Would’ve family nuclear shelters from the 1950s actually done any good in a nuclear attack?

On January 22, 2013

I’m doing a project over Nuclear Fallout Shelters in the 1950s. If anyone knows anything about how well they would have protected anyone, please tell me. Some random facts could be useful. Thanks

Chosen Answer:

I agree with Mike on one aspect–they would work only if you were outside the impact zone. However there were some fallout shelter that theoretically would’ve worked. From what I heard–my dad had one of these in the backyard of his childhood home–the walls had a layer of lead in the center that supposedly would’ve been enough to block radiation. My dentist does the same thing when she gives my teeth an x-ray. Both her and I wear lead aprons to protect everything else from unnecessary radiation. I suppose the effectiveness of the lead in a fallout shelter would be determined by how close it was to the bomb, so maybe it wouldn’t have worked in all situations. But still, some effectiveness is better than none…

Hope this helps!

EDIT: I’m pretty sure radiation can make it through concrete…
by: Katy
on: 5th May 09

3 Responses to “Would’ve family nuclear shelters from the 1950s actually done any good in a nuclear attack?”

  • Not really. You might of survived the impact if you were outside a 50 mile area but the whole region would of been contaiminated with radioactive fallout. The realities is today nuclear weapons are so devestating, were not even talking about a “suitcase” bomb but a real nuclear warhead.

  • well the shelters could not survive a direct nuclear attack, they were made to protect the inhabitants from the radiation and fallout following a nuclear attack. the shelters were usually made out of steel and concrete, the thicker the better. the radiation that is emitted by a nuclear bomb can not penetrate thick concrete, so anyone inside would have been protected.

    really in a nuclear disaster, even a shelter wouldnt protect you very well, really it was just a phsychological thing that makes you think you are safe.

  • I agree with Mike on one aspect–they would work only if you were outside the impact zone. However there were some fallout shelter that theoretically would’ve worked. From what I heard–my dad had one of these in the backyard of his childhood home–the walls had a layer of lead in the center that supposedly would’ve been enough to block radiation. My dentist does the same thing when she gives my teeth an x-ray. Both her and I wear lead aprons to protect everything else from unnecessary radiation. I suppose the effectiveness of the lead in a fallout shelter would be determined by how close it was to the bomb, so maybe it wouldn’t have worked in all situations. But still, some effectiveness is better than none…

    Hope this helps!

    EDIT: I’m pretty sure radiation can make it through concrete…