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Old 01-25-2014, 21:21   #1
quake
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Ugly topic - radiation

Hope this thread isn't doomed to go all tinfoil, just haven't seen much discussion on this lately. The "why's" and "how's" and "how bad's" of these kinds of dangers are convoluted & debatable; could be genuine war, could be a nutjob with a single device, could just be the nuke plant 60-80 miles upwind of me.

I have to confess that I've put off replacing my damaged CDV-717, and my CDV-715 hasn't been calibrated in over a decade. (Should be every 1-6 years, depending on whose certification schedule you use.)

I did order two CDV-717's this week, and when they arrive, plan to send them and the -715 off for calibration; but at the moment, it's like driving with no spare tire to me. Probably nothing untoward will happen in the interim, but it's a mistake imo.

Potassium iodide - check. That's easy. But what about the nukalert/raddetect type deals. I'm leaning toward the nukalert, but the K8 is interesting as well.

Shelter - that's more complicated. We're better off than many people, but not as much as I'd prefer. New house plans in the works as we speak, which do include a substantial basement-shelter-guestrooms, but that's a 'someday soon' thing; no help tomorrow or even next month.

This isn't by any means our most-likely threat imo. I personally think we're MUCH more likely (frankly, almost unavoidable imo) to hit an economic wall or cliff in the not-too-distant future. But this is somewhat like tornado planning; it's not the most likely thing in the world, but it could be pretty horrific if it did happen.

One site that not only has a lot of info, but a lot of links, is www.ki4u.com They're who I've gone to in the past for recalibrating, and according to their site, they still offer it. Price has gone up; last time was $69 or so iirc, now it's $92.

Also, a lot of the info there is substantially dated, going back sometimes to threats more likely in the 60's-80's than today's more likely scenarios. But there's a lot of very good stuff there as well.

One other resource that's free, is a spreadsheet that helps automate calculations of the 7/10 rule on fallout decay:
http://www.jerrydyoung.com/st/index....old-man-s-7-10

It's not 'official' or certified or anything, and it certainly shouldn't be used as a determiner of safety; that's the job of the survey meters. But for a planning tool, I think it has value.
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Old 01-26-2014, 00:49   #2
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It's just one more potential problem that we can prep for; nuclear plants DO have accidents, etc. Cresson Kearney's "Nuclear War Survival Skills" is a good reference, although weapons have gotten worse and potential adversaries more. I don't want to suffer through a tornado, ice storm, etc. but they DO happen, so I try to prep for them, along with radiation from some form of disaster.
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Old 01-26-2014, 06:48   #3
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As LG1 pointed out - that Nuclear Survival skills book is a must have.

But as I have said also - it is WAY down on my list of preps. Here is my reasoning:

#1 It is highly improbable. TMI, Chernobyl, Japan. Compared to other much more likely events in my AOR....Hurricane, Tornadoes, Fire, etc.... I am better off preparing for those thoroughly. A lot of that prep will translate anyway.

#2 Even highly prepared, well trained troops with the latest gear, extensive training, and strong support are expected to die. By me even attempting to prep that much, I will actually derail a lot of other activity that would really help in events I am actually likely to experience.

I am not saying you SHOULDN'T prep for this sort of thing. I am saying that you should seriously consider how to do so and how to prioritize it in the big scheme of a threat matrix.

But a cheesey surplus gas mask, with bad filters, and no/insufficient training is actually NOT better than nothing. What it is is a false sense of security, and a waste of money that could have better been spent on food/water/etc.

I think most would be best better off by reading the book, considering "What would I do to shelter" and learning about fallout-prevailing winds.

If your threat matrix places that high on the though, and you have a solid basis for all of the more common disasters, I say go for it and good luck.
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Old 01-26-2014, 06:52   #4
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Hey - here is a question: What are the "ten most reasonable/sensible Nuclear preps?

I suspect a lot of the response will be "It is an unreasonable disaster, so the preps are equally unreasonable" but again - maybe there are some really good ones.

- example Plastic and duct tape: Key to keep out radioactive dust for a few days, and always good for all kinds of situations.
- Knowing where the best room to doge Gamma rays and how to fortify insulate that room (time permitting) example - quickly pile dirt around kitchen walls, move fridge/oven to block halls in-out, and have waste bags to toss over the bar while hunkered down.

