Special Report

Washington DC Is the Worst Place to Be During a Nuclear Attack

Americans have lived under fear of nuclear attack since the 1950s. As a matter of fact, all school children were trained in “duck and cover,” which was supposed to protect them in the case of a nuclear attack. For some reason, people believed a flimsy desk was meaningful protection against a massive blast. (Here are nuclear silos, bunkers, and other cold war sites to visit in the U.S.)

It has almost always been assumed that a series of nuclear attacks originating in Russia would be aimed at America’s strategic targets as well as largest cities as a means of neutralizing U.S. nuclear capabilities and wiping out key infrastructure and as many people as possible. Among America’s metros, the one that would be the worst place to be during a nuclear attack is Washington, D.C. (This is the country with the most nuclear weapons.)

The primary reason Washington is so dangerous in the event of a nuclear war is that it is a highly likely target as both the center of the U.S. government and the command center of the military — particularly the Pentagon.

Washington also has a relatively high population density of 11,281 people per square mile – among the highest in the county, based on census figures. Given the population density, how highly congested the roads tend to get, and the fact that a large portion of the city is surrounded by water, it would be difficult to quickly evacuate the city in case of emergency.

A 1 megaton bomb dropped on the pentagon would result in 461,240 deaths and 924,160 injuries, according to Nukemap. The light blast damage radius of such a bomb would be 12.3 miles for a total of 475 miles squared.

See 24/7 Wall St.’s list of the worst places to be in the event of a nuclear attack on America.

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