... not as bad as you think!

... alright, it's bad. Worldwide Thermo-Nuclear War of the Cold War variety is very, very bad. It will ruin your day; no doubt about it! But would it have really meant the "end of all life on Earth"?    No.  It would not even have come close to killing all the silly little human beings that invented it and waged it.

... the key point here is the common misconceptions and fictitious falsifications about radioactive fallout. I am not a physicist; but I have read a lot that is written by those guys.
The vast majority of Fallout, from the atomic weapons of the Cold War era, would have become virtually harmless after two weeks.

... this invalidates much of the folklore and fiction which has as it's foundation lethal contamination lasting years or even centuries. What fun is a doomsday novel without a doomsday? (Now- it takes too much time to keep going over the same scientific facts again and again. A surprising number of people are really dedicated to the misconception of a radioactive 'doomsday'. Explaining the realities will not unsettle this grim superstition. So - if you read this blog, and you think it is fairly accurate and factual... then please just accept my words as truth. Why would I lie?)

... Fallout comes from the huge amounts of soil, rock, water and debris sucked up in the huge blast and fireball of nuclear detonation. It becomes a whole lot of dust that is pushed very high into the atmosphere. It can be spread, and dissipated, thousands of miles. This Fallout Dust picks up radiation from the nuclear reaction of the bomb detonation and from the radioactive isotopes that power the bomb. This radiation is a lot like heat. The 'hot' dust particles begin to cool, or 'decay', losing their gained radioactivity over a rapidly declining curve. Fallout dust that would kill you in the first day after a H-bomb explosion will have 'cooled down' after a couple of weeks to being normal again.

... there is radiation products that are harmful for much longer. Radioactive isotopes of the type used to fuel a bomb, or a nuclear power-plant, are very different from the dust and debris that picks up radiation temporarily in big explosion. These are man-made products that are extremely radioactive for very long periods of time. In some cases thousands of years. Small amounts of these elements make up the 'fission' reaction of nuclear weapons.
In the old style A-bombs they are the main energy source. In the much more powerful Hydrogen or Thermonuclear Bomb, they are the trigger which ignites the hydrogen fusion process. These parts of the weapon, although only measured in pounds, are spread out by the detonation and remain very radioative and dangerous for a long time. The same applies for atomic 'fuel' used as a heat source in atomic power-plants. A nuclear site, like Three-Mile Island or Chernobyl uses tons of these man-made super radioactive elements. This is why 'clean-up' after an atomic power plant accident is such a long and involved process. It's that super-duper radioactive fuel that gets burned, blown-up and washed all over the place by emergency water hoses, not 'fallout' that is a long-lived nasty problem.

... whew- I'm tired of writing 'scientific stuff'.

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