“... 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 https://nige.wordpress.com/2010/07/08/understanding-quantum-gravity/). 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"). (For the essential so-called "overkill" background or Sir Slim's "the more you use, fewer you lose" success formula for 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.)

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.

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).

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 Uncle Sam's folk.)

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.”

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: 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.

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:


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.

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).


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


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.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Ignition of fires by thermal radiation exposure

The 1950 U. S. Department of Defense book The Effects of Atomic Weapons stated on page 212: “It has been estimated ... that the physical damage to buildings, etc., equivalent to that at Hiroshima could be produced by approximately 325 tons of high explosive and about 1,000 tons of incendiary bombs.”

J. Bracciaventi and F. DeBold, Critical Radiant Exposures for Persistent Ignition of Cellulosic Target Complex Materials, Naval Material Lab., Brooklyn, report AD-249476, DASA-1194, July 1960:

"Winds up to 10 mph caused differences in radiant exposures for ignition up to 50%, and conditioning at relative humidities from 20 to 100% changed ignition exposures by 70%."

“Measurements were made to determine the irradiance and time necessary to produce glow and flaming ignition in ponderosa pine, Douglas fir, and maple. ... It was concluded that for sound solid woods of a normal moisture content, it is almost impossible to start continued ignition with nuclear weapons of a size less than about 100 Mt at a distance where blast damage would not be severe.”

- F. W. Brown, III, Ignition of Thick Wood Specimens by High-Temperature Thermal Radiation, Naval Civil Engineering Laboratory, California, 1965, AD0475535.

The 1957 U. S. Department of Defense book The Effects of Nuclear Weapons stated on page 307 that only 2 and 4 cal/cm2 were required by 20 kt and 10 Mt nuclear weapons, respectively, to ignite shredded newspaper, and on page 308 it stated that only 4 and 9 cal/cm2 were required by 20 kt and 10 Mt nuclear weapons, respectively, to ignite dry rotted wood. However, on pages 322-3 it stated: “Definite evidence was obtained from Japanese observers that the thermal radiation caused thin, dark cotton cloth, such as the black-out curtains that were in common use during the war [to stop enemy bombers from easily identifying cities by their illumination], thin paper, and dry, rotted wood to catch fire at distances up to 3,500 feet (0.66 mile) from ground zero (about 35 calories per square centimetre).”

In fact, the never-published secret source document for this statement, the U. S. Strategic Bombing Survey report number 92, The Effects of the Atomic Bomb on Hiroshima, Japan, May 1947 (not to be confused with the well-known deceptive unclassified propaganda report on both cities that they published in 1946), actually states on pages 4-6: “Six persons who had been in reinforced-concrete buildings within 3,200 feet [975 m] of air zero [i.e., (9752 - 6002)1/2 = 770 m ground range] 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....” The range of 770 metres is just 2,500 feet, not the 3,500 feet stated by Glasstone, 1957 (Glasstone misinterpreted the slant distance from air zero for the ground range).

So Glasstone 1957 on pages 307-8 stated that ignition of the most easily ignitable kindling materials, namely newspaper and dry rotted wood, from a 20 kt explosion occurs at 2-4 cal/cm2, while on pages 322-3 he stated that such ignitions required about 35 cal/cm2 for the nuclear explosions in Japan, an order of magnitude more energy! Part of this confusion was due to the effect of air humidity on water content of fine kindling, which - as everyone knows who as a kid has tried to light a fire using for kindling damp leaves or damp paper - is one key factor that increases the activation energy needed to start a fire. It also slows down fire spread, as at Hiroshima, where the fires had to drive out moisture from damp wooden houses, creating the black sooty rainfall when the moist sooty air condensed in the cool air high over the city. Like Hiroshima and Nagasaki, major strategic cities like New York, Los Angeles and London are either on the coast or on large river estuaries, which keeps the ground level humidity much higher than at the dry Nevada desert where most early ignition tests were made. Unlike Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945, no modern Western cities are built out of wood with easily flammable black colored wartime blackout curtains in the windows, which lowers the fire risk.

The same book points out on page 319 that in the dry air of the Nevada desert, only 12 cal/cm2 was needed at the 1953 Encore nuclear test to ignite houses made of rotted wood or surrounded by a trash filled yard and wooden fence (the whitewashed wooden house with a clear yard survived). Two wooden houses were also constructed for that test, exposing 4 x 6 foot windows with a line-of-sight exposure to ground zero. Both were subjected to the same 17 cal/cm2 thermal flash from the Encore nuclear test, and the one full of inflammables ignited with immediate flash-over to the entire room, while the one with modern fire-resistant furnishings survived with just minor smouldering which was extinguished by the recovery party when they entered the house an hour after the test.

A controversy over the 1957 Effects of Nuclear Weapons data flared up with the publication of J. Bracciaventi and F. DeBold, Critical Radiant Exposures for Persistent Ignition of Cellulosic Target Complex Materials, Naval Material Lab., Brooklyn, report AD-249476, DASA-1194, July 1960, which found that at 42% humidity newsprint needs at least 16 cal/cm2 for ignition. Glasstone wanted a check to be done before including the new data in The Effects of Nuclear Weapons, so the 1962 edition was published with the old false data, and the U. S. Naval Radiological Defense Laboratory and Naval Research Laboratory studied the problem, reporting in 1963 (e.g., S. Martin and A. Broido, Thermal Radiation and Fire Effects of Nuclear Detonations, 10 may 1963, AD042241, and S. Martin, Ignition of Cellulosic Kindling Fuels by Very Brief Radiant Pulses, USNRDL-TR-660, AD414174, 15 July 1963), which led to Glasstone’s February 1964 reprint of The Effects of Nuclear Weapons with corrected thermal ignition data, which is also used in the 1977 edition. One continuing problem with those simplified data tables is that they still do not state the humidity they actually apply to, and more importantly they ignore the effects of humidity on the inflammable thick-fuel materials that the easily-ignited fine tinder materials must ignite to cause persistent ignition:

Above: the three stages are usually required to start a persistent fire. Although the thermal radiation pulse can often both dry out and ignite fine kindling from a nuclear explosion with only a moderate increase in the required thermal energy as the humidity level rises, the effect of rising humidity on the ability of the ignited fine tinder to spread fire to thicker damp materials like kindling and wood, is disproportionate, so you get temporary ignition of fine tinder which then fails to cause a persistent fire. The reason is that damp thick-fuel materials like wood are disproportionately harder to ignite than thin damp materials like paper. The thermal pulse can dry out and then ignite paper because it is thin. The thermal pulse cannot dry out thick damp wood.

Glasstone and Dolan fail to take account of this problem in The Effects of Nuclear Weapons and Capabilities of Nuclear Weapons. This conceptual error in the analysis used for the effects of humidity in these manuals dates right back to 1952 Nevada nuclear test experiments in a dry desert, which just focussed on the moisture content of the tinder material and ignored the difficulty in starting a fire in a thick-fuel at the same humidity level using ignited fine tinder materials. Although fairly dry tree rotted tree punk could be ignited and sustain ignition, in reality it did not automatically cause a threat of igniting damp trees.

See the extensive summary of nuclear test data on ignition of kindling in H. D. Bruce and W. L. Fons, Effect of Moisture Content on the Critical Ignition Energies of Some Combustible Materials, Forest products Laboratory, Madison, Wi., report AD0153166, AFSWP-794, Secret - Formerly Restricted Data (original classification due to the summary of nuclear weapons test data on thermal ignition energies), October 1957 (notice the tardy date of publication, after Glasstone's June 1957 Effects of Nuclear Weapons and the November 1957 Capabilities of Atomic Weapons), which concludes on page 8:

“The thinner the material, the less the effect moisture content has on the critical ignition energy.”

Keith Arnold, Operation Snapper, Project 8.1, Effects of Atomic Explosions on Forest Fuels, U. S. Forest Service, Washington, D. C., AD0648231, WT-506, 1952: “Project 8.1 was designed to determine minimum thermal energies required to ignite common forest fuels, to determine blast-wave effect on persistence of ignition, and to provide field data against which laboratory source tests could be scaled. Prepared fuel beds of conifer needles, hardwood leaves, grasses, and rotten wood were exposed in Operation Snapper to total energies varying from 1 to 22 cal/sq cm. Thickness and density of fuel particles were determined prior to the test. Fuel moisture at shot time was measured in duplicate fuel beds, similarly located but outside the test area. Post-test fuel examinations showed that punky materials and fine grasses ignited and continued to burn at distances from ground zero where total thermal energy was approximately 3 cal/sq cm. Following Shots 3 and 4 punky materials were still burning upon recovery at H+2 hours.” [Although dry fine tinder materials ignited and continued to burn in the dry Nevada desert, they didn't constitute a threat of spreading fire to damp thick wood, which the thermal pulse could not dry out, as proved by Pacific nuclear test data we will review later in this post.]

“Sections simulating four types of frame building structures were exposed to Tumbler Shots 3 and 4. The four types were: (1) cubicle room with furnishings, (2) wall-corner, (3) cornice-corner, and (4) roof. Sections 2 and 3 were exposed with and without a fine flash fuel. Douglas-fir springwood was charred at least slightly out to about 13,000 feet (radiant exposure 5.1 cal/cm2) by Shot 4. Sustained burning, either as glowing or flaming, took place only in fine fuels. It was concluded that the flash of radiant energy from an atomic explosion; will set sustained primary fire in fine fuel, but in general not in more massive fuels such as lumber and plywood.”

- H. D. Bruce, Operation Snapper, Nevada Proving Grounds. Project 8.5. Incendiary Effects of Atomic Bomb Tests on Building Sections at Yucca Flat, Forest Products Lab., Madison, Wi., ADA995247, October 1952.

Above: the reported data in Glasstone and Dolan's Effects of Nuclear Weapons for thermal flash burns to skin is misleading since such burns would be prevented by normal clothing, as demonstrated from these Operation Cue photographs of dummies located at 1.3 mile (7,000 feet) from ground zero of the 29 kiloton Teapot-Apple II nuclear test, Nevada, May 5, 1955. Notice that the clothing failed to ignite and burn, despite being dark in colour, although it was bleached slightly in colour, and dark patterns in a light dress produced scorching to the underwear. Data on the protection against thermal radiation by clothing is given in the originally Confidential-classified 1957 Capabilities of Atomic Weapons, Table 6-2, page 6-4 (up to 120 cal/cm2 are required for skin blistering under clothing for large weapon yields, a large protection factor, since even if clothing does ignite the thermal radiation is directional so a person can roll over to extinguish the flames as the thermal pulse subsides; thermal radiation pulses are not like being doused with burning gasoline, contrary to anti-civil defense propaganda which in the 1980s ignored all the facts about actual thermal radiation pulse exposure and instead quoted the "example" of a man with 85% body area third-degree burns from being doused in burning gasoline, who died 33 days later at Massachusetts General Hospital after being given 501 blood transfusions including 281 units of plasma, 147 units of red cells, 37 units of platelets and 36 units of albumin, plus 6 operations and 4,900 medical personnel hours at a cost of $3,500 a day: all this proves is that being doused in burning gasoline has nothing to do with thermal radiation induced clothing ignitions). This data is omitted from unclassified books by Glasstone and Dolan.

U. S. Strategic Bombing Survey, The Effects of the Atomic Bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, 19 June 1946:

Page 5: “In Hiroshima (and in Nagasaki also) the dwellings were of wood construction; about one-half were one story and the remainder either one and one-half or two stories. ... The type of construction, coupled with antiquated fire-fighting equipment [stored in wooden sheds] and inadequately trained personnel, afforded even in peacetime a high possibility of conflagration. Many wood framed industrial buildings were of poor construction by American standards. The principal points of weakness were the extremely small tenons, the inadequate tension joints, and the inadequate or poorly designed lateral bracings.”

Page 17: “Because of the brief duration of the flash wave and the shielding effects of almost any objects – leaves and clothing as well as buildings – there were many interesting cases of protection. ... The most striking instance was that of a man writing before a window. His hands were seriously burned but his exposed face and neck suffered only slight burns due to the angle of entry of the radiant heat through the window.”

Page 18: “... the thicker the clothing the more likely it was to give complete protection against flash burns. ... skin was burned beneath tightly fitting clothing but was unburned beneath loosely fitting portions. ... dark-colored clothing were most likely to be burned. ...”

Page 19: “A few burns resulted from clothing set afire by the flash wave, but in most cases people were able to beat out such fires without serious injury to the skin.”

Page 32: “Clothing ignited, though it could be quickly beaten out, telephone poles charred, thatched roofs of houses caught fire. In Hiroshima, the explosion started hundreds of fires almost simultaneously, the most distant of which was found 13,700 feet from ground zero; this, however, probably started when a building with a thatched roof collapsed on to a hot charcoal fire. Fires were started directly by flash heat in such easily ignitable substances as dark cloth, paper, or dry-rotted wood, within about 3,500 feet of ground zero; white-painted, concrete-faced or cement-stuccoed structures reflected the heat and did not ignite. ... The majority of the initial fires in buildings, however, were started by secondary sources (kitchen charcoal fires, electric short circuits, industrial process fires, etc.). ... Clothing as well as buildings afforded considerable protection against the flash. Even a clump of grass or tree leaf was on occasion adequate.”

Above: film of the Effects of Nuclear Weapons, including Encore nuclear test thermal ignition experiments on countermeasures against fire.

Above: thermal ignition nuclear test pages from Glasstone, 1964. Normal white-washed wood can't be ignited readily by yields below about 100 megatons unless it has paper trash piled around it or is decayed, because the thermal pulse is so short that a cloud of black smoke forms by ablation of less than 1 mm thickness of the wood. The smoke screens the underlying wood, preventing ignition as will be demonstrated.

"THERMAL IGNITION OF FRAMEHOUSES", testimony by Dr Frank H. Shelton (Technical Director of the U.S. Armed Forces Special Weapons Project), on page 28 of the U.S Congressional Joint Committee on Atomic Energy, Special Subcommittee on Radiation, Hearings entitled The Biological and Environmental Effects of War, June 22-26, 1959

Dr Shelton was asked to resolve the uncertainty as to whether persistent ignition can occur to a wooden house in a nuclear attack (in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, no houses were ignited by direct thermal radiation on the wood; instead the blast wave overturned charcoal cooking braziers used at breakfast time 8:15 am in Hiroshima and for preparing lunch at 12:01 pm in Nagasaki, although a few fires were ignited as we shall see in black-colored air raid "black out" curtains in windows - which are no longer used, modern light-colored curtains requiring far larger ignition energies). Shelton responded by assembling extracts from four paragraphs (7.62, 7.93, 7.82 and 7.38)
of Glasstone's June 1957 Effects of Nuclear Weapons as follows:

"7.62 Wood is charred by exposure to thermal radiation, the depth of the char being closely proportional to the energy received. For sufficiently large amounts of energy, wood in some massive forms may exhibit transient flaming, but persistent ignition is improbable under the conditions of a nuclear explosion. However, the transitory flame may ignite adjacent combustible material which is not directy exposed to the radiation. ...

"7.93 From the evidence of charred wood found at both Hiroshima and Nagasaki, it was originally concluded that such wood had actually been ignited by thermal radiation and that the flames were subsequently extinguished by the blast. But it now seems more probable that, apart from some exceptional instances, such as [the ignition of adjacent combustible trash by the transient flames], there was no actual ignition of the wood. The absorption of the thermal radiation caused charring in sound wood but the temperatures were generally not high enough for ignition to occur. Rotted and checked wood and excelsior, however, have been known to bur completely, and the flame is not greatly affected by the blast wave.

"7.82 The fact that accumulations of ignitable trash close to a wooden structure represent a real fire hazard was demonstrated at the nuclear tests carried out in Nevada in 1953. In these tests, three miniature wooden houses, each having a yard enclosed with a wooden fence, were exposed to 12 calories per square centimeter of thermal radiation. One house, at the left, had weathered siding showing considerable decay, but the yard was free from trash. The next house also had a clean yard; and, further, the exterior siding was well maintained and painted. In the third house, at the right, the siding which was poorly maintained, was weathered, and the yard was littered with trash.

"7.38 The state of the three houses after the explosion was as follows: the third house, at the right, soon burst into flame and was burned to the ground. The first house, on the left, did ignite but it did not burst into flame for 15 minutes. The well-maintained house in the center with a clean yard suffered scorching only."

