Preparing For Nuclear Disaster

BY Herschel Smith
6 years, 9 months ago

CBS Detroit:

As the rhetoric ramps up over North Korea and nuclear weapons, the cash registers have been ringing at a local Army Supply store, where some are apparently prepping for a third World War.

Ben Orr, the manager of Joe’s Army Navy in Royal Oak, says he’s been selling a lot of “prepper items” over the past week or so.

“We’ve been very busy. Unusually busy, I’d say,” Orr told WWJ’s Sandra McNeill. “It’s definitely an increase, just in selling all the normal prepper stuff, end of the world stuff. A lot of water prep stuff, food, MREs — the military meals.”

And there’s been a substantial increase in the sale of a particular item they don’t sell much of — a so-called radiation antidote called potassium iodide.

“It actually stops your thyroid from absorbing any radiation. So, it fills your thyroid with iodine, which it normally does anyways,” said Orr. “Your body can’t tell the difference between bad, radioactive iodine and acceptable iodine, so it actually will stop you from getting thyroid cancer.”

Oh good Lord!  Stop it.  Just stop it.  Your ignorance is dangerous and you could hurt yourself and perhaps hurt your family too.  Stop the hysterics.

Let’s discuss a few things concerning radiation, radioactivity and nuclear events.  If you’re a layman, most articles you will read on these subjects will either be written way above your head, or by people who only pretend to know what they’re talking about because they lack the proper education and experience to speak intelligently.  Even the man who wrote this article on surviving a nuclear attack is in that category.

I could wax haughty and throw words around showing what I know about photon, electron and neutron shielding, the theoretical and mathematical difference between a Rad, Roentgen and a Rem, committed dose equivalent to organs, total effective dose equivalent, albedos, Keff (criticality) calculations, the Boltzmann transport equation and reactor kinetics.  But it would do you precisely no good.  None.  You wouldn’t be one bit better off after having read an article like that than you are right now.  You would have to take an advanced engineering degree or train in the radiological sciences in order to stay with me in such a discussion, and you can’t right now, so that’s that.  Something else needs to be done because the conversation the “journalist” had with that prepper above is off the charts stupid.

Potassium Iodine, or KI, doesn’t stop the thyroid from “absorbing radiation.”  It isn’t a magic radiation pill, regardless of how pepper and survivalist web sites market it.  There is nothing magic about it.  There is a little bit it can do under the right circumstances, and it can’t do anything else.  If you take it – and be aware that taking KI when you don’t need it can lead to severe health problems, especially in the young and old – it will load your thyroid with iodine and prevent the absorption of any more iodine, radioactive or not.  The intent behind this is to prevent radioactive iodine from being absorbed by the thyroid and thus the absorbed radiation dose from such a localized source.

What it doesn’t do is prevent the thyroid from “absorbing radiation.”  The entire whole body, including every organ in your body and the skin (which is treated as an organ by the ICRP) will still attenuate and absorb radiation from external sources, such as immersion in a cloud of radioactive material.  Charged particles (such as betas, or in other words, electrons) can be essentially stopped by clothing, skin and just a little tissue overlying the organs.

You cannot wear enough shielding to stop gammas or neutrons, although being inside a structure deep in the ground could help.  But you cannot stay in such structures unless you have millions of dollars worth of engineered safety features, like leak tight doors, HEPA and charcoal filtration for breathing air, food stores, water purification systems, and so on.  That’s because part of the problem isn’t just penetrating particles from radioactive material, but the transport of that radioactive material into your living space, food and on to and into your person through breathing or ingestion.

Radioactive iodine isn’t nearly the biggest problem.  Cesium is a thyroid-seeker as well, and the half lives for Cs-134 and Cs-137 are significant compared to the longest-lived iodine isotope, I-131 at 8.01 days.  The heavy elements such as the actinides are bone seekers and can cause cancer from ingestion and inhalation.  You name an organ, and I can name you an isotope (produced in nuclear fission) or list of isotopes that seek that organ.  For your own study, you can reference Federal Guidance Report No. 11.

