The Castle-Bravo blast at Bikini in 1954 was a fifteen megaton surface blast. It blew a hole over a mile wide and four hundred feet deep in the atoll, completely obliterating the island and vaporizing over thirteen billion cubic feet of coral, rock and water, sending it in a radioactive cloud extending into the stratosphere. The fallout over the atolls downwind was devastating to the people and ecology there. All of that material is rendered extremely radioactive and as it cools it condenses to fall as rain or radioactive "snow " which contaminates everything it touches. The effects are felt worldwide.
Firing der Bush 's bunker busters in Iran, or anywhere else for that matter, will vaporize hundreds of thousands of tons of earth, water and rock and send this radioactive soup downwind to kill and sicken whole populations. Those immediately downwind will die quickly, in hours or days. Those further downwind will take longer. The global incidences of cancers and disease will again rise markedly. The land downwind will remain contaminated and unusable for generations. If there were deep shelters, it has been postulated by the designers that the bunker busters would not penetrate deeply enough to affect them. I imagine that would initiate the attack theory of sending one nuke after another into the same hole. Picture the intensity of the radioactive disaster that would perpetrate on the area.
There are not too many of us left that witnessed the tests, but there are a number of groups that monitor the effects through cancers, birth defects, both physical and mental and monitoring of contamination in the environment. We are still feeling the results of those tests. I have exchanged e-mails with downwinders and with the children of downwinders who have had children with birth defects that had no previous history of such things in their families; who suffer from cancers that are peculiar to nuclear radiation.
Now we are facing the specter of Depleted Uranium, which is turning up in atmospheric filters around the world. Depleted Uranium is a nuclear byproduct of the nuclear industry. It is a low level radioactive material of extreme density. The half life of DU is 4.5 billion years. Workers in DU have to wear full protective equipment and respirators. DU ammunition is extremely hard and dense. It penetrates armor like tissue paper, vaporizing and burning, leaving dust and particles as shrapnel to be ingested or breathed. DU is not what the public thinks of as a radioactive material. It only emits alpha and beta radiation. A piece of paper will stop it. However, when it is in the lungs or elsewhere in the body, it is in contact with living tissue, bombarding that tissue with low level radiation for the rest of your life and beyond. That radiation can lead to cancers, genetic damage and eventual death.
Independent laboratories like Johns Hopkins have studied this and made predictions of the harm it can do. The government says, as it did with Agent Orange, "There is nothing to it, it is all in your head. " Meanwhile, people continue to sicken and die and will for generations.
Should der Bush be prevailed upon to not use nuclear weapons, he can still cause a catastrophe. If he attacks Iranian nuclear facilities with conventional weapons, he may breach the containments of the reactors. This could cause one or more "Chernobyls, " or even a meltdown, the so-called China Syndrome
Chernobyl was not a nuclear explosion. It was just a very hot, stubborn fire in nuclear fuel. Chernobyl and a huge surrounding area is uninhabitable for an estimated three to six hundred years. The fallout from Chernobyl contaminated food and livestock around Europe and Scandinavia for a long time, and the radiation is still traceable in the earth and some living things.
I, and many thousands like me, worked for many years to end the nuclear threat. Treaties were drawn up and ratified. The Peaceful Uses of Space treaty which guaranteed that no nation would use space as a platform for making war. That treaty is now derided by the American Military Establishment as naive. We are ready to take full control of the space around earth to provide a high ground for attack on any "threat " to the United States hegemony. The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty which was to keep nuclear weapon technology from spreading around the world. Der Bush has narrowed that down to anyone who could conceivably at some time in the future be a threat to American domination. Our "friends " can build what they want. We 'll even help them. The Arms Reduction Treaty between us and the CCCP. That was a treaty to destroy nuclear weapons and delivery systems on a mutual basis, with observers from each country verifying the destruction. Der Bush and Putin decided to change that to putting the weapons in storage instead of destroying them. Storage means access by black marketeers who can bribe poorly paid security guards and remove weapons and weapon grade material for resale to the highest bidder.
Treaties mean nothing to this government, of course, if they interfere with profits or power. The Geneva Conventions on the treatment of prisoners is ignored, the international conventions against torture are ignored, the tenets of our own Bill of Rights and Constitution guaranteeing privacy and freedom of expression to its citizens are being canceled our by der Bush and his minions, the United Nations Charter is ignored or derided. The Kyoto Protocols on global warming and other studies are ignored by this administration as they interfere with short term profits.
All of these breaches of humanity are overshadowed, however, by the possibility of our using nuclear weapons. The effects of that will be as earth shattering as global warming and pollution. This can be avoided very simply by not using them,the one thing we cannot count on der Bush doing unless we stop him by absolutely forbidding the use of nuclear weapons. Even better would be to forbid him from conducting so called "preemptive wars " with anybody who disagrees with him.
Here are some links for those who wish to read a bit further into the subject.
This is my page on the Atomic Veterans site. It contains writings on my nuclear experiences. Then explore the rest of the site. http://www.aracnet.com/~pdxavets/osborn.htm
Downwinders are those who have been exposed to radiation through our testing both here and in the Pacific. http://www.downwinders.org/
There are a number of Chernobyl sites of interest, but these two really bring it home. http://library.thinkquest.org/3426/ Goes over the circumstances and effects of Chernobyl on the world. The Kiddofspeed site is the site of a courageous lady named Elena who has ridden her motorcycle through Chernobyl and its surroundings, photographing what she found there. http://www.kiddofspeed.com/chapter1.html
Depleted Uranium is discussed at many sites including the following, http://www.iacenter.org/depleted/du.htm Googling Depleted Uranium will give you about five million hits, many of them government apologia saying that DU is harmless, or nearly harmless.