Within just a few minutes you could bring the United States to it's knees. Our nation would never be the same.
I hope we have some kind of plan to prevent this.
According to various news outlets in recent years, hundreds of suitcase nuclear weapons are reported to have been made in Cold War Russia, many of which are now on the black market and sought after by terrorist groups such as Al Qaeda.
Even if some of those reports exaggerate the actual number of suitcase nukes on the black market, even just a handful of these nukes could devastate us if we are ever attacked.
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"I had very clear instruction: these dead drop positions need to be found for all types of weapons, including nuclear weapons." See World News: Former Soviet spy: Small nuclear devices planted in U.S.
Clearly not good news for the United States. Though what Lunev testified to really has no parameters - in that he could be speaking about any number of weapons - it sure does seem to point to the possibility of suitcase bombs and dirty bombs being planted in the United States, for later use by terrorists.
Picture a scene from War of the Worlds, with Tom Cruise and the rest of the metropolis running in terror to escape distant explosions...
The bombs were here all along, buried in selected sites under our cities...
A suitcase bomb can come in sizes quite small (60 X 40 X 20 centimeters) as well as quite large (two footlockers). Generally, the warhead is made of a tube with two pieces of uranium. A firing unit, sometimes in the suitcase, would need to be decoded to cause detonation.
In terms of power, a suitcase bomb could conceivably devastate a mile radius and more (depending on the size and power). Then, of course, there's the nuclear fallout that will be discussed to an extent later in this piece.
Obviously, dirty bombs can come in sizes quite small or large also, depending on the purpose and means of those wanting to set it off. Generally, though, they are only made to wreak havoc within and even more frequently, far less.
Where do they get the radioactive waste? It can be found at medical facilities, food irradiation plants, and chemical and manufacturing plants, to name some.
Of course, that doesn't help those close to the blast or standing downwind.
Though the impact from the explosive itself would likely be the most damaging aspect of a dirty bomb being set off, that's not to say that the radioactive material couldn't be damaging. Thus, people in the general area that weren't extremely close to the blast might want to do the following:
1) Get inside of a shelter.
2) Shut off your ventilation system to the greatest extent possible.
3) Take off your clothes, put them in a garbage bag, and wash yourself with soap.
4) Listen to the radio or television for emergency information.
5) Drink bottled water.
2) Don't panic and cause a mass issue. Exposure, for most, probably won't be deadly.
We're talking mostly the same kind of thing for a suitcase bomb, really (though these are nuclear bombs, so the fallout risk is likely greater). However, for both, it might be good to know what to expect if you've been contaminated by radioactive material and weren't, of course, killed by the explosion. This is what emergency personnel might do or recommend.
2. If radioactive material was ingested, treatment will begin to reduce absorption. Such things as laxatives and aluminum antacids could conceivably be used.
3. Of course, open wounds and physical injuries will be dealt with and cleaned.
4. If radioactive material were to find its way into a person's vital organs, that would be dealt with through the use of diluting and blocking agents. One of the most popular of these is potassium iodide. In fact, some people out there have decided to have this on hand in case of such an attack in part because it has been shown to fight Radioactive Iodine (I-131), a form of iodine that collects in the thyroid gland and may cause cancer.
In sum, the far majority of people severely hurt in the instance of a dirty or suitcase bomb explosion would be those devastated by the actual impact. However, those in the immediate vicinity would be at risk for radiation exposure that could kill within days, weeks or years (via cancer).
Thus, it's always better to be safe than sorry.
Unfortunately, with the hatred of the U.S. growing internationally and the ever increasing threat of terrorism these days, an unfortunate incident like this is probable at some point. Therefore, knowledge may be the key to your survival.
DISCLAIMER - Please understand that this article is only meant to point readers in the right direction regarding such situations. Always consult with medical and emergency personnel immediately when available during such situations as they may have updated information and / or different directions for those exposed. This article does not take the place of that.