President Trump has egged on a new arms race. Russia violated weapons treaties to upgrade its nuclear arsenal. North Korea is developing long-range missiles and practising for nuclear war — and the US military is considering preemptive attacks on the isolated nation’s military facilities.
Meanwhile, nuclear terrorism and dirty bombs remain a sobering threat.
Though these events are unlikely to trigger the last-ditch option of nuclear war, let alone a blast in your neighbourhood, they are very concerning.
So you might be wondering, “If I survive a nuclear-bomb attack, what should I do?”
Michael Dillon, a Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory researcher, crunched the numbers and helped figure out just that in a 2014 study published in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society A: Mathematical and Physical Sciences.
Likewise, government agencies and other organisations have also explored the harrowing question and came up with detailed recommendations and response plans.
You are in a large city that has just been subjected to a single, low-yield nuclear detonation, between 0.1 and 10 kilotons.
This is much less powerful than the bomb dropped on Hiroshima — about 15 kilotons. However, it’s not unlikely when looking at weapons like the new B61-12 gravity bomb, which is built by the US, maxes out at 50 kilotons, and can be dialed down to 0.3 kilotons. (Russia and Pakistan are working on similar so-called “tactical” nuclear weapons.)
Studies have shown that you and up to 100,000 of your fellow citizens can be saved — that is, if you keep your wits about and radiation exposure low enough.
One of your biggest and most immediate goals is to avoid nuclear fallout.