Military Review

"Dirty bomb" - radiological or psychological weapon?

"Dirty bomb" - radiological or psychological weapon?

Yes, the information that comes from that side indicates that a thought like “Let's bang something” has firmly entrenched in the Ukrainian brains. And in this light, the idea of ​​making a “dirty bomb” in Chernobyl or blowing something up at the Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant is increasingly being discussed.

In light of all this, I propose to calmly consider three examples:

1. Atomic / nuclear bomb
2. Chernobyl disaster
3. "Dirty bomb".

Why in this order, it will become clear in the course of the play. But all three examples, nuclear weapon, a man-made disaster and radiological weapons (GB is usually attributed to it) are somewhat similar in essence, but differ greatly in the final output.

1. Nuclear bomb or warhead.

This most powerful weapon on the planet has five main damaging factors:
- shock wave;
- light study;
- electromagnetic impulse;
- penetrating radiation;
- radioactive contamination of the area.

The first four factors are of a very short duration, but very unpleasant and destructive. Penetrating radiation and radioactive contamination have common roots, but in fact they are different things.

Penetrating radiation is a powerful radioactive radiation that accompanies the decay of nuclei in the epicenter of the explosion. That is, it "turns on" at the beginning of the explosion and "turns off" when the nuclear reaction stops. In general, an X-ray machine, but millions of times more powerful.

The flow of particles from the epicenter diverges in different directions and hits everything that is not blown away by the shock wave. And then the particles run out of energy and that's it. Heavier particles like "alpha" fall earlier, lighter "gamma" particles fly farther. School physics course.

Considering that where nuclear decay occurs, the temperatures are huge, the particles get a decent charge and fly a decent distance. And they also participate in the subsequent radioactive contamination.

Radioactive contamination (RZ) is a more nasty thing, because it is long-playing. In the RP, both nuclear decay particles and "charged" products of a nuclear explosion and objects affected by radioactive particles at a distance from the epicenter take part.

All this begins to "glow" and cause real harm even after a considerable time after the explosion. It all depends on which isotopes are released during a nuclear explosion. There are those whose half-life is calculated in hours, and there are those who have it in months and years.

2. Chernobyl.

This is a separate phenomenon in the world stories. The Chernobyl disaster differed from a conventional atomic / nuclear explosion in that the reactor burned for several days. High temperatures and explosions ensured a prolonged release of contaminated material into the atmosphere.

I'll try to compare in a simple way.

Let's take two barrels of 200 liters each and pour 50 liters of gasoline into one, and diesel fuel into the second. If we calculate (approximately) by calorific value, we get about 80 liters. But we will stuff more old padded jackets, rags, pieces of wood and other garbage into a barrel with diesel fuel. And throw torches there.

Gasoline is expected to gouge heartily. Explosion. There will be a lot of heat, there will be smoke, there will be a stench. And that's it. But there will be no explosion in a barrel with diesel fuel. There will be a long fire with the release of the same amount of heat, but for a longer period of time. And all this will be accompanied by combustion products in the form of smoke and soot. Well, everything that is saturated with diesel fuel burns like that. And it will be expected to stink in full.

Heat will be released in approximately the same way, but in the case of gasoline, it is fast and relatively clean in terms of ecology. Diesel fuel and everything else will burn for a long time and start to smoke.

With radioactive substances in the bomb, in Chernobyl, the situation turned out to be approximately the same. There are substances that emit all their radiation very quickly and therefore quickly disappear. And there are those that will stink for decades, but not that deadly for all living things.

In their bulk, nuclear charges form substances of the first type during an explosion. They burn quickly, emit radiation simply in huge doses, but that is why the decay is very short.

Everything is in physics - the faster the source materials part with charged particles, the faster the entire decay ends.

Therefore, already 10 hours after a nuclear explosion, the radioactivity of the epicenter and adjacent territories drops by 10-12 times.

After 2 days, the radioactivity decreases by 100 times. After 10-14 days, depending on the strength of the charge and the material, it is already possible to walk around the epicenter without significant harm to the body, if the body is packed in an OZK-type suit and a gas mask.

After 2-3 years, it is already possible to live at the site of the explosion. Proven, by the way, Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Cities began to be rebuilt almost immediately after the war, and people live there. Yes, there have been genetic disorders caused by radiation, but for the most part it was in people who received radiation doses from explosions.

But after the "slow explosions" of Chernobyl and Fukushima, substances of the second type are released into the environment. That is, they do not emit radiation as strongly as after the explosion of an atomic bomb, but their half-life can be measured in centuries.

