Transportation 189
Utilities. 195
Miscellaneous Targets 206
Analysis of Damage from Air Blast 212

» CHAPTER VI-Shock Effects of Surface and Subsurface Bursts. 231

Characteristics of Surface and Shallow Underground Bursts. 231
Deep Underground Bursts 238
Damage to Structures. 241
Characteristics of Underwater Bursts. 244
Technical Aspects of Surface and Underground Bursts. 253
Technical Aspects of Deep Underground Bursts. 260
Loading on Buried Structures. 263
Damage from Ground Shock 265
Technical Aspects of Underwater Bursts. 268

» CHAPTER VII-Thermal Radiation and Its Effects. 276

Radiation from the Fireball 276
Thermal Radiation Effects 282
Incendiary Effects. 296
Incendiary Effects in Japan 300
Technical Aspects of Thermal Radiation. 305
Radiant Exposure-Distance Relationships. 316

» CHAPTER VIII-Initial Nuclear Radiation. 324

Nature of Nuclear Radiations 324
Gamma Rays. 326
Neutrons. 340
Transient-Radiation Effects on Electronics (TREE) 349
Technical Aspects of Initial Nuclear Radiation. 353

» CHAPTER IX-Residual Nuclear Radiation and Fallout. 387

Sources of Residual Radiation. 387
Radioactive Contamination from Nuclear Explosions. 409
Fallout Distribution in Land Surface Bursts. 414
Fallout Predictions for Land Surface Bursts. 422
Attenuation of Residual Nuclear Radiation. 439
Delayed Fallout. 442
Technical Aspects of Residual Nuclear Radiation. 450

» CHAPTER X-Radio and Radar Effects. 461

Introduction 461
Atmospheric Ionization Phenomena. 462
Ionization Produced by Nuclear Explosions 466
Effects on Radio and Radar Signals. 479
Technical Aspects of Radio and Radar Effects. 489

» CHAPTER XI-The Electromagnetic Pulse and its Effects. 514

Origin and Nature of the EMP 514
EMP Damage and Protection 523
Theory of the EMP 532

» CHAPTER XII-Biological Effects. 541

Introduction 541
Blast Injuries. 548
Burn Injuries 560
Nuclear Radiation Injury. 575
Characteristics of Acute Whole-Body Radiation Injury. 583
Combined Injuries. 588
Late Effects of Ionizing Radiation. 589
Effects of Early Fallout 594
Long-Term Hazard from Delayed Fallout. 604
Genetic Effects of Nuclear Radiation. 609
Pathology of Acute Radiation Injury. 614
Blast-Related Effects 618
Effects on Farm Animals and Plants. 618

» Glossary. 629
» Guide to S I Units 642
» Index. 644

Since 1977, the secret Capabilities of Nuclear Weapons is the most important book to have undergone further revisions and updates, although various summaries of it have appeared such as J. A. Northrop, Editor, Handbook of Nuclear Weapon Effects: Calculational Tools Abstracted from DWSA's Effects Manual One (EM-1), 1996. A revised version of The Effects of Nuclear Weapons has been issued for official use only, and is not publically available. In addition, an excellent far more technical 535 pages long book called Introduction to the Physics of Nuclear Weapons Effects by Professor Charles J. Bridgman of AFIT was published in hardback in July 2001 by the Defense Threat Reduction Agency, and although it contains three chapters on weapons design principles and is 'Distribution Limited', I was able to buy an original complete with dustwrapper on Amazon.com! It is very useful for providing a summary of American defense establishing knowledge on nuclear effects as of 2001, but it concentrates on the fundamental mathematical physics of nuclear explosion design principles of relevance for predicting various types of radiation outputs and physical phenomena, rather than focussing on summarizing and reconciling all of the weapons effects data from the thousands of nuclear test effects reports, which EM-1 focusses on and which is generally more relevant for the civil defense countermeasures we need.

Northrop’s compilation

The 1950s-60s Capabilities of Atomic Weapons was a handy, relatively small, single volume confidential paperback; Dolan’s 1972 revision was a two volume loose-leaf binder manual, Capabilities of Nuclear Weapons, effects manual EM-1, while Brode’s 1992 revision of EM-1 was a massive, not-so-handy technical encyclopedia of 22 separate massive binders each containing hundreds of pages (which would be a nightmare to attempt to wade through and use in combatting a nuclear weapons emergency).

The first version to be declassified under the Freedom of Information Act in early 1989 (with a few “deletions” of the most sensitive weapons data) was Dolan’s 1972 edition as revised to August 1981 (page changes 2). (Capabilities of Atomic Weapons was only declassified in 1997). The many thousands of pages of the 1992 edition became subject to a fresh Freedom of Information Act request almost immediately, and John Northrop decided to take advantage of the declassification of much of the basic information from to produce a relatively brief, single volume of essential declassified data, to supplement Glasstone and Dolan’s unclassified 1977 Effects of Nuclear Weapons; John Northrop, Handbook of Nuclear Weapon Effects: Calculational Tools Abstracted from DSWA's Effects Manual One (EM-1), DSWA (U.S. Defense Special Weapons Agency, now the DTRA – Defense Threat Reduction Agency), 736 pages, 1996.

Northrop’s handbook is unclassified but distribution is limited to U.S. government agencies and prohibited from transport outside the U.S.A., which is not helpful to civil defense outside the U.S.A. This is because, with improving American ABM efforts and anti-nuclear smuggling airport security, it is quite possible that terrorist nuclear threats will occur outside the U.S.A., for example in Europe or Asia, and up to date factual data on nuclear weapons effects for widespread civil defense appreciation is therefore required outside the U.S.A.

In addition, it’s clear that Russia has been given the Northrop handbook (or key information from it), as indicated in the online-available report by Mariana Eneva, Jeffry L. Stevens, and Jack Murphy (Maxwell Technologies/Systems Division) and Boris D. Khristoforov (Institute for Dynamics of the Geospheres, Russian Academy of Sciences), Effect of Charge Depth in Russian Hydroacoustic Data from Nuclear and HE Explosions, which compares data from the three shallow (under 60 m water depth) Russian nuclear tests at the Bay of Chernaya, Novaya Zemlya, on October 10, 1957 (10 kt at 30 m depth underwater, 7 measurements of peak pressure averaging 300 kg/cm2 at 235 m distance and 10-50 m depth), October 23 and 27, 1961 (4.8 kt at 20 m depth underwater and 16 kt at 1.1 m above water), to Northrop’s data which is based on American nuclear tests.

In addition, Robert W. Nelson (Council on Foreign Relations and Program on Science and Global Security, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ) has reprinted an important up to date crater volumes diagram from Northrop's handbook in articles such as “Nuclear ‘Bunker Busters’ Would More Likely Disperse Than Destroy Buried Stockpiles of Biological and Chemical Agents”, published in Science and Global Security, 2004, Volume 12, pp. 69-89, which has been translated into Russian, as the report, ЯДЕРНЫЕ «УБИЙЦЫ БУНКЕРОВ» СКОРЕЕ РАЗБРОСАЮТ, ЧЕМ УНИЧТОЖАТ ПОДЗЕМНЫЕ ЗАПАСЫ БИОЛОГИЧЕСКИХ И ХИМИЧЕСКИХ АГЕНТОВ, as linked here (Figure 1 in this paper can be compared to Figure 2-82 on page 2-185 of Dolan’s EM-1.)

Furthermore, a summary of the most important features of Northrop’s volume are to be found in Bridgman’s Introduction to the Physics of Nuclear Weapons and unclassified research reports from various American government agencies.

The Nuclear Threat by President Eisenhower which ended the Korean War

On 1 May 1948, communists in Pyongyang, North Korea, proclaimed a People’s Republic for the whole of Korea. On 10 May 1948, United Nations supervised elections were held in South Korea; delegates from North Korea were invited too, but the invitation was ignored. America foolishly withdrew combat troops and vital military hardware from Korea, leaving just 472 advisers to train an army of 50,000 South Korean soldiers without any tanks or aircraft; while the Soviet Union provided 7,000 advisers to train an army of 250,000 North Koreans, including pilots for the MIG-15 jet fighter-bombers they gave the North Koreans together with T-34 tanks! (France in 1954 in Vietnam copied the American act that had led to the Korean War, by withdrawing all its troops from Vietnam, sowing the seeds of the Vietnam War.) North Korea also had 38,000 experienced soldiers who had just seen service with the Chinese communists in the Chinese revolution that overthrew Chiang Kai-skek. On 9 September 1948, Kim Il Sung became President of the communist Korean People’s Democratic Republic, and modelled North Korea on the Soviet Union. On 25 June 1950, his 90,000 soldiers using 150 Soviet made T-34 tanks invaded South Korea (the border consisted of one American adviser and 12,000 South Koreans who simply broke rank and ran away under attack). The next day President Truman ordered American military support for South Korea, but it was too late to prevent Seoul, the capital of South Korea, being seized by the communists on 28 June.

As a result, Truman had to sign a bill to extend the U.S. military draft (conscription) in order to provide sufficient ground troops. General Douglas MacArthur recaptured Seoul on 26 September, then with United Nations support he invaded the North and captured Pyongyang on 20 October. However, a 100,000-strong Chinese force then entered the battle and recaptured Pyongyang from the United Nations on 5 December, then they invaded the South and recaptured Seoul on 4 January 1951. A United Nations offensive then recaptured Seoul on 14 March. General MacArthur threatened to resign if President Truman would not authorize the use of nuclear weapons and radiological warfare (a belt of radioactive waste between North and South Korea, to prevent further invasions). Truman then fired MacArthur from command of the United Nations force. Tragically, President Truman had made a secret promise to the half-witted British Prime Minister Clement Attlee not to use nuclear weapons in Korea without authority from Britain (which would refuse). This secret promise was leaked to the Soviets and thus to the North Koreans by the communist spies Philby, Burgess and MacLean who had infiltrated the British government. As a result, the communists were assured that Truman would not use nuclear weapons in Korea. President Eisenhower was elected in November 1952 and ended the Korean War on 27 July 1953 by threatening to use the 1,350 nuclear weapons in the American stockpile against North Korea, which was ten times the Soviet stockpile. A total of 116,000 United Nations troops (including 54,000 Americans) and a million North Koreans and Chinese had been killed. Today, North Korea is ruled by Kim Jong-il, the late president Kim Il-sung’s son, and has 6 nuclear reactors producing plutonium and a plutonium extraction (reprocessing) plant.



The secret ‘Capabilities’ series was published by the American nuclear weapons effects organisation. To oversimplify the history a little, from 1945-7 this was the Manhattan Engineering District (MED); from 1947-59 it was the Armed Forces Special Weapons Project (AFSWP); from 1959-71 it was the Defence Atomic Support Agency (DASA) [with the longer-term Defence Atomic Support Information Analysis Centre (DASIAC)]; from 1971-96 it was the Defence Nuclear Agency (DNA); from 1996-98 it was the Defence Special Weapons Agency (DSWA); and from 1998 it is the Defence Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA). Until the U.S. Atomic Energy Act of 1954 defined the designator Restricted Data, ‘Security Information’ was used. The prefixes remained Top Secret, Secret and Confidential. Top Secret was reserved for weapons design information, Secret for weapons effects data which could not be shared even with allies like Britain, and Confidential was used for weapons effects data which could not be openly published but could be exchanged allies for foreign weapon test effects data. There is a 467-pages long history of the Defense Nuclear Agency and related organizations published online by the Defence Threat Reduction Agency in 2002 covering the period 1947-97. According to page 318 of this report, in 1993: 'Integration and declassification of effects knowledge was underway in the new Handbook of Nuclear Weapons Effects (Calculational Handbook), that drew upon the agency's authoritative 22-volume Effects Manual One (EM-1).' Page 380 states:

'Nov. 16, 1964. Research on weapons effects summarized in the classified publication Capabilities of Nuclear Weapons. Publication later replaced by January 1968 edition and later by new manual, Effects Manual 1 (EM-1) in 1972.'

There is also a briefer, full colour-illustrated 35 pages long summary brochure, Defense Special Weapons Agency 1947-1997, online which was published in 1997, covering the period of 1947-97, which contains a photograph of the SAGE group which studied nuclear weapons effects and states on page 15:

'With DDR&E assent in October 1964, the DASA Director began sponsorship of the McMillan Panel. From 1966 to 1993, the panel was referred to as the Scientific Advisory Group on Effects (SAGE). The SAGE Panel was disbanded after its 1993 meeting as part of a government-wide move to reduce the number of federal advisory groups. [Presumably, Philip J. Dolan was the Chair of the SAGE Panel during his editorship of the first two-part Capabilities of Nuclear Weapons issued in 1972 with page changes 1 in 1978 and page changes 2 in 1981; Harold L. Brode was a member of the Scientific Advisory Group (SAGE) to DASA/DNA, serving from 1961 to 1992, and chairing it from 1980-91 when he edited a major revision of Capabilities of Nuclear Weapons, DNA-EM-1 expanding it to 22 chapters]. ... The SAGE Panel recommended priorities for HA [high altitude detonation] effects analysis. In the 1960s, DASA advanced the understanding of both weapons effects and planetary physics through analyses of tests conducted in 1958-1962. The SAGE Chairman also served as Chairman of the Special Weapons Effects Group (SWEG), which analyzed the 1962 Soviet high altitude tests. Suspected nuclear effects, such as EMP disruption of buried communication links, were confirmed by Russian scientists in 1995.'

Above: SAGE Panel in August, 1966.

Page 16 states: 'Information Systems: Beginning in 1960, DASA sponsored the Defense Atomic Support Information Analysis Center (DASIAC). The initial purpose for the DASIAC program was to ensure the collection and preservation of the HA[High Altitude] nuclear test data and the establishment of a center of knowledge on it. Subsequently, DASIAC’s mission expanded to include similar activities for all types of nuclear effects. ... Tools for War Plans: In the 1960s, DASA maintained and refined models of nuclear effects and radioactive transport, which helped SAC develop options for a strategy of controlled response. ...

'Integrating Nuclear-Based Science and Technology: Under DASA’s July 1964 charter, a civilian Deputy Director (Science and Technology) oversaw radiation, blast and shock, biomedical, and test plans and programs activities. With just four percent of DASA staff in 1965 (290 positions), science and technology research and test staff managed more than three-quarters of the agency’s budget. In November 1964, DASA consolidated nuclear effects knowledge in the classified publication, Capabilities of Nuclear Weapons. A revised edition was published in 1968. These publications preceded the two-volume Effects Manual-1 (EM-1), first published in 1972.'

Page 29 states: 'Integration and declassification of effects knowledge is underway in the new EM-1 Technical Handbook, scheduled for release in early 1997 [this manual, Handbook of Nuclear Weapon Effects: Calculational Tools Abstracted from DSWA's Effects Manual One (EM-1) was edited by John Northrop, and was in fact published by the Defense Special Weapons Agency in September 1996]. This handbook will draw upon the authoritative 22-volume EM-1.'



Above: John Northrop's 736 pages long Handbook of Nuclear Weapon Effects: Calculational Tools Abstracted from DSWA's Effects Manual One (EM-1) in September 1996 briefly summarized the formulas from the multi-thousand pages long 22-volume Capabilities of Nuclear Weapons, DNA-EM-1, while in July 2001 the 535 pages long first edition of Charles Bridgman's Introduction to the Physics of Nuclear Weapons Effects summarized the physics behind the formulae in Northrop's book.

In December 1992, a year before SAGE was disbanded, the U.S. Defence Nuclear Agency spent $288,500 on contracting 200 Russian scientists to produce a 17-chapter analysis of effects from the Soviet Union’s nuclear tests, which included vital data on three underwater nuclear tests in the arctic, as well three 300 kt high altitude tests at altitudes of 59-290 km over Kazakhstan. In February 1995, two of the military scientists, from the Russian Central Institute of Physics and Technology, lectured on the electromagnetic effects of nuclear tests at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.

Above: USSR Test ‘184’ on 22 October 1962, ‘Operation K’ (ABM System A proof tests) 300-kt burst at 290-km altitude near Dzhezkazgan. Prompt gamma ray-produced EMP induced a current of 2,500 amps measured by spark gaps in a 570-km stretch of 500 ohm impedance overhead telephone line to Zharyq, blowing all the protective fuses. The late-time MHD-EMP was of low enough frequency to enable it to penetrate the 90 cm into the ground, overloading a shallow buried lead and steel tape-protected 1,000-km long power cable between Aqmola and Almaty, firing circuit breakers and setting the Karaganda power plant on fire.

The Soviet Union had first suffered electromagnetic pulse (EMP) damage to electronic blast instruments in their 1949 test. Their practical understanding of EMP damage eventually led them, on Monday 22 October 1962, to detonate a 300 kt missile-carried thermonuclear warhead at an altitude of 300 km (USSR test 184). That was at the very height of the Cold War and the test was detected by America: at 7 pm that day, President John F. Kennedy, in a live TV broadcast, warned the Soviet Union’s Premier Khrushchev of nuclear war if a nuclear missile was launched against the West, even by an accident: ‘It shall be the policy of this nation to regard any nuclear missile launched from Cuba against any nation in the Western hemisphere as an attack by the Soviet Union on the United States, requiring a full retalitory response upon the Soviet Union.’ That Russian space missile nuclear test during the Cuban missiles crisis deliberately instrumented the civilian power infrastructure of populated areas, unwarned, in Kazakhstan to assess EMP effects on a 570 km long civilian telephone line and a 1,000 km civilian electric power cable! This test produced the worst effects of EMP ever witnessed (the more widely publicised 1.4 Mt, 400 km burst STARFISH EMP effects were trivial by comparison, because of the weaker natural magnetic field strength at Johnston Island). The bomb released 1025 MeV of prompt gamma rays (0.13% of the bomb yield). The 550 km East-West telephone line was 7.5 m above the ground, with amplifiers every 60 km. All of its fuses were blown by the induced peak current, which reached 2-3 kA at 30 microseconds, as indicated by the triggering of gas discharge tubes. Amplifiers were damaged, and lightning spark gaps showed that the potential difference reached 350 kV. The 1,000 km long Aqmola-Almaty power line was a lead-shielded cable protected against mechanical damage by spiral-wound steel tape, and buried at a depth of 90 cm in ground of conductivity 10-3 S/m. It survived for 10 seconds, because the ground attenuated the high frequency field, However, it succumbed completely to the low frequency EMP at 10-90 seconds after the test, since the low frequencies penetrated through 90 cm of earth, inducing an almost direct current in the cable, that overheated and set the power supply on fire at Karaganda, destroying it. Cable circuit breakers were only activated when the current finally exceeded the design limit by 30%. This limit was designed for a brief lightning-induced pulse, not for DC lasting 10-90 seconds. By the time they finally tripped, at a 30% excess, a vast amount of DC energy had been transmitted. This overheated the transformers, which are vulnerable to short-circuit by DC. Two later 300 kt Soviet Union space tests, with similar yield but low altitudes down to 59 km, produced EMPs which damaged military generators.



Above: the formerly secret report ‘Survey of Weapons Development and Technology’, WR708, releases this highly useful summary of quantitative nuclear weapons effects data for various burst altitudes, which is partially blanked out in the earlier (1989) declassified version of Capabilities of Nuclear Weapons, EM-1. By collecting various sources, it is possible to collect odds and ends and thereby build up declassified data into a complete mosaic. E.g., that document using Capabilities of Nuclear Weapons, EM-1, states that 3.5 psi peak overpressure overturns a typical missile launcher while 49 psi destroys a tank. While this is not of direct concern to civil defense, it is indirectly useful because tactical nuclear weapons would be used against such targets, and these figures prove what overpressures are needed and thereby indicate the risk of collateral damage to the nearby civilian infrastructure near the target areas. This shows the threats that people would need to mitigate by expedient countermeasures, to avoid being hurt. This kind of background knowledge of how such weapons might be used is useful for civil defence in limited, tactical nuclear warfare, such as would possibly occur in the situation of an attack by rogue states.

In the following review, we will explain the changes which have since been made to this edition of Capabilities of Nuclear Weapons. The report here shows that progress is still being made towards a complete analysis of all the nuclear test data.

Chapter 1: Introduction

Capabilities of Nuclear Weapons. Part 1. Phenomenology. Chapter 1. Introduction. - Effects manual no. 1, Defense Nuclear Agency, Washington, DC. 30 pages, August 1981, 1.5 MB download, report AD-A955404
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This chapter begins with a summary of information similar in style, but with better nuclear test photographs (showing the same detonation at a number of different times after burst without changing the camera zoom, so that you can see how the fireball transforms into the cloud, and the correct relative scale), to the first couple of chapters in Glasstone and Dolan 1977; then it differs by moving on to discuss then-classified aspects of specific high altitude nuclear detonations: 7 kt, 148 km burst altitude CHECKMATE, 3.8 Mt, 77 km burst altitude TEAK, and 410 kt, 48 km burst altitude BLUEGILL; comparing photographs of each shot taken 100 seconds after detonation, and giving the dimensions of each fireball at that time, as well as explaining the effects sequence from each detonation. The CHECKMATE fireball at 100 seconds after detonation was already being striated along Earth's magnetic field, while the BLUEGILL fireball at that time was a torus; TEAK was a gigantic fireball rising ballistically. It also has a diagram which shows the high altitude phenomenology as a function of yield and burst altitude, such as the heights of burst required for ballistic as opposed to buoyant fireball rise as a function of yield (when the fireball's vertical diameter is bigger than the relaxation length of the atmosphere, i.e. the height over which air density falls by a factor of e ~ 2.718, the fireball rises ballistically, much faster than predicted by buoyant rise theory).



Above: as a multimedia supplement to the Capabilities of Nuclear Weapons, this excellent originally secret U.S. Defense Nuclear Agency film, High-Altitude Nuclear Weapons Effects: Part One, Phenomenology (20 minutes) discusses in detail, using nuclear test film clips, the effects of 1962 high altitude nuclear tests BLUEGILL, KINGFISH, and STARFISH. It is mainly concerned with fireball expansion, rise, striation along the Earth's natural magnetic field lines, and air ionization effects on radio and radar communications, but it also includes a section at the end explaining the high altitude EMP damage mechanism.




Above: BLUEGILL (410 kt, 48 km detonation altitude, 26 October 1962) fireball was still fully ionized at a temperature of about 10,000 K and 'several kilometres in diameter' when the shock wave departed from the fireball at 0.1 second. The fireball expanded to 10 km in diameter at 5 seconds, at which time it was buoyantly rising at 300 m/sec. It was filmed from below and within a minute transforms while rising into a torus or doughnut shape, as shown in the photograph above. It attained a diameter of 40 km at 1 minute, and stabilised at an altitude of 100 km a few minutes later. (The sequence of still frames is from a speeded-up film, but indicates the relative time of each frame from detonation time. It should be possible to work out the absolute time of each frame using the published photo taken at 100 seconds after burst in Capabilities of Nuclear Weapons, but that will have to wait for a while, as we have severe time limitations.)

When BLUEGILL was detonated during the Cuban missiles crisis: 'Observers at Johnston Island saw a brilliant white flash, and a noticeable thermal pulse could be felt on bare skin. A slightly distorted bright moon-like sphere was observed - yellow at first and gradually showing hues of green, pink, and violet - and blue-purple streamers were formed. At 10 minutes the glow was bright enough that a watch could be read in the dark and it persisted for at least 30 minutes. At Samoa, observers saw a pink band at the horizon, which faded after about 10 minutes to gray. ... Two men on Johnston Island sustained burns on the retinas of their [accidentally unprotected eyes, either by watching the missile without goggles or by seeing the reflection of the bright immediate flash by a metal or glass surface] ... One Air Force enlisted man ... observed blurring and a dark spot in front of each eye. ... initially his vision was 20/400 O.U. His vision improved [over 29 days to] 20/30 in both eyes ... his vision continued to improve and was 20/25 O.U. for distance and 20/20 O.U. for near in 1963 [reference: DASA-544]. A Navy enlisted man ... had an immediate after-image of a large, round, white ball, which lasted for an hour but returned when he awoke early the next morning. ... his central visual acuity was less than 20/400. The best visual acuity was 20/60 to 20/70 looking off-center. His vision did not improve ... However, the patient noticed an increased ability to compensate for the loss of central visual acuity [reference: DASA-1576].' (Defense Nuclear Agency report DNA-6040F, AD-A136820, pp. 242-4.)





Above: KINGFISH (410 kt, 95 km detonation altitude, 1 November 1962) initially had a fireball size is 10 times bigger than BLUEGILL, because of the lower air density at the higher detonation altitude. The KINGFISH fireball rises ballistically (not buoyantly) at 1,500 m/sec (which is 5 times faster than the buoyant rise speed of the lower altitude detonation BLUEGILL). The fireball diameter longways is 300 km at 1 minute, and it is elongated along the natural geomagnetic field lines while expanding. It reaches a maximum altitude of 1,000 km in 7.5 minutes before falling back to 150-200 km (it falls back along the magnetic field lines, not a simple vertical fall). The settled debris has a diameter of 300 km and a thickness of 30 km, emitting beta and gamma radiation which ionize the air in the D-layer, forming a ‘beta patch’. Photographs of beta radiation aurora from the fireball are included in the film: beta particles spiral along the Earth's magnetic field lines and shuttle along the field lines from pole to pole. The film above has a speeded-up film showing the development of the magnetically striated fireball from the KINGFISH fireball (the frames in the photo of the KINGFISH striation sequence shown above is only labelled with relative time units from the time of first flash, because it was obtained from the speeded-up film).

When KINGFISH was detonated: 'Johnston Island observers saw a yellow-white, luminous circle with intense purple streamers for the first minute. Some of these streamers displayed what appeared to be a rapid twisting motion at times. A large pale-green patch appeared somewhat south of the burst and grew, becoming the dominant visible feature after 5 minutes. By one hour, the green had become dull gray, but the feature persisted for 3 hours. At Oahu a bright flash was observed and after about 10 seconds a great white ball appeared to rise slowly out of the sea and was visible for about 9 minutes.' (Defense Nuclear Agency report DNA-6040F, AD-A136820, p. 247.)




Above: the CHECKMATE (7 kt, 147 km detonation altitude, 19 October 1962) fireball after it has just started to become striated along the natural magnetic field (vertically aligned in this photo taken from below the detonation). The dotty lines near the middle are the wind-blown exhaust trails left behind, below the fireball, by the rocket delivery system that carried the warhead up to the detonation altitude.


Above: CHECKMATE detonation horizontal view (seen from a distant aircraft) compared to the view looking upwards from Johnston Island. The analysis of CHECKMATE on the right was done by the Nuclear Effects Group at the Atomic Weapons Establishment, Aldermaston, and was briefly published on their website, with the following discussion of the 'UV fireball' regime which applies to bursts at altitudes of 100-200 km: 'the debris blast wave expands and sweeps up air which becomes very hot. This then radiates UV, which is readily absorbed by the cold air in front of the blast wave, resulting in ionised air which is approximately transparent to further UV radiation from the blast wave. These bursts are therefore characterised by two "fireballs" - the debris air blast wave expansion is preceded by a radiation/ionisation front. The radiation front will be up/down asymmetric since mean free paths are longer in the less dense air above the detonation altitude. An example is the CHECKMATE event where both fronts are clearly visible in the photograph taken from Johnston Island.'

When CHECKMATE was detonated during the Cuban missiles crisis: 'Observers on Johnston Island saw a green and blue circular region surrounded by a blood-red ring formed overhead that faded in less than 1 minute. Blue-green streamers and numerous pink striations formed, the latter lasting for 30 minutes. Observers at Samos saw a white flash, which faded to orange and disappeared in about 1 minute.' (Defense Nuclear Agency report DNA-6040F, AD-A136820, p. 241.)



Above: the STARFISH (1.4 Mt, 400 km detonation altitude, 9 July 1962) detonation, seen from a mountain above the low-level cloud cover on Maui, consisted of a luminous debris fireball expanding in the vacuum of space with a measured initial speed of 2,000 km/sec. (This is 0.67% of the velocity of light and is 179 times the earth's escape velocity. Compare this to the initial upward speed of only 6 times earth's escape velocity, achieved by the 10-cm thick, 1.2 m diameter steel cover blown off the top of the 152 m shaft of the 0.3 kt Plumbbob-Pascal B underground Nevada test on 27 August 1957. In that test, a 1.5 m thick 2 ton concrete plug immediately over the bomb was pushed up the shaft by the detonation, knocking the welded steel lid upward. This was a preliminary experiment by Dr Robert Brownlee called 'Project Thunderwell', which ultimately aimed to launch spacecraft using the steam pressure from deep shafts filled with water, with a nuclear explosion at the bottom; an improvement of Jules Verne's cannon-fired projectile described in De la Terre à la Lune, 1865, where steam pressure would give a more survivable gentle acceleration than Verne's direct impulse from an explosion. Some 90% of the radioactivity would be trapped underground.) The film: 'shows the expansion of the bomb debris from approximately 1/3 msec to almost 10 msec. The partition of the bomb debris into two parts ... is shown; in particular the development of the "core" into an upwards mushroomlike expansion configuration is seen clearly. The fast moving fraction takes the shape of a thick disc. Also the interaction of the bomb debris with the booster at an apparent distance (projected) of approximately 1.5 km is shown.' (Page A1-38 of the quick look report.)

In this side-on view the fireball expansion has a massive vertical asymmetry due to the effects of the device orientation (the dense upward jetting is an asymmetric weapon debris shock wave, due to the missile delivery system and/or the fact that the detonation deliberately occurred with 'the primary and much of the fusing and firing equipment' vertically above the fusion stage, see page A1-7 of the quick look technical report linked here): 'the STARFISH test warhead was inverted prior to the high-altitude test over Johnston Island in 1962 because of concerns that some masses within the design would cause an undesirable shadowing of prompt gamma rays and mask selected nuclear effects that were to be tested.' (April 2005 U.S. Department of Defense Report of the Defense Science Board Task Force on Nuclear Weapon Effects Test, Evaluation, and Simulation, page 29.). The earth's magnetic field also played an immediate role in introducing asymmetric fireball expansion as seen from Maui: 'the outer shell of expanding bomb materials forms ... at ... 1/25 to 1/10 sec, an elongated ellipsoidal shape with the long axis orientated along the magnetic field lines.' (Page A1-12 of the quick look report.)

The STARFISH test as filmed from Johnston Island with a camera pointing upwards could not of course show the vertical asymmetry, but it did show that the debris fireball: 'separated into two parts ... the central core which expands rather slowly and ... an outer spherically expanding shell ... The diameter of the expanding shell is approximately 2 km at 500 microseconds ...' (William E. Ogle, Editor, A 'Quick Look' at the Technical Results of Starfish Prime, August 1962, report JO-600, AD-A955411, originally secret-restricted data, p. A1-7.) Within 0.04-0.1 second after burst, the outer shell - as filmed from Maui in the Hawaiian Islands, had become elongated along the earth's magnetic field, creating an ellipsoid-shaped fireball. Visible 'jetting' of radiation up and southward was observed from the debris fireball at 20-50 seconds, and some of these jets are visible in the late time photograph of the debris fireball at 3 minutes after burst (above right).

The analysis of STARFISH on the right was done by the Nuclear Effects Group at the Atomic Weapons Establishment, Aldermaston, and was briefly published on their website, with the following discussion of the 'patch deposition' phenomena which applied to bursts above 200 km: 'the expanding debris compresses the geomagnetic field lines because the expansion velocity is greater than the Alfven speed at these altitudes. The debris energy is transferred to air ions in the resulting region of tightly compressed magnetic field lines. Subsequently the ions, charge-exchanged neutrals, beta-particles, etc., escape up and down the field lines. Those particles directed downwards are deposited in patches at altitudes depending on their mean free paths. These particles move along the magnetic field lines, and so the patches are not found directly above ground zero. Uncharged radiation (gamma-rays, neutrons and X-rays) is deposited in layers which are centered directly under the detonation point. The STARFISH event (1.4 megatons at 400 km) was in this altitude regime. Detonations at thousands of kilometres altitude are contained purely magnetically. Expansion is at less than the local Alfven speed, and so energy is radiated as hydromagnetic waves. Patch depositions are again aligned with the field lines.'