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Old 01-26-2014, 06:53   #5
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Originally Posted by Tom Kanik View Post
It's just one more potential problem that we can prep for; nuclear plants DO have accidents, etc. Cresson Kearney's "Nuclear War Survival Skills" is a good reference, although weapons have gotten worse and potential adversaries more. I don't want to suffer through a tornado, ice storm, etc. but they DO happen, so I try to prep for them, along with radiation from some form of disaster.
I don't know....I think the "formal weapon" type is much less likely. Dirty bombs, however...way more likely. That's a very different creature.
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Old 01-26-2014, 10:50   #6
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...But a cheesey surplus gas mask, with bad filters, and no/insufficient training is actually NOT better than nothing. What it is is a false sense of security, and a waste of money that could have better been spent on food/water/etc...
Agree completely. Not unlike the person who buys a gun, a first-aid kit, and a fire extinguisher, and has no idea how to use any of them. They figure they've 'done something', so they must be safer; and not only could they be completely wrong, as you say, they could actually be in greater danger simply because of that false sense of security causing them to let their guard down.

Gear rarely compensates adequately for ignorance or incompetence.


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Hey - here is a question: What are the "ten most reasonable/sensible Nuclear preps?

I suspect a lot of the response will be "It is an unreasonable disaster, so the preps are equally unreasonable" but again - maybe there are some really good ones.

- example Plastic and duct tape: Key to keep out radioactive dust for a few days, and always good for all kinds of situations.
- Knowing where the best room to doge Gamma rays and how to fortify insulate that room (time permitting) example - quickly pile dirt around kitchen walls, move fridge/oven to block halls in-out, and have waste bags to toss over the bar while hunkered down.
+1 again. Personally, I'd say that learning about any threats and the remediation for those threats, should be right at the top. Buying a couple books can be a lot more beneficial initially than buying a used meter; especially an uncalibrated used meter. There are some people whose situations make this nearly a non-issue, and there are people whose situations make it a huge issue. I'm in the middle of that spectrum, as most folks probably are.

I'd say that "Prep 1" for this subject - as for most subjects - would be knowledge. Knowledge of the types of threats, or for some people, knowledge of even the absence of threats. Knowledge on how to best employ the plastic, etc. Knowledge on how to use that stored water as additional protection; and knowledge of whether doing so will contaminate that water. (It won't.)

Knowledge that as much as possible, is unbiased, unemotional, and seriously sought. Fortunately, a whole lot of knowledge can be had basically free nowadays.
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Old 01-27-2014, 14:29   #7
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A couple of "rough rule of thumb" charts that may be of assistance...

..although I like the more conservative..

..the less conservative may be more accurate according to some!


Survival/Preparedness Forum




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Old 01-28-2014, 07:15   #8
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There have been some decent threads on radiation. My opinion is that you need to comprehend the issue fully.

Know the difference between "Dose" and "Rate" and what is tolerable.
Set a realistic budget if you're serious. Consider a modern alarming dosimeter.

shelter, shield, measure
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Old 01-28-2014, 14:15   #9
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There have been some decent threads on radiation. My opinion is that you need to comprehend the issue fully.

Know the difference between "Dose" and "Rate" and what is tolerable.
Set a realistic budget if you're serious. Consider a modern alarming dosimeter.

shelter, shield, measure
Very good advice. Many people do not realize how much background radiation they are exposed to on an annual basis. The NRC used to limit exposure to about 5 rem annual. I would assume non rad workers would be in the 1-1.5 rem range depending on altitude, flights, x rays, etc. etc.

If you ever do get a chance to go through a whole body count monitor make sure you eat a banana or two beforehand...
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Old 01-28-2014, 15:42   #10
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Quake,

This thread on the SPF backup forum may be of assistance...

http://pullig.dyndns.org/practicalpr...php?f=2&t=2215

...especially the info on quickly fabricating a "Radioactivity Attenuating Redoubt" in the center living area of a home.
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Old 01-28-2014, 16:11   #11
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I tend to agree with Aceman's comments and prioritizing of preparation & training when it comes to the most likely ... and more survivable ... natural and man-made threats.

Having been through the usual WMD training for first responders, and discussing it with friends on a bomb unit (in event of a terrorist's "dirty bomb"), I decided to invest my time, attention and effort to preparing to navigate my way through other, more likely (and survivable) events that could occur in today's changing world.

Then again, I grew up seeing LOTS of neighbors digging "Atom Bomb Shelters" in their front & back yards, and having drills in school where we were made to crawl under our desks while the teacher pulled the heavy drapes. Used to count the dept stores downtown that had Civil defense Fallout Shelter signs, and listen to the periodic CD Siren tests.

I got an excessive fear of it out of my system.
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Old 01-28-2014, 19:26   #12
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I grew up ~50 miles from Three Mile Island. It was an interesting time.

