The vast majority of the US population could potentially be wiped out if there was ever a nuclear attack, according to experts. An estimated 300 million people would be put at risk of radiation exposure over the four days after the country was hit by the devastating weapons. While any enemy attack would most likely focus in on the US’s intercontinental ballistic missile launch facilities – or silos – in Colorado, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, and Wyoming as its primary objective. The hypothetical figures were highlighted in special report by Scientific American published on Wednesday concerning the US’s nuclear program.
It suggested that a huge 90% of the country’s 48 lower states, along with people in Mexico’s northern states and the most populated parts of Canada , could suffer from radiation if weather conditions are right – or wrong in this case. The impact of an 800-kiloton warhead hitting all 450 silos was simulated by scientists using weather patterns throughout 2021. Wind patterns were analyzed for every day that year and how they would influence the nuclear fallout. In one scenario laid out in a map, three million people living near the silos would risk suffering from eight grays (Gy) of radiation in just four days following an attack. However, the annual limit for radiation is 0.001 Gy and one Gy alone is enough to cause radiation sickness and therefore eight would most likely cause death.
While a second map was also produced by the scientists showed less radiation damage than the first one. However, even with these smaller figures it is still predicted that millions of people would face death by radiation. Symptoms for high exposure of the deadly energy left in the air can start within minutes and include nausea, fatigue, and vomiting. Skin damage and diarrhea could also occur as well as seizures and falling into a coma. The report was commissioned as the US government finds launched $1.5 trillion project to refresh its obsolete nuclear weapons over the next 30 years, including those stored at silos in the western states. While the publication had previously warned about the horrific impact that a nuclear war would have on the country.