The Atomic Weapons Establishment site also showed a Monte Carlo model of STARFISH radiation belt development, indicating that the electron belt stretched a third of the way around the earth's equator at 3 minutes, and encircled the earth at 10 minutes. The averaged beta particle radiation flux in the belt was 2 x 1014 electrons per square metre per second at 3 minutes after burst, falling to a quarter of that at 10 minutes. As the time goes on, the radiation belt pushes up to higher altitudes and becomes more concentrated over the magnetic equator. For the first 5 minutes, the radiation belt has an altitude range of about 200-400 km and spans from 27 degrees south of the magnetic equator to 27 degrees north of it. At 1 day after burst, the radiation belt height has increased to the 600-1,100 km zone and the average flux is then 1.5 x 1012 electrons/m2/sec. At 4 months the altitude for this average flux (plus or minus a factor of 4) is confined to altitudes of 1,100-1,500 km, and it is covering a smaller latitude range around the magnetic equator, from about 20 degrees north to about 20 degrees south. At 95 years after burst, the remaining electrons will be 2,000 km above the magnetic equator, the latitude range will be only plus or minus 10 degrees from the equator, and the shell will only be 50 km thick.

When STARFISH was detonated: 'The large amount of energy released at such a high altitude by the detonation caused widespread auroras throughout the Pacific area, lasting in some cases as long as 15 minutes; these were observed on both sides of the equator. In Honolulu an overcast, nighttime sky was turned into day for 6 minutes (New York Times, 10 July 1962). Observers on Kwajalein 1,400 nautical miles (about 2,600 km) west reported a spectacular display lasting at least 7 minutes. At Johnston Island all major visible phenomena had disappeared by 7 minutes except for a faint red glow. The earth's magnetic field [measured at Johnston] also was observed to respond to the burst. ... On 13 July, 4 days after the shot, the U.K. satellite, Ariel, was unable to generate sufficient electricity to function properly. From then until early September things among the satellite designers and sponsors were "along the lines of the old Saturday matinee one-reeler" as the solar panels on several other satellites began to lose their ability to generate power (reference: The Artificial Radiation Belt, Defense Atomic Support Agency, 4 October 1962, report DASA-1327, page 2). The STARFISH detonation had generated large quantities of electrons that were trapped in the earth's magnetic field; the trapped electrons were damaging the solar cells that generated the power in the panels.' (Defense Nuclear Agency report DNA-6040F, AD-A136820, pp. 229-30.)



Above: the conjugate region aurora from STARFISH, 4,200 km from the detonation, as seen from Tongatapu 11 minutes after detonation. (Reference: W. P. Boquist and J. W. Snyder, 'Conjugate Auroral Measurements from the 1962 U.S. High Altitude Nuclear Test Series, in Aurora and Airglow, B. M. McCormac, Ed., Reinhold Publishing Corp., 1967.) A debris aurora caused by fission product ions travelling along magnetic field lines to the opposite hemisphere requires a burst altitude above 150 km, and in the STARFISH test at 400 km some 40% of the fission products were transported south along the magnetic force field into the conjugate region (50% was confined locally and 10% escaped into space). The resulting colourful aurora was filmed at Tongatapu (21 degrees south) looking north, and it was also seen looking south from Samoa (14 degrees south). The STARFISH debris reached an altitude of about 900-km when passing over the magnetic equator. The debris in the conjugate region behaves like the debris remaining in the burst locale; over the course of 2 hours following detonation, it simply settles back down along the Earth’s magnetic field lines to an altitude of 200 km (assuming a burst altitude exceeding 85 km). Hence, the debris is displaced towards the nearest magnetic pole. The exact ‘offset distance’ depends simply upon the angle of the Earth’s magnetic field lines. The ionisation in the debris region is important since it can disrupt communications if the radio signals need to pass through the region to reach an orbital satellite, and also because it may disrupt radar systems from spotting incoming warheads (since radar beams are radio signals which are attenuated).

In the Pacific nuclear high altitude megaton tests, communications using ionosphere-reflected high frequency (HF) radio were disrupted for hours at both ends of the geomagnetic field lines which passed through the detonation point. However, today HF is obsolete and the much higher frequencies involved do not suffer so much attenuation. Instead of relying on the ionosphere and conducting ocean to form a reflecting wave-guide for HF radio, the standard practice today is to use microwave frequencies that penetrate right through the normal ionosphere and are beamed back to another area by an orbital satellite. These frequencies can still be attenuated by severe ionisation from a space burst, but the duration of disruption will be dramatically reduced to seconds or minutes.

‘Recently analyzed beta particle and magnetic field measurements obtained from five instrumented rocket payloads located around the 1962 Starfish nuclear burst are used to describe the diamagnetic cavity produced in the geomagnetic field. Three of the payloads were located in the cavity during its expansion and collapse, one payload was below, and the fifth was above the fully expanded cavity. This multipoint data set shows that the cavity expanded into an elongated shape 1,840 km along the magnetic field lines and 680 km vertically across in 1.2 s and required an unexpectedly long time of about 16 s to collapse. The beta flux contained inside the cavity was measured to be relatively uniform throughout and remained at 3 × 1011 beta particles/cm2 s for at least 7 s. The plasma continued to expand upward beyond the fully expanded cavity boundary and injected a flux measuring 2.5 × 1010 beta particles/cm2 s at H + 34 s into the most intense region of the artificial belt. Measured 10 hours later by the Injun I spacecraft, this flux was determined to be 1 × 109 beta particles/cm2 s.’ - Palmer Dyal, ‘Particle and field measurements of the Starfish diamagnetic cavity’, Journal of Geophysical Research, volume 111, issue A12, page 211 (2006).

Palmer Dyal was the nuclear test Project Officer and co-author with W. Simmons of Operation DOMINIC, FISH BOWL Series, Project 6.7, Debris Expansion Experiment, U.S. Air Force Weapons Laboratory, Kirkland Air Force Base, New Mexico, POR-2026 (WT-2026), AD-A995428, December 1965:

'This experiment was designed to measure the interaction of expanding nuclear weapon debris with the ion-loaded geomagnetic field. Five rockets on STARFISH and two rockets on CHECKMATE were used to position instrumented payloads at various distances around the burst points. The instruments measured the magnetic field, ion flux, beta flux, gamma flux, and the neutron flux as a function of time and space around the detonations. Data was transmitted at both real and recorded times to island receiving sites near the burst regions. Measurements of the telemetry signal strengths at these sites allowed observations of blackout at 250 MHz ... the early expansion of the STARFISH debris probably took the form of an ellipsoid with its major axis oriented along the earth's magnetic field lines. Collapse of the magnetic bubble was complete in approximately 16 seconds, and part of the fission fragment beta particles were subsequently injected into trapped orbits. ...

‘At altitudes above 200 kilometres ... the particles travel unimpeded for several thousands of kilometres. During the early phase of a high-altitude explosion, a large percentage of the detonation products is ionized and can therefore interact with the geomagnetic field and can also undergo Coulomb scattering with the ambient air atoms. If the expansion is high enough above the atmosphere, an Argus shell of electrons can be formed as in the 1958 and 1962 test series. ... If this velocity of the plasma is greater than the local sound or Alfven speed, a magnetic shock similar to a hydro shock can be formed which dissipates a sizable fraction of the plasma kinetic energy. The Alfven velocity is C = B/(4*{Pi}*{Ion density, in ions per cubic metre})1/2, where ... B is the magnetic field ... Since the STARFISH debris expansion was predicted and measured to be approximately 2 x 108 cm/sec and the Alfven velocity is about 2 x 107 cm/sec, a shock should be formed. A consideration of the conservation of momentum and energy indicates that the total extent of the plasma expansion proceeds until the weapon plasma kinetic energy is balanced by the B2/(8{Pi}) magnetic field energy [density] in the excluded region and the energy of the air molecules picked up by the expanding debris. ... An estimate of the maximum radial extent of the STARFISH magnetic bubble can be made assuming conservation of momentum and energy. The magnetic field swept along by the plasma electrons will pick up ambient air ions as it proceeds outward. ...’

Conservation of momentum suggests that the initial outward bomb momentum, MBOMBVBOMB must be equal to the momentum of the total expanding fireball after it has picked up air ions of mass MAIR IONS:

MBOMBVBOMB = (MBOMB + MAIR IONS)V,

where V is the velocity of the combined shell of bomb and air ions. The expansion of the ionized material against the earth’s magnetic field slows it down, so that the maximum radial extent occurs when the initial kinetic energy E = (1/2) MBOMBVBOMB2 has been converted into the potential energy density of the magnetic field which stops its expansion. The energy of the magnetic field excluded from the ionized shell of radius R is simply the volume of that shell multiplied by the magnetic field energy density B2/(8{Pi}). By setting the energy of the magnetic field bubble equal to the kinetic energy of the explosion, the maximum size of the bubble could be calculated, assuming the debris was 100% ionized.

For CHECKMATE, they reported: ‘Expansion of the debris was mostly determined by the surrounding atmosphere which had a density of 4.8 x 1010 particles/cm3.

Chapter 2: Blast and Shock Phenomena

Chapter 2. Blast and Shock Phenomena. 306 pages. Blast wave section is here and ground shock/cratering/water bursts/underwater bursts section is here.

The first 150 pages are document AD-A955405 and deal with blast wave phenomenology including non-ideal blast waves like precursor predictions which are not available in the Glasstone and Dolan book, which only has the height of burst curves for 'nearly ideal conditions'. In addition, it includes curves showing the overpressure and dynamic pressure impulses and the height of the Mach stem to the triple point as the blast from low air bursts at various altitudes progress outward. This is not included in Glasstone and Dolan 1977, but it is useful for determining whether the upper parts of a tall building will experience two separate shock waves or the fused Mach stem from an air burst (download here: 8.3 MB PDF file).

Section 2, Airblast Over Real (Non-Ideal) Surfaces, of chapter 2 on blast has recently been expanded in the later (still classified) version of the manual, to include an appendix which describes a methodology to construct non-ideal (precursor-type) dynamic pressure waveforms as well as non-ideal static pressure waveforms using thermal radiation transmission, thermal blow-off of the ground surface, thermal layer growth, blast wave modification and resulting precursed air blast environments. This was accomplished by the synthesis of the non-ideal (precursor) pressure waveforms from Nevada nuclear explosions MET, PRISCILLA, and HOOD, to give the blast dynamic pressure environment over desert surfaces for events ranging in yields from 8 to 74 KT and scaled (1-kt) heights of burst from 140 to 340 scaled feet (using reports WT-1109, Operation TEAPOT, Airblast Overpressure and Dynamic Pressure over Various Surfaces, WT-1110, Operation Teapot, Special Measurements of Dynamic Pressure Versus Time and Distance, WT-1155, Operation TEAPOT, Measurements of Air-Blast Phenomena with Self Recording Gages, WT-1401, Operation PLUMBBOB, Basic Airblast Phenomena, WT-1403, Operation PLUMBBOB, Air-Blast Phenomena in the High Pressure Region, WT-1472, Operation PLUMBBOB, Effects of a Precursor Shock Wave on Blast Loading of a Structure, and the compendium DASA 1200, Nuclear Weapons Blast Phenomena).

See also: Real Surface (Non-Ideal) Effects on Nuclear Explosion Airblast from PRISCILLA-Type Events, Part 1: Comparison and Evaluation of Ideal and Non-Ideal Airblast from PRISCILLA Computations; and Part 2: SHARC Hydrocode Calculations of the PRISCILLA Event (Phase 1), Report ADA302079 online by Noel H. Ethridge, John H. Keefer, Joseph E. Crepeau, Robert G. Ekler, and Lynn W. Kennedy of Applied Research Associates Inc., October 1, 1995, 367 Pages. See also Extended Desert Calculation Results with Comparisons to PRISCILLA Experimental Data and a Near-Ideal Calculation, ADA298300, and Extended Grassland Calculation Results With Comparisons to PRISCILLA Experimental Data and a Near-Ideal Calculation, ADA298081.

An important blast wave update in EM-1 manual was data on height-of-burst effects on dynamic pressure impulse from a 1981 report with its vital 1983 Supplement of height-of-burst curves by E. J. Bryant and F. J. Allen, Dynamic Pressure Impulse for Near-Ideal and Non-Ideal Blast Waves - Height of Burst Charts and Supplement, Kaman Tempo, Santa Barbara, California, reports ADC275040 (May 1981) and ADC041417 (December 1983). Online versions: ADC040572 abstract (PDF: ADC040572), and ADC041417 (PDF: ADC041417):

Blast wave data for all past field tests have been reviewed. Some previously unused gage data of sufficiently good quality for determining dynamic pressure impulse have been found and the data reduced. Dynamic pressure impulse has been inferred from tank displacement data using the curve of dynamic pressure impulse versus displacement as a calibration curve (with the tank playing the role of a gage). This allowed extension of dynamic pressure impulse results to higher values than previously available and also provided data points at additional scaled burst heights. Following this, Height of Burst Charts, i.e. , iso-scaled dynamic pressure impulse contours in the scaled height of burst - scaled ground range plane, were constructed using the totality of the useable dynamic pressure impulse data. The charts, are for two cases: Near-Ideal - Lightly/Moderate Dust and Near-Ideal - Moderate/Heavy Dust. The former is the better determined of the two. It is believed that these charts are the most accurate obtainable from the totality of all existent blast wave measurements.

Dynamic pressure impulse, I sub q was evaluated as a function of wheeled vehicle displacement (1/4 ton and 2-1/2 ton trucks) for ideal/near ideal and nonideal blast environments. Good correlation was obtained between dynamic pressure impulse and vehicle displacements using least squares fits. Using the quadratic equations derived by least squares fit the I sub q were calculated from known vehicle displacements and these were averaged with initial estimates of I sub q (ideal/near-ideal) and measured I sub q (non-ideal) to obtain iterated values of I sub q. Least square fits were also applied to I sub q versus scaled ground range and displacement versus scaled ground range for various values of n, the exponent of yield. The values of n providing the best fits were between 0.4 and 0.43 for displacements and n = 0.42 or 0.43 for I sub q as a function of scaled range.


The remaining 156 pages of chapter 2 is document AD-A955386, and deals with ground shock, cratering analysis, and the water shock, base surge, etc., from underwater bursts. It also includes a valuable analysis of test data on water surface wave heights from water surface burst nuclear tests. However, the crater size scaling law for yield, used by Glasstone and Dolan, does not properly model gravity effects, as discovered in 1987:

‘Data on the coral craters are incorporated into empirical formulas used to predict the size and shape of nuclear craters. These formulas, we now believe, greatly overestimate surface burst effectiveness in typical continental geologies ... coral is saturated, highly porous, and permeable ... When the coral is dry, it transmits shocks poorly. The crushing and collapse of its pores attenuate the shock rapidly with distance ... Pores filled with water transmit the shock better than air-filled pores, so the shock travels with less attenuation and can damage large volumes of coral far from the source.’

L.G. Margolin, et al., Computer Simulation of Nuclear Weapons Effects, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, UCRL-98438 Preprint, 25 March 1988, p. 5.

‘DNA [Defense Nuclear Agency, which has since evolved into the DTRA] has recently completed an "end-to-end" cratering validation program that resulted in dramatic reduction of the crater size thought to result from the surface detonation of modem strategic weapons.’

- Appendix A of Ernest Bauer's report Variabilities in the Natural and Nuclear Endoatmospheric Environment (Institute for Defense Analyses, Virginia, IDA Document D-1085, April 1992).

This reduction is in part due to a switch over from the predominance of hydrodynamic to gravitational work energy as the crater mass and depth increases with increasing yield. At low yields, gravitational work energy in ejecting soil mass M from depth d to the lip is trivial, E = gdM, but at high yields this use of energy is massive due to the large mass and depth of the crater, so gravitational work energy competes with the energy available to hydrodynamically excavate the soil.


It turns out that if the crater's apparent radius to depth ratio is constant, this gravitational work effect makes the linear dimensions scaling law vary from 1/3 power of yield at low yields to 1/4 power of yield at high yields. There are also other factors involved in reducing crater dimensions at high yield which Glasstone and Dolan ignored, such as a fall in bomb case shock energy for high yield-to-mass ratio devices, where most the initial energy is released as X-rays which are less efficient at cratering than dense bomb vapours. The revised model circa 1991 for a 1 Mt surface burst on dry soil predicts a crater radius of 58 m, compared to 148 m in Glasstone and Dolan 1977.

The original 306 pages-long chapter 2 in DNA-EM-1 has been broken up into separate chapters on blast and cratering: since 1984 Chapter 3 has been, Cratering, Ejecta, and Ground Shock, and is prepared by Titan Research and Technology Division (TRT) of the Titan Corporation. The latest major revision (since which there have merely been page changes) is the 1 January 1992 edition edited by by Anne V. Cooper et al., Capabilities of Nuclear Weapons, DNA-EM-1, Chapter 3, Cratering, Ejecta and Ground Shock, Titan Corporation, Defense Nuclear Agency, Washington, D.C., report DNA-EM-1-CH-3. It is classified secret-restricted data, but the abstract is unclassified:

'A methodology is presented for predicting crater dimensions and ejecta characteristics resulting from near-surface and deeply buried explosions of nuclear weapons. This chapter contains the description of ground shock associated with nuclear weapon bursts. Material properties and the parameters important to estimating ground shock are discussed. Formulas for peak values of pressure, acceleration, velocity and displacement are presented along with methods for estimating waveforms. Airblast-induced, outrunning and surface wave ground shock are all treated herein. The Dug method for down-axis motions is included. The effect of slightly elevated or shallow buried bursts is also discussed in terms of an effective yield factor. Finally, a description of block motion, tilt and rotation is included.'

Section III of that chapter is 'Nuclear Ground Shock Effects' by E. Rinehart, A. V. Cooper, and S. H. Schuster. The engineer and computer programmer Anne V. Cooper is currently the primary editor of Chapter 3 revisions. At Titan, she was the main compiler and also joint editor (with S. H. Schuster and F. Sauer) of the June 1987 revision of the U.S. Air Force Manual for the Design and Analysis of Hardened Structures, AFWL-TR-87-57. She authored the interactive computer program INEES which computes nuclear effects using the methods presented in that Air Force manual.

In the spring of 1992, Tony Frederickson and Ed Tremba of the Defense Nuclear Agency were chartered to assemble a set of numerical models of nuclear weapon effects from Capabilities of Nuclear Weapons in a usable computer program format. They set up the Model Development Working Group (MDWG) consisting of Ed Tremba of DNA, Tom Dowler of LANL, Jim Drake of ARA, Archie Farnsworth of SNL, Ted Harvey of LLNL, Rob Managan of LLNL, Rob Managan of LLNL, Shel Schuster of TRT, Dev Srinivasa of RDA, Bill Woolson of SAIC, Joe Zelasko of WES, and A. V. Cooper of Titan who also wrote the resulting computer code, appropriately named NEMESIS (Nuclear Effects Models for Estimating Sensitivities to Input Scenarios): Anne V. Cooper, et al., NEMESIS - Nuclear Effects Models for Estimating Sensitivities to Input Scenarios, report WES-CR SL-95-1, February 1995. NEMESIS includes air blast, cratering, ejecta, fallout, radiation, thermal and ground shock algorithms. NEMESIS replaces the obsolete computer programs called 'Blast Effects' and 'Weapons Effects' which were developed in December 1984 by Horizons Technology, Inc., of California for the Defense Nuclear Agency. She now runs a helpful programming assistance internet site which states:

'Cooper Internet Services is available to help you with programming solutions. From nuclear weapons effects programs to a Wordsearch Generator and Trivia Quizzes to search engines for Reading Counts book lists, we can design the right application for you.'


Useful extracts from revised versions of EM-1 are given on page 1-37 (crater dimensions for 10 kt surface bursts on various types of soil, giving 27 m diameter and 11 m depth for dry soft rock) of the White House civil defence planning manual here. The latest crater scaling laws are given in the report:
R. M. Schmidt, K. R. Housen and K.A. Holsapple, Gravity Effects in Cratering, DNA-TR-86-182, Defense Nuclear Agency, Washington D.C., 1988.

In the range of 1 kt – 10 Mt there is a transition from cube-root to fourth-root scaling, and the average scaling law suggested by Nevada soil and Pacific coral Atoll data, W0.3 (used by Glasstone and Dolan) was shown to be wrong in 1987 because empirical data was too limited (the biggest Nevada cratering test was Sedan, 104 kt) and the W0.3 empirical law ignored energy conservation at high yields, where gravity effects kick in and curtail the sizes predicted by hydrodynamic cratering physics.

The W0.3 scaling law used in Glasstone and Dolan 1977 is false because it violates the conservation of energy, used by the explosion in ejecting massive amounts of debris from the crater against gravity. The yield-dependent scaling for crater dimensions (radius and depth) transitions from the cube-root of yield scaling at low yields (below 1 kt) to fourth-root at high yields, because of gravity. At low yields, the fraction of the bomb energy used to physically dump ejecta out of the crater against gravity (to produce the surrounding lip and debris) is trivial compared to the hydrodynamic energy being used used to physically break up the soil. But at higher yields, the fact that the crater is deep means that a significant amount of bomb energy must now be employed to do work excavating earth against gravity.

Consider the energy utilisation in cratering. The total energy done by cratering is the sum of the hydrodynamic energy and gravitational work energy. The hydrodynamic term is shown to be proportional to the cube of the crater radius or depth, as shown by the reliability of cube-root scaling at subkiloton yields: the energy needed to hydrodynamically excavate a unit volume of soil by hydrodynamic cratering action is a constant, so the energy required for hydrodynamic pulverization of crater mass m is E = mX where X is the number of Joules needed in cratering for the hydrodynamic excavation of 1 kg of soil.

But where the crater is deep in bigger explosions, the gravitational work energy E = mgh needed to eject crater mass m the vertical distance h upwards out of the hole to the lip, against gravitational acceleration g (9.8 ms-2)becomes larger than the hydrodynamic energy needed to merely break up the matter, so the gravity work effect then governs the crater scaling law. The total energy used in crater formation is the sum of two terms, hydrodynamic and gravitational: E = (mX) + (mgh).

The (mX)-term is proportional to the cube of the crater depth (because m is the product of volume and density, and volume is proportional to depth-cubed if the crater radius/depth ratio is constant), while the (mgh)-term is proportional to the fourth-power of the crater depth because m is proportional to the density times the depth cubed (if the depth/radius ratio is constant) and h is always directly proportional to the crater depth (h is roughly half the crater depth), so the product mgh is proportional to the product of depth cubed and depth, i.e., to the fourth-power of crater depth. So for bigger craters and bigger bomb yields, a larger fraction of the total cratering energy then gets used to overcome gravity, causing the gravity term to predominate and the crater size to scale at most by W1/4 at high yields. This makes the crater size scaling law transition from cube-root (W1/3) at low yields to fourth-root (W1/4) at higher yields!

It’s fascinating that, despite the best scientific brains working on nuclear weapons effects for many decades - the Manhattan Project focussed a large amount of effort on the problem, and utilised the top physicists who had developed quantum mechanics and nuclear physics, and people like Bethe were still writing secret papers on fireball effects into the 1960s - such fundamental physical effects were simply ignored for decades. This was due to the restricted number of people working on the problem due to secrecy, and maybe some kind of ‘groupthink’ (psychological peer-pressure): not to upset colleagues by ‘rocking the boat’ with too much freethinking, radical questions, innovative ideas.

The equation E = mgh isn't a speculative theory requiring nuclear tests to confirm it, it's a basic physical fact that can be experimentally proved in any physics laboratory: you can easily measure the energy needed to raise a mass (the amount of electric energy supplied to an electric motor while it winches up a standard 1 kg mass is a simple example of the kind of physical fact involved). In trying to analyse the effects of nuclear weapons, false approximations were sometimes used, which then became imbedded as a doctrine or faith about the ‘correct’ way to approach or analyze a particular problem. People, when questioned about a fundamental belief in such analysis, then are tempted respond dogmatically by simply referring to what the ‘consensus’ is, as if accepted dogmatic religious-style authority is somehow a substitute science, which is of course the unceasing need to keep asking probing questions, checking factual details for errors, omissions and misunderstandings, and forever searching for a deeper understanding of nature.

For example, in the case of a 10 Mt surface burst on dry soil, the 1957, 1962, and 1964 editions of Glasstone's Effects of Nuclear Weapons predicted a crater radius of 414 metres (the 10 Mt Mike test in 1952 had a radius of over twice that size, but that was due to the water-saturated porous coral of the island and surrounding reef, which is crushed very easily by the shock wave at high overpressures). This was reduced to 295 metres in Glasstone and Dolan, 1977, when the scaling law was changed from the cube-root to the 0.3 power of yield. The 1981 revision of Dolan's DNA-EM-1 brings it down to 145 metres, because of the tiny amount of energy which goes into the bomb case shock for a modern, efficient 10 Mt class thermonuclear warhead (Brode and Bjork discovered this bomb design effect on cratering in 1960; high-yield efficient weapons release over 80% of their yield as X-rays which are inefficient at cratering because they just cause ablation of the soil below the bomb, creating a shock wave and some compression, but far less cratering action than the dense bomb case shock wave produces in soil). Then in 1987, the introduction of gravity effects reduced the crater radius for a 10 Mt surface burst on dry soil to just 92 metres, only 22% of the figure believed up to 1964!

‘It is shown that the primary cause of cratering for such an explosion is not “airslap,” as previously suggested, but rather the direct action of the energetic bomb vapors. High-yield surface bursts are therefore less effective in cratering by that portion of the energy that escapes as radiation in the earliest phases of the explosion. [Hence the immense crater size from the 10 Mt liquid-deuterium Mike test in 1952 with its massive 82 ton steel casing shock is irrelevant to compact modern warheads which have lighter casings and are more efficient and produce smaller case shocks and thus smaller craters.]’ - H. L. Brode and R. L. Bjork, Cratering from a Megaton Surface Burst, RAND Corp., RM-2600, 1960.


Above: even with a relatively heavy design and casing (thus maximum cratering action relative to modern lighter weapons of comparable yield), the TRINITY (19 kt, 30 m altitude, 16 July 1945) test left the foundations of the steel tower behind in the middle of the crater, as photographed on 11 September 1945. A wide shallow crater was scoured out by the shock wave, but hardened underground structures could have survived, which is why surface bursts are required to destroy such targets.






Above: The Apollo 16 astronauts safely using the 8 December 1968, 31 kt SCHOONER nuclear test crater at the Nevada test site in November 1970 to simulate the South Ray crater which was their intended target on the Moon, complete with nicely enhanced nuclear radiation (the radioactivity level on the Moon like outer space generally is 100 times that on the Earth even at solar minimum, due to the lack of any atmosphere to absorb most cosmic radiation!). Niel Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin, the first people to land on the Moon (20 July 1969), spent time at Nevada studying the geology of the 1962 Nevada SEDAN nuclear test crater in February 1965. The SEDAN crater was caused by a 104 kt, 30% fission nuclear explosion in July 1962, and the lip had a dose rate of 500 R/hr at 1 hour after detonation. The decay rate of SEDAN radioactivity was influenced by large quantities of radioactive tungsten produced by neutron capture in the tungsten pusher in the weapon, which replaced the usual uranium tamper of such thermonuclear fusion stages. The SEDAN lip was first approached on foot 27 days after detonation, when it had a radioactivity level of 500 mR/hr (1000 times less than at 1 hour after burst). The first human visit to the bottom of the crater occurred 167 days after detonation, when the radioactivity level there was 35 mR/hr. In 1990, the dose rate at the visitors box on East side of the crater was 0.020 mR/hr (little more than the natural background radioactivity in London), although the West side of the crater still gave a reading of 0.053 mR/hr. (These data are from the sign at the visitors box on the crater lip.)

Chapter 3: Thermal Radiation Phenomena

Capabilities of Nuclear Weapons. Part 1. Phenomenology. Change 1. Chapter 3. Thermal Radiation Phenomena. 114 pages, DNA-EM-1, July 1978, AD-A955387, 3.2 MB PDF file.


Above: American toroidal fireball nuclear test films.


Above: British toroidal fireball nuclear test films.



Above: effect of ozone on early thermal radiation emission from a nuclear explosion. The first graph above shows the thermal radiation calculated by computer when ozone is ignored, while the second shows how it reduces the (mainly ultraviolet) radiation emission from the very hot fireball at early times, before the shock wave has formed and penetrated through the 'veil' or shell of ozone caused by the intense high energy X-ray and gamma radiation interacting with the air just around the fireball. (Thermal Radiation From Nuclear Weapons, Defense Nuclear Agency, February 1991.)

The fact that nuclear explosions produce ozone was first published in paragraph 6.26 on page 190 of the 1950 U.S. Department of Defense book, The Effects of Atomic Weapons: 'there may be some absorption of ultraviolet radiation by ozone which is produced by interaction of gamma rays from the atomic explosion with atmospheric oxygen.' Herman Hoerlin states on page 43 of his 1976 Los Aamos report LA-6405 United States High Altitude Test Experiences: 'significant amounts of ozone are produced in sea-level explosions.' (Hoerlin cites as reference: H. E. DeWitt, A Compilation of Spectroscopic Observations of Air Around Atomic
Bomb Explosions,
Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory report LAMS-1935, June 1955
.) However, since the time that was written, full calculations have been performed which show that high altitude nuclear detonations (above 100 km altitude) produce large excess amounts of ozone, strengthening rather than depleting the ozone layer. Finally, sampling of the cloud of a 1976 atmospheric Chinese megaton range test showed confirmed that there was no ozone depleting nitrogen dioxide: it reacts with water vapour to form nitric acid, instead of destroying ozone! Anyway, nitrogen dioxide is only formed in high pressure shock waves from low altitude detonations, not from high altitude bursts, which produce an excess of ozone. This debunks the claims of ozone depletion by nuclear warfare made in the 1977 edition of The Effects of Nuclear Weapons.

Nitric acid (HNO3) production from the mixing with nitrogen dioxide and water vapour in the fireball is described by the reaction:

3NO2 + H2O -> 2HNO3 + NO

then the nitrogen oxide, NO, itself gets oxidized into nitric acid by the reaction:

4NO + 3O2 + 2H2O -> 4HNO3

It was a bigger hoax than Piltdown Man to suggest that nitrogen oxides from nuclear bomb tests could break down ozone; they instead get oxidised into nitric acid by atmospheric moisture and oxygen before they can reach the ozone layer. For a published discussion of the nitric acid production in the air around the fireball from an atmospheric nuclear explosion, see Murray Scheibe, The Increased Attachment Due to Ionization-Induced Smog in EMP Environments, Mission Research Corporation, California, MRC-R-532, DNA5077F, ADA087850, 1979: 'The increased electron attachment due to HNO3 production in the EMP source region is investigated. The HNO3 produced is found to be roughly linear with the total ionization up to an ionization value of about 2 x 10 to the 16th power ion pairs. Above this, the HNO3 production is less than linear.'

This chapter on thermal phenomenology is very different from the material given in Glasstone and Dolan 1977, which made no attempt to show the thermal pulse shapes quantitatively from high altitude bursts. It shows how the thermal pulse shape varies with burst altitude and also goes into detail about how to calculate the thermal yield from any nuclear explosion, including allowance for the efficiency of the bomb in initially radiating energy: i.e., the distinction between 'hot' X-ray efficient compact nuclear weapons which reach up to 400 million Kelvin and emit hard X-rays of typically up to 10 keV or so, and inefficient very heavy, low yield-to-mass ratio old bomb designs which were relatively 'cold' X-ray sources, reaching temperatures of only 1 million Kelvin or so and emitting X-rays of typically only 1 keV or so. These nuclear bomb design differences are generally very important for early-time thermal phenomena, cratering and blast, and are particularly important for thermal effects from high altitude bursts since many modern nuclear weapons are more efficient than the bomb designs tested in the atmosphere back in 1962.

'As stated ... weapons that have enhanced radiation outputs, i.e., weapons that produce a large fraction of their output in the form of neutrons, gamma rays, or X-rays ... will, in most cases, generate a weaker blast wave than a nominal weapon of the same yield. Similarly, the thermal pulse from such special weapons may be weaker than that from a nominal weapon. The explanation for the reduced thermal output is the same explanation for a weaker blast wave: neutrons, gamma rays, and high energy X-rays travel much farther through the atmosphere than the energy from a conventional [nuclear] weapon; therefore, a large portion of the weapon energy may be absorbed by air far from the burst. This air will not become sufficiently hot to contribute effectively to either the blast wave or to the thermal pulse.

