The First US Targets To Be Nuked

James Walton
By James Walton January 12, 2017 13:29

The First US Targets To Be Nuked

Technology shrinks. Technology becomes more and more available. This is a constant. We have started down a technological track with an unknown end. This addiction and this dependence on tech will either blossom into something beautiful or drive us to our end.

I open with this short thought to help you understand that we will not be able to keep nuclear weapons out of the hands of those who want to use them against America. On a micro yet terrifying scale, there are countries TODAY that hate us and have access to nuclear weapons. America has been able to keep them at bay using things like sanctions and diplomacy.

What happens when Kim Jong Un becomes one of the more reasonable villains in the deck? What happens when rebel leaders of terrorist factions get their hands on nukes? Worse, what happens when homegrown maniacs can develop dirty bombs and use them? Even the president is worried.

I want to look at the most likely nuclear targets from several different threats. Where are they going to attack? If the threat originates overseas which coastal cities are most threatened? If the bomb is smuggled in the city by terrorists what are we looking at then? If we are threatened by a domestic bomb that is developed on American soil what are the targets?



There are nine active nuclear power plants on the east coast from Vermont to Virginia. These cities and their metro areas contain over 50 million people! There are also 10 naval bases spread across this area as well.

If a payload were to be delivered and designed to create the most anarchy and death it would be somewhere along this corridor.

  • When you talk about devastating a large population: New York City
  • Military and Governmental devastation: Washington D.C
  • Military Installations and Nuclear Power Plant: Southern Jersey Coast

Related: How Much Does a Nuclear Bunker Cost?


These motivations are much different from those listed above. The desire to take out military installations is less a factor. These attacks would be designed for casualties and effect. If they were to smuggle a bomb into this nation it would be used to insight terror and crush commerce. It would not be as much of a strategic strike. These weapons are not light and could not come over the border or onto our shores in a briefcase. If we are talking about devastating megaton bombs they weigh tons as well. In most cases, they would be detonated in close proximity to their arrival.

  • Smuggled from the Southern Border: Dallas-Fort Worth
  • Smuggled into Florida: Jacksonville or Miami
  • Smuggled into the East Coast: NYC or Washington DC
  • Smuggled into the West Coast: Los Angeles or San Francisco


Things get a little more complicated when we talk about bombs and weapons made within the fading borders of the US. If somehow a person could get the materials to build a viable nuclear bomb it would be massive and hard for the average person to move.

If a small weapon was created or a dirty bomb I imagine it would still be detonated near its place of origin. Rather than try to figure out where it would be detonated we should look at some of the targets inside the borders of the United States.

Assuming the terrorists do not target the aforementioned cities based on population let’s look at two targets away from the country’s coasts and border lines.

The country’s largest military base, Fort Bragg, is housed in North Carolina along with two working nuclear power plants. This makes North Carolina prominent location for an attack further inland.

There is a massive nuclear power plant in Ohio that is in the top 10 based on size. This plant could also become an inland target of a homegrown terrorist as well.

Not knowing where these weapons would be built or where they would originate makes it very tough to understand where they would be detonated. When it comes to homegrown terror we must remain vigilant particularly in areas that are heavily populated or areas that support military bases.

Related: What Should You Do in Case of a Terrorist Attack?


In the event of something like the Tsar Bomba if it detonates in your immediate area you will be incinerated by the blast and there is nothing you can do to prevent that. This is what makes these weapons so terrifying.

If you are beyond the blast radius you will still have to deal with quite a few threats:

  • Fires will be rampant
  • Nuclear fallout will be spreading throughout the area from high up
  • People will be panicking and desperate

You will have no control over where these weapons strike. The top 6 things you can do to prepare for a nuclear detonation or radiological disaster are as follows:

  1. Map your routes away from the area. Include several routes moving north, east, south and west. Be sure you have quick ways out of metro areas.
  2. Learn where is the closest natural nuclear bunker to your home.
  3. Get your hands on some potassium iodide tablets. This will add a layer of protection from nuclear fallout
  4. Plan for a BUG IN situation where you may need to use mattresses or other thick materials to build a safe area away from windows and doors where fallout and radiation could be highest
  5. Learn the wind. As goes the wind so goes the fallout. If its blowing away from your area you could avoid a bug out. If it’s coming towards you know that it’s time to go! Consider that you may not have cell service or T.V to get wind information.
  6. As always make sure you have a bug out bag ready to go that will keep you and your family alive for 72 hours at least. Provide entertainment, food, shelter and self-defense within these bags.

Nuclear war is truly the worst-case scenario but understand that these weapons exist and could be used against us. We must remain vigilant and prepared for such an event.

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James Walton
By James Walton January 12, 2017 13:29
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  1. Gulfcharlie January 12, 16:33

    We have left central Florida of 14 years in spring of 2016 and moved to North georgia mountains,bought small farm and starting debt following the prepping ways because of what’s at Tampa bay and nuke plant 50 miles away

    Reply to this comment
    • GeorgiaPeachie January 13, 23:30

      We moved to North Georgia Mountains about 2 years ago too! I am absolutely loving it here! I’m still working on my gardening skills, chicken raising as well as other small animals. Can’t think of a better place to be!!

