Nuclear War/Radiation

 Radiac Calculator Template
Courtesy of Scott W.  This can be used to make your own Radiac Calculator. This is needed for the Radiological Defence Officer course. The RADIAC Calculator consists of three movable plastic discs joined in the centre by a metal rivet. The large (outer) disc is approximately 4 inches in diameter. The front of the calculator contains the circular scales required to complete nuclear calculations. Mirror:

Log-Log Graph Paper
Easy to print out. Log-Log graph paper is needed for accurate radiation prediction calculations taught on the Radiological Defence Officer course.

Radiation Dosimeters for Response and Recovery Market Survey
The Radiation Dosimeters for Response and Recovery Market Survey Report was prepared by the National Urban Security Technology Laboratory for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Science and Technology Directorate. A guide to many radiation survey meters and dosimeters currently on the market.

Planning Guidance for Response to a Nuclear Detonation
This US guidance was developed by a Federal interagency committee led by the Executive Office of the President (National Security Staff and Office of Science and Technology Policy) with representatives from the Departments of Defense, Energy, Health and Human Services, Homeland Security (DHS), Labor, Transportation, Veteran’s Affairs, the Environmental Protection Agency, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

AN/UDR-13 Military Radiation Meter
Specs for the EMP hardened AN/UDR-13 military pocket radiation survey meter/dosimeter now occasionally found surplus on Ebay.  (Note: As well as measuring fallout radiation, the AN/UDR13 was originally designed to also measure prompt gamma and neutron doses from nuclear detonation. However in 2012/2013, the Army conducted a series of more rigorous tests than the original testing of the device in 1994. The new tests showed that the AN/UDR13 detection elements can give false positives, false negatives, and are not accurate for the measurement of radiation (the prompt gamma and neutron dose) within a few kms of a nuclear detonation. In addition, the tests showed that neutron damage to the device may cause subsequent false dose readings with temperature increases. If an AN/UDR13 is the vicinity of a nuclear detonation (within 2 km) at the time of detonation, then that AN/UDR13 should only be used for dose rate, not dose. This issue was corrected on the RGU-100 which is their newest iteration of this product, which is probably why the military dumped a few AN/UDR-13s as surplus. For most people, this isn’t going to be an issue at all because you would need to be within 2 kilometers or 1.25 miles of a nuclear blast to receive a significant dose of prompt or initial radiation.)

AN/UDR-13 Military Radiation Meter Army Manual

Alex Wellerstein has developed an interactive web page called. It’s a “tool” that allows you detonate one of 20 different or so bombs over a google map of New York, Tehran, Moscow or your home town. Yet get to see the circles and estimate of the dead and injured. When you do it over a far away city it’s kind of interesting. When you detonate over your home town, we’ll, it’s chilling. He describes the tool  here.

Radiological Glossary
A glossary of terms related to nuclear weapons and safety, specifically for use in the Radiation Safety in Shelters Course, but useful for other radiological courses as well.

FEMA Standards for Fallout Shelters 1977
The standards in this publication represent the best and most current (1977) guidelines for public fallout shelters and fallout shelters in hospitals. Presented in a format which conforms to the style and language common for building codes, the fallout shelter standards are suitable for adoption by building departments in local governments, and for use by organizations and agencies which may be involved in emergency preparedness planning.

Cresson Kearny KFM Fallout Meter
Cresson Kearny, the inventor of the Kearny Fallout Meter, KFM, describes the need for accurate radiation meters in the event of nuclear disaster. Later on, he shows in detail how to make one from common household items found in virtually all homes.

Basement Core Shelter
Learn how to simply construct a radiation fallout shelter in your basement. This video features Cresson Kearny, author of Nuclear War Survival Skills.

Radiation Safety in Shelters 
Handbook for finding and providing the best protection in shelters with the use of instruments for detecting nuclear radiation.

A Guide to Operating Public Shelters in a Radiation Emergency
A U.S. CDC guide on screening for radioactive contamination, decontamination, radiation monitoring, registration, health surveillance, and communications.

Medical Planning and Response Manual for a Nuclear Detonation Incident
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services publication.

The Dangers from Nuclear Weapons: Myths and Facts
An all-out nuclear war between Russia and the United States would be the worst catastrophe in history, a tragedy so huge it is difficult to comprehend. Even so, it would be far from the end of human life on earth. The dangers from nuclear weapons have been distorted and exaggerated, for varied reasons. These exaggerations have become demoralizing myths, believed by millions.