Above: people escaping the firestorm in the bamboo furnishings and paper screen filled wooden houses at Hiroshima, where thermal ignition was due to black coloured air-raid "blackout" curtains (which ignite easily, unlike light colours), and the overturning of thousands of household charcoal cooking braziers used during the breakfast-time attack in Hiroshima (the Nagasaki attack occurred when lunch was being prepared). The firestorm did not develop instantly, and lying propaganda is debunked by the facts:

‘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 originally ‘secret’ May 1947 U.S. Strategic Bombing Survey report on Nagasaki states (vol. 1, p. 10):

‘... the raid alarm was not given ... until 7 minutes after the atomic bomb had exploded ... less than 400 persons were in the tunnel shelters which had capacities totalling approximately 70,000.’

This situation, of most people watching lone B-29 bombers, led to the severe burns by radiation and flying debris injuries in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The 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....

‘The fire wind, which blew always toward the burning area, reached a maximum velocity of 30 to 40 miles [48-64 km] per hour 2 to 3 hours after the explosion ... 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 within the outer perimeter which finally encompassed 4.4 square miles [11 square km]. Most of the fire had burned itself out or had been extinguished on the fringe by early evening ... There were no automatic sprinkler systems in building...’

The vital six secret volumes of the U.S. Strategic Bombing Survey consist of three volumes on Hiroshima dated May 1947 and three on Nagasaki dated June 1947. (These are completely separate from the brief unclassified summary on the effects published by the U.S. Strategic Bombing Survey in 1946.) These secret volumes were finally declassified in 1972 and may be inspected at the British National Archives, as documents AIR 48/160, AIR 48/161, AIR 48/162, AIR 48/163, AIR 48/164, and AIR 48/165.

Dr Ashley Oughterson and Dr Shields Warren noted a fire risk in Medical Effects of the Atomic Bomb in Japan (McGraw-Hill, New York, 1956, p. 17):

‘Conditions in Hiroshima were ideal for a conflagration. Thousands of wooden dwellings and shops were crowded together along narrow streets and were filled with combustible material.’

Above: seasoned ponderosa pine and douglas fir wood was just surface-charred to less than 1 mm depth (regardless of intensity), and not ignited, by a 30 kiloton TEAPOT Nevada test in 1955. The depth of charring shown in the curves are experimentally accurate to within +/- 10 % and apply to normal incidence (face-on exposure). (If the wood is exposed at angle A to the direction of the fireball, the radiant exposure needed for the same depth of charring is increased by the factor 1/cosine A.) Source: Kyle P. Laughlin, Thermal Ignition and Response of Materials, Report to the Test Director, Operation TEAPOT, Nevada Test Site, February-May 1955, Office of Civil and Defense Mobilization, weapon test report WT-1198, December 1957 (declassified in July 1960), AD0611227. Laughlin exposed many inflammable materials to 30 kt Nevada nuclear weapons tests at Operation TEAPOT in 1955, discovering that thermal ignition to cause fires required thin kindling fuels (particularly newspaper litter, straw or sawdust), while thick inflammable materials such as plywood just undergo thermal ablation, i.e. the emission of smoke due to the vaporization of a fraction of a millimetre of the surface layer (e.g., the outer paint layer). The smoke produced in this way by the first part of the thermal radiation then shields and protects the underlying wood from reaching ignition temperature! Laughlin concludes his report as follows:

"Timber impregnated with flammable preservative oils, when painted with a white-pigmented fire-retarded coating composition [i.e. simply white-wash] whose chemical and physical characteristics fulfil requirements as specified by the Engineering Division of the Association of American Railroads, should be capable of resisting the thermal effects of atomic devices if the structure survives physically the effects of the blast wave. [For higher yield devices, even more thermal radiation exposure is required for the same effect, because the longer duration of the thermal pulse for bigger weapons produces a smaller temperature rise in any given material.]"

This had been known since the very first nuclear test, TRINITY (July, 16 1945):

‘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 [TRINITY, 1945]: Incendiary Effects of Radiation, Los Alamos report LA-364, October 1945, originally Secret, pp. 5-6.

“... the flow of heat [even within the fireball] into a massive object, such as a shot tower, shield, or coral rock, will be comparatively slow [in comparison to the brief duration of high fireball temperatures] even with a high temperature gradient. Consequently, the interior portions of large structures in the neighborhood [of the fireball] may not receive enough heat to evaporate ...”

- S. L. Whitcher, et al., Operation HARDTACK, Project 2.8, U.S. Naval Radiological Defense laboratory, weapon test report WT-1625 (1961), p. 12.

“The fact that only a thin layer of sand was actually either vaporized or melted, even though in contact with the fireball ... indicates that the thermal effects penetrate only superficially into solid material during the short duration of the very high temperatures. By computing the energy required to heat, decarbonate, and melt 264 tons of coral sand and to heat, melt and vaporize 165 tons of iron ... 8.5% of the available radiant energy [i.e., 3% of the 15.2 kt yield of the 61-m high tower REDWING-INCA test, because the radiant energy was 35% of the total energy of the explosion] was utilised for heating the tower and soil material.”

- Charles E. Adams and J. D. O’Connor, U.S. Naval Radiological Defense Laboratory, report USNRDL-TR-208, 1957, p. 13.

"An investigation was undertaken to determine the probability of ignition of thick woods by thermal radiation. ... Measurements were made to determine the irradiance and time necessary to produce glow and flaming ignition in ponderosa pine, Douglas fir, and maple. ... It was concluded that for sound solid woods of a normal moisture content, it is almost impossible to start continued ignition with nuclear weapons of a size less than about 100 Mt at a distance where blast damage would not be severe." [Emphasis added.]

- F. W. Brown, III, Ignition of Thick Wood Specimens by High-Temperature Thermal Radiation, Naval Civil Engineering Lab., California, 1965, report AD0475535.

"The radiant exposure to ignite tinder materials for thermal radiation from nuclear weapons was measured. The experiments involved 41 materials commonly encountered in urban areas and are to provide basic data of direct use in the determination of fires caused by nuclear weapons and to provide basic information for ignition prediction models. The radiant exposures for ignition of the most susceptible common material, newspaper (dark picture) ranged from 5.1 cal/cm2 to 31 cal/cm2 for bursts of 20 kt to 100 Mt respectively. Black roll roofing, a common material representing an important but less susceptible fuel, ignited at 38 cal/cm2 for a 1 MT pulse and 45 cal/cm2 for a 10 Mt pulse. Other thin fuels ignited at various intermediate or higher exposures."

- John Bracciaventi, R. Heilferty, and Willard L. Derksen, Radiant Exposures for Ignition of Tinder by Thermal Radiation from Nuclear Weapons, Naval Applied Science Lab., Brooklyn, 1966, report AD0640595.

ABOVE: U.S. Army photo showing how a mere leaf of Fatsia japonica attenuated the heat flash enough to prevent scorching to the bitumen on an electric pole near the Meiji Bridge, 1.3 km range, Hiroshima. It didn't even vaporize the leaf before the pulse ended, let alone did it somehow ignite the wooden pole (most photos claiming to show thermal flash radiation effects in Hiroshima and Nagasaki purely show effects from the fires set off by the blast wave overturning cooking stoves, which developed 30 minutes to 2 hours later).

'Even blades of grass cast permanent shadows on otherwise badly scorched wood. The [Hiroshima nuclear bomb heat] flash lasted less time than it took the grass to shrivel.' - Chapman Pincher, Into the Atomic Age, Hutchinson and Co., London, 1950, p. 50.

ABOVE: the heat flash radiation which causes the scorching is so unscattered or unidirectional that any shading from the fireball source stops it even if you are exposed to the scattered radiation from the rest of the sky: shadows still present in October 1945 in the bitumen road surface of Yorozuyo Bridge, 805 m SSW of ground zero, Hiroshima, pointed where the bomb detonated (U.S. Army photo).

“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.

“Measurements to determine critical ignition energies for various materials and depth of char in wood were made during Shot Cherokee [3.8 Mt air burst at 4,350 ft altitude, 21 May 1956] from stations on Sites Dog [Yurochi Island in the Bikini Atoll, 8.0 km from ground zero, 74 cal/cm2 measured] and George [Aomoen Island in the Bikini Atoll, 12 km from ground zero, 21 cal/cm2 measured]. In addition, various natural kindling fuels on several Islands were studied prior to and after the detonation. ... Some of the specimens of black and gray alpha-cellulose papers, newspapers, and pine needles were ignited ... None of the grass, cotton denim, rayon cloth, or white alpha-cellulose papers were ignited. Corrugated fiberboard was burned on Site Dog by the radiation.”

- Operation Redwing, Technical Summary of Military Effects, Programs 1-9, nuclear weapon tests report WT-1344, ADA995132, 1961, p 219.

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: 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.

As discussed in a previous post about blast caused fires in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, nuclear tests were conducted in 1953 and 1955 to see if white-washing wooden houses would reflect the heat flash and prevent ignition: it worked! Various types of full scale houses were exposed on March 17, 1953 to 16-kiloton Annie and on May 5, 1955 to 29-kiloton Apple-2 in Nevada. The front of the houses was charred during the intense radiant heat flash, but none of them ignited, even where the blast was severe enough to physically demolish the house. Fences and huts exposed at the 27 kiloton 8 May 1953 test, Encore, had to be covered in rubbish to ignite: see this film.

‘Dense smoke, and even jets of flame, may be emitted [by wood], but the material does not sustain ignition [directly by heat flash] ... 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.

Physically, wood and also skin are poor heat conductors. The top tenth of a millimetre can reach high surface temperatures briefly if exposed directly to a large thermal energy exposure from the fireball, but that doesn't mean they conduct heat effectively into the depth of material within the time available. House tiles at ground zero in Japan received around 100 cal/cm^2 or so and this blistered the surface, but only the very surface! You can briefly open and look into a conventional oven without being heated up vaporization point by the 250 C or whatever temperature of the food inside, because you take time to heat up. The heat flash from a nuclear detonation is not microwaves. It is just plain old fashioned infra-red, which gets stopped easily. Things which are good conductors of the heat flash also tend to reflect it and dissipate it. Metal for instance doesn't respond to the heat flash unless it is in an extremely thin foil. (There were some problems with U.S. aircraft flying near high-yield nuclear test explosions, when very thin alloy foil covering the wings and tail exposed to the fireball were weakened by the heat flash, just prior to the arrival of the blast wave, which was then able to bend or buckle the surface.)

'Walking across burning coals is no big deal ... just a matter of freshman physics: the coal simply does not have good enough heat conduction properties to transfer enough energy to your foot to burn it as you walk across.'

'When you are next baking some potatoes or a pie, open the oven. Everything in there is at the same really high temperature. You can touch (for a short time) the potatoes and the pie quite comfortably. But you would never touch the metal parts of the oven, right?'

Nevada, 8 May 1953. Wooden sheds resisted direct ignition by a thermal flash of 12 calories per square cm at ground range of 7,700 ft from the Encore nuclear test (27 kt air drop with detonation at 2,423 feet altitude), despite ‘smoking’ during exposure. But a badly decayed dark wooden fence and piles of old leaves and newspaper trash set their adjacent sheds on fire within 15 minutes. The light-painted shed with a tidy yard survived. These 'house in the middle' thermal ignition tests were documented and illustrated in Glasstone's Effects of Nuclear Weapons 1962-4 (page 343 for example), but the data were removed from the 1977 edition, along with the entire civil defence chapter, to make way for a new chapter on EMP damage.

The toroidal red (nitrogen dioxide colored) fireball seen from an aircraft casts a shadow on Nevada: 1953. The fireball does not last long near ground zero, because hot air rises.
The house on the left has a dark-coloured, unpainted, badly decayed fence; the house on the right has loads of rubbish (old newspapers, straw, etc.) piled against the fence. The house in the middle is clean and painted white.

The 12 cal./sq. cm light and thermal radiation hits the houses. The rubbish around the house on the right is already ignited.
The 3.5 psi peak overpressure blast wave arrives, with the wind pressure blowing up a dust cloud.
The decayed fence and the rubbish cause fires which spread to the adjacent houses.
Only the house in the middle survives, albeit scorched and battered from the heat and blast.
Notice scorching of white paint on fence and house. Blast partly demolished the door and fence.
Close up of rubbish of the house on the right igniting during radiant exposure of 12 cal./sq. cm.

Close up of 3.5 psi peak overpressure blast hitting the house, blowing flaming rubbish about and ripping off roof covering.

Wooden house is ignited by the resulting external fire within 15 minutes of detonation.
Remains look like Hiroshima.
Interior ignition tests: piles of inflammable newspaper trash indoors will set the house on the right on fire due to thermal radiation entering the large window and igniting newspapers and other kindering scattered around indoors, but the identical house beside it on the left will survive because inflammable trash has been removed.Page 343 of the 1962 edition of The Effects of Nuclear Weapons:

‘The value of fire-resistive furnishings in decreasing the number of ignition points was also demonstrated ... where the thermal radiation exposure was 17 calories per square cm... draperies were of vinyl plastic, and rugs and clothing were made of wool ... the recovery party, entering an hour after the explosion, was able to extinguish the fires [in the tidy house].’

The blast tears off part of the roof of each house.
Notice charring of the front of each house. But only the house on the right is ignited, due to heat flash entering through the window which has a clear line-of-sight view of the fireball, and igniting kindering (rubbish like old newspapers which was left scattered around).

The house on the left was did not burn (one chair was partly burned, but it was only smouldering at 1 hour after burst when the recovery party arrived, and they easily extinguished it). The other house (on the right) burned down completely; there is nothing but ash left.

Dr Ashley Oughterson and Dr Shields Warren noted a fire risk in Medical Effects of the Atomic Bomb in Japan (McGraw-Hill, New York, 1956, p. 17):

‘Conditions in Hiroshima were ideal for a conflagration. Thousands of wooden dwellings and shops were crowded together along narrow streets and were filled with combustible material.’

I've already quoted Stanbury's rebuttal of television propaganda about thermal effects from nuclear weapons on this blog:

Here is a taste of how Stanbury, who attended the October 1952 Hurricane 25 kt British test to measure the effects, reacted to senile physicists' 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'.


How Hiroshima and Nagasaki were ignited (mainly by blast overturning cooking stoves at 8.15 am - Breakfast time - and 12.01 pm - lunch time): http://glasstone.blogspot.com/2006/03/fires-from-nuclear-explosions.html

Thermal ignition is not a problem from bursts at high altitude or in space: http://glasstone.blogspot.com/2006/03/checkmate-detonation-as-seen-from.html


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. (More about building collapse and blast effects on survival can be found in the blog post linked here.)

Above: Mannequins at 2.1 km ground range from the 29-kt TEAPOT-APPLE 2 Nevada 500 ft altitude tower test on 5 May 1955. Clothes did not ignite, but the exposed colour of a dark suit faded while a dark pattern on a dress was burned on to the underwear. Clothing protects skin.

Above: UPSHOT KNOTHOLE-ENCORE 27 kt air burst at 2,423 feet altitude at the Nevada nuclear test, 8 May 1953. Wooden houses, black and white, resisted ignition by a thermal flash of 12 calories/cm2, despite ‘smoking’ during exposure. But a badly decayed dark wooden fence and piles of old leaves and newspaper trash set their adjacent houses on fire within 15 minutes. The light-painted house with a tidy yard survived. Far right: two wooden houses 10-by-12 feet in size with large windows facing ground zero were exposed to 17 calories/cm2 from ENCORE. In one house piles of inflammable newspaper trash indoors set a house on fire due to thermal radiation from ENCORE entering the large window, but an identical house beside it survived because inflammable trash had been removed! Page 343 of the 1962 edition of The Effects of Nuclear Weapons explains the significance of this ENCORE test:

‘The value of fire-resistive furnishings in decreasing the number of ignition points was also demonstrated ... where the thermal radiation exposure was 17 calories/cm2 ... draperies were of vinyl plastic, and rugs and clothing were made of wool ... the recovery party, entering an hour after the explosion, was able to extinguish the fires.’

Note that the house which did burn which was loaded with trash with a large window facing the fireball and underwent immediate room 'flashover' with no delay because all the easily ignited trash in it simultaneously burst into flames. Lynn Eden falsely makes a great issue out this fact in her 2004 book Whole World on Fire: Organizations, Knowledge, and Nuclear Weapons Devastation, on pages 256-7, where she simply ignores the vitally important civil defence fact that the identical house with the trash like old newspapers and highly inflammable old type furniture removed did not undergo instant flashover!

The immediate flashover effect was confirmed at the 1 kt high explosive test DIRECT COURSE in New Mexico, October 1983. There was no surprise there: light tinder filled rooms facing the fireball and irradiated with 17 cal/cm2 instantly burst into flame, but clean tidy rooms without trash don’t, even if they face the fireball. This is what ENCORE proved!

