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Nuclear Bunkers

There has been a back and forth competition between nations intending on building stronger and deeper nuclear bunkers and those whose intention is to design the "end all" weapon that will be supposedly capable of destroying any and all nuclear bunkers-no matter how deep below ground they are.

The U.S. has been researching and developing the bunker buster bomb that supposedly will make deep nuclear bunkers an easy target.

While all this is going on, there are voices in the world of science that suggest such a weapon is a great idea in theory but a waste of money from a practical sense and also very dangerous.

Nuclear Weapons in a New Light-And a New Packaging

Located near Albuquerque, New Mexico, The Los Alamos Nuclear Weapons Lab has projects under its sleeve that for various reasons involving top secrecy, are never exposed to the public view or even the light of day. But occasionally things do leak out or are intentionally released to the public.

In 1991, a scientific brief was delivered to The U.S. Defense Science Board (which is basically under the control of the U.S. military) that discussed the options and possibilities for using nuclear weapons to destroy underground nuclear bunkers in countries that may be deemed enemies or threats to the U.S.

In 1993 the administration of U.S. President Bill Clinton basically put the kibosh on the idea, but behind closed doors, scientists in cooperation with top military thinkers were continuing to research ways to use nuclear weapons as a means of destroying underground nuclear bunkers.

The administration of George W. Bush introduced the idea of what it called "The Robust Nuclear Earth Penetrator," also known by its abbreviation RNEP. In short, the idea behind RNEP was to try and develop a strengthened missile containing a nuclear warhead that would be able to penetrate hardened nuclear bunkers made of many feet of reinforced concrete (or even built into the side of mountains) and then release the power of an atomic blast below ground, supposedly ensuring destruction and also limiting the effects of an atomic blast above ground.

But Would The End Justify The Means?

Many scientists have cast doubts about whether or not the RNEP would work and many have gone so far as to publicly say that while such a device (might) do some severe damage to the most hardened of nuclear bunkers, RNEP would be in reality something that would do much more harm to the inhabitants of planet Earth compared to the possible (and unproven) benefits that it might provide against enemy targets.

Numerous scientific studies have shown that even with the strongest casing, an RNEP weapon would not be able to penetrate deep enough into the Earth to be able to contain the massive amount of nuclear fallout. It's commonly believed among scientists who have looked into the idea that no matter how hardened an RNEP device would be the casing would be crushed by the time it penetrated no more than 30 feet into concrete or natural rock.

One scientist has stated publicly that the laws of physics would never allow any nuclear device to penetrate far enough into the Earth to keep all nuclear fallout from escaping. Such rationale suggests that in this case millions of people many hundreds of miles would be killed by nuclear fallout from such a device. Many would agree that destroying nuclear bunkers at the cost of millions of lives is not worth the effort.

The alternative suggested is that precision guided weapons currently in the U.S. arsenal would be much more effective and certainly cause much less collateral damage. The weapons that the U.S. currently has to penetrate nuclear bunkers could at least do enough damage to the bunkers to render them unusable until other follow up options could be implemented or the country on the receiving end might decide to give up on what it was pursuing.

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