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We recently marked the 78th anniversary of the atomic bombings on Japan during World War II, and the looming specter of nuclear threats continues to cast its shadow

September 2023

Dr. Yehoshua Socol, who specializes in nuclear physics, challenges a commonly held assumption, asserting that while a nuclear attack on Israel would undoubtedly bring devastation, contrary to prevailing beliefs, it would not spell the end of the Zionist enterprise  “Socol suggests that the consequences of a nuclear strike would parallel those of a direct missile attack, with casualties limited to those in close proximity to the blast.”


This year marks the passage of 78 years since the fateful events of August 1945 when atomic bombs struck Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The occasion gained renewed attention with the release of director Christopher Nolan's film “Oppenheimer,” a biographical exploration of Robert Oppenheimer, often dubbed the “father” of the atomic bomb.


In the backdrop of ongoing negotiations for a new nuclear agreement between Iran and the United States, coupled with resurgent Russian nuclear threats, the specter of nuclear catastrophe continues to haunt our world in 2023. Dr. Yehoshua Socol, a scholar and lecturer at JCT - Lev Academic Center, an authority on nuclear physics and chairman of the Nuclear Awareness Academics Forum, engages in a discourse with "Israel Hayom" newspaper, contending that even in an extreme scenario where Iran procures nuclear capabilities and targets Tel Aviv with an atomic bomb, the outcome would be catastrophic but not apocalyptic.


“Such an extreme case will undoubtedly have disastrous consequences on an unprecedented scale,” asserts Dr. Socol. “Yet, this would not signal the demise of the nation. While tens of thousands may perish, and widespread destruction would ensue, it is not tantamount to a second Holocaust. Israel’s existence as a political entity would endure, and the map would not be purged of Gush Dan.”


Dr. Socol draws upon research delving into the potential nuclear threat to Israel, noting that analyzing the consequences of the use of nuclear weapons in Japan at the end of World War II indicates that most people who saw the nuclear mushroom cloud in person survived the ordeal, often unscathed.

He highlights the case of Hiroshima, where individuals sheltered within concrete buildings just 200 meters from the blast site managed to survive. Conversely, most individuals situated in open spaces within a 2 kilometers radius perished. Over the years, radiation-induced fatal cancer affected around 600 survivors of the atomic blasts, resulting in an overall excess mortality rate of merely 6%. Furthermore, contrary to prevalent notions, no hereditary mutations manifested in the survivors’ descendants.

Dr. Socol underscores that those in close proximity to the explosion would face a similar fate to a direct missile impact. He outlines behavioral guidelines that could potentially amplify survival chances by a factor of ten in the event of a nuclear strike. "Anticipate the blast wave as the primary source of injury. React by seeking cover on the ground upon sighting the initial flash.”

Dr. Socol’s insights also encompass the effectiveness of underground shelters. Such refuges, he posits, could shield individuals located at least 200 meters away from a blast of comparable intensity to the Hiroshima bomb. Standard bomb shelters might offer protection at a distance of approximately 500 meters from the explosion. For thermal radiation generated by a nuclear blast, rudimentary safeguards like clothing or a newspaper sheet could mitigate skin scorching.

Radiation aftermath also enters the discourse. Dr. Socol clarifies that immediate death is not a certainty for those exposed to high radiation levels. Many can be saved through antibiotic and anti-emetic treatments. Even those who survive radiation sickness face only a 50% elevated risk of developing cancer, resulting in a marginal reduction in life expectancy from 81 years to around 79 years. Worries of genetic mutations, he contends, are unfounded. 

Addressing nuclear fallout, Dr. Socol explains its potential generation in a near-ground explosion. He notes that Hiroshima and Nagasaki did not witness this phenomenon. Fallout radiation diminishes tenfold within seven hours and 100-fold within two days. He advises seeking refuge in subterranean or multi-story buildings, avoiding ground and upper floors when necessary.

In conclusion, Dr. Socol emphasizes that while a nuclear bomb wields devastating power, its scope is confined. Structures within a 400-meter radius of the blast epicenter might crumble, while modern buildings crafted from reinforced concrete could collapse at a kilometer’s distance.  Stone and concrete edifices with an inset floor may falter a mile and a half away. Severe skin burns could afflict individuals three kilometers out, and unreinforced windows would shatter at four kilometers. These findings affirm that the nation’s survival won’t be compromised, echoing the sentiment that “the Glory of Israel does not deceive or change His mind” is a belief reinforced by scientific analysis.



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