TYPES OF NUCLEAR BURSTS
23-8. There are three types of nuclear bursts: subsurface burst, airburst, and surface burst. The type of
burst directly affects your chances of survival. A subsurface burst occurs completely underground or
underwater. Its effects remain beneath the surface or in the immediate area where the surface collapses
into a crater over the burst's location. Subsurface bursts cause you little or no radioactive hazard unless
you enter the immediate area of the crater.
23-9. An airburst occurs in the air above its intended target. The airburst provides the maximum radiation
effect on the target and is, therefore, most dangerous to you in terms of
23-10. A surface burst occurs on the ground or water surface. Large amounts of fallout result, with serious
long-term effects for you. This type of burst is your
23-11. Most injuries in the nuclear environment result from the initial nuclear effects of the detonation.
These injuries are classed as blast, thermal, or radiation injuries. Further radiation injuries may occur if
you do not take proper precautions against fallout. Individuals in the area near a nuclear explosion will
probably suffer a combination of all three types of injuries.
23-12. Blast injuries produced by nuclear weapons are similar to those caused by conventional high-
explosive weapons. Blast overpressure can collapse lungs and rupture internal organs. Projectile wounds
occur as the explosion's force hurls debris at you. Large pieces of debris striking you will cause fractured
limbs or massive internal injuries. Blast overpressure may throw you long distances, and you will suffer
severe injury upon impact with the ground or other objects. Substantial cover and distance from the