Government Calculates Devastation of Nuclear Attack in D.C. - NBC4 Washington

Government Calculates Devastation of Nuclear Attack in D.C.

Study simulating downtown bomb released



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    Concerns about people jamming evacuation routes instead of sheltering in place in the event of a terrorist attack in D.C. may not really matter.

    A government study found that if a terrorist planted a 10-kiloton nuclear bomb near the White House in the heart of downtown D.C., the devastation would be drastic and far-reaching, Gizmodo reported.

    The “National Capital Region: Key Response Planning Factors for the Aftermath of Nuclear Terrorism” study conducted late last year simulates such an attack.

    The first half-mile radius would have a low survival likelihood and most buildings destroyed, and that means the federal government’s physical presence. The next half mile would get significant damage to buildings, downed poles, overturned vehicles, fires and many serious injuries but hopefully a greater survival rate with quick medical assistance. From 1 to 3 miles out, there would be survivable minor injuries and broken windows.

    And then there’s the fallout, which would be devastating and which, if the attack was in April, would hit Bethesda hard. For most of the rest of the year, D.C. and northern Virginia would get the brunt of the fallout.

    To quote Joshua from “WarGames,” “How about a nice game of chess?”