'The terms "nominal weapon" and "conventional weapon" used in the preceding paragraph refer to a nuclear weapon that radiates 70 to 80 percent of its energy as X-rays ... and retains nearly all of the remaining energy as thermal and kinetic energy of the weapon debris ... The modified thermal effects produced by weapons with enhanced outputs may be calculated in terms of an effective thermal yield. This is defined as the yield that a nominal warhead would have in order to radiate the same thermal energy as the special weapon. ... Effective thermal yield means the effective value of total yield to be used in thermal calculations. ...

'Effective thermal yield is roughly th amount of energy that the nuclear source deposits within a sphere the size of the fireball at the time of the principal minimum [in the radiating thermal power versus time curve]. This radius is

Rmin = 29W0.36/{ratio of air density at burst height to air density at sea level, i.e. about e-H/6.9) where H is burst altitude in km} metres,

where W is the weapon yield in kilotons ... Energy that is deposited beyond the radius Rmin is assumed to make a negligible contribution to the energy radiated by the fireball.' - Philip J. Dolan, Editor, Capabilities of Nuclear Weapons, Chapter 3, Thermal Radiation Phenomena, DNA-EM-1, 1972, pp. 3-56 to 3-58.

In order to calculate the amount of energy contained within that radius (29 metres for 1 kt), Dolan states that you should assume that 100% of the debris is within that radius, and then calculate the amount of radiation energy deposited within the radius. For each type of radiation, the fraction of that radiation deposited within a radius R is equal to: f = 1 - e-R/X where X is mean free path (if all the energy is effectively deposited upon first scatter for the radiation in question) or absorption relaxation length, which has different values for initial gamma rays, neutrons and soft X-rays. After the total amount of energy deposited within 29 metres from a 1 kt sea level air burst is determined for both a nominal nuclear weapon (70-80% energy in soft X-rays) and the special weapon in question (e.g., a neutron bomb), then the ratio of these energy deposits is equal to the ratio of thermal energy yields for the two weapons being compared, and allows the thermal yield of the neutron bomb to be determined.

The thermal transmission controversy in DNA-EM-1 and related manuals


Above: some early thermal transmission curves comparison by H. L. Brode, A Review of Nuclear Explosion Phenomena Pertinent to Protective Construction, the RAND Corporation, Santa Monica, California, Report R-425-PR, May 1964. Brode reproduces the Glasstone 1962/4 thermal transmission curves on page 15 of his report Thermal Radiation from Nuclear Explosions, RAND Corp. paper P-2745, 1963. These Glasstone 1962/64 edition curves were originally taken from the curves for air bursts in Figure 3-5B on page 3-15 of the Confidential manual Capabilities of Atomic Weapons, TM 23-200, November 1957, which states on page 3-3 that the 50 miles visibility curve is for a water vapour concentration in the air of 5 grams/cubic metre, the 10 miles visibility curve is for 10 grams/cubic metre of water vapour, and 2 miles visibility corresponds to 25 grams/cubic metre (water molecules have a band absorption which is elatively effective at absorbing red light and infrared radiation, but is less effective at absorbing other wavelengths).

These Glasstone 1962/64 thermal transmission curves can be summarised by the formula T = exp[-(R/V)1/2] where R is distance from ground zero and V is visibility distance in similar units. The earlier Glasstone 1957 Effects of Nuclear Weapons massively exaggerated the transmission at long distances by using the theoretical curve T = 0.48 + [0.52*exp(-4R/V)]. The theoretical basis for the thermal transmission curve in the 1957 edition of The Effects of Nuclear Weapons is given by A. G. McDonald of the U.K. Home Office Scientific Advisory Branch in his paper on thermal radiation in the July 1957 National Archives report HO 228/21 Report of a course given to university physics lecturers at the Civil Defence Staff College 8-11 July 1957 (this is an originally classified set of lectures on nuclear weapons effects which also included a detailed paper by Frank H. Pavry on the then-secret thermal precursor blast wave mechanism and the height-of-burst effects on blast optimization in Nevada tests; the Home Office Scientific Advisory Branch by then had access by to secret American research on the effects of nuclear weapons). It is basically just a simple adjustment of the transmission formula used for the curves in the still earlier Glasstone 1950 Effects of Atomic Weapons which used T = exp(-4R/V), underestimating the long range transmission! Glasstone's 1950 T = exp(-4R/V) formula is valid for infrared and ultraviolet radiation because infrared is rapidly absorbed by water vapour and carbon dioxide in the air while ultraviolet is rapidly absorbed by oxygen and ozone, but it does not adequately represent visible radiation which is far more penetrating. Hence, Glasstone's June 1957 edition tried to correct T = exp(-4R/V) by having it represent only the 52% of the total radiation consisting of the infrared and ultraviolet from a fireball with a time-averaged radiating temperature of 6000 K; the other 48% is visible light and this was in Glasstone 1957 wrongly assumed to travel without any absorption at all, leading to a massive exaggeration of the long range thermal effects from high yield weapons, and criticism from Dr Carl F. Miller who worked for the U.S. Naval Radiological Defense Laboratory at later nuclear tests to measure fallout on ships with washdown safeguards that were sailing under the expanding mushroom clouds:

‘Reliance on the Effects of Nuclear Weapons has its shortcomings... I was twenty miles from a detonation ... near ten megatons. The thermal flash did not produce the second-degree burn on the back of my neck, nor indeed any discomfort at all.’ - C. F. Miller, February 1966 Scientist and Citizen. (This journal was titled Nuclear Information August 1964 when it became Scientist and Citizen; it has since been renamed Environment magazine.)

In an attempt to resolve the confusion in July 1963, Ruth W. Shnider of the U.S. Naval Radiological Defense Laboratory, California, wrote the 43-page Secret - Restricted Data report, Compilation and Empirical Analysis of Thermal Exposure Data from Nuclear Surface Bursts, USNRDL-TR-658:

'A tabulation is presented of all available radiant-exposure data from nuclear surface bursts. The data are separated into surface exposures and airborne (measured in aircraft) exposures, and pertinent information, such as instrumentation and cloud cover, are included when available. The empirical analysis presents one set of Radiant Exposure versus Range curves for surface exposures, and another set for airborne exposures. Both sets are normalized to 1 kt, and distinguish between Nevada Test Site atmosphere (excellent thermal transmission [average visibility 50 miles due to the low water vapour content of the desert air]) and Pacific Proving Ground atmosphere (average-to-low thermal transmission [average visibility 10 miles due to the high humidity and hence high water vapour content in the mid-Pacific such as Bikini and Eniwetok Atolls]). It is recommended that these curves be employed for prediction of radiant exposures from nuclear surface detonations, rather than other methods in current literature.'




Above: Shnider's curves, taken from this declassified handbook.

Nuclear test data from the Nevada test site comes from various times of year and times of day (typically pre-dawn), and the visibility, as well as the temperature and humidity (which together determine the water vapour content in grams per cubic metre), varied considerably. However, an average 50 miles (very clear) visibility existed in general for the Nevada sky, while the average humidity was only about 40%, corresponding to 4 grams per cubic metre of water content at a typical pre-dawn temperature of 10 C. Bikini and Eniwetok Atolls near the equator suffered much less variability in temperature (which is almost always close to 27 C) and humidity (always close to 80%), so they have a usual visibility of 10 miles and a water vapour content of about 21 grams of water vapour per cubic metre.

The Pacific test data (10 miles visibility and 21 grams/cubic meter of water vapour) and the Nevada test data (50 miles visibility and 4 grams/cubic metre of water vapour) therefore represent two useful extremes in thermal radiation transmission: the former applicable for coastal cities and the latter applicable to the drier interior regions of continents like deserts.

The thermal transmission implied by the nuclear test data thermal measurements in the graph above is approximately just T = exp(-R/V) = e-R/V. Although the Confidental U.S. Department of Defense November 1957 Capabilities of Atomic Weapons TM 23-200 Figure 3-5B on page 3-15 gave air burst thermal transmission curves that correspond to T = exp[-(R/V)1/2], and are fairly accurate for distances near the visibility range, i.e. V = R, and were later used in Glasstone 1962/64 for both air and surface bursts, Figure 3-5B gave extremely inaccurate surface burst transmission curves because it wrongly assumed on page 3-2 that a surface burst had an average radiating temperature of only 3000 K (compared to 6000 K for an air burst). Because 3000 K blackbody radiation is almost entirely easily-absorbed infrared radiation, Figure 3-5B in TM 23-200 for surface bursts underestimated thermal transmission greatly, since it corresponds to T = exp[-2(R/V)1/2] for surface bursts as compared to T = exp[-(R/V)1/2] for air bursts. By 1962 it was known from an analysis of nuclear test data that Figure 3-5B exaggerated transmission for surface bursts, so only the TM 23-200 curves for 6000 K blackbody thermal radiation from air bursts were presented in Glasstone's Effects of Nuclear Weapons 1962/64, and this air burst thermal transmission data was there used for both air and surface bursts. The explanation for why the empirical data supports simply T = exp(-R/V) rather than a faster or slower fall at long distances is that there are two competing factors which work in opposite directions at long distances:

(a) the greater the distance, the more penetrating the remaining radiation is (because the less penetrating frequencies in the radiation spectrum have already been absorbed by the intervening air), which tends to increase relative transmission at great distances

and

(b) the greater the distance, the greater the build-up of scattered radiation with degraded (lower energy), which gets absorbed more rapidly, tending to decrease relative transmission at great distances.

Hence, the filtered-spectrum effect, (a), increases the penetrating power of distant thermal radiation, but the build-up of scattered radiation with degraded energy, (b), decreases transmission. Thus, the filtering and scattering transmission effects offset each other so that the total transmission remain a simple exponential attenuation law, T = exp(-R/V).

An example of an error in thermal transmission data which completely ignores this phenomenon is M. G. Gibbons Transmissivity of the Atmosphere for Thermal Radiation from Nuclear Weapons, U.S. Naval Radiological Defense Laboratory, report USNRDL-TR-1060, August 1966, which is a study of transmission based on just a single wavelength of light, 0.65 microns wavelength for free air bursts and 0.55 microns wavelength for surface bursts and tower bursts where the fireball touches the ground. This analysis of transmission of monochromatic (single frequency) light transmission is wrong for nuclear weapons thermal radiation because it ignores the filtering effect [(a) above] of a wide spectrum source, so the only effect differing from exponential attenuation was the build-up of scattered radiation. However, Gibbons claims (providing no evidence or comparison to support his statement, presumably due to classification) that his transmission equation can be made to fit nuclear test data by using suitably selected values for the thermal yield fraction: namely 21% for surface bursts and 33% for air bursts. Gibbons' report is used by Dolan in the Thermal Radiation Phenomena chapter of the 1972-81 versions of DNA-EM-1 Capabilities of Nuclear Weapons, and it is also cited as the source for thermal transmission graphical data given by Glasstone and Dolan, 1977.

However, none of these references seem to actually give Gibbons data: Gibbons gives the formula for surface bursts by the equation T = e-2R/V(1 + 1.4R/V) where e-2R/V is for absorption and (1 + 1.4R/V) represents the build-up of scattered radiation. This formula is also given in Brode's 1964 report. Dolan's 1972 EM-1 gives a highly altered version of this: T = e-2.9R/V(1 + 1.9R/V). Notice that both of the numerical factors have been increased by a third or so. Dolan in 1972 indirectly explains this change in the footnote on page 3-8 of EM-1: the definition of "clear" atmospheric visibility given by Gibbons 12 miles while the revised definition of "clear" atmospheric visibility given by Dolan in EM-1 is 16 miles, one-third greater. Simply to allow for 33% increase in the numerical definition of the standard average "clear" visibility range, Dolan in 1972 revised Gibbons' formula T = e-2R/V(1 + 1.4R/V) by increasing the numerical coefficients to incorporate the redefinition of "visibility", giving the new formula: T = e-2.9R/V(1 + 1.9R/V).

Glasstone and Dolan's The Effects of Nuclear Weapons, 1977, reverts specifies Gibbons 1966 range of 12 miles for "clear" visibility, rather than Dolan's 1972 EM-1 value of 16 miles. The transmission data given in Glasstone and Dolan 1977 is closer to Gibbons' 1966 original formula than to Dolan's 1972 EM-1 formula:


Above: thermal transmission data for nuclear explosions from Dr Harold L. Brode and Richard D. Small, Fire Damage and Strategic Targeting, Pacific-Sierra Research Corporation, Los Angeles, California, Defense Nuclear Agency report DNA-TR-84-272 (1 June 1984), accession number ADA159280 which is partly discussed near the end of the post http://glasstone.blogspot.com/2006/08/nuclear-weapons-1st-edition-1956-by.html.

Professor Charles J. Bridgman in his book Introduction to the Physics of Nuclear Weapons Effects, Defense Threat Reduction Agency, 2001, pages 252-4, presents data for thermal transmission from James M. Leonard's 1985 Air Force Institute of Technology MSc thesis, Nuclear Thermal Transmittance in the Atmosphere Using LOWTRAN-6 Computer Code, Air Force Inst. of Tech., Wright-Patterson AFB, OH. School of Engineering, report AFIT/GNE/ENP/85M-13, also AD-A154 669/6, which is a theoretical computer calculation of transmission using the known properties of air to absorb different components of the thermal spectrum. For a distance equal to the visibility range (i.e., for V = R), a surface burst and a target on the ground, Bridgman's curves based on Leonard's report all show only 7% transmission. The Pacific nuclear test data of indicate a transmission of 37% for this situation of V = R.

It turns out that this large difference is due mainly to the vertical height of several kilometres for the fireballs in the megaton range Pacific tests, which allowed much of the thermal radiation transmission path to a distant target to be through air of lower water vapour concentration than the sea level air, but also partly to the channelling of thermal radiation between the reflective ocean and the base of the cloud cover in the sky above the fireball in some tests. These effects of source altitude (e.g. vertical fireball height for a high yield surface burst) and channelling between a reflective ground or ocean surface and the base of a layer of cloud cover, are revealed by the graphs in Figures 39-44 published in the revision to DNA-EM-1 made in report DNA-TR-84-388, which we will discuss in detail next.

DNA-EM-1 thermal transmission formulae were updated in the 1980s as a result of a study by John R. Keith and Anthony F. Portare, An Analysis of Army Thermal Transmissivity Calculations, Kaman Sciences Corp., Arlington, VA., report DNA-TR-84-388, available as ADA176959, November 1984: 'This report covers a review of the present procedures employed by the Army in calculating thermal transmissivity. As result of the analysis it was determined that the present approach does not accurately predict the transmissivity. The report discusses a comparison between the present methodology and that employed in the revised DNA EM-1 handbook. A procedure is recommended which will correct existing deficiencies.'

This 136-page long report compares George F. Riley's report, Empirical Determination of Scattered Light Transport Through the Lower Atmosphere, U.S. Air Force Cambridge Research Laboratory, AFCRL-68-0256, AD0673999, May 1965 and the U.K. Atomic Weapons Research Establishment report AWRE-O28/75 (1975), Thermal transmissivities in North-West Europe, with a rigorous theoretical thermal radiation emission and transmission analysis method developed by Kaman Sciences Corporation as an update to Dolan's DNA-EM-1 Capabilities of Nuclear Weapons. It summarizes all of the new revisions (including thermal partitions, thermal output curves as a function of yield, height of burst, and interaction of the fireball with the surface, as well as thermal transmission through the atmosphere) made to the updated thermal radiation phenomena chapter of Dolan's DNA-EM-1, although its main focus is on the prediction of thermal transmission from tactical nuclear explosions by the U.S. Army to order to defend Northwest Europe (specifically giving data for Germany and Britain) in the event of a Russian invasion, like the invasion of Afghanistan in 1979.

For Britain, it gives a mean atmospheric H2O content of 3.467 g/m3 for the cold, dry fall-winter seasons (falling exponentially with increasing altitude, so that at 5 km height the concentration is 9.2 times lower), and 13.87 g/m3 for the warmer and hence more humid spring-summer seasons (falling with increasing altitude by a factor of 14 at a height of 5 km). The all-year mean sea level water content of the atmosphere in the U.K. is therefore about 8.7 g/m3. The CO2 content of the atmosphere is assumed to be 0.0314% irrespective of altitude. Kaman Sciences Corporation (KSC) developed the TRAX computer code with 18 wavelength bands from 0.25-3.8 microns to accurately evaluate atmospheric transmission with infrared absorption by H2O, CO2 and CH4, ultraviolet absorption by O2 and O3, and absorption and scattering by atmospheric dusts and aerosols. [For some background research on this, see: Ralph G. Eldridge and John C. Johnson, "Distribution of Irradiance in Haze and Fog," Journal of the Optical Society of America, vol. 52, pp. 787-791 (1962); Matthew G. Gibbons, Frank I. Laughridge, John R. Nichols, and Nicholas A. Krause, "Transmission and Scattering Properties of a Nevada Desert Atmosphere under Cloudy Conditions," Journal of the Optical Society of America, vol. 52, 38-39 (1962); and A. K. Ghosh, “Effect of Scattering by Haze on the Spectral Distribution of Light and Its Colour Coordinates”, Proceedings of the Indian National Science Academy, vol. 39A, pp. 348-63 (1973).]

It also includes a proper treatment of the reflection of scattered and direct radiations by various types of ground surface and by a cloud layer at various altitudes. It begins by updating the theoretical models used to calculate fireball phenomenology and the emission of nuclear weapons thermal radiation.

Discussion of detailed thermal revisions presented in John R. Keith and Anthony F. Portare, An Analysis of Army Thermal Transmissivity Calculations, Kaman Sciences Corp., Arlington, VA., report DNA-TR-84-388 (1984)

One of the most important things this report presents is the disclosure that the time to the final peak radiating power was underestimated by the 1960s and 1970s computer simulations of nuclear fireballs, because although those computer codes included fireball opacity due to air ionization, they failed to include the extra opacity due to the presence of the bomb debris which soon mixes with the ionized air in the fireball, slowing down the rate that thermal radiation is emitted from the surface of the fireball, and protracting the duration of the thermal pulse while reducing the effective radiating temperature and the thermal power. (Similarly, the soil or other surface material incorporated within the fireball in a surface burst increases the opacity, slowing thermal emission, reducing the radiating power and increasing the time to final thermal maximum, as the report states on page 45: "The surface burst has a much smaller second [final] thermal power maximum and a somewhat longer time to second [final] maximum [than an air burst near sea level].")

Page 31:

"The basic data used in the free air burst model are based upon a set of four detailed theoretical radiation-hydrodynamic code calculations run with the RHGEN code at yields of 4, 14, 100, and 6600 kt. The first three correspond to three U.S. nuclear atmospheric bursts which have been measured and analyzed in great detail. The RHGEN code contains the latest air opacity data, a realistic [bomb] debris mixing model and an improved technique for shock front location which is necesssary to provide good definition of the early time pulse characteristics. The [bomb] debris mixing model was found to be necessary to provide good comparisons with measured second maxima times and powers [the earlier version of the fireball thermal emission theory, which omitted the mixing of debris with the ionized air in the fireball, did not fit nuclear test data well, as shown in Dolan's 1972 DNA-EM-1 comparison curves].

"... The increased opacity due to the [bomb] debris contribution seems to slow the radial heat flow near the time of minimum, increases the pressure in the fireball, causing a continued expansion with a resulting delay in the time of second maximum. The increased opacity causes an increase in the effective fireball radius, a decrease in the effective temperature, and a lower power.

"... The time of breakaway is about one-third that of minimum so that a very small amount of energy is released prior to this time [thus the final pulse is the most important for thermal emission calculations]."

Page 33:

"The surface burst model is based to a large extent on analysis of nuclear test results because of the difficulty in representing the experimental results entirely from theoretical results ... For times through minimum the fireball development is the same as that for a free air burst but with a different effective yield. The parameters needed to obtain the spectral power at the later times were determined from experimental data. ...

"If the fireball contacts the surface prior to shock formation, the low altitude air burst is [then] transformed into a surface burst. The spectral power computed in the code always refers to that radiated from a sphere. For the surface burst an effective yield factor of 1.96 is used ... [Diagrams show the fireball from a low air burst expanding spherically until it intersects the ground, after which it reflects off the grouns, becoming effectively a hemisphere as in a surface burst, when the fireball radius exceeds about twice the altitude of burst.]"

On pages 35-7, a model is given for the interaction of the air burst with the surface in the event that the contact of occurs after the shock wave has formed: "negligible energy is transmitted to the surface". The shock wave simply bounces off the ground and flattens the base of the fireball, so that the fireball changes shape into a truncated sphere (for nuclear test data on this effect, see Eric M. Jones and Jeffrey D. Colvin, Fireball Shape as a Height-of-Burst Diagnostic, Los Alamos report LA-7833-MS, 1979):





Above: Fig. 12 from John R. Keith and Anthony F. Portare, An Analysis of Army Thermal Transmissivity Calculations, Kaman Sciences Corp., Arlington, VA., report DNA-TR-84-388, AD-A176959 (1984). According to page 39 of the report, these are the air burst thermal yields radiated up to a time of 10 times the time of the final thermal maximum (10t2nd max.) as a function of weapon yield and burst altitude: “A general downward trend is noted with increasing yield.” This reduction of thermal yield fraction with increasing total weapon yield is the opposite of Harold L. Brode’s theoretical emission equation in his 1968 Annual Review of Nuclear Science article “Review of Nuclear Weapons Effects”.

Brode’s incorrect conclusion (in simple radiative cooling models that ignore convective cooling and the engulfment of cold air) that the thermal yield fraction increases with increasing total yield, seemed to be justified by the simple fact that the concentration of nitrogen dioxide in the shock front that shields thermal emission from the hot fireball is dependent on overpressure.

This suggests that the distance of any given amount of nitrogen dioxide shielding should scale as the cube-root of the total yield, whereas the fireball radius at final thermal maximum scales as the two-fifths power of the total yield.

Consequently, as the total yield increases, a there should be a reduction in the shielding by the nitrogen dioxide, which as the total yield increases, extends to an ever smaller fraction of the fireball radius at second maximum. The fireball radius at second thermal maximum increases relative to the nitrogen dioxide shielding layer radius as the total yield increases, thus increasing the thermal yield fraction emitted up to that time as a function of total yield, because of the reduced shielding by nitrogen dioxide at higher yields.

However, this argument is only applicable during the period that nitrogen dioxide shock wave shielding of fireball core emission is important, i.e. only up to the final thermal maximum power, by which time about 20-30% of the thermal radiation is emitted. Since 70-80% of the thermal radiation is emitted after the time of the final thermal maximum power, the nitrogen dioxide shielding effect is not important in the late stages. Brode’s 1960s calculations of thermal radiation emission from the fireball omitted the effect of fireball cooling by engulfing cold air (in an air burst) and soil (in a surface burst) from the environment. Due to the inertia of air, these convection cooling effects take time to come into play and so are relatively more important in the case of megaton yields (which emit significant thermal radiation over a long period of many seconds) than kiloton yields, where most of the thermal radiation is radiated within a second, before efficient convection cooling starts. Hence, for higher yield nuclear weapons, convection cooling by the entrainment of cold air and (in the case of a surface burst) soil, quickly cools the fireball after the time of thermal maximum and reduces the fraction of the total yield emitted as thermal radiation in an air burst. The 10t2nd max. thermal yield fraction for a sea-level air density free air burst falls from 35.0% at 1 kt to 34.1% at 10 kt, 33.0% at 100 kt, 29.1% at 1 Mt and to 25.4% at 10 Mt (source: DNA-TR-84-388, AD-A176959, 1984, Table 6, page 42).

In a surface burst, the thermal yield trend as a function of total yield is the opposite to that in a free air burst, because the crater ejecta throw-out shields thermal radiation emission from the fireball more effectively at low yields than at high yields. The radius for any given degree of thermal radiation shielding by crater ejecta scales as the cube-root of yield at sub-kiloton total yields and typically as the quarter-power of total yield for the megaton yield range; thus it is always scaling as a weaker function of total yield than the fireball radius at final thermal maximum, which scales as the two-fifths power of yield. Hence, more of the fireball thermal radiation gets shielded by crater ejecta throw-out in low yield surface bursts than in high yield surface bursts. This makes the thermal yield fraction in a surface burst increase from 4.5% at 1 kt to 6.6% at 10 kt, 13% at 100 kt, 16% at 1 Mt, and 17% at 10 Mt (source: DNA-TR-84-388, AD-A176959, 1984, Table 6, page 42).



Above: Fig. 13 from John R. Keith and Anthony F. Portare, An Analysis of Army Thermal Transmissivity Calculations, Kaman Sciences Corp., Arlington, VA., report DNA-TR-84-388, AD-A176959 (1984). According to page 39 of the report, these are the air burst thermal yields radiated up to a time of 10 times the time of the final thermal maximum (10t2nd max.) as a function of weapon yield and burst altitude: “A general downward trend is noted with increasing yield.”



Above: Table 6 from John R. Keith and Anthony F. Portare, An Analysis of Army Thermal Transmissivity Calculations, Kaman Sciences Corp., Arlington, VA., report DNA-TR-84-388, AD-A176959 (1984). According to page 39 of the report, these are the thermal yields radiated up to a time of 10 times the time of the final thermal maximum (10t2nd max.). Notice that, as we have explained physically, the sea-level air burst thermal yield fraction decreases with increasing total yield because more and more of the cooling is done by convection mixing processes rather than by radiation in the longer thermal pulse of higher yields, while in a surface burst the thermal yield fraction increases with increasing total yield, because the crater ejecta throw-out radii which absorb much thermal radiation in a surface burst scale less rapidly (i.e., as the cube or fourth root) with total yield than does the fireball radius at final thermal peak power (i.e., the two-fifths power of yield).



Above: Fig. 14 from John R. Keith and Anthony F. Portare, An Analysis of Army Thermal Transmissivity Calculations, Kaman Sciences Corp., Arlington, VA., report DNA-TR-84-388, AD-A176959 (1984). This diagram shows the effect of burst altitude from sea level to 30 km upon the thermal pulse curve shape for a 100 kt air burst. The report notes that a surface burst thermal power curve is not identical to a sea level air burst, but on account of the extra opacity of the fireball due to the earth incorporated from the crater process, the surface burst thermal curve has a much smaller final thermal maximum radiating power. The surface burst fireball also takes a slightly longer time to reach the final peak thermal emission, than an equivalent yield sea level air density air burst.



Above: Fig. 15 from John R. Keith and Anthony F. Portare, An Analysis of Army Thermal Transmissivity Calculations, Kaman Sciences Corp., Arlington, VA., report DNA-TR-84-388, AD-A176959 (1984). This diagram is a linear version of the logarithmic plots in Fig. 14, showing how the shape of the standard thermal pulse curve depends on burst altitude for air bursts of 100 kt total yield.



Above: Fig. 21 from John R. Keith and Anthony F. Portare, An Analysis of Army Thermal Transmissivity Calculations, Kaman Sciences Corp., Arlington, VA., report DNA-TR-84-388, AD-A176959 (1984). This diagram shows how the different wavelengths in the thermal radiation spectrum, from 0.32 micron ultraviolet to 1.87 micron infrared, are transmitted through a standard Nevada desert atmosphere for an air burst 1 km above ground (or a megaton range surface burst fireball with a radius of over 2 km, so that the mean height of the radiating surface is 1 km above ground) with ground level taken to 1.28 km above sea level. The data come from Kaman Science Corporation’s TRAX Monte Carlo simulation code for atmospheric transmission. Notice that the 0.32 micron curve for ultraviolet shows rapid attenuation due to absorption by natural ozone in the atmosphere, and the 1.87 micron infrared curve shows absorption by water vapour and carbon dioxide; but the shape of the transmission curves for ultraviolet and infrared are totally different (each departs from a straight line exponential attenuation law by curving in a different direction from a straight line, so that the average would be close to a straight line and thus a simple exponential attenuation law). Because the transmission fraction is a logarithmic plot while distance is linear plot, a straight-line transmission on this graph represents exponential attenuation and a curve represents a departure from exponential attenuation. The data for the wavelengths between the extremes, i.e. 0.55, 0.94, and 1.23 microns, all show much less attenuation as they are closer to (or within) the visible radiation band. The 0.55-micron curve shows a transmission of 70% to a horizontal range of 30 km. If this is treated as an exponential absorption with the typical Nevada desert visibility range of 80 km, then the Nevada nuclear test data thermal radiation transmission, T = e-R/V = e-30/80 = 0.69, is similar to the 0.55-micron wavelength transmission predictions. However, this simplified approach (used in the 1960s by Gibbons) would not be justified because it would properly take account of the effect of atmospheric water vapour of air near sea level on the infrared radiation transmission.



Above: Fig. 39 from John R. Keith and Anthony F. Portare, An Analysis of Army Thermal Transmissivity Calculations, Kaman Sciences Corp., Arlington, VA., report DNA-TR-84-388, AD-A176959 (1984). Transmission for a surface burst and a 1 km altitude air burst (or a high yield surface burst where the mean height of the hemispherical fireball radiating surface is 1 km high) for sandy soil ground, 300 m base altitude cloud cover, and 25 km atmospheric visibility (1.5 g/m3 of sea level water vapour concentration). This report proves that the effect of the fireball radiating temperature on changing the source spectra of the thermal radiation as a function of weapon yield and for ground interaction is negligible in comparison to the effect of the height of the fireball. The thermal transmission as a function of distance is similar for different yields if the effective fireball height above the ground is the same. It is also similar for a surface burst and a sea level air burst (although obviously the thermal yield will be different in each case) if the mean height of the fireball is the same. However, varying the height of the centre of the radiating surface of the fireball causes a large change in the thermal transmission curve, mainly as a result of the variation in the water vapour content of the air as a function of height. The cooler air at higher altitudes contains less water vapour and therefore allows more transmission of infrared radiation than sea level air.



Above: Fig. 40 from John R. Keith and Anthony F. Portare, An Analysis of Army Thermal Transmissivity Calculations, Kaman Sciences Corp., Arlington, VA., report DNA-TR-84-388, AD-A176959 (1984). Thermal transmission from a 100 kt surface burst with the fireball at ground level for a hypothetical dark, zero albedo ground, i.e. a totally radiation absorbing, non-reflective ground which does not reflect any of the thermal radiation, for no cloud cover (curve 1) and cloud cover with its base at altitudes of 300 m (curve 2), 1,500 m (curve 3) and 3,000 m (curve 4), with in each case 25 km atmospheric visibility (1.5 g/m3 of sea level water vapour concentration). Curve 1 therefore presents the case where the transmission is purely a function of the air characteristics, without any ground or cloud reflection effects.



Above: Fig. 41 from John R. Keith and Anthony F. Portare, An Analysis of Army Thermal Transmissivity Calculations, Kaman Sciences Corp., Arlington, VA., report DNA-TR-84-388, AD-A176959 (1984). Thermal transmission from a 100 kt surface burst with the fireball at ground level for a sandy soil, for no cloud cover (curve 1) and cloud cover with its base at altitudes of 300 m (curve 2), 1,500 m (curve 3) and 3,000 m (curve 4), with in each case 25 km atmospheric visibility (1.5 g/m3 of sea level water vapour concentration). Curve 1 therefore presents the case where the transmission is purely a function of the air characteristics and ground reflection, with no cloud reflection effects. We have added curve 5 (which is curve 1 from Fig. 40 already given, for a non-reflecting ground and no cloud cover) to show the small effect of the ground reflection on transmission. It is clear that when both ground reflection and cloud reflection occur, the surfaces act like a waveguide for thermal radiation energy, whose transmission is enhanced by “channelling” of thermal energy.



Above: Fig. 43 from John R. Keith and Anthony F. Portare, An Analysis of Army Thermal Transmissivity Calculations, Kaman Sciences Corp., Arlington, VA., report DNA-TR-84-388, AD-A176959 (1984). Thermal transmission for a sandy soil, for no cloud cover (curve 1) and cloud cover with its base at altitudes of 1,500 m (curves 2), 1,500 m (curves 3) and 3,000 m (curves 3), with in each case 25 km atmospheric visibility (1.5 g/m3 of sea level water vapour concentration). High level clouds above the nuclear explosion can enhance thermal transmission, by reflecting back to the ground some of the thermal radiation that would otherwise be lost to space. But when a nuclear explosion occurs in or above a cloud layer, or above a smoke screen, the opposite effect occurs and the thermal radiation is shielded and attenuated to a considerable extent prior to reaching a target. During Pacific nuclear tests of air and high altitude bursts in 1958 and 1962, cloud cover over ground zero was either required as a condition for firing, or alternatively was provided artificially by smoke screen generators in order to prevent any risk of injury to the dark coloured terns. Similarly, for the very high altitude tests in 1962 where the fireballs would be above the horizon as viewed from the Hawaiian islands 1,300 km always, firing was only authorized when there was low-level local cloud cover over the Hawaiian islands to protect the public from any risk of retinal injury. Nevada tests in 1955 over smoke screens demonstrated the value of smoke clouds in attenuating thermal radiation from nuclear weapons. The 110 kt 1954 CASTLE-KOON test at Bikini Atoll was detonated in a rainstorm with very low visibility, and thermal radiation effects were undetectable at the measuring stations.



