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Nuclear war - anyone ever thought about preparing for it?

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#1 bendsc

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Posted 13 May 2018 - 05:49 AM

There is no doubt that all of us have at one point or another thought about the possibility of a nuclear attack (hoping I am not the only one), but has anyone actually prepared for it here? I know a few at work that have survival kits and such but nothing extreme. 

 

I've been doing a bit of digging around looking at bunkers and whatnot and came across this interesting nuclear survival guide. If anything, it is entertaining as much as it is informative. But it gets me thinking, are there a lot more people preparing for a nuclear war?

 

Have any of you thought about your chances of surviving a nuclear attack?



#2 i_am_banned2

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Posted 13 May 2018 - 06:12 AM

What would be the point of surviving a nuclear war?



#3 chrisg

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Posted 13 May 2018 - 07:04 AM

Interesting, but naive.

 

I'm a now long retired cold warrior who used to now and again fly aircraft carrying nuclear weapons, "buckets of sunshine" just to get us used to the idea of being close to them. As a result of the near complete lack of understanding of the realities of radiation I quite literally tick on a geiger counter, but then again I'm near on 65 and free of any side affects,. But a not detonated weapon primarily only emits one form of radiation. , not the more dangerous outcomes of an explosion.

 

Radiation from an explosion comes in three primary forms:

 

Gamma, a blast of pure electromagnetic energy that takes a lot of lead to stop, not something you can do much about except not be around the explosion, a gas mask is not going to help.

 

Beta, basically energetic electrons, not nice but not long lasting, however it can cause radioactive decay of otherwise stable materials.

 

Alpha, essentially two neutrons and two protons, Helium four if you like, it sticks around and has a very long half life of slow decay, it is the primary form of what is called fall-out after the rest has passed by.

 

There are others, but they really only occur in the first milliseconds of an explosion - x rays for example.

 

Alpha is the persistent remainder of a nuclear explosion, it can't really penetrate well but you most definitely do not want to be inhaling it, that's about the only reason for a gas mask, chemical and biological weapons are very different, there a mask and a hazmat suit can protect you, unless they happen to be acidic, and yes, those do exist.

 

Personally I've never worried about it, if the hammer falls and I'm close I'm dead anyway, if I'm far enough away then I'll get further away, although I'd probably round up as many of my family and loved ones as I could first. The link is somewhat incorrect in that regard, the metal skin of a car stops Alpha very well.

 

No, I don't really have a survival kit, I can live off the land without much issue, especially if a big chunk of the population just stopped breathing, my handgun and a few spare mags will more than suffice.

 

It is extremely unlikely to ever happen anyway, the MAD protocols pretty much guarantee that, who ever was to launch first would basically be signing their own death warrant.

 

Cheers


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#4 smadge1

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Posted 14 May 2018 - 09:05 AM

Stateless agents are the worst, they could detonate a nuke without fear of retaliation (at least immediately)


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#5 Master_Scythe

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Posted 14 May 2018 - 09:17 AM

Australia specifically is lucky.

 

The nations most likely to use them are far enough away that we'd get an extremely unhealthy dose of the stuff, but odds are it'll be time for iodine pills and limiting all future exposure, rather than suffering from the extreme body breakdown of extreme radiation poisoning.


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#6 chrisg

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Posted 14 May 2018 - 04:39 PM

Humm,

 

Most anything north of the equator doesn't make it down here, little thing called the equatorial divide, but the problem Australia has is the tests done here, places like Maralinga, islands off the W.A. coast and what the French did in the South Pacific. We do have a fallout problem, it  probably is a factor in our increasing cancer rate, but likely not the only one.

 

At least we are not a nuclear nation but our territory has been used, a lot, for "testing."

 

Cheers


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#7 Cybes

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Posted 14 May 2018 - 06:47 PM

At least we are not a nuclear nation but our territory has been used, a lot, for "testing."


Aus will not walk away without a bloodied nose: let's not gloss over the North West Cape, Pine Gap and the several other US/Aus operations around the place. Sure, they're "only" comms/listening/tracking stations and not missile silos or AF bases, but if someone starts throwing WW3-scale arms around, we're talking hundred or possible thousands of munitions - I'm sure one or two will be lobbed at them as well.

