Let's talk a little bit about Nukemap

Discussion in 'General Survival Discussion' started by BlueZ, Dec 15, 2017.

  1. BlueZ

    BlueZ Supporting Member

    I am sure as preppers many of you are familiar with the Nukemap program.

    As a long time modeler let me give you some information/guidance that will help you use this program better for your own curiosities as preppers.

    While Even now with North Korea in the news I dont see a Nuclear Armaggedon coming anytime soon, the sheer brutality of such explosions if/when they do occur make them a natural subject of interest for us.

    I think how to use it it simple enough so I will talk about a couple things you may not know:

    - The primary modeling software used by Response and modeling professionals is HPAC. I will only reference the unclassified version of HPAC here.
    HPAC has a lot more granularity and mapping options (and works for non Nuke hazards too) than Nuke map .. but for Nuclear detonations the differences are actually kinda small.
    - I have actually used Nukemap at work before when I was on the road and my HPAC computer took a dump and I needed a product RIGHT NOW. So its good enough for many situations.
    - Most of the yields listed to choose from are fairly large rooted in the tradition of the cold war with Nation States throwing huge sums of money lobbing large warheads with inaccurate guidance systems (which means large warheads needed).
    Modern Nuclear explosions if they ever do occur you can expect to be much smaller. because Nations states now have so good guidance systems they can afford to use the lowest available yields dialed in and as for terrorists they simply will struggle to get the materials and as soon as they have enough for a functioning device, any device you cna expect them to execute construction. They will not likely have to patience to wait another year and another year to make a device bigger when they already have enough. So from Terrorists expect even smaller than from modern nation states.
    The extreme upper limit for a terrorist device would likely be in the Hiroshima bomb range 15kt.
    - Nukemap , like many ( but not all) other modeling sources does NOT account for hills or solid concrete buildings shielding people from blast and also assume that everyone is in the open.
    ...this creates dramatically increased casualties for those models to publish those figures (which Nukemap thankfully does not, as they are so incredibly misleading)
    - Modern American concrete buildings have a tremendous ability to attenuate and even shield folks downrange from the blast. People remember the moonscape of Hiroshima but forget that those houses were almost all built out of pressed cardboard.
    Modern steel reinforced concrete structures are at even a modicum of distance, ( depending o(yield depending of course) are surprisingly resilient.
    Depending on yield you may see significant protection much closer than most PPL think. I encourage to play around w/ the program and look at the 20psi line which is building collapse line for modern steel reinforced concrete.
    if you are past that and the house is between line-of-sight of u and the event you will enjoy significant advantage.
    For example a 15kt Hiroshima style device set off on street level in Manhattan would probably topple adjacent skyscrapers but likely not topple all buildings in Manhatten.. almost exclusively those ins close vicinity of the device.
    The one remaining standing would exert a tremendous shielding effect from blast and thermal.
    To illustrate this point a modern concrete bridge in Hiroshima that was only 270 feet from ground zero remained standing.
    - This is a huge limitation when trying to adjudicate risk in a modern american built up area.

    Even so with all these limitations listed above Nukemap is a valuable tool... but more so outside of major urban areas where the plot can be expected to be a bit more accurate for some of the reasons listed above.

    Anyone here is welcome to give me a location they want to comment on how applicable and accurate it can be expected to be in thier particular terrain.

    Last edited: Dec 15, 2017
    a_decent_criminal likes this.
  2. BlueZ

    BlueZ Supporting Member

    PS: Feel free to ask me in questions on Effects.
    Also for those who want to learn Nuclear Weapons Effects and I mean really learn to to the level of a professional Get the book "Nuclear Weapons Efect" by Glassstone.
    Its open source yet contains all the data you need to make super accurate nuclear weapons effects predictions.
    The summarizes and shows w/ tables and pics data from atmospheric nuclear tests and offers full analysis of Hiroshima/Nagasaki effets
    many algorithms are based on the data from that book.

    You dont need any mathematical sophistication at all to understand it.. just read the 3/4s of the book that are non math you will get a very good sense and "feel" about these effects.
    This book is the basis for subject matter expertise in DoD and DoE on these issues.


  3. ssonb

    ssonb Well-Known Member

    I also understand that the thermal and radiological effects will be effected by the weather conditions, temp, clouds or rain and even the blast altitude.
    BlueZ likes this.
  4. BlueZ

    BlueZ Supporting Member

    yes, Radiological effects will get modified by weather in some ways ..........fallout some time after the event and the phenomenon know as "Cloudshine" which can make radiation prediction a bit more complex than I'd like.

    Also a fog or high humidity can attenuate (lower) both prompt radiation effects and thermal effects.
    ssonb likes this.
  5. that actually takes a load off my mind. I hadn't thought of the idea that better guidance would mean smaller payloads.

    on the other hand, wouldn't, if we were talking about a nation state and not some band of jihadis, it make sense to put a huge payload in manhattan, cold war level or similar, since it would be done for civilian terror/casualties?

    since I do not live in an urban area and probably never will, I'm not much worried about a nuclear war. you sort of have the spectre of MAD but the world's probably past that, thank god.
    BlueZ likes this.
  6. BlueZ

    BlueZ Supporting Member

    As for Nation States I think its generally accepted that they would want to keep casualties as low as possible as long as they meet their military objectives.

    Killing as many people as possible just for the killing's sake on non military targets (Dresden for example was picked precisely because it had lots of as-yet undamaged civilian housing that was overfilled with refugees fleeing the atrocities in the East) is not really any Nation State is looking to do.

    Its well accepted that payloads have been coming down for all Nation States (as much as their targeting accuracy permits)

    One of the first examples of this was the Pershing 2 back in the 80s, its increased accuracy actually changed its role from going after traffic centers (railroad yards and such which would be in towns) to enemy command and control centers (like Army Level Command Centers which would usually be military casualties and fewer)

    So ironically the Pershing 2 exchanged for Pershing 1 would have LOWERED civilian casualties.
    Just goes to show how much the Greens were controlled by the Soviets that they ran crazy against Pershing 2 when from an environmentalist standpoint and one that doesnt want to see civilians hurt the Pershing 2 would have been a blessing.
  7. capt.

    capt. Active Member

    Is it still so that the yield of a nuke does not increase by its size/power , exp: 10 X a 1 kiloton does not make a 10 kt bomb but only a 1.10 increase? it does not double triple etc. I am working on old school here. I have not had an updated sit down for a long!!! time.
  8. BlueZ

    BlueZ Supporting Member

    Power on a nuke and yield are used interchangeably.
    However effects diminish with the square of distance.

    So a device that has 200 kt will not be twice as strong in effects as a 100 kt at X miles
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2018