ENCORE nuclear test report on thermal ignition of wooden houses

H. D. Bruce, Incendiary Effects on Building and Interior Kindling Fuels, Project 8.11a, US Forest Service, Forest Products Laboratory. Albuquerque, NM.: Field Command, AFSWP, weapons test report WT-774 (AD0460272), December 1953. Abstract:

“This investigation was part of an overall thermal radiation program of the Armed Forces Special Weapons Project conducted to ascertain the thermal effects of atomic weapons. The purpose of this investigation was to obtain sufficient information on those factors which affect the initiation of primary fires to aid in the prediction of probability of primary fires being ignited in urban target areas by atomic weapons. The immediate objective of the combined laboratory and field program ... was to develop a method by which predictions could be made of the number and distribution of primary fires which may be expected from an atomic bomb detonation over any urban area. This program began with a survey of several selected cities to establish the frequency of occurrence of possible fuels and to develop survey techniques. This phase was followed by a laboratory program in which the more abundant external and internal kindling fuels, as well as selected building materials, were tested for their flammability as indicated by critical ignition energy values. The effect of blast in extinguishing flame was also considered. Field tests served to amplify and corroborate laboratory results.”

Thomas Goodale's report Effects of Air Blast on Urban Fires, URS Research Company, California, report URS 7009-14, also AD723429, December 1970, showed that where thermal radiation from a simulated 1 megaton burst ignites curtains and papers, the blast wave arrived and blew fires out. At 1 psi, 50% of burning curtains are extinguished by the blast wave, burning fragments from the remainder can be blown into the room by a peak overpressure of 1 psi. But in all case above 2.5 psi peak overpressure, 100% of incipient fires were extinguished by the blast wave, unless the whole room was filled with tindering like newspaper trash and directly facing the fireball so as to suffer immediate 'flashover' like the trash filled room exposed to ENCORE.

Blast winds displace flames and cool the burning material to temperatures below those needed for ignition, thus extinguishing fires. Burning beds, all curtains and upholstered furniture are only extinguished by peak overpressures of 2.5 psi and higher. The beds and upholstered furniture may then continue to smoulder, and can rekindle into fires after 15 minutes or more. During this time it is very easy to stamp out the potential fires.

Lynn Eden falsely comments on Goodale's research in her 2004 book Whole World on Fire: Organizations, Knowledge, and Nuclear Weapons Devastation, where she writes on page 218 that:

'The next year [1971] Goodale conducted more experiments ... One experiment examined the effects of blast overpressures of up to 9 psi on the smoulder that remained after the flames had been blown out. These findings, however, were not conclusive: "The higher overpressures did not produce a smoulder-extinction counterpart to the blowout of flames. No trend was evident".'

This statement about the trend in smoulder extinction with increasing peak overpressure, has nothing to do with the fact that blast waves do extinguish 100% of solid fuel (not burning liquid fuel pans or burning papers and trash such as in the ENCORE room) of incipient fires above 2.5 psi, even if some are left in a smouldering condition at high overpressures and can re-ignite if not dowsed with water or stamped out.

Lynn Eden continues:

'Another experiment showed a very different outcome in which low blast pressure could increase fire spread. In this study, Goodale subjected burning curtains to blast overpressures of 1 psi "only to discover that transport of burning curtain fragments may become a considerable hazard under suitable conditions".'

Ignition of curtains depends on the curtain colour (curtains with common white linings are resistant to ignition by thermal radiation), but if they are ignited it is true that when blasted into a room they can cause fires under some conditions. yet this does not discredit the finding that other internal room fires are blown out by the blast wave. Burning curtain fragments are easy to deal with, by stamping out. It is not an immediate flashover mechanism, like the trash filled ENCORE room.

Even where rooms are ignited by thermal radiation, this does not instantly spread burn the house down, unless the room is filled with fine tindering such as trash newspapers, magazines, etc., as in the ENCORE room which burned rapidly by immediate flashover (contrasted to the identical room without trash which did not undergo immediate flashover and was extinguished an hour later by the recovery party). It takes 17 minutes for 50% of normal living room fires to 'flashover' so that the whole room bursts into flame, and 8 minutes for 50% of bedroom bed ignitions to flashover to the rest of the room. (F. J. Vodvarka and T. E. Waterman, Fire Behavior, Ignition to Flashover, IIT Research Institute, Chicago, report AD618414, June 1965.) Until flashover occurs, it remains possible to extinguish the fire with water, sand, or by beating it out with wet blankets.

Collaborated evidence from observers at Hiroshima shows that the ignition of dark air raid blackout curtains occurred at up to 1.1 km from ground zero, whereas the more likely blast ignition due to overturned charcoal cooking stoves caused a firestorm to burn everything within an average radius of 1.9 km. Curtain ignition was limited to rooms facing the explosion with uninterrupted line-of-sight to the fireball. Now that upholstery fabrics are fire retardant by law, research has been done into the risk of internal house fires being started by bits of ignited window curtains being thrown into rooms. The main risk occurs if there are piles of old newspapers in the rooms which can act as tinder, because the wood used in flooring and furniture is too thick to be ignited before curtain fragments burn out. (Thomas Goodale, The Ignition Hazard to Urban Interiors During Nuclear Attack due to Burning Curtain Fragments Transported by Blast, URS Research Corp., San Mateo, California, report URS-7030-5, 1971.)

There are lots of simple countermeasures against thermal ignition in the threat of a nuclear attack. For rooms containing ignitable items like beds, upholstered furniture, or rugs: choose light-coloured curtains, paint a mixture of flour and water on to the inside of windows with a potential view of the fireball, or even better simply tape sheets of aluminium cooking foil over those particular windows. For other rooms and offices: dispose of loose combustible materials like newspapers, magazines and trash, and place in the rooms buckets filled with water or sand to use to extinguish fires before they can spread. Blankets soaked with water are useful to beat out tindering fires before they spread.

Lynn Eden goes on (pages 218-9):

'Many studies followed, but the results were inconclusive. One experiment undertaken in the spring of 1973 ... subjected twenty pans of burning fuel to blast ... "no fire at any of the three stations was extinguished by the shock wave". ... Some experiments ... appeared to bear out Goodale's findings, others did not.'

This is dishonest because burning liquid in pans involves the circulation of hot convection currents of liquid with a much higher specific heat capacity (heat retaining ability) than air. Solid fuels only circulate hot gases, which have a low specific heat capacity and so are easily blown out by a blast of relatively cool air. But burning liquid is totally different and can be much harder to extinguish once the liquid is heated to ignition temperature by convection currents within it. This has nothing to to with the extinguishing nature of the blast wave on burning solid fuels: it is patiently and fundamentally dishonest to compare experiments on dissimilar phenomena and then claim that they are contradictory so that those which support civil defence can be ignored as 'inconclusive'. That is just fact ignoring pseudoscience, a political dodge with no place in fact-based science.

Lynn Eden states on page 219:

'... In the "doughnut hole", the area immediately surrounding the detonation, collapsed strustures would prevent fires from burning or would extinguish incipient fires; farther away, fires would burn vigorously. ... at Hiroshima ... there was no "hole" near the detonation, nor was there evidence of such a hole at Nagasaki.'

This is a dishonest 'comparison' because Hiroshima and Nagasaki were wood frame cities, not brick and concrete. The few brick and concrete buildings survived in each city, often with minor damage. It is dishonest for Lynn Eden and her sources like Postol and Brode to ignore the fact that brick and concrete can't burn but wood can burn. The 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....

‘The fire wind, which blew always toward the burning area, reached a maximum velocity of 30 to 40 miles [48-64 km] per hour 2 to 3 hours after the explosion ... 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 within the outer perimeter which finally encompassed 4.4 square miles [11 square km]. Most of the fire had burned itself out or had been extinguished on the fringe by early evening ... There were no automatic sprinkler systems in building...’

The British Home Office Manual of Civil Defence, Vol. 1, Pamphlet No. 1, Nuclear Weapons, 2nd edition, 1959, states that the 'main fire zone' in a British brick built city will not exist within the radius of peak overpressure 11 psi because the rubble will exclude air and prevent significant fires within that radius. It specified four damage zones:

A - 11 psi (75 kPa) peak overpressure: complete destruction of ordinary houses, so brick rubble extinguishes fires.

B - 6 psi (40 kPa) peak overpressure: brick walls cracked or demolished, houses irreparably damaged, streets blocked with debris until cleared with mechanical aids.

C - 1.5 psi (10 kPa) peak overpressure: doors and roofs smashed in addition to broken windows and tiles blown off roofs.

D - 0.75 psi (5 kPa) peak overpressure: light damage, just glass and tiles.

Russian nuclear test based civil defence data indicated that brick houses do not burn at overpressures above 7 psi because the rubble prevents fires, as quoted Cresson H. Kearny, Nuclear War Survival Skills, Updated and Expanded 1987 Edition, Oak Ridge National Laboratory/Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine, 1987, Chapter 1:

'Soviet propagandists promptly exploited belief in unsurvivable "nuclear winter" to ... demoralize their enemies. Because raging city firestorms are needed to inject huge amounts of smoke into the stratosphere and thus, according to one discredited theory, prevent almost all solar heat from reaching the ground, the Soviets changed their descriptions of how a modern city will burn if blasted by a nuclear explosion. ... [before nuclear winter hype in 1983] Russian scientists and civil defense officials realistically described ... the burning of a city hit by a nuclear weapon. Buildings in the blasted area for miles around ground zero will be reduced to scattered rubble - mostly of concrete, steel, and other nonflammable materials - that will not burn in blazing fires. Thus in the Oak Ridge National Laboratory translation (ORNL-TR-2793) of Civil Defense, Second Edition (500,000 copies), Moscow, 1970, by Egorov, Shlyakhov, and Alabin, we read: "Fires do not occur in zones of complete destruction . . . that are characterized by an overpressure exceeding 0.5 kg/cm2 [7 psi peak overpressure], because rubble is scattered and covers the burning structures. As a result the rubble only smolders, and fires as such do not occur." ... No firestorm has ever injected smoke into the stratosphere, or caused appreciable cooling below its smoke cloud.

'The theory that smoke from burning cities and forests and dust from nuclear explosions would cause worldwide freezing temperatures was conceived in 1982 by the German atmospheric chemist and environmentalist Paul Crutzen, and continues to be promoted by a worldwide propaganda campaign. This well funded campaign began in 1983 with televised scientific-political meetings in Cambridge and Washington featuring American and Russian scientists. A barrage of newspaper and magazine articles followed, including a scaremongering article by Carl Sagan in the October 30, 1983 issue of Parade, the Sunday tabloid read by millions. The most influential article was featured in the December 23,1983 issue of Science (the weekly magazine of the American Association for the Advancement of Science): "Nuclear winter, global consequences of multiple nuclear explosions," by five scientists, R. P. Turco, O. B. Toon, T. P. Ackerman, J. B. Pollack, and C. Sagan. Significantly, these activists listed their names to spell TTAPS, pronounced "taps," the bugle call proclaiming "lights out" or the end of a military funeral.

'Until 1985, non-propagandizing scientists did not begin to effectively refute the numerous errors .... A principal reason is that government organizations, private corporations, and most scientists generally avoid getting involved in political controversies ... Stephen Schneider has been called a fascist by some disarmament supporters for having written "Nuclear Winter Reappraised," according to the Rocky Mountain News of July 6, 1986. Three days later, this paper, that until recently featured accounts of unsurvivable "nuclear winter," criticized Carl Sagan and defended Thompson and Schneider in its lead editorial, "In Study of Nuclear Winter, Let Scientists Be Scientists." In a free country, truth will out - although sometimes too late to effectively counter fast-hitting propaganda.'

DPA Attack Environment Manual: Chapter 3, What the Planner Needs to Know about Fire Ignition and Spread, U.S. Department of Defense, report CPG 2-1A3, June 1973, Panels 3 and 5:

'Of course, hardly anyone lives in an area where they would be certainly exposed to thermal radiation ... There would be buildings, trees, hills ... Virtually any opaque material will serve to shield against the thermal pulse. ... nearly all of the radiation would be shielded out by objects before they are damaged or moved by the blast wave. ... tinder fuels do not usually contain sufficient energy by themselves to cause a sustained fire. What is needed is a "fuel array" containing both tinder and other burnables. ... Hardly anyone puts black curtains at their windows. In the thousands of sites that have been surveyed, none have been found. Crumpled newspaper and dry leaves are found in urban areas but, like people in the streets, they are very often not in a position to "see" the fireball and rarely are they located with other burnables to form a sufficient fuel array to cause a building fire. ... Some fire analysts consider only upholstered furniture and beds as the fuel arrays of significance. About 35 to 40 calories per square centimetre are required for ignition by a 5-Mt weapon.'

Curtains and drapes should be closed across windows in an impending nuclear attack, to shield beds and upholstered furniture from thermal radiation. Ignition of curtain fragments are easily stamped or doused out. This occurred at Hiroshima, where the main source of fires was the overturning of charcoal braziers in wooden houses by the blast wave.

John McAuliffe and Kendall Moll studied the blast wave role in starting fires in their 224 pages long report, Secondary Ignitions from Nuclear Attack, Stanford Research Institute, California, report AD625173, July 1965. They found that flying debris and building collapse data on fire ignition was available from the Hiroshima and Nagasaki nuclear bombings, high explosive disasters such as the massive Texas City ship explosion in 1947, World War II bombings, earthquakes and tornadoes. They concluded that for American cities (which don't use Japanese charcoal cooking braziers in indoors in homes filled with paper screens and bamboo furnishings), there are only 0.006 fires ignited by the blast wave per 1,000 square feet of floor area damaged by peak overpressures of 2 psi or more. This is approximately 1% ignition of typical American homes, one fire in every three blocks, or 80 fires per square mile in an area which is 25% builtup with 2-story buildings. Electrical wiring and gas piping were considered equally vulnerable. (Actually, this will be an overestimate because the source-region cable pick up of light-speed EMP current surges will automatically shut down transformers within a few microseconds of a surface burst or low air burst on a city; power stations and substations may be ignited by the EMP, but it will prevent secondary ignitions of electrical fires by blast wave debris in homes.)

A theoretical study of the combined effects of both primary thermal ignition of American homes by thermal radiation and also blast wave effects in extinguishing most of those fires but causing some secondary fires by damaging electrical and gas installations (they ignored the role of EMP) is the 97 pages long report by R. K. Miller et al., Analysis of Four Models of the Nuclear-Caused Ignitions and Early Fires in Urban Areas, the Dirkwood Corporation, New Mexico, report AD 716807, August 1970. This report used a combination of computer models to show that a 5 megaton surface burst on Detroit would ignite 2% of buildings at 8 miles from ground zero where the peak overpressure was 2 psi, rising linearly to a maximum of 10% of buildings at 5 miles (and within 5 miles) where the peak overpressure was 5 psi or more.

The poorly researched 1979 U.S. Congressional Office of Technology Assessment report The Effects of Nuclear War ignorantly used these figures of 2% ignition at 2 psi and 10% at 5 psi without understanding that they include thermal radiation effects and therefore do not scale with peak overpressure!

Another study of fires ignited in Detroit by a 5 Mt burst is Arthur N. Takata and Frederick Salzberg, Development and Application of a Complete Fire-Spread Model: Volume II, IIT research Institute, Chicago, report AD684874, June 1968, found that 3.8% of all buildings could be ignited initially, but that firespread could burn down many more if initial ignitions were not stamped out. Radiation from a burning wooden building emits about 4 cal/cm2/sec, and it takes only 0.4 cal/cm2/sec to ignite wood, so whenever another wooden house occupies more than 10% of the field of view of a burning house, it will be ignited. (Takata and Salzburg note that in the Darmstadt fire of 11 September 1944, where firebrands were negligible, thermal radiation from burning wooden houses caused a 72% probability of igniting immediately adjacent houses, a 50% probability of igniting houses 8 metres away, and a 10% probability of igniting houses 12 metres away.)

This short-ranged radiation firespread mechanism could nearly double the number of house ignitions in Detroit over the first hour, from 3.8% to 6.5% of houses burning at one hour post attack. After an hour, firebrands from burning houses would start to seriously contribute to the ignition of fires at much greater distances than the heat radiation from burning wooden buildings, so by 3 hours 18% of buildings in Detroit could be burnt out, and by 28 hours the figure could rise to 50%. Unlike a firestorm, this would be a very slow process, like the Great Fire of London in 1666 where only 8 people were killed when 32,000 homes were burned over 1.8 km2, because the fire spread very slowly over 4 days; and the Chicago Fire of 1871 where only 50 people were killed when 17,500 homes burned over an area of 8.6 km2 over a period of 3 days. (Wind carried burning firebrands from the Great Baltimore Fire of 1904 caused fires to wooden houses at distances of up to 800 metres downwind. Landing on wooden roofs, they are very difficult to deal with when the fire brigade is preoccupied with the existing fire zone.)

