How To Shelter From a Nuclear Explosion

Nuclear Explosion Nuke City

Nuclear weapons are highly destructive devices that release a massive amount of energy through nuclear reactions. They can cause widespread destruction and have the potential to cause massive casualties, making them one of the most powerful weapons in existence. The use of nuclear weapons is controversial and their proliferation remains a major international security concern.

Simulations reveal the destructive power of blast waves and the best places to take shelter.

A nuclear explosion is a catastrophic event with no safe zones. Those in close proximity face immediate vaporization, while the spread of radiation presents a dangerous threat even at a distance. The blast wave generated by the explosion is another hazard, with airspeeds capable of lifting individuals and causing serious harm.

Researchers from the University of Nicosia simulated an intercontinental ballistic missile’s atomic bomb explosion and its resulting blast wave to assess its impact on people seeking refuge indoors. The findings were published in Physics of Fluids by AIP Publishing.

In the moderate damage zone, the blast wave is enough to topple some buildings and injure people caught outdoors. However, sturdier buildings, such as concrete structures, can remain standing.

3D Illustration of the Simulated Air Blast

3D illustration of the simulated air blast and generated blast wave 10 seconds following the detonation of a 750 kT nuclear warhead above a typical metropolitan city; the radius of the shock bubble at ground level is 4.6 km. Credit: I. Kokkinakis and D. Drikakis, University of Nicosia, Cyprus

The team used advanced computer modeling to study how a nuclear blast wave speeds through a standing structure. Their simulated structure featured rooms, windows, doorways, and corridors and allowed them to calculate the speed of the air following the blast wave and determine the best and worst places to be.

“Before our study, the danger to people inside a concrete-reinforced building that withstands the blast wave was unclear,” said author Dimitris Drikakis. “Our study shows that high airspeeds remain a considerable hazard and can still result in severe injuries or even fatalities.”

According to their results, simply being in a sturdy building is not enough to avoid risk. The tight spaces can increase airspeed, and the involvement of the blast wave causes air to reflect off walls and bend around corners. In the worst cases, this can produce a force equivalent to 18 times a human’s body weight.

Contours of the Maximum Airspeed Attained During the First 10 Seconds After the Blast Wave

Contours of the maximum airspeed attained during the first 10 seconds after the blast wave enters the window; overpressure of 5 psi. Credit: I. Kokkinakis and D. Drikakis, University of Nicosia, Cyprus

“The most dangerous critical indoor locations to avoid are the windows, the corridors, and the doors,” said author Ioannis Kokkinakis. “People should stay away from these locations and immediately take shelter. Even in the front room facing the explosion, one can be safe from the high airspeeds if positioned at the corners of the wall facing the blast.”

The authors stress that the time between the explosion and the arrival of the blast wave is only a few seconds, so quickly getting to a safe place is critical.

“Additionally, there will be increased radiation levels, unsafe buildings, damaged power and gas lines, and fires,” said Drikakis. “People should be concerned about all the above and seek immediate emergency assistance.”

While the authors hope that their advice will never need to be followed, they believe that understanding the effects of a nuclear explosion can help prevent injuries and guide rescue efforts.

Reference: “Nuclear explosion impact on humans indoors” by Ioannis W. Kokkinakisa and Dimitris Drikakis, 17 January 2023, Physics of Fluids.
DOI: 10.1063/5.0132565

24 Comments on "How To Shelter From a Nuclear Explosion"

  1. So, “How To Shelter From a Nuclear Explosion” is essentially a lost cause. I would prefer being vaporized before I knew what was going on, over any other scenario.

    There is an old 1950s video instructing people to go indoors, and one of the scenes instructs children in school to take shelter under their desk. I do suppose that anything which might soothe the concerns of the living is worth the absence of worry for those who believe it, even though the harsh reality is nothing like the video.

    The final sentence of the article makes me raise an eyebrow. “Rescue efforts?” Please correct me if I’m wrong, but there is no rescue plan for a nuclear explosion unless you’re so far away from the blast and can walk many miles more, so that rescuers are not risking their own lives.

  2. When I was in grade school long ago and far away, we were taught to duck and cover under our desks in the event of a nuclear war.

