How real is the threat of a nuclear attack against the US?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Frederick, Dec 3, 2002.

  1. Frederick

    Frederick Second Unit

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    I don't know if this can be considered political, and if so, I apologize for starting the thread, but I just read that the US Postal Service will be "offering potassium iodide pills to their mail carriers to protect against thyroid cancer in the event of a radiological emergency".
    Radiological Emergency?!?! Is this going to cause a slight panic among those who are already paranoid about the next terrorist attack against us? Are people going to start stock piling potassium iodide pills "just in case"? I live in Chicago, and I work and live very close to downtown, so if something was to happen here I'd be affected regardless to what it is. And Chicago has been mentioned as a possible terrorist target. I've accepted this fact, and refuse to live my life any differently (except for keeping my eyes open more). At lunch, I overheard people talking about moving to the suburbs in fear of a nuke going off in the loop after reading that article. Granted, all things changes after 9/11, but that seems a little extreme to me. The thought of a nuclear device going off anywhere is frightening, even on a small scale. And watching The Sum of All Fears this weekend didn't help [​IMG]. How likely is this?
    Freddy C.
     
  2. Jed M

    Jed M Cinematographer

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    I would agree with Warren Buffet on this one and say not if, but when. Maybe not anytime soon or even the next few decades but you have to believe at some point nuclear weapons will fall into the hands of one of our enemies (or just some nut)or possibly just become easier to make. Either way I don't see any way of avoiding it. Sounds grim and I live in Las Vegas and god knows terrorists hate what this city stands for, but like you, I am not going to change my life. Shit happens all the time so I am not going to hide under my bed waiting for the next terrorist attack. I have a better chance dying by drowning, starving, spontaneously combusting, etc. than I do dying in a nuclear attack, so even though I think someday it will happen I will play the odds and keep going about my life.
     
  3. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    Radiological weapons are not the same as thermonuclear/fusion or atomic/fission devices. We're talking about so-called "dirty weapons" here (that is, conventional explosives laced with radioactive waste material). Their effectiveness as weapons of mass destruction is nonexistent. They are dangerous if you're near the blast or if you come into contact with any radioactive agents. And their ability to disperse the radioactive material is entirely dependent on prevailing winds. Even then, their effectiveness is limited.
     
  4. Todd Hochard

    Todd Hochard Cinematographer

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    Regarding the Post Office, the "radiological emergency" that they speak of, would be the shipping of a highly-radioactive material through the mail, a la the anthrax deal. So, in that regard, unless you are on the mailing list of Al Qaeda- fear not.[​IMG]
    Seriously, I don't mean to make light of it, but something like that (as Jack pointed out) has no REAL potential for any sort of widespread damage.
    I also fully expect that, some day, someone will detonate a thermonuclear weapon on our soil. It will done as act of terrorism, not war. When? Who knows? But, I'm sure that's why we (the US gov't, that is) are so concerned about the proliferation of nuclear weaponry in "less secure" nations.
    Tell your friends- if they think Chicago is going to be hit, they want to be IN the Loop. Instant death by fireball is most certainly preferable to slow, cancerous death from low level radiation poisoning from the fringe fallout. And, not to be morbid, but if I were a terrorist- America's Heartland with the potential for millions of immediate casualties is where I'd go with a fusion device. I'm betting that our Homeland Security folks have thought of that, though.
    Now, surely that can't be considered too political, as who's (on this board, at least) going to argue the counterpoint of being FOR a nuclear attack on US soil?[​IMG]
    Todd
     
  5. Grant B

    Grant B Producer

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    I worked on NMD (National Missile Defence) for 6 years...and would be working on it now if I wanted to relocated to Huntsville Alabama. The system we devised worked both times and knocked the dummy warhead out of the sky; which I am pretty proud of consider a total of 6 people did most of the work.
    A grizzled old engineer once told me "Why would anyone shoot a missile at us, it would be easier hiding it in a shipment of cocaine"[​IMG] [​IMG]
    I thought he was joking but the point is good, our borders are pourous enough to allow millions of pounds of drugs into the country, how can we stop a little old nuclear weapon?
    But that considered why do countrys spend $$$$$$$$$$ on missile development? Prestige maybe? Huge phallic thing the North Koreans call the Dong (I am serious) but people starve because it drains huge amounts of resources
    The info I know is more than most; but is classified.
    Would I worry? No.
    Be careful and if something happens, run the other way and take cover. Dont eat or drink anything until you find out the details. If you are ground zero, nothing to do but say Hi to God...but unlike films that shoot everything in slow motion; you wont know what hit you
     
  6. MikeAlletto

    MikeAlletto Cinematographer

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    I really don't think there is much of a chance of a full nuke going off here. Maybe a dirty bomb, but not a full nuke. The fallout would be only the beginning though. Those nowhere near the blast would definitely feel the psychological and economical effects of it. I think something nuclear going off in the US is probably not the worst case scenario. I think daily car bombs and daily violence against small groups of people in small towns against items like buses and bridges would be far more damaging than a nuke. It's all about creating fear. I refuse to be afraid.
     
  7. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    Let's keep this a politcally free thread and we can keep yapping about an interesting subject. *ahem* My finger is on the button. [​IMG] (Military term: "overwhelming superiority.")
    I try to keep abreast of our capabilities through the public press (including Aviation Week and Space Technology—mostly for the space stuff, though). My understanding is that no known terrorist organizations presently have access to enough fissionable material to make a nuclear device. We're talking about something that is the apple of many a nation's eye. It takes resources to produce, much less deliver, a nuclear weapon, no?
    (Remember, no political commentary. Thanks!)
     
  8. Philip_G

    Philip_G Producer

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    who knows, the russians misplaced a few nukes didn't they? never know, someone could end up with one.
    oh well, I'll probably get creamed by some old lady years before that happens.
     
  9. Steve Enemark

    Steve Enemark Second Unit

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  10. Carl Johnson

    Carl Johnson Cinematographer

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    I wouldn't call it "far, far easier". I'd assume that any group with the resources to acquire a nuke could probably get their hands on an airplane big enough to carry it. Any old private jet scheduled to fly from Mexico City to a major American city would do the trick.
     
  11. Michael*K

    Michael*K Screenwriter

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  12. Jim_C

    Jim_C Cinematographer

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    >>And of course there's little chance that casualties would be very high if someone struck in say, NYC, Boston, L.A., San Francisco...
     
  13. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    Los Angeles County: several, several million people (more than are in some states) are in the area at any one time. Our city is the second largest in the United States.
     
  14. Edwin-S

    Edwin-S Lead Actor
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    Anybody ever bother to ask the question why Americans have to worry about a nuke going off in one their cities? I would think that the likelihood of someone setting off a nuke on American soil is zero to none. Unless it was an American who decided to do it.
     
  15. Greg_S_H

    Greg_S_H Executive Producer

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  16. Adam Barratt

    Adam Barratt Cinematographer

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    Only vaguely related, but I thought this was an interesting read.
    Adam
     
  17. Julian Reville

    Julian Reville Screenwriter

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  18. JamieD

    JamieD Supporting Actor

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  19. MikeAlletto

    MikeAlletto Cinematographer

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  20. Todd Hochard

    Todd Hochard Cinematographer

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    I'm curious to know why do you think that? All it takes is for one warhead to be "procured" and brought here, and could be wired to detonate with a guy sitting right next to it. Heck, there's already been a movie about it- True Lies.
    Todd
    P.S. I hope I'm not getting culled onto a "list" for suggesting these things- Hey, what's that white car sitting outside my house?[​IMG]
     

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