In Hiroshima, the secret May 1947 report of the U.S. Strategic Bombing Survey (Fig 5-IX) found that for wooden houses, the probability of one burning house igniting another by firebrands is 50% for a separation distance of 26 m, and shows (Fig 4-IX) that the risk of fire spread is 50% where 21% of the ground area is covered by wooden houses or 32% of the ground area is covered by industrial buildings.

‘Considerable war-time experience in the UK established beyond doubt that the chance of a continuing fire in an ordinary British house spreading and involving another house is less than 40%.’ – George R. Stanbury, The number of fires caused by nuclear attack, British Home Office, Scientific Adviser’s Branch, report SA/PR 90, 1965.

Many American buildings are wood-frame. For the brick and concrete type buildings that prevail in Britain, the Home Office Scientific Advisory Branch Scientific Advisers' Operational Handbook, Scottish Home and Health Department, H. M. Stationery Office, Edinburgh, 1979, states on page 39:

'The density of initial ignitions in the main fire zone, for UK houses, is likely to be very roughly one house in thirty, with a fire-spread factor of about 2 [i.e., each initial ignition will on average ignite one other building by thermal radiation, wind blown convection flames, and hot burning firebrands]. About one house in fifteen is expected to become burnt out. This situation would not constitute a "firestorm" or "mass fire", and the number of fire casualties should be small.'

Firestorms have always required at least 50% of buildings to be ignited. A 71 pages long report by Robert M. Rodden, Floyd I. John, and Richard Laurino, Exploratory Analysis of Fire Storms, Stanford Research Institute, California, report AD616638, May 1965, identified the following parameters required by all firestorms:

(1) More than 8 pounds of fuel per square foot (40 kg per square metre) of ground area. Hence firestorms occurred in wooden buildings, like Hiroshima or the medieval part of Hamburg. The combustible fuel load in London is just 24 kg/m2, whereas in the firestorm area of Hamburg in 1943 it was 156 kg/m2. The real reason for all the historical fire conflagrations was only exposed in 1989 by the analysis of L. E. Frost and E.L. Jones, ‘The Fire Gap and the Greater Durability of Nineteenth-Century Cities’ (Planning Perspectives, vol. 4, pp. 333-47). Each medieval city was built cheaply from inflammable ‘tinderbox’ wooden houses, using trees from the surrounding countryside. By 1800, Britain had cut down most of its forests to build wood houses and to burn for heating, so the price of wood rapidly increased (due to the expense of transporting trees long distances), until it finally exceeded the originally higher price of brick and stone; so from then on all new buildings were built of brick when wooden ones decayed. This rapidly reduced the fire risk. Also, in 1932, British Standard 476 was issued, which specified the fire resistance of building materials. In addition, new cities were built with wider streets and rubbish disposal to prevent tinder accumulation in alleys, which created more effective fire breaks.

(2) More than 50% of structures ignited initially.

(3) Initial surface winds of less than 8 miles per hour.

(4) Initial ignition area exceeding 0.5 square mile.

The fuel loading per unit ground area is equal to fuel loading per unit area of a building, multiplied by the builtupness fraction of the area. E.g., Hamburg had a 45% builtupness (45% of the ground area was actually covered by buildings), and the buildings were multistorey medieval wooden constructions containing 70 pounds of fuel per square foot. Hence, in Hamburg the fuel loading of ground area was 0.45*70 = 32 pounds per square foot, which was enough for a firestorm.

By contrast, modern cities have a builtupness of only 10-25% in most residential areas and 40% in commercial and downtown areas. Modern wooden American houses have a fuel loading of 20 pounds per square foot of building area with a builtupness below 25%, so the fuel loading per square foot of ground is below 20*0.25 = 5 pounds per square foot, and would not produce a firestorm. Brick and concrete buildings contain on the average about 3.5 pounds per square foot of floor area, so they can't produce firestorms either, even if they are all ignited.

On the night of 9-10 March 1945, 334 B-29 aircraft dropped 1,667 tons of high explosives (to open up buildings to allow incendiary bombs inside) and incendiaries on Tokyo, creating a firestorm which burned down 41 km2 or 15.8 square miles, killing more people than at Hiroshima (where only 4.7 square miles was burned down) or Nagasaki (where the valley geography meant that only 1.8 square miles burned down). These data come from the U.S. Strategic Bombing Survey report, The Effects of Atomic Bombs at Hiroshima and Nagasaki, 1946.


London was bombed in 1940 by about 200 aircraft for 61 consecutive nights. Prime Minister Winston Churchill wrote in September 1940 that ‘The bombers alone will provide the means of victory’, but in August 1941 an analysis of British night-time bombing raids showed that only 10-33 % of British bombers dropped their bombs within 8 km of their targets, the lower (10 %) figure being due to heavy anti-aircraft artillery in Ruhr. In conclusion, it was decided that precision attacks on small targets by bombers were a waste of time, and cities would be targeted instead. Arthur Harris became chief of bomber command on 25 February 1942 and wanted to accumulate a vast number of aircraft and to pound Germany’s capital city, Berlin, into submission. In a filmed statement, Harris said: ‘There are a lot of people who say that bombing can never win a war. My answer to that is: it has never been tried yet, and we shall see.’

However, Churchill rejected Harris’ demand to concentrate on Berlin. Churchill then nick-named Harris ‘Bomber’ (Arthur ‘Bomber’ Harris) and personally instructed him to bomb other German cities, such as Dresden, to support the Russian attack on Germany. On 14 February 1942, bomber command had received a directive stating: ‘the primary object of your operations should now be focussed on the morale of the enemy civil population and in particular, of the industrial workers.’

George R. Stanbury, the Home Office scientist who conducted Civil Defence research int fallout protection at Monte Bello for Operation HURRICANE, Britain’s first nuclear test in 1952, explains in detail how the Hamburg firestorm was produced in his classified article, ‘The Fire Hazard from Nuclear Weapons’, Fission Fragments, Scientific Civil Defence Magazine, Home Office, London, No. 3, August 1962, pp. 22-6, British Home Office, Scientific Adviser’s Branch, originally classified Restricted:

Above: effect of the Hamburg firestorm.

'We have often been accused of underestimating the fire situation ... we are unrepentant in spite of the television utterances of renowned academic scientists who know little about fire. ... Firstly ... the collapse of buildings would snuff out any incipient fires. Air cannot get into a pile of rubble, 80% of which is incombustible anyway. This is not just guesswork; it is the result of a very complete study of some 1,600 flying bomb [V1 cruise missile] incidents in London supported by a wealth of experience gained generally in the last war. Secondly, there is a considerable degree of shielding of one building by another in general. Thirdly, even when the windows of a building can "see" the fireball, and something inside is ignited, it by no means follows that a continuing and destructive fire will develop. ... A window of two square metres would let in about 105 calories at the 5 cal/cm2 range. The heat liberated by one magnesium incendiary bomb is 30 times this and even with the incendiary bomb the chance of a continuing fire developing in a small room is only 1 in 5; in a large room it is very much less. Thus even if thermal radiation does fall on easily inflammable material which ignites, the chance of a continuing fire developing is still quite small. In the Birmingham and Liverpool studies, where the most generous values of fire-starting chances were used, the fraction of buildings set on fire was rarely higher than 1 in 20.

ABOVE: the heat flash radiation which causes the scorching is so unscattered or unidirectional that any shading from the fireball source stops it even if you are exposed to the scattered radiation from the rest of the sky: shadows still present in October 1945 in the bitumen road surface of Yorozuyo Bridge, 805 m SSW of ground zero, Hiroshima, pointed where the bomb detonated (U.S. Army photo).

'And this is the basis of the assertion that we do not think that fire storms are likely to be started in British cities by nuclear explosions, because in each of the five raids in which fire storms occurred (four on Germany - Hamburg, Darmstadt, Kassel, Wuppertal and a "possible" in Dresden, plus Hiroshima in Japan - it may be significant that all these towns had a period of hot dry weather before the raid) the initial fire density was much nearer 1 in 2. Take Hamburg for example:

'On the night of 27/28th July 1943, by some extraordinary chance, 190 tons of bombs were dropped into one square mile of Hamburg. This square mile contained 6,000 buildings, many of which were [multistorey wooden] medieval.

'A density of greater than 70 tons/sq. mile had not been achieved before even in some of the major fire raids, and was only exceeded on a few occasions subsequently. The effect of these bombs is best shown in the following diagram, each step of which is based on sound trials and operational experience of the weapons concerned.

'102 tons of high explosive bombs dropped -> 100 fires
'88 tons of incendiary bombs dropped, of which:
'48 tons of 4 pound magnesium bombs = 27,000 bombs -> 8,000 hit buildings -> 1,600 fires
'40 tons of 30 pound gel bombs = 3,000 bombs -> 900 hit buildings -> 800 fires
'Total = 2,500 fires

'Thus almost every other building [1 in 2 buildings] was set on fire during the raid itself, and when this happens it seems that nothing can prevent the fires from joining together, engulfing the whole area and producing a fire storm (over Hamburg the column of smoke, observed from aircraft, was 1.5 miles in diameter at its base and 13,000 feet high; eyewitnesses on the ground reported that trees were uprooted by the inrushing air).

'When the density was 70 tons/square mile or less the proportion of buildings fired during the raid was about 1 in 8 or less and under these circumstances, although extensive areas were burned out, the situation was controlled, escape routes were kept open and there was no fire storm.'

Often people point to bits of glass melted by the firestorm in Hiroshima, and ignorantly claim it was a special effect of nuclear weapons. Alas, such melted glass occurred in the GreatFire of London, 1666, and it didn’t need a nuclear explosion:

‘Having stayed, and in an hour’s time seen the fire rage every way, and nobody, to my sight, endeavouring to quench it, but to remove their goods, and leave all to the fire; and, having seen it get as far as the Steelyard, and the wind mighty high, and driving it into the City; and everything, after so long a drought, proving combustible... So near the fire as we could for smoke; and all over the Thames, with one’s face in the wind, you were almost burned with a shower of fire-drops... took up, which I keep by me, a piece of glass of Mercers’ chapel in the street, where much more was, so melted and buckled with the heat of the fire like parchment.’ – Samuel Pepys (1633-1703), Great Fire of London, Diary, September 1666.

The Hamburg air raid be compared directly to the eventual policy of the U.S.A.F. bombers that were attacking Japan. The man who would pilot the nuclear bomber to Hiroshima, Paul Tibbets, who had been in Europe, advised General C. E. LeMay ‘many Japanese buildings were constructed of flammable material. Paper houses, we called them. “All you need to do is ‘area bomb’ these cities [using incendiaries],” I said.’ [P. W. Tibbets, The Tibbets Story, Stein & Day, 1978.]

LeMay took Tibbet’s advice and in his 1965 book (Mission with LeMay, Doublesday) explained why this was acceptable in World War II: ‘It was their system of dispersal of industry. All you had to do was visit one of those targets after we’d roasted it, and see the ruins of a multitude of tiny houses, with a drill press sticking up through the wreckage of every home. The entire population got into the act and worked to make those airplanes or munitions of war ... men, women, children.’

After the single Tokyo air raid killed 83,600 people on 10 March 1945, Dr Robert Oppenheimer predicted that a nuclear air raid at night (people indoors) would kill 20,000 people. Oppenheimer wanted the attack done at night to prevent women and children receiving flash burns in the daytime. He received a very cold reception from people like LeMay, owing to the insignificance relative to conventional air raids. Oppenheimer then began to sell the nuclear bomb as a thermal and nuclear radiation killer, instead of a blast device to be used at night.

Colonel Paul Tibbets was instructed by LeMay to ignore Oppenheimer’s wish and only to drop the bombs in the daytime visually to prevent the risk of a serious radar aiming error. He maximised casualties by minimising warning (although this was done for the deliberate purpose of minimising the risk of serious anti-aircraft gun attacks on the bombing aircraft): for weeks before dropping the bombs, the cities that had been carefully spared incendiaries were daily flown over by weather and photographic aircraft. This was to prevent surprise when the plane carrying the bomb appeared. Tibbets recorded in his autobiography that this ‘would accustom the Japanese to seeing daytime flights of two or three bombers over their target ... we hoped they would be lulled into ignoring us, when we came to deliver the real thing ... air raid sirens would sound when we came overhead.’

This ‘lulling’ meant that many people outside would merely watch the planes without taking shelter, and receive serious facial burns and direct exposure to other effects. Nobody was vaporised; the skin burns were deep enough near ground zero to be lethal in combination with the nuclear radiation exposure. In the case of Hiroshima, the weather survey aircraft caused a night time air raid, and a final weather aircraft ahead of the nuclear bomber set off air raid alarms at 7:30 am (cancelled by an all clear at 8 am), before the nuclear armed bomber arrived at 8:15 am. Mrs Nakamuru, a widow with three children had only just arrived back home after the ‘all clear’ from the weather aircraft-caused alarm, as described by John Hersey in his 1946 book Hiroshima:

‘They reached home a little after 2:30 am and she immediately turned on the radio, which, to her distress, was just then broadcasting a fresh warning. When she looked at the children and saw how tired they were, and she thought of the number of trips they had made in the past weeks, all to no purpose, she decided that inspite of the instructions on the radio, she simply could not face starting out all over again.’ When the all clear sounded at 8 am, she lit her stove and started cooking rice. She was in a wood frame house 1,230 metres from ground zero: ‘everything flashed whiter than any white she had ever seen. She had taken a single step when something picked her up and she seemed to fly into the next room over the raised sleeping platform, pursued by parts of her house ...’ Others were burned when they looked up at the B-29 and received facial flash burns, some behind windows which resulted in glass fragment lacerations in addition.

Tibbets remarked in his autobiography, The Tibbets Story: ‘Of course, one hopes that civilians will have the good sense to seek protection in bomb shelters.’ If so, there would have been far fewer casualties, and less impact, and Tibbets admitted: ‘In the case of Hiroshima, I was to learn later that Eatherly’s weather plane ... had set off air raid sirens but, when nothing happened, ours were ignored.’ The Joint Commission for the Investigation of the Effects of the Atomic Bomb in Japan, Medical Effects of the Atomic Bomb in Japan (Oughterson and Warren, editors, McGraw-Hill, New York, 1956), found ‘there only about 400 people in the tunnel shelters [Nagasaki] which had a capacity of 70,000’ and that such people survived ‘even directly below the bomb.’ Describing the situation in Hiroshima, it stated:

‘Most of the people were at home preparing breakfast; consequently thousands of fires were burning in charcoal braziers. Only a few people were in modern buildings.’


'At a range of more than 1 nautical mile [= 6,076 feet = 1,851 m = 1.15 statute mile], more than half the buildings [in Hiroshima] were gutted by fire. At that point, the peak overpressure of the nuclear blast wave was about 3 psi, and the fireball heat or thermal fluence was about 8 or 9 cal/cm2.'

- Dr Harold L. Brode and Dr R. D. Small, A Review of the Physics of Large Urban Fires, in The Medical Implications of Nuclear War, U.S. National Academy Press, 1986, page 79.

This correlation of thermal radiation to the firestorm radius is totally bogus, because no fires at that radius were ignited by thermal radiation! Some 100% of house fires at that radius were ignited by the blast wave overturning charcoal cooking braziers inside wooden houses filled with paper screens and bamboo furnishings. Dr Brode and Dr Small might as well have correlated the radius of the firestorm to the EMP field or to the mushroom cloud radius, for all the relation that there was between thermal radiation and the firestorm radius in Hiroshima. They neglected the physical mechanism entirely, and practised the worst form of pseudoscience.

Brode on page 84 states that 'Threshold ignition levels ... for common susceptible materials in an urban environment increase with yield roughly as ... 3.5Wkt0.113 cal/cm2. This gives 9 cal/cm2 for 5 Mt, when as we have seen it actually takes four times more energy to ignite beds and upholstry in a sustained way which won't be blown out by the blast or die out without spreading to the rest of the room, even when the window can 'see' the fireball:

'About 35 to 40 calories per square centimetre are required for ignition by a 5-Mt weapon.' - DPA Attack Environment Manual: Chapter 3, What the Planner Needs to Know about Fire Ignition and Spread, U.S. Department of Defense, report CPG 2-1A3, June 1973, Panels 3 and 5.