Furthermore, immersion in airborne radioactivity causes dose to your whole body and all of your organs from exposure to externally generated particles.  Federal Guidance Report No. 12 outlines dose coefficients from each of the relevant radionuclides (immersed in a semi-infinite cloud, or an infinite hemispherical cloud).  Dr. Keith Eckerman and his group (before he retired from Oak Ridge National Laboratory) created these wonderful documents using ICRP models.  I know Keith, and I know they did a great job on these documents.  If you have any doubts about the potential dose from airborne radioactivity, you can refer to these documents (available on the web).

So what are you to do to prepare for nuclear disasters?  I would like to divide my simple and practical counsel into three categories: commercial nuclear power plants, so-called “dirty” nuclear weapons, and nuclear warfare.

Concerning commercial nuclear reactors, in America they are designed per the code of federal regulations with an overall negative power coefficient.  This means a number of complicated things as it pertains to Doppler broadening of resonance peaks for capture and fission of neutrons and the resultant power, and moderator temperature feedback in a nuclear reactor.  Let me simplify it for you, since we don’t have the time to convey an advanced engineering degree.

Commercial nuclear reactors, upon sustaining transients, shut down.  They do not explode like nuclear bombs.  Ever.  But what about Chernobyl?  Well, Russian nuclear reactor design is in fact designed with a potential overall positive power coefficient (the RMBK-1000 design), in part because they wanted the reactor to be neutronically loosely coupled, graphite moderated rather than water moderated, and capable of being refueled online where weapons grade Plutonium could be taken from the fuel.  It’s a complicated story, but the moderator (water) was a neutron poison rather than a positive reactivity feedback in the reactor.  Once a heatup occurred due to testing they were conducting, it fed the power excursion and led to an increase in power by a factor of 100 within one second, according to multi-dimensional analysis performed for this reactor accident.

This was still a steam explosion, not a nuclear explosion.  But what about Fukushima Daiichi?  For that Japanese reactor, it was designed safely.  They experienced a Tsunami of over 30 meters, leading to destruction of the plant equipment and transport of the resultant radioactive material off site.  And the death toll from radiation exposure?  Zero.  None.  The death toll from the Tsunami itself?  Over 15,000 souls.

If you are ever told by the authorities to evacuate due to a nuclear power plant accident, your best bet would be to stay put and watch the circus unfold around you in the safety of your own home.  The U.S. had our core melt – it is called TMI, or Three Mile Island.  Total radiation exposure offsite?  Zero.  Nothing.  American nuclear reactor designs, in addition to have negative overall power coefficients, have hard containment designs.  You are unsafe if you put your family on the road around all of the other panicked, foolish people who think nuclear reactors explode like bombs.  They don’t, so please end that myth and tell everyone you know who thinks their local nuclear reactor explodes to get educated about it.  Stop fearing what they don’t see.

As for so-called “dirty” nuclear weapons, those are mainly for instigating terror, not any tactical value.  In order to make such a weapon effective, one must be able to aerate radioactive material in order to cause dose from intake and uptake of that material.  That first requires radioactive material, and secondly requires that it be capable of aeration, and thirdly (and most importantly) that the space the terrorist intends to target be a confined space.

Confined spaces are dangerous.  Crowds are dangerous.  You can get trampled, you can run out of oxygen, you can be exposed to toxic gases, you can be shot, and you can be assaulted and unable to fight back.  I’ve seen the results of unintentional deployment of a Cardox system on humans, and it’s not pretty.  And … humans can breath radioactive material in confined spaces.  Dispersal is your friend, and there is no possibility of dispersal to the point of being at a safe concentration if you are in a confined space.  Stay out of confined spaces.  That means concerts by your favorite band, that means bars, that means fire trap buildings.  It means tunnels, it means tanks, ravines and caves.  Do not go spelunking.

