Thermal Radiation from Nuclear Detonations in Urban Environments

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There are three principal causes of ''prompt'' casualties from a nuclear detonation: nuclear (gamma-ray and neutron) radiation, thermal radiation, and blast. Common estimates of the range of these prompt effects indicate that thermal radiation has the largest lethal range [1]. Non-lethal skin burns, flash blindness, and retinal burns occur out to much greater range. Estimates of casualties from thermal radiation assume air bursts over flat terrain. In urban environments with multiple buildings and terrain features, the extent of thermal radiation may be significantly reduced by shadowing. We have developed a capability for calculating the distribution of thermal energy deposition in ... continued below

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PDF-file: 13 pages; size: 1.7 Mbytes

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Marrs, R E; Moss, W C & Whitlock, B June 4, 2007.

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Description

There are three principal causes of ''prompt'' casualties from a nuclear detonation: nuclear (gamma-ray and neutron) radiation, thermal radiation, and blast. Common estimates of the range of these prompt effects indicate that thermal radiation has the largest lethal range [1]. Non-lethal skin burns, flash blindness, and retinal burns occur out to much greater range. Estimates of casualties from thermal radiation assume air bursts over flat terrain. In urban environments with multiple buildings and terrain features, the extent of thermal radiation may be significantly reduced by shadowing. We have developed a capability for calculating the distribution of thermal energy deposition in urban environments using detailed 3D computer models of actual cities. The size, height, and radiated power from the fireball as a function of time are combined with ray tracing to calculate the energy deposition on all surfaces. For surface bursts less than 100 kt in locations with large buildings or terrain features, the calculations confirm the expected reduction in thermal damage.

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PDF-file: 13 pages; size: 1.7 Mbytes

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  • Report No.: UCRL-TR-231593
  • Grant Number: W-7405-ENG-48
  • DOI: 10.2172/912675 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 912675
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc877552

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Office of Scientific & Technical Information Technical Reports

Reports, articles and other documents harvested from the Office of Scientific and Technical Information.

Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI) is the Department of Energy (DOE) office that collects, preserves, and disseminates DOE-sponsored research and development (R&D) results that are the outcomes of R&D projects or other funded activities at DOE labs and facilities nationwide and grantees at universities and other institutions.

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Creation Date

  • June 4, 2007

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Sept. 22, 2016, 2:13 a.m.

Description Last Updated

  • Dec. 7, 2016, 11:07 p.m.

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Marrs, R E; Moss, W C & Whitlock, B. Thermal Radiation from Nuclear Detonations in Urban Environments, report, June 4, 2007; Livermore, California. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc877552/: accessed January 19, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.