Lynn Eden, who had numerous interviews and discussions with Dr Brode since the late 1980s, is also duped entirely by this outrageous anti-civil defence lie in her 2004 book Whole World on Fire: Organizations, Knowledge, and Nuclear Weapons Devastation, where she writes on page 120:

'At Hiroshima, the perimeter of mass fire ... occurred about one mile from the detonation ... at this distance, the thermal fluence deposited was estimated at 10 cal/cm2 ... The deposition of thermal fluence of 10 cal/cm2 is the basic measure used in much of Theodore Poston's published work on fire damage ...'

Theodore Poston in his ignorant paper 'Possible Fatalities from Superfires following Nuclear Attacks in or Near Urban Areas', in the 1986 U.S. National Academy of Sciences book The Medical Implications of Nuclear War, assumes falsely that brick and concrete cities can burn like the small areas of medieval German cities and like Brode and Small, he simply ignores the mechanism for the firestorm in Hiroshima which had nothing to do with thermal radiation but was just due to overturned breakfast charcoal braziers. Theodore Poston also falsely complains that wooden houses exposed to nuclear tests didn't burn because they had white paint on them and shutters over the windows. That discredits Theodore Poston's whole anti-civil defence countermeasure tirade by actually PROVING the value of simple civil defense; but actually if you open your eyes, you find that most wooden houses are painted white, and in a real city - unlike the empty Nevada desert - few windows will have a line of sight to the fireball anyway!

The pseudoscientific fanatical thuggery against civil defence countermeasures to nuclear terrorism must be deplored. (Another basic scientific error Lynn makes is trying to use firestorm data from incendiary phosphorus bombing in humid weather to discredit the fact that thermal ignition depends on humidity! Unlike nuclear weapons thermal radiation which demands dry tindering to cause ignition, phosphorus is actually ignited by water! You must never pour water on a phosphorus bomb, or it will flare up. Ignorance of such basic chemistry is lethal.)

Brode and Small make the worst error of all when they state on page 94: 'Despite a well-organized German civil defense, firefighting, rescue operations, and emergency medical aid were severely limited in many of the fires and totally ineffective in the intense fire storms.'

They incorrectly ignores all the evidence that the civil defence operations were hampered by the extended period of air raid bombing, which did not occur at Hiroshima or Nagasaki where only a single bomb was dropped. They ignorantly take no account or make any mention whatsoever of all the studies done on the efficient, extremely easy and effective firefighting that readily saved buildings near Hiroshima's ground zero, well within the firestorm area, reported by the U.S. Strategic Bombing Survey. For example, the Bank of Japan, Hiroshima branch, was a 3-story reinforced concrete frame building at just 400 m from ground zero. There were no initial ignitions at all by either blast or thermal radiation. However, 1.5 hours afterwards a a firebrand started a fire in a room on the second floor. The survivors in the building simply extinguished the fire with buckets of water! Duh! Hiroshima in the very middle of the intense fire storm?! Buckets of water? Yes. They simply put the fire out. Later another firebrand ignited the third floor, and the survivors this time ran out of water and just shut the doors and allowed it to burn out. The fire did not spread to the lower floors.

This incident is explained in panel 26 of the DPA Attack Environment Manual: Chapter 3, What the Planner Needs to Know about Fire Ignition and Spread, U.S. Department of Defense, report CPG 2-1A3, June 1973, which adds that the Geibi Bank Company in the firestorm area of Hiroshima also survived the bomb with no thermal or blast ignitions: 'However, at about 10:30 A.M., over 2 hours after the detonation, firebrands from the south exposure ignited a few pieces of furniture and curtains on the first and third stories. The fires were extinguished with water buckets by the building occupants. Negligible fire damage resulted.'

It is either incompetent or else dishonest of Dr Harold L. Brode and Dr R. D. Small to try to discredit civil defense countermeasures against firestorms in nuclear attack by giving the false example of German bombing raids and totally ignoring the experiences of the Hiroshima firestorm to nuclear warfare (below).

Cover-up of the Hiroshima firestorm mechanism by suppression of the 1947 secret six volumes U.S. Strategic Bombing Survey report, which gives statistical evidence on the cause of the fire ignitions, contradicting the deceptions in the 1946 unclassified single volume U.S. Strategic Bombing Survey report on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and The Effects of Nuclear Weapons

“The report summarizes the results of a detailed data reduction and casualty study made on over 35,000 persons who were subjected to the nuclear attack on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan, in 1945. Both graphical and tabular presentations are made of pertinent data to show that an excellent base exists for more reliable conclusions of a wider variety than have heretofore been available. Total mortality and total injury curves are given as well as injury curves by type (blast, thermal, and initial nuclear) for thirteen shielding categories ...” - L. Wayne Davis, William L. Baker and Donald L. Summers, Analysis of Japanese Nuclear Casualty Data, Dirkwood Corporation Albuquerque DC-FR-1045 (1966), Abstract.

As we have explained before, the American Government has never published the originally secret 1947 six volumes of its Strategic Bombing Surveys of the nuclear bombed cities, Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The report on Hiroshima includes surveys of survivors (50% of people on the ground floors of concrete buildings at 0.12 mile, and a similar proportion of people outside and standing facing the aircraft at 1.3 mile range) which prove that the source of the firestorm wasn't thermal radiation (which only started a few fires in black coloured air raid “black-out curtains”, used to screen home lights from being seen by bombers above the cities), but the blast wave overturning thousands of paper screens and charcoal cooking braziers in wood frame dwelling homes.

Did Samuel Glasstone, Philip J. Dolan, and Harold L. Brode (the main compilers of the official American publications on nuclear weapons effects and capabilities, all of whom had security clearance) know this? Why didn’t they include this fact, which has massive implications not just for firestorms but also for “nuclear winter” (scare stories of climatic effects which were circulated by the friends of the Soviet Union in 1980s against President Reagan’s civil defense policies), which rely on thermal ignition over wide areas to cause fires?


President Reagan in 1982 was talking about civil defense for bolstering U. S. deterrence of 40,000 Soviet main battle tanks (ready to invade the West, take over the resources, and thus shore up the impending economic implosion of communism for another few decades), and that “survival talk” was what led Dr Carl Sagan and others to suggest everyone would be frozen by a nuclear winter in 1983. Then the fake “better red than dead” assumptions of the 1983 calculations were revealed. In 1985, Dr R. D. Small and Dr B. W. Bush of Pacific-Sierra Research Corp assessed the smoke from 4,100 megatons distributed as 2 warheads per target on 3,459 counter-force targets in forests and grassland areas (Science, v229, p465). They found the smoke output was 300,000 tons for a January attack and 3,000,000 tons for an August attack. These figures are 100-1,000 times lower than the guesses made by the “nuclear winter” hype of 1982-3, because the smoke is only 3% of the mass of vegetation burned (the rest is CO2 gas and cinders): “The amount varies seasonally and at its peak is less by an order of magnitude than the estimated threshold level necessary for a major attenuation of solar radiation.”

One of the original errors was overestimating the soot production by fire. The fraction of the mass burned that becomes smoke is only 1% for wood, 3% for vegetation, 6% for oil and 8% for plastic. So after some negative publicity about the “errors” in the “nuclear winter” hype, TTAPS (Turco, Toon, Ackerman, Pollack and Sagan) public relations experts in 1990 (Science, v247, p166) changed their targeting assumptions to make use of the figure of 6% soot emission by burning oil, by now assuming that 50% of primary petroleum stocks would be targets. I.e., they assumed that in a nuclear war, both sides would deliberately use nuclear weapons to create as much soot as possible by targeting oil refineries. This allowed them to go on with the hype. They simply ignored the lesson of Hiroshima, that firestorm soot is hydroscopic, absorbs moisture from the air, condenses in the cool air at high altitude, and falls back as rain within a few hours. But then, they ignored all of the civil defense lessons from Hiroshima, so why not also ignore the fate of the soot from fires after a nuclear explosion over an inflammable wood built city? They certainly were consistent in ignoring all of the effects of nuclear explosions in their political spin.

The basic equation for the fraction of sunlight absorbed during x metres of passage through a soot cloud containing s grams of soot per cubic metre is e-7xs. However, smoke is rapidly dispersed and removed by the atmospheric weather systems, wind and rain, as occurred at Hiroshima.

There has always been a “have your cake and eat it” approach to Hiroshima data by the anti-civil defense pro-terrorism lobby, which includes big name “physicists” who have political peace agendas similar to the 1930s peace agenda of Prime Minister Chamberlain towards Hitler (the myth that loving the dictator is a “more peaceful” policy than standing up to the dictator, which just convinces the dictator that you're unprepared to defend yourself and thus are offering yourself as a carpet to be trampled over). The situation is much as it was in 1954, when popular nuclear weapons lying propaganda designed to promote unilateral disarmament and surrender of Europe to communists led to an ill-informed belief that civil defence was no use, as the following quotation shows.

Fred N. Severud and Anthony F. Merrill, The Bomb, Survival, and You: Protection for People, Buildings, Equipment, Reinhold Publishing Corp., New York, 1954 (256 pp), pages 12, 29, 68, 69, 70, 88, 89, 90:

“This book was written in the face of a general apathy toward civil defense. We think that apathy is attributable to one of two things: either people are too overwhelmed by the size of the bomb to feel capable of coping with it, or they have been so frightened by it, subconsciously, that they are afraid to look civil defense and its implications full in the eye. ...

“Make what you will of our technical suggestions, but come away from this book understanding the real threat and the real effect potentialities of atomic warfare, not the stuff that is so luridly treated in the popularizations which have been frightening the public for the last eight years. We want the reader to be able, calmly and coolly, to appraise the atomic explosion just as he would any other abnormal structural loading.

“... it is only recently that the two three-volume reports of the United States Strategic Bombing Survey on Hiroshima and Nagasaki have been removed from the ‘Secret’ classification. These two reports, prepared by the Survey’s physical damage division, contain so much of interest to the structural specialist that we feel that even at this late date they are invaluable reference works. Unfortunately, publication of these originally ‘Secret’ documents in 1947 was limited to only a few hundred issues. They are so rare that they will never be available to the average engineer unless he has access to one of the very few archives which have these reports on file. To the ordinary technician these declassified reports will remain, to all intents and purposes, ‘Secret.’ ...

“We only wish we could present a thorough digest of the reports – 2,100 pages of text, charts, plans and excellent photographs of structural details. ...

“The morning of August 6, 1945, was a fine clear one in Hiroshima, a major Japanese city lying flat around the many-fingered Osa River delta. In the early hours there had been an air-raid alert, but by 7:30 the all-clear had sounded and the three B-29’s boring high over the city some 45 minutes later gave no one cause for alarm. They were assumed to be en route to some other destination. But at 8:15 one of them dropped an atomic bomb. ...

“Three days later, August 9, found a fine clear midsummer day bright over Nagasaki, a large industrial city whose topography differs considerably from Hiroshima in that the city lies principally along two river valleys which are separated from each other by a relatively high ridge. Early in the morning there had been an air raid alert which had been cancelled by 8:30. No all-clear was given, but less than 400 persons chose to remain in the tunnel shelters, which could accommodate 70,000. At 11:00 a.m. one of the two B-29’s dropped an atomic bomb over one of the city’s main valleys. ... no actual fire storm resulted and the irregular terrain provided shielding for many areas ...

Chapter V. Fire. Among the ashes and ruins of Hiroshima and Nagasaki the physical damage teams of the Strategic Bombing Survey found ample evidence upon which to predicate a whole set of fire protection fundamentals for urban areas vulnerable to atomic attack. Hiroshima, especially, provided what the Survey described as: ‘an excellent test target for the atomic bomb from a fire standpoint.’

“Everything about Hiroshima on August 6 seemed to contribute to the ideal conditions under which the fires caused by the bomb were able to develop … Here, on a flat plain, a densely built-up area of extremely combustible buildings … For three weeks there had been no rain. When the bomb went off, the blast damage immobilized most of the meagre fire department ...

How the fires started. A popular misconception is that the heat flash from the bomb did the trick, and this has led to the fanciful and blood-curdling illustrations of whole American cities wrapped in flame before the characteristic mushroom of the atomic blast has even begun to dissipate. This thriller approach is neither realistic nor intelligent. ...

“... In Hiroshima, the majority of fires were started by the secondary effect of the blast which collapsed upon city charcoal fires in dwellings and restaurants, caused short circuits, and brought down flammable debris upon fires already being used ...

“The Survey team questioned over a thousand persons in Hiroshima on how fires started. No more than a handful could point definitely to heat flash as a cause. One group of witnesses said that black cotton [air-raid “black-out”] curtains burst into flame at 3,200 feet from air zero (about 2,000 feet from ground zero). ... In another instance a piece of rice paper caught fire on a desk but failed to ignite heavier paper under it.”

The Media and the Firestorm “Nuclear Winter” Soot Propaganda

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:

“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.]

What modern city is today 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. By the way, the "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 (linked here). There were no reported casualties due to 25 minutes of sunlight deprivation.

So even where city firestorms have actually occurred, 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 wooden medieval areas of Hamburg and Dresden 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.) The most basic and direct rebuttal to firestorm extinction and nuclear winter is from the sunlight recorder and the factually undisputed evidence for the 100,000,000 megatons of TNT-equivalent 10-km diameter K-T impact event of 65 million years ago, where you had a comet impact explosion with with an energy 6,250,000,000 times greater than Hiroshima, creating a 180 kilometres diameter crater at Chicxulub on the coast of Yucatan, Mexico, burning rainforests and creating a smoke and dust-induced winter which killed off enormous cold-blooded dinosaurs but not warm-blooded mammals or many plants. End of doomsday propaganda!

JANE M. ORIENT, M.D., “Disaster Preparedness, An International Perspective”, Annals of Internal Medicine, v103 (1985), 937-940:

“If the amount of smoke assumed in the “nuclear winter” report (Science, v222, 1983, pp1283-92) were decreased by a factor of 2.5, the climatic effect would probably be trivial. In considering the actual terrain that surrounds most likely targets, the probable type of explosions (ground bursts against hardened military facilities), the overlapping of targets, and conditions that could reduce the incendiary potential of the thermal pulse, critics of the report believe that the quantity of smoke from nonurban fires has probably been overestimated by at least a factor of ten (Cresson Kearny, Fire Emissions and Some of Their Uncertainties, Presented at the Fourth International Seminar on Nuclear War, Erice, Sicily, August 19-24, 1984). Rathjens and Siegel (Issues in Science and Technology, v1, 1985, pp123-8) believe there would likely be four times less smoke and eight times less soot from cities than estimated in the National Research Council study.”

Professor Brian Martin, “Nuclear winter: science and politics,” Science and Public Policy, Vol. 15, No. 5, October 1988, pp. 321-334:

Politics enters science

“More than ‘pure science’ is involved when a researcher decides that a particular area is ‘scientifically interesting’. Many features of wider society influence the process of choice of research, including the availability of funding, possible applications, technological infrastructure, ideas prevalent in society and the social position of scientists. Each of these factors played a role in turning nuclear winter into a priority research area in the 1980s. The resurgence of the peace movement in the early 1980s provided fertile ground ... the editors of the environmental journal Ambio, published by the Swedish Academy of Sciences, planned a special issue in 1982 to cover the effects of nuclear war. Paul Crutzen was asked to deal with the effects of nuclear war on the atmosphere for this issue. Crutzen in his Ph.D. did pioneering work in showing the important effect of nitrogen oxides in regulating the amount of ozone in the stratosphere. ... In 1981 journalist Jonathan Schell wrote a series of articles in the New Yorker arguing that nuclear war could cause extinction of human life, principally through destruction of stratospheric ozone. Schell's articles, made into a book, were inspired by the burgeoning peace movement and in turn were widely taken up by it. Yet by the time he made his argument, the basis for massive ozone destruction by nuclear weapons had largely evaporated. This is what Crutzen and his collaborator John Birks found in 1982 as they ran their computer models dealing with stratospheric ozone to determine the effects of a nuclear war. Because the large multimegatonne nuclear bombs deployed in the 1950s were being replaced by larger numbers of smaller warheads, not as much nitrogen oxides would be lofted far up into the stratosphere. Crutzen and Birks’ model did not predict a significant reduction in stratospheric ozone using the Ambio reference scenario.

