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November 3, 1962

The Effects of Nuclear Weapons

JAMA. 1962;182(5):595-596. doi:10.1001/jama.1962.03050440087033

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Abstract

The Atomic Bomb Casualty Commission; The First Fourteen Years. By R. K. Cannan. News Report XII (no. 1): 1-7 Jan.-Feb., 1962. National Academy of Sciences, National Research Council, 2101 Constitution Ave., N.W., Washington 25, D.C.

This is a peculiar book review because it reviews an encyclopedic government report and an article summarizing 2,409 articles and 14 years of hard work.

When The Effects of Atomic Weapons was first issued in 1957, it was based upon 1950 data on 1945 atom bombs. It contained everything known about "big" explosions and guessed at the rest. The decision to revise was made during the weapons-test moratorium, and was based upon the acquisition of facts rather than upon the necessity for guesses. Also, the word "big" had shifted from kilotons to megatons.

Generally, the book is written nontechnically, but gives a highly technical description of nuclear explosions. The problems of air blast, thermal irradiation,

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