Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School

Civil Engineering


The probable spread of nuclear arms capability and the continued build-up of nuclear weaponry in the arsenals of several nations are extremely critical. The possibility of a nuclear disaster, whether by accident, miscalculation, or design, has been greatly increased. Such a disaster could result in the annihilation or incapacitation of large numbers of the population. This is especially true for those people that are unprotected against the several effects -of nuclear weapons. During the period following World War II, the United States developed its strategic offensive forces to a point where they are now equal, if not superior, in quantity and quality, to the offensive forces of any other nation. These and other elements of American military deterrent forces do not preclude the possibility of a nuclear attack. Such a threat makes damage-limiting defense measures necessary. This responsibility falls largely upon the system of civil defense now in operation within the United States. It is economically unfeasible to provide mass protection against the immediate effects of a nuclear detonation, such as initial radiation, thermal radiation, and blast. As harsh as it may seem, civil defense cannot provide full protection for the entire population of the United States. However, it is feasible to provide fallout shelters for the protection of millions of Americans who would survive a nuclear attack, thus sustaining the existence of the United States. When an analyst considers a fallout shelter, he visualizes a structure, room, or space ·designed to protect its occupants from gamma radiation coming from a nuclear explosion. In order to determine how much protection a certain structure offers to its occupants, the analyst makes calculations based on the geometry and barrier effects of the structure. Graphs provided by the Office of Civil Defense aid in making these calculations. These graphs do not take into account the fact that some buildings have sloping roofs. . . . This investigation compares different techniques used for analyzing a sloping roof in order to obtain the protection factor. Several different methods were used which resulted in several normalized reduction factor curves from which coefficients may be obtained to convert from one method to another.

Library of Congress Subject Headings





South Dakota State University