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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2005. Effects of Nuclear Earth-Penetrator and Other Weapons. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11282.
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Effects of Nuclear Earth-Penetrator and Other Weapons

Committee on the Effects of Nuclear Earth-Penetrator and Other Weapons

Division on Engineering and Physical Sciences

NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES

THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS
Washington, D.C.
www.nap.edu

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2005. Effects of Nuclear Earth-Penetrator and Other Weapons. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11282.
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THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS
500 Fifth Street, N.W. Washington, DC 20001

NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance.

This study was supported by funding from the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense (Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics), the National Nuclear Security Administration, and the Defense Threat Reduction Agency under Contract No. HDTRA-04-C-0004 between the National Academy of Sciences and the Defense Threat Reduction Agency. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the organizations or agencies that provided support for the project.

International Standard Book Number 0-309-09673-1

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Copyright 2005 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.

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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2005. Effects of Nuclear Earth-Penetrator and Other Weapons. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11282.
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THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES

Advisers to the Nation on Science, Engineering, and Medicine


The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone is president of the National Academy of Sciences.


The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. Wm. A. Wulf is president of the National Academy of Engineering.


The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Harvey V. Fineberg is president of the Institute of Medicine.


The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy’s purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone and Dr. Wm. A. Wulf are chair and vice chair, respectively, of the National Research Council.

www.national-academies.org

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2005. Effects of Nuclear Earth-Penetrator and Other Weapons. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11282.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2005. Effects of Nuclear Earth-Penetrator and Other Weapons. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11282.
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COMMITTEE ON THE EFFECTS OF NUCLEAR EARTH-PENETRATOR AND OTHER WEAPONS

JOHN F. AHEARNE,

Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society,

Chair

LYNN R. ANSPAUGH,

University of Utah School of Medicine

RODNEY C. EWING,

University of Michigan

STEVEN A. FETTER,

University of Maryland

RICHARD L. GARWIN,

IBM Thomas J. Watson Research Center, Fellow Emeritus

SYDELL P. GOLD,

Science Applications International Corporation

EUGENE G. GREWIS,

Tijeras, New Mexico

THEODORE M. HARDEBECK,

Science Applications International Corporation

RAYMOND JEANLOZ,

University of California at Berkeley

WILLIAM J. PATTERSON,

Albuquerque, New Mexico

GLORIA S. PATTON,

Lake Oswego, Oregon

HEINZ W. SCHMITT,

Albuquerque, New Mexico

EUGENE SEVIN,

Lyndhurst, Ohio

C. BRUCE TARTER,

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory,

Director Emeritus

ROBERT H. WERTHEIM,

San Diego, California

Staff

JAMES E. KILLIAN, Study Director,

National Materials Advisory Board

MARY G. GORDON, Information Officer,

Naval Studies Board

SUSAN G. CAMPBELL, Administrative Coordinator,

Naval Studies Board

IAN M. CAMERON, Research Associate,

Naval Studies Board

SIDNEY G. REED, JR., Consultant,

Naval Studies Board

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2005. Effects of Nuclear Earth-Penetrator and Other Weapons. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11282.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2005. Effects of Nuclear Earth-Penetrator and Other Weapons. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11282.
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Preface

Section 1033 of the Bob Stump National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2003 (Public Law 107-314) directed the Secretary of Defense to request that the National Research Council study the anticipated health and environmental effects of nuclear earth-penetrator and other weapons. Upon request from the Department of Defense, the National Research Council established the Committee on the Effects of Nuclear Earth-Penetrator and Other Weapons (see Appendix A). This report is the product of that committee of technical experts. Some of the material used for this study is classified, and the committee has produced an unclassified report plus a separate classified annex.

Nuclear earth-penetrator weapons, such as those described as robust nuclear earth penetrator (RNEP) weapons, are controversial. Part of the controversy has been about whether a nuclear earth-penetrator could be designed to defeat a deeply buried hard target but not cause any collateral surface damage, such as that attributable to fallout. Another question is whether chemical and biological agents can be defeated by conventional weapons. The committee developed its report in what it believes is a logical approach to address these issues.

To gather information for this report, the committee received briefings from the Department of Defense (DOD), the Department of Energy (DOE), congressional staff, nongovernmental organizations, and individuals, in classified and open sessions. This input included information on potential targets, such as their numbers, location, functions, hardening characteristics, and contents. The committee also received information on after-action investigations in Afghanistan and Iraq. The committee requested that the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) and the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) estimate the numbers of casualties for a range of nuclear weapons’ yields and depths of burst for several target areas. Calculations also were done in order to generate lethality contours to estimate numbers of casualties resulting from attacks with non-nuclear weapons on facilities producing or storing weapons of mass destruction.

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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2005. Effects of Nuclear Earth-Penetrator and Other Weapons. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11282.
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The committee thanks the many briefers who presented information essential to the writing of this report. They are listed in the agendas provided in Appendix B. Donald Linger of DTRA was consistently helpful, and his deep knowledge greatly assisted our work. Todd Hann, Andrew Grose, Brian Hall, and Michael Phillips of DTRA and Theodore Harvey and Frank Serduke of the LLNL devoted substantial effort to produce the calculations that the committee needed. The committee also thanks Milton Minneman of the DOD, our project liaison, who assisted in obtaining reports needed for the study.

