Post Nuclear Explosion, Trucks Drive Away

This is an interesting test of how houses, trucks, and electrical equipment handles a nuclear explosion. It looks like “repackaged” government film, so one could likely get it from the National Library without the annoying “timer” running in the bottom of the frame…

We’ve all seen parts of this. Where the houses get blown away and the manikins get scorched. What I’d not realized was that this was a formal test of electrical equipment, including a section of power lines on towers and a small substation, and that vehicles were started up after the blast.

It looks like, for smaller 30 kt sized tactical devices, at the 2 miles line traditional points & condenser cars will work just fine. (I’m now missing my Banana Boat :-{ but I’m gratified that my assumption of a couple of decades, that it would work, was correct. I still have my Diesel and it will be fine too, being pre-electronic era.)

A bit under 25 minutes.

The other thing I found interesting was how windows are THE major problem at otherwise survivable distances. Having metal “roll down” shutters would work wonders at the 2 mile line. It looks like a concrete / cinder block building, with hurricane metal shutters, painted white, and with a Very Sturdy roof could easily survive, and protect the occupants, at surprisingly close distances ( like 2 to 3 miles). Basically, a hurricane proof house is also nuke proof at modest distances.

I’m still a bit concerned that the modern “all computerized” vehicles would be fried by a nuke EMP, but not nearly as much as before. It’s also pretty well proven that having a “collectible” old car or truck pre-electronics is a Very Good Idea for preparedness folks. (Or at least a riding lawn mower ;-)

I wonder if there are non-electronics ATVs still being sold? That would be an easy, cheap, and fun “prepper mobile”… I can see a movie title now:

“When Go-Carts Saved The World!” ;-)

In conclusion: I was very surprised that the 2 mile line looks very survivable with only modest effort. Having a hurricane proof “safe room” of metal construction is probably all it would take. Then, as they noted, if you are not down wind, the radiation risk is minimal. (So buy your property upwind of any major target area…)

I wonder if there are any antique armored trucks for sale?… A “2 fer” as you get the survivable metal box (with bullet proof windows) AND an EMP proof old engine. ;-)

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About E.M.Smith

A technical managerial sort interested in things from Stonehenge to computer science. My present "hot buttons' are the mythology of Climate Change and ancient metrology; but things change...
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9 Responses to Post Nuclear Explosion, Trucks Drive Away

  1. Larry Ledwick says:

    The full details of the tests are covered in the book Effects of Nuclear Weapons (Glasstone)

    A bit more complicated, but each of the major weapons effects has a range of action the local EMP effect of a detonation near the ground is very short range and well within the range of serious thermal and blast effects. If the same device is detonated above about 40 miles altitude the wide area EMP becomes significant due to the interaction of the prompt gamma with the upper atmosphere stripping electrons off the gasses and then the subsequent movement of charge across the lines of the earths magnetic field.

    Conventional cinder block construction is a very bad design choice for protection from blast, they fail under blast loading in brittle failure and everything behind the wall gets a shot gun blast of pieces of cinder block right until the roof either comes off or falls on you. The cinder block structures used in the tests were specially reinforced by filling the blocks and running re-bar down the holes in the block. Like in hurricane safe construction details matter like strength of roof wall ties at the eves etc.

    Reinforced concrete panel construction as in some precast concrete industrial structures is very good up to relatively high blast pressures that will destroy other structures. Best of all is thick cast in place concrete if you want a blast resistant structure and earth bermed is even better.

  2. kakatoa says:

    A few older military vehicles are going to be in the Bay Area this weekend-

  3. E.M.Smith says:

    I can see it now: Post Apocalypse we will have a WWII reenactor’s world ;-)

    @Larry L:

    Being in Quake Country we can’t build without reinforcement in bricks… I probably need to be more clear about it… but when I think of cinder blocks / bricks in home construction, I’m always figuring on rebar / cement – grout fill and as solid as you can make it. Hurricane and Quake rated…

    Though personally, what I’d really like, is one of those 6 inch thick heavy rebar steel shutters hurricane proof homes… They just aren’t very common though…

    Saw one advertised with a photo of a Ford pickup on the cast cement roof ;-)

  4. Tim. says:

    Les chance for the British Armie’s new electric tanks etc.

  5. woodsy42 says:

    You should possibly consider building your shelter circular or a truncated pyramid rather than a square box with vertical walls. Flat walls have greater exposure and are weaker, ground blast and debris that hits a round wall or a sloping ‘pyramid’ hits mostly at an angle so some energy is deflected rather than all having to be resisted by the wall. But a round structure also has strength because it’s a similar principle to an arch (but sideways), the more force is applied the stronger it locks together.

  6. Nobody says:

    Ouch! Now you have planted this into my head :( Need vehicle with simple ignition.

  7. Another Ian says:

    Re Tim

    What? Blows the solar panels and wind turbines off?

  8. Kneel says:

    Trivia: at least here down under, some Toyota 4WDs had points up until the early to mid 1990’s (yes, really!) – although still electronics for the fuel injection.
    They don’t look like it when you start pulling the distributor apart, but underneath the plate is…. a set of points and a condenser.

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