  3. I was always taught to stick my head between my legs and kiss my arse goodbye.

  4. I suspect that the bombs aimed at us are considerably more powerful than the ones from WW2 Japan. Unless you are far from the blast it would seem likely there would be no survival for most of us. Kinda like some of the movies.

  5. If a nuclear blast is present if you have a concrete basement in a corner area would protect you from certain scenarios depends on how far you are from ground zero but the air you breath would be suckec away quickly and radiation can be harmful and deadly the only way to survive is to get the madmen out of power to control such a scenarios

  6. Any nation that builds nuclear weapons is one run by the insane. Anyone who supports those “leaders” has been deluded by the insane, if those deluded supporters are not already insane.

    Still, just put sandbags round the kitchen table after you have whitewashed the windows against the flash and put cellotape across the windows to stop glass shards flying around and then hide under the kitchen table. It might take longer than the flight-time of a “nuke” but at least you tried………

    • Diedrich Penner | February 5, 2023 at 9:00 am | Reply

      You are absolutely st*pidly miss guided if you think that you can run away to another “safe” part of the world 🌎 where it won’t affect you. It damn well will, because the winds, the jet stream, prevailing ocean currents and the fallout of nuclear winter. No one wins in a Nuclear war! You have the mind of little rat brain. Do you understand, the dust, the toxic air, particles that fall on the vegetables and food. Then you die from Leaukimia. You’re just absolutely naive like a 2 year old if you think, not going to happen, wont affect me. What rescue effort? People that go in to rescue would all die too. Very st*pid. You really should watch Ted Talks and read more books!

  7. … that one is easy, bend over and kiss your a**!!!

  8. “seek immediate emergency assistance”? This seems contrary to reality, and puts you squarely into radiation exposure. Maybe they mean something else such as sheltering in place and staying out of the fallout.

    • denisvsdenise on tiktok | February 5, 2023 at 7:11 am | Reply

      Do you wanna get into the corner facing the blast? do you wanna make sure windows are taped, but not the broken glass you wanna make sure that all vents windows doorways anything that can be sealed is sealed airtight otherwise the fallout is what you’ll have to worry about do not hide in the car the fall out will come through the vents. Also cars tires will melt and they won’t be able to run anyways from the electromagnetic pulse. If you are in a building and you can get to a corner facing the blast lay flat on the ground cover your ears eyes, nose and mouth to the best of your ability so that your brain doesn’t splatter in your head or you don’t bleed from those holes or your eyeballs pop out stay low once the blast passes you you have a boat nine minutes to completely seal where you are . ducking and covering under a desk is just convenient when you’re at school don’t get under a table don’t get under a desk they flat on the ground and hope that the wave passes over you preferably in a corner with good concrete walls facing the blast if you survive all of this, keep in mind that the fallout has a half life so every hour and every day the levels of radiation will decrease. Make sure that you have uncontaminated drinking water stored somewhere accessible and lots of towels and sheets you can soak you would hang above doorways and entrances and windows. Also make sure that you have a supply of these to wet and put around your self eventually when you can wander out of your hide out. when you do venture out for supplies or water, or to find survivors move locations, make sure that you does your clothing in water. This will help prevent the fallout from even getting into cuts in your body and use standard decontamination processes, such as taking her clothes off and putting them in a plastic bag and away from your dwelling because these will be radioactive until you can decontaminate them. most importantly, keep in mind that most people think that you have to breathe radiation in or get dosed with it x-ray wise to get sick. You don’t even particles getting into an open wound can end your life and if you survive all of this, good luck and bless you.. also, I live in a large city in Canada. I hear a lot of people saying that they were going to the sewer systems. Don’t do that you’re a gas is in there that would kill you faster than fallout would. also, if you go to army surplus store to buy a gas mask, don’t think that that’s going to do anything for you without specialized packs for radiation or gases. Also, when was people don’t know is that gas masks generally have to be heated and fit to your face in order to work, so are you gonna do is make it harder for yourself to breathe and it won’t cause you to be any safer.

