Glasstone's errors in The Effects of Nuclear Weapons, and the strategic implication for deterrence. Realistic effects and credible nuclear weapon capabilities for deterring or stopping aggressive invasions and attacks which could escalate into major conventional or nuclear wars.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

The exaggerated urban effects of nuclear weapons: proof tested civil defence

Our problem is the pseudo-scientific groupthink prejudice and ignorance of the media, which publishes false indoctrination; sycophantic "ridicule" of cheap, effective duck and cover (the flash of an expolsion travels faster than the blast wave).  By dismissing civil defence as a credible option for reducing risks and for negating the effects of terrorist threats and actions, 100% of the "response" emphasis is placed on military action, disarmament idealism, or appeasement of terrorism (all of which have strong advocates in the media, the money-spinning professional pseudo-science peace/environmentalism dogma industries, and  related fashion/fascist politics).  There are few strong civil defence advocates in the government, Parliament, the popular media, the military, the scientific community.  But civil defence must become a component of all humane war, reducing or eliminating collateral damage, mortality, injury and suffering to civilians.

ABOVE: dirt cheap countermeasures worked against blast.  Earth cover was blown off this Anderson shelter in London during the 1940 Blitz.  This damage to the shelter absorbed blast energy, permitting survival inside, just as car bumpers and "crumple zones" absorb impact energy and thus afford protection.  Tables indoors offered similar protection against house collapse and flying debris.

Above: 20 July 1940 London Board of Education "duck and cover" school drill for air raid. The bigger the bomb, the bigger the average time between the light-velocity flash of the explosion and the arrival of the blast wave.  It is a fact that 76.5% of kids ducking and covering in totally demolished houses survived in 2,340 V1 cruise missile attacks on London within 70 ft of the 1 ton TNT equivalent explosion (type A damage, complete collapse).  This data, given in both the 1957 Capabilities of Atomic Weapons and the 1972 Capabilities of Nuclear Weapons, is proved by Dr Derman Christopherson's Confidential report RC-450, Structural Defence.  Bigger yield explosions increase the average arrival time of the blast within the flattened area (for any given pressure, the arrival time increases in proportion to the cube-root of the explosion energy yield, i.e. it takes 10 times longer for 1 psi to arrive in a 1 megaton bomb than in a 1 kiloton bomb), and the thermal and initial nuclear radiation (due to hydrodynamic enhancement of fission product gamma rays, a blast effect on the average air density between bomb and target) are both delivered more slowly as the yield is increased, giving people more time to avoid most of the potential exposure by taking cover.  As the original Secret-classified American Handbook on Capabilities of Atomic Weapons (AD511880L) admitted on page 81: "The large number of casualties in Japan resulted for the most part from the lack of warning."

"The entire Free World, despite its intellectual sophistication, is being held hostage by fear.  This fear of the unknown has proliferated for the past 80 years through propaganda, unsound pronouncements of world leaders, and misleading labels compounded by a public press that has neglected its own mandate to seek out and tell the truth."

- James W. Hammond, Poison gas: the myths versus reality, Preface (Greenwood Press, 1999).

June 1950 British ATOMIC WARFARE handbook with Foreword by Prime Minister Clement Attlee

Above: America is preparing for urban nuclear detonations due to nuclear proliferation, which itself stems from the attraction to dictatorships of exaggerated urban nuclear weapons effects hype from the cold war era.  In the Cold War, exaggerations aided nuclear deterrence of the tremendous conventional forces of the Warsaw Pact, which was relatively cheaply (compared to conscripting half the population into a conventional army).  For example, houses were built with a clear radial line-of-sight to the fireball in the unobstructed Nevada desert in 1953 Operation Upshot Knothole test Encore which proved that if we knock all the houses down in a city to prevent any shadowing effects, thermal radiation still cannot ignite a whitewashed wooden house, but will ignite one packed with inflammables at the (very dry) 19% relative humidity of that test.  The same stunt was repeated in 1955 at Operation Teapot, shot Apple 2, where again thermal, blast and nuclear radiation effects were exaggerated by failing to simulate the shadowing and shielding of a modern city.  In Hiroshima, the secret USSBS report 92 volume 2 showed that there was an enormous difference in mean areas of effectiveness for destruction of modern city buildings and the predominant wooden houses which are not found in modern city centres, which would be the targets for nuclear attack:

President John F. Kennedy
Delivered in person before a joint session of Congress
May 25, 1961:

One major element of the national security program which this nation has never squarely faced up to is civil defense. … Public considerations have been largely characterized by apathy, indifference and skepticism ... this deterrent concept assumes rational calculations by rational men. And the history of this planet, and particularly the history of the 20th century, is sufficient to remind us of the possibilities of an irrational attack, a miscalculation, an accidental war, which cannot be either foreseen or deterred. It is on this basis that civil defense can be readily justifiable - as insurance for the civilian population in case of an enemy miscalculation. It is insurance we trust will never be needed - but insurance which we could never forgive ourselves for foregoing in the event of catastrophe. ... no insurance is cost-free; and every American citizen and his community must decide for themselves whether this form of survival insurance justifies the expenditure of effort, time and money. For myself, I am convinced that it does.

“If a man reads or hears a criticism of anything in which he has an interest, watch whether his first question is as to its fairness and truth. If he reacts to any such criticism with strong emotion; if he bases his complaint on the ground that it is not in ‘good taste,’ or that it will have a bad effect - in short, if he shows concern with any question except ‘is it true?’ he thereby reveals that his own attitude is unscientific. Likewise if in his turn he judges an idea not on its merits but with reference to the author of it; if he criticizes it as ‘heresy’; if he argues that authority must be right because it is authority; if he takes a particular criticism as a general depreciation; if he confuses opinion with facts; if he claims that any expression of opinion is ‘unquestionable’; if he declares that something will ‘never’ come about, or it is ‘certain’ that any view is right. The path of truth is paved with critical doubt, and lighted by the spirit of objective enquiry... We learn from history that in every age and every clime the majority of people have resented what seems in retrospect to have been purely matter of fact … We learn too that nothing has aided the persistence of falsehood, and the evils resulting from it, more than the unwillingness of good people to admit the truth … Always the tendency continues to be shocked by natural comment, and to hold certain things too ‘sacred’ to think about. I can conceive no finer ideal of a man’s life than to face life with clear eyes instead of stumbling through it like a blind man, an imbecile, or a drunkard – which, in a thinking sense, is the common preference. How rarely does one meet anyone whose first reaction to anything is to ask: ‘is it true?’ Yet, unless that is a man’s natural reaction, it shows that truth is not uppermost in his mind, and unless it is, true progress is unlikely.”

- Sir Basil Henry Liddell Hart, Why Don’t We Learn from History?, PEN Books, 1944; revised edition, Allen and Unwin, 1972.

Above: in declassified 532 page November 2003 Los Alamos report LA-14066-H on the W76 nuclear warhead, Los Alamos legend Dr Harold Agnew (who flew on the Hiroshima mission, as the observer who personally filmed the only movie of the Hiroshima explosion ever made, and was the Director of Los Alamos National Laboratory from 1970-1979) is quoted as writing to Geller on 10 Oct 1972 that the Hiroshima nuclear bomb's effects on people inside modern city buildings "wasn't all that impressive" (those of concrete which survived, not the widespread wooden buildings which contained breakfast charcoal braziers and paper screens, which burned down after the blast upset them), and you can all see the evidence for this statement in the photo-filled secret 1947 U.S. Strategic Bombing Survey report on Hiroshima, extracts linked here.  Agnew argued that it was like throwing "confetti" at the enemy.  Even against delicate nuclear missiles, filled with explosive fuels, nuclear weapons have to be placed very accurately to have any reliable effect against a hole in the ground.  The "millions of degrees" of propaganda books are confined to the microseconds and to the tiny volume of the weapon.  The large fireball is no hotter than a conventional explosive because its volume scaled up with the yield, keeping the energy density (energy per unit volume of the fireball) and thus temperature constant.

And the high temperature of the large fireball doesn't last for long enough to penetrate more than a fraction of millimetre of sand or to melt anything thicker than a grain of sand!  (See Hardtack report WT-1625 ADA995345 at page 12, or Redwing report USNRDL-TR-208, or Teapot report AD0340137 Evaluation of Fireball Lethality using Basic Missile Structures.)  Hot air cools fast, and rises fast, carrying the fission products and radiation up with it!  By the time some of it falls back in the downwind direction, educated not deluded people can take adequate cover or evacuate in the cross-wind direction.  You won't find this factual evidence for the severe limitations of nuclear weapons in any of the popular and fashionably prejudiced propaganda books, nor in any of the lying popular media articles, books, propaganda documents.

Line-of-sight shielding of thermal, nuclear radiation and blast due to energy absorption by intervening modern concrete and steel frame city buildings: Kyle Millage's Applied Research Associated 2011 report (PDF linked here):

Nobody has ever been "vaporised" by thermal radiation from a nuclear explosion, e.g. in Hiroshima even at ground zero you're talking about ~100 calories per square centimetre in the open.  Useful information: heat of vaporization of water from its boiling point = 2257 J/g = 540 calories/gram.  (An additional energy of 1 cal/gram is needed to raise the temperature of water by each C from its ambient temperature, i.e. to get from 37 C body temperature to 100 C you need 63 cal/gram, then you add the 540 cal/gram needed for the phase transition from liquid to steam, giving a total of 540 + 63 = 603 calories to vaporize 1 gram or 1 cubic cm of water.)  Density of water or skin (70% water) = 1 gram/cubic centimetre.

Therefore, 100 calories per square centimetre (ground zero Hiroshima) is only enough energy to vaporize a layer of water or skin 100/603 = 1/6 cm thick, less than 2 mm thick.

In fact, even less will be vaporized because some heat is reflected by the skin, and much is absorbed by clothing which provides protection, contrary to much propaganda based on peacetime car accident burns when clothing was soaked in gasoline, irrelevant to nuclear explosions.  (For more detailed thermal effects modelling and calculations see Capabilities of Nuclear Weapons, linked here.)  If clothing ignites, it can be extinguished easily by rolling it out.  Remember, contrary to propaganda, thermally ignited clothing is easier to extinguish than petrol soaked clothing in peacetime car accident victims.  The 1946 U.S. Strategic Bombing Survey report documents the fact that clothing ignition could be beaten out.

The main danger in cities is not from thermal radiation or fires, because modern city buildings absorb almost all of the thermal and much of the nuclear radiation.  So the really widespread danger is flying glass and blast winds, which are dealt with by duck and cover on seeing the bright flash, which arrives prior to the blast wave.

American nuclear weapons safety in accidents (a comment on a fashionable deception):

“... one simple, dynamo-technology, low voltage switch stood between the United States and a major catastrophe … It would have been bad news – in spades.” - popular deception used to support unilateral disarmament while keeping us vulnerable to enemy terrorists!
  • Even if a nuclear explosion occurs, it's likely to be less powerful than the charge of conventional explosive in it.  The reasons are technical and due to the very difficult electronics problems in firing a lot of detonators simultaneously with a battery whose internal resistance is always too high to provide enough current under the load (even though the battery contains enough energy to fire all the detonators, it can't do so at the same time, directly).
  • No practical battery pack in a deliverable nuclear weapon with 32 or more point implosion nuclear weapon has ever been capable of setting off the nuclear weapon directly because of the tremendous current needed.  This has nothing to do with the energy in the battery, which is of course adequate.  The problem is that batteries have an internal resistance which limits the amount of current (which limits the rate at which they deliver energy).
  •  To overcome this, implosion weapons from Trinity onward have used an X-unit containing a bank of high-capacitance capacitors.  Energy is first transferred from the battery to the capacitors during a charging taking about a minute or so, then - at detonation time - the capacitor bank is discharged by a very special, high-current switch which can cleanly deliver an abrupt pulse with a rapid rise time (either a special krytron cold-cathode gas filled tube, or an explosive switch which fires a pointed metal stud through two metal conductors which are separated by a plastic insulator).
  • This charging of the X-unit means a very severe limitation on the yield of accidental nuclear weapons.  If you drop a nuclear bomb, even if switches are triggered in the impact, the X-unit is not going to be charged up at the right time to cause a full yield nuclear detonation.  Nuclear weapons have "one-point safety", so if you were to close the switches and fire the weapon before the X-unit is adequately charged, which takes many seconds, inadequate current will be delivered to the detonators (which are connected in a parallel circuit, requiring an immense current to fire simultaneously).  So most likely, all the detonators will just warm slightly, without firing.  Even if there is enough current and one does fire (the one with the least resistance, the weakest link in the circuit, which gets hottest), it is a one-point explosion with the nuclear fission equivalent of just 4 pounds of TNT or about 2 kg of TNT.  This nuclear explosion will be dwarfed by the explosion of the conventional explosives in the weapon, which in implosion devices greatly exceed 2 kg of TNT equivalent.
  • To get a higher-yield nuclear explosion, modern warheads need not only simultaneous detonators to be fired by a recently charged-up capacitor bank, they also need the neutron gun to be fired about the time of maximum core compression, a matter of very careful timing, roughly millisecond or so after the X-unit is discharged by the special high-current switch to cause the implosion!  Here, again, the electronics timing circuit is fully in control, and makes the weapon safe.
  • The American bombs also contain disabling devices that prevent unauthorized or accidental nuclear explosions due to impact or theft, so the probability of random switch closures occurring at the right times for charging the capacitor bank, firing the detonators, then firing the neutron gun, is so astronomically insignificant you should worry more about the finite probability of everyone on earth being killed by a car accident on the same day, so we go extinct.
  • For modern thermonuclear weapons, there is an additional switch which needs to be set off at a suitable time during the preparation in advance of the explosion: the fission stage boosting from deuterium and tritium gas mixture, which is injected into the hollow core prior to the explosion.  (Some older weapons had the gas in sealed pits which avoided this, but since tritium has a half-life of only about 12 years, this meant that the pits had to be regularly taken out, unsealed, and re-gassed.  A separate gas reservoir in the weapon allows tritium gas to replenished more easily after it decays.)

Herman Kahn, testimony to the Biological and Environmental Effects of Nuclear War, Hearings before the Special Subcommittee on Radiation, Joint Committee on Atomic Energy, 86th Congress, 22-26 June 1959, Part 1, at pages 883 and 943:

“... before World War II, for example, many of the staffs engaged in estimating the effects of bombing overestimated by large amounts. This was one of the main reasons that at the Munich Conference, and earlier occasions, the British and the French chose appeasement ... Many people object to air and civil defense, not because they underestimate the problem, but because they overestimate it. They think there is nothing significant that can be done ...”

Jaw, Jaw, not War War: the peace agreement to prevent World War 2.   It didn't work.  Duh!

The popular analysis about "banning weapons of mass destruction" is wrong because you cannot stop weapons being made in secret, as they were by the Nazis from 1933 despite being banned by law.  The signing of worthless treaties by dictators proved in WWII to be a cause, not a prevention for war, because it allowed enemies to win arms races by rearming faster than democracies, while being appeased by agreement-deluded Nobel Peace Prize seekers who had the popular gullible media hacks on their side, who knew what the readers wanted to hear and fabricated out of whole cloth suitable "facts". First, intelligence is never 100% certain.  If there is a risk of such weapons existing, you have to act before absolutely certain, proved, indisputable information arises in the form of a Pearl Harbor or 9/11 type surprise attack.  This fact explains why people like Herman Kahn were worried about the risk of a "missile gap" after Sputnik in 1957.  It is best not to wait for 100% certain proof of a secret enemy threat to arrive in a surprise strike and blow you up, before taking precautions against that risk.  Secondly, the popular media always presents a false two-option choice which omits any mention of civil defence as an option: the choice is either "do nothing" or spend billions of dollars/pounds on bombing the enemy, starting a war that kills many times more civilians than those killed in Hiroshima by the surprise nuclear attack there.  Seeing the national debt is over £1 trillion in Britain and is $12 trillion in the USA, it's surprising that cheap civil defence countermeasures aren't taken seriously against "weapons of mass destruction".  The costs of shelters and gas masks in WWII, proof tested at nuclear and chemical tests in the 1950s, were trivial compared to the costs in money and also lives of recent wars.

Philip J. Dolan's secret 1972 U.S. Department of Defense Capabilities of Nuclear Weapons DNA-EM-1, chapter 11, Damage to Structures, explains that due to building shadowing effects in modern cities, few fires are predicted: "The low incidence of predicted indoor ignitions results from the low elevation angle of the fireball. The artificial horizon of trees and buildings obscures the fireball from most residential windows ... the average elevation angle of the artificial horizon is about 6 degrees for New Orleans."  This is verified by the latest 2012 computer simulations of nuclear attacks on major American cities!

The urban building skyline in any modern city like Washington DC and New York City would turn a 10 kt surface burst effectively into a shallow buried underground burst, from the standpoint of thermal and nuclear radiations, which are massively reduced by the shielding effects of the buildings that intervene in the radial line between people and the fireball.  Because the blast wave moves more slowly than the various forms of radiation, even the buildings very close to the detonation will have a significant shielding effect.  Typical city centre reinforced concrete buildings with large window areas allow rapid equalization of blast pressure once the windows shatter, which cuts the blast loading and reduces structural damage.  Any kind of material, even leaves or paper, shields the thermal radiation (even if the paper or leaves receive enough exposure to "smoke", the smoke absorbs thermal radiation and protects material situated behind it, as was demonstrated in many cases of protected thermal flash "shadows" cast observably in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, where the predominant type of building was single-storey wooden, now obsolete in cities which are potential nuclear targets).

Concrete buildings cast shadows and also shield radiations and blast, disproving CND anti-civil defence propaganda (see below).

Above: the house blown up by a Nevada nuclear explosion actually proved cheap civil defense, because the simple lean-to shelter in it survived.  Such countermeasures are also proved against other threats like hurricanes and conventional bombing.  Bigger nuclear explosions don't increase the weight of a falling house, but decrease the weight of debris per unit area by blowing more of the debris downrange, thus increasing survival for a given overpressure, rather than reducing it as insisted upon by misleading propaganda.


Above: director of the U.S. Pacific Theatre Strategic Bombing Survey, Paul Nitze, personally surveyed the damage in Hiroshima and Nagasaki after their nuclear attacks in 1945, and testified to Congressional Hearings, Civil Preparedness and Limited Nuclear War, on 28 April 1976 that this experience is still relevant because most nuclear weapons even then no longer have megaton yields because of the move to smaller warheads with missiles that carry several low-yield weapons, rather than a single high-yield weapon.   He explained that "equivalent megatonnage" (i.e., warhead energy raised to the 2/3 power, W2/3, to allow for the correct area damage yield-scaling) shows that most warheads are similar to Hiroshima-Nagasaki sized today, not to the 15 megaton Bravo bomb that caused heavy fallout in 1954.  He also explained that most of the people who did take cover in the Hiroshima and Nagasaki were survivors. As Glasstone and Dolan pointed out in Table 12.17 of The Effects of Nuclear Weapons, the 50% survival radius in modern concrete buildings in Hiroshima was 0.12 mile, compared to 1.3 mile for people outdoors and unshielded. So, since area scales as the square of radius, in the buildings now typical in modern city centres, the survival chance is 120 times better than for people without shielding in Hiroshima (1.32/0.122).

The Effects of the Atomic Bomb on Hiroshima, Japan (the secret 1947 U.S. Strategic Bombing Survey report 92, and related nuclear testing civil defense data):

This report contains the evidence that the thermal flash did not cause the firestorm in Hiroshima (which was due to fire spread from overturned breakfast braziers in overcrowded city center wooden houses, a peacetime fire hazard which no longer exists in modern concrete and steel cities), proving just how seriously the effects of nuclear weapons were exaggerated.  The danger is that false "education" propaganda based on a lack of proper understanding leads to unpreparedness for nuclear terrorism, causing a real threat.

Exaggerations also cause a threat in another way, because unstable regimes are attracted to these weapons since their effects have been exaggerated, to try to use the threats to coerce the free democracies.  (It wasn't the pseudoscientifically exaggerated gas bomb air raids of the 1930s that were 100% effective and murdered 6 million defenseless human beings, it was the gas chambers of eugenics pseudoscience ideologues that murdered 6 million defenseless human beings.)

USSBS report 92 vol 2: water buckets put out Hiroshima fires
Hiroshima was an optimum air burst for widespread damage; surface bursts cause less destruction due to the attenuation of blast, heat, initial radiation, EMP and fallout radiation by shielding through successive buildings.  For the proof of this in recent computer-based nuclear weapons city skyline effects attenuation/shielding research on reduction of severe blast, heat, initial nuclear radiation, fallout radiation and EMP effects by city urban targets: please click here.  Note that this May 1947 secret Pacific Theatre USSBS report number 92 is based on the U.S. Strategic Bombing Survey of Hiroshima, 14 October-26 November 1945. It directly contradicts the propaganda implicit in the earlier unclassified (widely published) 1946 U.S. Strategic Bombing Survey propaganda booklet (of confusingly similar title) which omits all vital firestorm origin evidence and the data on the survival in modern city buildings which protected against the heat flash, nuclear radiation and blast. Secret report 92 on Hiroshima is now declassified, and may be found in the U.K. National Archives, documents AIR 48/160, AIR 48/161, and AIR 48/162; along with those for Nagasaki AIR 48/163, AIR 48/164 and AIR 48/165.  A few low-quality page scans from another copy of volume 2 can also be found online herehere, and here. (That copy, numbered 21, is clearly stamped as having been in the Library of the British Ministry of Works, and it is simply typical of the British Government's civil service on civil defense matters to ensure that useful data is not reprinted by HMSO to increase widespread public understanding of the real nuclear weapons hazards and the mitigation of those hazards, but ends up being sold off for use in expensive, glossy profit-making anti-civil defense propapaganda coffee-table photo compilation books, which concentrate on catering to existing prejudices by focussing on the destruction of obsolete, overcrowded city centre wooden dwellings by fire due to charcoal breakfast braziers, rather than emphasising the relevant nuclear terrorism pro-civil defense data on the survival of modern city buildings in which fires were easily extinguished by survivors, even in the middle of the firestorm.)

Herman Kahn then testified on page 12 of the 1976 Hearings on Civil Preparedness and Limited Nuclear War that tragic results occurred from the gas war effects exaggerations by pacifists in the 1920s-1930s,  preventing instead of preserving peace, while the deluded fears about gas bombing on cities never materialized in WWII (despite the 12,000 tons of stockpiled German tabun nerve gas found in 1945):

Exaggerations of weapons, like the gas extermination myth before WWII (which was used to "justify" first disarmament and later the tragic appeasement policies), actually feed the emotional delusions that cause wars.  Lies cannot be relied upon to deter wars and terrorist extortion, on the contrary, they backfire and encourage it!  What happened in the 1930s was an appeasement policy based on gas "knockout blow" aerial attack delusions which were due to popular media-promoted and "pacifist" (warmonger) promoted lies about war effects.  The people who did this were rewarded with knighthoods and popular acclaim, while Churchill who wanted to avoid war by deterring aggressors with an arms race, were falsely dismissed as "warmongers" by the lying pseudo-pacifists.  As Kahn points out, even if weapons are capable of severe effects in the case of a surprise attack on people standing in the open without taking any cover, this does not mean that they will be used that way in practice.  Fear of escalation, even once WWII had begun, deterred escalation to gas bombs on cities.  A major part of that was due to civil defense, which made such attacks less likely to pay off.  But if you exaggerate the weapons effects by falsely pretending there is no defense, you end up being coerced by enemies until you have your back to a wall and can't run away from the reality.  Then you have to finally face the problems in the pressure of a crisis situation, and the problem may then be so large that you have a major war, very costly in lives and resources:

"A lack of knowledge of modern war and of our defense gives rise to unrealistic ideas which may take on fantastic proportions and cause reactions of terror and anxiety. ... Ignorance may be combatted by obtaining in peacetime information about modern means of making war and about our defense. ... The more knowledge we have about something, the less we need to grope in supposition and misunderstanding ... We should try to obtain a conception about the ways modern weapons operate - their possibilities, but also their limitations. ... We don't hesitate to read about the diseases of the human body in order to obtain knowledge and find cures. ... It does not pay to stick our heads in the sand and say that somebody else will have to take care of that.  Our generation, which has survived two world wars and is now trying to survive the current cold war, is clearly destined to have war or the threat of war always with us. ...  It is urgent that we do not jell into stereotypical thinking and that we try to arrive at our own opinions.  There is a dangerous tendency to simplify the problems ..."