“Crutzen and Birks each over the years had examined a wide range of physical and chemical processes which could affect the dynamics of the atmosphere. As they dealt with the problem of the effects of nuclear war on the atmosphere, they happened to think about the smoke released by fires caused by nuclear attacks. Quick calculations showed that the smoke could absorb a large fraction of sunlight, leading to “twilight at noon”. In short order they included this in their now-famous paper for Ambio. The Crutzen-Birks paper was immediately taken up as heralding an important and hitherto unrecognised effect of nuclear war. The next step, to nuclear winter, was taken by Richard Turco, Owen Toon, Thomas Ackerman, James Pollack and Carl Sagan, the so-called TTAPS group. Taking the Crutzen-Birks idea that smoke and dust from a nuclear war would block out sunlight, they calculated that this would lead to massive cooling at the earth's surface ... The nuclear winter idea was spread to a highly receptive audience, including the peace movement, the mass media and much of the general population. ...

“Turning now to the actual research: does the science of nuclear winter embody in any way assumptions about politics? ... Targeting. The TTAPS paper uses a baseline case of 5000 megatonnes (MT), supplemented by a wide range of other scenarios which also lead to nuclear winter effects. Though in general terms some of the scenarios appear reasonable, no detailed strategic rationale is offered for any of them. A cynic might say that the key characteristic of the scenarios is that they produce sufficient smoke or dust to produce nuclear winter. ... Extinction. Ehrlich et al. itemise all sorts of disasters from nuclear war. For example, they raise the issue of decreases in stratospheric ozone and resulting increases in ultraviolet (after the smoke and dust clears), not noting that changes in the size of warheads have made this threat much less serious. They add up a set of hazards to conclude that human extinction may occur, without explaining precisely how everyone could die.

“While listing many dangers from nuclear war, they do not mention factors which might ameliorate the problems. For example, food shortages due to crop failures are highlighted, plus difficulties in transporting stored food to population centres. For the rich countries, there is no mention of changing from a meat diet to a grain diet or of reducing caloric intake, which together would extend food reserves by a large factor. For Third World countries, they emphasise dependence on imports of food from rich countries. They do not mention the exports of food to rich countries, nor the high level of cash cropping for export to industrialised countries, which could be replaced by food crops for local consumption. The suggestion that extinction of human life could occur is made without considering any counterexamples. For example, consider Tasmania. As an island in the southern hemisphere, nuclear winter effects would be minimised. It has large hydropower capacity for providing heat and power, and the large sheep population could help tide the modest human population through a failed harvest. Such examples are not addressed by Ehrlich et al. The possibility of extinction is not even discussed in the text of Ehrlich et al.’s paper. It is only raised in the summary and conclusion. The combination of these assumptions leads to concentration on worst cases. The selection of results for key diagrams and abstracts makes the drawing of certain policy implications much easier. In other words, the TTAPS and Ehrlich et al. papers are not “value-neutral” pieces of research, but “push” certain conclusions on readers through technical assumptions in model construction, selection of evidence and highlighting of results ... the models have been criticised for not adequately taking account of the coagulation of soot, the raining out of soot and dust, and gaps in soot clouds in the first few weeks after fires. ...

“In the debate over nuclear power, there were few scientist critics, at least in early years. The proponents claimed sole authority on nuclear issues, and dismissed critics as incompetents and malcontents. The anti-nuclear movement was seen as lacking any technical credibility. ... In the nuclear winter controversy, the best example of this dynamic is seen in the response to criticisms by Russell Seitz. Seitz is an Associate of the Harvard University Center for International Affairs where earlier he was a Visiting Scholar. While he has presented technical criticisms of nuclear winter on several occasions, he really raised the hackles of nuclear winter scientists with an article in The National Interest entitled “In from the cold: ‘nuclear winter’ melts down”. In this article he not only criticises the scientific basis for nuclear winter, but also systematically argues that the whole nuclear winter argument was politically motivated: “a politicization of science sufficient to result in the advertising of mere conjecture as hard fact”. Seitz points out the role of the peace movement in triggering consideration of nuclear winter. He argues that the TTAPS model is filled with assumptions which give results which the researchers wanted to achieve: “worst-case analysis run amok”. ... After a discussion of the media promotion of nuclear winter, Seitz turns to the substantive scientific criticisms, such as Schneider and Thompson's reevaluation that the effect would better be called “nuclear autumn”. Seitz ... suggests that nuclear winter is virtually a conspiracy by supporters of Western peace movements ...

“... to even raise the issue of political factors influencing nuclear winter research would be damaging to the scientific objectivity claimed for the work. It is therefore not surprising that the nuclear winter proponents have not presented their own version of the interplay between science and politics.”

Update: for a full account of the 1960s origins of "nuclear winter" myth see later blog post linked here, which explains that Dr Tom Stonier published a book called Nuclear Disaster in America in 1963, predicting a nuclear winter "ice age" in chapter 12, "Ecological Upsets: Climate and Erosion." He claimed: "If the detonation of a large number of surface bursts should lead to an ice age, then the distortion of nature would last for millennia." A watered-down version of this propaganda was simply restated with similarly false targetting assumptions (ignoring the terrorist threats from single nuclear explosions, judged more probable than an all-out nuclear war by the U. S. Army field manuals) plus expensive media hype by the public relations company TAPPS used in 1983 to attract the media to attend their lavish "Conference on the Long—Term Worldwide Biological Consequences of Nuclear War", in Washington, D.C. The editor of Nature, Dr John Maddox, in his editorial in 1983 (vol. 312, p. 593) called the ‘nuclear winter’ scandal from TAPPS ‘hype’ because they got publicity by means of handing over $50,000 to a public relations company (the funding came from the Kendall Foundation). This is how political pseudo-science is marketed via media hype, caveat emptor! Lacking this "public relations" funding, Stonier went unheard twenty years earlier. When the buildings of Hiroshima burned, and when forests burn, moisture is carried up in the atmosphere along with the soot. When the column of dusty, hot, humid air reaches cold air at high altitudes, the moisture condenses on to the soot, and you get black rain out. This occurred at Hiroshima: it wasn't contaminated with significant radioactivity because the firestorm only began 30 minutes after the explosion, by which time the airborne radioactive mushroom cloud had been blown many miles downwind from the firestorm area.

Vaporizing myths: J. E. Kester and R. B. Ferguson, Operation Teapot, Project 5.4, Evaluation of Fireball Lethality Using Basic Missile Structures

“Observations of the remains of towers and shielding material after detonation at several ground zeros indicate that large masses of material are not vaporized. Observations of the residue of the Smoky tower [44 kt bomb atop a 700 foot high steel tower] indicated that a very significant portion of that tower remained, including the upper 200 feet of steel. Another example similar to Shot Smoky was Shot Apple II [29 kt atop a 500 ft steel tower], Teapot Series. Even though the total yield of Shot Apple II was about [29 kt], the floor of the cab [housing the nuclear bomb itself, at the top of the tower] and the main tower support columns remained intact. The results of the Shot Fizeau [11 kt atop a 500 ft steel tower] tower melt studies (W. K. Dolen and A. D. Thornborough, Fitzeau Tower Melt Studies, Sandia report SC-4185, 1958, Secret) show that about 85 percent of tower material was accounted for after the detonation and that only the upper 50 feet of tower was vaporized. No melting occurred beyond 175 feet from the top of the tower although the fireball theoretically engulfed more than 400 feet of the tower.”

- Dr Kermit H. Larson, et al., Distribution, Characteristics, and Biotic Availability of Fallout, Operation Plumbbob, weapon test report WT-1488, ADA077509, July 1966, page 59.

J. E. Kester and R. B. Ferguson report in Operation Teapot, Project 5.4, Evaluation of Fireball Lethality Using Basic Missile Structures, WT-1134 (originally Secret – Restricted Data), AD0340137, that within the 23 kt Teapot-Met (Nevada, 15 April 1955, 400 ft steel bomb tower) although the bomb test steel tower was blown down, it was not vaporized and much survived despite having been engulfed by the fireball itself, as stated on page 30:

“... nearly 225 feet of the main support members of the shot tower were still intact and laid out radially from their original position.”

Page 116 of WT-1134 states that after the 2 kt Moth shot atop a 300 foot triangular tower on 22 February 1955: “The three tower legs were laid out approximately radially from their pre-shot positions. The longest tower leg found was about 200 ft long. The other two legs appeared to be about 150 ft long. All three guy cables were still attached ... A few large pieces of the tower, about 20 to 30-ft long, were strewn to ranges of about 200 feet.” It adds that after the 7 kt Tesla shot atop a 300 ft square tower on 1 March 1955: “the four tower legs ... were laid out radially from their original position ... The tower legs remained intact to lengths of about 125 feet. All four guy cables were still attached ...” The 43 kt Turk nuclear test was fired atop a 500 ft square tower, leaving 100 ft lengths of tower lengths on the ground (page 118). The 8 kt Bee shot atop a 500 ft tower failed to even knock down most of the tower (pages 120-1): “A large portion of this tower was still standing after the shot. ... It is estimated that at least 150 feet of the tower was essentially undamaged and standing erect with an additional 50 to 75 feet of the tower slightly melted and drooped over at the top.” The 14 kt Apple 1 shot atop a 500 ft square tower results (page 121): “The main support members of the shot tower still remained to lengths of about 150 feet with the top 25 to 50 feet being crushed and split ... Some of the legs remained attached to the base.” The 23 kt Met shot was atop a 400 ft square tower (pages 123-4): “About 225 feet of the tower legs were still intact with the top 25 to 50 feet being crushed, split and slightly melted ....”

Above: color photo shows the lower 200 feet surviving from the 300 ft steel tower of the 0.2 kt Ruth nuclear test in Nevada on 31 March 1953. The black and white photographs are from the 23 kt Teapot-Met nuclear explosion (Nevada, 15 April 1955) ablation tests by J. E. Kester and R. B. Ferguson, Operation Teapot, Project 5.4, Evaluation of Fireball Lethality Using Basic Missile Structures, WT-1134 (Secret – Restricted Data), AD0340137, which showed that at just 80 feet only the outer 0.4 inch of steel balls was ablated by the fireball.

The error in the popular myth that everything is vaporized in the fireball is that the cooling rate of the fireball is so great that there is literally not enough time for the heat to penetrate more than a thin surface layer before the temperature drops below melting point. Good heat conductors like steel are protected by ablation. A very thin surface layer of the material is vaporized, protecting the underlying material, just as occurs with thermal radiation striking wooden houses (Glasstone and Dolan, The Effects of Nuclear Weapons):

Above: beer bottles fused in the firestorm in Hiroshima, 2-3 hours after the explosion. Similar fused glass was found by Samuel Pepys after the Great Fire of London, when the wood-frame buildings burned down. At Hiroshima, the thermal pulse had no significant effect on transparent materials like glass, and it has no significant effect on wood, brick, concrete or steel. The firestorm occurred later, when fires combined after the overturning of charcoal cooking braziers and the ignition of black colored blackout curtains in wooden houses, neither of which is possible in modern cities. Unlike the 9/11 fires in the World Trade Centre buildings, nuclear bombs don't inject burning aviation fuel into buildings: the big buildings at Hiroshima and Nagasaki did not contain any fire sprinkler systems like modern city buildings.

The fireball vaporization myth and civil defense

The anti-civil defense league throughout the Cold War promoted the lie that Hiroshima and Nagasaki were "vaporized", that people who shadowed wooden panels or paint from scorching were "vaporized", and that in the event of a nuclear attack, everything will be "vaporized", so that duck and cover precautions are useless. This myth needs to be refuted in scientific detail before civil defense will be taken seriously.

Above: line-of-sight shadowing in Hiroshima (Glasstone and Dolan, 1977). What really angers people who are against terrorism is the the fact that the anti-civil defence lobby uses this evidence for pseudo-scientific purposes, claiming falsely that anything in Hiroshima and Nagasaki which cast a burns shadow was 'vaporized'. People who cast 'shadows' on otherwise burned materials were not vaporized, they were painfully burned, and if they had ducked and covered behind anything opaque, they wouldn't have been.

‘A soldier on picket duty at Nagasaki was vaporised by the explosion even though he was 3.5 km from the centre of the blast.’

- Myth promoted by physics Professors Tony Hey and Patrick Walters, The Quantum Universe, Cambridge University Press, 1989, p. 69.

The soldier was only subject to skin reddening because of the brief pulse, which even a leaf or a sheet of paper stopped. The wooden panel behind the person was slightly scorched where shielded by the person. Hey and Walters’ are unaware that it takes more energy to evaporate water (people are 70% water) than to burn dry wood! If the flash had been sufficient to ‘vaporise’ anyone, the wooden panel would have burned first, being less than 70% water! However, some physics professors are proud to promote pseudo-science like non-relativistic (first-quantization) quantum mechanics in preference to relativistic second quantization, just like the myth that a bomb can vaporize 70% water people and merely leave scorch marks on a wooden fence!

ABOVE: U.S. Army photo showing how a mere leaf of Fatsia japonica attenuated the heat flash enough to prevent scorching to the bitumen on an electric pole near the Meiji Bridge, 1.3 km range, Hiroshima. It didn't even vaporize the leaf before the pulse ended, let alone did it somehow ignite the wooden pole (most photos claiming to show thermal flash radiation effects in Hiroshima and Nagasaki purely show effects from the fires set off by the blast wave overturning cooking stoves, which developed 30 minutes to 2 hours later).

'Even blades of grass cast permanent shadows on otherwise badly scorched wood. The [Hiroshima nuclear bomb heat] flash lasted less time than it took the grass to shrivel.' - Chapman Pincher, Into the Atomic Age, Hutchinson and Co., London, 1950, p. 50.

Above: people in Hiroshima mainly died from combined flash burns and radiation exposure (data from: Dr Ashley Oughterson and Dr Shields Warren, Medical Effects of the Atomic Bomb in Japan, McGraw-Hill, New York, 1956). The graph shows the impact of any kind of light shadow (not nuclear radiation shielding) from the line of sight of the fireball to the person, on survival probability. Nuclear radiation interfered with burn recovery, turning mild superficial burns into a lethal source of infection when the white blood cell count was depressed during the recovery phase by the fact that the burns were accompanied by concurrent nuclear radiation exposure. Hiroshima’s wood-frame houses shielded the heat flash, as did vehicles, trees, hills, bridges, tunnels and clothing, and by removing thermal burns, nuclear radiation became survivable. Glass/debris impacts are also avoided by ducking down since the blast is delayed like thunder after lightning. Notice that ‘duck and cover’ action would have increased survival probability at 1.75-2.5 km by a factor of 5.8-5.9.

'Don't stand behind windows in an attack. First you will get burned and then you will have fine glass splinters driven into you very deeply within distances like 7 miles from a 1-megaton burst. ... Glass in any disaster like the Texas City disaster is one of the primary materials found in the normal home which can result in blinding and all other types of effects due to the flying small splinters of glass.'

- Dr Frank H. Shelton, Technical Director of U.S. Armed Forces Special Weapons Project, testimony to U.S. Congressional Hearings on the Biological and Environmental Effects of Nuclear War, 22-26 June 1959, page 41.

Although windows are just broken by the peak overpressure out to 25 miles from a 1 Mt surface burst, the hazard from the blast wind pressure accelerating the glass fragments into a missile threat only extends to 7 miles
. E.g., many windows were broken in Las Vegas after Nevada tests due to the refraction of blast waves, but the glass fell vertically to the ground without hurting anybody. Note in particular that the blast winds which accelerate the glass from windows blow radially outwards from the bomb, so only windows facing the explosion become a source of fast flying glass fragments. Windows side-on to the blast and on the back of houses can be smashed by the overpressure, but those glass fragments are not accelerated into horizontally flying high-speed missiles. Windows side-on and on the rear of houses are also less likely to break because they are subjected to less than the reflected peak overpressure that the front face of a building receives. For example, rear windows on the houses exposed to the Nevada Apple-2 nuclear test survived where the incident peak overpressure was 1.7 psi, which was enough to break all windows facing the explosion.

Nuclear radiation by itself was an extremely survivable effect, but in combination with thermal flash burns and blast debris injuries, there was a synergism which decreased the LD50 dramatically. Burns wounds which would not be fatal in the absence of simultaneous radiation exposure proved lethal even where the amount of nuclear radiation was not by itself lethal. The mechanism is that the moderate doses of nuclear radiation depressed the white blood cell count for several weeks after exposure, which proved lethal when the patient also had infected burns wounds, because of the absence of enough white blood cells to combat the infection during this crucial time.