Anyway, the value of dirty weapons is mitigated by the fact that they are like chlorine.  When AQI was deploying chlorine in Fallujah, I said they were stupid.  They could have exploded conventional ordnance and done far greater damage than deployment of chlorine.  The same is true of dirty weapons.  If a terrorist wants to deploy the greatest tactical advantage, he won’t choose dirty weapons or chlorine (or other chemical weapons).  He will explode conventional ordnance.

As for nuclear war, this is a very complicated topic, and one on which I am less of an expert than the above topics.  It’s certainly possible to survive a nuclear blast, witness some of the Japanese survivors of WWII.  Yet if nuclear war occurs with a real nuclear power such as Russia, it would be very bad.  Seats of power and government, military installations, ports and the littoral regions would be hardest hit, and many millions of people would perish.

Those left would be breathing aerated radioactive material (intake), and eating food that had radioactive material in it (uptake).  This subject requires a whole host of articles, including such topics as engineered safety features such a HEPA and charcoal filters, leak-tight doors, food stores, anti-contamination clothing and dress-out procedures, and bunkers and structures to help shield humans from external exposure from radioactive material.  We can wade through the details later on this in multiple posts if readers want that, but something tells me that you don’t.

The most useful thing I can tell you is that the cheapest, best way to protect your family in such an event is to scan your food.  I was in training once with a Russian engineer who lived in Kiev, and even years after the event at Chernobyl he was still scanning his food for beta and gamma radiation, as was everyone else in Kiev.  They had been given GM detectors and taught the simple procedures for doing that.

I have an Eberline GM detector with a pancake probe.  That may be a little expensive for your tastes, but there are detectors on the market cheaper than that.  This reminds me of a science project where I used this to help my son with his High School project, but more on that in a moment.

Now let’s deal briefly with North Korea.  They aren’t going to go to war with the U.S. – at least, that’s my judgment.  They don’t want to perish.  They are starving to death and they want grain, other food stuffs and money.  They do this every so often, we make deals with them to sustain and support them for another decade, and they are happy to enslave their people unimpeded.

We created the problem of North Korea.  It’s like the welfare state.  If we would have left them alone and ignored them, and told South Korea to defend itself, we would not be where we are.  North Korea would be much more open and competitive – or they would have starved.  But we must provide that umbrella of protection for Japan, Taiwan and South Korea because we are imperialists.  It’s what imperialists do.

It reminds me of the Elk in the preserve near Jackson Hole.  I stayed right across from the National Elk preserve one week a couple of years ago.  It’s a vast, grassy plane where the Elk can feed in the winter after they come down out of Yellowstone.  They return to Yellowstone for much better eating and cooler temperatures in the spring.  The environmentalists got the bright idea to feed the Elk.  Now the Elk won’t go back to Yellowstone, and they have a new welfare state in Jackson Hole.

I have my doubts that NK has been able to miniaturize nuclear weapons.  I also have doubts in their solid fuel rocket program.  I also have doubts in their electronics and ability to design and construct nose cones that don’t burn up upon reentry.  In any case, this is the welfare state we’ve created, and we’re better off to cut the cord of dependence right now, ignoring them for good.

In summary, until I can put something better together that is more detailed and useful, here are a few tips.  When faced with a commercial nuclear reactor accident in America, stay home, watch the festivities, and have a cookout that night.  Concerning chemical and radiological (“dirty”) weapons, stay away from confined spaces (structures and buildings if and when you can, subways, trains, tanks with limited egress, corridors and hallways with limited egress, roadways and byways and any other situation where your means of escape, evasion and egress have been restricted or limited).  If you are really concerned about nuclear war, then purchase a GM detector and do a little research on how to scan your food before deciding to consume it.

Now a brief lesson in just how stupid the public school system is.  My oldest son Joshua had a science project due back when he was in High School.  I have a radioactive rock at home.  God made it.  It was given to me by someone who visited a Uranium ore mine.  It’s natural.  God made it.  It cannot hurt you unless I throw it at you.