- Dr Walo von Greyerz, Psychology of Survival: Human reactions to the catastrophes of war, Elsevier, New York, 1962, pp 73-74 and 89-90.
Above: Two British Prime Ministers on threats of weapons of mass destruction.  In June 1950, Britain's Labour Party Prime Minister Clement Attlee responded to Russia's August 1949 nuclear weapon test with a personally written and signed Foreword to the UK Home Office, Civil Defence Manual of Basic Training, v2, pamphlet 6, Atomic Warfare, June 1950. (Linked here, 5.9 MB PDF file.)  This Attlee civil defence handbook pointed out clearly on page 9 that the high casualty rate in the Hiroshima and Nagasaki nuclear explosions were due to a lack of simple, cheap civil defence countermeasures:

"The [casualty] figures by the British Mission to Japan from the experience of the high air burst bombs used in Japan and under similar conditions apply to persons in a British city.  It must be stressed however that they apply to persons caught in the open with no warning or suitable shelter, and that even ordinary houses will give some degree of protection ..."
(Emphasis as in original.  See also this 69 MB PDF of the Ministry of Home Security's 1941 handbook "Shelter at Home", based on actual results of 1940 bombing.) 
Attlee also authorized preparations for the testing of standard WWII type civil defence countermeasures at the first ever British nuclear weapon test, Operation Hurricane, in 1952 (Churchill was elected Prime Minister in late 1951 and oversaw the actual test).  By comparison, the September 2002 Foreword to another weapons of mass destruction threat report by another British Labour Party Prime Minister, Tony Blair, Iraq's Weapons of Mass Destruction: The Assessment of the British Governmentomitted any mention of relatively cheap civil defence countermeasures against Iraq's missiles and nerve gas, inventing a scenario with only two options: (1) doing nothing against the threat, or (2) starting an offensive war to disarm the aggressor of weapons of mass destruction.  (Iraq had used nerve gas in the 1980s against Iran and the Kurds, and in a vast sand swept desert landscape like Iraq it's easy to hide weapons of mass destruction at night when satellite's can't observe activities.  Some of the Iraqi weapons of mass destruction were discovered but this is played down by certain elements of the media.)  The point is, the standard and wrong popular media treatment of the Iraq war in 2002 is that it would be justified by weapons of mass destruction, and unjustified if those weapons didn't exist.

CND civil defence attacker Philip Bolsover's (a former communist party member, see Dr Julian Lewis, "When is a smear not a smear?", Salisbury Review, October 1984) glorification of the Communist revolution in Russia, written for kids.  Dust wrapper blurb: "On November 7th, the discontent of the Russian soldiers, workers and peasants had reached such a peak that, under the leadership of Lenin and his party, the Bolshevik Revolution took place in Petrograd (later renamed Leningrad) [renamed Saint Petersburg when the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991]. Philip Bolsover creates the atmosphere of those turbulent times by introducing us to several characters and showing us their everyday lives, surrounded by the spirit of revolution."

Communist author Phil Bolsover wrote the official British CND (Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament) publication, CND The Cruellest Confidence Trick, published in May 1980 (the same month as the UK Government published it's civil defence handbook, Protect and Survive, followed by Domestic Nuclear Shelters).   George Stanbury of the UK Home Office Scientific Advisory Branch had already in 1964 disproved firestorm ignition in modern high-rise cities due to the building "mutual shadowing" effect which was not present in Hiroshima or the Nevada desert in nuclear tests.  Bolsover ignored Stanbury's argument because the official UK handbooks omitted Stanbury's actual data and calculations, giving on the conclusions with no evidence or literature references to back it up.  The evidence existed, it was not secret but was limited in distribution, and journalists made no effort to dig it up. Instead, 100% of nuclear cold war journalism was biased in favour of  false,prejudiced conclusion.
Bolsover's May 1980 argument used a false emotion-based comparison of total energy releases, ignoring the proper casualty scaling laws and the increasing effectiveness of duck and cover due to the increasing blast arrival time following the first flash over the larger areas of window destruction which occur for higher yield explosions (see graphs of actual data proving this, given and discussed in detail later in this post, below). Duck and cover was proved in Hiroshima, but the data was kept secret and later limited by America.  Bolsover was author of the 1974 children's book, One Day in Russia 1917, glorifying the Communist revolution in Russia in October 1917 from the standpoint of the hard-done-by peasants who suffered under the Tsar's tyranny.  Bolsover and the biased BBC Panorama team also claimed in his March 1982 revised Civil Defence: The Cruellest Confidence Trick that people couldn't carry the shielding material needed to protect against fallout.  Cresson H. Kearny responded by pointing out that you can just line boxes or drawers with plastic bags containing water, which shields radiation.  Water is useful to have handy in bulk because it is also drinkable and can be used for putting out fires.  Another false claim was using 1940 inefficient manual rescue data to "disprove" civil defence rescue in falout areas.  First, only the downwind portion of the blasted area is highly contaminated by fallout, and people who are survive under a table in a collapsed house (see photos and data later in this post) are shielded by the rubble from the fallout radiation, which isn't a gas.  Second, the 1940 rescue data Bolsover uses was from inexperienced civil defence at the start of the Blitz; by the end of the war search dogs and heavy rescue cranes and bulldozers were being used to speed up rescue greatly which in nuclear disaster would be relevant about 2 days after the explosion (when fallout radiation is just 1% of the 1 hour level), which would cut radiation exposure of rescue teams in nuclear disaster.
Phil Bolsover CND March 1982 book Civil Defence the Cruellest Confidence Trick 2nd ed was cited and used by Duncan Campbell's War Plan UK which popularized falsehoods attacking all civil defense.  It's falsehoods still permeate all censorship "arguments" used to keep the facts "taboo" in the popular media today, which is highly deluded by the Marxist/Communist false indoctrination on nuclear attack effects.

Just as the "Cambridge Scientists' Anti-War Group" had published books and pamphlets in the 1930s claiming that civil defence was all lies for propaganda to support a doomsday WWII war against the Nazis in which the whole of humanity would be blasted to death by high explosives, burned to death by incendiary bombs, and gassed to death by mustard gas and other secret gases, so in the 1980s when the USSR needed deterring from its massive militarism and invasions, the "Scientists Against Nuclear Arms (SANA)" did precisely the same thing as their 1930s counterparts had done: exaggerate weapons effects and dismiss cheap countermeasures for civil defence.  Just as Nazi eugenics had been passed off as acceptable groupthink fashion and a lesser threat than gas in war in the 1930s, so in the 1980s dictatorial Marxist communism was passed off as a smaller threat to humanity than nuclear deterrence to defend liberty.  To accomplish this, the effects of war and the usefulness of civil defence countermeasures were falsified.  They did this to try to further, through the "worst form" of propaganda, an abuse of science to further political agenda - not an objective unbiased fact-searching, critical scientific agenda.  As early as 1950, the U.K. Home Office Scientific Advisory Branch was well aware of the lying propaganda exaggerating the effects of nuclear weapons and attacking civil defense countermeasures for communist appeasement:

Above: the 1950 U.K. Home Office Scientific Adviser's Branch "Top Secret" classified report The Number of Atomic Bombs Equivalent to the Last War Air Attacks on Great Britain and Germany, CD/SA 16 (National Archives document reference HO 225/16)  (It was regraded from "Top Secret" to "Restricted" in 1958, but was never published.)

Table 6.1 in Confidential American manual TM 23-200 Capabilities of Atomic Weapons, 1957, and Table 10-1 in Secret American manual DNA-EM-1 Capabilities of Nuclear Weapons, 1972, contain data on survival in collapsed brick houses in V1 cruise missile attacks from Dr Derman G. Christopherson's Confidential-classified British Ministry of Home Security Research and Experiments Department report RC-450, Structural Defence, 1945 (UK National Archives document HO 195/16, a complete post-war revision of the unclassified 1939 pre-war Air Raid Precautions Handbook number 5, Structural Defence).

Dr Christopherson (1915-2000), an engineer, was awarded an OBE for writing Structural Defence, 1945. In that book he gave the scientific basis for "duck and cover": he found that in a survey of over 1,000 people in 2-3 story brick houses in England, over 75% survived total demolition of their homes, if they had a slight warning and could "duck and cover".  This is something that is only indirectly asserted/implied in all early British and American civil defence (e.g. the American "duck and cover" film and the British bar-chart on relative survival rates in different positions on page 12 of the 1950 unclassified publication Basic methods of protection against high explosive missiles), but it is not directly referenced and so lacked the ability to give credibility to cheap countermeasures.  (Christopherson's V1 casualty data is online in Stephen M. Gilbert's PhD thesis: 7.84 MB PDF, linked here.)

The two graphs below demonstrate that for a given population protection (Western houses, wooden houses, outdoors, shelters), the casualties per ton of bomb yield decreases as yield increases, the fact that damage radii scale as the cube-root of yield implies that lethal areas increase as the square of that or the two-thirds power of yield, so that the casualties per unit yield scales as the (2/3 - 1) = -1/3 power.  In fact, as the diagram below shows, the rate of fall in the casualties per ton with increasing bomb poweris even greater, about the power -1/2, because some people will instinctively duck on seeing the very bright flash, and because the average blast arrival time over the median lethal area increases with yield, this instinctive reaction is more effective for larger explosions with a greater arrival time of potentially injurious blast!

The larger the explosion, the FEWER casualties per unit energy release for similar conditions, because (1) the area of destruction scales up less than in direct proportion to the energy release, and (2) the larger areas of destruction mean an increasing average blast wave arrival time, allowing more time for "duck and cover" between the flash and the blast and sound arrival.  For 1 psi peak overpressure (flying glass from window breakage), at 1 kiloton yield you have 4 seconds to "duck and cover", but at 1 megaton you have 40 seconds to "duck and cover" before 1 psi blast arrives.  These laws of physics mean that smaller explosions cause MORE casualties per unit energy than larger explosions do.  As the graph above proves, there is experimental evidence to substantiate these laws of physics.  It is also easier to spend a few seconds lying flat to avoid blast winds and horizontally blasted glass fragments in a nuclear explosions, than to spend months doing so during the repeated conventional air raids, which are required to deliver the same amount of energy!  Propagandarists of fashionable groupthink always dismiss the evidence, and do a direct comparison of conventional and nuclear as if it were valid, a massive exaggeration.  In addition, liars deny that duck and cover becomes more credible as yield increases.  (Source: H. M. Government, Health and Safety Executive (Commission), Advisory Committee on Major Hazards, Second Report, 1979, Figure 3. PDF:
Exaggerations as attacks on civil defence based on ignorance not facts, and fear mongering, all sell in the media.  Truth doesn't sell!  The mainstream media is - when it comes to anything concerning radiation or nuclear physics - a dictatorial fear-mongering terrorist, lying and supporting liars in pursuit of wealth and power, while being awarded for the job with prizes for lying.  As Orwell defined it in 1984, "protective stupidity" or crimestop is: "the power of not grasping analogies, of failing to perceive logical errors, of misunderstanding the simplest arguments ... and of being bored or repelled by any train of thought which is capable of leading in a heretical direction."

This exaggeration of weapons effects and ignorance of civil defence effectiveness occurred before, in the mid 1930s, causing the appeasement of dictatorships and consequently a world war.  Fear-mongering lies was the Nazi and USSR dictatorship technique of paralyzing the enemy with fear and censoring dissent, and it's precisely the technique used today by the chicken-yellow and corrupted media/politicians/historians/scientists who revel in fascism.  Civil defence was proved valid in WWII to mitigate all kinds of weapons effects against civilians.  The evidence is simply being ignored.  

Illustrated London News 24 Aug 1940  See also this 69 MB PDF of the Ministry of Home Security's 1941 handbook "Shelter at Home", based on actual results of 1940 bombing.
Illustrated London News 24 Aug 1940  See also this 69 MB PDF of the Ministry of Home Security's 1941 handbook "Shelter at Home", based on actual results of 1940 bombing.
Illustrated London News 24 Aug 1940  See also this 69 MB PDF of the Ministry of Home Security's 1941 handbook "Shelter at Home", based on actual results of 1940 bombing.

"Critics" of duck and cover ever since, including prominent physicists and historians, have ignored these secret data (Christopherson's report was declassified in 1975, long ago!) and used the pseudo-scientific technique of "ridicule" to dismiss the facts. (See also this 69 MB PDF of the Ministry of Home Security's 1941 handbook "Shelter at Home", based on actual results of 1940 bombing.)  Philip D. Bulson gives a potted history of this Ministry of Home Security research on civil defence countermeasures against explosions in his 1997 book Explosive Loading of Engineering Structures (Chapman and Hall, London, publishers, page 9):
"[Mathematical physicist Sir Geoffrey I.] Taylor wrote many valuable papers on the dynamics of shock waves for the Civil Defence Research Committee in the early days of the Second World War, and it is from these that much of the analysis has been taken.  His work was summarized lucidly by D. G. Christopherson in 1945 [Structural Defence, 1945, RC-450] and the latter's summary has been consulted frequently by the author in writing the chapters of this book.  In the summer of 1945 Christopherson wrote his seminal report on the structural effects of air attack, the information having been collected during the Second World War by the Research and Experiments Department, Ministry of Home Security, and much of it coming from experiments carried out on behalf of that Department by the Building Research Station and Road Research Laboratory.  Contributions were also drawn from the work of the National Defence Research Committee in the USA.  Christopherson's report, entitled Structural Defence, covered every aspect of the subject from the theory of blast waves in air, earth or water to the general theory of structural behaviour and the design of protective structures of all types.  Christopherson was educated at Oxford, was a fellow at Harvard and then a postgraduate at Oxford before joining the Research and Experiments Department of the Ministry of Home Security in 1941.  He left, after writing Structural Defence in the space of two or three months after victory in Europe, to join the Engineering Department at Cambridge University in 1945."

British National Archives V2 data.  
The first V1 in England hit Swanscombe in Kent on 13 June 1944, the last of 6,725 fired at Britain hit Orpington in Kent on 27 March 1945. Altogetherm 2,340 V1s hit London, killing 5,475 and injuring 16,000 injured. V2 rocket bombardment of London totalled about 1,400 and began in September 1944. Over the next few months, nearly 1,400 struck London. Because they were supersonic, V2s killed and injured more people since they gave no warning, unlike the slower-moving V1, whose noisy pulse jet engine cut-out and thus gave a warning of impending impact and explosion.

V1: duck and cover, 76.5% survival in flattened houses within 70 ft of ground zero (RC-450).

V2: no duck and cover, 38% survival in flattened houses within 70 ft of ground zero (S118).

Hence, duck and cover doubled survival rates in totally destroyed brick buildings, as well as halving the percentages of both seriously and lightly injured survivors!  Since the flash of a nuclear explosion precedes the blast arrival over most of the area where houses are flattened (there is even more time over the much wider area of broken windows), people informed about nuclear weapons can achieve V1 survival rates, over 75% survival in demolished buildings.

Outside the 70 ft range of "grade A" complete destruction to British brick houses in V1 and V2 attacks (1 ton TNT equivalent), there is a "grade B" partial collapse area from 70-100 ft radius, where there was only 2.7% killed in V1 (duck and cover) attacks (RC-450) and 7.5% killed in V2 (no duck and cover) attacks (S-118).  In the 100-300 ft radius zone, "C grade" damaged houses (90% of people totally unhurt indoors for V2s) remained standing out to with wrecked roofs and badly cracked walls (beyond economic repair), while in the 300-600 ft zone 99.5% of people were unhurt indoors for V2s and houses had repairable "D grade" damage, mostly broken windows.

The peak overpressure for A, B, C and D damage limits, i.e. 70, 100, 300 and 600 ft from a surface burst of 1 ton of TNT are 30, 15, 2.5 and 1 psi.  The blast overpressures for house collapse decreases with increasing bomb yield, due to the increasing blast duration.  In 1959, the equivalent peak overpressures for A, B, C, and D damage from 20 kt nuclear weapons were assessed to be 11, 6, 1.5 and 0.75 psi in the Home Office publication Nuclear Weapons.  (Unfortunately, the stupid secrecy over the basis of this analysis kept the basic scientific data from both politicians and the public, and even from later Home Office investigators.  By the 1980s, everybody who had done the 1945-59 analysis had retired from the Home Office Scientific Advisory Branch (then renamed the Scientific Research and Development Branch) and didn't understand the detailed origins of the blast casualty data, particularly the allowance for blast duration and duck and cover using detailed V1 and V2 data.  E.g., Dr S Hadjipavlous and Dr G. Carr-Hill wrote the Home Office Scientific Research and Development Branch report 34/86, A Review of the Blast Casualty Rules Applicable to UK Houses, 1986, which only gives American data plus an early Blitz conventional bombing report from Solly Zuckerman (not the vital yet confidential  V1 and V2 analysis of duck and cover effectiveness).  (See also this 69 MB PDF of the Ministry of Home Security's 1941 handbook "Shelter at Home", based on actual results of 1940 bombing.)

Professor Thomas, after completing report S118, headed the British Mission to Japan, to compare shelter survival in the nuclear weapon attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki to conventional bombing on London. His staff in Hiroshima and Nagasaki included Frank H. Pavry, who in 1952 went to Monte Bello with George R. Stanbury of the Home Office Scientific Advisory Brancy and confirmed the nuclear shelter survival data from Hiroshima and Nagasaki by exposing 15 Anderson shelters to heavy blast effects at the first British nuclear weapons test, Operation Hurricane; Pavry also later exposed several models of the London underground to simulated nuclear attack explosions to confirm that it would give good protection against blast and cratering from megaton surface bursts.

The main threat from blast outdoors is being blown along if standing up.  Direct blast injury (air forced into the blood stream through lung damage) occurs only at very high overpressures.  Lying prone reduces this by both reducing the cross-sectional area exposed to blast winds, and by increasing the ground friction (body area in contact with the ground), which provides the contact force resisting displacement by wind drag.  Indoors, some early calculations (above right) neglected the floor friction and "predicted" that people would be blown straight out of buildings.  Nuclear test data from Nevada, however, showed that lying dummies were unmoved at 5.3 psi.  Increasing the blast duration (by going to higher yield nuclear weapons) does not increase the peak wind speed for 5.3 psi.  If the force from a given wind speed is unable to push someone along or blow a house down, increasing the duration of that force does not increase damage (if you push something with less force than is needed to move it or destroy it, increasing the time you push for has no effect; thus the threshold for damage or displacement is independent of impulse and depends merely on the force per unit area, or pressure).  Naive 1960s computer models which neglected indoor floor drag on prone personnel (treating the floor like an ice rink, with no friction) falsely predicted they would be blown out and killed by the fall to the ground.  This skyscraper gravity fall miscalculation in secret reports was then falsely correlated to visible house damage photos from 5 psi brick house collapse in the 29 kt Apple-2 nuclear test (Nevada, 1955) by the U.S. Office of Technology Assessment report The Effects of Nuclear War, which falsely claimed 50% mortality at 5-6 psi (house collapse pressure).  In fact, much higher peak overpressures are correlated with 50% mortality, and easy survival countermeasures against house collapse were proved in WWII (see below).

"... the impulse criterion breaks down for the atomic bomb.  The position is that the blast impulse [pressure integrated over blast duration time] is only the criterion of damage so long as the maximum blast pressure is substantially greater than the static strength of the target ... If the effective blast pressure exceeds the static strength of the structure, failure must be expected, whereas if it is less no failure can occur however long the duration of the blast." - UK Home Office, Civil Defence Manual of Basic Training, v2, pamphlet 6, Atomic Warfare, June 1950, page 12.  There is a minimum threshold peak overpressure that is required for damage, regardless of bomb size or blast duration!  Only if this threshold is exceeded, can damage occur.  If you push on a wall with less force than the yielding force of the wall, it won't fall over, regardless how long you push.  The blast duration effect is most important for sub-kiloton energy yields and blast wind-drag sensitive targets (e.g., people standing up, not people lying down!).

In addition, for house collapse injury the blast winds for higher-yield weapons reduce the vertical weight of debris falling per unit area by spreading it over a larger area, mostly down range.  The roof is blown off, etc.  This means that the weight of debris falling vertically down on people sheltering under tables is reduced.  The outer walls absorb much blast wind pressure energy, which reduces translation, so that people lying prone under tables indoors are far safer from both wind drag, body area exposed to horizontally flying debris, and vertically falling debris than people standing behind windows.  (See also this 69 MB PDF of the Ministry of Home Security's 1941 handbook "Shelter at Home", based on actual results of 1940 bombing.)

ABOVE: Dr F. C. Ikle's book The Social Impact of Bomb Destruction (1958) demonstrates that with any kind of basic cheap civil defense, people were less vulnerable than buildings in WWII conventional and nuclear attacks, e.g. page 16: "Hamburg, for instance, lost only 3.3 % of its population, but 48% of its dwellings in the air raids.  In Frankfurt, less than 1% of the population was killed in air raids, but over one third of the dwellings were destroyed.  Air raid deaths in Kobe amounted to barely 1% of the population, but over one half of the housing was lost."  (See also this 69 MB PDF of the Ministry of Home Security's 1941 handbook "Shelter at Home", based on actual results of 1940 bombing.)  Like Anderson shelters or the "crumple zones" in cars, the damage done to a house absorbs blast energy and thereby reduce the danger from the blast wave, as long as people duck and cover (on seeing the very bright flash, which arrives before the blast wave) to avoid flying and falling debris.  On page 215, Ikle points out that: "Hamburg, which had lost half of its housing [in the worst firestorm in history in the wooden medieval part of the city centre, far worse than the relatively weak firestorm in nuclear-bombed Hiroshima], had recovered its prewar population by 1950, and Greater London's population in 1948 was only about 2 % below its prewar size."  Discounting sensible, temporary evacuation from fire and radioactivity areas, there was no panic either (contrary to prewar propaganda by Cambridge Scientists' Antiwar Group), as Ikle explains on page 15: "Reports from very large disasters of the past fail to show any significant mass panic among the afflicted population.  Findings from Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Hamburg, and other large bombings in World War II do not indicate that serious mass panic occurred at any time."

On page 37, Ikle explains that the skin contamination danger from nerve gas is analogous to that mustard gas (which is easier to make than nerve gas, and so has a similar cost per unit toxic dose): "Mustard gas, for example, which was first used some forty years ago, affects the skin as well as the respiratory organs, so that gas masks do not offer adequate protection."  However, as in WWII mustard gas risks, skin contamination hazards don't negate the value of gas masks: the inhalation threat is larger than the skin contamination by droplets if people remain indoors in shelters, so in practice cheap gas masks are adequate.  Ikle quotes the 1956 British Statement on Defence (Cmd. 9691, p 28): "Having regard to the difficulties of mounting a successful gas attack [Britain stockpiled C7 civilian gas masks for all ages in the entire population from 1953 in the cold war, an improvement on the earlier WWII version], it appears improbable that even the most deadly nerve gases would be used against urban areas by an enemy who had nuclear weapons and the means to deliver them available to him."

 Ikle also lists in Table 16 on page 159 the economic disruption to UK cities from devastating air raids (using Research and Experiments Department research by the Ministry of Home Security, see also HO 225/13: The economic and social effects of the German air attacks on certain British cities).  E.g., the destruction of Coventry by the 14-15 November 1940 Blitz air raid caused an average 4.5 days loss of work per worker (2.0 days lost for personal reasons, and 2.5 days lost due to business disruption).  For the heavy raid on Clydebank on 14-15 March 1941, an average of 8.7 days work were lost per worker.  Ikle also points out on page 163: "Only 1.3 to 1.7 % of England's working population was ever engaged in full-time civil defence activities, as compared with the 11 to 23 % who were in the armed forces."  He adds on that page that 7 months after the Hamburg firestorm, the building trade in the city had recovered 80% of its pre-destruction strength.