Above: Fig. 44 from John R. Keith and Anthony F. Portare, An Analysis of Army Thermal Transmissivity Calculations, Kaman Sciences Corp., Arlington, VA., report DNA-TR-84-388, AD-A176959 (1984). Thermal transmission in 6.5 km atmospheric visibility (10 g/m3 of sea level water vapour concentration) for a 10 kt surface burst with 300 m base cloud cover and three different ground surface reflections: zero reflection, dirt (sandy soil), and snow. Comparisons of these curves to those of the previous figure prove that the ground reflection characteristics are much less important in determining thermal radiation transmission than the atmospheric visibility, the fireball altitude, and the cloud cover situation. The curve for dirt (sandy soil) with 6.5 km visibility due to 10 g/m3 of sea level water vapour concentration in the air and cloud cover with its base at 300 m represents the mean transmission to be expected for thermal radiation in the U.K. and other areas of Northwest Europe, as shown by statistical data in DNA-TR-84-388, AD-A176959 (1984).



Above: Ernest Bauer's August 1990 Institute for Defense Analyses report, Physics of High-Temperature Air. Part. 2. Applications, ADA229778, contains a useful section summarising a little of the available nuclear testing data on the mass of fallout as a function of burst altitude for surface bursts, free air bursts, and tower burst nuclear weapons tests, as well as the family of computed curves above showing the transition from a single thermal pulse for a 1 Mt air burst at 50 km altitude to a double-pulse for a 1 Mt sea level air burst. The main reason for the transition is the weakening of the shock wave due to the lower air density at higher altitudes: the lower air density at high altitudes simply allows the X-rays (which comprise 75% of the primary energy emission from a typical 1 ton mass, 1 megaton yield detonation) to travel much larger distances before being absorbed by the air.

This means that same amount of energy is spread over a larger volume of air in a high altitude burst, so the energy density (energy per unit volume) in the fireball is lower than it is for the tiny initial X-ray fireball at sea level, and this lower energy density produces a smaller temperature rise, and thus a weaker blast wave. This weaker blast wave at high altitudes is unable to compress air to a high enough density to form the concentrations of nitrogen dioxide that shield thermal radiation after shock formation in a sea level detonation. The nitrogen dioxide formed in the shock wave from compressed hot air absorbs the thermal radiation from the fireball core in a sea level detonation, causing the minimum and thus the two pulses, but nitrogen dioxide is not formed in a high altitude burst because the shock wave is not strong enough to produce it, hence the thermal minimum gradually disappears as the burst height is increased, merging the two pulses together into a single pulse for a 1 Mt detonation at 50 km altitude.

For eye retinal burns data from nuclear weapon test accidents and experiments, see AD742837 and for theoretical estimates see AD0668549.

Chapter 4: X-Ray Radiation Phenomena

Capabilities of Nuclear Weapons. Part 1. Phenomenology. Change 1. Chapter 4. X-Ray Radiation Phenomena. 38 pages, July 1978, AD-A955388
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Treatment of X-ray radiation output from nuclear weapons of different designs, from 'cold' (1 keV initial radiating temperature, high mass-to-yield ratio designs) to 'hot' (10 keV, low mass-to-yield ratio) X-ray weapons, from the perspective of the use of X-rays by ABM warheads to damage missiles in space by the recoil from ablation. Since recoil forces from ablation caused by X-rays from a fission primary bomb are used to compress and heat fusion materials in Teller-Ulam weapons, this chapter is best not discussed in detail. The enhanced neutron weapon is employed in ABM warheads to melt down the fissile material inside the warheads of incoming ICBMs by using neutrons. The weight of useful neutron shields for high-energy neutron exposure to ICBM warheads is prohibitive in terms of the numbers and sizes of warheads and decoys that ICBMs can carry.

Chapter 5: Nuclear Radiation Phenomena

Capabilities of Nuclear Weapons. Part 1. Phenomenology. Change 1. Chapter 5. Nuclear Radiation Phenomena. 152 pages, July 1978, AD-A955389, 4.6 MB PDF file

This chapter provides initial nuclear radiation predictions in detail for eight different designs of weapons including the neutron bomb, the detailed neutron induced activity from an air burst over various types of soil, the radiation dose prediction for 1 kt, 10 kt and 100 kt yield underwater nuclear explosions of various yields for various wind and ocean water current conditions, and the accurate prediction of fallout patterns for various wind speeds - the more detailed and accurate basis for the far more simplified and approximate scaling system provided in Glasstone and Dolan, Effects of Nuclear Weapons, 1977. (After 1984, the 8 categories of nuclear weapon design used from 1972-84 for predicting initial nuclear radiation outputs, was extended to 13 categories; modern nuclear weapons have far less high explosive and tamper thicknesses and generally emit far more initial radiation than did the heavy Nagasaki bomb.) It also discusses detailed predictions of water surface burst fallout and rainout dose hazards from air bursts where part of the mushroom cloud encounters a rainstorm, which is particularly important in lower yield nuclear detonations below 60 kt, where the cloud height is not too high and so is more likely to mix with the rain-making parts of rainclouds or thunderstorms. The updated August 1981 page changes to this chapter provide detailed quantitative predictions of rainout doses.



One of the great strengths of Dolan's revision of Capabilities of Nuclear Weapons was the move away from scaling American test data and trying to check the validity against independent British fallout data, to use instead a computer fallout prediction system called DELFIC (DEfense Land Fallout Interpretative Code) based on theoretical physics and chemistry, and compare those purely theoretical predictions (which calculates cloud rise based on the empirically-justified assumption that 45% of the detonation energy is waste heat left in the hot air behind the shock wave, which gets drawn into the fireball by the reversed winds, causing the mushroom cloud to rise buoyantly as soon as the fireball reaches pressure equilibrium with the surrounding atmosphere). DELFIC fundamentals are summarized in the PDF report here.

Above: Dolan's comparison of a DELFIC-derived idealized gamma dose rate fallout pattern with the observed fallout from the 1.65 kt Nevada 1962 surface burst Small Boy, in Capabilities of Nuclear Weapons DNA-EM-1, 1972, page 5-69 (R/hr at 1 hour after detonation). The Small Boy test fallout situation had an effective wind velocity of 8 knots and an effective wind directional shear of 30 degrees between the ground and cloud top. The idealized prediction is for 10 knots and 15 degrees shear, and includes corrections for terrain shielding and instrument response. The measured 10 R/hr contour extended for 9 statute miles downwind from ground zero. The agreement between the DELFIC-based idealized prediction and data is good, taking account of the differences in windshear and wind speed.Above: 1 hour reference time (assuming fallout is deposited by then, which is not the case for large yields) gamma ideal plane fallout dose rates from DELFIC calculations, as predicted in Philip J. Dolan's originally secret manual Capabilities of Nuclear Weapons, DNA-EM-1, U.S. Department of Defense, Chapter 5, Nuclear Radiation Phenomena, August 1981 revision. DELFIC calculations used a lognormal particle size-activity distribution (median radius 123 microns), based on ground-collected fallout from the Teapot-Ess shallow underground test.



The later March 1990 revision of the DNA-EM-1 Nuclear Radiation Phenomena chapter (AD-C045890) is based on DNAF-1, which provides curves for yields of 0.003 kt - 100 Mt and winds of 0.5-100 m/s, and gives a catalogue of 27 precalculated fallout patterns covering 9 different yields and 3 different wind speeds. DNAF-1 is a simplified version of DELFIC, using a fixed fission product bomb deposit activity to gamma dose rate conversion factor of 6,973 (R/hr)/(kt/km2) for ideal surfaces; substantially higher than the figure of 5,180, used in the WSEG-10 fallout model, but lower than the figure of 7,770 used in the SEER3 model. However, it should be noted that fallout analyst Dr R. Robert Rapp of the RAND Corporation in his December 1966 report RM-5164-PR, An Error in the Prediction of Fallout Radiation, argued for a figure of only 2,300 (R/hr)/(kt/km2) from the 1.2 kt Nevada 1951 Jangle-Sugar surface burst data (see A. Schiff, Problems with Predicting Fallout Radiation Hazard in Tactical Battlefield Situations, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory report UCRL-51440, ADA385024, 1973, page 12). The Effects of Nuclear Weapons 1957, 1962/64 and 1977 use values of about 3,200, 10,000, and 7,500, respectively. (The effects of terrain roughness, instrument response (in a laboratory calibration a Co-60 source was expose simply the sensor part of the instrument, but in an all-round radiation field some gamma rays were shielded by the instrument battery unit; in addition the response to the mean 1.25 MeV gamma rays of Co-60 is different to the response to typical ~0.5 MeV fallout gamma rays), instrument shielding by the body of the person holding the radiation meter, and fallout composition variations (due to fractionation of fission products and neutron induced activity) are given for a large number of American and British nuclear tests in the report here. Generally the body of the person holding a radiac meter reduces the reading by 25% for gamma radiation from deposited fallout, while terrain irregularities absorb another 25% of the gamma dose that would be received over a smooth infinite contaminated surface.) DELFIC fission product predicts that fractionation results in an average of 67% of the 1-hour local fallout activity being due to unfractionated (refractory) fission product decay chains (distributed through the volume of molten particles at early times), and predicts that 33% is from volatile decay chains distributed on the surfaces of particles after they have condensed. This leads the DELFIC decay rate calculations to indicate that the local fallout gamma dose rate is proportional to t-1.26, which fits DELFIC output to within 10 percent between 15 minutes and 1,000 hours after burst, which is now used for land surface bursts in the revised March 1990 DNA-EM-1 chapter Nuclear Radiation Phenomena, instead of the older t-1.2 Way-Wigner decay rule used by Glasstone and Dolan. The use of the t-1.26 decay rate for gamma dose rates from land surface bursts in the revised chapter gives long-term dose predictions slightly smaller than predicted using t-1.2. In fact, fractionation varies with particle size and therefore downwind distance (the smaller fallout particles far downwind are less depleted in volatile decay chains, see the reports here, here, here, here, here, here and here), which alters the decay rate slightly downwind, and neutron induced activities in fallout also affect the decay rate. The March 1990 revision includes a better fallout prediction system for shallow underground bursts caused by earth-penetrator warheads which destroy hardened targets by ground shock and cratering action: see the reports here and here.

Above: example of an underwater burst base surge dose rate and expansion prediction given in Philip J. Dolan's originally secret manual Capabilities of Nuclear Weapons, DNA-EM-1, U.S. Department of Defense, Chapter 5, Nuclear Radiation Phenomena, August 1981 revision.Above: example of an underwater burst expanding water pool dose rate prediction given in Philip J. Dolan's originally secret manual Capabilities of Nuclear Weapons, DNA-EM-1, U.S. Department of Defense, Chapter 5, Nuclear Radiation Phenomena, August 1981 revision.

Philip J. Dolan's 1972 DNA-EM-1 Capabilities of Nuclear Weapons gives a far more complete treatment of all the underwater burst problems than unclassified sources, and older confidental manuals. The final sections of Chapter 2 on blast and shock phenomena (306 pages) includes water shock, base surge, water waves from surface and underwater bursts, and so on, while chapter 5 on nuclear radiation phenomena gives computer predictions of base surge and water 'pool' dose rates and accumulated doses for yields of 1, 10 and 100 kt for various depths underwater and proximities of the bomb to the ocean bottom (the 1958 Umbrella test was detonated on the seabed, so there is evidence to validate such a preduction). The base surge part of that computer model was developed by I. O. Huebsch of the U.S. Naval Radiological Defense laboratory; see his 106 pages long May 1963 report USNRDL-TR-653, A Model for Computing Base-Surge Dose-Rate Histories for Underwater Nuclear Bursts (Confidential-Formerly Restricted Data):

'A model for calculating transit-radiation dose rates and doses from the base surge of an underwater nuclear burst is described. Calculated values are compared with measurements made at Hardtack Wahoo and Umbrella, Crossroads Baker, and Wigwam, and with predicted values for two proposed underwater shots. The model is a geometrical-radiological representation of the base surge, whose characteristics depend on weapon yield, burst depth and surface wind speed. The model is estimated to be valid for 1-kt to 100-kt underwater bursts for minimum depths of 20 to 90 ft, respectively, and for times at least 30 seconds after burst. Dose rates and doses can be computed for either fixed or moving points in the radiation field. The comparisons show that the calculated values, in almost all cases, agree within +/- 50% of the measured values. (Abstract UNCLASSIFIED.)'

This base surge radiation model for underwater bursts was later supplemented with a code that predicts dosage from the expanding 'pool' of contaminated water (which is water that has been heated and contaminated with fission products by the pulsating bubble of the detonation as it rises, before erupting through the water). In nuclear tests, underwater radiation probes were able to distinguish this effect from the base surge radiation which was measured by probes above the water. The full computer code was finished in 1968 and is called 'Daedalus' (the 'cunning worker' of Greek mythology), the underwater equivalent of the land surface burst fallout computer code DELFIC:
Edward A. Schuert, et al., DAEDALUS: A Gamma Exposure Rate Prediction Code for Underwater Nuclear Explosions, U.S. Naval Radiological Defense Laboratory, report USNRDL-TR-68-137, July 1968, Secret-Formerly Restricted Data.


Above: typical composition of representative soil types for calculating neutron induced activity, given in Philip J. Dolan's originally secret manual Capabilities of Nuclear Weapons, DNA-EM-1, U.S. Department of Defense, Chapter 5, Nuclear Radiation Phenomena, August 1981 revision.

For air bursts that do not produce early fallout unless there is rainout, neutron induced activity is treated in detail in Dolan's manual which makes it clear that the gamma dose rate at 1 hour after burst above ground due to neutron induced activity can vary by a factor of 4,540, depending on the amounts of manganese and sodium in the soil. The minimum gamma hazard from neutron induced activity would occur clean Pensacola sand (99.982% pure silicate) which is 0.001% sodium, 0% manganese, and 46.65% silicon by mass. For such almost pure silicate sand, silicon-31 is the only significant gamma dose contributor, although it is trivial in other soils (because they contain higher manganese or soldium levels).

Because there is so little sodium-24 in this soil, Si-31 stands out initially (at 1 hour after burst, 52% of the gamma dose rate would be due to Si-31 with a 2.62 hr half life, and 48% to Na-24 with a 15.0 hr half life). The worst neutron induced activity danger, 4,540 times more intense, would come from Hawaiian lava clay soil, which is 2.94% manganese by mass, resulting in a massive amount of Mn-56 (2.58 hr half life), although no other significant gamma dose contributors. The hazards from all other soils and also from sea water (containing sodium chloride) fall between these two extreme examples, and is mainly due to sodium-24 and manganese-56.


Above: decay rates of the different soil neutron induced activities, given in Philip J. Dolan's originally secret manual Capabilities of Nuclear Weapons, DNA-EM-1, U.S. Department of Defense, Chapter 5, Nuclear Radiation Phenomena, August 1981 revision.

The gamma dose rate variations due to the type of soil far outweigh possible variations due to the design of the nuclear weapon used. Hence a reasonable prediction is possible provided that the target is known. The peak neutron induced activity generally occurs at a depth of 6-7 cm so there is considerable self-shielding by the soil which makes the hazard far less than you would naively expect if assuming the activity is in the top surface layer of soil.


Above: neutron induced activity dose rates, decay rates, and doses for Hiroshima and Nagasaki air bursts where fallout was negligible at ground zero ("DS02" indicates 2002 dosimetry system, the latest data). Notice that although the gun-type assembly Hiroshima bomb had a smaller total yield (16 kt), it leaked far more neutrons than the implosion type 21 kt Nagasaki bomb, hence creating more neutron-induced activity in the ground below! This was because the light hydrogen nuclei (protons) predominating in the exploded TNT molecules (surrounding the core of the Nagasaki bomb) slowed down neutrons very efficiently, unlike the case of the steel Hiroshima bomb. In an head-on elastic collision, by the principles of conservation of momentum and energy, a neutron scattered by a proton (hydrogen nucleus) can lose all of its energy (like a head on billiard ball collision!), whereas a neutron elastically scattered by a heavy nucleus like iron only loses a trivial amount of energy (although in practice, elastic collisions are rare and inelastic collisions occur, where the heavy nucleus absorbs more of the energy and then emits that excess energy as a gamma ray). This is why the heavier iron atoms in the steel nose forging of the Hiroshima bomb scattered neutrons without absorbing much neutron energy, whereas the thick TNT layer around the core of the Nagasaki bomb reduced the escaping neutron fluence markedly. Bomb design details are thus vitally important for accurate neutron induced activity calculations.

Chapter 6: Transient-Radiation Effects on Electronics (TREE) Phenomena

Capabilities of Nuclear Weapons. Part 1. Phenomenology. Change 1. Chapter 6. Transient-Radiation Effects on Electronics (TREE) Phenomena. 16 pages, July 1978, AD-A955390
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Concerned with close-in intense initial nuclear radiation effects on electronics in missiles subjected to high altitude nuclear explosions from ABM warheads, etc. In November 1990, this material was used to create the new Chapter 22, Damage to Space Systems.

Chapter 7: Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) Phenomena

Capabilities of Nuclear Weapons. Part 1. Phenomenology. Change 1. Chapter 7. Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) Phenomena. 40 pages, July 1978, AD-A955391, 1.3 MB PDF file.

This vital chapter has some graphs deleted for high altitude bursts which are now available from another document but provides complete, quantitative surface burst EMP source region data that is lacking from Glasstone and Dolan, 1977. For example, the July 1978 page changes to this chapter includes graphs (Figures 7-25 to 7-35) showing all of the calculated EMP peak field strengths, including transverse and radial electric field, azimuth magnetic field and air condutivity versus time, for 100 kt and 1 Mt surface bursts compared to the peak air overpressure at the corresponding distances, plus the waveforms for four locations and the frequency spectra derived from the waveforms using Fourier analysis. The graph showing the radial Compton current in a surface burst has been deleted from the chapter, but it can be seen from another report openly available on surface burst EMP physics: see Fig 3-2 on page 34 of the report by Conrad L. Longmire and James L. Gilbert, Theory of EMP Coupling in the Source Region, Defense Nuclear Agency, report DNA 5687F, DTIC document reference ADA108751. Also Fig 3-3 on page 37 gives air conductivity, although this data is only partially deleted from DNA-EM-1 Chapter 7, since although one graph of air conductivity versus time at 500 m distance is deleted, another set of curves are included giving air conductivity versus time for four separate distances corresponding to various peak air blast overpressures which include 500 m for the highest intensity. The chapter also gives the data available on prompt gamma ray outputs for different yields of nuclear weapon, showing that the fraction of bomb yield radiated in prompt gamma rays can vary from 0.5% for small inefficient designs to 0.1% for efficient typical megaton yield warheads. In addition, it shows that the peak E-field at the deposition region radius in a surface burst varies as a weak function of yield, from 1,300 v/m for 1 kt and 1,670 v/m for 10 Mt. The deposition region radius is 5.8 km for 100 kt and 7.2 km for 1 Mt. This deposition region radius is defined by Glasstone and Dolan as the range where the peak air conductivity attained due to ionization is 10-7 mho/m (S/m in SI units). The radiated peak electric field outside the deposition region (inside that region the EMP is far more complicated, due to the effect of the air's conductivity on the EMP radiation) at distance R from ground zero in a surface burst is E = E0(R0/R) volts/metre, where E0 is the peak electric field at the deposition radius (about 1,650 v/m in a 1 Mt surface burst) and R0 is the deposition region radius (7.2 km for a 1 Mt surface burst). Hence at 7.2 km from a 1 Mt surface burst, the vertically polarized (horizontally propagating) radiated EMP has a peak electric field strength of 1,650 v/m, and at double that distance the field is half as strong.

Chapter 8: Phenomena Affecting Electromagnetic Propagation

Capabilities of Nuclear Weapons. Part 1. Phenomenology. Change 1. Chapter 8. Phenomena Affecting Electromagnetic Propagation. 94 pages, July 1978, AD-A955392, 3.6 MB PDF file.
This chapter is also available here.
Essential data on fireball rise, expansion and settling back for high altitude bursts, predictions of debris transfer across the magnetic equator to conjugate regions, and the calculation of ionization patch-caused attenuation of radio and radar signals in decibels from these bursts for radio transmissions that require ionospheric reflection or penetration of the ionosphere to reach satellites (uplink), and also the problem of receiving communications from satellites where the transmitter power is limited and can't be increased to overcome attenuation (satellite downlink). Professor David Jenn gives some extracts from the revised version of this chapter here. 'Scintillation' is the fading and waveform distortion effect caused by multipath propagation through the striated fireball plasma which has been produced by the interaction of the expanding ionized fireball with the earth’s magnetic field.




‘For detonations below about 80 km and weapon yields greater than 100 kt, absorption through the fireball is expected to exceed 25 decibels for about 50 seconds at 10 gigahertz and for longer than 100 seconds at 1 gigahertz.’ – DNA-EM-1, 1978, c. 8, p. 19.


PDF download of Philip J. Dolan (Editor), DNA-EM-1 Capabilities of Nuclear Weapons, Part 2 preliminary pages and contents pages, Change 2, August 1981 (50 pages, 1.7 MB)


Chapter 9: Introduction to Damage Criteria

Capabilities of Nuclear Weapons. Part 2. Damage Criteria. Change 1. Chapter 9. Introduction to Damage Criteria. 187 pages, July 1978, AD-A955393
Extensive tables, graphs and nuclear test data for correlating the phenomenology of the explosion with damage results; much essential background data such as the EMP energy needed to damage different kinds of electronic component.


Chapter 10: Personnel Casualties

Capabilities of Nuclear Weapons. Part 2. Damage Criteria. Change 1. Chapter 10. Personnel Casualties. 38 pages, July 1978, AD-A955394


Collapse of a brick house is expected to result in approximately 25% mortality, 20% serious injury and 10% light injury to the occupants. Reinforced concrete structures, though much more resistant to blast forces, will produce almost 100% mortality on collapse ... based on data from British World War II experience ... for cases where the population expects bombing and most personnel have selected the safest places in the buildings.’ – Philip J. Dolan, editor, Capabilities of Nuclear Weapons, U.S. Department of Defence, DNA-EM-1, 1978, c. 10, p. 5, Secret – Restricted Data.


Similar to Glasstone and Dolan 1977, but also includes a set of very detailed graphs showing the time-dependent incapacitation response of humans to extremely high initial radiation doses from enhanced neutron weapons, based on human irradiation accidents and animal experiments. Useful extracts from revised versions of EM-1 are given on pages 1-26 and 1-27 (new data on acute radiation effects versus dose, giving the mid-line LD50 as 385 rem) of the White House April 2005 National Planning Scenarios civil defence planning manual here, see also the document on treatment for radiation casualties (here), and the NATO Handbook on the Medical Aspects of NBC Defensive Operations, AMedP-6(B), U.S. Army Field Manual FM 8-9, February 1996, which gives the following illustration on neutron bomb radiation effects from this chapter of DNA-EM-1 Capabilities of Nuclear Weapons:



Above: ‘These figures have been developed from subhuman primate studies at the Armed Forces Radiobiology Research Institute (for times less than 60 minutes, postexposure) and from an assessment of how radiation sickness signs and symptoms will affect the performance of combat tasks (for times greater than 60 minutes, postexposure). ... The prediction associated with those identified as being "combat effective" is that they will be suffering radiation sickness signs and symptoms of such a nature that they will be able to maintain their performance of at least 75 percent of their preexposure performance level. Those predicted as being "performance degraded" could be operating at a performance level between 25 and 75 percent of their preexposure performance. Those predicted as being "combat ineffective" should be considered as being capable of performing their tasks at 25 percent (at best) of their preexposure performance level. Of course, these predictions are based on combatants suffering only one stressor, that being ionizing radiation exposures. The prediction of performance capacity of those having received ionizing radiation exposures will now have to be considered together with how other stressors (conventional injury, endemic disease, continuous duty (sleeplessness), time in combat, fatigue, etc.) might affect the total performance capability of the force.’

See also the report by Siegmund J. Baum, et al., Nuclear Weapon Effect Research at PSR (Pacific-Sierra Research Corporation) - 1983: Symptomatology of Acute Radiation Effects in Humans after Exposure to Doses of 75 to 4500 Rads (cGy) Free-in-Air, report ADA166280, August 1984, and the Medical NBC Battlebook, USACHPPM Tech Guide 244, May 2000. Page 388 of David E. Hogan's Disaster Medicine (Lippincott Williams and Wilkins, 2nd ed., 2007) shows that 0 of 53 Chernobyl personnel exposed in 1986 to whole body gamma doses of 200-400 cGy died, 7 out of 23 exposed to 420-630 cGy died at 2-7 weeks post exposure, and 17 out of 20 exposed to doses of 500-1,600 cGy died at 4-50 days post exposure. This purely radiation data naturally indicates a much higher LD50 than the synergism results of combined thermal and nuclear radiation casualty data from Hiroshima and Nagasaki. (Thermal burns lower the nuclear radiation LD50 if the wounds tend to become infected, since radiation reduces the white blood cell count for a few weeks following exposure, preventing the body from coping with infections.)



Using the DNA-EM-1 manual, USAF Intelligence Targetting Guide, Air Force Pamphlet 14-210 Intelligence, 1998, Attachment 7 Collateral Damage states that negligible collateral damage to personnel is defined as 2/3rds of the thermal exposure required to produce 1st degree burns to bare skin (moderate sunburn type injury), 5 R of nuclear radiation, or 3 psi peak overpressure; moderate collateral damage to personnel is 1st degree burns (moderate sunburn) to bare skin, 20 R of nuclear radiation or 5 psi peak overpressure, and emergency collateral damage is 2/3rds of the thermal exposure for 2nd degree bare skin burns (severe sunburn, i.e., blistering), 100 R of nuclear radiation, or 10 psi peak overpressure:

'When nuclear weapons are employed at a considerable distance from friendly troops, safety is a matter of concern from the following viewpoints:

'Areas of fallout contamination from surface bursts may preclude or interfere with friendly force use of, or passage through, these areas.

'A reasonable margin of safety must be provided for military and civilian populations of friendly and neutral countries in accordance with the area commander's weapons restraint policy.

'Temporary dazzle during daylight conditions, loss of night visual adaptation, or retinal burns may handicap friendly forces if they are not warned to protect their eyes at the time of detonation. ... detailed target analysis collateral damage avoidance tables for each weapon system and yield can be obtained in FM 101-31-2/ AFP 200-31, Volume II, Nuclear Weapons Employment Effects Data.'

Chapter 11: Damage to Structures

Capabilities of Nuclear Weapons. Part 2. Damage Criteria. Change 1. Chapter 11. Damage to Structures. 50 Pages, July 1978, AD-A955385.



Above: This railroad bridge segment at 1,800 feet from the 37 kt PRISCILLA Nevada test in 1957 survived a peak overpressure of 450 psi but had severe distorting to its internal structure.

Buildings and bridges (a summary of data from the Defense Intelligence Agency Physical Vulnerability Handbook).

Chapter 12: Mechanical Damage Distances for Surface Ships and Submarines Subjected to Nuclear Explosions

Capabilities of Nuclear Weapons. Part 2. Damage Criteria. Change 1. Chapter 12. Mechanical Damage Distances for Surface Ships and Submarines Subjected to Nuclear Explosions. 147 pages, July 1978, AD-A955396.

Above: the multimedia supplement to this chapter is this U.S. Navy film, Nuclear Effects at Sea which states that for destroyer-type ships, a peak air blast overpressure of 3 psi (20 kPa) produces injury to personnel due to debris and bodily displacement, 6 psi (40 kPa) causes light damage to the superstructure equipment such as radar dishes, 10 psi (70 kPa) causes moderate damage, while 14 psi (100 kPa) causes severe damage (defined as hull rupture, flooding and sinking).

Chapter 13: Damage to Aircraft

Capabilities of Nuclear Weapons. Part 2. Damage Criteria. Change 1. Chapter 13. Damage to Aircraft. 81 pages, July 1978, ADA955397, 4.8 MB PDF file.


In June 1992 this chapter on aircraft damage was rewritten by J. R. Drake, et al., to include the effects of nuclear cloud dust intake and resulting jet aircraft engine performance (Capabilities of Nuclear Weapons,, DNA-EM-1, Chapter 20, Damage to Aircraft, RDA-TR-2-2261-2201-001, June 1992. There is also a separate Handbook for Analysis of Nuclear Weapons Effects on Aircraft, DNA 2084-1 Volume 1 and DNA 2084-2 Volume II.)

Chapter 14: Damage to Military Field Equipment

Capabilities of Nuclear Weapons. Part 2. Damage Criteria. Change 1. Chapter 14. Damage to Military Field Equipment. 46 pages, July 1978, AD-A955398.
Page 1 states: ‘One of the primary uses of nuclear weapons would be for the destruction of military field equipment.’




Above: tank (460 m from ground zero) and machine gun emplacement (1,550 m from ground zero) surviving the 31 kt CHARLIE nuclear air drop from a B-50 bomber, detonating at 1,050 m altitude at Nevada on 22 April 1952 (the first nuclear explosion to be broadcast live on TV; the vacuum tube electronics survived the EMP with just a click and brief interference due to temporary ‘radioflash’).



Above: damage to U.S. Army truck 450 yards from the 31 kt yield, 3,447 ft altitude air burst Operation TUMBLER-SNAPPER, shot CHARLIE nuclear test in Nevada on April 22, 1952.

For extensive data on the effects of blast on vehicles like jeeps and tanks in the blast precursor zone from low air bursts (where the wind drag is increased by the sandstorm effect of dust produced by the thermal flash “popcorning” desert sand, which loads the air and massively increases the dynamic pressure impulse at the expense of the peak overpressure), see E. J. Bryant, N. H. Ethridge, and M. R. Johnson, Response of Drag Type Equipment Targets in the Precursor Zone, Operation Teapot, Project 3.1, weapon test report WT-1123, AD339948, 1959 (originally secret), online here.

For extensive data on the effects of blast on field fortifications see Allan R. Fowler and Daniel R. Muller, Field Fortifications, Operation Upshot-Knothole, Project 3.9, weapon test report WT-728, AD482991, 1954 (originally secret).



This chapter uses and cites in its bibliography both American and British atmospheric nuclear test data. There are a relatively large number of useful reports on British tests on military field equipment in Maralinga, since those tests - although far fewer in number than the American tests at Nevada - were utilised for many experiments. In particular, British policy at nuclear tests was to leave military vehicles exposed to tests with their engines running, which helped to evaluate the risks of ignition due to blast damage (due to carburetor damage or fuel line rupture, etc.) rather than just thermal ignition. See also the blast damage tables compiled in the Medical NBC Battlebook, USACHPPM Tech Guide 244, May 2000.

Chapter 15: Damage to Forest Stands

Capabilities of Nuclear Weapons. Part 2. Damage Criteria. Change 1. Chapter 15. Damage to Forest Stands. 64 pages, July 1978, AD-A955399.



This chapter is extremely important and detailed, showing detailed test results for the blowdown and thermal ignition of different types of forests as a function of blast pressure, thermal exposure, tree density, humidity, and elevation angle of the burst. Thermal ignition in forests depends on holes in the leaf canopy and on the amount of dry leaf litter on the ground: green leaves were found to shield thermal radiation by giving off clouds of black smoke during exposure at nuclear tests. The smoke shielded the ground from thermal radiation, so ignition is not nearly as easy as you might naively expect. This is why forest stands did not burn in nuclear tests (although Lynn Eden, author of the incorrect Whole World on Fire anti-civil defence book will, I expect, probably resort to political, pseudoscientific claims that the test trees survived fire by 'heroic' countermeasures such as magic, instead of the failure of a brief pulse of heat to ignite fires!). There is no information about any of this in Glasstone and Dolan 1977.