I suggested that we experiment with it, and Josh liked that idea.  I suggested that we learn things concerning Gauss’s law, and so we used the rock as a point source (it loosely approximated a point source) and learned about 1/R^2.  Then we tested Gauss’s law on sound by borrowing a sound meter from the sound engineer at church, and then just for good measure tested Gauss’s law for light by using a light meter from one of the safety technicians where I worked.

Then I suggested that we test radiation attenuation.  First I covered the pancake probe with a credit card to block the betas, and then we tested gamma radiation at a certain distance.  Then we got an aluminum sheet that reduced the dose rate to half of that value.  I asked Josh what he thought would happen if I put another sheet of that same aluminum in front of the probe, and he speculated, but was surprised to see that instead of reducing it to zero, it reduced it to half again.  And half again, and so on.  First, the dose rate was 100% of its value, then 50%, then 25%, then 12.5%, and so on.  So I had him chart this all out, and then explained the exponential curve he’d just drawn.  He understood that you can never stop all radiation, you can only exponentially attenuate it.

When I sent him to school with the rock and story board, I figured that no one would believe it unless I sent the GM detector with him.  So I did some calculations on dose rate at one meter converting counts per minute to dose rate, compared it to ICRP limits, showed it was safe, and sealed it with my PE stamp.  I have since considered sleeping with it under my pillow at night just for good measure, but my wife wouldn’t like the décor.  Later that morning we got a call from the school.  We were told to come get the rock before they called the Charlotte Hazmat team to confiscate it.

I had plans for that rock.  I wanted to go in where they had it under lock and key, invite the school authorities to watch, remove it from the bag, and lick the rock.  Sadly, my wife got there before me and took possession of the rock.  Josh failed that science project because the teacher didn’t understand what he did.

This happened because public schools suck, do not teach the STEM courses, and staff their positions with idiots who have been trained in colleges of communism.  For many years I invested in Christian schools for my children, but stopped when I figured out that they were full of cliques that impede education.  I transitioned to public schools partly because of the expense of Christian schools (I spent as much every year as you would for a college education), and was turned off by virtually every experience I had with the communists in public education.  If I had it to do over, I would have home-schooled them all twelve years.

Don’t be like that dumbass teacher, always turning to the state, and never willing to learn.

UPDATE: As I was saying

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  1. On August 14, 2017 at 12:35 am, TJ said:

    “We created the problem of North Korea. It’s like the welfare state. If we would have left them alone and ignored them, and told South Korea to defend itself, we would not be where we are. North Korea would be much more open and competitive – or they would have starved. But we must provide that umbrella of protection for Japan, Taiwan and South Korea because we are imperialists. It’s what imperialists do.”

    Lil Kim is the least of my worries…
    American Politicians, Intelligence and MSM are on the Top of my list.

  2. On August 14, 2017 at 5:09 am, Badger said:

    One of your best.

  3. On August 14, 2017 at 6:39 am, Redclay said:

    My concern where we live is more in line with the four large fuel rod cooling
    pools of spent nuclear fuel rods and an EMP or other event shutting down power to circulate cooling water to those fuel rods….what should be my concerns and
    possible course of action here? We are just under the 35 mile emergency action area radius from the closest nuclear power plant and the prevailing winds are usually in our favor. Thank you for your response in advance, Redclay

  4. On August 14, 2017 at 6:50 am, Historian said:

    Geiger-Muller dose rate meters are fine for low level measurements, and I agree that this is a good choice for low-level readings on food, etc., in the aftermath of a Fukushima-style meltdown and containment breach, but unless properly designed for high dose rates such meters will swamp and under-read in weapons fallout. I don’t know what model Eberline you have; my understanding is that there are some that do handle high rates. Ion chamber meters are more traditionally used for high rate environments and are less expensive than GM meters.