WWII casualty data in Christopherson's Structural Defence, 1945 has been substantiated at more recent explosions since 1945.

Radiation is't up to its scare-mongering image, either!  Radiation unbinds cancer-suppressing p53 from its inhibitor MDM2, thus reducing cancer and genetic defects at 0.7 mGy/hour, increasing lifespan.  Try looking for that benefit of Fukishima's strontium-90 leak in the Hitler money-spinning media.  Guess what, it's censored out by the Nazis.  Do you want to know the science?  The mechanism for DNA repair and cancer avoidance by p53 is as follows (note that other tumour suppressor genes also exist, e.g. PTEN regulates the growth rate of cells, but p53 is central):

1. Once activated by radiation, p53 arrests the cell cycle at the G1/S regulation point by activating the expression of a transducer gene like the kinase inhibitor p21 (which stops the cell division cycle by binding to CDK2), or the Growth Arrest and DNA Damage "GADD45" gene, and then – while the cell cycle is stopped – it repairs the DNA damage using a DNA repair enzyme like p53 R2, GADD45, p48 or XPC.

2. If the damage is beyond safe repair, p53 uses genes like DR5, Plg3, AIP1, Noxa, Bax-2, Puma or Fas to produce proteins that kill the cell by "apoptosis" (programmed cell death), to prevent it from turning carcinogenic. P53 is so effective at preventing cancer that most cancers (over 50% of human tumours including lung, colon, breast, cervical and bladder cancer) actually only arise when defective mutations of the p53 gene (TP53) occur because the defective p53 cannot activate p21 to stop a cell’s division for repair work (reference: M. Hollstein, et al., "p53 mutations in human cancers," Science, v253, 1991, pp.49-53).

Page 14 of the Confidential-classified American manual of 1917, Defensive Measures Against Gas Attacksstates: "The value of gas-proof dugouts and cellars has been clearly demonstrated.  This should be borne in mind in view of the inflammation of the skin produced by mustard gas."  Like mustard gas, persistent nerve agents are spread in liquid droplets which can be kept off the skin by simply remaining indoors because of their low volatility and hence low vapor pressure.  Sarin evaporates 3 times more slowly than water at 15 C.

(Source: UK Home Office, Civil Defence Manual for Technical Reconnaissance Officers, Part 2, 1953, Table 1, Restricted.  Page 17 of this manual notes that the standard WWII charcoal absorber gas masks afforded complete protection against nerve gas, despite the fact that British pro-communist or anti-civil defense historians assume that nerve gas somehow made obsolete the standard indoor skin protection methods developed for Lewisite and mustard gas blister agents, and standard gas masks.  This widespread myth of nerve gas negating simple defenses is just not true.  Page 17 also notes that the 12 kilotons of tabun stockpiled by Germany in WWII was cheaper to make than sarin, which offset the increased toxicity of sarin, adding: "In the weapon charging used in Germany, the Tabun was mixed with 20% chlorobenzene, apparently in an attempt to increase the density of the charging for ballistic reasons, though the admixture also has the effect of masking the [fruity] odor of the gas.")

BRITISH GOVERNMENT, HOUSE OF COMMONS DEBATE ON CIVIL DEFENCE, 24 March 1983, extracts (Hansard vol 39 cc1083-99 1083 8.28 pm):

Neil Thorne, MP (Ilford, South): I am delighted that the important subject of civil defence is being debated so early in the evening. I am particularly pleased to open the debate, as I have recently become chairman of the National Council for Civil Defence. … Those who support nuclear disarmament are convinced that the only type of war that we can ever expect is an all-out nuclear holocaust. They completely ignore the fact that there have been dozens of wars since the second world war and that none of them has been nuclear. … I am pleased that The Times has chosen today to publish a letter written by Lord Renton as president of the National Council for Civil Defence, supported by Lord Mottistone, my vice-chairman, and by hon. Members on the Opposition side of the House, including the Labour Member for Bradford, North (Mr. Ford), the Liberal Member for Isle of Wight (Mr. Ross) and myself. The letter says:

Hostile attacks for which we should be prepared, include:  
1. A conventional attack in which no nuclear bombs are dropped.
2. One or two nuclear bombs dropped on us as 'blackmail' to bring a conventional war to an end.
3. An 'all-out' nuclear holocaust, or even 'germ' or chemical warfare on a large scale. 
Some people wrongly assume that this third possibility is the only one which is conceivable, arguing that there would be no survivors and that all civil defence preparations are a waste of time even to protect people on the periphery and in remote areas from fall-out. Their argument is then falsely extended to the denial of civil defence in all circumstances. In the past 30 years all the great powers have been involved in conventional wars and no nuclear weapons have been used. The greatest danger is therefore that of a conventional attack, especially after the recent massive increase in Soviet conventional arms. Even the possibility of one or two bombs being dropped is also much more realistic than an 'all-out' attack.  If conventional weapons only are used, or if there is only a limited use of nuclear missiles, adequate civil defence preparations made well in advance could save millions of lives. 
Although beyond the present statutory scope of civil defence, there is also the need to protect people from the effects of peacetime nuclear disasters and of fall-out drifting over this country from a nuclear attack elsewhere. The same preparations are then required as for dealing with a limited nuclear attack here. Those who declare 'nuclear-free zones' and refuse to have anything to do with civil defence are either victims of ignorance or prejudice, or are content to give an enemy a tremendous advantage. Failure to co-operate in providing civil defence is irresponsible and callous. Unfortunately, that sums up the attitude of a growing sector of the population. …
Much public criticism of civil defence arose over the issue by the Home Office of a publication called "Protect and Survive". That booklet was subject to considerable misrepresentation and derision and clearly was not an appropriate document for peacetime information. It was originally intended to be issued to supplement a massive media campaign to give people advice in a crisis. A new publication is now proposed which will examine the whole spectrum of the threat …

There is a great need for research into all aspects of civil defence. We spend enormous sums of money on military research and development, but have not done nearly enough in civil defence. This will become much more important if the recently announced experiments [Reagan's ABM laser pumped by X-rays from a nuclear test underground in Nevada] are successful in producing some kind of laser ray which will be able to control an atomic explosion. Those who at the moment are putting their heads in the sand will then have no possible excuse for not playing a full part in civil defence. … if it is possible to devise an antidote [SDI/Star Wars ABM] that is sufficient to neutralise the majority of these horrible weapons, civil defence will have an even more important role. It will then be much easier for all citizens to appreciate how much good can be done. … It is vital that we get this message across. I ask my hon. and learned Friend to consider bringing out some kind of publication that can be issued to the population as a whole, specifying the sort of thing that is required and what civil defence sets out to do. … Something produced efficiently and expertly and, I hope, in the near future, would be extremely welcome and would make a major contribution. … The Home Office could do much to encourage people who, at their own expense, are producing such documents. …

Certain statements have been made recently by learned bodies about the impossibility of coping with a nuclear holocaust. … The Home Office has a major task in distinguishing fact from fiction.  The boundary between science fiction and fact in nuclear matters is very fine. The Home Office must be the arbiter of what is fact and what is fiction. When learned bodies make statements, the Home Office must be quite clear about their accuracy. That would be a significant contribution and would fend off any irresponsible interpretation. … It is vital that the Home Office takes up the reins of the information cycle properly to equip the population to consider the issues in a balanced way. …I must ask my hon. and learned Friend the Minister to look carefully into whether it is necessary to finance a publicity campaign with this in mind. … There is only so much that the private individual can do and can be expected to pay for out of his own pocket. … I fear that the only way that we can do that is with the help of the Home Office, spending money on informing people and bringing out a proper publicity campaign to show precisely what can be done and what can be achieved if we set about it properly.

Mr. John Wheeler, MP (Paddington):

The policy of deterrence adopted by Britain and its NATO allies has to date proved supremely successful in preventing such an attack. Western Europe has been fortunate to avoid war since 1945, in stark contrast to the misfortunes in so many other parts of the world. Nevertheless, the sheer horror of such a nuclear attack is insufficient reason for ignoring it. Any responsible Government must take realistic steps to mitigate its effect on the population. Indeed, unless a Government take such steps it can be argued that the credibility of their deterrence policy would be greatly reduced. … Part of the problem is that several Labour local authorities are refusing to co-operate. I am sorry that the Labour party and the Liberal and Social Democratic parties are not represented here. It is remarkable that when we are talking about the survival of the British people only one party should trouble itself to take part in the debate. The Labour authorities prefer to put their heads in the sand, thinking that if they refuse to contemplate a threat it will just go away. Recently, Mr. Kenneth Livingstone, the leader of the Greater London council, declared London a nuclear-free zone. Presumably, those of us who live in Greater London can now sleep soundly.  Unfortunately, the fact that a nuclear attack is horrific does not mean that it is impossible, and if it is possible, the House must consider steps to mitigate its effects. … substantial resources are being allocated to civil defence both in the Soviet Union and in China. …

Early steps must be taken to examine the role of the local authorities in the provision of these measures. It is not good enough to say, "We are declaring a particular city a nuclear-free zone," and then to forget about the subject. Nor is it good enough to say, "But it will cost money and the ratepayers or the taxpayers will not want to find it." That is not the case. The Government must take a real initiative to examine what can be done to develop real civil defence programmes throughout the country.

The provision of well-designed literature by the Home Office, explaining the issue and what can be done, would be invaluable. The Home Department has already shown itself more than capable of producing excellent literature in connection with its crime prevention campaigns. I am sure that a similar range of literature could be designed to promote the concept of civil defence. At present, those who merely seek one-sided disarmament or who feel that there is no point in trying to provide any civil defence are getting the best of the argument. Now is the time to promote a real campaign. In raising this subject for debate, my hon. Friend the Member for Ilford, South has rendered us a great service.

Mr. John Loveridge, MP (Upminster):

We are to have Trident missiles for the defence of the United Kingdom and to deter any threat of attack against our kingdom, but will people across the world believe in them if we do not provide the most elementary and minimal safeguards for our population and cities which are unprepared and undefended? … Our weakness in having the Trident missile without some security for the civil population can only egg on the hawks in Moscow to take risks that otherwise their colleagues might not allow them to take. These risks will probably be at their greatest in the mid-1980s when it seems likely that Russia’s military strength will be at a peak compared to that of the Western allies. It is likely to fall proportionately thereafter. We must encourage the doves and not the hawks. …

The Government … should educate the public in measures for self- and mutual support … should plan to meet the dangers of disease from chemicals, gas and radioactive fallout. … If such steps were taken, the United Kingdom could approach and encourage the United States and Russia to get together to form a world emergency help service. Threats are worldwide. We should consider the famine in Ethiopia ...

How much easier it is likely to be for us all if we work together to meet future accidents and the threat of other nations that, for religious or other motives, might acquire atomic weapons and threaten humanity with them. How much easier it would be to control and safeguard the world against that if the great powers worked together. If each country took proper steps to protect its own civilian population, diplomatic measures should prove easier to arrange. ... It is not sufficient to provide deep shelters for officialdom and the military. The people who need protection are the people and the children of these islands.

The Minister of State, Home Office (Mr. Patrick Mayhew, MP):

I congratulate my hon. Friend the Member for Ilford, South (Mr. Thorne) on his initiative in choosing this subject for debate and on his recent appointment as chairman of the National Council for Civil Defence. … It is also pleasant to acknowledge that my hon. Friend the Member for Upminster (Mr. Loveridge) is the vice-president of that organisation.

It is extremely important to have frequent opportunities to discuss civil defence. The subject should attract the support of all hon. Members, whatever their views about world alignments or nuclear deterrence. Everyone should acknowledge that, since we cannot guarantee that there will never in any circumstances be an attack upon this country, it is our humanitarian duty to provide appropriate protection for our people. All the Government's efforts in defence and in foreign policy are bent to avoiding any risk of attack and to doing our best to avoid a breach of the peace in western Europe that has been maintained for the past 38 years. But none of us can guarantee that such a horrific event will not occur, and it is against that possibility—a low risk at present—that we must provide appropriate civil defence.

It is fair to say that civil defence had been a Cinderella subject for successive Governments for more than a decade, until this Government came to office in May 1979. It is only just to my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary to acknowledge that, under his administration, civil defence has been rescued from that status. Much more attention has been paid to it, and the amount of money devoted to it from public funds has been increased by 60 per cent. following a review, the results of which he announced in August 1980. … We have 12 scientists working on civil defence, and their activities include much detailed research on weapon effects, casualties, shelter policies, and the effect of chemical attack. Scientific advisers also help in other matters, including training. … For my part I find if difficult to understand the conscience that would lead someone to say, “No, I cannot bring myself to help my fellow citizens,” in the sort of emergency that we are discussing. … if a new house were required to have shelter accommodation built into it the overall cost would rise by about 25 per cent. The risk of war at the present time, as long as we remain members of NATO, is so low as not to justify that additional expense for those why buy new houses. It is the old story, that if one does not contribute to NATO or spend the sums that we spend on our armed forces, with very good reason, there is more money available for that sort of protection. However, one is then limited to trying to protect one's people from a war that one has done nothing to prevent.

[Wrong.  Civil defence actually has a deterrent role against the threat of a nuclear, chemical or other attack, because it reduces the effectiveness of the attack, thereby denigrating the benefit-to-risks calculation of an opponent who contemplates such an attack.  During WWII Britain’s gas masks and gas proof rooms knowledge acted as a deterrent against 12,000 tons of Nazi tabun nerve gas.  Britain had mustard gas to retaliate against the Germany, but that is no deterrent, for the reason that Germany had very effective gas proofed cellars and some gas masks and protective clothing for civil defence decontamination workers who would not be in the gas proofed cellars during gas attacks.  Therefore, Britain’s main deterrent against 12,000 tons of Nazi tabun nerve gas was NOT Britain’s mustard gas stockpile, but rather Britain’s gas masks and knowledge of simple improvised gas-proofing to keep liquid drops of contamination and most gas out of homes, using emergency window covers or refuge rooms without windows, even if other windows were broken by blast.  Thus, Britain deterred Nazi tabun nerve gas using (1) activated charcoal in its general purpose war gas mask canisters, plus (2) knowledge of how to keep a rain of tabun droplets and vapour from contaminating skin or a refuge room in a home or shelter, not by relying on gas “retaliation”.  This point is absolutely crucial.]

Hon. Douglas Hurd, MP (Witney):

Because of the horrors involved in any outbreak of war people are naturally reluctant to think clearly about civil defence. This makes it an easy subject for vague political emotion and a difficult subject for rational debate. … If, against our expectation, the deterrent were to break down there would be a wide range of possible actions by the enemy who attacked us. There might be a period of conventional warfare, at the end of which diplomacy would stop the war. There might be a strike, as a demonstration, by a single nuclear weapon and such a weapon might be either small or big. Such a strike might be directed against a city or a military target. … We are now faced with the possibility of smaller, more accurate weapons. … There is a wide range of possibilities, beginning with conventional warfare and stretching to a massive nuclear attack. … So, although it would be convenient to be more precise, it would also in our judgment be intellectually dishonest.  Critics of civil defence often home in on the worst option as if it were the only one. … I cannot understand the logic of people who say—they have been saying it again in the past few days—that, because the consequences of a massive nuclear attack would be horrific, there is no point in planning, through civil defence, to deal with conventional warfare or a single nuclear strike. … the range of risks show that we do not accept all the assumptions about the nature of an attack which are made in the BMA [British Medical Association; a health industry socialist trade union] report. … a letter sent from the Home Office in April [1983] was taken by the authors of the BMA report as reflecting on their professional integrity.* … It would not matter to the survivors how they had voted, what their professional bodies had said, or whether their local authority had called their town or village a nuclear-free zone. If the worst came to the worst, all that would be irrelevant. In those circumstances the survivors would turn out and help. As that is so, there is surely everything to be said for planning and training which would make that help not haphazard but effective.

* - This April 1983 internal letter from the Home Office scientific advisory branch on civil defence, referred to by Douglas Hurd in the House of Commons, in the strongest terms criticised the propaganda bias in the BBC and Guardian-hyped 3 March 1983 BMA nuclear weapons effects exaggerations.  The letter was leaked and published by the Guardian newspaper:

“The style of this [BMA report] presentation, and the arbitrary conclusions in favour of the SANA figures [SANA = Scientists Against Nuclear Arms, a political lobby group against cheap civil defense and against the only type of deterrence which has prevented World War in history] where they were deemed by the inquiry to conflict with Home Office figures, reflected a high degree of bias towards the CND case, and lack of cogent argument or analysis. The report must be regarded as strongly influenced by CND — type propaganda; it cannot be regarded as an objective, scientific document.”

Mr Bill Walker, MP (North Tayside):

It is important that my hon. Friend should be told that, before the 1939 war, some local authorities in this country refused to build Anderson shelters. If I am called to speak in the debate I shall draw attention to that fact, because the effect of their decisions was horrendous.

Mr Robert Banks, MP (Harrogate):

I base my arguments strongly on the need to protect people from conventional attack, but as a double insurance it is better to escalate that protection to include nuclear attack. We need long-term planning. Those who criticise "Protect and Survive" as a leaflet are justified in their criticisms because it was designed originally to be used during a period of extreme tension and crisis and gave advice to householders on what measures they could take with the material that they had to hand.

Mr Neil Thorne, MP (Ilford South):

As chairman of the National Council for Civil Defence, I meet many local emergency planning officers who wish to serve the public in a typically selfless way, but who are being frustrated by misguided local politicians at every turn … I cannot understand how those who shout the loudest about survival and unilateral nuclear disarmament are blind to the basic humanitarian need to protect the population against every eventuality. No one I have ever met claims that there would be no survivors, even in a nuclear conflict. Civil defence is designed to cater not only for nuclear conflict. If that is so, surely it is every human being's obligation to offer help and assistance.

Ms Harriet Harman, MP (Peckham):

As the hon. Gentleman is chairman of the National Council for Civil Defence, can he tell the House how much notice hon. Members will have to return to their constituencies in the event of a nuclear emergency? Will only hon. Members such as myself—or even hon. Members such as myself — be able to reach their constituencies? How much warning will be given to enable us to join our constituents in a nuclear shelter?

Mr Neil Thorne, MP (Ilford South):

I am sorry that the hon. Lady has been present for so little time that she did not hear much of the previous debate. In a time of conflict varying lengths of time apply. In the second world war six months elapsed before any hostilities of any magnitude took place which affected the civilian population but — [Interruption.] Labour Members may have more information than I. They may know what the Kremlin has in mind while I do not.

Mr Bill Walker, MP (North Tayside):

Does my hon. Friend agree that aerial attacks against the United Kingdom did not commence until many months after the war started and the main attacks took place in 1940?

Mr Neil Thorne, MP (Ilford South):

That is exactly the point that I was making. Labour Members seem to think that they will have only four minutes in which to make preparations. That is clearly not the case. The idea that there would be no adequate warning and that an attack would come entirely out of the blue confines one to believing that that could happen only if some madman were to have his finger on a nuclear button somewhere in the middle east causing a nuclear attack to descend upon us without prior warning so that there would be no preparation for conflict.

Mr Edward Leigh, MP (Gainsborough and Horncastle):

Tonight Opposition Members have said that civil defence does not make any sense. If that is so, why does virtually every country in the world— from neutral Switzerland to the Soviet Union—have civil defence? The answer is that no one can foretell what horrors war will bring or whether we shall have to face a conventional or a nuclear attack.

BRITISH GOVERNMENT, HOUSE OF COMMONS DEBATE ON CIVIL PROTECTION IN PEACETIME, 21 February 1986, extracts (Hansard, vol 92, cc587-627, 9:41 am):

Mr. Robert Banks, MP (Harrogate):

Does my hon. Friend agree that the horror of Hiroshima was due to the enormous fire that raged through the city and that its enormity was largely because the houses were made of wood? Therefore, the effect of the fire after the dropping of the nuclear bomb was quite different from the effect of a fire if a nuclear bomb were to be dropped on a city that was constructed of more robust material.

Sir Hector Monro, MP:

That is true, When I visited Hiroshima and Nagasaki [in late 1945 just after the war ended] I found that there were acres and acres of complete devastation, with occasionally a concrete building still standing above the wreckage. Fire was the serious result of high-explosive bombardment in other cities that I visited in Japan - for example, in Tokyo and Yokohama - apart from the nuclear bombardment.

Mr. Gerald Bowden, MP (Dulwich):

We have seen from the approach of many local authorities and individuals that civil defence is seen to be in conflict with the disarmament movement, or, to put it more precisely, the disarmament movement has found a target in civil defence in the past. We must try to disabuse people who think that there is a natural conflict. Civil defence is complementary to disarmament just as much as it is for those who believe in armament to protect ourselves against nuclear attack.

Therefore, we need an all-party all-element approach —a co-ordinated approach to the problem. Those local authorities who display nuclear-free zone signs are being contemptuous, and that is no way to respond to the real hazards which exist. That is simply a way of showing utter and complete contempt for the real needs of those that the authorities are there to serve. I hope that the Bill will do a great deal towards re-establishing in the public mind the need to follow through those thoughts to their logical end, to combat those who seek to ridicule any form of civil defence or protection.

Sir Nicholas Bonsor:

[On 6 August 1945 in Hiroshima a 10 year old boy] went swimming with his friends. He dived into the water and while he was beneath the surface he felt an almighty explosion. ... he survived. [Both infrared radiation and nuclear radiation is shielded efficiently by water; water molecules absorb wideband infrared as well as neutrons and gamma rays very well.] … I believe that the provision of peacetime civil protection is essential and I am delighted to put the Bill before the House.

Professor H. G. Barnett’s book “Innovation: the Basis of Cultural Change”, 1953, pages 69-70: 

“It would be unrealistic to believe that dogmatism in science ended … flagrant examples as the Nazi doctrine of Aryan racial supremacy and the Communist credo of dialectic materialism … less publicized instances … are known in every discipline in small or large degree. Every area of knowledge at the present time has its ‘big names’ whose opinions in science … prevail over the views of lesser lights just because they are recognised … Dogmatism is a frequent concomitant of a systematized creed and a well-institutionalized priestly hierarchy … unified control with a discipline that is dedicated to its unquestioning support. This condition directly parallels the requirement for authoritative secular administration. … there be only one source of truth … the source be afforded enough power to enforce its dictates. … Heretical views may not be tolerated … because they threaten the economic and the ideological commitment …” 

If you debunk any exaggeration, the debunking has no news value because it fails to motivate and inspire people to the degree that the exaggeration does. You can only kick out one king by imposing another. The medical Nobel Laureate Alexis Carrell popularized the use of gas chambers for eugenics pseudoscience (yes, it occurs in Carrell's best-selling book Man the Unknown, 1935, not in volume 1 of Hitler's Mein Kampf, although that book is also filled with eugenics nonsense). Guess who the media claims invented the gas chamber?  The medical laureate eugenicist?  No.

In 1940 the 64-page UK Government handbook Air Raids: What you must know, what you must do, included evidence for the effectiveness of the simple and cheap countermeasures it contained, thus debunking the ineffectiveness claims made by J. B. S. Haldane's communist lobby in 1940 (when the USSR was in alliance with the Nazis, invading Poland with the USSR's Katryn Forest Massacre).  Haldane's communists in Britain's left wing media published propaganda for fatally expensive deep shelters instead of countermeasures of more practical value in surprise air raids (expensive deep shelters would draw vital resources away from the war offensive, would not defeat the enemy, nor provide any protection against an enemy invasion).  During the Cold War, the effectiveness data was omitted due to secrecy and simple cheap and effective countermeasures were again derided by communist and ignorant propaganda which asserted that nothing can deflect a blast or heat flash, or absorb radiation.