Nuclear War Survival Skills by Cresson H. Kearny (pdf)
Updated version of the classic manual originally published by the Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Also available for download here.

Nuclear War Survival Skills (Kindle and other formats)

The Effects of Nuclear Weapons
Samuel Glasstone (Editor), edited down to civil defense information. Contains a vital civil defense chapter 12, “Principles of Protection”, which was omitted from the final 1977 edition. Obsolete material and technical material which is not relevant to civil defense is excluded.

Shelter Design and Analysis – Vol 1 Fallout Protection
This textbook combines in one volume most of the material covered in the Fallout Shelter Analysis courses for architects and engineers sponsored by the US Office of Civil Defense. This volume
confines itself to design and analysis of structures for protection against radioactive fallout, which presents the most widespread threat in the event of a thermonuclear attack.

The Effects of Nuclear War

U.S. Office of Technology Assessment examination of the effects of nuclear war on thepopulations and economies of the United States and the Soviet Union.

A Model Building Code Article On Fallout Shelters

Radiological Defence Officers Course Manual
The original course manual from the course delivered by the Canada Emergency Measures College in the 1970s..

Nuclear Weapons Effects Handbook
(The Radiological Scientific Officers Handbook) A collection of the graphs, nomograms, and tabulated data most frequently used by the Radiological Scientific Officer.

The Effects of Nuclear Weapons
Compiled and edited by Samuel Glasstone and Philip J. Dolan. The text book used on the Canadian Radiological Scientific Officers course.

Give Me Shelter
A chapter from Andrew Burtch’s book of the same title. From 1945 onwards, the Canadian government developed plans and encouraged citizens to join local survival corps. But by the time of the Cuban Missile Crisis, the civil defence program was widely mocked and the public was still vastly unprepared for nuclear war.

American Civil Defense 1945 – 1984: Evolution Of Programs And Policies
by B. Wayne Blanchard, Planning Specialist for Civil Defense Programs, Federal Emergency Management Agency. This monograph examines the modern civil defense system from its inception to the present. The evolution of policies and programs is examined on the basis of five determinants: international crisis and change; quality of civil defense leadership and planning; congressional support and appropriations; presidential interest and support; and defense policy.

Radiation Safety in Shelters
Handbook for finding and providing the best protection in shelters with the use of instruments for detecting radiation. FEMA, 1983.

Shelter Management Textbook 1967, US Defense Department
A  textbook for training fallout shelter managers and other key members community shelter staff. It Is based an the results of numerous research reports of experiments with various groups of people occupying fallout shelters, as well as the theory and concepts developed during the presentation of scores of courses in shelter management.

Life After Doomsday
This manual by Bruce Clayton outlives one author’s view of how to survive a nuclear nightmare through an  investigation of survival strategies and of the problems that will face those who survive. The author outlines step-by-step procedures for preparing and defending shelters, storing food, treating illnesses and injuries and understanding the psychology of survival. With its dozens of useful charts, lists, drawings and photos, this book also serves as an reference on surviving any major disaster.

Fallout Shelter Management Course – Madison County EMA
PowerPoint presentation of the Madison County course from 2009.

Summary of Building Protection Factor Studies for External Exposure to Ionizing Radiation (2016)
Lawrence Livermore National Laborator was tasked with (a) identifying prior building protection studies, (b) extracting results relevant to US building construction, and (c) summarizing building protection by building type. This report focuses primarily on the protection against radiation from outdoor fallout particles (external gamma radiation).

The Effects of Nuclear War
This assessment for the US Senate Committee on Foreign Relations examines the full range of effects that nuclear war would have on civilians: direct effects from blast and radiation; and indirect effects from economic , social, and political disruption.

Manual of Shielding Analysis
In June 1964 this manual was produced by the engineering staff of the Canada Emergency Measures Organization to fill a major gap inthe techniques of fallout shielding analysis that were being used in Canada. The basis of this manual is the U .S . National Bureau of Standards Monograph 42, NBS monograph 76 and the U.S. Office of Civil Defense engineering manual “Design and Review of Structure for Protection from Fallout Gamma Radiation“.