    A wise person who is concerned about surviving fallout should, in addition to a sensitive low rate meter, have a means of measuring high dose rates, and also for measuring total accumulated dose. (dosimeter)It isn’t just the Norks; the Pakistanis have potential issues with inventory control, and surface detonations of smuggled nuclear weapons are a distinct possibility in the near term, not mention the Iranians. Moreover, the nations of the former Soviet Union have had notoriously poor inventory control of both fissionable material and man-portable devices. While considerable effort has gone into recovering these weapons and enriched uranium, my understanding is that they are NOT all accounted for. Bottom line; It would be prudent to live at least 25 miles away from any primary or secondary target, and to have appropriate protective measures in place for fallout. However, bad as surface bursts will be, there are worse things.

    I agree that the Norks are less likely to have the indigenous technical ability to deliver any nuke strike against the US mainland, but they have demonstrated the ability to orbit a significant payload. If they are able to deploy an enhanced EMP warhead to orbit, and use it against these presently united States, the consequences would be very severe. One would be enough, and it need not re-enter nor have accurate fusing systems nor meet the other technical challenges of constructing a re-entry capable warhead. It just has to go bang when it receives the command to do so, and that capability is relatively easy. North Korea has demonstrated that they have the technical capability to deliver an EMP strike against the US, and their recent tests have been of small fission devices.

    The loss of one, or even a few, US cities from nuclear weapons, would be a disaster unparalleled in US history, but would not destroy the nation. High Altitude EMP has the potential to wipe out the US. The NAS study on EMP concluded that casualties a year after an EMP strike against the US would be around 90% of the US population, not from direct weapons effects, but from the effects of the permanent loss of grid power and the resulting impact on the population.

    These things are worth thinking about and planning for ahead of time. I sleep better having done so.

    With regard to all who serve the Light,

  5. On August 14, 2017 at 10:15 am, Herschel Smith said:


    The detector I have has multiple settings depending upon desired range, because, as you know, use of too high a range (trying to read indications in the lower 10% of the range) means loss of fidelity. If counts are high enough to exceed my highest range, I’m in real trouble, and need to relocate. The detector is no longer useful for monitoring radioactivity in food.

    People are advised to worry more about things like whether they live downstream of the Lewisville Dam.

  6. On August 14, 2017 at 11:03 am, PsyOp said:

    Ahh…Finally a voice of sanity and reason…We live over in Huntersville/LKN region, and McGuire Nuclear Plant, so we are aware of the dangers, but it is a pressurized water facility, the kind used in carriers/subs, and very safe….I don’t fret over it..

    It’s the day to day stuff that’ll jam us up, and besides we have zero control over the crazy norks/etc., or asteroids/cme/emp…

    be as prepared as one needs to be and live life while you can….

  7. On August 14, 2017 at 11:12 am, Herschel Smith said:


    Ha! I believe I’ve talked with you via phone before, yes? McGuire is safe. A commercial nuclear reactor can’t hurt you. Hard containment, good emergency response organization, good engineers, etc. Enjoy life. Have a grill-out. Go to the shooting range. I’m not sure what’s in your area, 30 minutes down the road is Foothills Shooting Complex, where they ask you to sight in your weapon at 50 yards and prove it before you go to the 250 yard range. The time I did this, the range officer told me “ah, shouldn’t be any problems that your weapon is sighted for 100 yards.”

    I had to shoot low by several inches because of trajectory in order to put rounds on target – ahem – because I was sighted for 100 yards, not 50, and it matters. They should ask you to prove it at 25 yards, not 50.

    We’ll meet sometime at a range, I’m sure.

  8. On August 14, 2017 at 12:36 pm, ca said:


    It would helpful if you could give some recommendation for GM devices currently listed on Amazon.

    Great article. Thanks.

  9. On August 14, 2017 at 12:46 pm, Herschel Smith said:


    Let me work on it, sir. Thx.

  10. On August 14, 2017 at 2:30 pm, ca said:


  11. On August 14, 2017 at 8:52 pm, Lina Inverse said:

    If you want to learn how to survive a serious nuclear attack or war, start with a paper copy with green covers of Nuclear War Survival Skills, which tells you all you really need to know about expedient nuclear war survival. It’s pretty easy, as long as you don’t need serious blast protection (there are shelter designs for those, but they’re obviously a lot more involved), HEPA filtration is most certainly not needed.

