From: DCHAS Membership Chair <membership**At_Symbol_Here**DCHAS.ORG>
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] REMM Adds 4 New Videos about Medical Triage after a Nuclear Detonation
Date: Sun, 2 Feb 2020 14:34:21 -0500
Reply-To: ACS Division of Chemical Health and Safety <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**PRINCETON.EDU>
Message-ID: A0A8C2D0-2921-4635-9851-10F328445DFB**At_Symbol_Here**

Roger McClellan
Re: [DCHAS-L] REMM Adds 4 New Videos about Medical Triage after a Nuclear Detonation

Harry and DCHAS Members:
I am certainly not pining for the days of the cold war. However, I think it is necessary for everyone to recognize that the potential for use of nuclear weapons be recognized as a major driving force in Global politics. The major actors remain the USA and Russia with Iraq and North Korea currently dominating the stage.

After a little background I have a few questions to ask the DCHAS members.

I have a keen interest in this drama that dates to September 1944 when I moved to Richland , WA to join my parents who began working at the Hanford Engineering Works. In August 1945 they and other workers learned they had been building nuclear reactors and facilities to separate PU-239 from irradiated fuel. I was soon introduced to the field of occupational hygiene when I asked my father what was in the grey box that arrived regularly on our front porch. He responded that the box contained his "Pee Bottles". He needed to collect his Pee at work and home so it could be analyzed to learn if he had been exposed to any "bad stuff" at work.

Later, I would learn the "bad stuff" was the Hanford Product, Pu-239 my Dad and his co-workers were producing. Pu-239 was shipped from Hanford to Los Alamos, NM where the first bombs were designed and fabricated. Pu-239 was used in the first nuclear weapon tested at the Trinity Site in New Mexico in July 1945. A few weeks later it was used as the fuel in the third nuclear weapon which was exploded over Nagasaki, Japan. The second nuclear explosion was over Hiroshima, a bomb fueled with enriched U from Oak Ridge. The world would never be the same.

I participated as a high school student in my first research on radiation, the effects of I-131 on sheep. Later as a student intern at Hanford in 1957 -1959 I would study the health effects of Pu-239. Ultimately, a major portion of my career has been spent conducting and managing research on the health effects of inhaled radionuclides including Pu-238 and Pu-239. Along the way I managed a small research program on blast effects from nuclear weapons.

Recently a friend, Ramesh Gupta, asked if I would write a chapter on radiation effects to be included in book he was updating on Chemical Weapons. I quickly agreed. As I began writing the chapter I realized I needed to start the chapter with a historical orientation including the effects of nuclear weapons. At the same time I strated to poll my scientific colleagues and other friends as to why they were concerned with nuclear weapons. The answer was RADIATION, RADIATION, RADIATION!!! Some were insulted and exclaimed -- you know the answer--- you have spent your career studying radiation effects.

I am afraid these folks have been mislead. Nuclear weapons are the premier weapon system for mass destruction not because of radiation but because the tremendous impact of the blast waves these weapons produce and the thermal radiation emitted. If you need a visual image google on "Operation Dominic- Frigate Bird" . These images were from the only test in which the USA launched a Polaris Missile with a nuclear warhead from a submarine, it exploded down range about 1200 miles 12 minutes after launch . This helps one understand concern for North Korea's missile capabilities. Can you image a "Frigate Bird" style weapon exploding over any major city in the USA or elsewhere.

I do hope you watched the four videos. My question to you is whether after you watched the videos do you understand the role of nuclear weapon generated blast waves in causing injury to human populations?

Do you understand the relative importance of blast waves, thermal radiation, direct ionizing radiation and radioactive fallout in causing injury and death following a nuclear detonation?

I await your response.


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