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ROYAL AIR FORCE. COMMON CORE AND DEPLOYMENT SKILLS AIDE-MEMOIRE

TASK 20. THE NUCLEAR IMMEDIATE ACTION DRILL

You have to be able to:

Recognise a nuclear explosion and carry out the Immediate Action (IA) drill.

Study Notes

The main differences between a nuclear and any other explosion are its scale and the fact it gives out radiation. You cannot sense radiation so you must recognise such an explosion by its other characteristics. These will be: a blindingly bright flash, followed by a wave of intense heat and a devastating blast wave. To survive, as soon as you sense the flash, you must:

a. Shut your eyes.

b. Drop to the ground face downward.

c. Place your hands under your body.

Note: On a ship place one arm over and one under your head to reduce whip and shock injury.

d. Remain flat until the heat and 2 blast waves have passed you.

Practice

Learn the characteristics and practise the IA drill, reacting to a flash of light.

TASK 21. NUCLEAR IMMEDIATE DECONTAMINATION

You have to be able to:

a. Know the form radioactive contamination takes.

b. Know the effect that radiation will have on your body.

c. Be able to remove it from your person.

Study Notes

When a nuclear weapon bursts close to the Earth's surface, large quantities of dirt or water are drawn up with the hot air rising from the explosion. It becomes radioactive as it rises. Heavy debris will fall back close to the point of explosion but lighter particles are carried down wind to spread across the Earth's surface as a carpet of 'fallout'. All radiation is dangerous to the body. Some causes burns if it lands on exposed skin and is a serious hazard if inhaled, swallowed or enters open wounds. Gamma radiation is particularly dangerous. It causes 'radiation sickness' which takes the form of nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, general malaise and, with a high dose, eventual death. Radioactive fallout can be recognised only by special instruments called dosimeters and dose-rate meters.

Decontamination

You cannot destroy radiation but can protect yourself by removing fallout from your body and personal equipment as soon as possible by brushing, wiping, dusting or shaking. This should be done in an area where it will not be a hazard to you or others later on.

Gross contamination may require a change of suit. Before entering the shelter remove as much of the radio-active dust as possible.

Practice

a. Learn the form fallout will take and the effects radiation can have on your body.

b. Practise decontaminating yourself while wearing full IPE.

TASK 22. COLLECTIVE PROTECTION (COLPRO)

COLPRO

What is it?

NATO definition "Protection provided to a group of individuals in a nuclear, biological and chemical environment which permits relaxation of individual nuclear, biological and chemical protection".

What it does

Colpro is provided for two main functions, to provide a Protected Working Environment (PWE) and for rest and relief.

How it does it

Colpro is achieved by providing a room or container that is or can be airtight, and free of toxic liquid and vapour; this is called the Toxic Free Area (TFA). To prevent vapour from seeping in through cracks it is necessary to ensure that there is an over pressure of air inside that is always greater than the pressure outside. This is achieved by pumping in clean air that has been passed through suitable filters, ensuring any leaks are outwards.

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