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#8 Rybags

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Posted 14 May 2018 - 07:29 PM

War with Russia a real threat, probably the biggest since the mid 80s, thanks to the world's biggest criminal getting "elected" again.



#9 eveln

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Posted 14 May 2018 - 07:38 PM

What would be the point of surviving a nuclear war?

umm well on surviving, you could then choose to die, quickly, without having to wait till it all finally gets you ;) ... I guess


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#10 chrisg

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Posted 14 May 2018 - 07:47 PM

 

At least we are not a nuclear nation but our territory has been used, a lot, for "testing."


Aus will not walk away without a bloodied nose: let's not gloss over the North West Cape, Pine Gap and the several other US/Aus operations around the place. Sure, they're "only" comms/listening/tracking stations and not missile silos or AF bases, but if someone starts throwing WW3-scale arms around, we're talking hundred or possible thousands of munitions - I'm sure one or two will be lobbed at them as well.

 

True Cybes, but not really as many as you might think, Russia has been retiring and closing a lot of silos, obsolete and aged out tech but I did write a paper some years ago that showed their silo deployment was crazy and highly prone to fratricide.

 

The U.S, did it somewhat better and the French just scattered theirs around the Massif Central.

 

The submarines are the bigger concern, far too much power in one place and likely to be out of contact leaving launch decisions to people that I have very little faith in - sort of sub-surface "Dr Strangelove" in my encounters with them.

 

Australia should never have allowed Pine Gap in the first place, but it was our tech that created over the horizon radar and given the location the Americans just loved it when linked to real time feeds to give them a constant picture.

 

I was at Pine Gap a few years back, they don't look after it terribly well,  lots of fried computers in the junkyard but it is rare to pass through Alice Springs and not see a C-5 or a couple of C-141s on the hardstand, bringing in replacements I suppose.

 

It is not exactly a favored deployment for U.S. servicemen, barren place and a long way to go to get a drink given the base is dry.

 

Fylingdales in the U.K is much nicer, you can walk to the pub :)

 

Cheers


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#11 Cybes

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Posted 14 May 2018 - 07:58 PM

[Pine Gap] is not exactly a favored deployment for U.S. servicemen, barren place and a long way to go to get a drink given the base is dry.
 
Fylingdales in the U.K is much nicer, you can walk to the pub :)


At least they have a Piggly Wiggly. ;)

(Come to think of it, that might have been Woomera.)

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#12 chrisg

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Posted 14 May 2018 - 08:12 PM

 

[Pine Gap] is not exactly a favored deployment for U.S. servicemen, barren place and a long way to go to get a drink given the base is dry.
 
Fylingdales in the U.K is much nicer, you can walk to the pub :)


At least they have a Piggly Wiggly. ;)

(Come to think of it, that might have been Woomera.)

 

:)

 

Do they ?

 

I never thought they went international, fun places to shop though, lots of MILFs :)

 

Cheers


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#13 Cybes

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Posted 14 May 2018 - 09:57 PM

Do they ?


'Do'..? Can't say about that. They did about the time Close Encounters came out - young me was convinced they were hiding aliens out there because I saw the truck. ;)

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#14 i_am_banned2

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Posted 14 May 2018 - 11:38 PM

 

What would be the point of surviving a nuclear war?

umm well on surviving, you could then choose to die, quickly, without having to wait till it all finally gets you ;) ... I guess

 

 

Neil Young once said, "It's better to burn out than to fade away." Was he referring to nuclear holocaust? Yes. I'm pretty sure he was. Even so, it's always good to have options. Some folks might rather take things nice and slow.



#15 chrisg

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Posted 15 May 2018 - 12:05 AM

 

 

What would be the point of surviving a nuclear war?

umm well on surviving, you could then choose to die, quickly, without having to wait till it all finally gets you ;) ... I guess

 

 

Neil Young once said, "It's better to burn out than to fade away." Was he referring to nuclear holocaust? Yes. I'm pretty sure he was. Even so, it's always good to have options. Some folks might rather take things nice and slow.

 

Actually I think he was talking about drugs when he went through that period of his life, but the analogy is quite apt.

 

I seriously doubt it will ever happen, and I've been through quite a few crisis situations, sitting on three minute warnings.

 

You can't win a nuclear war, that is what MAD defines.