    Well, the short term is easy, as is the long term. In between, the trick is not starving or getting deficiency diseases (buy some one a day vitamins now! Sprouting grains to cover would be a pain and perhaps not enough), and getting enough fats for your children.

    Includes designs for an electroscope based radiation meter, ventilation (most of those old Civil Defense shelter suggestions would bake and steam their occupants to death), how to provide light, warmth in winter, etc. All was tested first by the researchers before it was tried out with families of ordinary people, the shelters were tested in one or more of those big blast tests of a pile of ANFO or the like, etc.

  12. On August 14, 2017 at 9:38 pm, Herschel Smith said:


    If you are immersed in a cloud of radioactive material, if your breathing air is contaminated with either particulates or diatomic forms of either semi-volatiles or gaseous radioactive fission products, you will need HEPA filters in order to prevent intake and uptake of said fission products. I don’t care what the book says. I do the calculations, sir.

    The good news is that there is sedimentation and washout, diffusiophoresis, etc., and most of the air filters people run today in their homes, while not HEPA filters, are good enough to remove the large particulates.

  13. On August 15, 2017 at 10:37 am, Lina Inverse said:

    I’ll trust Cresson Kerney and the researchers at Oak Ridge, and their knowledge of what actually has been shown to happen, including of course in Japan, over you current theoretical calculations and fatalistic attitude.

    You don’t have to get at all far downwind before the threat is limited to rather heavy fallout particles, and they aren’t generally dangerous for long if you take proper precautions with regards to ingestion and avoid sleeping uncleaned ground.

    If you’re close enough to an explosion to be “immersed in a cloud of radioactive material, if your breathing air is contaminated with either … diatomic forms of either semi-volatiles or gaseous radioactive fission products” you’re already probably lucky to not have been killed by the flash or blast of a nearby ground burst. Which if a danger can be solved by a blast shelter, which naturally includes air filtration, although again the biggest issue is getting enough air circulation so the heat and humidity produced by the people in the shelter don’t kill them.

    But if you’re far enough away (and there may be some intermediate distance where there’s a danger, but again it would be from a ground burst), you’re not going to get enough exposure to the small stuff before it decays to relatively harmless elements, due to the time they’ll spend way high up plus dilution (the earth is big, and we humans and our works including nuclear weapons are puny by comparison), leaving the heavy stuff which is not the problem you’re making it out to be.

    And your overall exposure? It’s obviously going to be a lot higher than if a nuclear war hadn’t occurred, but we know from the hibakusha and people exposed in industry that the early fears plus lying propaganda were grossly overstated (I’m now rather disappointed by Heinlein’s 1949 “The Long Watch”.)

    Maybe your life will be cut short by cancer many years in the future, but to suggest that you need HEPA level whole house filtering will just discourage people from trying the easier things that could save most of us.

  14. On August 15, 2017 at 10:47 am, Herschel Smith said:

    And so in the end we’re saying the same thing. I stipulated fallout, sedimentation, diffusiophoresis, etc., and explained that this all helps the individual and works to our advantage.

    On the other hand, because it says something in a book isn’t reason to trust it. I have a LONG list of errata in Cember’s Introduction to Health Physics. There are errors everywhere, limitations on the scope of an analysis, etc., etc. No one can communicate everything at once, and so this ends up being a conversation.

    The answer to whether filtration is needed or not depends on MANY, MANY things, and no one can give you an answer to that that is good for all circumstances, at all times, in all situations and under all conditions.

    That’s what I struggle with when I write articles like this.

    So I repeat myself. Sedimentation and diffusiophoresis helps, under certain conditions one would need anti-Cs and proper dressout procedures and filtration for breathing air, under other conditions, perhaps not. It depends on where you live, whether there has been rain, where the blast was, whether the wind is blowing or there is plume “meander,” and many other things I just don’t have time to go into.