The 64-pages long June 1940 staple bound paperback book by Ministry of Home Security, Air Raids - What You Must Know, What You Must Do contains a Foreword by Sir John Anderson, Minister of Home Security: 
 "This book is written to help you and your family and friends. ... A great deal of information has been collected as a result of experience gained in actual air raids, and from this ... you will be able to face the dangers of air raids with the sure conviction ... and with the calmness and assurance that come from a knowledge of the way in which these dangers can be met. ... the people of this country will be enabled to defeat every attempt the enemy may make to weaken its morale and paralyse its war effort.

 "In this war every man and woman is in the front line. A soldier at the front who neglects the proper protection of his trench does more than endanger his own life; he weakens a portion of his country's defences ... You, too, will have betrayed your trust if you neglect to take the steps which it is your responsibility to take for the protection of yourself and your family.

"This is a contribution to the winning of final victory which you personally can make and which no one else can make for you.  I am confident you will make it."
This book is well illustrated (see photos) and has chapters on civil defence, high explosives and countermeasures like Anderson shelter, dealing with incendiary bombs and war gases, and first aid.  It has an appendix giving a table of war gases, and a listing of selected official publications.
To back up the gas protection evidence (which is still valid today for nerve gas, whose molecules are heavier and actually less penetrating than the smaller molecules of older war gases), the government published a 7-page printed report on experiments to determine the effectiveness of anti-gas protection of houses and of people wearing gas masks or not wearing gas masks in sealed rooms.  This Experiments in Anti-Gas Protection of Houses ARP report was published by the Home Office Air Raid Precautions (ARP) Department to disprove fears circulated by various critics in 1937 (especially the Cambridge Scientists' Anti-War Group which published a book claiming to entirely discredit all air raid precautions), that the gas masks and gas proof rooms did not work, were unreliable, or were just armchair advice invented to support anti-Nazi warmongering rather than appeasement policies:

"The experiments were conducted by the Chemical Defence Research Department under the aegis of a special Sub-Committee of the Chemical Defence Committee. That Sub-Committee was composed of eminent experts not in Government employment, and included a number of distinguished University professors and scientists."

"... over a ton of chlorine gas was released 20 yards from the house so that the wind carried it straight on to the unprotected room. ... Human beings who occupied this unprotected room found that gas penetrated slowly into the room, and after about seven minutes it became necessary for them to put on their respirators. ... In another experiment the house was surrounded at a distance of 20 yards by large shallow trays which were filled with mustard gas ... Animals were placed in an unprotected room ... Observations made upon the animals ... showed that none of them were seriously harmed by the mustard gas.  The third type of gas used was tear gas ... after 3/4 of an hour the strength of the gas inside the house was still very much less than that outside."

"The animals in the 'gas protected' room, however, were unaffected and remained normal, nothwithstanding the severity of the trial."

In no case could toxic concentrations of a gas penetrate into a sealed up room before the gas outside had been blown away or evaporated by the weather.


Edward Teller points out on page 177 of his 1962 book The Legacy of Hiroshima (Macmillan and Co., London edition) that the fallout from the 1945-62 atmospheric nuclear weapons testing was identical to that from large nuclear attack, yet the fallout doses were very well below the observed 1,000 rad (or 10 Gy or about 1,000 roentgens) threshold for bone cancer at low dose rates in the radium dial painters:

"The bones of humans throughout the world today are getting an average of about 0.002 roentgens a year from Strontium-90 in the fallout. The rest of the body is being exposed to about the same amount of radioactivity, mostly from the fallout's Cesium-137. ... People living at sea level in the United States are exposed to 0.034 roentgens of radiation from cosmic rays each year.  This is 17 times the amount obtained from Strontium-90 in the world-wide fallout.  Exposure to cosmic rays in Denver, about 5,000 feet above sea level, is 0.05 roentgens a year.  If such small doses of radiation really were dangerous, we had better evacuate Denver."

Teller's point here is simply that this demonstrates plain dishonesty.   If you are worried about radiation, the biggest source of radiation is natural background radiation, which varies widely.  Why not campaign to ban air travel to reduce exposure to cosmic radiation which increases rapidly with altitude.  At sea level we have atmospheric shielding which is equivalent to a radiation shield of a 10 metres thickness of water, i.e. 10 tons of atmospheric shielding per square metre.  But you have much less atmospheric shielding in an aircraft at high altitude, or even in a city at high altitude like Denver, which is a mile above sea level.  So if radiation is bugging you, your first concern is to campaign about the biggest hazard and to ban unnecessary exposures to natural radiation, not the trivial fallout from nuclear tests!  Teller proves thus that the radiation-informed anti-fallout people weren't bothered about nuclear radiation at all; they were using it as a propaganda tool to get appeasement of the USSR.  This fact is very useful, because it allows us to tell who the liars really are.

Note that 3% of the 67,500 nuclear bombs ever made were actually exploded in nuclear tests (a total of 2,065 actual nuclear test explosions).  That's pretty substantial because detonating all the nuclear bombs every made would be 33 times as many as the tests.  Yet the nuclear testing fallout is dwarfed by natural background radiation.  After Rongelap Island was repopulated in June 1957, three years after its evacuation due to heavy fallout 110 miles downwind from the 15 megaton Bravo test in March 1954, the total lifetime fallout dose commitment from June 1957 onwards was just 17 mSv from external gamma rays, plus an internal exposure of 22 mSv from Cesium-137 internally (mainly from coconuts, arrowroots and coconut crabs), 1.9 mSv from Zinc-65 in fish, 0.53 mSv from Strontium-90, 0.48 mSv from Iron-55, and 0.34 mSv from cobalt-60.  (Edward Lessard, et al., 1984.)  The point is, cesium-137 was far and away the most important long-lived nuclide for long-term fallout exposure.  It was proved that simply adding 2 tons/hectare of potassium (in potassium chloride) to the soil around the coconut trees on Bikini Atoll reduced the cesium-137 uptake by a factor of 10-20.  (Only 300 kg of potassium per acre helpfully reduced Cs-137 in other crop plants too.  Potassium is chemically similar to cesium, so even a small addition of potassium dilutes the small mass of cesium-137 in highly contaminated soil, thereby reducing uptake substantially.  This  is precisely the same principle as used in blocking the iodine-131 uptake in thyroid glands by taking KI tablets.)  In addition, it has been found at Bikini, Eniwetok and Rongelap Atoll that the effective half-life of biologically-available Cesium-137 is only 9 years (not the 30 year radioactive half life) because it gets washed out of the soil by rain and diluted to insignificance in the sea (where naturally radioactive potassium-40 dwarfs all the cesium-137 ever produced by nuclear weapons tests). You don't have to bother about the plutonium, which is insoluble and is rejected by plants.

None of the anti-radiation campaigners argued that we should protect against the bigger and more easily preventable risks of "natural" cosmic rays before dealing with global fallout, despite the fact that cosmic rays are high-LET radiations which cause more biological damage than bomb fallout (plutonium occurs in insoluble compounds, which is discriminated against by plants and animals, and is coughed up, swallowed and rapidly eliminated when inhaled or ingested).

The plutonium alpha radiation hazard myth is one of the worst deceptions of nuclear weapons and anti-nuclear media propaganda. The 5.5 MeV alpha particles from fallout have range of only 4.1 cm in air and only 35 microns (or 0.035 mm) in human tissue or water.  Since plutonium had a relatively high boiling point compared to gaseous fission products, it doesn't coat the outer surfaces of fallout particles, but ends up trapped inside in the solidified silicate glass, which seals in the plutonium in an insoluble form and also shields the alpha radiation!  Plutonium-239 isn't even the major source of alpha radiation in fallout, since alpha emitters with shorter half lives have a higher specific activity.  As Dr Edward T. Bramlitt - the health physicist who ensured safety during the decontamination of Eniwetok Atoll - pointed out, 80% of the alpha particles from the 1952 Mike nuclear test is now from Am-241, not plutonium-239.  Am-241 is the familiar ionization sources used in household smoke detectors, so nobody campaigns against the widespread use of Am-241!  In fallout Am-241 forms from the decay of Pu-241, which is a beta emitter which has a half life of 13 years.

Pu-241 is present in "bomb-grade" plutonium as a minor impurity, but it is present to a larger extent in normal reactor waste plutonium and in hydrogen bomb fallout; in both cases this due to repeated neutron capture in uranium-238 and subsequent beta decays.  In addition, of the remaining alpha activity in Mike and Bravo test fallout, over 50% is due to Pu-240, not Pu-239.  This is due to the higher specific activity from the shorter half life of Pu-240.  The longer the half life, the fewer atoms decay each second, so the lower the radio activity emission rate per atom!  This fact is never mentioned by anti-nuclear propaganda, which claims falsely that long half lives are bad!  Actually, if the naturally radioactive carbon-14 and potassium-40 in our bodies had short half lives of a few seconds, instead of very long half lives, the radiation would be lethal.  Very long half lives ensure that the radiation emitted per atom per second is extremely low.  (Reference: Bramlitt's discussion of alpha radiation from fallout, published in the book: Jack C. Green and Daniel J. Strom, editors, Would the insects inherit the earth, and other subjects of concern to those who worry about nuclear war, Pergamon, London, 1988.)

Teller backs this up by discussing the abusive reception of his proposal to reduce heavy fallout by replacing uranium-238 pusher's in nuclear weapons with non-fissionable X-ray ablation materials like lead or tungsten.  Teller supported the development and testing successfully in 1956 of the Redwing-Navajo 4.5 megaton land surface burst of only 5% fission and 95% fusion yield and also the 3.53 megaton 15% fission Redwing-Zuni test, which also produced much lower fallout doses than the dirty 87% fission Redwing-Tewa test (a survivable 150 rads maximum even without any shielding in the downwind area over 48 hours from Zuni, compared to a lethal 1000 rads outdoor dose from Tewa), as seen in the declassified nuclear Weapon Test report WT-1316:

Teller explained the fact that nobody in the "peace" and "anti-fallout" movement campaigned for these cleaner weapons, but instead opposed them, demonstrated that the real issue for those radiation campaigners was nothing to do with nuclear radiation fears.  Instead, they were campaigning against nuclear deterrence in general, wanting to return the world to the more "conventional" weapons which led to two world wars.

Teller wrote on page 70 of The Legacy of Hiroshima about the tragic accident leading to the cancellation of Dr Mark M. Mills's Hardtack-Pinion 1958 clean nuclear test, a 4% fission, 96% fusion 9 megaton bomb designed to prove to United Nations observers (who would measure the fallout) that no dangerous fallout was created:

"Mills, in April of 1958, was working in the Pacific Proving Grounds.  A new series of tests was approaching, and Mills was involved in some important preparations.  On the evening of April 7, he found it necessary to move from one island to another in the Eniwetok chain, and he requested a helicopter. ... Dr Harry Keller, and an Air Force medical officer, Col. Ernest A. Pinson, flew with Mills in the helicopter's cabin.  Flying low near the edge of the lagoon, the helicopter was caught in a squall.  It crashed into 8 feet of water. ... The passengers were trapped ... Colonel Pinson was able to float and breathe from the air bubble that formed ... he kicked out a cabin window ... he returned with the pilots to rescue his friends from the cabin.  They found Harry Keller unconscious ... Mark Mills ... was found, still strapped in his seat, dead."

 Left to right: Ernest Lawrence, Lewis Strauss, Edward Teller and Mark Mills. (The White House, 24 June 1957.)

Dr Mills testifying to the 1957 Congressional Hearings The Nature of Radioactive Fallout and Its Effects on Man.  Lacking Edward Teller's Hungarian accent and excitable enthusiasm, he was easier to understand.

Mills had convinced President Eisenhower of the need for a clean bomb fallout demonstration on 24 June 1957, when he attended the White House with Ernest Lawrence, Edward Teller and Lewis Strauss.  The same year, Mills had testified about fallout to the Congressional Hearings on The Nature of Radioactive Fallout and Its Effects on Man.  Without his drive, the clean bomb demonstration program was soon shelved, ostensibly due to (1) "bad weather" at Eniwetok for fallout (it was always bad weather at Eniwetok for fallout, since the prevailing winds blew towards the east, while the safe fallout area was to the north), and (2) the nuclear test cessation time limitation (atmospheric testing was halted from 1959-61).  It's tragic that relatively clean nuclear weapons technology has been discarded as an arms control measure, to limit fallout and the possibility of rain-out (in thunderstorm weather) in case of the use of surface burst nuclear weapons against hardened targets that require appreciable total yields.

The lead "pusher" used in place of U-238 in 95% clean Navajo and 85% clean Zuni was not totally inert, because lead does undergo a (n, 2n) reaction (releasing 2 neutrons when capturing 1 neutron) with high energy thermonuclear neutrons.  Lead has a cross-section of nearly 2 barns for this reaction when hit by the 14.1 MeV neutrons released by tritium + deuterium fusion, compared to less than 0.6 barns for a beryllium-9 tamper.  Lead is thus more useful as a neutron reflector than beryllium when the neutron energy is above 11 MeV, in addition to be being denser than beryllium and therefore a better inertial tamper and ablative fusion capsule "pusher"!  Notice the plots for the fission of lithium-6 and lithium-7 as a function of neutron energy in clean weapons.  For the neutron-induced fission of lithium into tritium and an alpha particle, you must use lithium-6 if the neutron energy is below about 4 MeV, but for neutrons above 4.7 MeV it is actually easier to fission lithium-7 with neutrons, since it then has a bigger cross-section!  For 14.1 MeV fusion neutrons the cross-section for lithium-7 fission by neutrons is over 10 times larger than for lithium-6 fission.  Furthermore, the fission of lithium-7 by neutrons releases a neutron in addition to tritium and an alpha particle, whereas the fission of lithium-6 only releases tritium and an alpha particle!  So once a thermonuclear reaction that generates 14.1 MeV neutrons is efficiently started, the 14.1 MeV neutrons have a good chance of inducing fission of lithium-7, releasing easy-to-fuse tritium and neutrons, thereby creating relatively "clean" energy from very inexpensive natural lithium-7 deuteride (contrasted to expensively enriched lithium-6 deuteride).  Weapons that release a high percentage of their yield from tritium + deuterium fusion will release most of their energy in the form of 14.1 MeV neutrons.  Conservation of momentum and conservation of energy ensures that 80% of the 17.6 MeV of energy (i.e. 14.1 MeV) of energy released in tritium + deuterium fusion is in the form of 14.1 MeV neutrons.  If you have a 95% fusion bomb with a lead pusher, like the successful 1956 Redwing-Navajo test, most of the energy is initially in the form of 14.1 MeV neutrons.  This is why the interactions of 14.1 MeV neutrons with lead and lithium-7 are so important to understand.

Explaining the facts about the effects of nuclear weapons against a tide of propaganda

Above: Samuel Glasstone (left), 3 May 1897 – 16 Nov 1986, and Philip J. Dolan (right), 5 October 1923  5 January 1992, the Editors of the 1977 edition of The Effects of Nuclear Weapons, both had Secret - Restricted Data security clearance and thefefore were limited in what they could include in the way of references to secret reports in that book.  They debunked many of the myths of nuclear weapons, but without always being able to give the references to secret technical reports that provided the back-up data.  However, Dolan's now-declassified 1972 Secret - Restricted Data Effects Manual EM-1, Capabilities of Nuclear Weapons, provides much more information, as does his two informative contributions to two major 1980s studies: Appendix A, Characteristics of the Nuclear Radiation Environment Produced by Several Types of Disasters, Summary Volume, in the 1981 U.S. National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements symposium, The Control of Exposure of the Public to Ionizing Radiation in the Event of Accident or Attack, and Dolan's discussion of nuclear terrorism risks on pages 17-21 of the 1988 book Would the insects inherit the earth, Pergamon, London.

The biography in the 1988 book states:

"Mr Dolan has more than 37 years of experience in research areas dealing with nuclear weapons and their effects, beginning with an assignment to the Manhattan District at Los Alamos in 1948.  Subsequent Army assignments included those in the Armed Forces Special Weapons Project in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and Washington, D.C. (both of which were successor organizations to the Manhattan District and predecessors to the Defense Nuclear Agency); he was appointed as an instructor in Nuclear Weapons Employment at the Army Command and General Staff College, and as Nuclear Effects Project Officer for the Ballistic Missile Defense Office of the Advanced Research Projects Agency.  After retiring from U.S. Army in 1967, Mr Dolan worked as a physicist at the Illinois Institute of Technology Research Institute for one year, and then managed the Nuclear Studies Program at Stanford Research Institute (later SRI).

"In 1981, he joined Lockheed Missiles and Space Company.  Mr Dolan's experience includes fabrication of special nuclear components in the laboratory, as well as analytical studies.  He had published over 70 technical papers and reports, including several on both nuclear weapons proliferation and assessments of the nuclear technologies of existing nuclear powers; publications include U.S. Army FM 101-31, Nuclear Weapons Employment (1963), DNA-EM-1, Capabilities of Nuclear Weapons (1972), and with S. Glasstone, The Effects of Nuclear Weapons (1977).  Mr Dolan received his B.S. from the United States Military Academy, West Point (1945) and his M.S. in physics from the University of Virginia (1956)."

In that 1988 book, pages 17-21, Dolan responds to the question "Do you think it is inevitable that sooner or later some terrorist organization will fabricate a perhaps crude but nevertheless workable nuclear device, and either seriously threaten its use, or actually cause it to be detonated?"  Dolan replies:

"I will give a qualified yes in answer to the question.  I think that it probably is inevitable that a nuclear device will be used by terrorists at some time in the future, either as a serious threat or with an actual explosion.  The qualification arises from the fact that I believe that there is some probability that the acquisition may come about by theft of a weapon rather than by fabrication.  That is not to say that fabrication would be impossible.  A great deal has been written about clandestine fabrication of nuclear weapons during the last decade. ... In addition to the popular press, various unclassified journals and other technical publications contain such details as the chemical and metallurgical properties of plutonium and uranium.  No doubt, there is enough information available in the open literature to enable a group to build a nuclear warhead. ... We must agree that a dedicated group could put together a possibly very inefficient device that would produce somewhere between a few tens of tons and a few kilotons of yield, which would be adequate for their purpose. ...

"Natural uranium consists mainly of two isotopes, U-235 (about 0.7%) and U-238 (about 99.3%).  The less abundant isotope is the readily fissionable species, and the uranium must be highly enriched in U-235 to be of practical use in a weapon.  Two processes, gaseous diffusion and gas centrifuge, make use of the mass difference between the isotopes to selectively remove U-238. ... Plutonium is made by bombarding U-238 with neutrons to produce U-239 by neutron capture.  Subsequently, two beta decays produce first Np-239, which has a short half-life, and then the long-lived Pu-239.  Similarly, U-233 is made by neutron capture in the thorium-232 ... Pu-239 is the most widely available special nuclear material.  In addition to being produced for weapon use, it is made as a by-product within the fuel of power reactors. ... Plutonium represents only about 0.5% of the spent fuel from a light-water power reactor. ... More than a ton of this spent fuel must be processed to obtain enough plutonium for one weapon. ... some of the plutonium atoms capture neutrons and become Pu-240.  Subsequently, neutron captures can also produce Pu-241 and Pu-242.  Plutonium that is made for weapons is removed from the reactor before large amounts of these heavier isotopes can be formed.

"Weapon plutonium typically contains 6-8% Pu-240 and only trace amounts of Pu-241 and Pu-242.  When the reactor is run to optimize fuel usage for power production, the heavier isotopes, together with some Pu-238 that is also produced, account for 30-35% of the plutonium in the spent fuel.  Pu-240 and Pu-241 fission spontaneously, producing a continuous neutron background.  Pu-241 and daughter products are gamma emitters. ... If during the assembly process, a chain reaction is initiated at or just after a state of criticality has been attained, the special nuclear material will return to a subcritical state before it ever reaches a significant degree of supercriticality, and a full-scale nuclear explosion will not occur. ... Slow assembly times and high neutron backgrounds both increase the probability of the pre-initiation described above. ... A gun-assembly weapon made with reactor-grade plutonium ... would have little chance of success. ... they likely will be constrained to an implosion-type weapon.  Such a weapon requires a high degree of sophistication in the design and fabrication of the electronics and the high explosives. ... Theft of a weapon would be a formidable undertaking, but so would be theft of weapons-grade special nuclear material.  Theft of reactor-grade plutonium might be easier to accomplish, but that would entail the additional difficulties of handling, design, and construction discussed above.

"The United States' weapons systems are equipped with tamper-proof protective devices that are designed to prevent unauthorized use even by legitimate custodians.  Successful employment of these systems by terrorists must be considered an extremely remote possibility.  On the other hand, if a weapon were obtained from a country other than the United States, the possibility of successful use is probably not so remote."

On page 41 of the same book edited by Greene and Strom, Stanley Martin, who was director of Stanford Research Institute's Fire Research Department (Martin worked at the U.S. Naval Radiological Defense Laboratory during nuclear tests in the 1950s), debunked nuclear firestorms and related firestorm-smoke nuclear winter delusions:

"First, firestorms are a very unlikely result of nuclear explosions, even of air bursts of megaton yield. ... Fatalities due to fire in Hiroshima were estimated at less than 3% of the population at risk, and the fire severity was estimated to be less than in the firestorm events in Germany by more than an order of magnitude. ... I hope we will not repeat the mistake, and choose to ignore the lesson history teaches."

The biography of Stanley Martin included in the book states:

"His career, which started in the early 1950s ... began with the measurements of thermal radiation from the fireballs of atmospheric nuclear explosions, and was followed by impressively diverse experimental and analytical efforts to understand and forecast the incendiary potential of nuclear weapons.  Subsequently, at URS Research Company and then Stanford Research Institute, Mr Martin's activities branched into peace-time concerns for fire and explosion safety."

On pages 56-57, Walmer Strope's ("Jerry" Strope's) 1960s nuclear weapons research program for civil defense is discussed, which first worked out the details of firestorm casualty assessment.  Strope came to fame at the U.S. Naval Radiological Defense Laboratory for his monumental 1948 analysis of the fallout pattern from the 1946 Baker underwater test (a terrific undertaking, which combined an innovative analysis of diverse dose rate and accumulated dose measurements from film-badge dosimeters and geiger counters, with photographs from different angles of the radioactive plumes falling from the mushroom cloud).  Strope, along with Dr Carl F. Miller, in 1957 occupied a simple earth-covered fallout shelter 1 mile from ground zero at the 17 kt Plumbbob-Diablo nuclear test, which survived the blast and fallout (previously, shelters had been left unoccupied at nuclear tests). Strope became Assistant Director for Research in the U.S. Department of Defense's Office for Civil Defense in 1961, when President Kennedy authorized the first massive research budget for civil defense against nuclear weapons firestorms and fallout (the origin of this research effort was actually Herman Kahn's recommendations in the major 1958 RAND Corporation report on Non-military Defense, which Kahn repeated in his June 1959 testimony to Congressional hearings on Biological and Environmental Effects of Nuclear War, attended by Senator John F. Kennedy).

Strope, as Assistant Director for Research, headed Post-Attack Research Division from 1962-73, and in 1973-74 he was the Deputy Assistant Director for Research of the DCPA (Defense Civil Preparedness Agency, forerunner to FEMA), editing the DCPA Attack Environment Manual which summarized some of the research data.  Strope points out on page 56 of the 1988 Greene and Strom book:

"In 1956, a computerized damage assessment system was developed by FCDA (Federal Civil Defense Administration) that permitted analysis of a nationwide nuclear attack.  The early studies demonstrated that relatively modest fallout protection factors could be effective in preventing fatalities from fallout radiation."

Strope's Table 1 on page 57 shows that from 1962-71 he spent $28,682,094 on shelter research, $20,217,292 on support system research (firestorms etc), $16,169,570 on post-attack research (fallout and other medical after effects of nuclear war) and $21,035,001 on systems evaluation (including strategic analysis, attack sociology and psychology), a total of $86,103,957.  Most of this research ended up in secret, limited or simply unpublished research gathering dust in archives.  It's time these facts were published.

