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Grim Blueprints
Snapshots from the U.S. Playbook for Nuclear Attack

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Graph of relationship between sheltering and number of casualties that would result from a nuclear attack.

Whether people are indoors or out when the bombs are dropped, what kinds of buildings they're in, whether they stay inside those buildings after the attack and for how long, and other factors such as wind speed and direction have a huge impact on how many would die in a nuclear attack. NRDC's calculation of the number of fatalities from an attack on Russian ICBM silos ranges from 3.2 million to 17.6 million assuming people remain outside, and drops to between 0.8 and 3.8 million assuming they stay inside for at least two days after the attack.

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