A month before nuclear weapons were exploded at Hiroshima and Nagasaki on 6 and 9 of August 1945, weather aircraft were sent over the cities daily to ‘accustom the Japanese to seeing daytime flights of two or three bombers’ (autobiography of 509th bombing group commander and Hiroshima pilot, Colonel Paul Tibbets). B-29 weather aircraft preceded the nuclear B-29 bomber, giving a false sense of security. In Hiroshima the air-raid warning sounded at 7 am, and the all-clear at 7:30 am, but the bomb was dropped at 8:09 am. People cooked breakfasts with charcoal braziers in inflammable wood homes, with paper screens and bamboo furniture. Blasted red-hot charcoal and screens in the wooden houses started fires. In Nagasaki, the air-raid siren sounded at 7:50 am but was cleared before the bomb fell at 11 am.

Above: photo of the tunnel shelters in the hillside near ground zero, Nagasaki. According to both the originally secret U.S. Strategic Bombing Survey 1947 detailed report on Nagasaki and also the openly-published 1956 book The Medical Effects of the Atomic Bomb in Japan, these tunnel shelters had places for 70,000 people but fewer than 400 were in them when the bomb dropped, because the small number of American aircraft passing daily over the cities for weeks beforehand (to build up weather data and target surveillance, as well as to get the anti-aircraft gunnery crews complacent so that the nuclear bomb aircraft would not be shot down before dropping the bomb) without attacking the cities, had gradually worn down the civil defence response to small groups of aircraft passing overhead. People in the shelters survived all the effects intact, as they provided adequate shielding. If the people had taken used the shelters, they would have survived. This photo is Figure 12.52a on page 389 of Glasstone's The Effects of Atomic Weapons, U.S. Department of Defense, 1950.

The originally ‘secret’ May 1947 U.S. Strategic Bombing Survey report on Nagasaki states (Nagasaki, vol. 1, p. 10): ‘... the raid alarm was not given ... until 7 minutes after the atomic bomb had exploded ... less than 400 persons were in the tunnel shelters which had capacities totalling approximately 70,000.’ (National Archives document AIR 48/163). This situation, of most people watching lone B-29 bombers, led to the severe burns by radiation and flying debris injuries in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Dr Ashley Oughterson and Dr Shields Warren noted a fire risk in Medical Effects of the Atomic Bomb in Japan (McGraw-Hill, New York, 1956, p. 17):

‘Conditions in Hiroshima were ideal for a conflagration. Thousands of wooden dwellings and shops were crowded together along narrow streets and were filled with combustible material.’

The British Mission to Japan also analysed the damage and casualties in 1945, and comprised of 10 Home Office scientists who had been studying effects of conventional bombing on Britain, and 6 military scientists. Some of these Home Office scientists, particularly Frank H. Pavry (principal scientific officer for civil defence at the Home Office from 1948–76), continued to work on nuclear weapons effects at the Home Office throughout the 1950s, and accompanied by George R. Stanbury (who set up Home Office experiments at the first British nuclear test, Hurricane, 1952) and others, worked out civil defence countermeasures.

Above: photos of crude earth covered wood-frame shelters that survived at 90 metres from ground zero in Nagasaki and 274 metres from ground zero in Hiroshima, amidst the debris from blast and fire effects on the surrounding wooden houses. These photos were first published as photographs 17 and 18 in the 1946 H.M. Stationery Office publication of the report of the British Mission to Japan, The Effects of the Atomic Bombs at Hiroshima and Nagasaki. They then appeared in the June 1950 published British Home Office Civil Defence Manual, Atomic Warfare. They next appeared in a 1963 article by F. X. Lynch entitld 'Adequate Shelters and Quick Reactions to Warning: A key to Civil Defense', published in Science, vol. 142, pp. 665-7, and finally in Cresson H. Kearny's 1979 Oak Ridge National Laboratory publication, Nuclear War Survival Skills. The Japanese wooden frames (they were very short of steel, due to the war effort using up steel to produce aircraft, ships, etc.) were far less protective than the corrugated steel arches of British Anderson shelters, which survived even better when exposed to measured air blast at the Operation HURRICANE nuclear bomb test in 1952. But the basic principle of earth arching worked even with the wooden frame of the Hiroshima shelter, as Kearny's 1979 book explained : 'It's narrow room and a 3-foot-thick earth cover brought about effective earth arching; this kept its yielding wooden frame from being broken.' Earth arching makes the force from the applied air blast loading conduct through the compressed soil, diffracting around the wood or steel frame instead of being passed on to the frame. This arch arching mechanism was a late discovery in the nuclear testing programme, but it was extensively investigated in nuclear tests from 1957 onwards.

The 1946 British Mission to Japan report on Hiroshima and Nagasaki debunks myths about people being vaporised where shadows were cast on flash-burned material: ‘There were cases where a clump of grass or the leaf of a tree has cast a sharp shadow on otherwise scorched wood. Therefore the most intense flash from the ball of fire had ended in a time less than that required to shrivel vegetation.’ It also notes that: ‘even the thin clothing protected from flash burn.’

Equally important, it debunks some of the horror rumours which were spread: ‘a rumour was current which age has made almost respectable, for it appeared in the London Blitz and before that in Barcelona during the Spanish Civil War. This was that large numbers of people had been ripped open by the blast, and their entrails exposed; their eyes and tongues were said also to have hung out. Experience in this country [Britain] has shown that blast pressure alone does not in fact cause these sensational effects ... two Nagasaki survivors who had spoken of seeing hundreds or thousands of such bodies on examination reduced their claim to one or two. Flying debris would be expected to produce a few such injuries.’ (Report of the British Mission to Japan, The Effects of the Atomic Bombs at Hiroshima and Nagasaki, H.M. Stationery Office, London, 1946, pp. 17-18.)

According to the 1979 U.S. Office of Technology Assessment report The Effects of Nuclear War, p. 31: ‘... on a winter night less than 1 percent of the population might be exposed to direct thermal radiation, while on a clear summer weekend afternoon more than 25 percent might be exposed (that is, have no structure between the fireball and the person).’

The secret 1981 U.S. Department of Defence Capabilities of Nuclear Weapons (c. 10, p. 10) states that pain produced by intense thermal radiation provides ‘a useful tool in warning an individual to evade the thermal pulse.’

R. A. Langevin and others in 1958 compared the ability of trained troops and the untrained civilian population to duck and turn away, covering exposed skin (Operations Research, vol. 6, p. 710). Trained troops duck and cover in 0.75 second when a very bright flash occurs. The untrained civilians fared less well: 2% protected themselves within 1 second, 15% by 2 seconds, 50% by 3 seconds, 70% by 4 seconds, 80% by 5 seconds, 90% by 7 seconds, but 7.5% are still fully exposed at 10 seconds after detonation. The young and the old react most slowly if they lack clear simple knowledge of the dangers. Langevin shows that even this untrained protective reaction increases the amount of energy required to cause burns to an exposed population, especially in the case of high-yield weapons which expose the most people.

Dr Samuel Glasstone and Philip J. Dolan stated in the 1977 edition of The Effects of Nuclear Weapons (U.S. Department of Defence, p. 561):

‘Persons exposed to nuclear explosions of low or intermediate yield may sustain very severe burns... 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, like mild second-degree burns.’

At Hiroshima and Nagasaki, high mortality from superficial burns occurred despite the slight depth of charred skin, because of synergistic interaction between nuclear and thermal radiation exposure. This was discovered by Dr James W. Brooks et al. in 1952, and published in their paper ‘The Influence of External Body Radiation on Mortality from Thermal Burns’ (Annals of Surgery, vol. 136, p. 533). Although superficial third-degree burns from the brief thermal pulse of a nuclear explosion are easily survived, a concurrent nuclear radiation exposure of 100 r interferes with recovery by suppressing the white blood cell count, allowing otherwise minor infections to become lethal.

Contrary to antinuclear propaganda claims that people were ‘vaporised’ in Japanese photographs of human ‘shadows’ left behind on otherwise melted asphalt paint and road surfaces, the fact that these shadows exist proves that people blocked the thermal radiation without disappearing. The peak skin temperature is reached when the rate of absorption of energy equals the rate of dissipation of energy by re-emission, blood circulation, and air-cooling. The human body (mainly water) could not be vaporised by the thermal exposures present at ground zero, even if the energy could have somehow diffused throughout a person within the time available. Skin has a thermal conductance of 8 kg.cal/m2/hour/C. Another recurring myth are spectacular keloids (overgrowths of scar tissue) misrepresented as ‘nuclear bomb’ burns: ‘The degree of the keloid formation was undoubtedly influenced by secondary infections, that complicated healing of the burns, and by malnutrition, but more important is the known tendency for keloid formation to occur among the Japanese, as a racial characteristic. Thus, many spectacular keloids were formed after the healing of burns produced in the fire raids on Tokyo.’ (Dr Samuel Glasstone, editor, The Effects of Atomic Weapons, U.S. Department of Defence, September 1950, p. 337.)

In a controlled sample of 36,500 survivors, 89 people got leukemia over a 40 year period, above the number in the unexposed control group. (Data: Radiation Research, volume 146, 1996, pages 1-27.) Over 40 years, in 36,500 survivors monitored, there were 176 leukemia deaths which is 89 more than the control (unexposed) group got naturally. There were 4,687 other cancer deaths, but that was merely 339 above the number in the control (unexposed) group, so this is statistically a much smaller rise than the leukemia result. Natural leukemia rates, which are very low in any case, were increased by 51% in the irradiated survivors, but other cancers were merely increased by just 7%. Adding all the cancers together, the total was 4,863 cancers (virtually all natural cancer, nothing whatsoever to do with radiation), which is just 428 more than the unexposed control group. Hence, the total increase over the natural cancer rate due to bomb exposure was only 9%, spread over a period of 40 years. There was no increase whatsoever in genetic malformations.

Contrast these hard facts to the propaganda first spread by Dr Harold Jacobson, a nuclear effects ignorant Manhattan Project physicist at Los Alamos, who claimed to the International News Service that Hiroshima will be uninhabitable for 75 years, and then falsely added: ‘Any Japanese who try to ascertain the extent of the damage caused by the atomic bomb are committing suicide.’

Examine the post-attack recovery rate in Hiroshima before any significant outside help arrived:

7 August (Day 2): Survivors open bridges and roads to pedestrian traffic, clearing away debris: “The [Hiroshima] prefectural governor issued a proclamation on 7 August, calling for ‘a rehabilitation of the stricken city and an aroused fighting spirit ...’. To prevent the spread of rumors and brace morale, 210,000 out-of-town newspapers were brought in daily to replace the destroyed local paper.” (Source: U. S. Strategic Bombing Survey, The Effects of the Atomic Bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, 19 June 1946, page 9.)

8 August (Day 3): Rail tracks cleared and trains to Hiroshima resumed.

9 August (Day 4): Street trolley bus (electric tram) lines return to service.

1 November (Day 86): “the population of Hiroshima is back to 137,000. ... The official Japanese figures summed up the building destruction at 62,000 out of a total of 90,000 buildings in the urban area, or 69%. An additional 6,000 or 6.6% were severely damaged, and most of the others showed glass breakage or disturbance of roof tile. These figures show the magnitude of the problem facing the survivors. ... In view of the lack of medical facilities, supplies and personnel, and the disruption of the sanitary system, the escape from epidemics may seem surprising. The experience of other bombed cities in Germany and Japan shows that this is not an isolated case. A possible explanation may lie in the disinfecting action of the extensive fires. In later weeks, disease rates rose, but not sharply.” (Source: U. S. Strategic Bombing Survey, The Effects of the Atomic Bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, 19 June 1946, page 9.)

Next, consider what civil defence did during the post-attack recovery process to help aid survivors in Nagasaki, subjected to a nuclear explosion just 3 days after Hiroshima:

9 August (Day 1): Emergency rations are brought in to feed 25,000 survivors (though less than the required amount, due to bureaucratic confusion). The survivors lived in the air-raid shelters, which had survived.

10 August (Day 2): Emergency rations are brought in to feed 67,000 survivors: “this represents a remarkable feat of organisation that illustrates the great possibilities of mass feeding.” (Source: Fred C. Ikle, The Social Impact of Bomb Destruction, University of Oklahoma Press, 1958, p. 147.) “On the morning of 10 August [in Nagasaki], police rescue units and workers from the Kawami-nami shipbuilding works began the imperative task of clearing the Omura-Nagasaki pike, which was impassable for 8,000 feet. A path 6 ½ feet wide was cleared despite the intense heat from smouldering fires, and by August 15 had been widened to permit two-way traffic. No trucks, only rakes and shovels, were available for clearing the streets, which were filled with tile, bricks, stone, corrugated iron, machinery, plaster, and stucco. Street areas affected by blast and not by fire were littered with wood. Throughout the devastated area, all wounded had to be carried by stretcher, since no motor vehicles were able to proceed through the cluttered streets for several days. The plan for debris removal required clearance of a few streets leading to the main highway; but there were frequent delays caused by the heat of smouldering fires and by calls for relief work. The debris was simply raked and shoveled off the streets. By 20 August the job was considered complete. The streets were not materially damaged by the bomb nor were the surface or the abutments of the concrete bridges, but many of the wooden bridges were totally or partially destroyed by fire. ... Despite the absence of sanitary measures, no epidemics broke out here. The dysentery rate rose from 25/100,000 to 125/100,000. A census taken on 1 November 1945 found a population of 142,700 in the city [Nagasaki]. ... Of the 52,000 residential units in the city [of Nagasaki] on 1 August, 14,146 or 27.2 percent were completely destroyed (by Japanese count) (11,494 of these were burned); 5,441 or 10.5 percent were half-burned or destroyed; many of the remaining units suffered superficial or minor damage.” (Source: U. S. Strategic Bombing Survey, The Effects of the Atomic Bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, 19 June 1946, pages 12-13.)

7 October (Day 60): The first green shoots of recovery appeared on an irradiated and firestorm-burned chestnut tree, photographed by U.S. Air Force observers, and published in the U.S. Congress book, The Effects of Nuclear War, 1979:

Above: the U.S. Office of Technology Assessment published a very poorly researched book in May 1979 (full of popular lies about ozone layer damage, and so on) called The Effects of Nuclear War in which the one useful disclosure (on page 114) was this U.S. Air Force photo of the leaves and new shoots appearing on a chestnut tree in Nagasaki 2 months after being irradiated with gamma rays and neutrons and then charred and burned in the fires which followed. Predictably, this one piece of honesty is omitted from the online PDF version of that book by the Federation of American Scientists here (which is so poorly scanned for page 114 that not even a single word of the photo caption is readable), and also hosted by Princeton University here. Robert Jungk, Children of the Ashes (Heinemann, London, 1961): 'one morning in April 1946, the Vice-Mayor [of Hiroshima] gazed for a long time. For what met his eyes was a sight he had scarcely hoped ever to see again ... The blackness of the branches was dappled with the brilliant white of cherry buds opening into blossom.'

Robert Jungk carefully investigated the history of the recovery in Hiroshima by interviewing the people involved and collecting first hand reports, and gives further interesting details in his book Children of the Ashes (Heinemann, London, 1961):

1. On 31 August 1945: 'the first locally produced and locally printed post-war edition of the Chugoku Shimbun was on sale in the streets of Hiroshima ... 'Our darkroom was an air-raid shelter dug into the hillside [which survived of course]', one of the editors remembers, 'but our type had to be cast in the open air, under the sunny sky.'

2. On 7 September 1945, the Chugoku Shimbun reported that Hiroshima then had a population estimated to be 130,000.

3. On 10 September 1945, electricity was reconnected to some parts of Hiroshima: 'huts made of planks quickly knocked together ... already had electric light.'

4. On 5 November 1945, the Chugoku Shimbun reported that - despite inertia and delays due to 'the rigidity of bureaucratic procedure' which was hindering the recovery rate - a lot of progress was being made:

'Housing. The building of houses is to be systematically begun on 15 November. ...

'Tramways. At present, ten trams are in commission on the main route, eight on the Miyajima route and five muncipal buses. These twenty-three vehicles must cater for an average of 42,000 persons daily.'

Some 70% of the destroyed buildings of Hiroshima had been reconstructed by mid-1949. (Ref.: Research Department, Hiroshima Municipal Office, as cited in Hiroshima, Hiroshima Publishing, 1949. Other recovery data are given in U.S. Strategic Bombing Survey, The Effects of Atomic Bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Washington, D.C., 1946, p. 8.)

Above: the Chugoku newspaper building 870 m east of GZ Hiroshima, gutted by fire. Unlike the CND 'survivors would envy the dead' propaganda of big name 'journalists' (anti-civil defense propagandarists) of today, those journalists at Hiroshima didn't let a nuclear attack deflect them from their duty of reporting news truthfully. They go on with the task of helping to keep morale up, and assisting the flow of information needed to rebuild Hiroshima. They rolled their sleeves up, and got to work, setting type outdoors, processing photographic prints in an old air raid shelter! These journalists are a model for civil defense!