“Ever since the first atomic bomb exploded over Hiroshima, millions and millions of words have been … written … [claiming] that a war fought with these weapons will result in the sudden extinction of civilisation. The historian, of course, knows better. He knows that few civilisations and few nations have been wiped out by mechanical means. Civilisations and nations die, as a rule, from a disease of the soul, a paralysis of the spiritual force that gave them birth and sustained their growth.”

Australian Army Journal, Editorial, October-November 1949.

After the 1992 version of Effects Manual EM-1 was declassified (with deletions) for a Freedom of Information Act request, the declassified portions were assembled by Dr Northrop into an unclassified book of only 736 pages, Handbook of Nuclear Weapon Effects: Calculational Tools Abstracted from DWSA's Effects Manual One (EM-1).  Some inconsistencies between the full version of EM-1 and Northrop's book arise from the nature of the classified data that isn't included, which makes the unclassified book misleading (readers always seem tend to assume for nuclear effects that, what isn't published, doesn't exist).  For example, the 1991 crater size revised scaling law for strategic surface bursts (below) and initial nuclear radiation outputs are given for 13 different Los Alamos and Lawrence Livermore nuclear weapons in Chapter 8 of the full version of EM-1, but only the full data for four of them (weapons 3, 5, 8 and 13; unboosted and boosted fission, single yield thermonuclear, and neutron bomb) were declassified and included in Northrop's unclassified book.

Above: crater size scaling from the 1972 edition of EM-1 was published in Glasstone and Dolan 1977, but was debunked as a massive exaggeration in 1991.  (Further data on Glasstone's 1977 exaggeration of crater sizes is given by Bruce G. Blair in his 1993 book The Logic of Accidental Nuclear War, pages 137-9, which ) The roughly 1 kt yield surface bursts used for dry soil crater size data had low X-ray yield output and high bomb case shock yield; more modern higher yield weapons reverse this and the X-rays are not effective at cratering in a surface burst.  In addition, the Glasstone crater scaling law omits the increasing proportion of the cratering energy which is used not through hydrodynamic blasting of soil, but in work against gravity, lifting soil out of the crater and dumping it around the rim and ejecta lip.  The energy needed to blast soil out of a hemisphere is proportional to the volume of the hemisphere, so the hydrodynamic energy use in cratering is proportional to the cube of the effective radius (the crater depth is less than the radius because of the fallback and slumping of ejecta to the bottom); but the gravitational energy use in cratering is proportional not to the cube of the effective crater radius, but to the fourth power of that radius because the gravity energy is mgh, where is the crater mass (density times crater volume or cube of radius) and the crater depth or effective height that material has to be lifted up while being dumped around the hole.  This means that at low, subkiloton yields, hydrodynamic scaling predominates (depth and radius of crater scale as roughly the cube-root of yield), but at higher yields a greater fraction of the total cratering energy is used in lifting soil out of the hole against gravity, and this changing partition of the crater energy use reduces the effective hydrodynamic yield and reduces predicted crater sizes.

“Recently the U.S. Department of Defense reviewed the pertinent historical evidence gathered during nuclear tests and developed new models of the vulnerability of underground structures to nuclear explosions. These calculations differed substantially from those derived from earlier models. For example, the dimensions of a crater produced by a nuclear explosion were estimated to be considerably smaller than previously thought. To give a specific comparison, the radius of a crater produced by a one-megaton nuclear explosion on the surface of wet soil would be 651 feet according to the old formula, whereas the new formula estimated the radius to be 394 feet. ... Comparable differentials typically hold across the spectrum of weapon yields and soil varieties. ... Under the new formula the pertinent calculations for this location’s geological composition (dry soft rock, according to U.S. analysts) indicate a crater radius of only 180 feet for a one-megaton weapon, or 262 feet for a nine-megaton weapon.” - Bruce G. Blair, The Logic of Accidental Nuclear War, Brookings Institution, 1993, pp. 137-9
‘Data on the coral craters are incorporated into empirical formulas used to predict the size and shape of nuclear craters. These formulas, we now believe, greatly overestimate surface burst effectiveness in typical continental geologies ... coral is saturated, highly porous, and permeable ... When the coral is dry, it transmits shocks poorly. The crushing and collapse of its pores attenuate the shock rapidly with distance ... Pores filled with water transmit the shock better than air-filled pores, so the shock travels with less attenuation and can damage large volumes of coral far from the source.’
– L. G. Margolin, et al., Computer Simulation of Nuclear Weapons Effects, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, UCRL-98438 Preprint, 25 March 1988, p. 5.

D. E. Burton, et al., Blast induced subsidence in the craters of nuclear tests over coral, Lawrence Livermore National Lab., UCRL-91639, 1985:
“The craters from high-yield nuclear tests at the Pacific Proving Grounds are very broad and shallow in comparison with the bowl-shaped craters formed in continental rock at the Nevada Test Site and elsewhere. Attempts to account for the differences quantitatively have been generally unsatisfactory. We have for the first time successfully modeled the Koa Event, a representative coral-atoll test. On the basis of plausible assumptions about the geology and about the constitutive relations for coral, we have shown that the size and shape of the Koa crater can be accounted for by subsidence and liquefaction phenomena. If future studies confirm these assumptions, it will mean that some scaling formulas based on data from the Pacific will have to be revised to avoid overestimating weapons effects in continental geology.”

In addition to this Glasstone and Dolan crater error correction being omitted from the unclassified Northrop book, data for all 13 weapons were declassified in the 1984 Weapons Effects 2.1 DOS computer program (ZIP file here; for screen prints see below).  (This DOS program will run under Windows XP, the you need to right-click on the program file "WE.exe", select "properties" and on the "memory" tab change all settings to the maximum memory option listed.)  Our check of the initial nuclear radiation with declassified weapons test data show an excellent agreement with this program.  However, the program and the data are entirely inappropriate for all modern city urban targets, where not only direct neutrons and gamma rays but also most of the wide-angle scattered radiation will suffer immense degradation in surface bursts or low air bursts, due to the many high rise buildings shielding the skyline exposure from a target (not merely the shielding of the single building a person happens to be in).  This effect was not present in Hiroshima or Nagasaki, where the predominant type of building even in the city centre were single story wood frame buildings.

Kyle Millage's report on urban effects (10 kt on Washington DC White House and on New York City):

Neutron radiation shielding as function of angle and neutron energy: 14 MeV neutrons from T + D fusion in a neutron bomb are extremely hard to shield even with borated plastic, but the typically ~ 1 MeV neutrons from a a fission weapon are easy to shield with water, soil or concrete.

The old, contemporary and modern designs of fission weapons refer to different designs of implosion system, the details remain classified (in addition to spherical implosion of a plutonium core in a neutron reflector, there is also linear and prolate spheroid implosion; all of these fission weapons have a thinner tamper and thinner high explosive system than the 1945 Nagasaki bomb model, and so they leak relatively more neutron and prompt gamma radiation for a similar yield) .

The Northrop/EM1 Recipe model.  Notice that a 1 kt surface burst has a thermal yield fraction of only 4.5%, as compared to 17% at 10 megatons yield.  This is simply because the crater ejecta radius that absorbs and thereby shields a portion of the fireball's thermal radiation output, scales more slowly with increasing weapon yield than does the radius of the fireball at final thermal maximum radiating power.  Therefore, for 1 kt yield, the crater ejecta throwout cone of dirt engulfs a larger proportion of the hot fireball than is the case for a 10 megaton burst, where the fireball is relatively large compared to the cratering throwout and ejecta.  (You can see this cratering effect on the fireball very clearly in several films of the fireball engulfed by the crater throwout ejecta during the 1956 British 1.4 kt Buffalo-2 nuclear surface burst at Marcoo site, Maralinga).
Northrop EM1 thermal radiation spectrum data: notice that the surface burst 1 kt weapon has a thermal spectrum which peaks at a much higher wavelength than a 1 km altitude air burst.  This is not due to air density variation (which has a relatively trivial effect on the thermal spectrum, in going from 1 km to 0 km burst altitude), but is instead due to the cooling effect of the dirt put into the fireball by the crater ejecta and throwout in a surface burst.  This means that in a surface burst, not only is the total amount of thermal radiation reduced by crater throwout shielding, but in addition the thermal radiation is composed mainly of infrared radiation (not visible and ultraviolet), and this infrared radiation is far more easily shielded by the normal water vapor content of most modern cities which are usually located near the ocean, a river or a lake.  Humid air is a good wide-band absorber of infrared radiation, an effect not observed in the dry desert nuclear tests in Nevada, but seen in Pacific ocean surface bursts which failed to produce firestorms in natural forested islands within the shot atolls.
Northrop EM1 visibility ranges for thermal radiation attenuation: typical city visibility is usually less than that in the dry, clear air of the Nevada desert.  The 1950 Effects of Atomic Weapons showed a variety of thermal radiation curves for different atmospheric conditions, but these were misleadingly replaced with a single transmission curve in the 1977 edition of Glasstone and Dolan's Effects of Nuclear Weapons, which also failed to point out the shadowing effect in modern cities which virtually eliminates the thermal flash hazard for most people in buildings whose windows will usually not have a direct view of the fireball, contrary to naive "burns radius" and "ignition" radii calculated in Glasstone and Dolan for the Nevada desert (unobstructed terrain).

EM1 blast arrival times for 1 kt terrorist burst: notice that over most of the area of broken windows and glass fragment danger, people who see the indirect (sky-scattered) but still painfully bright flash of a nuclear explosion will have plenty of time to duck and cover before the sound/blast wave arrive and break windows. This was not the case with WWII sized bombs, where the smaller distances of effects meant that evasive action was hardly possible on seeing the flash of a conventional (1 ton of TNT or less) explosion.  This is important for nuclear terrorism, where radar early warning systems may be no use (e.g. for a nuclear bomb which has been smuggled in, aboard a light aircraft, a ship, submarine, or even in radiation-shielded parts disguised within diplomatic embassy freight, or postal packets).
The 0.5 kt Johnie Boy nuclear test (Nevada, 1962) was detonated at 23 inches depth, so its fallout is in many ways representative of the heavy, fast-arriving fallout (large flakes over 1 cm in diameter were photographed in Fig. 3.5 of weapon test report WT-2289) expected from a surface burst in a modern city.  Because the fallout arrives so rapidly from such a low yield surface burst, over a small area directly downwind it actually delivers higher dose rates than fallout from megaton weapons (where fallout is delayed for longer due to the smaller size of most of the particles, and the greater cloud height and updraft, which allows more of the radioactivity to decay before fallout reaches the ground).  For this reason, if people duck and cover to avoid blast winds and glass debris effects, fallout is the main hazard.  Either shelter in buildings or high protective factors (preferably over 100) for a few hours before evacuation, or else rapid evacuation (running crosswind) if the debris situation permits it, is required to avoid lethal fallout doses downwind.  Contrary to much propaganda, fallout was predicted accurately by computer models prior to the 1962 Nevada tests.  Uncertainty over the precise yield are irrelevant to the problem of calculating the area of relatively high fallout danger that needs special shelter or priority evacuation (the cloud height, necessary for determining the wind structure of relevance to fallout, is only a weak function of the bomb yield).  This need for rapid shelter or evacuation in a city surface burst is analogous to the situation after a shallow underwater burst offshore, where the base surge and rainout arrive rapidly, with similarly high dose rates.

Effects of Atomic Weapons 1950: underwater burst radiation hazards in an adjacent city (based on 1946 Baker test at Bikini Atoll).

Professor Leon Goure of the Centre for Advanced International Studies, University of Miami, wrote War Survival in Soviet Strategy which was printed in April 1976 and reprinted in August.  It argued that cheap and simple Soviet civil defense was capable of reducing casualties in a nuclear war to very low levels.  Foy D. Kohler's Foreword makes the point very lucidly by referring to conferences at Goure's Centre in the University of Miami in 1976, during which the usual exaggerations of nuclear war were debunked: "Nearly all of the experts at our conference viewed the reasoning behind the overkill concept as 'absurd'. ... A statement of identical technical validity is that the world's inventory of artillery shells, small arms ammunition, or for that matter, kitchen knives or rocks can kill the human population several times over. ... more than 10 billion pounds of TNT was dropped on Germany, Japan and Italy during World War II.  This equalled more than 50 pounds for every man, woman and child ... During the Vietnam War, more than 25 billion pounds of TNT were dumped ... an average of some 3,000 pounds for each person in prime target areas; yet the U.S. was unable to kill enough people or to disrupt economic life, transportation and communications sufficiently to even avoid a humiliating defeat in the war."

Above: Alfred E. Moss (father of Sterling Moss, racing driver), invented and patented a forerunner to the WWII Morrison Shelter (Patent 544,710 “A Protective Shield for Beds and the like,” made on 20 Sept 1940 and accepted by the Patent Office on 24 April 1942).  Moss was inspired to make an indoor shelter for his family due to repeated night air raids during the cold wet winter of 1940, when only outdoor Anderson shelters were available in his area (which in winter were often flooded by ground water, and were cold and damp).  (The Anderson shelter had originally been designed for indoor use, but exaggerated incendiary fire risks led to the decision to use them outdoors instead.)  Sir John Baker and his assistant Edward Leader-Williams developed and fully proof-tested a cheaper and more effective indoor shelter, the “Morrison” table shelter (named after the Minister for Home Security, Herbert Morrison), with a 3-mm steel top that was designed to absorb energy by being dented like a car bumper (3mm of steel was equivalent in strength to a typical wooden table top, but the L-beams and legs enabled larger impacts to be withstood than a typical table). “A [house collapse resisting] shelter should be designed to absorb some part of the applied energy in its own partial collapse; complete resistance was far too costly ... The Morrison table shelter was ... designed to withstand the debris load of a house by its own partial collapse, whilst still giving adequate protection to the occupants.” - George R. Stanbury, “Scientist in Civil Defence: Part 1”, UK Home Office's Scientific Advisory Branch journal Fission Fragments (issue 17, June 1971, UK National Archives: HO 229/17).   (See also this 69 MB PDF of the Ministry of Home Security's 1941 handbook "Shelter at Home", based on actual results of 1940 bombing.)  This "Table shelter" concept was adapted to include nuclear fallout radiation shielding in the 1980 UK Government publication Protect and Survive, an update on the original June 1941 Shelter at Home manual (below):

Sgt Harrington with Mr and Mrs Dermott at shelter which survived house demolition St Johns Rd London 29 July 1944

Trench shelter in field for hop-pickers in Kent during 1940 Blitz. According to an unpublished section on trenches and foxholes damage in the Secret American manual DNA-EM-1, Capabilities of Nuclear Weapons, even in the dry, loose, sand and gravel soil of the Nevada test site it took a 22 psi blast overpressure to cause 50% filling of trenches and foxholes (mostly due to dust blown up by the blast wave precursor it seems, not the collapse of the sides of the trench!) with their long axis perpendicular to the direction of ground zero (higher overpressures were required for other orientations).  "Trenches and foxholes in damp soil with stable vegetation or dry silty will receive moderate and severe damage at less than those shown in Figure 7-22 [20 psi peak overpressure distance is shown]." - Capabilities of Atomic Weapons, Confidential, 1957, TM 23-200, page 7-52.    Even if a trench is half filled with loose sand, people can extricate themselves without assistance.  If the sand is not loose, there is no problem because the sides hold up.  Open trenches give complete protection against direct nuclear and thermal radiations, so that only the relatively small dose contribution from wide-angle air scatter directly above the trench can enter.

Civil Defence Manual of Basic Training, vol 2, pamphlet 5, Basic Methods of Protection against High Explosive Missiles, 1951, p 25: "A few tools such as picks, shovels and crowbars were always kept in shelters to help the occupants to force a way out if they were trapped by debris."  Pamphlet 6 in this manual, Atomic Weapons, was issued in June 1950 with a signed Foreword written by British Prime Minister Clement Attlee (the man who as Labour Leader in 1935 had impractically called for the disarmament of Britain in order to persuade Hitler than we would not fight): "... we must proceed with our Civil Defence preparations on the basis that, in the event of war, we might be subjected to atomic attack and with the object of minimising the casualties which must inevitably accompany such an attack."  Atomic Weapons stated on page 9: "The figures ... by the British Mission to Japan from the experience of the high air bursts used in Japan ... apply to persons caught in the open with no warning or suitable shelter ... even ordinary houses will give some degree of protection by lessening the intensity of the rays that penetrate them."  (See also this 69 MB PDF of the Ministry of Home Security's 1941 handbook "Shelter at Home", based on actual results of 1940 bombing.)

Anderson shelters survived Blitz bombing: Illustrated London News, 24 August 1940

Add caption

Aldwych tube London 21 October 1940: effective Blitz air raid shelter. Also proved against nuclear weapons blast and cratering by Frank H. Pavry in 1963.

Peter Laurie's 1979 Beneath the City Streets points out on page 33 that 75% of WWII British bomb casualties were caused by flying glass, and since flying glass was also the largest casualty cause in Hiroshima and Nagasaki nuclear air bursts (see Glasstone and Dolan, 1977), most of these casualties could have simply been avoided by duck and cover, no matter how much false "ridicule" is placed on the scientific fact that a flash of light travels faster than a blast wave!  See also this 69 MB PDF of the Ministry of Home Security's 1941 handbook "Shelter at Home", based on actual results of 1940 bombing.

Above: in 1979 Peter Laurie's book Beneath the City Streets pointed out some of the limitations of nuclear weapons in a book that was Duncan Campbell's acknowledged starting point for his widely-cited book War Plan UK, yet Campbell simply ignored all the relevant facts which Laurie produced and instead tried to "ridicule" civil defence nuclear weapons countermeasures without considering the facts at all.  Campbell's tactic of assertive, ignorance-based political/antinuclear dismissals of the awesome effectiveness of cheap WWII conventional and nuclear bombing countermeasures by popular Communist-appeasing historians continue to this day:

“The government was not not willing to over-invest, as it saw it, in defence, so many measures were of more propagandistic than practical value* [*source cited: J. S. Meisel, “Air-Raid Shelter Policy and Its Critics in Britain before the Second World War,” Twentieth Century British History, v5, 1994, pp300-14].  The bulk of the population were to look after themselves, the poor would be issued with cheap shelters* [*source cited: D. Gloster, “Architecture and the Air Raid: Shelter Technologies and the British Government, 1938-1944,” MSC Dissertation, Imperial College, London, 1997]. ... The Anderson shelter, mass-produced from corrugated iron, was to be self-assembled by the householder, who would have to part-bury it and cover it in earth. ... As a supplement, millions of very cheap civilian gas masks (very different from those for the forces ...) were issued at the time of Munich. ... The left argued that these defensive preparations were inadequate.  They demanded more protection: scientists and architects of the left campaigned for better gas protection and serious deep shelters.  The Communist Party launched a powerful campaign against the policies of Sir John Anderson as head of ARP and later Home Secretary.  The Party thought that its campaign was in part responsible for his replacement by Herbert Morrison in October 1940. ... The effect of the bombs was spectacularly less than the Home Office predicted [for conditions of no shelters!].”

- Professor David Edgerton, Britain’s War Machine: Weapons, Resources and Experts in the Second World War, Penguin, 2012, pp36-37.  (Emphasis added in bold to left-wing political authority referrals.)

Edgerton omits to admit that the Home Office casualty predictions were for no shelters, and the difference between predictions and results were due to the high degree of protection afforded by dirt-cheap shelters.  He omits all the vital evidence, e.g. Christopherson’s 1946 report on the effectiveness of cheap shelters, declassified back in 1975.  (See also this 69 MB PDF of the Ministry of Home Security's 1941 handbook "Shelter at Home", based on actual results of 1940 bombing.)  Edgerton uncritically repeats inaccurate and misleading 1930s Communist claims about gas masks.  Military gas masks were robust enough to fight in on the battlefield and thus had a larger cannister for high concentrations of gas during outdoor use, yet they used the same activated charcoal absorber filling as the civilian masks designed for the lower gas concentrations which leak into a house, as proved in experiments declassified back in 1937, yet ignored by historians.  J. B. S. Haldane’s proposed “Maginot Line” of costly deep shelters was investigated but was debunked (money was better spent on arms to end the war; deep shelters are expensive and at Nagasaki they were unoccupied due to surprise attack; the way to get around surprise attack is through knowledgable "duck and cover" countermeasures, not useless and fatally expensive white elephants).  A danger is uncritical, yet seemingly scholarly, references to peer-reviewed, fashion-biased, secondary sources (journals or theses).  Edgerton references biased and ill-informed secondary sources, ignoring the primary sources!  This whole subject is submerged in prejudiced indoctrination and groupthink sneers, masquerading as good scholarship.

(This was exactly the same problem as the religion of "peer-reviewed science".  E.g., in the 1930s the adoration of "authority" figures like eugenics fanatic and Medical Nobel Laureate Alexis Carrell, who suggested gas chambers in 1935 for eugenics, led to the censorship of facts which discredited the eugenics-basis of Hitler's Nazis.  This censorship of facts by eugenics bigots in positions of influence within science prevented the Nazi ideology being discredited.  It was all done by "old boys club" of groupthink "we love eugenics"-fashion-type "Communist" fascists, who refused to acknowledge the existence of contrary facts and the media colluded with them, with censorship of facts passed off as professionalism and dedicated ethical standards, excellent prize-winning moralism, etc.  In fact, it's not scholarship at all, and is the underlying mechanism for the all discredited pseudosciences that use authority, from Marxism to Nazism.)

Easy protection in sarin nerve gas attacks in Syria (22 August 2013 update):

Reuters photo of Syrian "activist" wearing gas mask.
22 Aug 2013 REUTERS Yazan Homsy photo: SYRIA gas mask in hands of a soldier.
Above: people resting indoors are less vulnerable to chemical agents than soldiers fighting outside, because they are breathing more slowly (less air intake) and also because the house keeps out a lot of gas.  This is a matter of large scale wind eddies, not laboratory type microscopic diffusion of gas molecules through keyholes.  If it is raining outdoors, little rain gets inside.  Nerve "gases" are liquid droplets which evaporate a vapor that is rapidly dispersed to safe concentrations by the wind.  On 16 July 2013, British Foreign Secretary The Rt Hon William Hague MP issued a written statement to Parliament: "There is evidence of attacks using chemical weapons in Syria - including sarin. We believe that the use of chemical weapons is sanctioned and ordered by the Assad regime. ... We plan to equip the moderate armed opposition with 5000 escape hoods, nerve-agent pre-treatment tablets (NAPs) and chemical weapons detector paper. Escape hoods protect against sarin gas for approximately 20 minutes, allowing a person to move away from an affected area but not enabling them to continue to fight. They do not require fitting or extensive training to be effective. Pre-treatment with NAPs gives a person who is exposed to a nerve agent (including sarin) a greater chance of reaching a place where atropine can be administered under medical supervision. Chemical weapons detector paper enables the basic detection of chemical weapons agents. The capability to detect quickly whether chemical weapons agents are present will inform decisions on whether or not to remain in an area and so potentially save lives." 

What is unacceptable here is giving Syrian rebel soldiers 5000 gas hoods, while leaving the civilian children unprotected!

 Allegations of 1,300 sarin nerve gas victims of the Assad regime at a Damascus suburb in the Syrian civil war have been in the media.  As stated above, cheap gas masks and/or plastic sheeting and tape to cover holes in blast-broken windows and cracks in door frames will keep out sarin droplets and vapour for the time taken for the sarin liquid to evaporate and disperse to harmless concentrations (sarin takes 3 times longer than water to evaporate).  Arguments over civilian gas masks in the UK date right back to the 1930s.  Phosgene was a major WWI gas, but was easily protected against, and sarin had actually less serious long term effects than phosgene.  Phosgene and chlorine worked by acid burning to lungs and eyes, resulting in the risk of long-term tissue scarring and injury.  Sarin, like all nerve gases, does not have these direct long term effects (indirect long-term effects from sarin can of course occur, e.g. if a person is unable to breathe due to chest muscle contractions, brain damage may result if proper treatment is not provided).  Sarin causes muscular contraction which causes a tensing of muscles, easily seen by a contraction of eye pupils to points, and by convulsions.  Once the eye pupil contraction has been definitely and unambiguously determined, atropine injections can be administered until the pupils return to the normal size.