As mentioned - most of the hoo-haa (or lack of hoo-haa) was because of lack of knowledge.

Now, depending on the prevailing winds and where you live in California, It might be an extremely good thing to not only KNOW about, but to prep and plan for.

(Although why any prepper would live in CA I'm not entirely sure...)

But much like EMP and Pandemic - many of the basics of gear apply including bug in/out decisions, etc. After that, there is a certain commitment factor.
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Old 01-28-2014, 19:28   #13
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And like I said - if you don't have the manual LG1 recommends already, download that IMMEDIATELY!!!!!!! Then read it.

Belongs right up there with Where there is no Doctor, The American Red Cross First Aid manual, and the SAS Survival book.
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Old 01-28-2014, 23:16   #14
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"(Although why any prepper would live in CA I'm not entirely sure...)"

1. Because you don't know when the bell is going to ring;
2. If the mortality tables have any application (and they might not) you are more likely to die from a fall, circulatory disease, or an obesity related disease.

If you knew when, where, why and how a disaster was going to strike, you certainly wouldn't be there.

So Aceman, here are some facts about where you live:

Tampa is a part of the metropolitan area most commonly referred to as the Tampa Bay Area. For U.S. Census purposes, Tampa is part of the Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, Florida Metropolitan Statistical Area. The four-county area is composed of roughly 2.9 million residents, making it the second largest metropolitan statistical area (MSA) in the state, and the fourth largest in the Southeastern United States, behind Miami, Washington, D.C. and Atlanta.[14] The Greater Tampa Bay area has over 4 million residents. This makes you urban!

My mentor, until recently, lived about 20 miles south of Phoenix. He thought he had survival aced because he wasn't in California. I related to him that when I passed through his neighborhood in 1957, the only road was a highway with one lane on each side. I then cited to him the current population of the general Phoenix area. Finally, he realized that he was as "urban" and "vulnerable" as if he had not left Los Angeles. Now he lives elsewhere.

If a person wants to believe that he has the stamina of a 30 year old, the skills of a current SF soldier, the freedom of an unmarried man with no dependents - when he is 50 years old, 40 pounds overweight and hasn't done any training since he was in the Marine Corp 30 years ago, it is his privilege. And, if he "bugs out", lives off the land by hunting deer for a year, and makes gunpowder in the dark, more power to him.

Oh yeah - living off white tail deer fantasy - 'A whitetail can run from less than 100 pounds to well over 200. Figure you loose more than half the live weight in butchering, so you could wind up with less than 50 pounds to at most about a hundred. And even then you've got bones, fat, and gristle to contend with, so on the low end you're lucky to get 20 meals out of a small one, maybe 50 out of a fat buck. '

50 meals. Oh, losing weight and eating one meal a day. And only 5 people in your party. So, somehow you will harvest 26 or more deer a year?

I worked with atomic reactors about 50 years ago. Aceman is correct. Go study. Understand the different types of radiation and how you would protect yourself against each and for how long.

So long as you want to speculate, why not speculate that your enemy sets off a dirty bomb in a rural area of the US to serve as a warning rather than in an urban area? Then, sets off another with a warning that more will be set off unless the US heads to a negotiating table.

Or why not speculate that you make yourself so rural that you can't get to a doctor or competent hospital when you are snowed in or rained in?

I don't have to worry about radiation. If it is a major fire, an earthquake, a tsunami, another Los Angeles riot, I am not getting out of town anyway. All I had to do was go on line, price the Iodide tablets that deal with exposure to one kind of radiation and buy a fresh supply. No geiger counter.
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Old 01-29-2014, 10:28   #15
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I grew up ~50 miles from Three Mile Island. It was an interesting time.

As mentioned - most of the hoo-haa (or lack of hoo-haa) was because of lack of knowledge.

Now, depending on the prevailing winds and where you live in California, It might be an extremely good thing to not only KNOW about, but to prep and plan for...
Prevailing winds are a big part of my reason for concern on the topic at all. I don't figure I'll personally get nuked, but there are numerous things "in my backyard" so to speak that could cause problems. Arkansas has a lot of missile silos; and while they may or may not be targets in any future conflict, they're mostly (at least the ones I'm familiar with) either relatively close to us or upwind of us, and that makes me think about it. Little Rock air force base (which is home to the largest C-130 fleet in the world) isn't directly upwind of us, but close enough to be worth considering. While the Nuclear One nuke plant is three counties away, it's darn near directly upwind of us.

