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

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Fallout pattern generated by nuclear attack in June on Russia's Kozelsk missile field.

This closeup of the fallout pattern over the Kozelsk missile field to the west of Moscow, calculated for the month of June, assumes a weapon "fission fraction" of 80 percent and an unsheltered populace -- a hypothetical worst-case scenario. Assuming residential sheltering for 48 hours, the attack would cause 16.1 million casualties, 13.3 million of which would be deaths.

Rems* and Mortality
100-200 rems: Severe radiation sickness for 1 percent, some death
200 rems: Severe radiation sickness for 50 percent, about 2 percent die
300 rems: Severe radiation sickness for 100 percent, about 10 percent die
450 rems: Severe radiation sickness for 100 percent, about 50 percent die
650+ rems: 100 percent mortality

* The unit of measurement in the graphic above, the rem (roentgen equivalent man), measures the amount of damage to human tissue from a dose of radiation.

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