Following a fatality from sarin droplets in 1953 at a Porton Down experiment, a full-cycle respiration pump was invented to force air into and out of the lungs of a nerve gas casualty.  Normal first-aid CPR respiration techniques don't work on severe nerve gas victims, because the lung muscles are so tense that when air is blown into the lungs, they can't inflate or return to a deflated state.  Therefore, air needs to be pumped in and then sucked out (a full cycle) to ensure adequate oxygen is available.  (The lungs, being directly exposed to inhaled nerve gas, are more seriously affected than the heart.)

According to the declassified CIA's National Intelligence Estimate NIE-18, The Probability of Soviet Employment of BW and CW in the Event of Attacks upon the US, Appendix B, pages 11-12:

"Approximately 5 tons of GB [Sarin] used in present munitions would be required to obtain a concentration for 50% lethality, in an open area of one square mile, under favorable weather conditions ... Effective dissemination ... requires the following conditions. ... Low or medium wind velocity. ... Shallow layer of cool air below a warm layer. ... Openings in the buildings through which outside air can penetrate, such as windows or air conditioning inlet ducts (openings can be obtained by employing high explosive munitions concurrently with CW [chemical warfare] agents). ...

"Theoretically, complete protection against the nerve gases requires not only a well-fitted gas mask but also special impermeable clothing.  However, except in the immediate vicinity of bursts, the concentrations which probably will be encountered will be such that gas masks will provide adequate protection for all but a few of the personnel in the target area."

Quite often, gas masks are dismissed as a sarin countermeasure because if liquid droplets of sarin (which evaporate like rainwater, but 3 times more slowly) land on the skin, they are absorbed.  However:

(1) protection against a rain of liquid droplets of sarin is possible using waterproof rain wear or being indoors,

(2) the toxicity of sarin vapor (evaporated from liquid drops) via skin absorption is less than than via direct lung inhalation.  In other words, if you wear a gas mask and remain indoors, higher concentrations of sarin vapor are needed to get through your skin than are needed for lung and eye absorption.

The whole point of civil defence, like wearing a car seat-belt, is not to guarantee safety in all situations; instead, the point is to reduce the level of risk, reduce the number of casualties, and reduce suffering.

In real world weather situations, sealing up broken windows in rooms with plastic sheets and duct tape and wearing cheap gas masks will provide sufficient protection for most people, while the sarin outside evaporates and is blown away and dispersed to harmless concentrations.

The people who sneer at civil defence countermeasures in order to be awarded Nobel Prizes or (un)United Nations publicity effectively have blood on their hands, just as the people who sneer at car seat belts using false logic.See also this 69 MB PDF of the Ministry of Home Security's 1941 handbook "Shelter at Home", based on actual results of 1940 bombing.

28 August 2013 update: alternative courses of action, military strikes versus civil defence

Glasstone and Dolan write in the 1977 edition of The Effects of Nuclear Weapons, pages 611-612 (paragraphs 12.209-12.211):

"From the earlier studies of radiation-induced mutations, made with fruitflies, ... The mutation frequency appeared to be independent of the rate at which the radiation dose was received. ... More recent experiments with mice, however, have shown that these conclusions must be revised, at least for mammals. ... in male mice ... For exposure rates from 90 down to 0.8 roentgen per minute ... the mutation frequency per roentgen decreases as the exposure rate is decreased. ... in female mice ... The radiation-induced mutation frequency per roentgen decreases continuously with the exposure rate from 90 roentgens per minute downward. At an exposure rate of 0.009 roentgen per minute [0.54 roentgen/hour], the total mutation frequency in female mice is indistinguishable from the spontaneous frequency. There thus seems to be an exposure-rate threshold below which radiation-induced mutations are absent or negligible, no matter how large the total (accumulated) exposure to the female gonads, at least up to 400 roentgens."

Above: land equivalent 48 hour downwind fallout doses from even dirty H-bombs would be survivable in a modern city concrete building with a protection factor of 10 or more, and people could evacuate from the path of the fallout, which is even more predictable with modern weather computers today than in the 1950s.

"Outrageous, unsubstantiated statements are made concerning the hazards of ionizing radiation, in spite of a vast published, peer-reviewed literature … The result of this deception is not insignificant: literally millions of lives are less healthy … annual billions of dollars spent needlessly to protect us from radiation that we need for optimal health. Radiophobia limits the political will of people and governments … Radiophobia prevents the logical and safe burial of nuclear wastes. Radiophobia causes serious psychological effects leading to loss of life (>100,000 abortions and >1,000 suicides attributed to Chernobyl fallout).  My career was initially funded by the AEC, starting at the Radiobiology Laboratory at Texas A & M … All graduate students in the lab participated in a large reproduction study with rats who received continuous gamma irradiation … I can remember their discussions about why rats receiving 20 mSv/day [2 R/day] (~ 7 Sv per year) lived longer … I spent about 25 years (1968-93) working on inhalation toxicology of transuranics [plutonium, etc.] in the Biology department at PNL … A large practical threshold of 2-10 Gy [2,000-10,000 R, for low dose rates of ~10 mR/hour] is seen in humans for thorotrast patients (liver cancer) and radium dial painters (bone cancer)."

Above: In unstressed cells, the level of p53 DNA repair protein is minimised via its binding to protein MDM2, which is the oncogene that normally inhibits p53. (Second illustration from  See also Lawrence Donehower et al., "Mice deficient for p53 are developmentally normal but susceptible to spontaneous tumours," Nature 356: 215-221.)

MDM2 levels increase with p53, causing a negative-feedback "regulation loop" thereby keeping p53 at a low level in normal cells.  Low level radiation exposure increases tumor-suppressor levels, reducing cancer:

Radiation causes stress mediators (like ATM and CHK2) to "activate" p53 by separating the protein p53 from its inhibitor, MDM2. This increases the level of active p53, not bound to MDM2, for 12 hours after irradiation. Thus, low level radiation causes an increase in tumor-suppressing p53, reducing the cancer and genetic risks by repairing DNA damage that would otherwise lead to cancer or genetic defects in offspring.

Direct measurements reported by Jamie Lamkin in his book, Investigating the Role of p53 in the Germ Cell Apoptotic Pathway (Rhode Island College, 2011, Chapter 2, "Effect of Radiation Exposure on p53 in Mouse Germ Cells," Figure 9), determined that the p53 level in cells showed a 5-fold increase in tumor-suppressing p53 levels, peaking at 6 hours after exposure of mice to 5 Gy of Cs-137 gamma radiation given over a 44 minutes exposure time.  This proves the radiation stimulated repair potential for DNA damage, but at high dose rates, some DNA damage can occur before p53 levels rise enough to suppress damage.

The mechanism for DNA repair and cancer avoidance by p53 is as follows (note that other tumour suppressor genes also exist, e.g. PTEN regulates the growth rate of cells, but p53 is central):

1. Once activated by radiation, p53 arrests the cell cycle at the G1/S regulation point by activating the expression of a transducer gene like the kinase inhibitor p21 (which stops the cell division cycle by binding to CDK2), or the Growth Arrest and DNA Damage "GADD45" gene, and then – while the cell cycle is stopped – it repairs the DNA damage using a DNA repair enzyme like p53 R2, GADD45, p48 or XPC.

2. If the damage is beyond safe repair, p53 uses genes like DR5, Plg3, AIP1, Noxa, Bax-2, Puma or Fas to produce proteins that kill the cell by "apoptosis" (programmed cell death), to prevent it from turning carcinogenic. P53 is so effective at preventing cancer that in most cancers (over 50% of human tumours including lung, colon, breast, cervical and bladder cancer) only arise when defective mutations of the p53 gene (TP53) occur because the defective p53 cannot activate p21 to stop a cell’s division for repair work (reference: M. Hollstein, et al., "p53 mutations in human cancers," Science, v253, 1991, pp.49-53).

Proof of the importance of p53 is shown by the fact that most of those who inherit a mutated p53 gene suffer from childhood cancers (Li-Fraumeni syndrome). Similar early vulnerability to cancer was also observed in p53-deficient mice (Reference: Lawrence A. Donehower, et al., "Mice deficient for p53 are developmentally normal but susceptible to spontaneous tumours," Nature, v356, 1992, pp. 215-21).

Toshiyuki Norimura, et al., "p53-dependent apoptosis suppresses radiation-induced teratogenesis [birth defects]," Nature Med. 1996 May;2(5):577-80: "This reciprocal relationship of radiosensitivity to anomalies and to embryonic or fetal lethality supports the notion that embryonic or fetal tissues have a p53-dependent "guardian" of the tissue that aborts cells bearing radiation-induced teratogenic [birth defect-causing] DNA damage." 

It should be noted that p53 suppresses all kinds of DNA damage, both that leading to cancer and that in germ cell DNA that leads to genetic defects in offspring.  p53 cancer-suppression is stimulated by radiation, which releases p53 from its MDM2 inhibitor.  These are hard scientific facts which explain the scientific evidence of lifespain increase in controlled mice irradiation experiments, and the bone cancer threshold dose rate evidence from human radium dial painters whose bones were measured to accurately determine their radium content.  Cancer occurs when low levels of p53 repair multiple double-strand breaks (entire chromosome breaks) too slowly, allowing mistakes to occur, mainly due to the loss of sections of DNA which contain tumor suppressor genes or cell cycle regulation genes (p53 or PTEN).  The cell which no longer has these vital genes then starts undergoing uncontrolled proliferation without adequate DNA repair mechanisms in place.  The second stage is that the defective cells undergo evolution as more and more errors accumulate in their DNA.  This accounts for the delay time of years that it usually takes for a cancer evolve aggressive characteristics, like a special network of blood supply vessels and extra insulin and insulin growth factor (IGF) receptors, both of which speed up the rate of growth of the cancer.  These facts are relevant to the long term risks from exposure to high dose-rate, high dose radiation, because someone who knows they have been exposed can take precautions to reduce the risk of the secondary stage of evolution of aggressive cancers.  Minimal intake of simple sugars and regular exercise (to keep blood insulin levels low), help to reduce the risk of aggressive tumors evolving in this second stage.

"Chromosome breaks occur at all dose rates, but the … dose rate dependence … depends on the presence of two breaks in close proximity at the same time. The probability of this occurring will be greater at high dose rates than at low, since the breaks are assumed to stay open for only a few minutes [before repair by a DNA repair enzyme, like P53]. Unless another break is produced close by within this period, the first will reconstitute and no injury will be seen. … Austrian miners from Schneeberg and Joachimsthal [inhaled radon gas resulting in lung cancer after an average period of] about seventeen years, and during this time the lungs of the miners will have received a dose of at least 1,000 rads and possibly more."
  • Dr Peter Alexander, Atomic Radiation and Life, Penguin Books, 1957, pages 59, 148-9.
Cancer arises from incorrectly repaired, multiple uncorrected double-strand breaks at high dose rates, or in situations where DNA repair enzymes are dysfunctional due to loss, mutation, or breakdown of the activator mechanism which releases DNA repair proteins from binding their normal inhibitors in healthy cells, when radiation stress occurs. At normal mammal cell temperatures, the Brownian motion of water molecules is sufficient to induce single-strand DNA breaks (only one strand in the double helix of DNA being broken) at a rate of 2 per cell per second. These single-strand breaks are easily repaired without shutting down the cell cycle, because the double-helix ensures that the other strand of DNA continues to hold the molecule together, preventing any risk of the transposition of sections of DNA within genes along chromosomes. Since base-pairs are always "matched up" between one strand and the other in the double-helix of DNA, with the base in one strand being paired with a base in the other strand, correct repair of single strand breaks is easy. A missing base in a single strand break is simply replaced with a base that pairs with the remaining DNA base in the unbroken strand.

Double strand breaks, in which both strands in the double helix are severed

In addition, natural double-strand breaks in which both strands in the double-helix of a DNA molecule are broken occur at the natural rate of 0.5 per cell per hour (i.e., 0.007% of all natural DNA breaks). Unlike single-strand breaks, these double-strand breaks completely sever the chromosome at the break point, since DNA consists of two strands of DNA in the double-helix form. If two double-strand breaks occur in rapid succession within a chromosome, a free section of DNA is completely unleashed, which in the fluid environment of the cell may rotate or even be lost before the loose ends are reconnected by a DNA repair enzyme. If the wrong ends of severed DNA segments are connected during the repair process, a cancer may occur, depending on which genes have been transposed or lost by the error.

Cancer growth is accelerated by high blood insulin and insulin-like growth factors like IGF-1, since cancer cells typically have more insulin and insulin factor receptors than healthy cells. Aggressive cancers proliferate by rapid cellular division, so they have a higher metabolism than healthy cells. Blood glucose levels control insulin levels. While all healthy cells require glucose that is obtained from food of all types, simple sugars are broken down into glucose more rapidly than complex sugars in the form of starch. Simple sugar ingestion may preferentially fuel cancer proliferation by delivering 20 calories/minute to the blood stream, compared to just 2 calories/minute for complex sugar breakdown from foods like potato starch. Obtaining glucose through the slow breakdown of complex sugars in starch or in fat minimises the blood glucose level and therefore minimises the insulin level, which limits the rate of proliferation of cancer. Alarmingly, these facts have been obfuscated and dismissed by oversimplifications that merely claim that "all cells need glucose." The research literature indicates that low glucose and low insulin can reduce cancer cells to a fasting condition with slow proliferation. Another area of research needed is "insulin potentiation therapy" where a combination of reduced blood glucose with excess insulin and insulin-like growth factors has been suggested to starve aggressive fast-proliferating cancer cell that fail to respond to other treatment. To starve cancer, insulin is used to increase cancer metabolism while simultaneously depriving cancer of sufficient glucose (fuel). Cancer cells can have up to 10 times more IGF receptors than non-cancer cells, and so suffer greater effects from a variation in insulin than healthy cells, which survive fasting.  It is easy to measure blood sugar levels during this treatment to prevent brain damage, but very few controlled experiments have even been undertaken to discover how to optimise such radical ideas, due it seems to political and financial inertia of traditional drugs industry research which seeks only new chemicals.  It you want to beat cancer, you first must kill the demented hostility/apathy from the intellectual dictatorship of basically fascist capitalists who wear the cloaks of moralistic socialists and preach subjective radiation dogmas as a modern substitute for witchcraft superstition and taboos.

This extensive and accurate dose-effects data debunks the claims of Linus Pauling in the 1950s that fallout strontium-90 caused bone cancer during nuclear testing.  See graph above relating radium to plutonium and strontium, which all have safe doses with thresholds for cancer which get larger for lower dose rates, e.g. see graph below for bone cancer threshold dose data in Hiroshima and Nagasaki (very high dose rates):

Linus Pauling versus radiation facts
"Small doses of any drug possess a bio-positive effect while the large dose of the same compound has the opposite bio-negative effect. In short, all drugs have opposite effects in two dose extremes. The young scientist that worked on this hypothesis for his PhD under the famous Stanford immunologist, George Fegan, to show that vitamin C could be dangerous in bigger doses while it is a stimulant and good for the health in very small doses never made it and had to leave science research altogether because Linus Pauling, the great hero of science, destroyed the young scientist completely. It was Pauling himself that had induced Fegan to work on the good effects of vitamin C on the immune system in the first place. The hormetic effect of vitamin C could not be swallowed by Pauling. Pauling could never agree with vitamin C being poisonous in larger doses! Later he fought an expensive legal battle against his own colleague, a former Director of the Pauling Institute, for showing that cancer growth is stimulated by vitamin C in larger doses, but Pauling lost the battle and was disgraced. Pauling got the second Nobel (Peace) Prize, after his first for the discovery of vitamin C, by the same antipathy towards hormesis. Edward Teller was the father of American Nuclear deterrent against the communists. While Teller was testing atomic weapons, he showed the hormetic effect of radiation by accident. In very small doses radiation stimulates the immune system and increases human life span, radiation hormesis. It also slows the ageing processes by the hormetic effect of working as an anti-oxidant. … The famous Teller-Pauling debates that followed took the whole of America by surprise. Pauling succeeded in demonizing Teller to the extent that the Swedish Nobel Academy gave Pauling the Nobel Peace Prize, his second Nobel! There are many such frauds that have occurred in science … However the technology industry has become a big money spinner and that feeds society with the myth about science."

- Professor B. M. Hegde, MD, FRCP(Lond.), FRCP(Edin.), FRCP(Glas.), FRCP(Dub.), FACC(U.S.A.), FAMS, "Hormesis",

"The increasing veneration for the state, the admiration of power, and of bigness for bigness’ sake, the enthusiasm for ‘organization’ of everything (we now call it ‘planning’) and that ‘inability to leave anything to the simple power of organic growth’...are all scarcely less marked in England now than they were in [Nazi] Germany."Friedrich von Hayek (1899–1992), The Road to Serfdom, 1944.

"The subtle change in meaning to which the word ‘freedom’ was subjected in order that this argument sound plausible is important. To the great apostles of political freedom the word had meant freedom from coercion, freedom from the arbitrary power of other men, release from the ties which left the individual no choice but obedience to the orders of a superior to whom he was attached…The demand for the new freedom was [in contrast]…only a name for the old demand of an equal distribution of wealth."Friedrich von Hayek (1899–1992), The Road to Serfdom, "The Great Utopia"

(Two diametrically opposed kinds of "freedom" can be defined: freedom from state control, and the Nazi/socialist freedom for state coercion to oppress criticisms of the enforcement of utopian dogma.)

This doublethink is best demonstrated by the history of nuclear weapons effects and radiation effects, both of which are "defended" by emotional propaganda which declared it immoral or unethical not to tell lying exaggerations.  This closes down all discussions before the facts have even been aired.  The only people the media now prefer to report are subjective pseudoscientists who have political affiliations within the professional money-making side of the large-scale industry of "science" but use that political muscle to issue fashionable groupthink.  There is no objectivity involved, no comparison with natural risks which are larger than those from radiation at Hiroshima and Nagasaki by massive factors: even at high dose rates (where DNA repair mechanisms like enzyme protein P53 are of minimal utility, as compared to low dose rates) you need a radiation dose of 10-100 cGy (rads) to merely equal to natural cancer risk.  Below that dose, the natural risk of cancer from copying errors and chemical breaks in DNA exceed the risk from radiation:

Above: Radiation Effects Research Foundation (funded by Uncle Sam and Japan) results of the Life Span Study of Hiroshima and Nagasaki irradiated survivors.

The excess leukemias were 94 out of 49,204 irradiated survivors: a risk of 0.19% from radiation

The excess solid tumors were 848 out of 44,635: a risk of 1.9% from radiation.  These general effects have long been known:

Above: improved cancer treatment gives better than a 50% chance of surviving 5 years with leukemia and better than 97% chance of surviving thyroid cancer more than 5 years, provided you don't have to rely on a USSR-type British NHS (National Health Service) which is an ineffective, monolithic, demotivating, failure at everything except for its "success" in spending taxpayer's money in promoting itself as "the envy of the world" (in true Stalinist propaganda fashion).

Cancer research: insulin and sugar

Aggressive, fast-spreading cancer cells spend a much greater fraction of their time dividing, which is why they are more vulnerable to radiation than non-cancer cells.  This is the basis for radiotherapy treatments, and was discovered by J. Bergonie and L. Tribondeau in 1906 (Acad. Sci. Paris, v143, p983; English version in Radiation research, v11, 1960, p32): "The sensitivity of cells to irradiation is in direct proportion to their reproductive activity ..."  By the same token, fast dividing cancer cells can't regulate their metabolism and so are more vulnerable to starvation than non-cancer cells. This means that effective fasting to reduce insulin levels (which accelerates cancer cell spread) can reduce the spread of aggressive cancer and give time for other treatments or natural defenses to work.  A study back in 2002 by P. J. Goodwin, et al., "Fasting insulin and outcome in early-stage breast cancer," , v20, pp42-51 concluded: "Fasting insulin level is associated with outcome in women with early breast cancer. High levels of fasting insulin identify women with poor outcomes ..."  This research merely correlates the risk of mortality with the insulin level once cancer is detected; it does not check the influence of insulin level on the risk of cancer risk in the first place.  In addition, blood glucose levels show a stronger correlation to cancer spread than insulin: P. Muti, et al., "Fasting glucose is a risk factor for breast cancer",  v11 (2002), pp.1361-8, which found that "There is some evidence that glucose and other factors related to glucose metabolism, such as insulin and insulin-like growth-factors (IGFs) may contribute to breast cancer development. ... These results indicate that chronic alteration of glucose metabolism is related to breast cancer development."

The primary driver of insulin is carbohydrate, including starch, not fat.  In 2005, a study of 1.3 million Koreans correlated sugar consumption to cancer risk.  Despite this research and the mechanism for aggressive cancer fuelling by insulin and glucose, there is (1) a reluctance to fund research into this simple approach and (2) a widespread dissemination of inaccurate claims and obfuscation on the link between sugar and aggressive cancer proliferation. e.g. the downright deception propaganda of the website "Caring4Cancer":

"The concept that sugar feeds cancer is not useful. Sugar feeds every cell in our bodies. Our bodies need glucose, or simple sugar, for energy. Even if you cut every bit of sugar out of your diet, your body will make sugar from other sources, such as protein and fat. So cancer cells need sugar to grow, just like healthy cells. It helps to remember that there is nothing particular about sugar that “feeds” cancer cells any more than sugar feeds all cells in our body."

It is a complete deception, it simply ignores the factual evidence that aggressive fast-proliferating cancer cells are continuously dividing with vast power requirements, and so are more vulnerable to starvation during fasting than healthy cells, which are not spending all their time dividing!  The ignorant statement is drivel (like saying that throwing water on a fire is no help, because everyone knows water contains oxygen and hydrogen).  The page then correctly states that an increase in sugar increases blood insulin levels, which cause cancer cells to "rev up" and spread faster, but this confuses the accelerator pedal for the fuel.  To kill cancer you need to make the cancer cells "rev up", but without supplying the fuel sugars they need to do so, so they starve and are killed.  Research which looks at the situation where blood sugar and blood insulin levels are connected is missing this whole point, that an effective treatment for cancer is to desynchronise insulin from sugar.  You can do this on a short-term treatment basis by simply administering insulin without administering sugar, killing the cancer cells by cutting off their fuel supply (sugar) while maintaining the cancer accelerator (insulin) so that the cancer cells are forced to try to continue dividing, with inadequate fuel, and so die.

If you reduce blood sugar and blood insulin falls, then the cancer cells go into fasting like normal cells (due to the fall in insulin), and survive, ready to spread aggressively when sugar and insulin levels increase.  A good analogy to this is the tactic of cutting off fuel and logistics supplies for enemies in war, while they are on the offensive: the tanks and aircraft run out of fuel and are vulnerable.  But if they are holed up and on the defensive when their fuel is destroyed, they won't budge and you are in a long, protracted conflict of attrition.  With cancer, you don't want to to help the cancer cells survive by making them go into a fasting state by reducing the insulin level; you want them to be killed by starvation as they try to replicate quickly.

The linkage between blood sugar and blood insulin in research to covers up this simple mechanism for killing cancer cells by starvation.  Cutting the throttle (reducing the insulin) while cutting the fuel (sugar) allows cancer cells to throttle back and survive fasting.  What you need to do to kill cancer cells by starvation is to force them to divide faster (increased insulin), while reducing blood sugar to starve them when they try to do this.  It seems that this point isn't getting through to cancer researchers.  It is not a long-term solution, but a short-term treatment to kill cancer.  Obviously, you can't and don't want to increase insulin while reducing blood sugar for long periods, but merely for the time it takes to kill off an aggressive proliferating cancer.

