Generally, a given dose received in a short period of time
will be more harmful than the same dose received over a
longer period of time. For practical purposes, the types
Burn injuries to personnel can result when
of radiation exposures are as follows:
their skin directly absorbs radiant energy
· Acute. Those in which doses are received in a
from thermal radiation.
short time, normally less than 24 hours, as a
result of exposure to initial radiation, base surge,
· Protracted. Those in which doses are received
What type of nuclear blast causes bodily
over a longer period of time, normally greater
displacement casualties for personnel caught
than 24 hours, as a result of exposure to fallout.
in the open?
C H A R AC T E R I S T I C S O F R A D I AT I O N
SICKNESS.-- Radiation sickness is the complex of
symptoms characterizing an excessive exposure of the
entire body or a large part of it to nuclear radiation. The
onset of radiation sickness depends primarily on the
dose received. Early symptoms are nausea, vomiting,
Underwater shock produces injury among
and diarrhea, which may be followed by hemorrhage,
topside and below-deck personnel by the
rapid upward movement of the deck.
inflammation of the mouth and throat, and general loss
of energy. At lower dose levels that will cause sickness,
several hours might elapse before the severity of the
symptoms will make anyone a CI. After the initial
period of sickness, a variable latent period is likely
during which the individual shows few outward
symptoms other than a general lack of well being.
During this middle period, personnel should be able to
perform most light tasks. After a week or so, the second
In this chapter you have been introduced to nuclear
and more serious phase of their sickness occurs and lasts
bursts and their effects. Your knowledge of these
effects and bursts will better prepare you to train
several weeks until the person either recovers or dies. As
personnel to protect themselves from the effects of
dose levels increase, the pace of illness quickens--the
nuclear bursts. In the following chapter you will be
onset occurs sooner and the latent period becomes
introduced to personnel defense, shipboard defense,
shorter. Also, the probability of death increases, and the
time between exposure and death shortens.