'I must confess that as an expert, my original view, and the view I held during the time I was on the SALT delegation, was that there was no defense against nuclear war and that there was no realistic recovery from it. ... [However, upon checking the actual facts... ] The day after the blast, bridges in downtown Hiroshima were open to traffic. Two days later, the trains started to run again, and three days later, some of the streetcar lines were back in operation.'

- Thomas K. Jones, Program and Product Evaluation Manager, Boeing Aerospace Company, Testimony the Hearings before the Joint Committee on Defense Production, U.S. Congress, 17 November 1976.

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.)


At 9:10 am, Blogger nige said...

Nuclear winter has quite an interesting history. It started off with the comet impact that wiped out the dinosaurs. The comet forms a fireball when it collides with the atmosphere, and the thermal radiation is supposed to ignite enough tropical vegetation to produce a thick smoke cloud, freezing the ground and killing off many species.

The best soot to absorb solar radiation is that from burning oil, and Saddam tested this by igniting all of Kuwait's oil wells after the first Gulf War. Massive clouds of soot were produced, but the temperature drop was far less than "nuclear winter" calculations predicted occurred in the affected areas: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_winter#Kuwait_wells_in_the_first_Gulf_War

The idea that a dark smoke layer will stop heat energy reaching the ground is naive because by conservation of energy, the dark smoke must heat up when it absorbs sunlight, and since it is dark in colour it is as good at radiating heat as absorbing it. So it passes the heat energy downwards as the whole cloud heats up, and when the bottom of the cloud has reached a temperature equilibrium with the top, it radiates heat down to the ground, preventing the dramatic sustained cooling.

Although there is a small drop in temperature at first, as when clouds obscure the sun, all the soot cloud will do in the long run is to reduce the daily temperature variation of the air from day to night, so that the temperature all day and all night will be fairly steady and close to the average of the normal daytime and nighttime temperatures.

The dinosaur extinction evidence, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chicxulub_Crater, might be better explained by the direct effects of the comet impact: the air blast wave and thermal radiation effects on dinosaurs, and the kilometers-high tsunami. At the time the comet struck Chicxulub in Mexico with 100 TT (100,000,000 megatons or 100 million million tons) energy 65 million years ago, the continents were all located in the same area, see the map at http://www.dinotreker.com/cretaceousearth.html and would all have suffered severe damage from the size of the explosion. Most dinosaur fossils found are relatively close to the impact site on the world map 65 million years ago.

Another issue is that some proportion of the rock in the crater was calcium carbonate, which releases CO2 when heated in a fireball. If there was enough of it, the climatic effects would have been due to excessive heating, not cooling.

The "nuclear winter" idea relies on soot, not dust such as fallout (which is only about 1% of the crater mass, the remainder being fallback of rock and crater ejecta which lands within a few minutes). So it is basically an extension of the massive firestorms theory, which has many issues because modern cities don't contain enough flammable material per square kilometre to start a firestorm even when using thousands of incendiaries. In cases such as Hiroshima, the heavy fuel loading of the target area created a smoke cloud which carried up a lot of moisture that condensed in the cool air at high altitudes, bringing the soot back promptly to earth as a black rain.

Because this kind of thing is completely ignored by "nuclear winter" calculations, the whole "nuclear winter" physics looks artificial to me. In 1990, after several studies showed that TTAPS (Sagan et al.) had exaggerated the problem massively by their assumptions of a 1-dimensional model and so on, TTAPS wrote another paper in Science, where they sneakily modified the baseline nuclear targetting assumptions so that virtually all the targets were oil refineries. This enabled them to claim that a moderate cooling was still credible. However, the Kuwait burning oil wells experience a few years later did nothing to substantiate their ideas. Sagan did eventually concede there were faulty assumptions in the "nuclear winter" model, although some of his collaborators continue to write about it.

At 2:12 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

For Chicxulub impactor 100TT value is very consevative,real value ~700TT,and recent research indicated that this impact not kill dinosaurs.Killer was asteroid that produced the Shiva crater 40-45km in diameter .

At 2:20 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Shiva impact conservative estimation-3.46*10^9 megatons.

At 1:02 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What about effects of very very high-yield very high altitude detonations?
Consider a 30 gigaton nuclear explosion at 400km altitude what would be effects?

At 1:18 pm, Blogger nige said...

Hi Anonymous,

There is extensive data on this from computer fireball simulations of comet impacts, which has been checked against the effects of immense explosions resulting from the July 1994 impacts on Jupiter which were filmed and photographed by the Hubble space telescope and many earth-based telescopes.

Above 1 Gigaton yield (which I must stress is such a big heavy warhead that it cannot conceivably be a terrorist or enemy threat in the foreseeable future), the thermal and fire effects on forests are generally severe, because the duration of the thermal pulse tail end lasts a long time, and thus it can dry out the vegetation (turning it into tinder or kindling) and then ignite it before the thermal pulse has ended.

Obviously for a burst at 400 km altitude, you need a very high yield to make the "X-ray pancake" fireball radiate enough energy to the ground to start fires.

There is a discussion of the X-ray re-radiation (transfer) calculations in the thermal radiation effects chapter of Glasstone and Dolan, The Effects of Nuclear Weapons, 3rd ed., 1977 and in Brode's 1968 paper in the Annual Review of Nuclear Science vo. 18, pp. 153-202, and also in Bridgman's 2001 DTRA book Introduction to the Physics of Nuclear Weapons Effects, but they don't go up to 1 Gt yield. You would need to do calculations, preferably using the Los Alamos fireball computer simulation software they verified against the 1994 Jupiter impacts fireball luminosity, to get exact answers.

A very crude calculation is to scale up data from the 9 July 1962 Starfish Prime 1.4 Mt nuclear test at 400 km to the yield of 1 Gt. This may not be accurate, because the X-ray pancake properties will not scale up linearly but will qualitatively change as the energy deposition increases.

E.g., for very high yields at 400 km, the top of the atmosphere (below the fireball) will get very hot and may tend to rise ballistically, instead of staying in the same place (as occurs with lower yields detonated at the same altitude). So you need to take that extra physical dynamic into account to reliably predict the thermal exposure on the ground. If the hot X-ray pancake fireball rises fast for big bomb yields, then it reduces the predicted thermal exposure of the ground due to the inverse-square law between the source of the thermal radiation (the height of the X-ray pancake fireball) and the target.

At 9:22 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

How could he said that a human body would not vaporize at the ground zero of an atomic explosion? Can anyone give a more detailed answer regarding this? So if even a nuclear explosion can't vaporize a human being, so what kind of explosion that can vaporize humans instantly? I think he's gonna say that human body will never be vaporize at any ground zero of a nuclear explosion. He is nonsense.

At 11:16 pm, Blogger nige said...

Hiroshima's ground zero was 600 metres under explosion because it was an AIR BURST at 600 metres height, not a surface burst.

People in the open at ground zero received surface burns on the side facing ground zero: the thermal exposure at ground zero (600 metres) from a 16 kt Hiroshima detonation with 1/3rd thermal radiation yield (ignoring atmospheric attenuation) by the inverse square law is equal to {16 (1/3) x 10^12 calories}/(4*Pi*600^2) = 1.28 x 10^6 calories/m^2 or 118 cal/cm^2.

Now, 1 cal is the temperature needed to raise the temperature of 1 gram (1 cm^3) of water (humans are 70% water) by 1 degree centigrade or 1 K, from 15 to 16 C. For humans, to reach vaporization you need to go from 37 to 100 C. If 118 cal/cm^2 is distributed in the top 1 cm thickness of flesh (with no loss due to heat reflection, ablation of the top 1 mm layer, and other damage-limiting processes) then that top 1 cm layer could potentially gain about 118 C in temperature, reaching 155 C (37 C body temperature + 118 C = 115 C), IGNORING the change of state from water to steam when 100 C is passed.

However, you need a massive amount of energy (enthalpy of vaporization, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enthalpy_of_vaporization ) to drive water from 99 C to 100 C, because water molecules have strong bonds between them which need to be broken when water turns to steam.

"... the molecules in liquid water are held together by relatively strong hydrogen bonds, and its enthalpy of vaporization, 40.65 kJ/mol [note that 1 cal = 4.186 J, while 1 mole consists of 6.022 x 10^23 molecules of water per 18 grams of water], is more than five times the energy required to heat the same quantity of water from 0 °C to 100 °C."

- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enthalpy_of_vaporization

So the Hiroshima bomb did NOT deliver enough heat flash energy at GROUND ZERO to even vaporize a layer of water 1 cm thick. If you look at the data on the scorching depths of wood by the thermal flash at the 1955 Operation Teapot tests (Kyle P. Laughlin, Thermal Ignition and Response of Materials, Report to the Test Director, Operation TEAPOT, Nevada Test Site, February-May 1955, Office of Civil and Defense Mobilization, weapon test report WT-1198, December 1957, AD0611227), less than 1 mm of the surface of the wood was removed even by 50 cal/cm^2 or more: additional energy did not increase the depth of charring (the extra energy just went into ablating the top 1 mm more forcefully into a smoke cloud, which then absorbed the remainder of the heat flash and kept the heat absorbed well away from the underlying wood). The same applies at Hiroshima, where the moisture content of skin was 70% (much higher than wood, which was easier to heat, due to less water content; WATER HAS THE HIGHEST SPECIFIC HEAT CAPACITY OF ANY COMMON MATERIAL ON THE PLANET).

The only reason that the top 0.1 mm of roof tile surfaces bubbled at ground zero in Hiroshima was the failure of the 118 cal/cm^2 to penetrate more deeply than 0.1 mm. The tiny depth of the surface which absorbed the energy ensured that the temperature rise was massive, over 2000 C in that tiny 0.1 mm tile surface. Nobody was instantly killed by thermal radiation outside; the nuclear radiation was lethal.

At 11:17 pm, Blogger nige said...

The "nonsense" comes from the liars who sell lies to the public to make them give up on civil defence so they can concentrate solely on provable failures like lying for disarmament and claiming this will solve human problems; despite the fact that it actually ENCOURAGED thugs to exploit the lies in the 1930s.

LYING SOLVES NOTHING. Democracy requires FACTS. The moment we give up searching for facts and surrender to fashionable delusion, we will be like Russia 1917, Germany 1933, or Japan 1941. MAD. We need to permit critical scientific appraisal of FACTS, not suppress them. People need to know what they the effects of nuclear weapons really are, not lies for political "solutions" which so far have never prevented wars from occurring, and have often encouraged aggression by leading to appeasement through helpless vulnerability to terrorism and coercion.

At 5:47 am, Anonymous Nathan Elliott said...

Its hard for me to imagine how people can even believe that buildings of steel and concrete can burn like the flammable buildings in japan in the 1940s. In addition thermal radiation doesn't have an effect on reinforced concrete or steel buildings read 355505.pdf for effects of blast and fireball engulfment on reinforced concrete structures. The thermal radiation doesn't even pass through a millimeter of concrete. In reality deaths from burns would not happen if everyone took shelter in reinforced concrete buildings, away from windows in direct fireball line of sight (most commonly built type of structures today). The blast by far would be the most destructive effect. It is also exaggerated the over pressure needed to destroy these types of structures normally assumed to be 5-6 psi. However data from hiroshima and nagasaki reveal reinforced concrete structures (the few that they had) survived peak overpressures in the 20-30 psi range without serious damage, according to the effects of the atomic bomb on hiroshima,USSBS. Whats even more compelling is 355505.pdf which declassified data on structures exposed during operation castle, ivy, redwing, and hardtack which shows very conclusively that buildings of modern design are much more resistant to damage from nuclear blast than what is assumed by even people who design these reinforced concrete structures. In many cases these structures were able to withstand more overpressure than what they were designed for, as is the case with buildings in hrioshima and nagasaki.


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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 dDELIBERATELY 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.

Update (19 January 2024): Jane Corbin of BBC TV is continuing to publish ill-informed nuclear weapons capabilities nonsense debunked here since 2006 (a summary of some key evidence is linked here), e.g. her 9pm 18 Jan 2024 CND biased propaganda showpiece Nuclear Armageddon: How Close Are We? https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/m001vgq5/nuclear-armageddon-how-close-are-we which claims - from the standpoint of 1980s Greenham Common anti-American CND propaganda - that the world would be safer without nuclear weapons, despite the 1914-18 and 1939-45 trifles that she doesn't even bother to mention, which were only ended with nuclear deterrence. Moreover, she doesn't mention the BBC's Feb 1927 WMD exaggerating broadcast by Noel-Baker which used the false claim that there is no defence against mass destruction by gas bombs to argue for UK disarmament, something that later won him a Nobel Peace Prize and helped ensure the UK had no deterrent against the Nazis until too late to set off WWII (Nobel peace prizes were also awarded to others for lying, too, for instance Norman Angell whose pre-WWI book The Great Illusion helped ensure Britain's 1914 Liberal party Cabinet procrastinated on deciding what to do if Belgium was invaded, and thus failed deter the Kaiser from triggering the First World War!). The whole basis of her show was to edit out any realism whatsoever regarding the topic which is the title of her programme! No surprise there, then. Los Alamos, Livermore and Sandia are currently designing the W93 nuclear warhead for SLBM's to replace the older W76 and W88, and what she should do next time is to address the key issue of what that design should be to deter dictators without risking escalation via collateral damage: "To enhance the flexibility and responsiveness of our nuclear forces as directed in the 2018 NPR, we will pursue two supplemental capabilities to existing U.S. nuclear forces: a low-yield SLBM warhead (W76-2) capability and a modern nuclear sea launched cruise missile (SLCM-N) to address regional deterrence challenges that have resulted from increasing Russian and Chinese nuclear capabilities. These supplemental capabilities are necessary to correct any misperception an adversary can escalate their way to victory, and ensure our ability to provide a strategic deterrent. Russia’s increased reliance on non-treaty accountable strategic and theater nuclear weapons and evolving doctrine of limited first-use in a regional conflict, give evidence of the increased possibility of Russia’s employment of nuclear weapons. ... The NNSA took efforts in 2019 to address a gap identified in the 2018 NPR by converting a small number of W76-1s into the W76-2 low-yield variant. ... In 2019, our weapon modernization programs saw a setback when reliability issues emerged with commercial off-the-shelf non-nuclear components intended for the W88 Alteration 370 program and the B61-12 LEP. ... Finally, another just-in-time program is the W80-4 LEP, which remains in synchronized development with the LRSO delivery system. ... The Nuclear Weapons Council has established a requirement for the W93 ... If deterrence fails, our combat-ready force is prepared now to deliver a decisive response anywhere on the globe ..." - Testimony of Commander Charles Richard, US Strategic Command, to the Senate Committee on Armed Services, 13 Feb 2020. This issue of how to use nuclear weapons safely to deter major provocations that escalate to horrific wars is surely is the key issue humanity should be concerned with, not the CND time-machine of returning to a non-nuclear 1914 or 1939! Corbin doesn't address it; she uses debunked old propaganda tactics to avoid the real issues and the key facts.

For example, Corbin quotes only half a sentence by Kennedy in his TV speech of 22 October 1962: "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", and omits the second half of the sentence, which concludes: "requiring a full retalitory response upon the Soviet Union." Kennedy was clearly using US nuclear superiority in 1962 to deter Khrushchev from allowing the Castro regime to start any nuclear war with America! By chopping up Kennedy's sentence, Corbin juggles the true facts of history to meet the CND agenda of "disarm or be annihilated." Another trick is her decision to uncritically interview CND biased anti-civil defense fanatics like the man (Professor Freedman) who got Bill Massey of the Sunday Express to water down my article debunking pro-war CND type "anti-nuclear" propaganda lies on civil defense in 1995! Massey reported to me that Freedman claimed civil defense is no use against a H-bomb, which he claims is cheaper than dirt cheap shelters, exactly what Freedman wrote in his deceptive letter published in the 26 March 1980 Times newspaper: "for far less expenditure the enemy could make a mockery of all this by increasing the number of attacking weapons", which completely ignores the Russian dual-use concept of simply adding blast doors to metro tubes and underground car parks, etc. In any case, civil defense makes deterrence credible as even the most hard left wingers like Duncan Campbell acknowledged on page 5 of War Plan UK (Paladin Books, London, 1983): "Civil defence ... is a means, if need be, of putting that deterrence policy, for those who believe in it, into practical effect."