Nuclear Events part 2

There are a number of characteristics identifying a Nuclear blast:

  • Following the initial detonation, a bright flash of light is created from the initial expulsion of energy.
  • Following the flash there is a fireball. This is the result of all of the energy being released from the reaction within the device.
  • From the fireball, the heat within the immediate area will be so intense that anything caught within will be vaporised, including dirt and water.
  • From the blast a shockwave will be created. This is the pulse of air displaced by the energy of the explosion. Depending on the closeness, this shockwave is strong enough to throw people, damage buildings, and cause falling debris, all of which can cause death and harm.
  • A mushroom cloud will form from the updraft of the fireball and all vaporized material.
  • An Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) will be released from the explosion reaching the wider area, affecting all electronic devices.
  • As the explosion comes to a close, the radioactive dust within the atmosphere starts to settle, causing a radioactive fallout.

Emergency response:

Management and response for a nuclear terrorist attack would present a significant challenge for all involved as there would be mass death and destruction over a wide area. Alongside this, there would be significant safety risks to attend with from the radioactive fallout making some areas impossible to navigate, building debris, structural instabilities, falling debris, sink hole risks, and so on. Depending on the area of attack, local resources would be destroyed such as hospitals, local emergency services, roads/bridges, etc, and a large response from services outside of the area would be required. Any rescue attempts following such an attack would require major planning, assessment, and organisation of multiple specialist resources.

Treatment of individuals will vary depending on their location during the blast. Some may suffer from radiation sickness and will require management as discussed in the radiation section, some will be suffering from traumatic injuries due to the shockwave or building debris, some may have radioactive burns from the event. The list of potential injuries is huge and will vary greatly depending on their location and proximity to the blast.