The insulin-like growth hormone activator IGF-1 is involved in the ageing process and disease. By promoting rapid cell division and inhibiting cell death, high levels of IGF-1 in the blood promote cancer proliferation and ageing. Malignant cells are continuously dividing, with high energy requirements and cannot survive fasting. Non-cancer cells can regulate their metabolism to survive fasting. Fasting affects cancer risks. Pity this isn't being researched by anyone (drug companies have a very different approach, looking for profit-making drug solutions, not testing out simple ideas based on the mechanism for aggressive cancer proliferation!).

Exaggerated risks of radiation

There is such a thing as "minimising risk", but there is also such a thing as "exaggerating risk".  The media are guilty of not publishing the truth.  Note that in the Hiroshima-Nagasaki table above, even for 0.1-1 Gy (or 10-100 cGy or rads), 52% of leukemia deaths were natural and a smaller proportion, 48% due to bomb radiation, while for the same dose all other (solid tumor) cancers, 84% of the cancer deaths were natural and 16% were bomb radiation.  We're dealing with massive radiation doses compared to natural background, which is 0.01 mRad/hr in London, i.e. 1 rad or 1 cGy is equal to 100,000 hours or 11.4 years exposure to external radiation from natural background, chiefly cosmic rays and gamma rays from natural uranium in the soil.  However, the risks are real enough.

Dr Carl F. Miller, the author of Fallout and Radiological Countermeasures, of the U.S. Naval Radiological Lab and later Stanford Research Institute, collected Operation Castle H-bomb test fallout samples on the deck of Liberty ship YAG-39 near ground zero in 1954, personally measuring a dose (with his own dosimeter) near the upper end of the 10-100 rad interval from those tests and others such as Plumbbob Diablo and Coulomb B in 1957, and tragically did get leukemia in 1980.  This was over 50% likely due to fallout exposure, and less than 50% likely to be natural leukemia incidence.  One of the 64 Marshallese on Rongelap, Lekoj Anjain (son of the 1954 Mayor of Rongelap, John Anjain) who received about 175 cGy aged 1 in 1954, contracted fatal leukemia in 1972.  His sister Mijjua Anjain in 1966 was the first from Rongelap diagnosed with a thyroid tumor, which like others, was treated successfully (the first thyroid nodules had been discovered in 1963), a result of a massive (up to 20,000 cGy for children 1 year old in 1954) thyroid iodine-131, iodine-132, and iodine-133 dose from drinking fallout water contaminated in the open rainwater cistern.  Two children on Rongelap suffered growth retardation due to thyroid damage (hormone deficiency), also due to drinking water contaminated with iodine isotopes on the day of the fallout.

As with Hiroshima and Nagasaki, anti-radiation propaganda has ever since sought to conflate the extremely low level radiation persisting on Rongelap with long-term radiation effects due not to persisting low dose rate contamination, but to delayed effects from the high dose received outside on 1-2 March 1954, which caused all of the long-term effects.  Although many people less than 1 rad from drinking milk after Nevada tests in America, there are good reasons from the Hiroshima threshold dose thyroid cancer data to suppose that zero percent of them got thyroid cancer; after nuclear tests and later Chernobyl, the lack of a proper control group leads to natural cancer incidences being reported as fallout radiation effects.  Greenpeace and other anti-nuclear politics movements persuaded the people in 1984 that low-dose rate radiation was causing the long-term effects which were actually due to doses received back in 1954.

The dose intervals are fiddled in the RERF table so that an artificially large number of survivors are clumped into the 0.005-0.1 dose interval and only half that number are in the 0.1-1 dose interval: this statistical trick hides the decline (so to speak) in the cancer risk from low doses, where there is actually evidence of a hormesis and "threshold" dose of up to a few cGy at high dose rates for initial radiation at Hiroshima and Nagasaki (the threshold is about one thousand times greater for low dose rates, as evidence from the radium dial painters shows, see graph below).

Above: a costly Uncle Sam-funded dosimetry project measured the bone radium doses for the WWI radium dial painters, discovering evidence for a ~10mrad/hour (1000 times natural background) dose rate threshold for cancer.  This graph is adapted from Dr Charles L. Sander's recent book, Radiation Hormesis and the Linear-No-Threshold Assumption (Springer, 2010 edition), which - like the declassified Hiroshima damage data - has been studiously ignored by the media.  As our annotations on the graph show, we wish to emphasise the dose rate influence that seems to be inadequately thought about by Dr Sanders (as well as Dr Luckey and others) in the context of radiation hormesis.  The fact is, the "threshold" dose for net injury is inversely proportional to the dose rate.  Hiroshima (initial flash radiation) and the X-ray machine deliver doses in a short space of time (seconds), so the dose rate is high, and the threshold dose is low.  This is why Dr Alice Stewart found a large rise in childhood leukemias where the mothers has X-rays while pregnant: the dose rate was high, so the threshold dose (especially for rapidly dividing cells in infants) was small.  The reason for the dose rate dependence is P53 and other DNA repair enzymes having time to repair double-strand breaks correctly if the dose rate (double-strand break rate) is small, but sticking the wrong ends together (causing cancer) when the DNA is fragmented into lots of pieces all at once (high dose rates).  It's as simple as that.  DNA repair enzymes are overloaded at high dose rates.  At dose rates up to 10 mrad/hour, hormesis evidence shows DNA repair over-compensates for radiation: more metabolism is devoted to DNA repair enzymes and as a result there is a net fall in overall cancer risk (hormesis).

Dr Sander's publisher's book back cover description on Amazon states:

"Current radiation protection standards are based upon the application of the linear no-threshold (LNT) assumption, which considers that even very low doses of ionizing radiation can cause cancer. The radiation hormesis hypothesis, by contrast, proposes that low-dose ionizing radiation is not only safe but is healthy and beneficial. In this book, the author examines all facets of radiation hormesis in detail, including the history of the concept and mechanisms, and presents comprehensive, up-to-date reviews for major cancer types. It is explained how low-dose radiation can in fact decrease all-cause and all-cancer mortality and help to control metastatic cancer. Attention is also drawn to biases in epidemiological research when using the LNT assumption. The author shows how proponents of the LNT assumption consistently reject, manipulate, and deliberately ignore an overwhelming abundance of published data and falsely claim that no reliable data are available at doses of less than 100 mSv. The consequence of the LNT assumption is a radiophobia that is very costly in terms of lives and money."

At Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the dosimetry and effects data is better at the lower doses than the higher doses (mostly survivors in concrete buildings with large protection factors) because of (1) the errors in calculating the shielding for survivors of large doses, and (2) the statistically larger number of low-dose survivors (see table above).  The standard error for x cancers out of a large population (compared to the number x) is +/-100/x1/2 %, which is 10% error for a result of 100, about 3% for 1000 and 1% for 10000.  So you get more accuracy for more effects, especially as the high dose (well shielded) survivor dosimetry is more error-prone for the concrete buildings near ground zero than for people either in wooden homes or outdoors at the greatest distances in the study.  So Dr Sanders is correct here.

Unfortunately, he writes about dose thresholds, and doesn't fully analyze the dose rate dependence.  The problem is that the medical diagnostic health physics industry uses high dose rates to ensure quick and unblurred X-rays (while keeping the total dose as low as reasonably achievable), and have a vested interest in turning a blind or bigoted eye to dose rate evidence.  You don't want patients to be scared off by high dose rate X-ray machines, do you?  Where jobs depend on a technology or science, i.e. in any professional science areas, you get some (often overwhelming) doublethink that hold back progress: people don't want to risk damaging the foundations of their discipline or even being ostracised socially in their profession for rocking a boat.  This grass roots groupthink is always more effective in suppressing genuine discussion than high-handed obvious censorship, which is a target than can be attacked, rather than hidden in widespread prejudice.

Dr Zbigniew Jaworowski, Central Laboratory for Radiological Protection, "Radiation Risks in the 20th Century; Reality, Illusions and Risks", Lecture at the Discovery of Polonium and Radium; It's Scientific and Philosophical Consequences, Benefits and Treats for Mankind, International Conference (100th Anniversary of the Discovery of Polonium and Radium by Marie Sklodowska- Curie), held 17-20 September 1998:

"Between 1945 and 1980 there were 541 nuclear atmospheric tests performed, with a total energy yield of 440 Mt. In these explosions, about 3 tones of plutonium (that is, almost 15,000 "deadly" 200 gram doses) were injected into the global atmosphere, and, behold, a miracle: we are still alive! The average individual radiation dose from all these nuclear explosions, accumulated between 1945 and 1998, is about 1 mSv, that is. less than 1% of natural dose (UNSCEAR, 1998). In the record years of 1961 and 1962, there were 176 atmospheric explosions, with a total yield of 84 Mt. The maximum deposition, on the surface of the Earth, of radionuclides from these explosions occurred in 1964. The average individual dose accumulated from this fallout, between 1961 and 1964, was about 0.35 mSv. The global nuclear arsenal being about 50,000 weapons, with a combined explosive power of about 13,000 Mt (Rotblat, 1981; Waldheim, 1991), is only 30 times higher than the megatonnage already released by all previous nuclear tests in the atmosphere.  ... At Hiroshima and Nagasaki, short-term radiation doses of less than 200 mSv did not cause induction of cancers among the atomic bomb survivors (UNSCEAR, 1993). Among survivors exposed to much higher doses, no adverse genetic effects in their progeny have been detected during 50 years of study (Sankaranarayanan, 1997). Until recently, such information from the study of survivors has been ignored. Instead, the driving force of radiophobia has been the linear no-threshold theory, assumed for relationship between radiation and its effects on the living organism (essentially, the assumption that the detrimental effects of radiation are proportional to dose, and that there is no dose at which such effects are not detrimental). It is on this assumption, that the International Commission of Radiological Protection (ICRP) arbitrarily based its rules of radiation protection in 1959. This was an administrative decision, not an effect of scientific proof. It was based not on science, but on political considerations, which influenced the philosophy and practice of radiation protection (Taylor, 1980). ... The absurdity of the no-threshold theory was brought to light after the Chernobyl accident in 1986, when minute doses - for example, reaching in the United States 0.004% of the average natural dose, or 0.3% at the rest of the Northern Hemisphere - were used to calculate 53,400 cancer deaths over the next 50 years (Goldman et al., 1987). ... The bomb survivor data, however, are not relevant for such estimations, because of the difference in the dose rate."

L. E. Feinendegen, MD, "Evidence for beneficial low level radiation effects and radiation hormesis", British Journal of Radiology, 2005, v. 78, no. 925, p. 3:

"Adaptive protection causes DNA damage prevention and repair and immune stimulation. It develops with a delay of hours, may last for days to months, decreases steadily at doses above about 100 mGy to 200 mGy and is not observed any more after acute exposures of more than about 500 mGy. Radiation-induced apoptosis and terminal cell differentiation also occur at higher doses and add to protection by reducing genomic instability and the number of mutated cells in tissues. At low doses, reduction of damage from endogenous sources by adaptive protection maybe equal to or outweigh radiogenic damage induction. Thus, the linear-no-threshold (LNT) hypothesis for cancer risk is scientifically unfounded and appears to be invalid in favour of a threshold or hormesis. This is consistent with data both from animal studies and human epidemiological observations on low-dose induced cancer. The LNT hypothesis should be abandoned and be replaced by a hypothesis that is scientifically justified and causes less unreasonable fear and unnecessary expenditure."

Above: low dose rate hormesis for bone tumors in mice injected with Sr-90 (M. Finkel et al., Second U.N. International Conference on the Peaceful Uses of Atomic Energy, geneva, 1958, v22, p65, published by the United Nations, 1959).  This data, along with the human evidence from bone irradiation in radium dial painters who gave evidence for a >1000 R threshold dose for bone cancer (for doses spread over 25 years, which would be similar to strontium-90 bone retention), experimentally debunked the idea that the small strontium-90 in bones from global fallout due to H-bomb tests in the 1950s caused cancer.  Linus Pauling and many others with a political edge over scientific objectivity chose to use their personalities and emotional socialism media domination to portray the illusion that such data simply doesn't exist, and that all radiation is as evil is witchcraft was viewed in the medieval period.  The media listened to them.  The human suffering costs are high:

Maurice Tubiana, MD, Ludwig E. Feinendegen, MD, Chichuan Yang, MD and Joseph M. Kaminski, MD, "The Linear No-Threshold Relationship Is Inconsistent with Radiation Biologic and Experimental Data", Radiology, 2009, v. 251, p. 13:

"The French Academies report (10) concluded that the LNT model and its use for assessing the risks associated with low doses are not based on scientific evidence. In contrast, the Biological Effects of Ionizing Radiation (BEIR) VII report (11) and that of the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP) (12) recommended the use of the LNT model. ... Deinococcus radiodurans bacteria have error-free repair mechanisms that can tolerate doses of 7 kGy (17) ... The two main repair systems for DSBs are homologous recombination and nonhomologous end joining (NHEJ). ... At low doses of x-rays, homologous recombination is error free, while NHEJ is low error prone. ... Defects in DNA repair systems are associated with a higher cancer incidence in animals and in humans. ... The concept that cancer induction proceeds similarly after low and high doses and dose rates is inconsistent with biologic evidence.  ... Contrary to previous claims, there was no increase in leukemia or other cancers (except thyroid cancer) in regions contaminated after the Chernobyl accident where thyroid doses ranged up to 1 Sv (123). The increase in thyroid cancer among young children is correlated with dose (124), and a threshold at 200 mSv is compatible with data (125). ... The data suggest that a combination of error-free DNA repair and elimination of preneoplastic cells furnishes practical thresholds ...

"The Chernobyl accident showed that overestimating radiation risks could be more detrimental than underestimating them. Misinformation partially led to traumatic evacuations of about 200 000 individuals, an estimated 1250 suicides, and between 100 000 and 200 000 elective abortions outside the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (164,165). [Emphasis added. So much for the ethical morality behind the "logic" of the "precautionary principle's" exaggerations and censorship of the data in the name of "safety".] ... DNA repair systems are very effective at low doses or dose rates (about 5–10 mGy/min) and become more error prone with increasing dose and dose rate. ... The elimination of mutant cells by death or proliferation arrest is a crucial defense. Most human cancers display defects in apoptosis or other means of eliminating mutant cells (167). Damaged cells can be eliminated after low doses by means of death, senescence, or immune response. Low-dose-rate irradiation (approximately 10 mGy/min) is less carcinogenic (per unit dose) than high-dose-rate irradiation (1 Gy/min)."

Above: hormesis for a 3000 Rad dose by single exposure at 10.3 Rad/minute of flour beetles to X-rays (J. M. Cork, Radiation research, 1957, v7, p551).  Commenting on this data in the 1961 Pergamon Press revised edition of the textbook by Bacq and Alexander, Fundamentals of Radiobiology, on page 442 stated: "Perhaps the hypothesis that all effects of ionizing radiation are inevitably deleterious has outlived its usefulness ... certain levels of radiation can be tolerated by animal population ..."  Robin H. Mole in 1957 published evidence in Nature v180, p456, showing that mice and guinea pigs given 1 R/week had increased lifespans, which is now well substantiated and is a hormesis effect due to the over-stimulation of DNA repair enzymes like P53 by low-level radiation, with beneficial health effects.  This of course violates the "precautionary principle".  When the linear, no-threshold dogma set in, with the 1956 presidential election hinging on the nuclear testing radioactive fallout issue, it was politically concerned with left winger scientists using it to peddle USSR-appeasement.  A pitched technical battle in the mainstream media ensued:

"Strontium-90 ... without doubt the most technical subject ever injected into a political campaign.  In no previous campaign had so many scientists been inspired to send so many statements to newspapers.  Never had the voting public had such a difficult, if not insuperable, job of trying to understand the arguments involved."

Newsweek, "The 'Unpleasant Debate'," 26 November 1956, page 64.

The result was that the "precautionary principle" triumphed at the US Congressional Hearings in May-June 1957, becoming dogma before the facts on DNA repair enzymes like P53 as a low dose rate hormesis mechanism were finally uncovered beginning about twenty years later, in the late 1970s.

Anyone complaining about emotional groupthink on radiation is now abused with lying ad hominem sneers.  This is what Churchill predicted on 4 June 1945.   Clement Attlee had to keep rationing going postwar, because there was a lack of money for social reforms, thanks to his decision in 1935 to ignore Churchill and thereby to allow WWII to increase Britain's national debt to record heights.  Churchill's reluctance to implement the reforms were due to the financial constraints.  In 1951, after the true socialist face of Joseph Stalin had been revealed in the Cold War, Attlee was thrown out in the general election.  Churchill was back in, and ended rationing, which throws light on Attlee's socialist popularity, once a WWIII threat from the "Union of Soviet Socialist Republics" emerged.  Which was more important then, ivory tower political idealism, or liberty?

Above: in the 10.4 megaton Mike nuclear test on Elugelab Island, Eniwetok Atoll, 1952, the rats (species Rattus exulans) of Engebi survived the heat, blast, and fallout as explained by Neal O. Hines in his book Proving ground: An account of the radiobiological studies in the Pacific, 1946-1961, dramatically on pages 143, 151, 209-212, and 297:

Page 143: "On ... November 8 [7 days after Mike] ... At Engebi the group went ashore on an island ... that had been swept by the blast and by the succeeding surge of water. ... survey meters indicated radiation was at 2 to 2.5 R/hr [about 1,000 R/hr at 1 hour after detonation, allowing for t-1.2 fallout decay] ...

Page 151: "The exposure of Engebi to the effects of the Mike shot made it seem impossible that rats had survived.  The view was expressed in a subsequent summary by [Frank] Lowman, who said that there was 'little probability that rats had lived through the heat, the shock wave, the rush of water, and the nuclear radiations that Mike had inflicted on the island.  Members of the rat colonies apparently did live through the holocaust, however, and the questions presented by this circumstance would intrigue the investigators for years."

Page 209: "Their nests, composed of loosely matted grass stems, usually are built in burrows 6-12 inches below the surface of the ground, but occasionally the tunnels extend to 18-24 inches below the surface, or nests are found immediately beneath boards, slabs of concrete, or protective rubble. ... In 1955 the rats of Engebi were living on a treeless plain ... they fed on the seeds of Lepturus, Thuarea, and Fimbristylis, and on the leaves of Triumfetta and Sida, all common grass plants."

In 1954, the rats that of Engebi surviving Mike were exposed to the 1.69 megaton Castle-Nectar test, which is discussed on page 212:

"After the Nectar detonation concentrations [of I-131] in the thyroid were at levels considered excessive ... within 9 weeks activity in the thyroid was so low that measurement was difficult. ... most of the radioactivity in muscle was due to the presence of cesium-137, and no strontium-89/90 was found in that tissue. ... In January, 1955, the bones of rats contained strontium 89/90 in amounts approximating the maximum permissible dose, but no bone tumors have been discovered and none was found in specimens collected later."

Page 297: "The survival of the rats in the face of repeated atomic bombardment had seemed in 1955 a circumstance approaching the phenomenal.  Even more so was the continued health of the colonies ... The case was important because it seemed to bear so directly on one of the broadest of the unanswered questions of the nuclear age, the effect on warm-blooded, vertebrate animals of continued exposure to low-level irradiation."

Above: the rapid fall in cesium-137 uptake by plants and animals with distance from the lip of the Redwing-Cactus nuclear surface burst crater in 1967 (note that in 12 years later, in 1979 this particular crater was used as a convenient dump for contaminated soil during the Eniwetok Atoll cleap up campaign, and then it simply topped with a concrete dome).

The Syrian nerve gas attack and the stability of the Middle East (update):

Russia's President Putin is on President Assad's side in the Syrian civil war, and chooses to discount evidence for Assad's use of sarin nerve gas.  President Obama is headed towards cruise missile strikes on the Syrian nerve gas missile launchers.  Britain's Parliament voted against military action in the Syrian civil war.  There are a large number of factors involved.  Thousands of civilians, including children, have already been killed by "conventional" weapons, without any Western involvement.  Assad is not a direct threat to the West, whereas some of the militant opposition groups might be.  The close proximity of nuclear Iran and nuclear Israel, and terrorists in Lebanon makes Syria more likely to escalate into a general Middle East insurgency than was the case with Libya, Iraq, or Afghanistan.  Appeasement of dictatorship and civilian slaughter sends out a message of weakness to all thugs and terrorists, but taking action may unify and harden Islamic oppositions to Western influence over large areas.  During the 1930s, Britain and America kept out of the Spanish civil war, despite the fact that fascist General Franco was being supported by fascists in Italy and Germany.  Spain was, however, neutral during WWII.  Getting involved in the Syrian civil war, largely a conflict between the Sunni and Shia Muslims, could potentially lead to another cold war with Russia.  Syria also has a great deal of modern Russian weapons, missile systems as well as chemical weapons.  It's better equipped than Libya was.

Marxist historians, calling nuclear facts "lies", rudeness and calling people "liars", and smear tactics by the Nazi national socialist thugs (update on 2 October 2013):

Thank God for Ed Milliband, Britain's Labour Party shadow Prime Minister!  His late father, the well known Marxist academic Ralph Millband, had been called a Queen hater by the Daily Mail newspaper, and he has responded by "slandering" the newspaper by calling the journalists who published the facts "liars".

Churchill said that WWII was an "unnecessary war": those who fought against Hitler had no need to do so, because by forcefully opposing the Nazis as soon as they repeatedly flouted the military restrictions of Treaty of Versailles in 1933-5, the excesses of Nazism could have been restrained for the time necessary for Hitler's massive national socialist debt-ridden overspending to have bankrupt Germany (just as Reagan did with the USSR).  As we have pointed out before, every second without war during an "arms race" which you are losing against a higher-spending fanatical terrorist regime is actually a wasted second of time, because you are arming slower than the evil regime, and the probability of subduing the opponent in war is diminishing, not increasing.  If a gap is ever widening, the sooner you take action, the better the prospects of peace.  Some of the communists whose propaganda led Britain into WWII peril fought in the war, but communist propaganda for appeasement helped to cause the war in the first place.  (If a surgeon first knocks your brains out and then tries to partially repair the damage later, does he become a "great medical hero"?) 

To be lucid we must be honest and call spades what they are, i.e. spades, insteading of sticking to the socially "nice" wording (evilly threat-enforced) system of Adolf Hitler (translated from the German: "hard words make wounds").  Britain's Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain was taken in by Hitler's (bogus) display of "good manners" and "high breeding" (the Nazi tactics of a "an iron fist inside a nice velvet glove").  Never trust a man who is so cold blooded that he man modulate his voice and words into "social nicety".  If he can cover-up his feelings that well, you have no idea of what he is really thinks about anything, you don't really "know" him, and you certainly do not understand or correctly predict his ambitions and sneaky methods.

There are two forms of propaganda: good and bad.  Good-form propaganda (traditionally called "light or white propaganda" during WWII) consists of not-covering up your ulterior motive or agenda, but making clear exactly what you want.  Bad-form propaganda (called "dark propaganda" in WWII) consists of keeping your motivating light carefully hidden from sight, to deliberately mislead the public into supporting a policy which it objects to.  This is totally relevant and essential to understanding civil defense and the effects of nuclear weapons, because during the 1930s and again during the Cold War, communists and Nazis used bad-form propaganda to help their political causes by claiming to disprove the possibility of cheap, effective knowledge-base civil defense.

The "liar" rudeness problem and censorship: if a famous person like Ed Milliband calls a newspaper which calls his late Marxist father a Queen hater, nobody censors him out of the media and screams abuse at him for "being rude" by using the word "liar".  Nobody falsely calls him "autistic" or "ill-informed" or " Instead, it is accepted that it is not rude to call people liars, if that is an accurate description.  But, if you are not famous, and you call liars "liars" for publishing patiently false indoctrinating propaganda that results in millions of needless deaths in unnecessary bombing without civil defence for civilian protection and additional deaths due to the money wastage and effects on world economic food subsidies, you can be dismissed by groupthink censors for being "rude".
Britain DAILY MAIL 1 October 2013: defending freedom of speech against a rude/slandering Marxist at the top of British politics?!

