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Old August 30th, 2005, 10:03 AM
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I am designing a specific world IMTU - a border-world between the Solar Triumvirate and the Matriarchate, which suffered from limited nuclear bombardment during the Matriarchate War (about 80-100 years before my campaign's start).

The world is a habitatable water-world, completely covered with water except for a few tiny islands (each no larger than a few square KM) and one large island, a 600 KM long and 75 KM wide strip of land. Before the war, most habitation was located on that large island - including the Class-D Starport, the main city and a large TL8 fission powerplant.

A Matriarchate raiding group targeted both the main city (which had several factories critical to the Triumvirate supply lines) and a large Triumvirate Marine camp on the other end of the island with one tactical nuke each (20 kiloton in yeald each). The starport, the powerplant and several smaller towns were attacked by conventional high-explosive bombs. This resulted in a major breach in the power plant, releasing even more radioactive fallout into the atmosphere.

What I want to know is:
1) What is the physical destructive radious of a 20-kton nuke? How will it look on a 750,000-resident startown?
2) How much fallout does such nuke produce? how much area does it cover?
3) How many of the original 3 million residents would perish from the nukes, radiation and fallout alone? Will fallout shelters be enough to protect those who had time to reach them (and how long do the survivors have to stay in the shelter)?
4) How large and how deadly is the contaminated zone created by the power-plant containment breach?
5) Can a new (semi-submerged) starport and aqua-arcology startown be safely constructed on the other side of the planet in a short time frame (a decade or two) after the attack?
6) How bad will be the contamination on the island now, about 80 years after the attack? Will parts of it be habitatable?
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  #2  
Old August 30th, 2005, 10:17 AM
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I believe there was a JTAS article and a Dragon magazine based on the Swycaffer novel that dealt with a nuclear exchange.

Plus, it goes without saying that a perfect adaptation would be Twilight 2000 for after effects of a nuclear war.

In the real world, sources abound on the Internet most credible are the bulletins of atomic scientists.
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Old August 30th, 2005, 10:32 AM
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20kt is only slightly more than than the two bombs we actually have data on...
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Old August 30th, 2005, 11:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Employee 2-4601:
What I want to know is:
1) What is the physical destructive radious of a 20-kton nuke? How will it look on a 750,000-resident startown?
Nuclear weapons calculator.

Thermal radiation radius (3rd degree burns): 39.8 kilometres
Air blast radius (widespread destruction): 19.4 kilometres
Air blast radius (near-total fatalities): 7.4 kilometres
Ionizing radiation radius (500 rem): 5.5 kilometres
Fireball duration: 17.3 seconds
Fireball radius (minimum): 1.4 kilometres
Fireball radius (airburst): 1.8 kilometres
Fireball radius (ground-contact airburst): 2.3 kilometres

Quote:
2) How much fallout does such nuke produce? how much area does it cover?
Fallout is produced by a nuke that is used as a groundburst. Airburst nukes don't produce fallout in any meaningful quantities. Hiroshima and Nagasaki were nuked via airburst, which didn't prevent the Japanese to reconstructuring the cities after the surrender.

Quote:
3) How many of the original 3 million residents would perish from the nukes, radiation and fallout alone? Will fallout shelters be enough to protect those who had time to reach them (and how long do the survivors have to stay in the shelter)?
If the nukes are set to detonate via airburst, then there shouldn't be any worry from fallout. If you detonate via groundburst you're actually causing fallout.

If you're talking about the nuke reactor, what is it, fission? I think an emergency shutdown would occur the moment the reactor's security is breached. Also, Chernobyl only killed 40 people. Sure, hundreds contracted radiation sickness, but they didn't DIE.

As for how long do people have to stay in the shelters, well Chernobyl irradiated a small stretch of land - ~20 sq. miles IIRC - but I'm not sure if it's healthy to go wandering around in that area unprotected. They could stay in the shelters for as long as required until they get evac-ed. And needless to say, fallout shelters will protect you from fallout.

Quote:
4) How large and how deadly is the contaminated zone created by the power-plant containment breach?
Depends on how much radioactive material got blaster all over the joint.