Things that I can actively confront or avoid - burglars, bears, or empty pantries - are one thing. But these threats (as low-probability as they may be) are things that are not only outside my control, but invisible and undetectable without specific equipment, and indefensible against without the knowledge that that equipment, along with topical foreknowledge, provides.
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Old 01-29-2014, 12:24   #16
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There's a lot to the subject, so it's hard to do it any justice in a post. If you're serious, it takes a committment of cash, building materials, instrumentation, etc. That's if you're "really" addressing the issue. You can hit it in smaller steps though.

-revolves around determining the dose/rate and figuring out if you can shield and stay or if flight is the only option (high levels).

Low level/distant is much easier to deal with.
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Old 01-29-2014, 19:19   #17
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It is interesting that you mention that economic problems are far more likely than any form of radiation emergency.

Have you ever attempted any type of monte carlo simulation / evaluation of various events?

1. No radiation event, hard economic times?
2. Accidental minimal rad release from nearest power plant.
3. Dirty bomb attack on nearest likely target.
4. Nuke attack by Russia / China / NK or nearest likely target.

I would be interested to see what you come up with.
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Old 01-30-2014, 08:30   #18
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It is interesting that you mention that economic problems are far more likely than any form of radiation emergency.

Have you ever attempted any type of monte carlo simulation / evaluation of various events?

1. No radiation event, hard economic times?
2. Accidental minimal rad release from nearest power plant.
3. Dirty bomb attack on nearest likely target.
4. Nuke attack by Russia / China / NK or nearest likely target...
Main reason I think economic shtf is more likely, is simply that I think it's darn near inevitable at this point. If there's a painless way out of this economic house of cards that we've created, I'm all for it, but I'm not smart enough to come up with one.

I’m familiar with the concept of monte carlo simulation, but never done any. I do like using the simple quantitative analysis approach, but really for normal decision-making; not so much for risk assessment.

As others have pointed out, there’s a lot of overlap of preparedness needs that hold true almost regardless of inciting event. Shelter, water, food, medical concerns, sanitation, safety/defense concerns, etc – all needed regardless of whether the problem is economic, social, or weather-related in nature.

Large part of my reason for even broaching this (probably low-likelihood) concern is due to my current personal activities. Last night we settled on the semi-final plans for our new house. We’re looking at a 3200sf walk-out basement, approximately half of which will be separate and reserved for emergency-related topics. The ‘common’ half is normal – couple bedrooms, bath, gameroom area, kitchenette, etc. The second, closed-off half is storage, shelter, etc; and I simply can’t see building this type and size of space without making it a shelter that protects from more than tornadoes. So additional wall thicknesses and overhead slab thicknesses, changes in entryway orientations, things like that.

Now to get the house layout to one of my sons who’s a CAD draftsman, and get a builder chosen. And get the current house sold, and a thousand other “and then” things…

{edit - just wanted to toss a huge +1 to Kearney's NWSS book. Re-reading it after more than 20 years, and am repeatedly embarrassed by how much I'd missed or forgotten from it.}
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Old 01-30-2014, 13:00   #19
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Originally Posted by bdcochran View Post
"(Although why any prepper would live in CA I'm not entirely sure...)"

1. Because you don't know when the bell is going to ring;
2. If the mortality tables have any application (and they might not) you are more likely to die from a fall, circulatory disease, or an obesity related disease.
Hey man - I understand. You live you life, and it is where it is. I'm all about prep to live - not live to prep!

That said, it's called Kalifornistan for a reason. A lot of reasons.

It's ok. I have friends there. I visit them occasional. I'll miss them when they are gone.


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Old 01-30-2014, 13:04   #20
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Originally Posted by Andy123 View Post
It is interesting that you mention that economic problems are far more likely than any form of radiation emergency.

Have you ever attempted any type of monte carlo simulation / evaluation of various events?

1. No radiation event, hard economic times?
2. Accidental minimal rad release from nearest power plant.
3. Dirty bomb attack on nearest likely target.
4. Nuke attack by Russia / China / NK or nearest likely target.

I would be interested to see what you come up with.
I am WAY more than familiar w/ Monte Carlo sims, bootstrapping, etc... (Actually, Aceman, Ph.D.)

Explain your thoughts a little more.
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Old 01-30-2014, 17:45   #21
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I am WAY more than familiar w/ Monte Carlo sims, bootstrapping, etc... (Actually, Aceman, Ph.D.)

Explain your thoughts a little more.
Sure. To parallel a lot of what quake just said:

A lot of our "preps" have multiple purposes / goals / uses.