Let's examine the media's "rudeness" doublethink.  Rod Little states, in The Spectator, 1 October 2013:

Sorry, Ed Miliband, your dad hated Britain 

Despite Ed Miliband's protestations, Ralph Miliband was a Marxist when Marxism was threatening our way of life. 

It doesn’t matter how much Ed Miliband’s lip quivers, his dad was, as The Daily Mail suggested, a far left wing intellectual whose gratitude to the country which took him in extended only to wishing it might be dismantled, root and branch. That Ralph Miliband was also an urbane north London émigré does not alter, either, the fact that he was, like so many academics, seduced by Marxism.
Our universities are virtually the only places in the civilised world where this absurd and discredited creed continues to prosper; much of it today is simply attitudinalising nonsense; when Miliband began his work, under the tutelage of the horrible Harold Laski, it was a potent threat to our way of life.
DAILY MAIL 28 September 2013: the shame and irony is that - despite his Marxism, and lying smear campaign against the truth, Ed Milliband is actually the BEST politician in Britain today, far better than Eton-educated millionaire David Cameron who has failed to decrease the national debt or even to cancel out the rate of increase of the national debt (i.e. deficit).  Politics is ludricrously warped and corrupted in this country.

An evil legacy and why we won't apologise


PUBLISHED: 00:11, 1 October 2013

... Of course, it was not the Mail that first drew the prominent Marxist sociologist Professor Ralph Miliband — a man who was not averse to publicity — into the public arena. This was the decision of his son who, for two years running, has told Labour conferences how his refugee father fled Nazi persecution to Britain. ...

[It was a choice between the gas chamber or fighting in the Royal Navy - even the mass murderer Joseph Stalin fought against Hitler, after Hitler threatened his life.]

In his tetchy and menacing response, which we publish in full on these pages, the Labour leader expresses just pride in his father’s war record as
 a volunteer in the Royal Navy.

But he cites this, and his father’s affection for his shipmates (which, as shown on these pages, was riven by class hatred), as if it were conclusive proof that he loved this country.

So how is it that shortly after his arrival in Britain, the 17-year-old Miliband senior had confided to his diary:

‘The Englishman is a rabid nationalist. They are perhaps the most nationalist people in the world . . . you sometimes want them almost to lose [the war] to show them how things are’?Isn’t it permissible to surmise that a man who had expressed such views joined the Royal Navy not so much to fight for Britain as to fight, like the Soviet Union, against the Nazis?

Yes, as his son argues, Mr Miliband Snr may have felt gratitude for the security, freedom and comfort he enjoyed in Britain. ...

Under Stalin’s Communism, countless millions were murdered, tortured, starved to death, executed or sent to endure a sub-human existence in the gulags.

Religion, the family and the very spirit of the individual were brutally crushed. The arts, newspapers — justice itself — were ruthlessly controlled by the commissars.

Freedom of expression was purged. Even as late as the Seventies, dissidents were locked in mental asylums, while the Press was controlled by the State for another two decades.

Truly, Ralph Miliband and Hobsbawm were, in the withering phrase often attributed to Lenin, the ‘useful idiots’ who validated this most pernicious doctrine, which has spread poverty and misery wherever it has triumphed.

That’s why the Mail — which is not Pravda — said that readers who love this country would be truly disturbed if they understood about Miliband’s father’s views. ...

More chillingly, the father’s disdain for freedom of expression can be seen in his son’s determination to place the British Press under statutory control.

Next week the Privy Council, itself an arm of the state, will meet to discuss plans — following a stitch-up with Hacked Off over late-night pizzas in Mr Miliband’s office — for what will ultimately be a politically controlled body to oversee what papers are allowed to publish.

Put to one side that Mr Miliband’s close involvement with degenerates such as Damian McBride gives him scant right to claim the moral high ground on anything. 

If he crushes the freedom of the Press, no doubt his father will be proud of him from beyond the grave, where he lies 12 yards from the remains of Karl Marx.

But he will have driven a hammer and sickle through the heart of the nation ...


The effective use of nuclear deterrence is to hold military targets vulnerable and so deter offensive actions. Civilian cities are protected by "concrete jungle" skylines which rapidly attenuate radiations (nuclear, thermal) and blast wave energy, which is depleted in a cumulative way as damage is done.  The fireball is hot, but cools rapidly as it expands and radiates thermal energy, and it is ionized and thus opaque to thermal radiation so it does not deliver as much thermal energy to targets within it as "predicted" by naive point-source free-air calculations.  Within a fireball, only the air in direct contact with a surface delivers energy because the fireball is opaque (a thermal radiation absorber, due to the nitrogen dioxide it contains, i.e. the red-brown coloured gas that makes the fireball look like fire).  It cools quickly, first by radiation emission, and then by convective mixing as it rises off the ground and sucks in the "afterwinds" of cool air.  With cheap widespread-knowledge-based civil defense, nuclear weapons lose their civilian "collateral damage" unthinkability, thus the propaganda of CND is effectively vaporized even if the BBC and Guardian refuse to report the truth. Truth increases, rather than reduces, nuclear deterrence by advanced nations with advanced nuclear weapons technology, and reduces terrorist threats by making them more survivable, if not deterring them in the first place by making them ineffective!

Above: the U.S. Army manual Atomic Weapons Employment (Department of the Army, PAM 39-1, 72 pages long, dated 12 June 1956, printed "For Official Use Only") details 10 different nuclear weapons systems with yields of 2 kt to 5 Mt for use against military targets not civilians: high air burst, low air burst, surface burst, and 50 feet subsurface bursts (earth penetrator), delivered to targets by aircraft, free rockets, guided missiles, artillery shells.  Likewise for the U.S. Army Field Manual, Nuclear Weapons Employment (FM 101-31-1) is 159 pages long, dated February 1968, based on a 1963 version by Philip J. Dolan.  Dolan also edited the Secret-Restricted Data classified 1972 effects manual DNA-EM-1, Capabilities of Nuclear Weapons, Part 2 of which states on page 14-1: "One of the primary uses of nuclear weapons wouldbe for the destruction of military field equipment."  (Part 1 of DNA-EM-1 is also available, here.) Dolan is co-editor with Glasstone of the 1977 edition of The Effects of Nuclear Weapons, which contains very basic unclassified data applying to "ideal conditions" in unobstructed deserts and unobstructed ocean, not modern high-rise "concrete jungles".

Above: American Soviet Military Power statistics were challenged: several denials of the USSR's emerging threat in the 1980s were made in response to Reagan's warnings to the public.  One claimed that the USSR should have more missiles because they were "less accurate" than American missiles.  This was debunked because the USSR didn't need accurate missiles to target large city targets.  You only need accurate missiles for counterforce (silo-debunking) surgical strikes, not for countervalue (city) targetting!  The second argument (illustration above) is more subtle, but again false.  The argument is that the USSR missiles were more vulnerable than the American missiles, balancing everything our, or giving America an effective superiority.  But "vulnerability" for USSR missiles only exists in the case of the Americans launching a surprise first-strike against the USSR.  But American policy was not to start a nuclear war in such a way, unlike Lenin's creed and the USSR invasion of Poland in a secret surprise attack from east in 1939 in collaboration with the Nazis, so therefore the July 1982 Bulletin of Atomic Scientists argument above is specious.  (Superficially plausible, but actually wrong ... Misleading in appearance, esp. misleadingly attractive...)


(We have an "agenda". It's to fight for truth, against Marxist dictatorial fascists who tell lies with impunity and censor truth as taboo by alleging that it is being "rude", because they have no objective answer to proved facts, but still dogmatically believe that their false, warped, evil "idealism" permits them, just as Hitler's "science" of eugenics, to do evil in the name of "integrity".)

GCHQ and Britain's M15 secret intelligence service against terrorism: a few comments

1. In WWII secret intelligence in Britain developed the Colossus computer to break the German's Fish code (Enigma was relatively easy to break).  These code breaking successes helped to win WWII by feeding vital information about German military movement orders (in virtually real time) to British and American military Generals.  E.g., Monty's successes in North Africa were not due to Monty's brilliant "intuition" about Rommel's movements (as Monty claimed, right into the 1970s, to help cover-up the fact Britain had broken the German codes).  They were due to the secret intelligence telegraps he was receiving from British electronics computers decoding top secret German radio traffic.

2. In peacetime, secret intelligence has failed to warn credibly of terrorist attacks, such as Pearl Harbor (1941), 9/11 (2001), and 7/7 (2005).  These failures are used to argue not that there is a limit to what secret peacetime intelligence can do against diffused secret gangs of thugs, but rather that "not enough resources" or MONEY is being spent on the vast GCHQ system.  Wrong.  Organized crime, like terrorism, is unpreventable by the state.  It was even unpreventable in the USSR and Warsaw Pact and in Nazi Germany despite the vast secret police networks, which totally eliminated human rights to dissent or the pursuit of liberal non-conformist ideas like democracy.

3. For example, the uprisings in Communist Hungary in 1956, the Prague Spring in 1968, Tiananmen Square in 1989. Sure, in all these cases the tanks rolled out for the protestors and the authorities quickly used overwhelming force to suppress them.  But the whole point is that SECRET POLICE CANNOT PREVENT REVOLTS, ORGANIZED CRIME (WHATEVER DEFINITION THE WORD "CRIME" IS GIVEN BY THE LAWS, E.G. DEMOCRACY WAS A "CRIME" IN DICTATORSHIPS).  EVEN WITH A MICROPHONE AND CCTV CAMERA IN EVERY BEDROOM, IT IS SIMPLY NOT POSSIBLE TO PICK UP EVERY COVERT CLUE.  PEOPLE COMMUNICATE DELIBERATELY IN A WAY THAT CIRCUMVENTS DETECTION.

Civil defence is NOT therefore "disproved" by the GCHQ, any more that it is "disproved" by our theoretical ability to burn the paint off the Kremlin using Trident.  People don't want an incredible deterrent.  To make deterrence credible, we must be ready to fight at all times.  Retaliation ability by itself, at enormous expense and danger, is not good enough.  We want more than the ability to retaliate or depend on half baked intelligence guesswork.  We need the ability to effectively mitigate damage in any attack, and thus save ourselves the need to seek Pyrrhic victory in retaliation!


Several years ago the political analyst, S. E. Finer, wrote a book about pressure groups, concluding that the more noise an organisation makes publicly, the more this indicates its lack of real influence in the corridors of power. People shouting on the streets are usually obliged to do so because of their failure to influence the policy process.

The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament has, in its time, managed to rustle up more shouters on the streets than most: it turned out about 150,000 and 100,000 in 1981 and 1982 respectively, and characteristically claimed a quarter of a million on each occasion. In order to frustrate yet another such cavalier exaggeration in October 1983, the Coalition for Peace Through Security commissioned an expert photographic analysis which showed the true figure on that occasion to be approximately 98,000 for march and rally combined. So as to show 'progress' on their own grossly inflated estimates for the previous two years, the CND had felt obliged to claim 400,000 – a total ruled out as absolutely impossible by our aerial survey. Yet, when our findings were made known to the media, the very first question asked by a radio interviewer was: "Isn't this an attempt by the CPS to smear the CND?" No matter that the accuracy of our survey and the inaccuracy of the CND 'guesstimate' were beyond question; it was just 'bad form' to criticise the Holy Movement – irrespective of the validity of the criticism.

The late Senator Joseph McCarthy certainly has a lot to answer for: his campaign of wild and often unsubstantiated allegations of Communist activity has almost succeeded in giving anti-Communism in general a bad name. There is today a great propensity for 'reverse McCarthyism', a willingness to dismiss any charge of far Left misbehaviour, however accurate, as just 'Reds-under-the-Bed’ – even when the Reds are no longer under the bed, but in it. Have you noticed, for example, how the allies of the Militant Tendency (in what currently passes for the Labour Party) continually refer to the feeble attempts being made to keep these revolutionary Trotskyists in check as a 'witch-hunt'? Now, the whole point about a witch-hunt is that it was always unjust, because witches were non-existent and the poor wretches accused and killed for sorcery were totally innocent of any crime. Had they really possessed evil supernatural powers, the injustice of hunting for witches would have been far from self-evident.

So it is with the 'smearing' of the CND by its opponents. Basically, this organisation sails under false colours. It claims to be a 'broadly-based movement', even going to the trouble of setting up and administering a miniscule sub-group of 'Tories Against Cruise and Trident', whose members need not belong to the Tory Party and whose supporters are openly admitted to include people who do not even vote Conservative.

The CND is not only one-sided in its disarmament recommendations, it is also grossly one-sided in its political affiliations. Of course significant numbers of ordinary apolitical folk, worried (and who isn't?) about the potential horror of a nuclear war, exist in the CND at grass-roots level; but this is most definitely not reflected anywhere near the top of the hierarchy. Even the traditional, ever-present strand of British pacifism which does so much to give CND a veneer of respectability in the country at large, is heavily outnumbered by the ideologically committed in the leadership clique.

Take the December 1983 Annual Conference elections, for example, when the six CND officers and 20 CND Council members were chosen. Here is a breakdown of the officers:

Chair: [sic] Joan Ruddock – a committed Left-wing Labourite who has repeatedly belittled the existence of a Soviet threat, advocates a neutral Britain out of NATO, and recently admitted: "My life has become one of greater and greater commitment to Socialism." (City Limits, 2 March 1984)

Vice-Chair: (i) Professor Michael Pentz – former Communist Party local government candidate, now (like so many other ex-CP members) on the hard Left of the Labour Party. Has been involved with the Soviet front body, the World Federation of Scientific Workers, as well as the British arm of the Kremlin-backed World Peace Council.

(ii) Joy Hurcombe – like Ruddock, a former Labour Parliamentary candidate on the Left of the Party. Deeply involved in the controversial, Trotskyist-dominated Labour CND group.

(iii) Roger Spiller – a full-time trade union official and Labour activist, on the Tribune wing of the Party. Delegated as an 'Observer' representing the CND at the World Peace Council's phony Prague Peace Assembly in 1983.

(iv) Meg Beresford – who has described herself as a 'Socialist Feminist'.

Treasurer: Mick Elliott – delegate in 1980 to the World Peace Council's so-called World Parliament [!] of Peoples for Peace in Bulgaria, which according to Vladimir Bukovsky unanimously voted to endorse the puppet régime in Afghanistan, installed by Soviet tanks the previous December. Which way did Elliott vote? Elliott was also 'Parliamentary Adviser' to Richard Caborn, a pro-Soviet World Peace Council member – and the MP installed by the hard Left after a constituency coup in Sheffield led to the ousting as Labour candidate of the former Secretary of State for Defence Fred Mulley.

Of the combined total of 26 CND officers and Council members elected at the 1983 Annual Conference, at least 20 are committed Communists, Labourites or 'Socialists' of one description or another. Of the 20 Council members chosen, a summary can be given as follows:

Four open members of the British Communist Party – (i) Professor Vic Allen – Arthur Scargill's eminence grise and a leading member of the British-Soviet Friendship Society. Now serving on the CND's International Committee, which organises delegations to the so-called Soviet Peace Committee and other World Peace Council fronts, (ii) Jon Bloomfield – the CND's other 'Observer' at the Prague Peace Assembly, (iii) Mary Brennan – who calls herself a 'Catholic, Communist, Doctor', (iv) lan Davison – Secretary of Scottish CND and a senior figure in the CND 'establishment’.

Nine known Labourites – (i) & (ii) the Trotskyists Dick Withecombe and Judith Bonner. The latter wrote in her CND election manifesto: "our allies are not NATO generals and the likes of Mountbatten who support the butchering of liberation movements in Central America and Northern Ireland". (iii) & (iv) Two defeated Left-wing Labour MPs, Joan Lestor and Bob Cryer. (v), (vi) & (vii) Labour activists Walter Wolfgang, Penny Auty and the unspeakable Helen John – the last of whom is a close political ally of Ken Livingstone, is a veteran Greenham Common camper, and had her fares paid to the 1983 Prague Peace Assembly by the Women's International Democratic Federation, a notorious Soviet front organisation. (viii) Candy Atherton – a leading light in the 1982 anti-Falklands Task Force agitation within the CND and the Labour Party. Finally, (ix) Jenny Edwards – a full-time employee at CND Head Office until late 1983, when Labour's Camden Council took her on with a five-figure salary at the ratepayers' expense as a full-time 'Peace Officer' for the Borough.

One 'unaffiliated Socialist' – James Hinton – of the far Left persuasion.

Even of the remaining six, (i) & (ii) Annajoy David and Dan Plesch appear to stand well to the Left of Centre; (iii) Paul Johns (of Christian CND) was happy to write an article for the Communist Morning Star newspaper in January 1984, and (iv) Giles Perritt (formerly of Schools Against the Bomb) described himself as a 'Labour supporter' at a conference in the spring of 1983.

Nor should we forget the (non-elected) Vice-Presidents of the CND, 11 in all, including Labour Leftists Lord (Hugh) Jenkins, Ron Todd (Transport & General Workers Union), Frank Allaun (of the pro-Soviet British Peace Assembly, and Labour Action for Peace), and Jo Richardson; ex-Communist Party members E. P. Thompson and Phil Bolsover; and, last but not least, Dr John Cox who was elected to the Executive Committee of the British Communist Party at its 38th Congress in November 1983. This was, of course, the memorable assembly when CND General Secretary Bruce Kent referred to the Communists as "partners in the cause for peace in this world", and praised the nauseatingly pro-Moscow paper, the Morning Star, for its "steady, honest and generous coverage of the whole disarmament case". (A measure of its honesty, and of its conception of 'Peace', can be gauged from its banner headline on the death of Andropov, just three months later. "MAN OF PEACE DIES", it said of the butcher of the Hungarians, the architect of Soviet psychiatric abuse of dissidents, and the ruthless former head of the KGB.)

The notion of 'smearing' is that of making broad, unspecific and untrue allegations. The person-by-person analysis just set out is as specific as can be. Furthermore, it is accurate – Bruce Kent's response to a similar account published in the Daily Telegraph mainly being to assert that the CND Council would also include many more delegates from the regions, and that the "entire Council then forms its Executive". What he failed to predict was that of the 25 places on the CND Executive, more than half were to be filled from the 26 individuals elected by the Annual Conference, who in December 1983 constituted almost a clean sweep for the Left, as we have seen.

In any case several of the other Executive Members turned out to exhibit exactly the same sort of Leftist orientation, including Labourites Jane Mayes and Jane Oberman, and Communists Paul Nicholls and Alan McKinnon. Such are the convolutions of the CND's internal 'democratic' procedures, that the first three of these – all of whom were rejected by the Annual Conference as ordinary Council members – nevertheless have managed to find their way indirectly, not only onto the Council after all, but also onto the national CND Executive as well...

However, let me leave the last word on whether or not it is a 'smear' to denounce the CND as a Left-wing front, to the National Election Agent of the Communist Party of Great Britain, John Peck. According to the January 1984 issue of World Marxist Review, Peck gave the following reassurance to yet another Kremlin-backed 'Peace' symposium in Prague: "some participants in the campaign [for nuclear disarmament] tend to equate the Soviet Union with the United States as being equally responsible for the arms race. But these are in a minority. The national leadership of the CND see the main threat as emanating from the United States." [My emphasis]

A smear is not a smear, it seems, when it comes from the mouth of a Communist.

[This article also appeared in The Defence Campaigner, Summer 1984]

Marxist (un)Unite HEROES shut down 10% of Scotland's GDP to save one great union official, Stephen Deans (23 October 2013 update):


Here's another story to warm the cockles of the hearts of Karl Marx and his Highgate Cemetery next-plot-neighbor Professor Ralph Milliband, which also demonstrates the continuing suppression of nuclear weapons effects and civil defense effectiveness data by the British Marxist politics media "science" reporters.  Scotland's loss-making Grangemouth oil cracking and plastics-from-oil production chemical plant run by Ineos, which turns out 10% of Scotland's GDP, has been shut down with the loss of all the jobs after the Unite union rejected a vital economic survival plan which involved salary freezes and pension pot cutbacks to save the plant!  The plant has lost £150 million a year for the past four years!  Rather than survive, they prefer to lose their jobs to save face and prevent acknowledging the realities of the recession and the competition in raw plastic prices from more cost-effective chemical plants abroad.

Suggestion to Marxists in Parliament like Ed Milliband: award the union official Stephen Deans with a Knighthood, recommend Unite for the Nobel Peace Prize for unifying the workforce in self-sacrifice of their jobs, and give him a safe seat in a bigoted union dominated constituency at the next by-election, with a front-bench job in the Shadow Cabinet.  Alex Salmond, the Scottish First Minister, is trying to come up with ideas to reopen a plant that makes £150 million annual loss to "save the jobs".  Following this way of thinking, why not also just borrow an extra £150 million a year from the Chinese commie comrade investors to prop up the loss at the chemical plant at general taxpayer's expense, so you don't have to make any pay freezes or pension plan cutbacks?  That's what we did in the 1970s with all the union bloated USSR-type-state-subsidised, overpaid and under-performing (relative to Britain's competitors in the real world beyond our shores) big industries like steel,  aerospace, nuclear, ship building, etc.

For that matter, seeing that the national debt is still rising and has passed £1 trillion, why not simply use the 1980s USSR solution to massive uneconomic state funded spending, and seek to simply run up the national credit card by borrowing another £1 trillion (£1 million million) every year from the Chinese commie comrades and giving it out equally to everybody in the 63,000,000 UK population?  £1 trillion divided into 63 million works out as a "salary" of £15,873 per person in the UK.  When the bills for the interest repayments comes in, we can simply borrow more and more to pay the interest!  What a financially ingenious long-term plan this is.  A sure way to win loads of votes in the next election for the responsible people who vote for disguised Marxism, anyway ... (There you go, Commies.  See?  We can be "nice" and "polite" and "loving" to Commies on this blog.)

1 November 2013 update:

Common sense prevailed over the Arthur Scargill type Marxism in the end. (The Unite official Stephen Deans whose suspension for alleged involvement in the Falkirk Labour Party Candidate union rigging scandal led to the original dispute, has not been awarded a Knighthood yet for Uniting the workers in an effort to lose jobs, etc.  Both sides took a more common sense approach.)  However, Marxist green environmentalist groupthink dogma continues to threaten popular media coverage of unexaggerated facts and thus to effectively curtail or demolish freedom of speech on on pseudo-taboo topics like saving lives and preventing effective terrorism.  Fredrick Forsyth commented on the Ralph Milliband scandal as follows (Daily Express, Friday 18 October 2013, p15):

"... throughout the Cold War, the USSR's dedicated friends, the fellow-travellers ... pretended to love this country as they preached a creed to destroy its democracy, freedoms, rights and liberties on the weird grounds that it would be better off it it were like East Germany.  And the trendy left called them intellectuals.  They were as thick as planks. As Reuters' man in East Germany, I used to watch delegations of them being given the rehearsed runaround in the Workers' Paradise - trade unionists, academics.  They wold be shown a phoney factory ... and drink in the propaganda.  They were wined and dined and loved it all.  They never went near the wall where ordinary East Germans were shot down as they tried to escape ... I despised them all, not for their immorality- for like Prof Milliband they all thought they were deeply moral, but for their crass stupidity."

Stupidity also reigns in other areas like superstring theory, where censorship is used to declare facts "taboo" and to close down debates before the facts are in or have been checked or discussed.  As with Medical Nobel Laureate Dr Alexis Carrell, Nazi-collaborating gas chamber eugenics proponent of 1935 best-seller Man the Unknown, the kind of stupidity we are talking about is not one that the gullible media understand.  To them, stupidity is the truth, which is always taboo, rude, unacceptable, uncivilized, etc.  To them, cleverness means choosing an exciting fantasy dream world of utopian fiction over the hard truth of the real world.
UPDATE: please see also the posts on NUCLEAR DETONATIONS IN URBAN AND SUBURBAN AREAS (updated 3 January 2014 with latest secret UK National Archives files from 1984), and Britain's 1950 studies of nuclear 9/11 and the disappearance of civilian airliner MH370.


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