Limiting Damage from Nuclear War.

by William Morle Brown

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Based on the current concept that nuclear attack would occur only after an international crisis, thus providing from several days to several months of strategic warning, this study maintains that D/L systems can be designed that would reduce present estimates of about 100 million fatalities by 90 percent. Two extreme programs are considered: a "cheap" program based on urban evacuation and improvised fallout shelters, and an "expensive" program based on urban blast shelters and active defense. In the cheap program the major expenses would be deferred until needed; the major labor would be contributed by the people for their own survival. The annual cost would be $200 million or less, and the principal peacetime output would be plans for emergency action and a small number of trained professionals to guide mobilization when needed. For the expensive program, a model is proposed that would greatly reduce population vulnerability. The main advantages of this program are not fewer fatalities but high confidence, low socioeconomic disturbance, and less dependence on amount of warning. The model shows, however, that passive defense is the essential component of any effective D/L system. 105 pp. Ref

This report is part of the RAND Corporation Research memorandum series. The Research Memorandum was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1948 to 1973 that represented working papers meant to report current results of RAND research to appropriate audiences.

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