Above: Operation BLOWDOWN, an Australian-British-American 0.05 kt test on a 43 m high tower in a rainforest at Iron Range, Northern Queensland, on 18 July 1963 to assess the dynamic pressures required for tree blowdown, and the difficulty in moving through the blowdown area.

'The foliage making up the crowns [upper branches and leaves] of the trees, while it has a high probability of being exposed to the full free-field radiation environment from air bursts ... may, however, materially reduce the exposure of the forest floor by generating quantities of smoke and steam, as well as by direct shading.' - Capabilities of Nuclear Weapons, - Chapter 15, Damage to Forest Stands, paragraph 15-9.

'Fuels seldom burn vigorously, regardless of the wind conditions, when fuel moisture content exceeds about 16 percent. This corresponds to an equilibrium moisture content for a condition of 80 percent relative humidity. Rainfall of only a fraction of an inch will render most fuels temporarily nonflammable and may extinguish fires in thin fuels ... Surface fuels in the interior of timber stands are exposed to reduced wind velocities; generally, these fuels retain their moisture as a result of shielding from the wind and shading from sunlight by the canopy.' - Capabilities of Nuclear Weapons, 1978 revision, Chapter 15, Damage to Forest Stands, page 15-60.

This chapter on forest damage was later partitioned to treat separately blast blowdown (chapter 18, Airblast Damage to Forests, edited by Applied Research Associates of Raleigh, North Carolina, in 1993) and thermal ignition of fires (chapter 16, Fires from Nuclear Weapons, was edited by Pacific-Sierra Corporation, California, in 1992; and chapter 17, Fire Damage to Forests, deals specifically with forest fires).
See also the reports linked here and here.
Chapter 16: Damage to Missiles

Capabilities of Nuclear Weapons. Part 2. Damage Criteria. Change 1. Chapter 16. Damage to Missiles. 121 pages, July 1978, AD-A955400.

Explains how thermal radiation ablation can degrade thin missile metal skins before blast arrival, and how thermal ablation or blast waves can cause large g-forces to the missiles. Generally missiles can withstand head-on blast and heat very well since they are designed to take atmospheric drag forces and re-entry ablation in their stride, but a side-on exposure is more serious. There is also the issue of how hard missiles are while in storage on the ground in silos or on mobile platforms. Missiles in hardened, reinforced concrete silos can withstand vast peak air overpressures, 1,000-3,000 psi (or more with a suitable silo lining), but they are still vulnerable to excessive ground shock and cratering action. Damage to Missiles was later moved to Chapter 21 of EM-1, and in 1996 was updated to include terrorist/rogue nation missiles carrying warheads that include chemical or biological weapons.


Above: illustration in DNA-EM-1 (1978) for analyzing the vulnerability of a major threat from proliferation: cheap and portable thermonuclear battlefield SRBM weapons. Above 30-km, X-rays and other radiation are the most potent means to destroy a missile in flight. Below 30-km altitude, missiles are vulnerable to blast, while their plutonium is still vulnerable to meltdown due to neutron radiation. 130-kPa peak overpressure from a 1-kt detonation or 83-kPa from 300-kt would destroy a missile. The heat flash needed to burn through a metal missile skin would only occur well within the fireball, but lesser heating softens the metal and makes it more vulnerable to subsequent blast. Shooting down a missile is easiest while it is in its initial ‘boost phase’, immediately after launch. ICBM and SLBM weapons take about 3 minutes of boost phase to reach an altitude of 200 km. The individual warheads then separate from the missile ‘bus’. Attempts to confuse radar using metal balloons (as decoy warheads), and pieces of wire chaff to reflect back false signals, can actually be counter-productive, as they simply create a bigger overall radar signal. A sufficiently powerful ABM warhead detonated in space can affect a very wide area, encompassing both the decoys and the real warheads! The use of specially designed 95% clean ABM weapons can avert a destructive ground-level EMP and fallout risks.

Chapter 17: Radio Frequency Signal Degradation Relevant to Communications and Radar Systems

Capabilities of Nuclear Weapons. Part 2. Damage Criteria. Change 1. Chapter 17. Radio Frequency Signal Degradation Relevant to Communications and Radar Systems. 32 pages, July 1978, report reference: AD-A955401
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Professor David Jenn gives some extracts from the revised version of this chapter here.



Above: as a multimedia supplement to the Capabilities of Nuclear Weapons, this excellent originally secret U.S. Defense Nuclear Agency film, High-Altitude Nuclear Weapons Effects: Part Two, Systems Interference (16 minutes), discusses the interference to radio and radar signals by high altitude nuclear detonations.



Above: the planned U.S. ABM system's missile detector radars and communications satellites must overcome signal attenuation due to atmospheric ionization by a detonation. See also: Warren S. Knapp, Summary of Communication and Navigation Systems Degradation in a Nuclear Environment, Defense Nuclear Agency Handbook DNA 4890H, 1979, report AD-A196802 (linked here).

Appendices A thru F

Capabilities of Nuclear Weapons. Part 2. Damage Criteria. Change 1. Appendices A thru F. 112 pages, July 1978, AD-A955402.
Dolan's derivation of the Rankine-Hugoniot equations of shock waves and also brief but very detailed and useful summary-abstracts from all the secret reports used in the compilation of Capabilities of Nuclear Weapons, reports like DASA-1200 (Nuclear Weapons Blast Phenomenology) and the Lockheed Missiles and Space Company extensive series of reports Theoretical Models for Nuclear Fireballs, giving the results of computer simulations for nuclear fireballs. These appendices also provide tabular data on the overpressures and dynamic pressures required to cause differing degrees of damage the structure classes listed in Chapter 11, such as all the different types of buildings and bridges known, as a function of yield (pressures to cause damage vary according to the duration of the blast wave, which is yield-dependent particularly for big buildings and/or for wind drag/dynamic pressure sensitive targets).


The early history of the Capabilities of Nuclear Weapons


Above: Dr. Gerald Woodrow Johnson as Test Director of OPERATION PLUMBBOB, 1957. Johnson (born 1917), graduated from Washington State College in 1937, received the MSc degree from the same college in 1939, and was awarded a PhD in physics from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1947. He was active in the testing of nuclear weapons.

'After teaching physics at Washington State University for two years, Johnson began working in solid state and neutron physics at Brookhaven National Laboratory in 1949. In 1951 he headed the Analysis Branch, Nuclear Weapons Effects, in the Armed Forces Special Weapons Project. Johnson joined the Lawrence Radiation Laboratory in 1953 and was later named associate director for testing, responsible for nuclear testing in Nevada and the Pacific. In 1957, he became the laboratory's first director of the Plowshare Program, an effort to develop civil, industrial, and scientific uses of nuclear explosives. From 1961 to 1963 Johnson worked in the Kennedy Administration as chairman of the military liaison committee to the Atomic Energy Commission and also as special assistant to the Secretary of Defense for atomic energy. In this position, Johnson was responsible for the safety of nuclear weapons and the introduction of permissive action links into the U.S. and NATO stockpiles. From 1963 to 1966 he was associate director of the Lawrence Radiation Laboratory...'

Until Dolan's 1972 edition of Capabilities of Nuclear Weapons, it had been a single volume based on test data deemed too sensitive to be allowed widespread general release. A 162 pages long typescript draft had been issued in 1945, but the first version to supplement Glasstone's 1950 unclassified handbook, Capabilities of Atomic Weapons, TM 23-200, was edited by Dr Gerald W. Johnson (Chief of the Analysis Branch, U.S. Armed Forces Special Weapons Project) and had been issued in July 1951 and revised in October 1952 as a secret supplement to Glasstone's 456 pages-long openly published Effects book. It was stated to be: 'a special supplement prepared for the Armed Forces Special Weapons Project by the Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory'. The total number of copies of Capabilities of Atomic Weapons printed for use by the U.S. Department of Defense (including the U.S. Armed Forces Special Weapons Project), in each edition was 1,079.

It was initially classified 'Secret - Security Information', which was redefined 'Secret - Restricted Data' after the Atomic Energy Act of 1954. Before the Mike thermonuclear weapon test of November 1952, 100 copies of a separate Super Effects Handbook (AFSWP 351-B, second revision in December 1953, Secret - Restricted Data) was issued to top ranking military commanders who had to decide how to deploy megaton yield bombs, but in June 1955 that handbook was incorporated into an updated 530 pages long edition of the Capabilities of Atomic Weapons, and on 30 November 1957 this manual was revised and degraded from 'Secret - Restricted Data' to 'Confidential - Restricted Data'. This confidential manual was given to Britain in exchange for British nuclear test effects data, and was used for British civil defence planning by the Home Office's Scientific Advisory Branch, headed by Dr R. H. Purcell (the Home Office Chief Scientific Advisor).

TM 23-200, Capabilities of Atomic Weapons, is a single volume consisting of 441 pages in 12 sections divided into 2 parts (it has only about a quarter as many pages as Dolan’s 1651 pages long 2-volume 1972 revision DNA-EM-1):

Contents of Capabilities of Atomic Weapons, U.S. Armed Forces Special Weapons Project, Washington, D.C., technical manual TM 23-200, November 1957, Confidential (declassified in 1997)

Preliminary pages (22 pages consisting of title pages, distribution list, contents pages, page locator for physical phenomena figures and tables, and foreword)

Part 1: Physical Phenomena

Section 1: Introduction (13 pages)
Section 2: Blast and Shock Phenomena (95 pages)
Section 3: Thermal Radiation Phenomena (19 pages)
Section 4: Nuclear Radiation Phenomena (87 pages)

Part 2: Damage Criteria

Section 5: Introduction (21 pages)
Section 6: Personnel Casualties (20 pages)
Section 7: Damage to Structures (54 pages)
Section 8: Damage to Naval Equipment (15 pages)
Section 9: Damage to Aircraft (11 pages)
Section 10: Damage to Military Field Equipment (23 pages)
Section 11: Forest Stands (15 pages)
Section 12: Miscellaneous Radiation Damage Criteria (10 pages)

Appendix 1: Supplementary Blast Data (32 pages)
Appendix 2: Useful Relationships (10 pages)
Appendix 3: Glossary (7 pages)
Appendix 4: Bibliography (9 pages)

Page 4 of this bibliography cites the report: J. F. Canu and P. J. Dolan, Prediction of Neutron-Induced Activity in Soils, AFSWP-518, June 1957, Secret – Restricted Data.





It has a Foreword on page xxii by Edward N. Parker (Rear Admiral, USN), Chief, Armed Forces Special Weapons Project, stating:

'The purpose of this manual is to provide the military Services with a compendium of the phenomena manifested by the detonation of nuclear weapons and the effects thereof in terms of damage to targets of military interest.

'This edition of Capabilities of Atomic Weapons represents the continuing effort by the Armed Forces Special Weapons Project to make available the progressively improved data resulting from field testing, scaled tests, laboratory and theoretical analyses.


'... Every effort has been made to include the best available data which will assist the using Services in meeting their particular operational requirements. As additional or better data becomes available it will be incorporated herein.'

Concerning the early history of EMP as a damaging effect of nuclear weapons, a very brief and but pertinent discussion of EMP effects from low altitude and surface bursts occurs in the November 1957 edition of the Confidential (classified) U.S. Department of Defense, Armed Forces Special Weapons Project manual TM 23-200, Capabilities of Atomic Weapons, section 12, Miscellaneous Radiation Damage Criteria, page 12-2, paragraph 12.2c:

'Electromagnetic Radiation. A large electrical signal is produced by a nuclear weapon detonation. The signal consists of a rather sharp transient signal with a strong frequency component in the neighborhood of 15 kilocycles. Field strengths greater than 1 volt per metre have been detected from megaton yield weapons at a distance of about 2,000 miles. Electronic equipment which responds to rapid, short duration transients can be expected to be actuated by pickup of this electrical noise.'

Capabilities of Atomic Weapons was renamed Capabilities of Nuclear Weapons in 1964:

'In November 1964, DASA (Defence Atomic Support Agency) consolidated nuclear effects knowledge in the classified publication, Capabilities of Nuclear Weapons. A revised edition was published in 1968. These publications preceded the two-volume Effects Manual-1 (EM-1), first published in 1972. ... Integrating Knowledge: In 1972, DNA published a two-volume nuclear weapons effects manual called Effects Manual-1 (EM-1). Two years later, DNA issued a NATO-releasable [less classified] version of EM-1. These volumes provided critical planning information for unified and specified CINCs, civilian civil defense activities, and NATO officials.' - pages 16 and 19 of the colourful booklet, Defense Soecial Weapons Agency, 50th Anniversary 1947-1997. For a 466 page review published by the Defense Threat Reduction Agency in 2002, see AD-A412977 (35.3 Mb).


All civil defence planning is either directly or indirectly (via Glasstone and Dolan Effects of Nuclear Weapons 1977) based on Dolan's Capabilities of Nuclear Weapons. The latest official American civil defence manual, for example, cites directly the secret 1988 revision of 'DNA EM-1 (Effects Manual 1), Capabilities of Nuclear Weapons, Chapter 10, July 1, 1972'; 'NATIONAL PLANNING SCENARIOS: Created for Use in National, Federal, State, and Local Homeland Security Preparedness Activities, Version 21.2 DRAFT, February 2006'. (The hyperlink for the last named article has been changed to earlier, April 2005, version hosted by the Washington Post newspaper after the later version was deleted from an internet site. There is little difference.)



Above: Cresson Kearny explains how to shield against fallout by making a 'core shelter' inside a building: put cardboard boxes on top of, and around, a strong table that you can shelter under: then put two large waterproof plastic waste bags inside one another in each box, and simply fill them up with water. This saves you messing around with dirt for shielding. Just 5 inches of water halves the intensity of 1 MeV gamma radiation penetrating it. Actually, dirty bombs with U-238 jackets produce a great deal of softer gamma rays from Np-239 (which has a half life of 56 hours and thus contributes a peak percentage to fallout radiation at a time of 1.73 X 56 = 4 days after burst) and U/Np-240, as well as U-237 which has a longer half life and contributes substantially during the two week sheltering period. So protection is even more efficient than Kearny quotes, due to the lower-energy of fallout from dirty hydrogen bombs with neutron capture in U-238. American experiments on fallout shielding by buildings used cobalt-60 gamma rays, which have a mean energy of 1.25 MeV (see page 120, 'Transmission Factors' in the PDF file of the U.S. Army Field Manual 3-3-1, Nuclear Contamination Avoidance, linked here) whereas dirty (high fission yield) thermonuclear weapons which contaminate large areas all expose U-238 to neutrons which always results in large amounts of non-fission neutron captures in U-238, creating large amounts of very low-energy gamma emitting Np-239, U-240, and U-237. The time that any neutron induced species contributes a peak percentage of the radiation from fallout is equal to 1.73 times its half-life (the 1.73 factor is simply the ratio 1.2/ln2, where 1.2 is the decay exponent of time for the overall mixture of nuclides in fallout, while ln2 is the factor which converts the average life of a particular nuclide into its half-life, which is always a factor 1.44 smaller than its average life). Thus, for Np-239 which has a half life of 56 hours and emits gamma rays of mean energy just 0.14 MeV, the peak percentage contribution it gives to fallout radiation occurs 4 days after detonation. U-237, which emits gamma rays of mean energy just 0.10 MeV, has a half-life of 6.8 days, so contributes a peak percentage to fallout radiation 12 days after detonation.

Fractionation of fission products (the loss of slowly-condensing gaseous fission product decay chains from fast-falling large particles of fallout which exit the fireball before the slowly condensing nuclides have solidified, and are thus depleted in many fission product species) also affects the spectrum of gamma ray energy in a predictable way, softening the spectrum to lower mean energies in the close-in (depleted) fallout. Dr Terry Triffet first made this effect public in the 22-26 June 1959 U.S. Congressional Hearings on The Biological and Environmental Effects of Nuclear War, pages 61-111. Triffet in that testimony, with more details in in his declassified weapon test report WT-1317, 1961 (see also Dr Carl F. Miller's 1961 report USNRDL-466 for detailed REDWING fallout station distances from ground zero, nuclide measured fractionation ratios and neutron induced activity data), showed that at 1 week after burst, the mean gamma ray energy of fractionated fallout 8 statute miles downwind on Bikini Lagoon barge YFNB29 due to 5.01 Mt burst 87% fission REDWING-TEWA in 1956 was just 0.25 MeV (4.5 grams per square foot of fallout was deposited there, giving a peak dose rate on the barge of 40 R/hr at 2.7 hours after burst), while at 60 statute miles on ship LST611 downwind it was 0.35 MeV (due to less depletion of high energy fission products at greater distances, a fractionation effect) where only 0.06 gram/square foot of fallout was deposited giving a peak dose rate of 0.25 R/hr at 14 hours after burst. On page 205 of those June 1959 hearings, Triffet explained:

'I thought this might be an appropriate place to comment on the variation of the average energy. It is clear when you think of shielding, because the effectiveness of shielding depends directly on the average energy radiation from the deposited material. As I mentioned, Dr Cook at our [U.S. Naval Radiological Defense] laboratory has done quite a bit of work on this. ... if induced products are important in the bomb [dirty bombs with U-238 jackets], there are a lot of radiations emanating from these, but the energy is low so it operates to reduce the average energy in this period and shielding is immensely more effective.'

Fractionation of fission products in the condensing fireball has two mechanisms:

(1) the lower the boiling point temperature of a fission product element, the longer a fallout particle must remain in the cooling fireball in order to have that element deposited upon it. If the fallout particle is large and falls out of the fireball before a given fission product element itself condenses, the fallout will be lacking (depleted in) that particular fission fragment. Large particles of the heated soil condense into solids and fall out of the fireball without before slower condensing (still gaseous) fission products are condensed upon them.

(2) fission products are formed in a series of beta radioactive decays called a 'decay chain'. Where the initial nuclide in the chain is a permanent gas like xenon or krypton, it cannot condense on to a solid particle of soil until it has first decayed into a solid fission product elements (the emission of a beta particle increases the atomic number one unit, changing the element). Therefore, in this case, fractionation is controlled by radioactive decay (which is independent of weapon yield or fireball cooling time), not just by the comparison of the time taken for a particle to fall out of the hot fireball and the time taken for the fireball to coll below the solidification temperature of fission products.

The large particles of fallout near ground zero is therefore missing many nuclides, which include iodine-131, cesium-137 and strontium-89.

Even for the small particles of fallout which do get contaminated, the cooling phenomenon produces an effect on the distribution of radioactivity within the fallout particle, which affects solubility and thus biological uptake of the fission products. Some fission products have boiling points lower than the melting point of soil, so they are relatively 'volatile' and condense only upon the outside of already-solidified fallout particles, producing relatively soluble fallout radioactivity. The fission products with high boiling points are relatively 'refractory' and condense at early times onto molten soil particles, so they can diffuse into the internal volume of the particle before it solidifies, forming fallout with relatively insoluble radioactivity for those fission products.

These fractionation and solubility mechanisms were first observed and measured in the 1951 GREENHOUSE test series at Eniwetok Atoll, and are documented in nuclear weapon test report WT-4, Fallout Phenomenology. Further studies were done at later tests, particularly REDWING and HARDTACK.



Above: Home-Made Self-Calibrating Kearny fallout meter (see Kearny's Oak Ridge National Laboratory book Nuclear War Survival Skills for instructions on building it, PDF version linked here; the self-calibrating radiation measurement accuracy data can be found in the original report ORNL-5040 linked here) being tested with a dental X-ray machine. The charged foil plates discharge and visibly fall together as soon as the X-ray machine is turned on. This is just a simple electroscope dosimeter, using the same principle as the pocket quartz fibre dosimeter, although it is in some respects better since you can clearly see the effects of radiation on discharging the plates.

You make it by taking two pieces of aluminium foil and folding them repeatedly until you have two 8-ply (8-layer) pieces of square shape and 2 inch long sides (this ensures the calibration). You hang each square in contact with the other by electrically non-conducting threads or thin non-conducting fishing line (any thin thread which has not been given anti-static treatment will do!) inside a can or jar. To get it to work you do need to have dry air inside the can (in high humidity air, you can't charge it since the water molecules almost immediately discharge the comb before it can even charge up the foil plates, so you need to put the whole thing inside a "dry bucket" with a transparent cover, adding some heated hydroscopic gypsum from plaster or re-heated silica gel to the bottom of the can, which comes in little paper packets in the packaging of all kinds of items these days, preventing moisture damage).

The top of the can is just covered by kitchen clear plastic wrap, with a little millimetre-calibrated scale on it to measure the distance between the aluminium plates when charged. A piece of wire like a straightened paperclip poked through the plastic wrap is used to charge the foil leaves; you simply bring a hair-charged plastic comb (or some other source of static electricity like a plastic ruler rubbed in a rolled up newspaper) to the charging wire, and the plates are charged. Because similar electric charges repel, the plates then move apart from one another! As air is ionized by radiation, charged air ions move between the plates, discharging them. The speed with which the plates are discharged therefore tells you the radiation level. Simple!

In reality, of course, hazardous fallout has always proved to be extremely visible, once the political pseudoscientific fallout quackery, hype and spin (claiming that natural cancer deaths are due to radiation exposure, and other lunacy) is rejected. A land surface burst (water surface bursts produce even more!) as proved by all the American tests ALWAYS creates roughly 200 tons of sand like fallout contaminant per kiloton of total yield, so if the 1-hour exposure rate conversion factor is taken to be typically 2000 (R/hr)/(kt/sq. mile) then the 2000 R/hr at 1 hour after bursts corresponds to 200 tons of fallout mass per square mile or 77 grams per square metre. Try sprinkling 77 grams of sand or flour per square metre. It's visible. Even when the particles themselves (like tiny flour grains) are too small to be seen, the bulk of material is visible. Similarly, atoms aren't visible to the eye, but if you have enough atoms, the bulk of material becomes visible! That's the whole reason why we can see matter in bulk, despite the individual fundamental particles of matter being individually too small to see! Rainout from air bursts is visible as rain, and runs down the drain or soaks deep into the ground (which attenuates the radiation) in the same way as rain. Ocean surface burst fallout arrives as tiny non-depositing wind-carried dry salt crystals if the humidity is very low, or as wet salt-slurry droplets in a high humidity atmosphere; the depositing droplets are visible. Anti-civil defense propaganda covers up the nuclear test data on fallout particle deposits and covers up the difference between radiation and fallout to make people confused about the danger and make it seem mysterious and fearful. Actually, you can wash fallout away, you can brush dry fallout away, it can be swept up and buried under the soil while it decays. There are numerous ways to successfully decontaminate and shield the danger. (On military ships, turning on the fire sprinklers on decks during fallout deposition was found to decontaminate the ships clean while fallout landed; it went straight down the drains, and the dose rate from surrounding contaminated water was 535 times lower than on land due to the mixing and sinking of fallout in the water, which shields most of the radiation! A favourite trick is to use large sheets of plastic to collect fallout. Once fallout has deposited, you roll them up and bury them, so that the fallout is shielded underground, meaning that you don't need to take shelter!

‘A number of factors make large-scale decontamination useful in urban areas. Much of the area between buildings is paved and, thus, readily cleaned using motorized flushers and sweepers, which are usually available. If, in addition, the roofs are decontaminated by high-pressure hosing, it may be possible to make entire buildings habitable fairly soon, even if the fallout has been very heavy.’ – Dr Frederick P. Cowan and Charles B. Meinhold, Decontamination, Chapter 10, pp. 225-40 in Dr Eugene P. Wigner (editor), Survival and the Bomb, Indiana University Press, Bloomington, 1969.

For dry road sweeper decontamination data see D. E. Clark, Jr., and W. C. Cobbin, Removal of Simulated Fallout from Pavements by Conventional Street Flushers, report USNRDL-TR-797, 1964. For a typical U.S. Naval Radiological Defense Laboratory report on the decontamination of streets by high pressure hosing, click here (USNRDL-TR-1049, 1965).

Small areas of fallout contamination, such as indoor ingressed fallout contamination, are always in practice found to make totally and utterly negligible contributions to gamma ray doses by comparison to the gamma hazard from the wide areas of fallout outdoors, because most of the gamma dose rate comes from large distances horizontally across a vast uniformly contaminated plane, and that coming vertically upwards from the small amount of fallout under your feet or nearby is trivial by comparison, so the ingress of fallout into damaged buildings makes no significant difference to gamma doses!


Above: 'The three factors which count in gaining protection are the distance from the radioactive dust, the weight of material in between, and the time for which one remains protected while the radioactivity decays. A slit trench with overhead cover of two or three feet of earth would give very good protection against fall-out, as well as protection against blast, but the occupants would have to remain in the trench for forty-eight hours or more while the radioactivity surrounding them decayed. ... A prepared refuge room inside a house could be made to give good protection against fall-out (although not so good as a covered slit trench) and it would also be much less uncomfortable for a period of two days or more. A cellar or basement would be by far the best place for a refuge room; next best would be the room with the fewest outside walls and the smallest windows. The windows would need to be blocked with solid material, to the thickness of the surrounding walls at least. It would help if the walls themselves were thickened, not necessarily to their full height, with sandbags, boxes filled with earth, or heavy furniture. The occupants of the refuge roof would have to remain in it until told that it was safe to come out - perhaps for a period of days - and the room would have to be prepared and equipped accordingly.’ - British Home Office civil defence booklet, The Hydrogen Bomb (Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1957, 32 pages.)



Above: The car-over-trench expedient fallout shelter from G. A. Cristy and C. H. Kearny, Expedient Shelter Handbook, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, August 1974, report AD0787483, 318 pages. In place of a car, doors, felled logs, or planks of wood heaped with soil can be used instead, depending on the resources to hand. Kearny showed in a later Oak Ridge National Laboratory book, Nuclear War Survival Skills, 2nd ed., 1987, how to build improvised efficient, self-calibrating radiation dosimeter (a comb-charged jam-jar electroscope, calibrated accurately by the size of the aluminium foil leaves which carry the charge; the charges keeps the leaves separated against gravity until air is ionized by radiation, when the leaves lose charge and fall together, the amount of declease in separation distance in millimetres being accurately correlated with radiation dose as proved by laboratory tests!) that can be quickly made by anyone with kitchen odds and ends in an emergency, a hand-powered simple string-pulled hinged panel air cooling pump for such shelters in hot weather, and how to obtain food and water in a nuclear war.



The most important for emergency use (where rapid protection is desirable) are the 'car over trench shelter' (dig a trench the right size to drive your car over, putting the excavated earth to the sides for added shielding, then drive your car over it), "tilt up doors and earth" shelter (if your house is badly damaged, build a fallout shelter against any surviving wall of the house by putting doors against it and piling earth on top in accordance to the plans), and the "above ground door-covered shelter" (basically a trench with excavated earth piles at the sides, doors placed on top, then a layer of earth piled on top of the doors).








All these shelters can be constructed very quickly under emergency conditions (in a time of some hours, e.g., comparable to the time taken for fallout to arrive in the major danger area downwind from a large nuclear explosion). For the known energy of gamma rays from fallout including neutron induced activities with low energy gamma ray emission (Np-239, U-237, etc.), a thickness of 1 foot or 30 centimetres of packed earth (density 1.6 grams per cubic centimetre) shields 95% of fallout gamma radiation, giving an additional protective factor of about 20. A thickness of 2 feet or 60 centimetres of packed earth provides a protective factor of about 400. Caravans have a protective factor of 1.4-1.8, single storey modern bungalows have a protection factor of 5-6, while brick bungalows have a protective factor of 8-9. British brick multi-storey buildings have protection factors of 10-20, while British brick house basements have protective factors of 90-150. These figures can easily be increased by at least a factor of 2-3 by making a protected ‘inner core’ or ‘refuge’ within the building at a central point, giving additional shielding:



In 1964, Britain conducted experiments with Co-60 sources to validate the ‘core’ Protect and Survive shelter plan (above videos): A. D. Perryman, Experimental Determination of Protective Factors in a Semi-Detached House With or Without Core Shelters, U.K. Home Office report CD/SA117. Using Co-60, the dry fallout protective factor was 21 on the ground floor of a brick house, increasing to 39 in a core shelter, made using furniture piled near an inner wall. For real fallout with less than the 1.25 MeV mean gamma ray energy of Co-60, the protection would be far greater. See also the 75-pages long American report on these 'Protect and Survive' core shelter experiments in Britain by Joseph D. Velletri, Nancy-Ruth York and John F. Batter, Protection Factors of Emergency Shelters in a British Residence, Technical Operations Research, Burlington, Massachusetts, report AD439332, 1963.

John Newman examined effects of fallout blown into a buildings, due to blast-broken windows, in Health Physics, vol. 13 (1967), p. 991: ‘In a particular example of a seven-storey building, the internal contamination on each floor is estimated to be 2.5% of that on the roof. This contamination, if spread uniformly over the floor, reduces the protection factor on the fifth floor from 28 to 18 and in the unexposed, uncontaminated basement from 420 to 200.’

But measured volcanic ash ingress, measured as the ratio of mass per unit area indoors to that on the roof, was under 0.6% even with the windows open and an 11-22 km/hour wind speed (U.S. Naval Radiological Defense Laboratory report USNRDL-TR-953, 1965). The main gamma hazard is from a very big surrounding area, not from trivial fallout nearby!

Dr Saad Z. Mikhail's paper, Beta-Radiation Doses from Fallout Particles Deposited on the Skin (Environmental Science Associates, Foster City, California, report AD0888503, 1971) quantified the beta contact hazard for fallout particles while they are descending in the open:

'A fission density of 1015 fissions per cubic centimeter of fallout material was assumed. Comparison of computed doses with the most recent experimental data relative to skin response to beta-energy deposition leads to the conclusion that even for fallout arrival times as early as 16.7 minutes post-detonation, no skin ulceration is expected from single particles 500 micron or less in diameter. Absorbed gamma doses calculated for one particle size (100 microns) show a beta-to-gamma ratio of about 15. Dose ratio for larger particle sizes will be smaller. Doses from arrays of fallout particles of different size distributions were computed, also, for several fallout mass deposition densities; time intervals required to accumulate doses sufficient to initiate skin lesions were calculated. These times depend strongly on the assumed fallout-particle-size distribution. Deposition densities in excess of 100 mg per square foot of the skin will cause beta burns if fallout arrival time is less than about three hours, unless the particles are relatively coarse (mean particle diameter more than 250 microns).'


Keeping the highly visible particles off the skin by wearing clothing, or removing them quickly by brushing or washing after contamination, eliminates the beta burn hazard, as demonstrated by the examples of Marshallese Islanders who washed after fallout contamination:

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, 27 May - 3 June 1957, pages 173-216 where Dr Gordon M. Dunning testified that fallout beta burns only occur where fallout is in direct contact with the skin and dose not occur to people wearing clothing which covers the skin, or people who wash the fallout off the skin instead of leaving it there for two days:

‘In the case of the Marshallese who were in the fallout from the detonation at the Pacific on March 1, 1954, most of the more heavily exposed showed some degree of skin damage, as well as about half of them showing some degree of epilation [hair loss] due to beta doses. However, none of these effects were present except in those areas where the radioactive material was in contact with the skin, i.e., the scalp, neck, bend of the elbow, between and topside of the toes. No skin damage was observed where there was a covering of even a single layer of cotton clothing. ... The Marshallese were semiclothed, had moist skin, and most of them were out-of-doors during the time of fallout. Some bathed during the two-day exposure period before evacuation, but others did not; therefore, they were optimal conditions for possible beta damage. The group suffering greatest exposure [Rongelap Islanders, 175 R gamma dose from 4 hours to 2 days after burst, plus 2,000 R beta dose to sweaty areas of bare skin which retained a similar contamination density to the ground deposit density] showed 20 percent (13 individuals) with deep lesions; 70 percent (45 individuals) superficial lesions; and 10 percent (6 individuals) no lesions. Likewise, 55 percent (35 individuals) showed some degree of epilation followed by a regrowth of hair.'