They live in Chernobyl today. This is a separate conversation, who and how, but live. But in some areas of the Bryansk region of Russia it is impossible to live under any circumstances. Where the red-hot particles of fuel rods from the ill-fated reactor fell, blown away by the wind. There is still a level of radiation not compatible with normal human life.

Chernobyl can be called an ideal "dirty bomb" (GB), if not for several conditions that make it strikingly different from this type of weapon.

The main culprit of such a huge contamination was the atomic fire in the reactor, in which radioactive particles were born, ejected to a decent height. And it burned much longer than any nuclear explosion. Therefore, the infection occurred for decades, if not longer.

The "bomb" in Chernobyl was not detonated on purpose, this is already known to everyone. Stupidity, vanity, the desire to make a career - anything, but not a special intention to infect thousands of square kilometers with radiation. But this is how it happened.

Following the model and likeness of Chernobyl, the "dirty bomb" projects were created. What happened in Chernobyl, in principle, can be simulated in a cheaper way.

3. Dirty Bomb

GB is called a radiological weapon. It is not easy to do, but very simple. In the minimum configuration, this is a container with radioactive materials that have a long half-life (spent fuel from the storage warehouses of some nuclear power plant is quite suitable), lined with explosives. Undermining such a container is expected to cause contamination of the area where such an explosion will be carried out.

The dream of a terrorist blackmailer.

The problem is that the explosion of a normal explosive will not be able to ensure the proper separation of radioactive substances over tens and hundreds of kilometers. Or it should be a very powerful explosion, tons of explosives. Implementing this is not that difficult, but dreary.

For real radioactive substances to enter the atmosphere and be carried by the winds, infecting decent areas, the explosion must be very powerful. Some sources say that a tactical nuclear weapon with a yield of 8-10 kilotons is quite suitable. But then the cheapness of GB disappears.

As an option (in the USSR, work was underway in this direction in the 60s) - spraying radioactive materials from an aircraft, both in liquid and powder form. Or place a container with radioactive substances in the warhead of a tactical missile, providing it with a demolition charge. So you can blow up warheads at the required height and disperse materials in the right area.

There are many options, but how viable are they, that is, how realistic is it to make territories unsuitable for human life?

Let's start with the fact that the use of a "dirty bomb" in a war is simply impractical. Of course, it is possible to make radioactive materials so contaminated the area that everyone, both military and civilian, would leave from there. But what's the point in that?

Territories are seized for their subsequent use. And here the situation is such that it is unrealistic to destroy the military with the help of the GB, civilian aliens will run away, their own will not come. It turns out dead lands that no one needs.

A nuclear bomb is much more effective. It instantly destroys all enemy manpower and equipment in a certain area, and this area is suitable for use after a while.

The effect of GB is too strongly extended in time. Yes, some part of the population of the enemy country will eventually die from radiation sickness and oncology, if infected from the heart. But it won't happen quickly. The war can simply end before the first effects appear, and it is necessary that no one in the territory where the GB is used have any idea that a "dirty bomb" was used there.

Given the availability of dosimeters, this is difficult. Here I myself can get mine at any time and make sure that nothing threatens my precious body. And drinking potassium iodide is not worth it, Cabernet or Merlot will be much more effective. Or more effective, but here it’s already a matter of charge power.

Also, don't discount the weather. A change in the wind - and here you have a cloud of radioactive dust flying to those who sent it. You know, it's like with gases in the First World War. Who will God send?

But even in the event that everything goes as it should, the result will be an area contaminated with radioactive materials in which it is impossible to live. No one, I emphasize, is not needed.

What is the conclusion?

The conclusion is simple: the "dirty bomb" is not a military weapon. It is the weapon of the terrorist blackmailer or the weapon of genocide for the losers.

Can Ukraine make and use GB to strike at Russia? Yes, easily. There is more than enough waste from nuclear power plants at the disposal of the Ukrainian side, it is possible to produce a certain amount of radioactive powder. The Armed Forces of Ukraine have missiles, that is, they have delivery vehicles.

Efficiency? Close to zero. The "dirty bomb" is a weapon of revenge, if you will. A party doomed to fail. It is possible to strike with such a thing, but here's the question: neutralizing the effect of such a bomb is also very simple. Today there is a very decent amount of anti-radiation drugs that can neutralize radioactive contamination. Yes, and GB can also be counteracted in many ways, from flushing buildings to cutting off the topsoil with special (or conventional) equipment.

