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Rising Sun*
12-14-2008, 08:16 PM
The M388 Recoiless Nuclear Rifle came with a .01 kiloton nuclear warhead and fired it up to 3 miles.

Fortunately it never was used as the range of the nuclear fallout included the soldiers who fired it.

We are lucky to have just missed an age of portable nuclear weaponry. Note in the video the soldiers being brushed down with brooms to presumably remove nuclear fallout!

One of the smallest nuclear weapons ever built, the Davy Crockett was developed in the late 1950s for use against Soviet troops in West Germany.

Small teams of the Atomic Battle Group (charged with operating the device) would be stationed every few kilometers to guard against Soviet attack, using the power of their nuclear artillery shells to kill or incapacitate advancing troop formations and irradiate the area so that it was uninhabitable for up to 48 hours, long enough to mobilize NATO forces.

The W54 warhead used on the Davy Crockett weighed just 51 pounds and was the smallest and lightest fission bomb (implosion type) ever deployed by the United States, with a variable explosive yield of 0.01 kilotons (equivalent to 10 tons of TNT, or two to four times as powerful as the ammonium nitrate bomb which destroyed the Alfred P. Murrah federal building in Oklahoma City on April 19, 1995)

The Davy Crockett was deployed with U.S. Army forces from 1961 to 1971. Between 1956 and 1963, 2,100 were produced at an estimated cost (excluding the warhead) of $540 million (in constant 1996 dollars). My bold http://xmb.stuffucanuse.com/xmb/viewthread.php?tid=4518

See link for video

Uyraell
02-11-2009, 11:32 PM
My bold http://xmb.stuffucanuse.com/xmb/viewthread.php?tid=4518

See link for video

According to a Special Forces/Covert Ops friend, at one point they planned to mount the thing much as in ONTOS, to allow a quick get-away and airportability.
Fortunately, sanity prevailed.

Regards, Uyraell.

pdf27
02-12-2009, 01:46 AM
I wouldn't particularly worry that you're within the fallout zone - you're going to be in in CBRN kit, so just have to go through the decontamination procedures afterwards. That's no big deal, and beats being up to your eyeballs in Soviet tanks!

Uyraell
02-13-2009, 12:33 AM
I wouldn't particularly worry that you're within the fallout zone - you're going to be in in CBRN kit, so just have to go through the decontamination procedures afterwards. That's no big deal, and beats being up to your eyeballs in Soviet tanks!

*wry laughter* True, but even so, the kit itself wasn't guaranteed protection, and I'd think those who had crewed the weapon would be likely to suffer from radiation-related health problems thereafter, and have vastly shortened lifespans.
At that point, while `tis indeed better than being eyeball deep in Soviet tanks, I'm certain I would NOT have wanted to be a soldier tasked with operating the Davy Crocket, or any other (relatively) close range tactical nuclear device.

Respectful Regards, Uyraell.

pdf27
02-13-2009, 03:12 AM
Provided you decontaminate properly, you should have no problem with alpha/beta emitters - they're really only an ingestion hazard, and anything that will protect against nerve agents will protect you from these. That only leaves gammas (which due to their nature as photons are very weakly ionising and so only dangerous in large quantities) and fast neutrons. These are properly nasty, but there aren't very many emitters of high-energy neutrons out there - the overwhelming majority will come from the prompt radiation of the nuclear initiation itself. That is dealt with by ensuring you're dug in with no line of sight to the initiation point.

Uyraell
02-14-2009, 01:43 AM
Provided you decontaminate properly, you should have no problem with alpha/beta emitters - they're really only an ingestion hazard, and anything that will protect against nerve agents will protect you from these. That only leaves gammas (which due to their nature as photons are very weakly ionising and so only dangerous in large quantities) and fast neutrons. These are properly nasty, but there aren't very many emitters of high-energy neutrons out there - the overwhelming majority will come from the prompt radiation of the nuclear initiation itself. That is dealt with by ensuring you're dug in with no line of sight to the initiation point.

Much Thanks for extending my knowledge in the topic :)
Tis very much appreciated, pdf27.

Regards, Uyraell.

pdf27
02-14-2009, 04:28 AM
Part of my degree was in nuclear engineering. When we got the neutron source out from the safe buried in a hole in the ground it was buried in, we were instructed to look away from it. It turns out that the Cornea is believed to be unusually sensitive to neutron bombardment, so we were using the water in our brains to moderate (slow) the neutrons and thus shield our eyes!
But yeah, unless you spend a lot of time in a heavily contaminated area (and I'm thinking living downwind of megatonne groundbursts here) you're pretty safe from fallout provided you don't breathe it in or eat it. The latter is actually a major problem - finding safe food and water supplies after an extended period of fallout/CBRN attacks is actually rather hard.

Rising Sun*
02-14-2009, 04:41 AM
The latter is actually a major problem - finding safe food and water supplies after an extended period of fallout/CBRN attacks is actually rather hard.


Back in the 1950s or 1960s when there was a bit more concern about how to survive after being nuked, I recall that it was said that cheese was one of the few foods safe to eat after a nuclear attack. Can't recall the others.

Any idea whether there is any validity in cheese as safe and, if so, why?

pdf27
02-14-2009, 06:36 AM
None whatsoever - there is no transmutation going on at all with fallout, it's all direct contamination. Hence, safety or otherwise is all down to the packaging.

Rising Sun*
02-14-2009, 06:55 AM
None whatsoever - there is no transmutation going on at all with fallout, it's all direct contamination. Hence, safety or otherwise is all down to the packaging.

Thanks.

Maybe cheese was very well packaged then. :D

pdf27
02-14-2009, 09:07 AM
Entirely possible - in which case the packaging would make it eminently suitable.

Major Walter Schmidt
02-14-2009, 09:28 AM
What would have happened in Hiroshima/Nagasaki? Did the people get contamination from the radiation from the blast itself, contamination, or both?

Nickdfresh
02-14-2009, 05:51 PM
Fairly tame compared to some other things I've heard we considered using...

pdf27
02-15-2009, 01:24 AM
What would have happened in Hiroshima/Nagasaki? Did the people get contamination from the radiation from the blast itself, contamination, or both?
It was a low airburst, so radiation injuries were overwhelmingly due to the prompt radiation given off by the nuclear initiation.