San Francisco Example: Summary

This simulation of a nuclear accident contains many assumptions, and there is a high degree of uncertainty in the prediction of specific effects and the resulting casualty figures. Great care is taken in the designing of these weapons systems specifically to prevent an accident from taking place. However, of all the nations's nuclear forces, the submarines are the most autonomous (have the fewest safety lockouts).

However, some points stand out.

  • 105 square miles of property destruction (2 psi)
  • 224,000 killed, 175,000 injured
  • Dangerous radiation levels from fallout extend for 50 miles from blast site
  • Coordinated national rescue and recovery effort necessary
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National Science FoundationNational Science Digital LibraryNuclear Pathways Member SiteThis project is part of the National Science Digital Library and was funded by the Division of Undergraduate Education, National Science Foundation Grant 0434253