Above: the top photo shows that the CASTLE-BRAVO device was detonated in the midst of a the coral reef on the Northern extremity of Bikini Atoll, upon an artificial island made from coral sand dredged up from Bikini Lagoon, to the West of Namu Island (to which the bomb island was joined by a 2,900 ft long causeway, allowing radiation to be piped through vacuum tubes to detectors 7,500 ft from the bomb which could survive the EMP, blast, ground shock and cratering action unlike nearby instruments which would be destroyed). Therefore it was a land surface burst, although the fireball and cratering action extended over shallow water above the nearby reef and deeper water in the ocean to the North and the lagoon to the South. Most of the fallout was incinerated coral, reduced by the fireball heat from calcium carbonate to calcium oxide. This, and the calcium hydroxide which forms when calcium oxide encounters moisture, is an irritant. The irritating effects of the fallout disappeared when it was washed off after 64 highly contaminated Rongelap people 115 miles downwind were evacuated 2 days after detonation. The fallout had arrived at 5 hours. The evacuation was delayed because of an unnecessary panic when the more nearby Enyu Island firing party were hit with fallout (they had a heavily protected bunker to survive in, but it caused alarm and they were nevertheless evacuated by helicopter once the fallout had stopped descending). While this drama unfolded, the test commander's attention was diverted from the danger further downwind. The second photo taken 46 days after detonation shows beta burns to a young boy who was contaminated heavily by the fallout, which was visible and looked like snowflakes on Rongelap (this photo is from the 22-26 June 1959 U.S. Congressional Hearings on the Biological and Environmental Effects of Nuclear War). He has beta burns and depigmentation to the bare areas of skin which retained fallout, principally the sweaty areas. The third photo shows hair loss in a young girl due to beta exposure to the scalp from fallout retained in coconut oil-dressed hair, and the full recovery 6 months later.

On pages 944-948 of the 1957 U.S. Congressional Hearings on the Nature of Radioactive Fallout and Its Effects on Man, Dr Eugene P. Cronkite testified:

'The fallout material consisted predominantly of flakes of calcium oxide resulting from the incineration of the coral [reef near Namu Island at Bikini Atoll]. Upon the flakes of calcium oxide fission products were deposited. At Rongelap Atoll the material was visible and described as snowlike. ... To arrive at some physical estimate of the skin dose, an attempt must be made to add up the contributions of the penetrating gamma, the less penetrating gamma, the beta bath to which the individuals were exposed from the relatively uniform deposition of fission products in the environment, and the point contact source of fallout material deposited on the skin. By all means, the largest component of skin irradiation resulted from the spotty local deposits of fallout material on deposited surfaces of the body. To put it in reverse, the individuals who remained inside had no skin burn. It was only on those on whom the material was directly deposited on the skin that received burns. ... Itching and burning of the skin occurred in 28 percent of the people on Rongelap, 20 percent of the group on Ailinginae, and 5 percent of the Americans [weather station staff exposed to fallout on Rongerik Atoll]. There were no symptoms referable to the skin in the individuals on Utirik. In addition to the itching of the skin there was burning of the eyes and lacrimation in people on Rongelap and Ailinginae. It is probable that these initial skin symptoms were due to irradiation since all individuals who experienced the initial symptoms later developed unquestioned radiation-induced skin lesions that will be described later in detail. It is possible, however, that the intensely alkaline nature of the calcium oxide [produced when the coral i.e. calcium carbonate was heated in the fireball] when dissolved in perspiration might have contributed to the initial symptoms. ...

'Burns were caused by direct contact of the radioactive material with the skin. The perspiration as common in the tropics, the delay in decontamination and the difficulties in decontamination certainly favored the development of the skin burns. Those individuals who remained indoors or under trees during the fallout developed less severe skin burns. The children who went wading in the ocean developed fewer lesions of the feet and most of the Americans who were more aware of the dangers of the fallout, took shelter in aluminum buildings and bathed and changed clothes. Consequently they developed only very mild beta burns. Lastly, a single layer of cotton material offered almost complete protection, as was demonstrated by the fact that skin burns developed almost entirely on the exposed parts of the body.’


Above: the Kearny Fallout Meter, first described in Oak Ridge National Laboratory report ORNL-5040. In actual fact, scientifically validated, statistically significant, non-lying, non-noise injury from fallout (i.e., excluding the statistical "noise" from the completely non-radiation natural cancer rates in a properly matched non-exposed control group) has only ever occurred where the deposit of fallout has been clearly visible, as airborne ash, rainout or "snowflakes", and as a deposit. Therefore, you don't need a radiation meter to detect fallout, you can feel and see it. A radiation meter indicates how much nuclear radiation is being given off by the clearly visible dangerous fallout.
Above: visible appearance of a typical deposit of dangerous fallout; this is a secret photo from WT-1317 of a fallout tray automatically exposed for just 15 minutes at 1 hour after detonation of the 3.53 megaton, 15% fission surface burst Redwing-Zuni at Bikini in 1956. The fallout illustrated occurred on barge YFNB 13, located 20 km North-North-West of ground zero (downwind). The circular tray’s inner diameter is 8.1 cm. This 15 minute sample is only 22% of the total deposit of 21.9 g/m2 which occurred at that location. The barge’s radiation meter recorded a peak gamma intensity of 6 R/hr at 1.25 hours after the explosion.

Because fallout sinks in the ocean (which shields the fallout quite effectively, giving only a small dose rate) and the barge deck is much smaller than a land area, the barge radiation meters record only about 25% of those on land which are contaminated to the same extent. So on land the peak gamma ray intensity for this fallout would have been 4 x 6 = 24 R/hr at 1.25 hours. Correcting from 15% fission yield to 100% fission yield would increase this to 160 R/hr. The infinite time fallout dose is 5 times the peak intensity times the time of that intensity as measured from the time of explosion. Hence the infinite dose outdoors on land for pure fission would be 5 x 160 x 1.25 = 1000 R which is lethal. Any house would provide enough protection to save your life, however. (The dose law of 5 times intensity times arrival time is based on the t-1.2 decay law. Obviously it is well known that the fallout intensity drops below that law within 200 days, and a better law is 4 times intensity times arrival time. On the other hand, some radiation is received before the peak dose rate occurs, so it is sensible to use the factor of 5 multiplication as a rough approximation.)

Above: Kearny air pump, a simple but highly efficient string-pulled swinging panel with slats to ensure a one-way air flow that sucks fresh air through a shelter to prevent stagnation and heat exhaustion in hot weather.

Robert Ehrlich (Physics Department, George Mason University, Virginia) and Jane Orient, MD, ‘The Case for Civil Defense in Nuclear War Education’, Physics and Society, vol. 19, no. 2, April 1990, pp. 3-5:

‘A majority of educators teaching courses on nuclear war and peace profess to believe in the importance of presenting both sides of controversial issues. Yet the pro side of the civil defense issue is seldom presented without the ridicule often used by its detractors. In fact, many nuclear war courses do not include any significant amount of material on civil defense. This may be because most educators feel very strongly that nuclear war is unsurvivable, or perhaps that thoughts of nuclear war survivability are an obstacle to peace. This article argues that civil defense advocates should be allowed to make their own case, so students can decide for themselves whether or not the idea deserves to be ridiculed. ...

‘For many Americans the thought of experiencing the kind of unpleasant hand-to-mouth existence prevalent in 90 percent of the Third World today, a realistic prospect for survivors, is simply unimaginable. It is more comforting to imagine one’s instantaneous annihilation in a nuclear war. In reality, of course, far more people would suffer slow, painful deaths, especially those who died from radiation sickness – deaths that could be prevented by taking precautions, some of a relatively simple nature.

‘For example, fallout radiation (present on dust particles) can be simply washed off food without the food being contaminated afterwards, and contaminated water can easily be decontaminated by simply filtering it through an earthen filter. Another simple protective measure unknown to many civil defense skeptics who think in terms of special purpose fallout shelters is the simple expedient of survivors staying in their own home basements for a week or two following a nuclear war. ...

‘Civil defense critics often portray the situation otherwise by speaking of the vast land area that can be “contaminated” by a single nuclear explosion. ... everyone on earth is contaminated right now [with natural uranium, radon, carbon-14, and best yet the naturally radioactive potassium-40, which has “scary” 1,248,000,000 years half-life that makes the 24,000 years half-life of plutonium-239 look trivial and safe] ...

‘In discussing the dangers of fallout from nuclear weapons, people often mention the islands in the Pacific that remain “contaminated” as a result of U.S. nuclear testing ... The Northern Marshall Islands Radiological Survey conducted in 1978 showed that on most of the islands the annual dose due to fallout was about 0.006 rems from all exposure pathways, including food, or about 4 percent of the average annual external background dose in the U.S. On Bikini Island, one of the most heavily contaminated areas, the maximum dose to those eating locally contaminated food was less than 2 rems. [Note that in the 1990s, KCl added to the coral soil of Bikini Atoll (scene of 76.8 Mt of tests) reduced the Cs-137 in coconuts by 95% from 3,700 Bq/kg to 185 Bq/kg.] ...




‘The primary human hazard of a depleted ozone layer would be an increase in skin cancers due to ultraviolet radiation. Calculations by the National Academy of Sciences estimate the rate of increase following a nuclear war to be about 10 percent for Northern Hemisphere survivors – roughly one tenth the increase in danger faced by someone who today chose to move from Minnesota to sunny Texas! ...

‘As S. L. Thompson and S. H. Schneider note: “On scientific grounds the global apocalyptic conclusions of the initial nuclear winter hypothesis can now be relegated to a vanishingly low level of probability.’ (“Nuclear Winter Reapraised,” Foreign Affairs, vol. 64, 1986, pp. 981-1005). ...

‘Disinterest in civil defense is not a global phenomenon. The Soviet Union, for example, spends over 20 times as much as the U.S. does on civil defense every year. Despite assertions about the unsurvivability of nuclear war made by Mikhail Gorbachev in his 1987 book, thre is no sign of slackening in Soviet civil defense efforts. ...

‘At the same time that many deride civil defense as being incapable of coping with an all-out attack by the Soviet Union, there is a growing perception that better U.S.-Soviet relations make such an attack less likely, perhaps even the least likely, of potential nuclear threats. If that is the case, civil defense deserves reconsideration even by Doomsday theorists. The proliferation of nuclear weapons (and worse, long-range delivery systems) to Third World nations, or even to terrorist groups, poses a growing though clearly non-apocalyptic threat. Civil defense could also make a considerable difference in coping with the aftermath of the accidental launch of a few weapons.’

Nancy Deale Greene's article, 'Civil Defense and the Strategic Balance', in the Journal of Civil Defense, Vol. 15, No. 4, August 1982, pp. 6-9, stated:

'The Soviets spend the U.S. equivalent of about $2 billion annually on civil defense [this figure comes from the CIA report Soviet Civil Defense, July 1978, which worked out the cost of the immense Soviet civil defense program in terms of American wages if it were implemented in America, and found it would cost $2,000 million]. This compares to about $128 million annually by the United States ... Only about 5,000 people in the United States work in civil defense, including agency employees, compared with 100,000 permanent civil defense workers in the U.S.S.R., and an additional 20 million part-time trained civil defense workers. ... Every school child in the U.S.S.R. learns about civil defense; a five-year course is required at higher education levels. ... A people without weapons are defenseless, but weapons without a people are purposeless. ... (Only about 2 percent of the United States is targetted, but about 60 percent of the population lives in the 2 percent.) ...

'Unfortunately, most Americans believe the oft-repeated myth that nuclear weapons are a thousand times more destructive than the Hiroshima bomb because they may be a thousand times more powerful [the area damaged is not directly proportional to the energy/power of the explosion, but scales up more slowly, particularly for city-type devastation where the fact of conservation of energy tells us that - contrary to the claim in The Effects of Nuclear Weapons - the blast wave irreversibly loses at least 1% of its energy, which gets degraded to waste warmth of the rubble, each time it blows up a house along any given radial line outward from ground zero; thus after a few hundred houses in any given radial line have been totalled, the resulting exponential energy loss in the blast wave means that the ideal-terrain blast overpressure predictions are falsely way too high, as Lord Penney, et al., observed from a detailed analysis of accurate damage blast indicators for both Hiroshima and Nagasaki in their 1970 paper]. But a foxhole ... and 12 to 18 inches of dirt over one's head, can provide good protection. ... most citizens do not know that closing the drapes could be a life-saving act fifteen miles from ground zero [against the light and thermal flash and the blast window fragments, which are not propelled very forcefully by the weak blast winds at that distance, and so can be caught and stopped by curtains]. ... Marxist-Leninist theory supports "the initiation of war as a deliberate act of policy ... if the Soviet Union is virtually certain of winning and the gains clearly outweigh the cost." (Michael McGuire: International Security, Vol. 3, No. 4, Spring, 1979.) ... One expects to live a long life, but most carry life insurance. The life insurance policy of the United States is in its people, not in its weapons.'


In 1950, the first editions of Glasstone’s two most widely reprinted and cited works, Sourcebook on Atomic Energy and The Effects of Atomic Weapons, were both published while he was working at Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory as consultant to the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission. His job was to teach courses in these subjects, and prepare study materials. The main problem with The Effects of Nuclear Weapons and also its secret companion Capabilities of Nuclear Weapons is the numbered logical arrangement of information into chapters by effects, which occurred in 1950, not by types of burst. This gives all readers the entirely mistaken belief that all nuclear explosions are very similar in qualitative nature, with merely some quantitative differences in the different effects. However, the effects are so entirely different for different types of burst, say compare an under water burst to a detonation in outer space, that this is really misleading. This confusion gives most people the impression that the same general effects are associated with all detonations, which is totally false. However, the books were a major advance and the 1957-64 editions contained a chapter on civil defence (dropped from the 1977 edition which was published during President Carter's administration which also considerately delayed the neutron bomb deployment, at the request of Moscow as we shall see).

‘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.’


Dr George Gamow (the big bang cosmologist and nuclear weapons expert), Dr Samuel Glasstone (Executive Editor), and Professor Joseph O. Hirschfelder, The Effects of Atomic Weapons, (S. Glasstone, Executive Editor), U.S. Department of Defense, September 1950, chapter 1, p. 1, paragraph 1.3.

'The penalty of a loss of confidence is illustrated by the depression of 1929. The physical plant of our society did not shrink, the skills of the people did not grow less, yet production fell by more than 40 per cent and millions were unemployed.'


- Dr Henry A. Kissinger, Nuclear Weapons and Foreign Policy, Harper & Brothers, New York, 1957, pp. 65-6. (Or, as T. S. Eliot wrote, ‘This is the world ends: not with a bang but with a whimper’.)

‘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.’


- Philip J. Dolan, Stanford Research Institute, Appendix A of the U.S. National Council on Radiological protection (NCRP) symposium The Control of Exposure to the Public of Ionising Radiation in the Event of Accident or Attack, 1981.



Philip J. Dolan noted there that 20% of the U.S. urban population and 19% of the rural population have access to protection factors from fallout of over 1,000 in subways and basements, while 75% of the urban population and 43% of the rural population have access to a protection factor of 100 or more. In that report, assuming an attack on U.S. military, industrial and civilian targets with 1,444 weapons with a total yield of 6,559 megatons with 50% fission yield, of which 5,051 total yield megatons were surface bursts, including 113 ground bursts of 20-Mt yield each, Dolan found that 92 million people lived in areas where the 1-hour reference gamma dose rate would be 300-3,000 R/hr, and that they would receive an outdoor exposure of 360-5,400 R over 4 days. This implies that the effective fallout arrival time for those people ranges from 3.9-9.2 hours, thus most people would have many hours to prepare and take cover against wind carried fallout. Surveying the actual risk of such a nuclear war, Dolan cited an army calculation that estimated 3% per decade, while averaged public opinion polls forecast a risk of about 10% per decade. In response to such concerns, between 1955-64 America invested $53 million in buying 3,117,201 self-reading 0-200 R gamma electroscope dosimeters, 515,032 dosimeter chargers, 567,457 ion chambers for 0-500 R/hr to be used during fallout sheltering, and 452,558 Geiger counters for 0-50 mR/hr, to aid the decontamination of water, food, and clothing at later times.

Herman Kahn of the RAND Corporation in the 22-26 June 1959 U.S. Congressional Hearings on the Biological and Environmental effects of Nuclear War pp. 913-5 recommended spending $100 million on buying 2 million dose rate fallout survey meters and 10 million quartz fibre dosimeters with charging units. He also recommended on p. 915 that $50 million be spent on 'identifying, counting and labeling the various structures that either provide valuable levels of fallout protection as they now stand or that can easily be modified to do so. [Another $100 million] would be spent for such supplies as radios, minimal toilet equipment ... and possibly even minimal food supplies ... or materials for improving the protection of the shelter.' Kahn justified the expense on p. 913: 'It costs from $50 to $100 million to develop an engine for a military airplane. It costs $100 to £200 million to develop an interceptor aircraft and $500 million to $1 billion to develop an intercontinental bomber. The ICBM development program cost between $1 and $2 billion. The Department of Defense spends $5 billion every year on research and development. We are saying that a complete nonmilitary defense program is at least as complicated as an interceptor aircraft.' On 15 September 1961, just after the construction of the Berlin Wall, President John F. Kennedy adopted some of Kahn's 1959 civil defense expedient shelter recommendations and had the following letter published in that issue of LIFE magazine, which made civil defense the cover story, called How You Can Survive Fallout:



The White House
September 7, 1961

My Fellow Americans:

Nuclear weapons and the possibility of nuclear war are facts of life we cannot ignore today. I do not believe that war can solve any of the problems facing the world today. But the decision is not ours alone.

The government is moving to improve the protection afforded you in your communities through civil defense. We have begun, and will be continuing throughout the next year and a half, a survey of all public buildings with fallout shelter potential, and the marking of those with adequate shelter for 50 persons or more. We are providing fallout shelter in new and in some existing federal buildings. We are stocking these shelters with one week's food and medical supplies and two weeks' water supply for the shelter occupants. In addition, I have recommended to the Congress the establishment of food reserves in centers around the country where they might be needed following an attack. Finally, we are developing improved warning systems which will make it possible to sound attack warning on buzzers right in your homes and places of business.

More comprehensive measures than these lie ahead, but they cannot be brought to completion in the immediate future. In the meantime there is much that you can do to protect yourself - and in doing so strengthen your nation.

I urge you to read and consider seriously the contents in this issue of LIFE. The security of our country and the peace of the world are the objectives of our policy. But in these dangerous days when both these objectives are threatened we must prepare for all eventualities. The ability to survive coupled with the will to do so therefore are essential to our country.

John F. Kennedy



Above: Kennedy speaking in Berlin on 26 June 1963 in reference to the Berlin Wall put up in 1961 by the communists to prevent people escaping to freedom from the Eastern dictatorship (those who tried to climb the wall were shot by border guards acting on Soviet Premier Krushchev's orders and left there to bleed to death):
Two thousand years ago, the proudest boast was: ‘civis Romanus sum.’ Today – in the world of freedom – the proudest boast is: ‘Ich bin ein Berliner.’ I appreciate my interpreter translating my German! There are many people in the world who really don't understand, or say they don't, what is the great issue between the free world and the Communist world. Let them come to Berlin! There are some who say that communism is the wave of the future. Let them come to Berlin! And there are some who say – in Europe and elsewhere – we can work with the Communists. Let them come to Berlin! And there are even a few who say that it is true that communism is an evil system, but it permits us to make economic progress. Lass' sie nach Berlin kommen! Let them come to Berlin! Freedom has many difficulties and democracy is not perfect. But we have never had to put a wall up to keep our people in – to prevent them from leaving us! ... You live in a defended island of freedom, but your life is part of the main. So let me ask you, as I close, to lift your eyes beyond the dangers of today, to the hopes of tomorrow; beyond the freedom merely of this city of Berlin – or your country of Germany – to the advance of freedom everywhere, beyond the wall to the day of peace with justice, beyond yourselves and ourselves to all mankind. Freedom is indivisible, and when one man is enslaved, all are not free. When all are free, then we look – can look forward to that day when this city will be joined as one and this country, and this great Continent of Europe, in a peaceful and hopeful globe. When that day finally comes, as it will, the people of West Berlin can take sober satisfaction in the fact that they were in the front lines for almost two decades. All free men – wherever they may live – are citizens of Berlin. And, therefore, as a free man, I take pride in the words: ‘Ich bin ein Berliner.’




Above: President Kennedy's policy of civil defense and strength against the Communist threat was viciously opposed by CND, which exaggerated the effects of nuclear weapons to play down the effectiveness of civil defense (CND also ignored entirely the threat to survival from aggressive Communist dictatorships!). It's on the face of it totally bizarre that pacifism took off in Britain in the 1930s, insisting that Hitler be allowed to do whatever he wanted without a preventative war when such a war would have been successful (Germany was initially disarmed after defeat in World War I). But the combination of (initially) pacifism plus (later, when Hitler had an airforce and a massive army) gross exaggeration of the effects of conventional aerial bombardment warfare and poison gas threats against civilian targets, led to endless appeasement while the threat grew ever more serious. Kennedy himself witnessed this while in Britain at the outbreak of the war, and wrote an excellent book about the perils of appeasement which is still worth reading today, Why England Slept. This is one reason he stood up to Soviet tyranny.



Above: Kennedy's TV broadcast at 7 pm on Monday 22 October 1962, warning the Soviet Union’s Premier Khrushchev of nuclear war if a nuclear missile was launched against the West, even by an accident:
It shall be the policy of this nation to regard any nuclear missile launched from Cuba against any nation in the Western hemisphere as an attack by the Soviet Union on the United States, requiring a full retalitory response upon the Soviet Union.




Above: CND propaganda exaggerating the effects of nuclear weapons and ignoring even the most elementary concept of equivalent megatonnage, i.e. the relative inefficiency of large explosions due to the waste of energy as we will explain below. (In addition, they ignore the fact that nuclear weapons effects are easily defended against. Contrary to all films of nuclear explosions, the blast does not accompany the visible flash but is delayed like thunder after lightning, giving people the opportunity to take cover. Similarly, fallout is delayed, again giving people the chance to get under cover or out of the downwind hotspot area.)



Above: President Kennedy’s Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara on risk of nuclear war during the Berlin wall crisis of August 1961 when the Soviet Union aggressively built a wall to keep its citizens from escaping from East Berlin, and deliberately murdered people who tried to climb over it and at the Cuban missiles crisis of 1962 when Kennedy threatened to retaliate in full against the Soviet Union if even a single nuclear missile was launched from Cuba against any Western nation. McNamara emphasises the role of pure luck in preventing a nuclear war during such crises (e.g., if the nuclear missiles on Cuba had been launched against Washington, D.C., by accident or in panic or by nefarious decisions of terrorist states or dictatorships, there would have been an all-out nuclear war). This reliance on luck is why it is so important to have civil defense and understand the capabilities of nuclear weapons while they continue to exist today!

If we don't extend our nuclear deterrent against terrorist, we must instead risk the banal appeasement of Hitler-like dictatorial terrorist nations and groups until they have so much military power that the danger to civilization is overwhelming so that there is public support for action (which will occur when it is too late for effective action), and then we will be forced to fight against invasions or wanton acts of terrorist like 9/11. President Kennedy explained the dictatorial challenge to freedom as follows in his 1963 State of the Union Message:

In Vietnam we are determining whether or not the free world can help a nation defend itself against the subversion and guerrilla warfare which make up the 'war of national liberation' tactics. I think it is fair to say that we have largely stopped the Communist thrust all around the world in conventional and nuclear arms. We are now confronted by a new kind of threat, and we have to a degree invented a new kind of response to meet it. All of the underdeveloped nations of the world are watching the event. If South Vietnam falls, their will to resist this kind of aggression will be weakened and the whole fabric of free-world strength and determination damaged thereby.


Exactly as Kennedy there predicted, by the time that America withdrew in failure from Vietnam in 1975, the Soviet Union's power was at its peak, and as a result it set about a series of invasions and sponsored communist revolutions worldwide, culminating in setting up a dictatorship in Afghanistan. In their unbiased and widely-praised factual compendium, Nuclear War File (Ebury Press, London, 1983, pp. 26-7), Christopher Chant and Ian Hogg explained Soviet superiority in terms of equivalent megatonnage (the diffraction type overpressure-damaged ground area being proportional to the two-thirds power of individual bomb yields):

'... while the U.S.A. and U.S.S.R. enjoy an approximate parity in ICBM and SLBM warheads (about 7,500 each) ... [using equivalent megatonnage] we must come to another conclusion, namely that the U.S.S.R. has an advantage of the U.S.A. of about 2.65:1 in ICBMs and SLBMs, or of about 1.6:1 if aircraft-delivered warheads are included.'

Professor Richard E. Pipes had explained the reason for this superiority in his article, ‘Why the Soviet Union Thinks It Could Fight and Win a Nuclear War,’ Commentary, July 1977, p. 21:

‘The strategic doctrine adopted by the USSR over the past two decades calls for a policy diametrically opposite to that adopted in the United States by the predominant community of civilian strategists: not deterrence but victory, not sufficiency in weapons but superiority, not retaliation but offensive action.’

At the 14-25 February 1956 Soviet Communist Party 20th congress in Moscow, leader Khrushchev destroyed Stalin’s reputation, exposing his crimes. But in November 1956, the Soviet Union put down an uprising against communism in Hungary with brutal military force, tanks and bullets.

The hard-line communism which maintained the Soviet Union’s power in the 1960s was demonstrated when the Czechoslovakian communist party leader Alexander Dubcek in 1968 invented the heretical policy of ‘socialism with a human face.’ Dubcek reduced state suppression on freedom of speech in public and in newspaper reporting. On 29 April, the Soviet Union cut off food supplies to Czechoslovakia, followed by an invasion with 220,000 Soviet and Warsaw Pact soldiers and paratroops plus tanks on 20 August. Within 72 hours, Dubcek was jailed, and the opposition by the Czech people to the invasion merely increased the presence of Soviet troops to 650,000. The brief period of liberty was called the ‘Prague Spring’.

This is explained by J. R. Thackrah’s prologue to Politics Made Simple (Heinemann, London, 1987): ‘Stresses which lead to a weakening of political integration must be reduced by appropriate responses from the political authorities, otherwise the system will tend to divide or will collapse entirely.’

Back in 1949, Vannevar Bush had written in Modern Arms and Free Men (Simon and Schuster, New York, pp. 200-1):

‘The weakness of the Communist state resides in its rigidity, in the fact that it cannot tolerate heresy, and in the fact that it cannot allow its iron curtain to be fully penetrated. ... Dictatorship can tolerate no real independence of thought and expression. Its control depends entirely upon expressed adherence by all to a rigid formula, the party line. Its secret police must be ever alert to purge those who would depart from discipline and think their own thoughts, for departure would soon lead to a vast congeries of independent groups defying central authority, and the system would break.’

President Nixon had initiated 1970s ‘peace’ initiatives in a cynical public relations attempt to get his Watergate scandal out of the newspapers. In 1975, America signed the Helsinki Act, for the first time agreeing to the borders of the Soviet Union and its Warsaw Pact in Europe. This officially handed over those countries and people to Soviet control. After it was signed, the Chairman of the Soviet KGB (secret police), Yuri Andropov, stated in a letter to the Soviet Central Committee on 29 December 1975: ‘It is impossible at present to cease criminal prosecutions of those individuals who speak out against the Soviet system, since this would lead to an increase in especially dangerous state crimes and anti-social phenomena.’

On 12 July 1977, President Jimmy Carter announced his consideration of a plan to deploy the anti-tank neutron bomb to Europe to deter the 1,000,000 Soviet soldiers and 25,000 tanks amassed for an invasion. The co-ordinated Soviet response was for 28 communist parties to publish condemnations of the anti-tank neutron weapon. The Soviet ‘World Peace Council’ called an ‘international week of action’ in August 1977. The small yield and range of the neutron bomb (suiting only as a deterrent for massed tank invasions) was ignored, and the Soviet Union falsely portrayed it as a weapon which threatened people in general, not just the crews of 25,000 offensive Soviet tanks.

Within a year, Carter gave in to the false propaganda and demonstrations, and stopped deployment of the neutron bomb. Paul Mercer reports in his 465 pages long book 'Peace' of the Dead: The Truth Behind the Nuclear Disarmers (Policy Research Publications, London, 1986), page 96:

'[Soviet news agency] TASS reported during the campaign [against deployment of Sam Cohen's neutron bomb, 25 July - 14 August 1977] that: "Soviet Baptist leaders today condemned production of the neutron bomb as 'contrary to the teachings of Christ' and urged fellow Baptists in the United States to raise their voices in defense of peace." [Quoted in John Barrow, 'The KGB's Magical War for "Peace",' Reader's Digest (US Edition), October 1982, p. 226.] Jimmy Carter was, of course, a devoted Baptist, and this initiative had the effect of "peace" protesters in the United States taking the hint and disrupting services at his church, the First Baptist Church, in Washington, on three separate occasions.'

In 1979, the European threat from Soviet SS-20 missiles was countered by a NATO plan to deploy Cruise and Pershing missiles in Europe. Brezhnev responded with a paltry promise to remove a mere 20,000 soldiers and 1,000 tanks from East Germany as a peace gesture, and claimed that NATO would be guilty of escalating the arms race if it introduced Cruise and Pershing missiles. At first, Brezhnev received wide praise and support for his false ‘peace talk,’ but that finally evaporated when he ordered the invasion of Afghanistan in December 1979.

The Soviet Union’s peace offensive installed dictatorships in Congo and Syria in 1968, South Yemen and Libya in 1969, Somalia in 1970, Guinea in 1971, Iraq in 1972, Zambia in 1973, Cambodia, Laos, and South Vietnam in 1975, Angola and Mozambique in 1976, Ethopia in 1978, and Afghanistan in 1979. By 1977, Western Europe was outnumbered by Soviet weapons poised for attack: the Soviets had a 4.6 times as many tanks and 4 times as much artillery as the west, with 4.8 million full-time military personnel compared to only 2.1 million on the American side. President Carter therefore proposed deploying Dr Samuel Cohen’s neutron bomb to deter the Soviets from mounting a concentrated tank invasion of Western Europe. The Soviets had 584 major offensive submarines and ships, compared to 289 on the American side; and they had by 1978 some 3,909 strategic and intermediate offensive weapons, compared to only 2,125 on the American side. Moreover, the Soviet weapons were less accurate and therefore more threatening to sprawling civilian cities than to hardened military bases.

'I went to Czechoslovakia again in May 1983. As part of the Soviet Union's so-called "peace-offensive" the Czechoslovak authorities were holding a conference of peace organizations: The World Assembly for Peace and Life, Against Nuclear War. It was mostly a propaganda show against NATO's plans to install medium-range nuclear weapons in Europe. There was little evidence of new thinking about it.'


- BBC correspondent John Simpson, Despatches from the Barricades: An Eye-Witness Account of the Revolutions that Shook the World 1989-90, Hutchinson, London, 1990, p. 160.



Above: Ronald Reagan, the former actor and ex-lifeguard who had saved 77 lives, introduced the 'Peacekeeper' missile, a new civil defence propaganda assault and on 23 March 1983 a 'Star Wars' ABM research programme on 'Excalibur', Edward Teller's X-ray laser as well as chemical lasers. One thing that keeps getting forgotten in ABM discussions is that ABM is not new. In the 1960s, ABM was successfully tested over Kwajalein Atoll in the Pacific. It works. The American 'Sentinel' ABM system was briefly deployed in the 1970s to protect missile silos, but was simply too expensive to protect all American cities to a high degree of reliability and was also liable to produce EMP collateral damage owing to the high yield X-ray ablation mechanism Spartan missiles used for long-range intercepts above 35 km altitude. The full Sentinel system would have consisted of six Perimeter Acquisition Radar to cover the entire United States and detect and track enemy reentry vehicles when they rose over the horizon into view (at a range of 4,000 km, or 10 minutes warning time). Individual ABM launchers also had a shorter-range Missile Site Radar to target Spartan and Sprint missiles. The Spartan missiles with large warheads would be deployed to destroy the missiles by X-ray ablative recoil forces at altitudes above 35 km. If Spartan failed, then short-range Sprint missiles would be used for interception at altitudes below 35 km. Sprint used clean neutron bomb warheads to melt down the fissile material in enemy warheads (shielding such warheads would be prohibitive in terms of the number of warheads the missile could carry, just as decoys and chaff is a waste of time as a penetration aid; it just makes a bigger radar signal and bigger target to aim for). The whole advantage of civil defense (cheap) and ABM (expensive) countermeasures against attack is that they reduce the reliance on mutual deterrence, which is dependent on the goodwill of both sides (you would be foolish to rely entirely on the goodwill of a volatile dictatorship for peace and security).

