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Posted at 01:58 PM ET, 02/23/2012

Iran nuclear talks failure sparks fears online

After U.N. nuclear officials said they had made no progress in talks in Iran this week, postings about nuclear war fears began to be circulated widely online.

The team “could not find a way forward,” a top U.N. nuclear official said Wednesday, pronouncing the latest attempt to get Iran to budge on its disputed nuclear program a dead end, yet again. As the risk of confrontation between Iran and the West seemed to heighten, oil prices also rose, Reuters reported.

Fears over the stalled talks soon began to play out online, as a script the BBC planned to broadcast in the 1970s in the event of a nuclear attack — which has been available on the BBC site since 2008 — resurfaced and began to be shared widely. Here’s a snippet:

“This is the Wartime Broadcasting Service. This country has been attacked with nuclear weapons. Communications have been severely disrupted, and the number of casualties and the extent of the damage are not yet known. We shall bring you further information as soon as possible. Meanwhile, stay tuned to this wavelength, stay calm and stay in your own homes.
“Remember there is nothing to be gained by trying to get away. By leaving your homes you could be exposing yourselves to greater danger.
 “Do not, in any circumstances, go outside the house. Radioactive fall-out can kill. You cannot see it or feel it, but it is there. If you go outside, you will bring danger to your family and you may die. Stay in your fall-out room until you are told it is safe to come out or you hear the “all clear” on the sirens.”

By Thursday, a new Web site ominously called Nukemap was also being widely viewed.

Created by science historian Alex Wellerstein, the Web site allows a person to see what could happen if a powerful nuclear weapon was detonated — for example a bomb like the one dubbed “Fat Man” that was used on Nagasaki, or Minutemen I warheads.

Here’s a picture of what the site claims the effect would be if “Castle Bravo,” the largest U.S. bomb tested, were dropped on Washington:


(Nukemap)

Read more on Tehran’s position at the nuclear talks here.

By  |  01:58 PM ET, 02/23/2012

Tags:  World, Iran, nuclear talks, nuclear program, BBC

 
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