the nature of the object with which the body collides,
blindness or dazzle). This is caused by exposure to the
and the nature of impact, whether glancing or solid.
extreme brightness of a nuclear burst, particularly at
night, when the eyes have adapted to the dark. This
Primary blast effects are associated with injuries
may happen regardless of the direction you are facing.
from static overpressure. Eardrums can rupture at
Flash blindness or dazzle occurs at ranges beyond
about 5 pounds per square inch (psi), lung injuries
those for retinal burns. Little data on the ranges at
occur at approximately 15 psi, and fatalities begin at 30
which flash blindness will occur is available.
psi. Personnel standing in the open will be picked up
and thrown by gust winds at overpressures of
NUCLEAR RADIATION INJURY
approximately 6 psi. Personnel prone in the open will
b e p i c ke d u p a n d t h r ow n a t ove r p r e s s u r e s o f
approximately 12 psi.
those that might be of significance for the military
effectiveness of naval personnel in combat operations.
UNDERWATER SHOCK INJURY
Injuries to personnel can be caused by exposure to initial
or residual radiation or a combination of the two. Unlike
Underwater shock produces injury among topside
injuries from other weapon effects, nuclear ionizing
and below-deck personnel by the rapid upward
radiation injuries may not become evident immediately
movement of the deck. Table 10-2 shows the estimated
unless a high enough dose is received. Nuclear
peak vertical velocity, in feet per second, which will
radiation, even in very small doses, has some harmful
produce certain injuries from underwater shock. It
effects on the body. It should be avoided whenever
should be noted that the peak vertical velocities are the
possible without interfering with military operations.
same as those required to produce damage to the ship.
FAC TO R S I N F L U E N C I N G R A D I AT I O N
INJURIES.-- An injury to an individual who has
Table 10-2. Combat Ineffectives from Underwater Shock
received nuclear radiation will depend on many
factors. Some of these factors are as follows:
Radiation dose received
Broken ankles or heel
Partial or whole-body exposure
Period over which the dose is received
Seated or supine man,
collision with adjacent
injury, including those due to physical condition,
Standing man, skull
sex, and age
Previous radiation exposure
Presence or absence of other injuries
THERMAL RADIATION INJURY
Periods of recuperation between periods of
Thermal radiation can cause burn injuries directly
when the skin absorbs radiant energy. It can also cause
The time required for a previously unexposed
burn injuries indirectly as a result of fires started by the
individual in good health to get sick or die after exposure
radiation. The flash of thermal radiation from the
will vary. It depends primarily on the total dose
fireball produces direct burns, called flash burns. The
received, the period of time over which it was received,
indirect, or secondary, burns are called flame burns.
and variations in individual physical makeup. Some
These burns are like the skin burns that are caused by
individuals have greater resistance to radiation injury
any large fire, no matter what its origin.
than others have, and some may have had partial body
Because thermal radiation can burn the retina of
shielding when exposed. For those personnel, a larger
the eye, it can cause permanent eye damage to
dose is required to produce a given biological effect.
personnel looking directly at the burst. For example, a
Individuals previously exposed may require less
1-MT burst 25 miles high could produce retinal burns
radiation to make them combat ineffective than those
out to the horizon on clear nights. A more frequent
who were not previously exposed. The human body can
occurrence is the temporary loss of visual acuity (flash
repair some of the radiation injury but not all of it.