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Nuclear war - anyone ever thought about preparing for it?

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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?

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

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

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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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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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[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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[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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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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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.

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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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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

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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

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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.

 

Cheers

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... 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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... 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.

 

I really begin to wonder if Trump will even survive his first term, the High Court is after him on several counts with impeachment a real possibility. The U.S. legal system is far from perfect but it has well defined and understood rules on what is acceptable of a President and what is not.

 

The U.S. nuclear triad has so many checks and balances built into it that in reality a President can't just order a nuclear strike, those who control the weapons have to agree that such an order is actually legal.

 

I fully agree about Putin but he knows he could not win in a nuclear war, no one can but again reality says he hasn't really given any reason to be attacked by the U.S.

 

This is a long but worthwhile read on the subject:

 

https://thebulletin.org/2018-doomsday-clock-statement

 

The reality is that the clock has been at or close to the "two minutes to midnight" point for most of my life, it won't changer by much until or if we get rid of the damned things, but it sounds more dramatic than it actually is, the truth is that the clock is predicated upon the quantity of nukes in existence and whilst North Korea is alarming Kim does not have a deliverable weapon, or a realistic delivery system and now appears to be backing away from ever having either.

 

As a small nation NK has nowhere to hide and could be overwhelmed by conventional means in short order. Doubtless a very bloody war but not likely to go nuclear.

 

Cheers

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The U.S. nuclear triad has so many checks and balances built into it that in reality a President can't just order a nuclear strike, those who control the weapons have to agree that such an order is actually legal.

yes, and no. and mostly no.

 

https://edition.cnn.com/2016/08/06/politics/nuclear-football-president-button/index.html

"The president has supreme authority to decide whether to use America's nuclear weapons. Period. Full stop," said the Arms Control Association's Kingston Reif. A president could only be stopped by mutiny, he said, and more than one person would have to disobey the president's orders.

 

the 'checks and balances' fall to the real-time judgment of a handful of generals who *might* choose to disobey the order if they have reason to presume it is illegal.

there was actually a congressional hearing held on this topic late last year,'the first hearing to overtly address this issue in more than four decades'.

 

https://www.vox.com/world/2017/11/17/16656856/trump-congress-nuclear-weapons-war

"He requires other people to carry out an order, so he can't just lean on a button and automatically the missiles fly. But he has the legal and political authority on his own to give an order that would cause other people to take steps which would result in a nuclear strike. That’s the system we currently have." -Peter Feaver, a political science professor at Duke University and a former special adviser on the National Security Council.

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The U.S. nuclear triad has so many checks and balances built into it that in reality a President can't just order a nuclear strike, those who control the weapons have to agree that such an order is actually legal.

yes, and no. and mostly no.

 

https://edition.cnn.com/2016/08/06/politics/nuclear-football-president-button/index.html

"The president has supreme authority to decide whether to use America's nuclear weapons. Period. Full stop," said the Arms Control Association's Kingston Reif. A president could only be stopped by mutiny, he said, and more than one person would have to disobey the president's orders.

 

the 'checks and balances' fall to the real-time judgment of a handful of generals who *might* choose to disobey the order if they have reason to presume it is illegal.

there was actually a congressional hearing held on this topic late last year,'the first hearing to overtly address this issue in more than four decades'.

 

https://www.vox.com/world/2017/11/17/16656856/trump-congress-nuclear-weapons-war

"He requires other people to carry out an order, so he can't just lean on a button and automatically the missiles fly. But he has the legal and political authority on his own to give an order that would cause other people to take steps which would result in a nuclear strike. That’s the system we currently have." -Peter Feaver, a political science professor at Duke University and a former special adviser on the National Security Council.

 

:)

 

That's what it says, it is not what it is.

 

I used to work at the Pentagon, imagine, you are a General or group of Generals working there and you are told to launch a nuclear strike, particularly by a President you do not trust, and believe me most of the Pentagon do not trust Trump. You are working there, a few miles out of Washington, your family probably live nearby, your friends are in the building or a lot of them are in the city. You know if you launch you are all dead because the first return salvo will definitely include Washington.

 

The President might be semi-safe on Air Force One somewhere, you aren't, would you launch ?

 

i'd say not, There's a reason personal firearms are left at the door at the big house but you are talking about men and women who have seen a deal of combat. some would blindly follow the order, most would not, there would be blood in the corridors.

 

Contrary to popular belief the U.S. military is not stupid, they understand MAD, those with authority over the nukes in particular, they would question the order and probably ask for confirmation and apply reasoning especially if it were an order for a preemptive strike, a retaliatory strike might be different but the same reasoning applies in the other nuclear armed nations as well - ultimately if you obey you are signing the death warrants of yourself and everyone you care about.

 

Much simpler to just assassinate the President and believe me many of them, including those on Air Force One, would probably find that the better option.

 

It has been a problem ever since this enormous amount of power was put in the hands of one person, a serious flaw in the U.S Constitution but also a sign of serious nuclear madness that we have been living with ever since the Manhattan Project.

 

The SALT talks made a valid attempt to begin getting rid of the things, but we seem to be back into escalation, at least by the U.S. again.

 

However it takes years for those projects to actually come to fruition, I doubt Trump will be around by then and hopefully someone more sensible will be in the Oval Office.

 

I've not understood, for a long time, what the hell the angst is about, the initial political disagreement, Democracy versus Communism, whilst hysterical was a product of the times but Russia is not the dark Satan it was once seen as, if anything the U.S. is more extremist these days.

 

But was Russia ever going to attack America ? no, it could only lose in that fight and they know it. So we had surrogate wars, in which mostly third parties died.

 

We are ruled by lunatics in the main, in my opinion we have one here just now, but I don't really think even Trump is so stupid as to start a war that would kill him and everyone of his family and friends in the end. That is the reality of any nuclear exchange and both sides and the other nuclear armed nations know it.

 

Which begs the question why do the things exist in the first place ?

 

Because in the end the human race is still a bunch of children in a playground daring each other to a fight.

 

it's time we grew up and away from that mentality.

 

Cheers

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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

 

The UK didn't have land to test nukes on so Australia become their laboratory. The French has to resort to blowing up the homes of pacific islanders.

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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

 

The UK didn't have land to test nukes on so Australia become their laboratory. The French has to resort to blowing up the homes of pacific islanders.

 

Heh,

 

That doesn't make it right.

 

The U.S. actually offered their underground test site in Nevada to the Brits but they declined because someone thought the U.S "might learn something."

 

Given how long the U.S had already had nukes that seemed rather unlikely and the U.S. had been hosting U.K. nuke scientists for quite a while but politicians tend to the clueless end of the spectrum.

 

The whole testing thing somewhat bemuses me. Russia has basically blown Novoya Zemlya in half with their dick-waving tests yet people still live there. I can say with a high degree of certainty that Israel has nukes but denies it if pushed because they keep them disassembled. They've never done a test that can be confirmed although the mysterious blast off South Africa, with whom Israel has/had good relations, may have been an Israeli trial. Remember, most nuclear scientists during the early days of nukes were Jewish and not a few emigrated to Israel.

 

Cheers

Edited by chrisg

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