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Homeland Security

Nuclear Attack: Supporting Exhibits

Table 1. Range in Miles for Significant Events*

Yield (KT)ShockwaveHeatInitial radiationFallout radiation (downwind)

1

0.2

0.4

0.5

up to 3.4

10

0.4

1.1

0.8

up to 6.0

*Significant effects are 50% mortality from shockwave and heat, and a radiation dose of 400 rads. 

Figure 1.

Representation from above of the general patterns of damage from a 10-kT nuclear explosion on the ground. The destruction from the initial effects - shockwave, thermal (heat) energy,and initial radiation - expands in a circular pattern. Severe shockwave damage could extend to about a half a mile. Severe thermal damage would extend out about a mile. Flying debris could extend up to a few miles. Initial (prompt) nuclear radiation for a 10-kT blast could expose unprotected people within about 3/4 mile of the explosion site to a lethal radiation dose. Radioactive fallout occurs in an irregular elliptical pattern in the direction the wind is blowing; lethal radiation could extend up to 6 miles.

Representation from above of the general patterns of damage from a 10-kT nuclear explosion on the ground.

Last Published Date: August 9, 2012
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