A container with a radioactive substance and an explosive strapped to it is a weapon of a terrorist who is unlikely to use it. Too many concomitant factors will have to be taken into account for everything to go smoothly.

And undermining the storage facilities, launching a rocket with a container on the territory of a neighboring country - that's my word of honor, all this is not from a great mind.

So I will express the opinion of many smart people that it is not worth being afraid of a “dirty bomb”, fools who can try to implement such a plan are more dangerous. But even in the case of implementation, it is not a fact that the desired result will be achieved.

The only thing dangerous about GB is the panic that information skillfully thrown into social networks can cause. This is the most significant thing that GB can do. Panic is a thing that is no less effective than the bomb itself, and the effect can be even greater than that of a real GB. Based on the situation with the same mobilization, I concluded that in terms of coming up with nonsense, believing in it and starting to replicate in instant messengers, our electorate will give odds even to the Americans.

After all, a fool - he does not become smarter even with a container of radioactive powder. And even more so with the phone and the Internet.
21 comment

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  1. Horn
    Horn 8 October 2022 05: 50
    Everything is correctly stated. Logically. But the saucepan on the head turns off the logic. The proof of this is the blowing up of power lines, and the blocking of the North Crimean Canal, and then, sincere bewilderment: "Why don't they love us ?!'
    1. Egoza
      Egoza 8 October 2022 07: 53
      Quote: Horn
      But the saucepan on the head turns off the logic.

      What logic?! Here education is below the plinth. The reasoning is something like this (especially among those descendants whose parents fussed in time to get on the list of victims): "So what? Well, it exploded in Chernobyl. But we live." The current "Ukrainian youth" does not know what an atomic bomb explosion and its consequences are
      1. PSih2097
        PSih2097 10 October 2022 19: 48
        Quote: Egoza
        Well, it exploded in Chernobyl. But we live

        believe the GB to do it from the same "opera" that exploded on the Crimean bridge, that is, it's very simple (as an engineer I say) ...
  2. igorra
    igorra 8 October 2022 06: 04
    I very much hope that Putin conveyed to the Bandera elite what will happen to them, personally to everyone, including family members, if a "dirty bomb" is used. But knowing about the excessive philanthropy of our president, I think it was not delivered harshly enough. Sometimes I look at Putin and understand why our history is in the pen. The feeling that he does not know her well, excluding Lenin's bombs of course. The Communists have been sculpting the New Man for 70 years, this one has been sculpting partners from the primordial enemies of Russia for 20 years, I hope they have finished.
  3. rotmistr60
    rotmistr60 8 October 2022 06: 29
    "Dirty bomb" - radiological or psychological weapon?
    I would say double-edged - and the area infects and hits the mind (psyche).
  4. Dart2027
    Dart2027 8 October 2022 06: 38
    The "bomb" in Chernobyl was not detonated on purpose, this is already known to everyone.

    But this is a question - there were too many "coincidences" there.
  5. gerome
    gerome 8 October 2022 07: 31
    Maybe that's why Russia is fighting so softly in Ukraine - they can use a dirty bomb from the other side ...

    It seems that Russia is being successfully pushed to the slaughter, where the war "to the last Ukrainian" means huge losses on our part as well.
  6. rocket757
    rocket757 8 October 2022 09: 09
    "Dirty bomb" - radiological or psychological weapon?
    . Why not???
    The stakes in this "game" have been raised to the limit, and it is now even easier to find fools than before.
  7. know
    know 8 October 2022 11: 17
    The situation, unfortunately, is such that nothing can be ruled out at all. Until a big nuclear war. Because with each passing day, all barriers are collapsing - including moral ones.
    CBO is generally an adventure in its purest form. The operation should have been completed in 2-3 weeks, or not started at all. And in any case, it was necessary to start only with reserves three times the size of the active group - which could be immediately sent into battle. Or - at least use it for guard and security affairs, without diverting assault units to them. What was Putin thinking? What were you waiting for? Has mental faculties really fallen so much with age? Or - was he so far from a correct understanding of the true state of affairs? So "licked" him all the possible places of sycophants, singing in chorus the ageless song "All is well, beautiful marquise"?
  8. Fangaro
    Fangaro 8 October 2022 11: 18
    So Russia can do and use GB against Ukraine. I agree with the author that there is no point in using GB.
  9. Knell wardenheart
    Knell wardenheart 8 October 2022 11: 47
    Roman, you are considering the use of GB in certain front-line areas and from the point of view of eliminating enemy manpower or liberating certain territories.
    Imagine for a moment that the GB is used to inflict ECONOMIC damage on the enemy in those territories that the attacking side is not going to take (or cannot).
    For example, there are certain regions-granaries with good harvests. The country is fed from them and there is a certain export that brings the country $$$, which INCLUDING go to support the war. Now imagine the opposite side, which cannot reach these granaries in terms of capture, but which is interested in disorganizing the rear of the enemy (by sabotaging the harvest) and his foreign economic income.
    In the event of such a provocation, this grain (the degree of its radioactive contamination is not so important) instantly becomes "media toxic". They don’t take it abroad, they demand an array of additional expertise, inside the country there is a sharp increase in hysteria about food - the people are again tearing up to stock up on bread, flour, buckwheat, etc. Prices break through the ceiling. As a result, damage. Each high-profile case associated with this, or even an attempt to hide it that has been revealed, will again and again and again raise silt from the bottom. And this is in addition to the colossal damage that will be caused by exploration and decontamination, the alienation of some sites with compensation to the owners, etc.

