Friday, May 06, 2005
New Class of Bunker-Busting Nuclear Weapons
A news brief in the science journal Nature (Nature 435, 8-9 (5 May 2005)) reports results of a study by the U.S. National Academy of Sciences (NAS) that looked at the consequences of so-called ‘mini-nukes’ the Bush administration would like to use as bunker busting bombs. The results suggest that civilian casualties could be as high as one million, if a bomb powerful enough to destroy facilities hundreds of meters below ground was used near population centers. See Nature 423, 469; 2003 for an earlier article about the spread of radioactive material from such explosions. The NAS study suggests conventional weapons may be nearly as effective, without such devastating risks to civilians.