Combined Airblast and Incendiary Effects from Nuclear Weapons on Urban Areas
GENERAL ELECTRIC CO SANTA BARBARA CA DASIAC
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The nuclear weapon airblast phenomena and free-field environment are described, vulnerability levels of buildings and building components to airblast are summarized, and damage zones are defined. The nuclear weapon thermal radiation phenomena are described and the free-field environment is estimated. A technique is described which permits the fraction of buildings burned up by initial ignitions and the local spread of fires to be illustrated as a function of weapon yield and distance from ground zero. Results from previous studies are used to apply the technique to single-family residential areas. The synergistic effects of airblast and thermal radiation and fires are analyzed and illustrated. It is concluded that for many conditions of interest moderate height-of-burst, megaton weapon, reasonably clear atmospheric conditions and single-family residential areas, airblast may blow out initial fires so as to significantly reduce the fraction of houses burned up in areas suffering a relatively high degree of burnout but areas of, for example, 25 to 40 burnout may be unaffected because they occur beyond the range at which airblast is assumed sufficient to extinguish fires.
- Nuclear Radiation Shielding, Protection and Safety
- Nuclear Weapons