      Reply to this comment
    • Kira January 25, 01:49

      Would Pennsylvania get nuked as well?

      Reply to this comment
  2. Rick January 12, 17:26

    You failed to mention how one nuke’s EMP could wipe out the entire country.

    Reply to this comment
  3. MMG January 12, 18:38

    At first blush, I thought this was related to a Russian or Chinese ICBM first strike or counter strike, so I was wondering why the red circles didn’t include all the ‘heartland’ states with their military and silo sites. As this article is focusing on Independent actors, it makes sense they would likely go for the ‘biggest bang for their buck’ so as the article suggests the coastal and border sites would the prime targets.

    Reply to this comment
  4. Christian Gains January 12, 19:01

    While Rick’s correct, it would be VERY HELPFUL if you could give a more detailed description of what an EMP actually is and does, (depending upon the height at which a bomb is ignited)…20 mi. would effect how much area, 50 mi. how much, and 100 mi. high, how much? AND, how about mentioning, in some detail, the best solution for maintaining electrical items…Details count towards proper preps…

    Reply to this comment
    • CatWoman April 16, 03:14

      Make a faraday cage for electronic items to be protected. Radio, flashlights, laptop computer, portable dvd player, any electronic health items (blood pressure cuff, etc). A cheap and easy faraday cage is a metal trash can with tight fitting lid, cut cardboard to fit in bottom and lid, and cardboard for inside the sides. This will insulate the interior items from EMP rays.

      Reply to this comment
  5. Blueotter January 12, 20:41


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  6. David January 12, 22:23

    You missed Bremerton, where the nuclear fleet hides out. Apparently the largest concentration of nukes are stored in this area, as well.

    Reply to this comment
  7. Woody January 13, 02:13

    I do not believe your map is accurate. Forget about taking out people. Colorado and Nebraska have a lot of feedlots and agriculture and would be the first to go, and that is according to a government report from the ’70s.

    Reply to this comment
    • me August 9, 13:53

      Nope. Food production wouldn’t even be secondary. Striking gov/mil infrastructure will always be first priority. That leads to the most internal mayhem and reduces risk/impact of any response attack. You don’t need to hit the food if you wipe out several large population centers. Besides, most enemies would want to preserve our food creation capacity for their own use once things settle back down.

      Reply to this comment
  8. Freddy January 13, 04:59

    If you take out the oil refinery they would problem they would all go in a chain reaction due to there closeness to each other on the southern coast low protection area no fuel nothing left food,medication,transportation,trains,trucks,plains,boats all need fuel train supplies the coal for electrical power plants

    Reply to this comment
  9. Corvus January 13, 16:48

    Look at the book, by Joel M Skousen, 3rd edition Strategic Relocation North American Guide to Safe Places. Well worth the 30 bucks — color maps marked out and great clear commentary. If you are serious do own a copy.

    Reply to this comment
  10. 1776 man January 15, 16:14

    With a terrorist camp 130 miles south of El Paso, who knows where dirty bombs could end up. The drug cartels smuggle in anything for a price. Time to go north to Canada or to South America. SHTF is coming.

    Reply to this comment
  11. Corvus January 23, 16:13

    1776 man: Sorry never heard of it, what are you reading or hearing that is verified regarding such a camp? The Mexican Army has stopped at the border numerous Arabs with questionable papers. You are correct about the Narcos being mules for money. BUT– who knows?

    Reply to this comment
  12. Susan February 21, 08:53

    after 911 there was a terrorist caught trying to cross over from Canada to Washington state, If you think this state isn’t included for a Nuclear attack try again, We have several places of military in the Puget sound, plus Hanford, altho’ deactivated still poses as a threat.
    I believe all 4 corners of the US will be hit though most on east coast because that is where our government is based. What terrorists haven’t learned is that no matter where they strike, There will still be enough of us to fight back, we may fight among ourselves as family does, but don’t try to hurt one of us, we will band together.

    Reply to this comment
  13. RFB Dave April 12, 15:37

    Sun Tzu in “The Art of War” stated that one should first focus on cutting the supply lines of your enemy. That said, Military Supply depots would be target #1. Columbus Ohio has DSCC which is one of very few such depots in the US. Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Texas are among others.

    Reply to this comment
    • me August 9, 13:56

      I feel like that’s outdated in the modern age. Cutting supply lines was much easier and more effective in the days before instant communication, radar, multiple delivery modes & routes, etc, etc. Hit the control and command centers first, and things start getting rocky really quick. Then hit more population centers to demoralize citizens and troops. All that will make it easier to strike supply lines afterward for the death blow.

      Reply to this comment
  14. Ghof October 3, 20:20

    Hit Yellowstone NP, everything to the east would be devistated for years. Hit San Andreas fault and Komifornia is taken out. Hit the Hoover dam ,massive damage and total disruption of water supply. Hit Chicago and no one will notice. Hit the aquatic in Florida and the state has no fresh water, All of these are non military soft sites.