    So do not say that this is a "paper tiger", no, we live in a world that is rapidly going crazy, and this tiger is becoming more and more real, unfortunately.
  10. Popenko
    Popenko 8 October 2022 13: 25
    Even if you take the largest of the existing bombs and make it "dirty", the effect will still be local. Estimate the weight of the bomb yourself = the weight of the explosives + the weight of the "dirt" - minuscule.
  11. Crisp
    Crisp 8 October 2022 15: 03
    Another difference between Chernobyl and the bomb is not reflected. A bomb is several tens of kilograms of highly enriched uranium or plutonium, and Chernobyl is several hundred tons of low enriched fuel. Plus radioactive materials formed from the material of the reactor.
  12. navycat777
    navycat777 8 October 2022 15: 06
    Pretty weak analytics of a very civil person with primary education
  13. Maks1995
    Maks1995 8 October 2022 17: 19
    Not tired?
    Infa "Ukrainians are about to make a dirty bomb" has been thrown in almost every month for about a year now.
    Zero facts. Body movements - zero. Intelligence is zero. But it’s necessary to write something bad about Ukraine, all the more with impunity ...

    That's about the bomb with a newbie (or similar), no one writes anything. But the statements of our media were that the Americans simply printed the formula and data in open chemistry journals (like even 2 times)
  14. flicker
    flicker 8 October 2022 23: 49
    "Dirty bomb" - radiological or psychological weapon?
    Rather, a smokescreen before the West uses a tactical nuclear charge.
    The West has long been kneading the topic of the use of tactical nuclear weapons by Russia, then they will use them themselves and blame us for this. Allegedly for the attack on the Crimean bridge.
    After that, Ze will announce that Ukraine, allegedly in response, creates its own nuclear weapons and will use Western tactical nuclear weapons against us as its own. Although, in fact, the West will apply, and Ze will obediently attribute authorship to Ukraine.
  15. ada
    ada 9 October 2022 02: 23
    Chavotaya didn’t understand - a radiological weapon, is this already our terminology? or foreign? Tell me, who knows, please.
  16. Buyan
    Buyan 9 October 2022 17: 58
    Why is only Chernobyl considered? But what about Fukushima? Or can't you write about it?
    1. Mikhail3
      Mikhail3 10 October 2022 10: 28
      Democratic freedom of information has placed a dull information bloc around Fukushima. There is no information about it) There is a very shameful story there, firstly, and secondly, the Japanese wash every day many tons of radioactive water into the ocean. And this water is carried to the coast of the USA. Such a map of currents. So there is no open information and will not be)
  17. Mikhail3
    Mikhail3 10 October 2022 10: 26
    Plutonium has an absolutely incredible oncoactivity. Plutonium dust can cause cancer in millions of people. It's good that a lot of plutonium was taken away at the Zaporozhye NPP. But that's definitely not all. It is necessary, extremely necessary to speed up the NWO in every possible way!
    After the Crimean bridge, you can submit to the UN Security Council the issue of recognizing Ukraine as a terrorist state (they will accept it, they won’t accept it, don’t care, you just need to open the question) and start dumping energy, communications, industry, no matter what! Crap...
  18. Buyan
    Buyan 10 October 2022 10: 42
    Quote: Mikhail3
    Democratic freedom of information has placed a dull information bloc around Fukushima. There is no information about it) There is a very shameful story there, firstly, and secondly, the Japanese wash every day many tons of radioactive water into the ocean. And this water is carried to the coast of the USA. Such a map of currents. So there is no open information and will not be)

    Democracy in all its glory