 

Cheers


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#16 eveln

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Posted 15 May 2018 - 07:07 AM

 

 

What would be the point of surviving a nuclear war?

umm well on surviving, you could then choose to die, quickly, without having to wait till it all finally gets you ;) ... I guess

 

 

Neil Young once said, "It's better to burn out than to fade away." Was he referring to nuclear holocaust? Yes. I'm pretty sure he was. Even so, it's always good to have options. Some folks might rather take things nice and slow.

 

Given, perhaps, ones surprise at having survived a nuclear holocaust where ones death was arbitrarily decided by the arses pushing the button, it is really a foregone conclusion isn't it ? I mean cancer is gonna get one the longer one actually manages to keep breathing. And yes some folks may well like to draw that out, or not. << One is still gonna die, but now can try for the illusion that one decides when, and not some arse in 'nother country.


Edited by eveln, 15 May 2018 - 07:08 AM.

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#17 chrisg

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Posted 15 May 2018 - 11:23 AM

Maybe Ev, maybe not, depends upon proximity to an explosion and degree of saturation.

 

We actually live in a sea of radiation even without nukes, it is what creates mutations but also probably causes loss of life.

 

When I was in high school we had some cobalt 60 sitting in a specimen cabinet, the physics teacher used to bring it out from time to time to show proximity affect using a geiger counter that myself and friends actually built for him. He lived into his 90s so you do have to wonder sometimes just how bad it really is in small doses.

 

Your skin alone will stop alpha, the others no, but there is an uncertainty principle at work, if it goes straight through you without damaging cells you will be fine and according to some research the body is pretty good at getting rid of damaged cells anyway. Sitting in front of an old CRT screen for hours at a time was probably more dangerous to your health  than being a few kms from a nuke detonation, so long as you followed basic nuclear survival principles and got low immediately, did not look at it and showered and changed your clothes ASAP. Then get out of there.

 

I tend to think that humans in general should not be trusted with nukes, we are not mature enough as a species to have them, but we do, and it is very unlikely that they will go away.

 

I don't like nukes, not at all, but some evidence suggests they are not as predicted.

 

After all, two cities have been hit by them, they were rebuilt and are populated, health statistics suggest they are no worse off than living in say Tokyo amongst the smog of burned gasoline.

 

Hydrogen bombs are the worst really, apart from neutron bombs that seem to be off the table.

 

It's not so much the initial blast of an H bomb, it is the fact that it is a fission/fusion/fission device and that very blast sends the fission products over a much greater area.

 

In today's understanding a fission bomb is a trivial construction, two sub critical nuclear masses smashed together would produce an explosion. A scientist once speculated that with the right masses you could sit one half at the bottom of a lift shaft, drop the the other thirty odd stories down the shaft and destroy a city. It actually makes a macabre kind of sense.

 

Hydrogen bombs are much more complex, all about timing of the compression of the fusion components, deuterium and tritium, by the initial fission explosion. The first few tests just fizzled out until they sorted the clocks out and sort of invented digital watches along the way.

 

A crazy world we live in, but not so crazy that we are likely to start chucking these things around but I do agree, if terrorists can ever get their hands on enough fissionable material we do have a problem.

 

Cheers


Edited by chrisg, 15 May 2018 - 11:28 AM.

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#18 littlejacket92

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Posted 17 May 2018 - 06:33 PM

Since the world develop nuclear weapon, so nuclear war will come nearly. 

No doubt about it. 


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#19 chrisg

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Posted 17 May 2018 - 07:03 PM

Since the world develop nuclear weapon, so nuclear war will come nearly. 

No doubt about it. 

Probably not - it might between India and Pakistan, they have little in the way of protocols, the rest of the established nuclear nations do.

 

Not that most of them would ever launch on each other anyway, the U.S, and Russia has always been the concern, China very little, although that can change, but Putin does bother me, so does Trump, that's a fiery combination. However what they don't seem to realise is the actual weapons are not in their direct control, cooler heads probably would prevail.

 

I get more concerned about aging reactors to be honest, lots of those out there and no one seems to really know how to decommission them.

 

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#20 Cybes

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Posted 18 May 2018 - 12:57 AM

... Putin does bother me, so does Trump, that's a fiery combination.


Putin is an evil prick, but he is very definitely not stupid or crazy. Trump, however, wants to be the first of those (no, really: go through the 'dictator' check list - the only thing he's missing so far is killing or imprisoning people), but is both of the latter.


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