Thursday, 20 September, 2018

CDC schedules briefing on preparing for nuclear detonation

This Wednesday Nov. 29 2017 image provided by the North Korean government on Thursday Nov. 30 2017 shows what the North Korean government calls the Hwasong-15 intercontinental ballistic missile at an undisclosed location in North Korea. Independent CDC to inform public on nuclear safety measures
Johnnie Parks | 08 January, 2018, 17:49

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will hold a public session and teach people to prepare for such a disaster on January 16 at the agency's Atlanta headquarters.

"While a nuclear detonation is unlikely, it would have devastating results and there would be limited time to take critical protection steps", a notice on the CDC's website states.

For instance, the agency said, it is important to shelter in place for at least 24 hours after a detonation to reduce exposure to radiation. The "grand rounds", as they're called, will focus on what federal, state, and local public health programs have done to prepare for a nuclear detonation. "They should accurately be aware that this is not a threat but a reality".

Still, the event coincides with increasingly bellicose rhetoric between Mr. Trump and North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un over the repressive Asian regime's nuclear ambitions and rocket tests. And indeed, it is the CDC's job to prepare for the worst, even if that means dressing the worst as a zombie apocalypse.

The session comes at a crucial time, as just days ago Kim Jong-un informed the world his nuclear arsenal is now complete and said there was a "nuclear button" on his desk that is ready for use.

The CDC held a similar event back in 2010, so it's something the agency does on occasion.

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The titles of several of the talks that will make up the session are enough to give one pause, including "Preparing for the Unthinkable", and "Roadmap to Radiation Preparedness".

After the launch, Kim said North Korea had "finally realized the great historic cause of completing the state nuclear force", according to reports.

Late previous year, Hawaii started testing its nuclear attack warning siren - a first since the Cold War.

Leaving behind what experts say about how "unlikely" the nuclear war between America and North-Korea is, it's essential that people begin to be informed about the safety measures.

A spokesperson for the agency told Scientific American that the event has been underway for months, noting that CDC officials took part in a "radiation/nuclear incident exercise" led by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) earlier this year.

Members of the public can submit questions for the discussion, or apply to attend the event in person, by contacting the CDC's Grand Rounds team.

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