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Forum posts for Results of an atomic blast

God Damn Indeed!!!
Posted by mike on Jan 09, 2004
I knew it was bad, I just didn't know it was that bad. This is the first I have heard of the mass fire stuff. Some of the numbers seemed to change throughout, but I suspect that is my lack of understanding and the horrendous amount of information being tossed around.

I propose that the damage to buildings might be even greater than this guy is saying. I am in no way an expert, but I would say that anything with a fuel tank would become another explosion at some point. I think he said wind and then heat, so here is what I propose could happen to some buildings:

During the blast wave cars (and other fuel containing things) would be tossed around like toys. Similar to drifting in a snow storm they would pile up at the base of certain buildings and other structures like a snow drift during the outward blast. During the inward suction wind the structure of the buildings would likely prevent a lot of this "drifting" from dissipating. Once the fire hits these piles of cars etc. I would think that they would detonate like a bomb and blow out the foundation of the building toppling it. Since there are a lot more cars now days than there were during any practical situation from the forties used as examples I would think that this could be an issue that was overlooked. Similairly cars etc. could become lodged in buldings, getting hooked up on the stongest structural members. Once these cars explode then I would think bye bye building.

Also, with winds as high as predicted I would think that erosion of bridge abutments and similar structures could also occur. Without its abutments a bridge and everything on it would drop into the water.

Also I think that you would need to take into account the actual building materials themselves. Concrete is a porous material, despite any ideas people may have, water passes directly through concrete, just at a slow rate. If the concrete involved witht he blast area was saturated with water, like after a rain, then once the heat this guy is talking about hit the water within the concrete itself it would superheat and essentially blast the concrete apart while the steam tried to escape. Then there is steel. Steel is great at normal temperatures, but once you heat it up too much it is no more structural than jello. A good example is the reason the World Trade Center fell down. Not the impact, the heat makes the structural steel weak and the structure experiences a domino effect collapse. Another thing to take into account is that once the steel is heated up to that point, even when it cools it has become brittle and doesn’t work for its intended purpose.

If several large trucks or other large (soon-to-be) projectiles was picked up and thrown into a structure at high speed, the effect would likely be catastrophic. My schooling would indicate that the largest lateral loading on a building that is taken into account is the wind load. Although a structure is supposed to be designed to experience only local failure during an isolated large scale impact (like a truck driving into it at high speed), it is not required to withstand the impact, just localize the damage and prevent a domino effect collapse. If several large projectiles hit the structure at around the same time, the shearing forces (which are likely not designed for) would be enormous and I would think that in all probability the projectiles would shear off enough structural supports that the structure would collapse.

I guess the point this guy is making still stands. A nuclear bomb would decimate EVERYTHING. There would be no survivors within a large radius. The article doesn’t even mention in detail the radiation effects to living things (like people).