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

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Graph showing that between 8 and 12 million people would be likely be killed in a "counterforce" attack on Russia.

NRDC examined a major U.S. attack on Russia's nuclear forces using 1,289 warheads; such an attack would last a total of half an hour. The aftermath: More than 90 percent of Russian ICBM silos would be severely damaged; all bases for "road-mobile" rail and truck missiles would be destroyed, along with all Northern and Pacific Fleet naval sites. Any nuclear submarines that had been in port would be blasted pieces of metal on the bottom of the bays; more than 60 important air fields would have their runways cratered, and strategic bombers caught at the air bases would be severely damaged. The entire Russian weapons production and design complex would be blasted apart, along with a large number of nuclear workers, and communications across the country would be degraded.

As this graph shows, between 8 and 12 million people would be killed in the most likely scenarios. In the worst-case scenario, which assumes a "fission fraction" of 80 percent and that all residents are out of doors, up to 37 million could be killed.

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