Reagan's move towards lasers was to avert the collateral damage risks from blast and EMP of defensive nuclear detonations. An ordinary 1 kW carbon dioxide gas based laser, as used in industry, will burn through 1 mm thick steel plate at the rate of 8 cm per second. The thickness vaporized is proportional to the square root of the laser power. Lasers all work on the same quantum principle: the energy of a photon emitted by a quantum energy level transition is also the energy required to promote an electron to that energy level. By saturating a suitable, pure material with photons, the electrons will begin absorbing and emitting radiation of a specific wavelength (line spectra). The laser generally uses a rod with a reflector at one end and a partial reflector at the other, to allow many quantum transitions to build up radiation coherence before emission: coherent radiation builds up and stimulates the emission of similar radiation. Incoherent radiation is pumped into the sides of the rod, and the coherent beam emerges from the partial reflector in a narrow beam dependent on the diameter of the rod. This is the Light Amplification by the Stimulated Emission of Radiation (LASER) principle.

Chemical lasers which fire at missiles within the atmosphere simply have to burn a hole in the missile skin, to allow the air drag force on the missile to crush it. This was proved in tests where the air drag force was simulated with hydraulic rams and a laser burned a hole in the missile skin. The orbital X-ray laser is for use outside the atmosphere, where X-rays can travel without attenuation. A nuclear explosion in Excalibur would release 80% of its energy as a blackbody spectrum of light-velocity 'hot' X-rays (mostly above 10 keV). These would pour into laser rods consisting of very low density (non-ablative) plastic foam like expanded polystyrine containing a small quantity of uranium-238 as the laser material. The inner electrons of ionized uranium-238 can be raised to energy levels as high as 10 keV, resulting in coherent X-ray emission. The rods would contain thick beryllium at one end as an X-ray mirror, and thin beryllium at the other end as a partial reflector (which emits the coherent X-ray beam after pumping of the uranium-238 atomic electrons in the rod). Based on the results of a Nevada underground test of Excalibur, a compact version would be too inefficient and for high efficiency very long laser rods would be required. X-ray laser rods 1 mm in diameter would need to be 1 km long to achieve the efficiency claimed by Edward Teller in 1983.

However, lower efficiencies are still practical for ABM purposes, and it is easy to design a system with coiled up expanded plastic laser rods like string, which could be stretched out inside long telescopic metal tubes (like those used for telescopic antennae). X-rays pumped into such metal tubes would enter the laser rods along the sides of the rods. Telescopes associated with each laser rod would focus them on nuclear missiles. This low-yield nuclear X-ray laser would be kept in a suitable orbit over the earth (it is generally not possible to launch it to a high enough altitude to shoot down enemy missiles over a large area when an attack is detected) to replace the high-yield 'Spartan' nuclear X-ray ablation warhead ABM developed successfully by America in the 1960s and 1970s, but never deployed for fear of EMP collateral damage. Ablation can be explained very simply and is very well understood because it's the mechanism by which fission primary stages ignite fusion stages inside thermonuclear weapons: 80% of the energy of a nuclear explosion is in X-rays and the X-ray laser would make those X-rays coherent and focus some of them on to the metal case of an incoming enemy missile. The result is the blow-off or 'ablation' of a very thin surface layer of the metal (typically a fraction of a millimetre). Although only a trivial amount of material is blown off, it has a very high velocity and carries a significant momentum. The momentum isn't immense but it creates a really massive force on account of the small time (about 10 nanoseconds) over which it is imparted (this is because force is the rate of change of momentum, i.e. F = dp/dt), and since pressure is simply force per unit area, you get an immense pressure due to Newton's 3rd law of motion (action and reaction are equal and opposite, the rocket principle).

Hans Bethe and W. L. Bade in their paper Theory of X-Ray Effects of High Altitude Nuclear Bursts and Proposed Vehicle Hardening Method (AVCO Corp., Mass., report RAD-TR-9(7)-60-2, April 1960) proposed that missiles can be hardened against X-ray induced ablative recoil by using a layer of plastic foam to absorb reduce the force within the missile by spreading out the change of momentum over a longer period of time, but although this will protect some internal components from shock damage, the missile skin can still be deflected, dented and destroyed by ablation recoil. Inside the atmosphere, low-yield neutron bomb warheads in 'Sprint' missiles were developed in the 1960s and 1970s for ABM inception (penetrating neutrons would heat up the fissile material in warheads, melting it out of shape and making the bombs fizzle), and Star Wars proposed to replace them with chemical lasers.



Above: President Ronald Reagan’s 12 June 1987 speech at the Brandenburg Gate of the 1961 Berlin Wall:
And now the Soviets themselves may, in a limited way, be coming to understand the importance of freedom. We hear much from Moscow about a new policy of reform and openness. Some political prisoners have been released. Certain foreign news broadcasts are no longer being jammed. Some economic enterprises have been permitted to operate with greater freedom from state control. Are these the beginnings of profound changes in the Soviet state? Or are they token gestures, intended to raise false hopes in the West, or to strengthen the Soviet system without changing it? We welcome change and openness; for we believe that freedom and security go together, that the advance of human liberty can only strengthen the cause of world peace. There is one sign the Soviets can make that would be unmistakable, that would advance dramatically the cause of freedom and peace. General Secretary Gorbachev, if you seek peace – if you seek prosperity for the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe – if you seek liberalization: come here to this gate! Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate! Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!

I understand the fear of war and the pain of division that afflict this continent - and I pledge to you my country's efforts to help overcome these burdens. To be sure, we in the West must resist Soviet expansion. So we must maintain defences of unassailable strength. Yet we seek peace; so we must strive to reduce arms on both sides. Beginning 10 years ago, the Soviets challenged the Western alliance with a grave new threat, hundreds of new and more deadly SS-20 nuclear missiles, capable of striking every capital in Europe. The Western alliance responded by committing itself to a counter deployment unless the Soviets agreed to negotiate a better solution; namely, the elimination of such weapons on both sides. For many months, the Soviets refused to bargain in earnestness. As the alliance, in turn, prepared to go forward with its counter deployment, there were difficult days - days of protests like those during my 1982 visit to this city-and the Soviets later walked away from the table.

But through it all, the alliance held firm. And I invite those who protested then - I invite those who protest today - to mark this fact: Because we remained strong, the Soviets came back to the table.



Above: on 9 November 1989, the people of a free Berlin tore down the Wall because the failure of communist will in the face of overwhelming Western strength had demoralized the hard liners and permitted Gorbachev to gain power and reform the Soviet Union, withdrawing the 500,000 Soviet troops in Eastern Europe who were required to keep the population from staging an uprising. With the troops and tanks gone, the people could demolish the wall with relative impunity.

'It is natural, after a series of events such as this book has dealt with, to look for some single underlying cause which links them all. In the inmediate aftermath of the revolutions some right wing journalists and politicians in Western Europe, innately suspicious of the influence of television over the minds of people, ascribed the revolutionary process to the influence of broadcasters. It won't do, of course. Television may have alerted people to the revolutionary moment in Romania, but only by accident. In East Germany and Czechoslovakia it remained in the hands of Party loyalists until the critical moment had come and gone; people saw little or nothing of the revolution on their television screens.

'There is a far more obvious link between each of the major events I have dealt with in these pages. Hungary and Poland eased away from Soviet Authority with the tacit approval of Mikhail Gorbachev. His policies and his visit to Peking encouraged Chinese students and intellectuals to occupy Tiananmen Square [that revolt against communism in China was suppressed, unlike the revolt in Europe in 1989, because Gorbachev had removed 500,000 Soviet troops from Europe and paved the way for reform; which was not the case in hard line controlled China in 1989]. At the very least, the revolutions in Central and Eastern Europe took place because he disapproved of the old leaders and made it clear he would not intervene to save them.'


- BBC correspondent John Simpson, Despatches from the Barricades: An Eye-Witness Account of the Revolutions that Shook the World 1989-90, Hutchinson, London, 1990, p. 309.

On 1 September 1983, the evil Soviet General Secretary Andropov's orders to frontier guard troops and air defense forces to shoot down any 'intruder' aircraft caused the murder of 269 passengers aboard Korean Airlines flight KE007, which accidentally used a magnetic compass not inertial guidance for its automatic pilot and as a result entered the edge of Soviet airspace. President Reagan called it the 'murder of 269 innocent people in a defenseless airliner'. He was opposed by Andropov who lied on the 28 September 1983 that the airliner was on 'a militarist course which poses a grave threat to peace ... engineered by U.S. special services.' Apologists for Andropov blamed Reagan for Navy Secretary John Lehman's military overflights of Soviet airspace to test their air defenses, but that sick claim is precisely the same fanatical propaganda as the fascist blaming of the West for the Holocaust by saying that 'Hitler would never have had to gas 6 million Jews if the West hadn't put pressure on the Nazi regime by fighting it'. In other words, these apologists for dictatorships are nefarious. This incident gave Reagan the moral authority to oppose the Soviet Union by declaring it to be an 'evil' empire, just as Kennedy had stated in his 26 June 1963 speech in Berlin (above). Furthermore, Reagan used a variety of tactics to demoralize the Soviet Union's military might and encourage reform. E.g., Reagan's 'Evil Empire' speech on 8 March 1983 to the National Association of Evangelicals in Orlando, Florida:

The reality is that we must find peace through strength. I would agree to a freeze if only we could freeze the Soviets' global desires. A freeze at current levels of weapons would remove any incentive for the Soviets to negotiate seriously in Geneva and virtually end our chances to achieve the major arms reductions which we have proposed. Instead, they would achieve their objectives through the freeze. A freeze would reward the Soviet Union for its enormous and unparalleled military buildup. It would prevent the essential and long overdue modernization of United States and allied defenses and would leave our aging forces increasingly vulnerable. And an honest freeze would require extensive prior negotiations on the systems and numbers to be limited and on the measures to ensure effective verification and compliance. And the kind of a freeze that has been suggested would be virtually impossible to verify. Such a major effort would divert us completely from our current negotiations on achieving substantial reductions. ... It was C. S. Lewis who, in his unforgettable 'Screwtape Letters,' wrote: 'The greatest evil is not done now in those sordid 'dens of crime' that Dickens loved to paint. It is not even done in concentration camps and labor camps. In those we see its final result. But it is conceived and ordered (moved, seconded, carried and minuted) in clear, carpeted, warmed, and well-lighted offices, by quiet men with white collars and cut fingernails and smooth-shaven cheeks who do not need to raise their voice.' Well, because these 'quiet men' do not 'raise their voices,' because they sometimes speak in soothing tones of brotherhood and peace, because, like other dictators before them, they're always making 'their final territorial demand,' some would have us accept them at their word and accommodate ourselves to their aggressive impulses. But if history teaches anything, it teaches that simple-minded appeasement or wishful thinking about our adversaries is folly. It means the betrayal of our past, the squandering of our freedom. So, I urge you to speak out against those who would place the United States in a position of military and moral inferiority. You know, I've always believed that old Screwtape reserved his best efforts for those of you in the church. So, in your discussions of the nuclear freeze proposals, I urge you to beware the temptation of pride—the temptation of blithely declaring yourselves above it all and label both sides equally at fault, to ignore the facts of history and the aggressive impulses of an evil empire, to simply call the arms race a giant misunderstanding and thereby remove yourself from the struggle between right and wrong and good and evil. I ask you to resist the attempts of those who would have you withhold your support for our efforts, this administration's efforts, to keep America strong and free, while we negotiate real and verifiable reductions in the world's nuclear arsenals and one day, with God's help, their total elimination. While America's military strength is important, let me add here that I've always maintained that the struggle now going on for the world will never be decided by bombs or rockets, by armies or military might. The real crisis we face today is a spiritual one; at root, it is a test of moral will and faith. ... I believe we shall rise to the challenge. I believe that communism is another sad, bizarre chapter in human history whose last pages even now are being written. I believe this because the source of our strength in the quest for human freedom is not material, but spiritual. And because it knows no limitation, it must terrify and ultimately triumph over those who would enslave their fellow man. For in the words of Isaiah: 'He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might He increased strength. ... But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary. ...' Yes, change your world. One of our Founding Fathers, Thomas Paine, said, 'We have it within our power to begin the world over again.' We can do it, doing together what no one church could do by itself. God bless you, and thank you very much.


Soviet General Secretary Andropov was quoted on 27 March 1983 in Pravda responding to Reagan in the following clearly demoralized way:

The intention to secure for itself the possibility of destroying, with the help of the ABM defenses, the corresponding strategic systems of the other side, that is of rendering it unable of dealing a retaliatory strike, is a bid to disarm the Soviet Union in the face of the U.S. nuclear threat.


In London, the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) which had been a self-appointed committee from 1959-65 when it became a membership organization, staged a demonstration against Reagan in Hyde Park on 22 October 1983. Journalist Ann Leslie wrote about it in her Daily Mail newspaper article published on 25 October 1983, How Mothers Like Me are Driven to Join the Big Peace Demos; CND blackmail at our school gates:

On Friday morning, the day before the demos, I and other mothers were delivering our tiny sons and daughters to their North London primary school. This humdrum, happy, chattering little scene was briefly overshadowed by a sudden glimpse of apocalyptic terror in the form of two leaflets handed out to use at the gates. The first said: 'October 23. Where will you be?' The second, from the Camden Labour Party, told us why we should be there on Saturday. Cruise missiles, due to be installed in December, will 'make nuclear war more likely. ...' It didn't of course mention that the Soviets already have over 150 SS20s installed, each with three warheads, two-thirds of which are targeted on Western Europe. ... Nor is there any illusion at NATO ... that America could fight a limited nuclear war in Europe. As General Rogers, the American Supreme Allied Commander, Europe, said: 'The Soviets have said that any American weapon system being fired at Soviet soil will be cause for her to attack the United States with strategic weapons.' ... Many in the crowd used the demonstration to promote a whole variety of separate causes. Like the seller of the Hard-Left newspaper who told me we must 'defend the Soviet Union against Western imperialism.'


The Marxist historian E. P. Thompson, an elected CND National Council member, wrote a book called 'Protest and Survive' to attack the government's 'Protect and Survive' civil defense campaign (while ignoring all the scientific facts about civil defense). On 18 June 1982, journalist Marjory Davidson had written an article in The Sun newspaper called CND, Is It All a Russian Con Trick - Moscow's making fools of our ban the bomb brigade:

The 19 very important visitors were welcomed to Moscow in the style of Heads of State. Police escorted their motorcade as it swept through red lights on the way from Sherenritovo Airport to a downtown hotel. Visits to the Bolshoi Ballet, the old Czarist capital, Leningrad and the fabled cities of Tashkent and Samarkand were on the programme. And it was red carpet treatment all the way. ... Who were the lucky 19? Not pop stars, or soccer players or even astronauts. They were members of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament and fellow sympathisers ... They are part of a campaign that is orchestrated and financed [via the Soviet funded so-called 'World Peace Council', which was strongly linked to CND, et al.] by the Soviet Union with the direct purpose of weakening the West, her resolve and her strength, while Russia continues to build up the most fearsome military machine in history. ... The naive band of travellers were campaigning for Britain to scrap all nuclear weapons. When they hesitantly asked the Kremlin to make a possible 10% reduction in its nuclear arsenal, the reply was a brutal 'Niet.' In Britain, the ban-the-bomb campaign is booming. Membership has increased from 3,000 to 37,000 in 18 months and includes many idealistic young people. Brezhnev flew from Moscow to meet the 1,000 Soviet-subsidised deligates in Sofia. ... They seek a power base in Britain. They aim to get it by exploiting the fear and horror felt by decent men and women at the idea of nuclear war. They have formed special sections - Youth CND and Christian CND - to extend their sphere of influence.


Paul Mercer gives the following 1983 flowchart in his excellent anti-propaganda book, 'Peace' of the Dead: The Truth Behind the Nuclear Disarmers (Policy Research Publications, London, 1986), page 91:

Soviet Union Politburo, Candidate Member: Boris Ponomarev
|
Central Committee of the Soviet Communist Party, Secretary: Boris Ponomarev
|
International Department, Head: Boris Ponomarev; Oleg Kharkhardin (Vice-President of Soviet Peace Committee)
|
World Peace Council, President: Romesh Chandra; Oleg Kharkhardin (Vice-President of Soviet Peace Committee)
|
International Liaison Forum of Peace Forces, Chairman: Romesh Chandra; Executive Secretary: Oleg Kharkhardin; Vice-Chairmen: Arthur Booth and Sean MacBride
|
(member body)
|
International Peace Bureau, Chairman: Arthur Booth; President: Sean MacBride; Vice-President: Bruce Kent
|
(member body)
|
Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND), General Secretary: Bruce Kent; Irish CND Committee: Sean MacBride

Mercer states that the delegation which CND sent to Moscow in May 1982 consisted of Lord Hugh Jenkins (1980-1 CND Chairman), Joan Ruddock (then the current CND Chairman), Roger Spiller (who was soon to be elected Vice-Chairman of CND), Sally Davison (full-time National Organiser of CND, 1979-81), and Gerard Holden. On 31 May 1982, Joan Ruddock, the Chairman of CND, was in session with Yuri Zhukov, the Chairman of the Soviet 'World Peace Council' anti-Western propaganda lobby. Soviet news agency TASS on 28 May 1982 reported that Lord Jenkins said CND 'had a high opinion of the Soviet peace initiative', neglecting all the Soviet funded invasions and wars on democracy throughout the world! CND's control by Soviet communism continued right up to the end of the Cold War. For example, see Dr Julian Lewis's article, 'CND's New Stalinist Leader' in the December 1990 issue of Freedom Today (available online):

'CND has appointed the former National Organiser of the British branch of the World Peace Council (WPC) as its new General Secretary – the position held by Bruce Kent when leading CND in the early 1980s. Mr Gary Lefley, who takes up CND's top full-time salaried post in the new year, can accurately be described as an agent of President Brezhnev's propaganda machine at the height of the Soviet "peace offensive" against NATO's planned deployment of cruise and Pershing II missiles. ... Before the 1983 General Election, CND published a list of 120 Labour MPs amongst its members. This total had risen to 133 by the time of the 1987 General Election. Currently, CND refuses to reveal either the total or the names of their supporters in the Parliamentary Labour Party. This is undoubtedly because it would run counter to Labour's attempts to conceal its continuing unilateralism. Now that the organisation is to be run by a propagandist for the Brezhnev regime, there is yet another reason for Labour's CND MPs to keep their membership a secret.'


Above: the British media was the stage for a war of terror between nuclear weapons effects exaggerating CND and Prime Minister Maggie Thatcher's pro-civil defence, pro-deterrence, anti-intimidation elected government. At the 1983 General Election, CND went so far as to try to get voters to elect Neil Kinnock's Labour Party due to its declared unilateral nuclear disarmament policy, which would have removed Britain from its 'unsinkable aircraft carrier' role for American nuclear weapons in the effort to deter a Soviet invasion of Western Europe! CND did this by exaggerating the effects of nuclear weapons as well as downplaying the horrendous suffering that living under communist dictatorship would entail and also downplaying the incredible effectiveness of simple civil defense countermeasures against thermal radiation, blast and fallout radiation! Despite all her widely-attacked and tragic failings on domestic policy, Thatcher stood up for freedom effectively in foreign policy: unlike most scientifically inept politicians, she was a former research chemist, who - despite her widely perceived domestic policy failings as a right-wing woman - backed the morality of civil defence and on foreign policy issues stood up to terrorist state dictator Leonid Brezhnev, echoing Clayton's pragmatic outlook on war in her address to the United Nations General Assembly on disarmament on 23 June 1982, when she pointed out that in the years since the nuclear attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, 10 million people were killed by 140 non-nuclear conflicts, so:

‘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.’

Charles J. Hitch and Roland B. McKean of the RAND Corporation in their 1960 book The Economics of Defence in the Nuclear Age, Harvard University Press, Massachusetts, p. 310, stated:

‘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.’

For example, America used two nuclear weapons against Japan in desperation to stop World War II fighting when it had no nuclear stockpile at all, but resisted from using nuclear weapons at all when it had a massive stockpile of nuclear weapons, even when it had superiority over the Soviet Union until the 1960s. At the end of The Economics of Defence in the Nuclear Age, p. 357, the authors stress: ‘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.’

Thus, reducing the scale of nuclear deterrence may not result in increased security. This fact is not opinion, and it doesn't matter if it opposes 'consensus thinking' or 'groupthink'. Such a fact is not a pro-nuclear bias, or propaganda, but is countering lying propaganda. We have to work with natural facts in the real world, regardless of whether popular ideologies and utopias are contrary to them.

The popular theories of nuclear disarmament campaigners ignore these facts, and claim that the massive number of nuclear weapons in existence is due to misunderstanding of the ‘total annihilation’ effects of nuclear weapons by insane politicians and scientists. Similarly, many oppose American anti-ballistic missile (ABM) systems as being contrary to deterrence. However, Hitch and McKean on page 180 of the same book in 1960 pointed out:

‘An American force that can make a devastating first strike but is easily destroyed on the ground is more likely to invite direct attack than to deter it.’

For this reason, a first strike capability alone is not a sufficient capability to deter war, and may cause a war instead. To resist intimidation, it is necessary to be credibly able to survive a first strike by the enemy so you have control over how you decide to respond later. If your forces are 'soft targets', i.e., are not protected from the effects of a first-strike by the enemy, then you will have no choice but to launch all your weapons in panic when you detect a first-strike coming. This won't help you, and makes deterrence unstable because false alerts could cause you to start a nuclear war by accident (e.g., missile tests, asteroid showers, confusion during training exercises, etc., could set off a war in the absence of a second-strike capability).

Only with such a second strike capability, i.e., the ability to fight a nuclear war slowly without panic or total annihilation, are you able to intimidate the opponent into deciding not to start a war with you. Furthermore, if you have both a first and a second strike capability, you may have political leverage to bring to bear on an opponent that goes past merely preventing war. After all, deterring Germany in 1939 from provoking a war would have prevented war but it would not have prevented ill-treatment of the Jews. Only by having more capability than is merely required for deterrence, can you hope to intimidate an evil dictatorship into political reform. E.g., on 29 October 1982, British Prime Minister Maggie Thatcher stated of the Berlin Wall:

‘You may chain a man, but you cannot chain his mind. You may enslave him, but you will not conquer his spirit. 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.’


Leonid Brezhnev fortunately died on 10 November 1982, while Reagan and Thatcher challenged the Soviet Union's nuclear superiority with increased civil defence efforts coupled to military expenditure in a successful effort to bankrupt and reform the corrupt Soviet terrorist system.

On 22 November 1990, Thatcher was able to declare:

‘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.’


A Gallup Poll in Britain in 1983 found that 67% of the population opposed CND's stated objective of unilateral (i.e., Britain only) disarmament. On October 1983, the London Guardian newspaper commissioned an opinion poll which showed that 77% of Britain's population were in support of either keeping or improving Britain's nuclear deterrent in the face of the Soviet threat. Despite these facts, the antinuclear-biased BBC gave enormous coverage to the CND anti-nuclear protests and the British Labour Party took up a pro-CND unilateral disarmament policy, which was one reason why it lost the general election on 9 June 1983 owing to unpopularity. (CND supporters then set up so-called 'Nuclear Free Zones' in the false belief that signposts would protect people against radiation from fallout, which was disproved when the Soviet Chernobyl reactor exploded in April 1986, contaminating such propaganda-spin zones!)

Traditionally, bigoted anti-ABM, pro-appeasement physicists like Nobel Laureate Dr Hans Bethe would attack any new ABM idea, but they were unable to effectively discredit Reagan's Star Wars because if they debunked Star Wars, then they would be discrediting Andropov's claim that Reagan's ABM really was a threat! So they were caught in a trap: whatever they said would help Reagan! Reagan, by threatening to make Soviet military might impotent and obsolete, stumped the whole basis of Marxist ideology which was a substitute for religion: the belief that in the future they would one day force a world revolution. By taking away that Marxist belief system, the Soviet Union had to change its belief from one based on military might to one based on capitalism.

Gorbachev was born in 1931 and saw his own family suffer when Stalin used mass starvation to force Soviet farmers to give up all they owned and move on to collective farms. Any who tried to defend themselves from the lazy, dictatorial Bolsheviks with their hunting guns were simply outnumbered and murdered, and their children and wives were then carted off to collective farms. They had no chance, no hope of freedom, not even to live simple lives off their land. His wife Raisa, whom he met in 1953 at Moscow University, had suffered a similar childhood. Gorbachev was nominated to lead the U.S.S.R. by the disillusioned Soviet foreign minister Andrei Gromyko (the liar who had tried to delude President Kennedy over the Cuban missiles crisis, claiming that none of the weapons the Soviet Union supplied Cuba were offensive in nature) on 11 March 1985.

Gorbachev then replaced Gromyko with Anatoly Chernyaev, who was keen for reform. Due to their personal experiences of the terror of totalitarian evil, they had a sympathy with President Reagan's hopes for freedom and reform. Gorbachev required merely two Russian words, glasnost (openness) and perestroika (restructuring), to describe the changes he wanted to make to the Soviet Union. When German student pilot Matthias Rust was able to penetrate Soviet air defenses and land his plane in Red Square, Gorbachev used the event as leverage to purge his military of all remaining resistance to perestroika. On 7 December 1988, Gorbachev initiated the withdrawl of 500,000 troops from Eastern Europe, allowing the fall of the Berlin Wall in November 1989. A year later, in November 1990, the Conventional Forces in Europe Treaty was signed which forced the Soviets to destroy 28,000 battle tanks in order to equalize Warsaw Pact and NATO forces. Finally in August 1991, a hard line communist coup was attempted which arrested Gorbachev but not Boris Yeltsin, who took control of the U.S.S.R. and signed a draft for its dissolution at a December 1991 meeting with the leaders of the Ukraine and Belarus. Gorbachev, his presidency then obsolete, resigned on 25 December 1991. It is instructive when considering The Effects of Nuclear Weapons to examine the relevant background, the Cold War and the use of nuclear weapons effects for intimidation by all parties.

1994 revised Introduction to Kearny’s Nuclear War Survival Skills, by Dr Edward Teller, January 14, 1994:

‘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.’


Before 9/11, Weinberger was quizzed by skeptical critics on BBC News Talking Point on Friday, 4 May, 2001, Caspar Weinberger quizzed on new US Star Wars ABM plans:

‘The [ABM] treaty was in 1972 ... The theory ... supporting the ABM treaty ... 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. We are up to 7,000 plus, the Russians are up to 6,900 plus. On intercontinental missiles the Russians have 23,000 nuclear warheads. So the ABM treaty preventing an arms race is total nonsense. ... I don't know how any networking is going to prevent North Korea from doing everything it can to get more nuclear weapons than they have now particularly when China and Russia are perfectly willing to sell them all of the technology required. Intelligence sources aren't going to prevent a country from doing it.

‘You have to understand that without any defences whatever you are very vulnerable. It is like saying we don't like chemical warfare - we don't like gas attacks - so we are going to give up and promise not to have any defences ever against them and that of course would mean then we are perfectly safe. ...

‘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 of two of the shots went astray but that is true of every weapon system that has ever been invented. ...

‘The fact that a missile defence system wouldn't necessarily block a suitcase bomb is certainly not an argument for not proceeding with a missile defence when a missile that hits can wipe out hundreds of thousands of lives in a second. ...

‘The curious thing about it is that missile defence is not an offensive weapon system - missile defence cannot kill anybody. Missile defence can help preserve and protect your people and our allies, and the idea that you are somehow endangering people by having a defence strikes me almost as absurd as saying you endanger people by having a gas mask in a gas attack. ...

‘My worry is when we have Russia and China being the most vociferous opponents of the plan to abandon the ABM treaty and go to a defensive system. Why are they so vociferous about their hatred of the idea of having a defensive system? The answer, I am afraid is rather clear - it is because they have offensive plans that they think would be thwarted by a defensive system and so they are doing everything they can to try to block it. ...

‘Tensions are on the rise because very aggressive powers know that the one system that will never be defended against if we follow the ABM treaty ... are these nuclear and chemical warhead carrying missiles. Now if you tell an aggressive nation that is the one system weapons that is never going to be defending against - what are they going to do? They are going to make every effort to get that kind of system of weapons. That is what is happening and that is why there is an increased tension. The greatest force for proliferation is the ABM treaty.

‘So that is why it seems to me that it is vital that we get rid of the ABM treaty concept as soon as possible and proceed with the construction of an effective defence to protect ourselves and our allies. ...

‘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 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.’


On 29 September 1982, Elliott Abrams, the Assistant Secretary of State for Human Rights and Humanitarian Affairs in the U.S. Government, gave the following brilliant address to the Chicago World Affairs Council:

It was primarily two things that saved us from the danger of nuclear war which we faced in the 1950s. The first was the development in the mid-1950s of an intellectual understanding of deterrence: that what deters nuclear war is not simply more weapons but a protected strategic force that can strike back even if it is attacked first. Such a force removes the temptation to strike first. It is vital to realize that the development of the theory of deterrence was the most important act of arms control in the postwar era; more important than any negotiation or treaty we have engaged in. The second thing that kept nuclear annihilation at a distance was the development of new weapons that were shaped by this theory of deterrence. ... The missile silo ... able to last out a first strike and retaliate; The ballistic missile submarine, which was more invulnerable because it was hidden in the depths of the sea; and the spy satellite, which for the first time gave an accurate accounting of the other side's strategic forces, thus reducing uncertainty and nervousness. Arms control agreements like SALT 1 (Strategic Arms Limitation Talks, number 1) would not have been possible without this weapon, because they would have been wholly impossible to verify.

These facts constitute a genuine paradox: that the moral result of avoiding nuclear war was achieved through certain weapons. I believe we must face this paradox squarely ... We face an appalling danger in nuclear war and have limited resources to cope with it. Since the 1950s, one of the resources that has been most useful is the redesign of weapons so that they will contribute to a true deterrent.


The neutron bomb, which we will discuss in detail below since both Samuel Glasstone and Philip J. Dolan have analyzed it in detail, is one example of a possible future for the decreasing nuclear deterrent. The neutron bomb is a miniature Teller-Ulam thermonuclear weapon which, in addition to a very small primary stage fission yield, has a deuterium-tritium fusion yield of 1 kt and would be detonated at a sufficient height (500 metres or so) to prevent local fallout and any serious blast or thermal effects on the ground: the energy partition of both of these effects is suppressed, since in deuterium-tritium fusion the products are an alpha particle and a neutron which have equal momentum, hence the neutron moves four times faster than the alpha particle, and thereby takes 4/5ths or 80% of the total kinetic energy of the fusion process! If the high-yield nuclear stockpiles of the free world were replaced with neutron bombs, collateral damage would be averted and thus nuclear deterrence would be grossly enhanced!

The nuclear threat from North Korea is a good example of the need to publish for the first the unbiased, uncensored, untwisted facts about the effects of radiation, etc., from nuclear weapons testing: terrorist dictatorships are today being encouraged to go into nuclear proliferation by groupthink-based obscene exaggerations from the well-known terrorist-supporting fascist propaganda groups of the effects of nuclear weapons which we expose below. Mainstream physicists in the West have lied that there is no such thing as effective easy improvised civil defense against the bomb, while exaggerating the effects of nuclear weapons in total disagreement with the hard facts from Hiroshima, Nagasaki and other nuclear explosions, as we will see in this blog post.

This exaggeration is the cause of nuclear proliferation, and the cause of the threat to civilization. What the evil, groupthink-obsessed scum don’t realize is that no amount of pacifist hot air will protect you against radiation, but civil defense countermeasures will! No amount of sanctions will do anything but increase the suffering of the oppressed people, and harden the resolve of the leadership which isn’t affected by the sanctions anyway. Sanctions punish the innocent. Political diplomacy and sanctions are no use against dictatorship, as proved by the case of dictatorships in history. All they do is to hand the dictatorship some real facts to supplement its lying propaganda, showing that the West really increases the suffering of its perfectly innocent, impoverished people out of Western paranoid delusions, etc., and claiming that it is merely trying to get the same nuclear security as the West to protect itself from war and thus maintain the peace by deterring aggressors.


Praemonitus praemunitus - forewarned is forearmed. Civil defence, to be taken seriously, requires the publication of solid facts about believable threats. Secrecy over the effects of nuclear weapons tests hinders civil defence planning against threats; it does not hinder plutonium and missile production by rogue states!

