Suppose the unthinkable happens — terrorists explode a nuclear bomb in a major U.S. city.

Th e blast wave, extreme heat, nuclear radiation, and then radioactive fallout from even a simple device would have disastrous eff ects on the population in and around ground zero, potentially dwarfi ng the results of the terrorist acts of September 11, 2001. For example, an explosion the size of the Hiroshima blast (approximately 15- to 20-kiloton yield) could kill more than 100,000 people, injure a similar number, and lead to the evacuation of hundreds of square miles of radioactively contaminated land surrounding the blast site.

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