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ian 🇺🇦


Nov 10, 2021

15 tweets

CBRN knowledge time! Let’s talk about the Nuclear in CBRN and 1) why nukes extra suck, and 2) why we had to separate Radiological & Nuclear as hazards. 1/

First, nuclear weapons are wildly misunderstood. Video games, movies, and books across the years have wildly skewed the effects of nuclear explosions. The primary effects of the explosions are the initial incineration of the matter in direct proximity of the fission reaction 2/

The colossal heat of the fission reaction, the EM pulse, the shockwave from the vacuum of destroyed matter collapsing on itself, and the nuclear fallout. 3/

I put them in that order because those are also, roughly, their levels of *tactical* impact on forces. When it comes to mitigating those impacts, your primary goal is to gtfo out of the target area or shield yourself from the effects (dig in or get low). 4/

But what about fallout? That is the troublesome one and the most misunderstood. Fallout is the result of irradiated matter getting sucked into vacuum of the explosion and getting thrown downwind. It’s the mushroom cloud as it collapses. 5/

“Oh shit, I saw Chernobyl and that stuff stayed there for decades!” Chernobyl’s radioactive contamination was not technically fallout. Nuclear fallout is full of either induced radioactive material or the remnants of the nuclear material from the bomb itself. 6/

The universe doesn’t like radiation. And that radioactive fallout is rapidly decaying. Like, while it is in the mushroom cloud, those atoms are breaking apart to become stable. While that sucks if you’re in the path of the fallout, it is by no means permanent. 7/

How do you deal with fallout? First priority, get out of the path. It is controlled by the wind and you have time based on your proximity to the collapsing mushroom cloud. 8/

Second priority, Time/Distance/Shielding. You can be in extremely radioactive environments…but not for long. Time: Radiation is accumulative and the longer you are in it, the worst the effects are on you. So find the dose rate, and bounce before you get too much exposure. 9/

Distance: Radiation follows the inverse square law. If you 2x the distance from the source, you multiply the dose rate by 0.25! Shielding: Quick rad science. There are 3x types of ionizing radiation: Alpha (He nucleus), Beta (hyper electron), and Gamma(spicy light). 10/

Alpha can be stopped by your skin. The mass of the particle means it can travel far. But if you ingest it? Bad juju. It loves water and will tear up your wet tissues. Beta can be stopped by clothing. Think paper suits in rad labs. You don’t want to touch beta sources.

Gamma though? Your best bet is to put as much dense material between it and you. Lead, earth, thick concrete, whatever you can. 12/

So what about MOPP gear? Honestly, the biggest thing the suit is going to do is give more layers between you and the radioactive dust landing on everything. The gloves keep dust off your skin. The mask is the real MVP by keeping Alpha and Beta out of your eyes and lungs. 13/

So if there’s a nuclear threat, should you just rock MOPP 2 the whole time? Hell no. MOPP 0 all the way. If you have to operate in the fallout area, definitely mask up. But everything else depends on how much dust you are likely to interact with. 14/

I’ll talk R & N on the next thread 15/15

ian 🇺🇦


CGSC Student. Former CBRN C3 SGL and Hazard Response commander. Here to influence the CBRN Enterprise. All views are my own.

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