  9. WW3 will wipe out all life on Earth. They even made a movie about it, On the Beach. It will take about a year for the last remaining humans in Australia to succumb to radiation fallout. And then all the plants will die off. You will not survive a nuclear war. Don’t kid yourself. There won’t be one Bomb, there will be several thousand. Each several hundred Kilotons. Major cities will be hit with several. I imagine a hundred or so will hit Texas alone. Russian cities will literally be wiped off the Map.

  10. We US Citizens must be prepared for any serious event that may occur. No matter what may happen. We must make an attempt to make it to the other side. Save our selves and our children. Wake up America before it’s too late.

  11. pleasextell me this was written by 10 year-olds?

  12. I just hope l’ve already passed from this life by the grace of God.

  13. Lord Piddlepuck | February 5, 2023 at 1:47 pm | Reply

    When a nuclear attack comes, don’t waste your time for cover, because you’ll die from fallout anyway, a sure way to defend against a nuclear attack, quit voting in dictators and the rich.

  14. Haha you’re kidding

    Run to the kill zone so you’ll be instantly vaporized. Outside you might be standing in the street blind with your skin no longer on you

    They say we have enough nukes to destroy the world 17x over, but if that was the case they already works have smoked this planet. They’re panky enough to instantly kill 17 prevent of this planet, the next 8? possible years for whatever life remains would be literal hell on earth, radiation poisoning would kill another 20 percent in a few weeks, the rest works starve, no crops agriculture. Only idiots get rid of opioid for euthanasia or complain about it, or contaminate fentynal with Xylazine which causes human rise to rot. I could get up to 65 percent of this planet home owning that wants to go, easy. To many idiots blocking the exit and sizing terribly at their own agenda 21. Wine Peele should have hired consultants, Hitler would have fired these people

  15. What you do incase of a nuclear explosion,bend over put head between legs an kiss butt goodbye

  16. If mad men are so wicked as to sand Nuclear Bombs anywhere or even mention sending them They will not only destroy Cities, but every creature where radiation rains Down and contaminates everything on the Earth including those hiding in their underground bunkers at least they wont have to be be buried as the Earth will see to that. What me sow they will also recieve a harvest. But They won’t be about to enjoy it.!

  17. I believe mankind as a whole to be intelligent, with a soul of goodness and caring for others. I believe we will continue without destroying ourselves and our planet. I wish everybody would Brice that…..we will be fine.

  18. Only fews words in such event: no place to hide when the living cities and all inhabitantance get nuked.

    The panel has a man coming up out his bunker with all around him a destroyed burning hulk and he states ” Elizabeth we survived”!
    I was in that generation of duck and cover and as Luis Black states in his comedy show Black on Broadway. “And there were the children under their desk under kindling” This article is garbage and as another said ‘Click Bait”
    Surviving a nuclear blast indeed!

  20. So, your coty gets hit by a nuclear bomb? Guess what? You’re dead. Your concrete building and basement will survive just fine, but you are dead. Let’s say you were a little further out- guess what? You can’t hide. You will be burned with blisters and immense pain and the a few days later the radiation sickness sets in. You think you have a few seconds to duck? Guess what? Radiation travels at the speed of light. Look up Hiroshima survivor pictures. So maybe you are even further out. Guess what? You get to escape from the immediate effects but you get to die from cancer. Just accept the facts. The people whining about global warming are the exact same people who want to get into nuclear war so we can support a Ukrainian dictator who has banned free speech and freedom of religion. Except the fact you are going to die for this man if we have nuclear war that we are promoting. Russia has nuclear subs we can’t find along our coast with their weapons pointed at us because we keep supporting the neonazis they are trying to protect themselves from, and we are proud our F-22 was finally able to shoot something- a slow moving weather balloon.

  21. Didn’t anyone hear thatvwe now have lazer weapons that will blast any nuke the second it gets fired? They say that they can hit a missile doing mack 35 like it’s a turtle walking on the beach. Stop worrying it doesn’t help any!

  22. The only effective way to survive a nuclear catastrophe is to be located far away from the blast and in an area that is likely to survive the inevitable nuclear winter. The explosions and radiation will kill millions, maybe hundreds of millions, but the nuclear winter will kill billions. NukeRefuge. com provides relocation evacuation programs to areas that are likely to survive the holocaust.

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