The same year as the publication of The Effects of Atomic Weapons, 1950, the Top Secret British Home Office Scientific Advisory Branch report SA/16 concluded:

‘The wide publicity given to the appalling destruction caused by the atomic bombs at Hiroshima and Nagasaki has possibly tended to give an exaggerated impression of their effectiveness. Perhaps the best way to counteract this impression, and to help to get the atomic bomb to scale, is to consider the numbers of atomic bombs that would have to be dropped on this country and on Germany to have caused the same total amount of damage as was actually caused by attacks with high explosive and incendiary bombs.

‘During the last war a total of 1,300,000 tons [of bombs] were dropped on Germany by the Strategic Air Forces [of Britain and America]. If there were no increase in aiming accuracy, then to achieve the same amount of material damage (to houses, industrial and transportational targets, etc.) would have required the use of over 300 atomic bombs together with some 500,000 tons of high explosive and incendiary bombs for targets too small to warrant the use of an atomic bomb ... the total of 300,000 civilian air raid deaths in Germany could have been caused by about 80 atomic bombs delivered with the accuracy of last war area attacks, or by about 20 atomic bombs accurately placed at the centres of large German cities ...’


This vital report, SA/16, was kept Top Secret for 8 years, and then Restricted for another 22 years. It was never published, for fear of undermining the value of the nuclear deterrent against Russian expansion.

CUMULATIVE BLAST WAVE PRESSURE REDUCTION BY DAMAGE CAUSED



Above: some of Penney's 1970 published data for the attenuation of peak blast overpressure by the act of causing destruction in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, which lowers the peak overpressure in a city relative to that over unobstructed terrain. This effect means that the desert nuclear test-validated cube-root distance scaling law severely exaggerates peak overpressures at large distances from nuclear weapons exploding in or over cities. The very first edition of Glasstone's nuclear effects handbook, The Effects of Atomic Weapons, 1950, on page 57 has a section written by John von Neumann and Fredrick Reines of Los Alamos (it is attributed to them in a footnote) stating factually:

"... the structures ... have the additional complicating property of not being rigid. This means that they do not merely deflect the shock wave, but they also absorb energy from it at each reflection.

"The removal of energy from the blast in this manner decreases the shock pressure at any given distance from the point of detonation to a value somewhat below that which it would have been in the absence of dissipative objects, such as buildings."


This was removed from future editions. This isn't speculative guesswork: it's down to the conservation of energy. I emailed Dr Harold L. Brode and other experts about why it isn't included in American nuclear weapons effects manuals. Dr Brode kindly replied with some relevant and interesting facts about non-radial energy flows in Mach waves and the transfer of energy from the blast wave to flying debris (which, alas, travels slower than the supersonic shock front because the blast wind is always slower than the shock front velocity). It is true that the energy loss from the blast wave near ground level is partially offset by downward diffraction of energy from the diverging blast wave at higher altitudes. However, this downward diffraction process is not a 100% efficient compensator for energy loss, particularly for the kinetic energy of the air (the dynamic pressure or wind drag effect). The dynamic pressure (which in unobstructed desert or ocean nuclear tests makes the blast more hazardous for higher yield weapons) is an air particle effect not a wave effect so it does not diffract like a wave, and it is cut down severely when transferring its energy to building debris. Even if every house absorbs just 1% of the incident energy per unit of area incident to the blast, then the destruction of a line of 100 houses cuts the blast energy down to 0.99100 = 0.366 of what it would be over a desert surface. Basically, this chops down the collateral blast damage from large yield weapons detonated in cities and affects the usual scaling laws, making nuclear weapons even less dangerous than predicted by the textbook equations and curves.

*The average density of ground coverage by buildings in Hiroshima determined from aerial photographs of the target taken before detonation was 5,400 buildings per square kilometre (the values in most British cities vary from about 5,000 near the centre to 2,000 near the outer boundaries). It is recommended that the housing density for modern Western cities be taken as half that in Hiroshima. (Data from Penney, et al., 1970.)

Lord William Penney visited Hiroshima and Nagasaki with the American occupation forces, measured all of the damage and shipped it back to Britain for laboratory analysis. He determined the bending moments for steel poles by the blast wave, the overpressures required to reduce the volume of blueprint containers and petrol cans, and many other natural blast wave gauges. The value of these studies was proved in the 1946 ABLE nuclear test, where the bomb was dropped off target by accident and Penney had to determine the air pressures from the collapse of petrol cans. This is a precise measurement because by filling the petrol can with water before and after partial collapse by blast, the volume reduction is measured, which correlates with the blast wave peak overpressure. Therefore, several items of this type can be used to get a statistically good measurement, unlike the piezoelectric electronic blast sensors used at the TRINITY test in 1945 which were of course wrecked by EMP (as predicted by Enrico Fermi). Later, Penney used empty toothpaste tubes to measure the peak overpressure at early British nuclear tests, averting the risk of EMP damage to electronic sensors.

Penney used the Hiroshima and Nagasaki data to do a secret study of the reduction in peak overpressure caused by the irreversible energy loss from the blast wave as it flattened house after house in each radial line outward from ground zero. Penney found that at both Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the peak overpressure fell faster than in British nuclear tests at similar scaled burst heights over smooth unobstructed desert. The peak blast overpressure fell exponentially due to the cumulative irreversible energy loss done in blowing up successive buildings.

At a distance of 1.74 km from ground zero in Hiroshima, the peak overpressure was only 50% of what it would have been over an ideal smooth desert without houses. This figure applies only to the wooden houses in Hiroshima where there were 5,400 houses per square kilometre. In most modern Western cities the number of buildings per square kilometre is on average only half that figure, but the buildings are brick or concrete and this means that they can absorb more energy in the act of being blown up by the blast wave. In a modern British city, the peak overpressure could therefore fall by 50% every 340 metres that the shock wave progressed, causing a dramatic reduction in damage at great distances, compared to the effects predicted for unobstructed ideal desert terrain in Glasstone and Dolan’s 1977 book The Effects of Nuclear Weapons. The reduction factor for peak blast overpressure at Hiroshima due to destruction caused was: (peak overpressure in built up area) / (peak overpressure over unobstructed ideal desert terrain in nuclear tests) = e-0.41R where R is ground range in kilometres; for typical Western brick and concrete cities they estimated the reduction factor to be e-2.0R.

It is important to note that this irreversible cumulative energy loss from the blast wave is a straightforward consequence of the laws of physics and is not speculative: the work energy E needed to push in a brick wall the distance X against resistance force F is simply E = FX. This is a simple property of physics. The energy lost from the supersonic shock front is converted into relatively slow-moving debris and a heating of the rubble, there is no mechanism for it to get back into the blast wave. This process of irreversible energy loss has nothing to do with the mere scattering of blast waves by multiple reflections between the walls of buildings which is the basis of the obfuscating discussion in Glasstone and Dolan, 1977. Analysis of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki data by Penney showed that after 75 wooden buildings had been damaged in a radial line from ground zero, the peak overpressure had fallen to only half that which would have occurred on an unobstructed ideal desert surface.

Penney kept this secret until 1970 when he gave some details in a published paper comparing the Hiroshima and Nagasaki blast waves to British nuclear test data for ideal terrain. Penney had earlier supported some experiments at the Atomic Weapons Research Establishment by W. Worsfold, published in the 1957 secret report The Effects of Shielding a Building from Atomic Blast by Another of the Same Size and Shape, AWRE-E4/57 (declassified only in May 1985) and further experiments in the report AWRE-E8/57. Each individual building causes only a trivial net reduction in the peak overpressure (1-5 % as shown in the following table), but after some tens or hundreds of houses in any radial line from ground zero have been totalled, the blast wave is seriously depleted in energy. Hence, predictions of blast damage using desert nuclear test data with the cube-root scaling law are massive exaggerations.
*Data are computed for a peak overpressure of 50 kPa (7.2 psi) for the total energy loss in the blast wave, which is why there is a dependence on the weapon yield. The longer duration blast winds from a higher yield weapon loses more energy in accelerating blast debris than the shorter duration blast wave from a low yield weapon. However, the amount of reduction in the peak overpressure (at the front of the shock wave) by causing damage will be independent of the blast wave duration. It is therefore recommended that the data for 20 kilotons be used for estimating the percentage reduction in peak overpressure, regardless of the blast wave duration or weapon yield.

All buildings tend to absorb approximately the same fraction of the blast wave energy regardless of the peak overpressure when struck because the amount of kinetic energy imparted by the blast wave to the debris and damaged materials increases approximately in direct proportion to the energy in the blast wave. Therefore, regardless of the weapon yield, in a modern American city the blast reduction factor for blast overpressure due to energy loss in causing the damage done to structures will be roughly exp(-d/750) where d is distance in metres. This will obviously have a more dramatic effect on reducing damaged areas for high yield weapons (where the low levels of blast overpressure cover immense distances on unobstructed desert terrain) than low yield weapons (where the damage distances are small in any case).

But even in the case of a 1 kt terrorist surface burst in an American city, the data in Glasstone and Dolan 1977 are still gross exaggerations! The 600 R initial nuclear radiation radius will be reduced from 808 m in Nevada tests to 245 m by buildings due to the elimination of most direct (line of sight) unscattered relativistic radiation by structures long before such structures can be destroyed by the much slower-moving blast wave! The 5 cal/cm2 thermal flash burn radius of 750 m in Nevada tests will be practically eliminated because the thermal pulse from such a small weapon will be over before the fireball becomes buoyant (this happens when its density falls below ambient air density, in the late stages) and rises into view above the structures which have yet to be destroyed by the blast wave. The 5 psi peak overpressure radius for severe damage to light residential structures will be reduced from 442 m in Nevada tests to 350 m, and the 2.5 psi peak overpressure radius for serious flying debris and glass injuries to persons standing behind windows will be reduced from 640 m in Nevada tests to 460 m. Because damaged areas are proportional to the square of the radius, the actual number of casualties and amount of damage reduction is far more impressive than these figures for radii suggest.


Above: photo of Nagasaki before and after the bombing: the number of houses destroyed by the blast wave in any given radial line from ground zero can be added up easily on the upper photo (click for close-up view). Each house damaged turned about 1% of the blast wave energy into the kinetic energy of debris, irreversibly depleting energy from the blast wave itself. After 75 houses had been damaged along any radial line, the blast peak overpressure was halved by the loss of energy. This factor was never included by the Americans in blast predictions, which instead used false calculations based on blast waves measured over totally unobstructed deserts.


Above: the official U.S. nuclear weapons effects horror story; it is a gross exaggeration, showing how the U.S. government lied about the effects of nuclear weapons during the cold war. They predicted blast effects to buildings in cities assuming that the terrain was unobstructed and ignored the irreversible loss of energy in the blast as it flattens house after house in any radial line outward from ground zero, which quickly soaks up the energy in the ground level diverging blast wave and contains the damaged area (particularly in large explosions). They also exaggerated the fire situation by neglecting the fact that piles of concrete and bricks don't burn (as proved in Britain in World War II, and by the fact that firestorms only occurred in wooden medieval cities in Europe such as ancient wooden parts of Hamburg and Dresden, and wooden cities in Japan; and even then this was not due to thermal radiation but due to a mixture of high explosives to damage the houses by blast and incendiaries to get inside, or in Hiroshima and Nagasaki where detonations occurred at breakfast and lunch time respectively so that charcoal cooking braziers were overturned by the blast amidst bamboo and paper screens, starting the tindering fires inside wooden houses), and by ignoring the shielding of thermal radiation by shadowing effects:




Above: dangerous abdominal penetration 3 metres behind windows (when glass fragments have been accelerated to high speed by the blast winds) during OPERATION TEAPOT Nevada nuclear tests in 1955. Notice that at low overpressures, there is no danger from low-overpressure broken windows because the blast wind behind the shock front is far too weak to accelerate the large fragments to high momenta, while at very high overpressures the window gets broken into dust-sized fragments that are simply far too small to carry enough momentum to penetrate clothing or skin. Thus, like Goldilocks' porridge, the peak overpressure ideally needs to be just right (2-5 psi) to break windows into big fragments that carry enough momentum to penetrate the abdomen when accelerated by the blast winds behind the shock front. Ducking and covering under a table or desk would avert this danger, and even dropping flat on the floor would help because the most dangerous fragments are blasted horizontally from the window. Contrary to lying propaganda films of nuclear explosions, the blast wave NEVER ACCOMPANIES THE VISIBLE FLASH, BUT IS ALWAYS DELAYED LIKE THUNDER AFTER LIGHTNING, ALWAYS MAKING DUCK AND COVER POSSIBLE. The graph is taken from: I. G. Bowen, D. R. Richmond, M. B. Wetherbe and C. S. White, Biological effects of blast from bombs. Glass fragments as penetrating missiles and some of the biological implications of glass fragmented by atomic explosions, Lovelace Foundation for Medical Education and Research, Albuquerque, New Mexico, U.S. Atomic Energy Commission progress report AECU-3350, June 1956, p. 46.


Above: a more recent report based on nuclear test research at OPERATION TEAPOT in 1955 and OPERATION PLUMBBOB in 1957 for house debris injury and also human displacement by blast is Dr Anatol Longinow's 161 pages long report Survivability in a Nuclear Weapon Environment, DCPA Contract DCPA01-77-0229, for Defense Civil Preparedness Agency, Washington, D.C. 20301, report ADA076026, May 1979, which estimates the following casualties in framed buildings (steel and concrete), of up to four stories with weak exterior walls (weak curtain walls, large glass windows, etc.) when subject to 1 Mt weapon:

90 % survival at a peak overpressure of 5 psi
50 % survival at a peak overpressure of 7 psi
10 % survival at a peak overpressure of 11 psi








Above: because it didn't contain charcoal cooking stoves surrounded by paper screens and bamboo furnishings, this American two-story wood frame house survived unburned 25 cal/cm2 thermal radiation with just white-washed paint (which was quickly charred off) before the house was blown up by 5 psi (35 kPa) peak overpressure at 3,500 feet from 16 kt UPSHOT KNOTHOLE-ANNIE on 17 March 1953, Nevada Test Site; anti-civil defense propaganda in 2004 Cornell-published book by Lynn Eden Whole World on Fire while quoting in detail Dr Glasstone's 1957 Effects of Nuclear Weapons statement that the house had whitewash on it (just like most wooden houses) completely ignores the fact that Dr Glasstone states in paragraph 7.30 on page 292 of the 1957 Effects of Nuclear Weapons: 'a material which blackens (or chars) readily in the early stages of exposure to thermal radiation behaves essentially as black, i.e., as a strong absorber irrespective of its original color. [Emphasis added.] On the other hand, if smoke is formed [by dark coloured wood] it will partially shield the underlying material from the subsequent radiation.' Lynn Eden also ignores the facts that:

(1) the ordinary white-washed (quite normal) house did not ignite or burn despite being charred by the thermal flash and covered in black smoke due to thermal radiation. Lynn falsely claims that the whitewash was a 'heroic' precaution to avoid ignition. But it was burned off. Even unpainted poles in Hiroshima didn't catch fire, they just charred. Window blinds were blown in by the blast. So these things which Lynn biasedly sees as bad didn't prevent fire, because as other tests like ENCORE (which we will discuss below in detail) proved it takes more than a brief pulse of heat to set thick wood on fire. Anyway, the safeguards aren't 'bad' but are actually good benefits which would help survival by minimising glass fragments and flash burns. Contrary to the totally false and civil defence demeaning impression given by Lynn Eden's prejudiced, partial quotations from Dr Glasstone's 1957 edition, rooms don't need metal window blinds: in an attack warning you can instantly protect rooms containing beds or upholstered furniture and a window which would potentially let in thermal radiation by simply drawing curtain, or by simply taping sheets of white paper over the inside of the window glass - which will protect against thermal radiation for the crucial interval of time until the delayed arrival of the blast wave!

(2) the basement survived, and

(3) the house was not knocked over by the blast overpressure; the front was cracked by the reflected overpressure and the roof was peeled off by the blast winds, but then the house exploded due to the low pressure (suction) phase of the blast occurring while there was still overpressure trapped inside the house (which had entered through the windows but could not escape as fast as the external pressure dropped). This is vital because it shows that most of the debris (with the exception of window glass) was blown outwards from the exploding house, not inwards against the occupants. Although debris landed on the family car and dented the roof, it could still be driven away after the explosion, illustrating that the debris load from the collapse of a house is not always the end of the universe as portrayed by evil propaganda:

‘We have often been accused of underestimating the fire situation ... we are unrepentant in spite of the television utterances of renowned academic scientists ... Air cannot get into a pile of rubble 80% of which is incombustible anyway. This ... is the result of a very complete study of some 1,600 flying bomb incidents ... Secondly, there is a considerable degree of shielding of one building by another ... Thirdly, even when the windows of a building can "see" the fireball, and something inside is ignited ... even with the incendiary bomb the chance of a continuing fire developing in a small room is only 1 in 5 ...’

– George R. Stanbury, ‘The Fire Hazard from Nuclear Weapons’, Fission Fragments, Scientific Civil Defence Magazine, No. 3, August 1962, pp. 22-6, British Home Office, Scientific Adviser’s Branch, originally classified 'Restricted'.


‘Dense smoke, and even jets of flame, may be emitted, but the material does not sustain ignition... smoke formed in the early stages will partially shield the underlying material from subsequent radiation. This behaviour is illustrated in the photographs taken of one of the wood-frame houses exposed in the 1953 Nevada tests... the house front became covered with a thick black smoke... within less than 2 seconds from the explosion, the smoke ceased... Ignition of the wood did not occur... The thermal energy incident upon the material was apparently dissipated in the kinetic energy of the "exploding" surface molecules before the radiation could penetrate into the depth of the material.’

– Dr Samuel Glasstone and Philip J. Dolan, editors, The Effects of Nuclear Weapons, U.S. Department of Defence, 1977, pp. 285-6.

‘The measured total radiation at [9.1-km] from the centre was 0.29 calories/cm2 ... Examination of the specimen exposed at [975 m] shows ... the charred layer does not appear to be thicker than 1/10 millimetre.... scorching of the fir lumber used to support signal wires extended out to about [1.9 km] ... the risk of fire due to the radiation ... is likely to be much less than the risk of fire from causes existing in the buildings at the time of explosion.’ – W. G. Marley and F. Reines, July 16th Nuclear Explosion: Incendiary Effects of Radiation, Los Alamos report LA-364, October 1945, originally Secret, pp. 5-6.

‘Persons exposed to nuclear explosions of low or intermediate yield may sustain very severe burns on their faces and hands or other exposed areas of the body as a result of the short pulse of directly absorbed thermal radiation. These burns may cause severe superficial damage similar to a third-degree burn, but the deeper layers of the skin may be uninjured. Such burns would heal rapidly [emphasis added; this is true unless the person also receives a concurrent massive nuclear radiation dose], like mild second-degree burns.’

– Dr Samuel Glasstone and Philip J. Dolan, editors, The Effects of Nuclear Weapons, U.S. Department of Defence, 1977, p. 561.

The 1950 edition of the U.S. Department of Defense Effects of Atomic Weapons, edited by Dr Glasstone, on pages 392-9 justifies each protective action:

'If a person is in the open when the sudden illumination is apparent, then the best plan is instantaneously to drop to the ground, while curling up so as to shade the bare arms and hands, neck and face with the clothed body. ... A person who is inside a building or home when a sudden atomic bomb attack occurs should drop to the floor, with the back to the window, or crawl behind or beneath a table, desk, counter, etc.; this will also provide a shield against splintered glass due to the blast wave. The latter may reach the building some time after the danger from radiation has passed, and so windows should be avoided for about a minute, since the shock wave continues for some time after the explosion. ... planning will be necessary to avoid panic, for mass hysteria could convert a minor incident into a major disaster.'



Above: although American wood-frame houses offer less blast protection indoors than brick houses, they mostly have basements which are ideal for improvised shelters such as strong tables, because nuclear test data from OPERATION UPSHOT-KNOTHOLE at Nevada in 1953 and OPERATION TEAPOT at Nevada in 1955 showed that the blast winds carry most of the debris past the house, so that the debris load on the basement is minimal and survival is easy there (below).



'This report contains information on protective capabilities of a variety of different personnel shelters against prompt effects of nuclear weapons. This information was collected from previous studies performed for DCPA in this subject area. Protective capabilities are expressed in terms of 'people survivability functions' which relate the probability of survival (or percent survivors) to the free field overpressure at the shelter site. Respective shelters are described in terms of their geometry and material properties. The following shelter categories are included. (1) Existing Engineered Buildings (Upper Stories and Basements), (2) Designed Basements, (3) Single-Purpose Shelters, (4) Dual-Purpose Shelters, (5) Expedient and Special Purpose Shelters and (6) Expediently Upgraded Shelters.'

'Casualty mechanisms included blast translation terminating in impact with hard surfaces and interaction with debris from the breakup of the building walls, partitions, furniture, etc.'


Above: proof of duck and cover effectiveness for reducing the blast wind drag from standing and lying anthropometric dummy human beings at an ideal peak overpressure of 5.3 psi / 37 kPa (with 0.964 second positive phase duration) at 1,622 metres from PLUMBBOB-PRISCILLA (37 kt, 700 ft balloon, 24 June 1957, Nevada) where the standing dummy was blasted 13 feet in the air before hitting the ground and tumbling for 9 feet, coming to rest 22 feet from the starting point, but the lying dummy was not even moved. In the PLUMBBOB-SMOKY test (44 kt, 700 ft tower, 21 August 1957, Nevada), dummies were exposed to a non-ideal precursor-type blast wave such as occurs over dark coloured desert sand (which is popcorned into a hot dust cloud which increases the density of the air and increases the dynamic pressure and duration of the blast wave while reducing the peak overpressure) and were displaced considerably larger distances by the increased dynamic pressure impulse of the precursor (like a dust storm). However, for cities which are not covered in dark desert sand, a precursor will not occur, as demonstrated by nuclear tests over water and light colour surfaces. (Source: Donald R. Richmond and Clayton S. White, Biological Effects of Blast and Shock, Lovelace Foundation for Medical Education and Research, report AD638342, DASA1777, 1966. ‘We were fortunate enough at a 5 psi station in one of the 1957 shots in Nevada to photograph the time-displacement history of a 160-pound [standing] dummy, and we were able from analysis of the movies to determine the maximal velocity reached ... about 21 feet per second. This velocity developed in 0.5 second. The total displacement of the dummy was near 22 feet ... It was this piece of empirical information that helped greatly in getting an analytical “handle” on the “treatment” of man as missile.’ – Dr Clayton S. White, who worked on nuclear weapon blast effects at Nevada test series’ Upshot-Knothole (1953), Teapot (1955) and Plumbbob (1957), Testimony to the U.S. Congressional Hearings, 22-26 June 1959, Biological and Environmental Effects of Nuclear War, U.S. Government Printing Office, 1959, pp. 364-5.)

‘... it must be recognised that the amount of protection that will be available to individuals is, in a large degree, directly related to the extent of public knowledge concerning nuclear weapons effects and associated protective measures ... By falling prone and covering exposed portions of the body or getting behind opaque objects, much of the thermal radiation may be avoided, especially in the case of large-yield detonations ... Staying behind thick walls or lying in a deep ditch may help to avoid initial nuclear radiation ... the above actions will also help to decrease the possible danger from the blast wave.’ - Samuel Glasstone, The Effects of Nuclear Weapons, U.S. Department of Defense, 1962, pp. 660-1.

Further evidence on blast displacement is available from British nuclear test studies of human displacement. In 1948, R. H. A. Liston of the Atomic Research Establishment, UK, did a theoretical study of the displacement of man by a blast wave (The kinematic effect of blast on a man in the open, ARE Report 1/48), in which he assumed a drag coefficient for a standing man of 0.8, and predicted that a standing 76 kg man would be displaced 20 feet by a blast of 7 psi peak overpressure from a 20 kt bomb. For a peak overpressure of 3 psi, he predicted a displacement of 4 ft. On 27 September 1956 Liston's theory was checked out and found to make perfect predictions for a nearly ideal blast wave and soft ground at the 15 kt BUFFALO-1 nuclear test at Maralinga, Australia, by W. J. H. Butterfield et al., The Effects of Blast on Dummy Men Exposed in the Open, Atomic Weapons Reearch Establishment report AWRE-T2/59 (1959). For a peak overpressure of 6.4 psi, standing dummies facing BUFFALO-1 were displaced 16 feet, while those standing sideways were displaced only 10 feet. At a peak overpressure of 4.3 psi, standing dummies facing the burst were displaced 4 feet, while those standing sideways to the burst were only displaced 3 feet:

Psi_____________Facing burst_____Sideways to burst
10______________10.5 m_____________6 m
8.5_____________9 m________________5 m
6.4_____________5 m________________3 m
4.3_____________1.25 m_____________1 m
2.4_____________0.67 m_____________0 m

Information on the effects of human impacts and displacements are plentiful: car accidents and impact fall statistics are available. A person free-falling 1 m gains a velocity, v = (2gH)1/2 = 4.4 m/s. If the person lands prepared, feet-first with the knees slightly bent (to avoid transmitting the shock to the spine), this fall is usually safe; but head first this impact speed can result in being knocked unconscious and possibly suffering a cracked skull. If a person falls from a great altitude (such as suicide attempts from a high cliff, bridge or aircraft) without a parachute, then air drag becomes important and causes an average terminal velocity of v = [2g/(acceleration coefficient * air density)]1/2 = 51 m/s, which almost always proves to be lethal. However, there are cases of survival due to luck or to landing on soft surfaces, even from great heights. For example, see Christopher K. Kepler, et al., ‘Orthopaedic Injuries Associated With Fall From Floor Forty-Seven’, Journal of Orthopaedic Trauma, vol. 23, No. 2, Feb. 2009, pp. 154-158: ‘This case report provides background reviewing mortality rates associated with falls from height before detailing the clinical history of a patient who survived a fall from a height of 43 stories.’

For a curve of survival incidence versus number of stories fallen, see: Sylvia M. Ramos and Harry M. Delany, ‘Free Falls From Heights: A Persistent Urban Problem’, Journal of the National Medical Association, vol. 78, no. 2, February 1986, pp. 111–115. U.K. data for road accidents indicates that 50% lethal trauma occurs for a person hit by a car moving at only 13.4 m/s (such casualties suffer additional injuries from tumbling after the initial impact). There is also good survival data from patients jumping out of windows in burning hospitals: W. S. Lewis, et al., ‘Jumpers syndrome: The trauma of high free fall as seen at Harlem Hospital’ Journal of Trauma, vol. 5, no. 6, Nov. 1965, pp. 812-8. Suicide attempts from bridges and cliffs as well as parachute failure data also help to determine the exact effects from decelerative impact to different parts of the body, which we will discuss in detail in a later post.

‘Collapse of a brick house is expected to result in approximately 25% mortality, 20% serious injury and 10% light injury to the occupants. Reinforced concrete structures, though much more resistant to blast forces, will produce almost 100% mortality on collapse ... based on data from British World War II experience ... for cases where the population expects bombing and most personnel have selected the safest places in the buildings.’ – Philip J. Dolan, editor, Capabilities of Nuclear Weapons, U.S. Department of Defence, DNA-EM-1, 1978, c. 10, p. 5, Secret – Restricted Data. This data comes in part from the effects of the 12,000 German V1 subsonic cruise missiles and V2 supersonic rockets, each armed with a similar-sized 0.001 kt warhead. Because the V1 cruise missile was subsonic and made a well-known pulsating engine sound, people had more time to take cover and therefore each V1 only killed an average of 2.8 people, compared to 5 people per V2 supersonic rocket because there was no warning. The first sound from the V2 was the explosion shock.

The collapse of buildings creates voids since the weight of debris depends just on the mass of the building, not upon the blast pressure, so survival under a strong table or staircase in a brick house proved possible during World War II. In wood frame houses at Hiroshima, about 50% of people trapped were able to free themselves and escape before the firestorm (5% were rescued by others), while in brick houses in Britain only 25% could escape of their own accord, because the brick debris was much heavier. Bricks cannot burn, so there is a lower fire risk in brick houses. The major problem is explained clearly in Robert Jungk's book, Children of the Ashes, Heinemann, London, 1961, which cites a report in Hiroshima by American psychologist Woodbury Sparks called Panic Among A-Bomb Casualties at Hiroshima which showed that due to their surprise at the effects of the nuclear explosion, only 26 percent (153 out of a random sample of 589 bomb survivors in Hiroshima) gave any assistance at all to anybody else after the explosion. Seeing that the majority of the people in each city survived and that a major cause of death was the burning of blast damaged wooden houses containing persons trapped by blast debris, a lot more could have been done if people had been prepared. This is one of the civil defence lessons from Hiroshima: the emotional shock prevented proper action. Effective civil defence training in the solid, unvarnished facts about nuclear effects phenomenology can avert this shock, enabling help to be given more efficiently where and when practical to save lives and minimise injury.

Regarding vehicle displacement, four heavy British Army Daimler Scout Cars were exposed to the 6-kt ANTLER-2 test at Maralinga, 25 September 1957 (report AWRE-T6/59). The car exposed side-on to a peak overpressure of 76-kPa at 527 m was just turned on its side without significant displacement, and cars exposed at 48-kPa or less (671 m or more) were unmoved, although the flash scorched the paint and ‘slightly charred’ tyres facing detonation.


Above: effects of blast wind drag on a standing anthropometric dummy human being at a peak overpressure of 6 psi (41 kPa) during the 0.5 kt SAILOR HAT-CHARLIE shot at Kahoolawe Island in Hawaii on 16 April 1965. The dummy briefly behaves like superman, taking off and flying, then summersaulting gymnastically through the air before hitting the camera. A basketball beside the dummy shows the motion of a less aerodynamic object to this blast wave. You can see the 0.5 kt explosion fireball in the background. Contrary to anti-civil defense propaganda, duck and cover would have saved a human being in this situation: 'it requires about 8 times the blast wind force to move a person who is lying down compared to a standing person. People crouched or lying down also offer a much poorer target to glass shards and debris missiles. [Not to mention thermal radiation shadowing.]' (Panel 11 of DCPA Attack Environment Manual: Chapter 2, What the Planner Needs to Know about Blast and Shock, U.S. Department of Defense, report CPG 2-1A2, June 1973.)


Above: the gas holder paint (actually bitumen) deception by the Americans: the photo on the left was taken by the U.S. Strategic Bombing Survey and published as Figure 7.50b the 1962 book The Effects of Nuclear Weapons as being ‘Paint on gas holder scorched by the thermal radiation, except where protected by the valve (1.33 miles from ground zero at Hiroshima)’, while that on the right is the British Government’s Photo No. 23 of the Report of the British Mission to Japan, 1946, showing that there was no scorched paint at that distance, but just melted bitumen, stating: ‘Shadow cast by valve-wheel on side of gasholder 1.25 miles from the centre of damage. The bituminous coating on the steel plates was affected by heat radiation except where shielded by the wheel and spindle.’ Since bitumen melts more easily than paint scorches, the American book gives a wildly deceptive exaggeration of the true thermal effect. The shadow effect in fact proves that direct, not scattered, thermal radiation predominates even at large distance where scattering is significant, which makes simple line-of-sight shielding effective. Notice that the valve that cast the shadow has not been vaporised! Anti-civil defense propaganda shows similar shadows cast by people with the false and pathetic claim that (since the person walked away) they ‘must’ certainly have been vaporised. Many political American and British anti-civil defence propaganda organisations, formerly funded by the Soviet Union, published a photo of a human shadow, claiming that the person was vaporised, ‘ceased to exist’. The objective was to discourage any duck-and-cover civil defence as being ‘useless’. In fact, the shadow is not the ash of a vaporised person but the shadow of a person with very painful skin flash burns! The vast amount of energy necessary to vaporise a human being (mainly water), compared to the thermal energy delivered, disproves the vaporisation claim (a myth invented to devalue civil defence by those either ignorant or sinisterly inhumane for political purposes): those exposed directly who did not ‘duck and cover’ received very painful burns, window glass fragments, and unshielded nuclear radiation.







Above: Hiroshima wasn't vaporised. A firestorm developed half an hour later (by which time the radioactive mushroom cloud had been blown several miles downwind) from thousands of blast-overturned charcoal cooking braziers (being used at breakfast time when the Hiroshima bomb was dropped; the Nagasaki bomb was dropped at lunch time) inside wood frame houses filled with bamboo furnishings and paper screens. There had been no rain for many weeks. The mechanism