Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has included battles in or near nuclear power plants. The recent shelling at the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant has raised alarm bells worldwide.
In the unlikely scenario of a nuclear attack on America- an all-out nuclear war - very few places would be safe, though no doubt less populated, remote areas would be safer.
An enemy nation would first aim to neutralize the U.S. nuclear capabilities by targeting strategic military installations, many of which are near large urban centers.
Stephen Schwartz, author of "Atomic Audit: The Costs and Consequences of US Nuclear Weapons Since 1940," identified 15 such targets.
To find the worst places to be if there’s a nuclear attack on America, 24/7 Wall St. constructed an index consisting of several measures to rank major U.S. cities likely to be targets based on both Schwartz’s and Redlener’s lists.
It is important to note that the first priority in case of a nuclear explosion is not to evacuate but to “get inside, stay inside, stay tuned,” according to Ready.gov.
FEMA’s plan reiterates the message and asks to stay inside an “adequate shelter in basements or the center of larger, dense buildings” for at least 12-24 hours if possible. It adds, “Stay tuned for public announcements about hazard areas and evacuations.”
To be sure, the nation’s capital has both a strategic and civilian value, and is therefore one of the most likely targets.
Many of the cities on the list may not be the first cities that come to mind as worst to be in case of a nuclear attack, but given the high likelihood they would be hit, at least partially, they make the list.