I exercise. I like to exercise, it makes me happier than when I don't. If I am ever stuck in a survival situation of any type, it may help. Also, it doesn't cost much to stay in shape.

I own guns. Guns are fun to shoot. They may be useful in some, but not all survival situation. I currently own more guns than I could ever justified as being needed for "prepping".

I have a bit of food put back in my main home. It is almost all normal, off the shelf food, not special freeze dried stuff. I slowly eat it, and replace it.

However, when you start looking at two future possibilities -
1. I could be subject to strong radiation in a situation where it is difficult to evacuate.
2. I could be subject to financial hard times.
3. Neither would occur.

If I spend money to prepare for No. 1, it will automatically make me less prepared for No. 2. If I could truly know the probability of each occurence, and the cost of preparing for no.1, it looks like someone could calculate an ideal (or proportionate) amount to spend to prepare for no. 1.

Maybe
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Old 02-02-2014, 14:06   #22
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I grew up ~50 miles from Three Mile Island. It was an interesting time.

As mentioned - most of the hoo-haa (or lack of hoo-haa) was because of lack of knowledge.

Now, depending on the prevailing winds and where you live in California, It might be an extremely good thing to not only KNOW about, but to prep and plan for.

(Although why any prepper would live in CA I'm not entirely sure...)

But much like EMP and Pandemic - many of the basics of gear apply including bug in/out decisions, etc. After that, there is a certain commitment factor.
I grew up about 70 miles north of TMI. Interesting indeed.

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Old 02-03-2014, 07:57   #23
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I am WAY more than familiar w/ Monte Carlo sims, bootstrapping, etc... (Actually, Aceman, Ph.D.)

Explain your thoughts a little more.
Ph.D. in what?
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Old 02-03-2014, 10:21   #24
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Ph.D. in what?
Cognitive Psychology - Emphasis in Human Performance/Learning/Training/Problem-solving, Movement Science, and Statistics. Did things like human factors work, develop Parallel Distributed Processing models (AI stuff - scary AI stuff; NEVER teach a machine to think!).

HAd around 30 grad hours of stats as a supporting "hobby"
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Old 02-09-2014, 17:24   #25
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Sorry I'm late to the game coach, but this one is in my wheelhouse so here's a quick go at it:

If you're in the general vicinity of a military-grade weapon when it detonates, you don't have anything to worry about as you won't be around after the flash.

The three main things to consider when dealing with radiation:
1. Inverse Square Law - every time you double the distance from a source of radiation, divide the amount of radiation by a factor of 4. An example: your nuke-necklace goes off after you see the magic mushroom and reads 10mR/per hr from a distance of 20 miles from the blast site, if you increase distance to 40 miles, it is now 2.5mR/per hour, move to 80 miles and .625mR/per hour, etc.
2. Time/Distance/Shielding:
Time - the smaller amount of time you are exposed, the less radiation your body absorbs.
Distance - See Inverse Square Law, generally speaking, put some distance between you and the source.
Shielding - Alpha radiation doesn't travel very far from the source (2-6") and can be blocked by your clothes, not a big threat unless you're at ground zero. Beta radiation travels a few feet from the source and can be blocked by a single layer of tinfoil. Gamma radiation is electromagnetic in nature, causes your skin to burn, will begin to mutate your DNA if exposed and travels at the speed of light. It takes about 12-18" of concrete, sandbags, lead plating to block a significant source of gamma radiation, which is released at the 'flash' of nuke detonating.
3. Your gas mask won't protect you. Irradiated particulates will clog a standard mil-spec filter in about 20 minutes. Your just as good with a double layer of bandanas over your face/mouth to stop inhalation of particles. As far as fallout goes, don't have any exposed skin or allow it to land on you. If you look like granny's dusty lamp, change your clothes while holding your breathe.

The prevailing wind would factor in as well in dealing with fallout, but thats another discussion. FWIW, with so many countries having nukes, the nukes themselves are the biggest deterrent from being used. Only exception I see as of late is Pakistan vs India, those folks flat out dislike each other and both have questionable government entities.

As far as dirty bombs...maybe a 1:100k chance of happening, even less of an affected area reaching out past a few miles. Dispersing a large enough quantity of particulates to affect a major populace (read: entire city) is almost nil. Japan did more damage with their reactor leak, fish all over the west coast are testing positive for radiation in small amounts. The great NW salmon runs aren't quite as highly sought after as they were a few years ago.

That is all, carry on.
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Nobody else really uses the term "meleee weapons" unless it is leaking into mall ninja land from the large population of D&D playing mall ninjas.
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Nov 11, 2013 at 11:42