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

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Graph showing the likelihood of death for a person near ground zero (from detonation of a sea-launched 475-kiloton W88 warhead 1.2 miles above the ground).

This graph shows the likelihood of death for a person near ground zero (from detonation of a sea-launched 475-kiloton W88 warhead 1.2 miles above the ground). Not surprisingly, the probability of dying is lowest when citizens are in reinforced concrete buildings. The gray and white lines show probabilities of death according to U.S. government models (based on blast effects at Hiroshima and Nagasaki) and based on MIT physicist Theodore Postol's "superfires" model. The Postol model predicts that mass fires produced by modern bombs -- far more powerful than those dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki -- would create high temperatures, fumes, gases, and gale-force winds, creating lethal conditions stretching miles out from ground zero.

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