Standing as close to nuclear blast as possible ‘could ensure survival’

Standing as close to a nuclear blast as possible whilst indoors could help save you from the deadly shockwaves, new research claims.

The heat and nuclear fallout of a nuclear explosion are of course the two main mortal concerns, but the blast waves outside the immediate vicinity can also cause injury and death.

Researchers from the University of Nicosia in Cyprus studied the effects of the blast from an Intercontinental Ballistic Missile and found that concrete buildings are the most likely to survive the strong aftershock.

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“Before our study, the danger to people inside a concrete-reinforced building that withstands the blast wave was unclear,” explained one of the study’s authors, Dimitris Drikakis. 

“Our study shows that high airspeeds remain a considerable hazard and can still result in severe injuries or even fatalities.”

His team deduced that the airspeed in some parts of a building could be the equivalent of 18 times the person's bodyweight hitting them. 

They also found out the areas of a buiding that puts someone most at risk are by windows, corridors and doors.

“People should stay away from these locations and immediately take shelter," study co-author Ioannis Kokkinakis.

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He said that corners poiting towards the direction of the blast waves could offer the most protection. 

“Even in the front room facing the explosion, one can be safe from the high airspeeds if positioned at the corners of the wall facing the blast,” he said. 

The study was published in the journalPhysics of Fluids, and the researchers were at pains to point out that there will be plenty of hazards to navigate besides the shockwaves. 

“There will be increased radiation levels, unsafe buildings, damaged power and gas lines, and fires,” said Drikakis. “People should be concerned about all the above and seek immediate emergency assistance.”


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