May 1988 (vol. 4, #4)
1601 N. Tucson Blvd. Suite 9, Tucson, AZ 85716 c 1988 J Orient


        The vast Soviet network of shelters and command
facilities, under construction for four decades, was recently
described in detail by Secretary of Defense Frank Carlucci.

        The shelters are designed to house the entire Politburo,
the Central Committee, and the key leadership of the Ministry of
Defense and the KGB.  Some are located hundreds of yards beneath
the surface, and are connected by secret subway lines, tunnels,
and sophisticated communications systems.

        "These facilities contradict in steel and concrete Soviet
protestations that they share President Reagan's view that
nuclear war can never be won and must never be fought," Carlucci
said (Arizona Republic, April 3, 1988).  "These facilities reveal
that they are preparing themselves for just the opposite."

        The shelters are also protected against chemical warfare
agents, and stocked with sufficient supplies to allow the
leadership to survive and wage war for months.

        In contrast, the limited US shelter system begun in the
1950s has mostly been abandoned.  

        "To have something comparable, we'd have to have
facilities where we could put every governor, mayor, every
Cabinet official, and our whole  command structure under-ground
with subways running here and there," Carlucci said. "There's
just no comparison between the two."

        Soviet civil defense, which is celebrating its 56th
anniversary, is more than just shelters, according to
Sovietologist Leon Goure, who recently spoke at a seminar for
young leaders sponsored by the Ethics and Public Policy Center in
Washington, DC.  Soviet CD aims to protect the economy, in accord
with Soviet doctrine that lack of preparedness in any area
imperils the existence of the state.  Goure noted that population
protection is essential so that the people can supply the army. 
Soviet values dictate that citizens most valuable to the state
are to be protected first.

        At Chernobyl, all public services responded quickly.
Within 24 hours, 1300 nurses and physicians, 240 ambulances, 250
firefighters, 2000 policeman, and 1100 buses were available. On
the other hand, the experience demonstrated that the state of
readiness was not as good as previously thought.  In particular,
civilians were not very well educated at operating radiation
monitors.   But rather than abandoning the whole idea, the
Soviets are engaged in an upsurge of civil defense activities to
repair the deficiencies, Goure said.

        One contrast between Chernobyl and American nuclear power
plants is the blast shelter from which plant workers managed the
shutdown of the other reactors near the site. (The Nuclear
Regulatory Commission does not require on site shelter for
American power plant workers.)

        For further information on Soviet civil and strategic
defenses, consult the 1988 edition of Soviet Military
Power, available on request from the  Defense Publications
Office, 202-697-5737.


        To implement the resolution favoring civil defense
participation that passed at last year's House of Delegates
meeting, nuclear preparedness is part of the Current
Perspec-tives curriculum at the Arizona Medical Association
meeting, Thursday, June 9, at Loew's Ventana Canyon Resort,
Tucson. The program will be presented twice, morning and

        Dr. Orient will summarize weapons effects and protective
measures, using slides prepared by the USSR Department of Civil
Defense.  Phoenix radiation oncologist Kenneth A. Lucas, MD, will
present his review of the German data from the Hamburg
fire,storm.  This event, often cited as "proof" that shelters
don't work, in actuality demonstrated the opposite. Arthur
Robinson, PhD, will discuss fallout protection.  Dr. Robinson has
reviewed literally thousands of studies at the Oak Ridge National
Laboratory, and has designed steel shelters that can be
constructed at very low cost.  Petr Beckmann, DrSc will speak on
the subject "Chernobyl, Etc.:  Nuclear Accidents and Terrorism."
Dr. Beckmann  publishes  the newsletter Access to Energy, an
important resource for all who are interested in environmental
health hazards. (AtE readers learned about the indoor radon
problem in 1979, long before the popular media caught on.)  Dr.
Beckmann was an enemy of public hysteria even before the AIDS
epidemic.  Eugene Zutell, emergency planner in the Arizona
Division of Emergency Services, will emphasize long-term weapons
effects such as "nuclear winter"