Quote:
5) Can a new (semi-submerged) starport and aqua-arcology startown be safely constructed on the other side of the planet in a short time frame (a decade or two) after the attack?
On the other side of the planet? Yeah sure, why wouldn't it be?

Quote:
6) How bad will be the contamination on the island now, about 80 years after the attack? Will parts of it be habitatable?
It all depends on how much radioactive material was released and what efforts were made to clean it up.
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Old August 30th, 2005, 11:12 AM
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WHOOPS! Sorry, I used the calculator for 20 MEGATONS, not kilotons.

Ignore the data I posted, it doesn't relate to your question.
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Old August 30th, 2005, 11:19 AM
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I just googled nuclear weapon effects, here are some good ones. There are plenty more.

http://www.fas.org/nuke/intro/nuke/effects.htm

http://www.cddc.vt.edu/host/atomic/nukeffct/

http://www.nukefix.org/weapon.html

http://www.stardestroyer.net/Empire/Science/Nuke.html
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Old August 30th, 2005, 11:59 AM
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"The combined explosive force of all the 715 Soviet nuclear detonations from 1949 to 1990, is approximately 500 megatons." Over two hundred were surface tests, with a sum total force in the order of 100 megaton. From http://www.bellona.no/en/internation...1994/7568.html

1) 20 kiloton is a smallish nuke. Expect complete devastation within a kilometre or two of the impact site, heat, flash and shockwave effects would extend for some distance further.

For a useful comparisson a 1 Megaton nuke would pretty much annihilate anything within approximately 5kilometres. From http://www.fas.org/nuke/intro/nuke/7906/index.html

The above article has the effects of a nuke strike on a large modern city of several million inhabitants, that should be useful as a guide. For a 20 kiloton nuke expect a fireball zone/annihilation zone of a kilometre, no buildings standing. Out from there and (depending on terrain) as far out as 10 kilometres or so there would be buildings knocked over and large debris damage (for example cars thrown from closer to the detonation point). Everyone with exposed skin or sight within that range would also be burnt or blinded, though the blindness would be temporary towards the edge of the zone. After 10 kilometres things should be relatively "normal". Some of the flimsier buildings would have collapsed from the shockwave/earthquake, and there would be extensive panic, fires, and so on. There could be survivors from as close as 2 kilometres from the impact site. Most beings beyond 10 kilometres would survive the initial blast.

2) Fallout can be minimised in a caring sharing nulear exchange.
Devices set to airburst create little fallout, basically just the residue of the device, as well as neutron contamination of the closest material to the blast.
On the other hand you can build nukes to contaminate and soil an area. What you want is a deivce that penetrates the earth a small amount then detonates. This propels a large amount of contaminated matter over a large area. It also reminds me of the planned "bunker buster" nukes.

As for fallout dispersal that can range an extraordinary distance. Often material can end up thousands of kilometres away. This is good in a way, with few nukes released the fallout affects the entire planet a little bit, rather then making a defined area terribly toxic.

3) As many as a million or so. Depends on the terrain and topography of the population centres involved. At the size of the weapons there should be no real need for fallout shelters, that generation will have a high rate of cancers and other problems, but in 80 years time that should have corrected itself.

4) Chernobyl released somewhat more radioactive material then a ground burst 20kTon nuke. Currently the uninhabitable due to radiation area is kept at 30 kilometres or so. If the nuclear strikes were "nice" then this would be far worse in the long term.

5) No problem. They could build a new starport 50 km down the road shortly after the attack.

6) Most of it should have always been habitable. There would be three rather large contaminated zones (the two nuke strikes and the power plant meltdown) that 100 years down the track could be mostly cleaned up.


For the effects you seem to be fishing for then something more like a small saturation campaign of say 20 or so titan missiles at each target. For the effects of a titan missile see here
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Old August 30th, 2005, 12:54 PM
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I know that the planet in question is a water world but what about a strike on a vacuum world? On a vacuum world there can’t be a shock wave can there? The fireball, radiation and heat still travel but buildings designed to exist in a zero atmosphere environment may do better. I am thinking about built in heat and radiation shielding.
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Old August 30th, 2005, 01:01 PM
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Make it a ground burst...
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Old August 30th, 2005, 01:06 PM
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With no atmosphere, will there not be any heat, since there is nothing to conduct it?
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