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Nuclear terrorism and the problem of burns

The American Journal of Emergency Medicine
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1016/j.ajem.2009.03.022


Abstract A 10-kiloton tactical nuclear device will be considered, like the remarkably simple guntype nuclear “gadget” inside the bomb called Little Boy dropped over Hiroshima. It is a size of bomb that would destroy the better part of a large American city and is the sort those concerned with terrorist nuclear threat often consider, and the entire nuclear gadget is about the size of an office refrigerator. In addition to the initial mighty blast that raised the psi to the point of tearing apart brick buildings and the mighty wind that followed, tossing heavy objects in the air, sending wood and glass into unsuspecting humans—in addition to this traditional blast were other effects. The core of the Hiroshima bomb reached a temperature of 10 000 000°C, and a thermal wave of heat gave second-degree burns 1.4 miles from the epicenter and first-degree burns up to 2 miles away. In this thermal oven, anything flammable caught fire, clothes burned off the bodies of those near enough, and wood and paper caught on fire. In Hiroshima that was hit by a bomb of the force, one considers for terrorists, we get a sense of the direct specific effects of atomic power unleashed, and the author will try to show how burns constitute the most common and most life-threatening of a nuclear bomb's effects for survivors of the initial blast, requiring major calculation in triage and care, as burn care is no simple art indeed.

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