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Nuclear Warfare Threat to Australia

In our opinion the threat of nuclear weapons being used against Australia is low - it would require a conflict between super powers equipped with intercontinental ballistic missiles. The most obvious threat would be from China.

The best place to start if you are looking for information on this subject is the book by Cresson Kearny titled "Nuclear War Survival Skills". This book is available online at http://www.oism.org/nwss/ but this version does not include the graphs and other images so I recommend that you purchase it in hard copy.

The map below shows the 'Top 40' strategic targets in Australia. The blue dots represent air burst weapons of 1MT or 500KT and the yellow dots surface burst of similar yields. The air burst weapons do not result in any appreciable nuclear fallout, however, the shaded yellow areas show the area that would receive an accumulated dose of greater that 100 rems within 14 days of the explosion.

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Figure 1. Nuclear Hazard Map (Click for print friendly map)

In recent times there has been significant attention drawn to the supposed nuclear threat posed by North Korea. Whilst there is a very real threat against Japan, and US bases in Guam and the Philippines the map below highlights that given the best estimate of the range of the Taepo-Dong 2 missile of 4,300 kilometres (the longest range of any missile in North Korea's arsenal) Australia still falls outside its range. Some media reports seriously exaggerated the range of this missile but these have since been discredited. In fact the TD-2 has never been successfully test-fired and so poses no real threat to anyone at this time.


Figure 2. Maximum Range of the Taepo-Dong 2 Missile.


 

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