It’s Still 2 Minutes to Midnight.
On January 25, 2018, growing concerns about a possible nuclear war and other global threats have pushed forward the symbolic Doomsday Clock by 30 seconds – to just two minutes before midnight. The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists (BAS) said it had acted because the world was becoming “more dangerous.” The clock, created by the journal in 1947, is a metaphor for how close mankind is to destroying the Earth. As the BBC noted, it is now the closest to the apocalypse it has been since 1953, at the height of the Cold War. That was the year when the US and the Soviet Union first tested hydrogen bombs. BAS President and CEO Rachel Bronson said that “in this year’s discussions, nuclear issues took centre stage once again.”
The US government’s secret plan to save itself – while the rest of us die. So reads the subtitle of the recent book, Raven Rock, by Garrett Graff. This in-depth study reveals that the American government continues to spend tremendous sums preparing for nuclear war – not just for new and improved nuclear weapons, but also for the planning and infrastructure to ensure that top government and military leaders survive any nuclear attack. Civil defence plans to protect the general American population from a full-scale nuclear war may be a thing of the past, but out of sight, the government’s own “Doomsday Prepping” continues full-speed ahead. As Graff puts it, “Its entire shadow government is, in many ways, bigger, stronger, and more robust than it ever was during the cold war.” Read more
Common Misconceptions About Nuclear Fallout
The immediate effects of a nuclear detonation – tremendous heat, blast force and initial radiation – are relatively localized and limited in area. The bigger concern for most of Canada’s population is the fallout which can be blown many hundreds of miles to fall to the earth as radioactive dust particles.
When we have a nuclear incident like Chernobyl or Fukushima and a nuclear reactor leaks radioactive materials, these can remain highly dangerous for extended periods of time.
However, the fallout dust from a nuclear detonation generally follows the 7/10 Rule: Fallout loses roughly 90% of its radioactivity in the first 7 hours after detonation and an additional 90% for every 7-fold increase in time: 90% in the first seven hours; 99% in 49 hours (two days) and 99.9% in two weeks. Read more
“Cities have emergency preparedness plans, but they are scoped for natural disasters like hurricanes or earthquakes, or man-made ones like chemical spills… The US Departments of Defense and Homeland Security have examined the consequences of a terrorist nuclear attack, but these have focused on the ground-level explosion of a crude, improvised bomb. None are adequate to deal with an event like a nuclear attack of the kind and scale now in prospect… The first step would be to make planners at the local, state and federal levels aware of what the effects of such an attack would likely be. While there are volumes of accumulated knowledge regarding the effects of nuclear weapons, that knowledge has largely faded from the awareness of officials even within the Department of Defense, let alone the other, largely civilian, decisionmakers responsible for urban disaster preparedness.” – RAND Corp. Blog
March 1st, 2018