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  15. Rev 19 October 7, 15:57

    All of this chit chat enforces the notion that there are plenty of ideas, but little collective wisdom on this loaded topic. So, I’ll throw in my two-cents worth:
    As noted, terrorists will spread their mayhem much differently than the Russians, or Chinese, or North Koreans for that matter.
    Terrorists are not insane, but they are crazy. They’d go for the big city and stand around waiting for the express train to their 72 virgins.
    Russians and Chinese are both brilliant strategists. There is a wide variety of options that they have at their disposal. If they judged we lacked political will, They could target our Pacific & Atlantic Fleets EMP devices and up the ante to include EMPing the mainland. If they thought doing so would preclude them from taking a huge retaliatory strike on their homeland it would make sense. Or, they could go for the pre-emptive knockout punch with EMP+massive high altitude bursts over cities and other strategic targets. Who knows? I don’t, so better read the bible and see what God says about it all… It’s in there.

    Reply to this comment
  16. J doe January 22, 21:14

    This article is filled with inaccurate information… Where did you do your research??? It’s obvious that who ever wrote it, has no concept of nuclear strategy either…

    FYI… Ft. Bragg is not the largest military installation.

    Reply to this comment
  17. Tina January 29, 18:11

    I say “LET THY WILL BE DONE” and dear GOD, help me to understand “THY WILL”.
    it is difficult to understand all the Evil that is going on, to be HIS WILL.

    Reply to this comment
  18. Mike June 25, 20:47

    We live north of Orlando which is a prime target area because of its large airport MCO which is the former McCoy AFB. Due to windage and fallout from the Sarasota Tampa Clearwater area we cannot go south. We must also clear the former nuke plant in Crystal River by going north of that to the Suwanee River mouth and from there west across the gulf to south Texas which I believe will be somewhat survivable. Farther north and you run into fallout from Tyndall AFB and Eglin AFB.
    You state that nukes are not man portable. What about the 45 pound Davy Crockett? As far as a fallout shelter I would not bother. The first Bikini atoll blast bunker was under ten feet of sand with walls three feet thick. Those people barely survived long enough to be rescued even though they were nearly 17 miles away from the blast. Russian and Chinese nukes are now much more powerful and accurate. If you live within reasonable distance of a local airport consider yourself vulnerable to secondary strikes. I might add that the biggest base is not Bragg but Benning which is outside of Columbus GA. I full believe that less than 1% of the population will survive the initial strike.

    Reply to this comment
  19. red October 1, 19:26

    Much thanks, this is good advice. Arizona, by law, put her plants underground. This makes them much less vulnerable. On the other hand, too many states have built along fault lines because rivers usually follow the fault. When a plant is damaged, don’t expect to be told till it’s too late. Even a small earthquake or bomb can do nasty damage.

    Reply to this comment
  20. Marlene November 14, 21:02

    Don’t forget about materials coming into the U.S. across our miles and miles of unguarded Canadian border. Canada is taking in a large population of potential terrorists too.

    Reply to this comment
    • red November 16, 01:00

      Very true! Muslims have used the Trojan horse of refugees since Mohamed went to Medina begging for refuge from Jews and Christians who lived there. They gave him all the help he needed, and late one night his people rose up and killed all of them. The Middle East and N. Africa were mostly Christian until then. Syria and Lebanon were Christian until people came begging help. Twice, the king of Jordan punished refugees for attempting to assassinate him, and his son, once. Mexico has a fast growing population of Muslims, ad many just walk across the border here, and hide in refugee cities. niio

      Reply to this comment
  21. Fuzzy1949 January 21, 19:38

    According to your map you say that LA and San Francisco will be among the first hit. Wrong! The first strikes will be military bases capable of launching both offensive and defensive rocket strikes. Then MAYBE major cities. If this nation is attacked that way it would make no sense to go after large cities. The people there will kill each other over a scrap of bread within three days.
    We now live with one of this nations largest rocket bases across the back yard fence. That among other reasons is why we are leaving commifornia rapidly. If you are a normal thinking person and you too live in commifornia I would suggest leaving asap. We are.

    Reply to this comment
  22. Kira January 25, 01:49

    Would Pennsylvania get nuked as well?

    Reply to this comment
    • UPYOURS February 29, 11:08

      It would be a good idea = get rid of more of the kind of Humans that would vote for Trump, they’re going to Hell anyway.

      Reply to this comment
  23. Candy February 29, 13:15

    Your not the judge! To say who goes to Hell. Trump is going to win 2020 and if you dont like it, maybe another country like N. Korea would be more to your liking.

    Reply to this comment
  24. Kt October 30, 20:20

    face it folks….if US gets nuked anywhere, we’ll all be gonners anyway. at the rate of crazy and speed this world is going, doubtful we’ll survive and if we do, we may not want to be here….I read this stuff thinking oops missed that preparation, but in reality, I’m in my 70s and probably too old to worry about it anymore! just moved to carolina, so cant pickup and move again, sold my land in wv (now I see it was dumb move, but who knew?) oh well, if Lord hasnt finished with me yet, I’ll survive….

    Reply to this comment
  25. UseYourBrain March 17, 13:58

    Okay, the NUMBER ONE target would be Colorado. They’d take out NORAD first to blind us for the coming hell-fire.

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