As Russian President Vladimir Putin has repeatedly mentioned the possibility of nuclear war in recent months, some scientists conducted a study to determine the safest place to shelter in a “moderate damage zone” – the area where concrete buildings don’t collapse – in case of a nuclear attack.
“As for the idea that Russia wouldn’t use such weapons first under any circumstances, then it means we wouldn’t be able to be the second to use them either – because the possibility to do so in case of an attack on our territory would be very limited,” Putin stated in December. “Nevertheless, we have a strategy… namely, as a defense, we consider weapons of mass destruction, nuclear weapons – it is all based around the so-called retaliatory strike. That is, when we are struck, we strike in response.”
In mid-September, Putin issued a frightening statement, saying, “Russia will use all the instruments at its disposal to counter a threat against its territorial integrity—this is not a bluff.”
Researchers at the University of Nicosia in Cyprus, who used computer modeling to simulate a nuclear blast explosion of a 750 kT atomic warhead, stated in their study, “Obviously, near the nuclear bomb detonation, the devastation would be widespread, and the fatality rate would be practically 100%. However, outside of the severe damage zone (SDZ), the effect of the blast reduces and survivability increases.”
“The force hitting a standing person indoors is equivalent to several g-forces of body mass acceleration and could lift a person off the ground and throw them to the walls,” the study states.
In case of a nuclear attack, people should stay inside a concrete building, and if in a corridor, hide in a corner rather than the middle of the corridor, the researchers advise, writing, “The supersonic shock waves arising from the blast undergo expansion as they enter a room through an opening leading to channeling effects. The results show that most of the air is directed toward the corridor rather than through the opposite room’s door, leading to high airspeed developed in rooms further down the aisle,” the researchers note.
“If people see the explosion from far away they have to take shelter ASAP,” author Dimitris Drikakis told The Daily Mail. He also stated, “Before our study, the danger to people inside a concrete-reinforced building that withstands the blast wave was unclear.”