Finally, the committee thanks the dedicated staff of the National Research Council: Dixie Gordon, who resolved the many difficulties associated with handling classified material; Susan Campbell, who capably saw to the logistics for our many meetings over a short period of time and helped with report production; Ian Cameron, who supported the conduct of the meetings and also the production of the report; and, in particular, our study director, James Killian, who kept the study on track and provided invaluable support to the committee members and to me.

John F. Ahearne, Chair

Committee on the Effects of Nuclear Earth-Penetrator and Other Weapons

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2005. Effects of Nuclear Earth-Penetrator and Other Weapons. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11282.
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Acknowledgment of Reviewers

This report has been reviewed in draft form by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise, in accordance with procedures approved by the National Research Council’s Report Review Committee. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the institution in making its published report as sound as possible and to ensure that the report meets institutional standards for objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the deliberative process. We wish to thank the following individuals for their review of this report:

James L. Bacon, Pine Bluff, Arkansas,

Sidney D. Drell, Stanford University,

Daniel J. Fink, Potomac, Maryland,

David R. Franz, Midwest Research Institute,

Thomas A. Griffy, University of Texas at Austin,

Michael M. May, Stanford University,

Fred Mettler, Jr., University of New Mexico,

Richard Mies, Science Applications International Corporation,

Bruce Napier, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, and

George M. Whitesides, Harvard University.

Although the reviewers listed above provided many constructive comments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the conclusions or recommendations, nor did they see the final draft of the report before its release. The review of this report was overseen by Hyla S. Napadensky, Napadensky Energetics, Inc. (retired), and Chris G. Whipple, ENVIRON International Corporation. Appointed by the National Research Council, they were responsible for making certain that an independent examination of this report was carried out in accordance with institutional procedures and that all review comments were carefully considered. Responsibility for the final content of this report rests entirely with the authoring committee and the institution.

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2005. Effects of Nuclear Earth-Penetrator and Other Weapons. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11282.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2005. Effects of Nuclear Earth-Penetrator and Other Weapons. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11282.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2005. Effects of Nuclear Earth-Penetrator and Other Weapons. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11282.
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4

 

EFFECTIVENESS OF NUCLEAR WEAPONS AGAINST HARD AND DEEPLY BURIED TARGETS

 

30

   

 Target Destruction,

 

30

   

 Target Damage Probability Estimates,

 

39

   

 Attachment 4.1: Probability of Damage Calculator,

 

42

   

 Attachment 4.2: Influence of Target Hardness and Weapons Accuracy,

 

43

   

 Notes,

 

50

5

 

FALLOUT AND TOOLS FOR CALCULATING EFFECTS OF RELEASE OF HAZARDOUS MATERIALS

 

52

   

 Nuclear Bursts and Fallout Overview,

 

52

   

 Calculating the Effects of Release of Hazardous Materials,

 

58

   

 Tools to Estimate Casualties and Other Effects,

 

59

   

 Sources of Uncertainty Affecting Model Predictions,

 

61

   

 Suggestions for Improving Tools,

 

64

   

 Attachment 5.1: Elements of Defense Threat Reduction Agency Codes and Data,

 

64

   

 Notes,

 

72

6

 

HUMAN AND ENVIRONMENTAL EFFECTS

 

73

   

 Effects on Humans,

 

73

   

 Health Effects from Attacks on Facilities for Storing and Producing Nuclear Weapons and Radioactive Material,

 

91

   

 Environmental Effects,

 

92

   

 Effects of Attacks on Chemical and Biological Weapons Facilities,

 

93

   

 Notes,

 

95

7

 

CONVENTIONAL WEAPONS

 

99

   

 Notes,

 

102

8

 

UNCERTAINTY IN ESTIMATES OF EFFECTS

 

103

   

 Sources of Uncertainty,

 

104

   

 Measures of Uncertainty: Sensitivity, Precision, and Accuracy,

 

106

   

 Summary,

 

108

   

 Notes,

 

109

9

 

CONCLUSIONS

 

110

   

 Most Important Conclusions,

 

110

   

 Other Conclusions,

 

111

   

 Note,

 

114

 

 

APPENDIXES

 

 

   

A  Committee and Staff

 

117

   

B  Agendas

 

122

   

C  Equivalent Yield Factors for Energy Coupling

 

130

   

D  Acronyms and Abbreviations

 

132

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2005. Effects of Nuclear Earth-Penetrator and Other Weapons. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11282.
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Underground facilities are used extensively by many nations to conceal and protect strategic military functions and weapons' stockpiles. Because of their depth and hardened status, however, many of these strategic hard and deeply buried targets could only be put at risk by conventional or nuclear earth penetrating weapons (EPW). Recently, an engineering feasibility study, the robust nuclear earth penetrator program, was started by DOE and DOD to determine if a more effective EPW could be designed using major components of existing nuclear weapons. This activity has created some controversy about, among other things, the level of collateral damage that would ensue if such a weapon were used. To help clarify this issue, the Congress, in P.L. 107-314, directed the Secretary of Defense to request from the NRC a study of the anticipated health and environmental effects of nuclear earth-penetrators and other weapons and the effect of both conventional and nuclear weapons against the storage of biological and chemical weapons. This report provides the results of those analyses. Based on detailed numerical calculations, the report presents a series of findings comparing the effectiveness and expected collateral damage of nuclear EPW and surface nuclear weapons under a variety of conditions.

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