  15. On August 15, 2017 at 11:40 am, shane connor said:

    Universally, most people think that if nukes get unleashed everybody will die, or it’ll be so bad they’ll wish they had. With this attitude they are not open to, much less seeking out, how they might could learn something that could help save their families. They think it futile, bordering on lunacy to even try.

    Reality is, for most people, if they think they can survive or think they can’t, they are both right! That’s because those who think they can’t survive won’t ever try to learn how they could and then they can’t and won’t.

    I’d just be careful inadvertently implying that it’s hard, complicated and expensive to get it all right and you’re sunk if you don’t, cause then some will be discouraged from doing anything if seeing the bar set so high, and risk slipping back into the ‘it’s all futile’ mode again.

    There’s much that people can readily grasp, afford and do, even last minute and in a hurry, that’ll be very effective minimizing casualties and exposure. 90% of the expected casualties, from blast and fallout later, are easily avoided when the affected populations simply knew beforehand what to do & not do, from the instant of the initial flash.

    Read my ‘Physicians for Civil Defense’ article at and the basic ‘how to’ specifics in the follow up guide that it next links and points all to.

  16. On August 15, 2017 at 11:54 am, shane connor said:

    BTW, the guidance presented in that article and the follow-up guide has all been vetted and publicly endorsed by Allen Brodsky, Sc.D., CHP, CIH, Diplomate, American Board of Radiology, Adjunct Professor of Radiation Science, Georgetown University
    – Senior Scientist at Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC), McLean, VA.
    – Senior Health Physicist at U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), Washington, DC
    – Tech Director Radiation Medicine Unit, PBU Hospital, managed plutonium contaminated patients
    – Radiation Hazards Physicist at U.S. Atomic Energy Commission (AEC), Washington, D.C.
    – Physicist, Radef Officer at Federal Civil Defense Administration, training responders in fallout
    – Physicist, 2nd H Bomb Test at Bikini Atoll measuring prompt neutron spectra & dose vs. distance
    – Physicist, 1st H Bomb Test at Enewetak Atoll measuring prompt gamma radiation signals
    – Head, Health Physics Unit at Naval Research Laboratory, Washington, D.C

  17. On August 15, 2017 at 12:52 pm, Herschel Smith said:


    CHP (certified Health Physicist), CIH (Certified Industrial Hygienist), and so on. All very impressive, and none of which denotes legal liability like a PE license.

    Look, I appreciate your comment, but what I’m trying to say (and apparently haven’t connected with literally anyone yet) is that there is no guidance that is good for everyone, all of the time, under all circumstances.

    This is all very complicated. Give me some guidance, and I can find a situation in which is doesn’t apply and isn’t good enough, or someone is wasting their hard-earned money.

    At any rate, I have supplied very simple information here that is valuable REGARDLESS of the situation, and from there any more risk reduction requires detailed knowledge of an awful lot of things that we simply don’t have for each individual.

  18. On August 15, 2017 at 2:48 pm, shane connor said:

    “This is all very complicated. Give me some guidance, and I can find a situation in which is doesn’t apply and isn’t good enough…”

    No argument there, Herschel, that’s always been my toughest chore writing about surviving nukes, what to leave out, but essential if I’d ever hope to have any of it widely read, grasped, and then utilized.

    Bottom Line for me is what’ll do the most good for the greatest number of people that can be readily grasped and seen doable by all. And, with sober realization, that the overwhelming majority that do read it won’t till they are already in a panic, so it needs to be not only succinct, but instantly actionable. Then, I leave them some links to get into the weeds, if so inclined.

    BTW, should have mentioned earlier, you did good explaining limitations of KI, we’d distributed 6 million doses during Fukushima and we were always, top & center, first dispelling the myths about it.

  19. On August 20, 2017 at 9:55 pm, Johnathan said:

    Next, there’ll be a run on duct tape and sheet plastic…like after 9/11…

    Here’s an oldie but a goodie: “Nuclear War Survival Skills”,

    …your tax dollars at work.

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This article is filed under the category(s) Nuclear and was published August 13th, 2017 by Herschel Smith.

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