An Engineer Looks at Fallout Shelter
Produced by the Emergency Measures Organization in 1961, this manual outlined procedures recommended for evaluating the fallout shelter potential of structures by municipal governments.

Design and Review of Structures for Protection From Fallout Gamma Radiation
US Manual for calculating the protection factor of existing structures or designing fallout shelters. (1961)

Shelter Design And Analysis Volume 2 – Equivalent Building Method
Another US Manual for calculating the protection factor of existing structures or designing fallout shelters. (1964)

How Might Artificial Intelligence Affect the Risk of Nuclear War?
by Edward Geist, Andrew J. Lohn
RAND Corp.


Getting Prepared for an Electromagnetic Pulse Attack or Severe Solar Storm
This is a page about some of the things that individuals can do to prepare for an EMP attack or a severe solar storm. It was put together by an electronics engineer who has been thinking about the EMP problem for more than 3 decades.  Possibly the best non-classified advice around regarding personal protection of equipment.

Nuclear EMP Attack Scenarios and Combined-Arms Cyber Warfare

The latest EMP commission report, “Nuclear EMP Attack Scenarios and Combined-Arms Cyber Warfare,” is the 13th and final report of the commission. It is dated July 2017. However, as a result of a lengthy security review the report was made public in Jan. 2019.

AMERICAN BLACKOUT- A Real Life Nightmare Nearer Than You Think
Good summary Article on EMPs.

Report of the Commission to Assess the Threat to the United States from Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) Attack
Executive summary of a U.S. Congressional Report on EMP

U.S. Department of Energy Electromagnetic Pulse Resilience Action Plan
In response to increased concern about thepotential impacts to the electric grid from a HEMP, in late 2015, the US Secretary of Energy directed the development of an EMP resilience strategy in coordination with the electric power industry. The Joint Electromagnetic Pulse Resilience Strategy was released in July 2016.

Assessing the Threat from Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP)
Executive Report July 2017 – Report Of The Commission To Assess The Threat To The United States From Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP)  Attack

High-Altitude Electromagnetic Pulse (Hemp) Protection
For Ground-Based &L Facilities Performing Critical, Time-Urgent Missions – US Department of Defence Manual

EMP Protection for Emergency Operating Centers

The Electromagnetic Defense Task Force (EDTF) was created to investigate the challenges and opportunities
facing militaries and societies in an age increasingly dominated by the electromagnetic spectrum. The task force was a triage response to an enterprise-wide knowledge deficiency about the criticality of issues confronting the United States and its allies as every aspect of modern society becomes increasingly reliant on the EMS

Civil Defence History

Preparing for the Bomb: The Development of Civil Defence Policy in Canada, 1948–1963
During the years 1948 to 1963 Canada’s Civil Defence policy was continuously revised and adapted to changes in technology, weaponry, scientific discovery and world politics. In the years after 1963 civil defence policy would remain much the same and it would be the organization itself which would have to change in order to remain viable in the face of a growing public perception that civil defence efforts were futile and unnecessary.

American Civil Defense 1945 – 1984
This monograph examines the modern civil defense system from its inception to the present. The evolution of policies and programs is examined on the basis of five determinants: international crisis and change; quality of civil defense leadership and planning; congressional support and appropriations; presidential interest and support; and defense policy.

OUR MISSING SHIELD: The U.S Civil Defense .Program in Historical Perspective
A detailed history of U,S, civil defence efforts prepared for the Federal Emergency Management Agency’in 1981.

The study concludes that after three decades of effort, the U.S. has only a marginal CD program. Impediments to progress have been: the failure to grasp early, and to act on, implications of the experience of Britain, Germany and Japan’ under heavy bombing in WW II; delays in discarding outmoded concepts, difficulties in adjusting to the fast pace of weapons technology; excessive secrecy about the threat of nuclear weapons and radioactive fallout limited Federal power in CD; confusion regarding civil-military relations in this field; ambiguity as to the strategic impact of CD; problems in designing a balanced program and strategy for survival; instability in Federal CD organization; and, of highest significance, Presidential and Congressional indifference and neglect and attendant budgetary constraints. There is an urgent need for a national commitment to a meaningful civil defense program, with strong leadership from the President to bring forth vigorous support from the Congress, State legislatures and city councils, and from the public at large.



Old Civil Defence Era Booklets