US Nuclear Target Map

nuclear targets in the united states

Out of curiosity I searched for maps that may reveal nuclear targets in the United States, and I’ve posted them here for your interest.

(See below for more maps)

The nuclear targets map shown above (source file) is one that I put together based on a number of factors — looking at other maps and data including military installations, nuclear weapons storage and silo locations, bases, cities, etc..

No doubt I’ve missed a number of them, as well as other probable strategic locations. It’s simply presented as ‘food for thought’.

Note: The three larger appearing target areas shown within Montana, North Dakota, and the corner of (Wyoming, Nebraska, and Colorado) represent known ICBM silos and nuke storage.

Note: It may seem like there are more ‘red dots’ on the map than any probable nuclear attack, but believe it or not, there could potentially be more – given the many thousands of nuclear weapons in Russia (for example).

Nuclear-Exchange Targets Map on the USA

(Update) I found the following nuclear targets map in the public domain from Martin Vargic of who makes info-graphics and various maps. Targets are based on data from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and Wikipedia. Interestingly, fallout direction is also shown. It’s based on general prevailing wind direction. Although obviously wind direction could be different, depending on ‘today’s weather’.

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Note: I have several related opinion articles on ‘nuclear targets’:
(the one you’re looking at now), and the following:

[ Read: Military Nuclear Targets in USA Mainland ]
“… a list of United States military targets likely to be hit first compared with others. Although there are lots of military installations, the following military nuclear targets logically seem more likely than others to be on primary target lists.”

[ Read: The First Cities To Be Nuked ]
“…a mapped illustration of the top 30 most populated cities (and metro areas) in the United States which could potentially ‘go’ first in a nuclear war…”


The nuclear target / fallout maps shown below are in the public domain. They were first published years ago. Therefore, they vary with regards to nuclear proliferation and opinion of the day.

Some maps are older than others. They might not fully represent some of the changes which have occurred since their publish. But they are still interesting to examine, especially relative to one’s own location…

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No one will win a nuclear exchange. History has shown that there have been psychopathic leaders. Had they possessed nuclear weapons, they surely would have used them. Are there still such people today? Of course there are. Lets hope that none of them ever are in control of ‘the button’.

The real effects surrounding the nuclear targets on any given map will depend on the type of nuclear detonation.

A ground burst detonation

It will not only pulverize everything within a given radius, but will also pulverize many countless tons of soil and dirt into the atmosphere. This will create a very dirty nuclear fallout situation.

An air burst detonation

It will still destroy buildings and everything on the ground from its shock-wave (within a blast radius). However, it will not pulverize the soil and ground like a ground burst detonation would. Therefore, this will result in less overall fallout in the atmosphere. Though this fact is not to diminish the consequences…

In both circumstances, radiation (particles) will reach into the atmosphere. The fallout cloud will drift with the lower and upper level winds. While they will eventually fall out (some quicker than others), the effects could be long lasting as radiation settles upon the land.

Nuclear Power Plants?

There are many nuclear power plants located across the country. If the power grid (or part of the power grid) goes down during a nuclear exchange, there will additionally be a high probability that some (or many) of these plants will present a real and present danger if they cannot ‘scram’ in time. While critical systems are held up by diesel backup generators and dependence on a constant delivery of fuel to keep them running.

[ Read: U.S. Nuclear Power Plants, safe distance? ]

Concerned about nuclear fallout and alpha particles? I recommend a CE / CBRN approved full face respirator mask. The following product from MIRA Safety is one good choice…

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The Russians, Chinese, N.Korea (and others?) are apparently researching and developing Nuclear EMP technology (electromagnetic pulse). Some believe that a nuclear first strike will ‘first’ involve a salvo of EMP detonations at high altitude. Potentially via orbiting satellites, or launched from submarines or even off-shore freighters. As a result, this may likely take down the power grid, followed by a first wave of nuclear strike. The primary targets will likely be military installations, while a secondary wave will broaden in scope. Next, a third wave. Strategic bombers would mop up what’s left. The first and second wave could be all over in minutes to an hour (point being – it will be fast).

Here’s a map sourced from Business Insider whereby Stephen Schwartz suggested the following nuclear strike targets, the highest priority of which would be Minuteman ICBM bases.

Okay, that said, lets look at a few target and fallout maps…

Nuclear Target & Fallout Maps


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Where To Survive Nuclear War?

I created the following map a number of years ago. It indicates a few general regions where it appears as though it might be ‘safer’ than other locations. Relative to observations of nuclear target maps coupled with radiation and wind fallout patterns via prevailing winds.

Looking at it again however, there are likely several additional (potentially safe) regions here and there. I plan to re-do this map one day…

Nuclear War Survival Map USA

How Many Nuclear Weapons In The World

The approximate official world score…

12,000 (Russia)
9,400 (USA)
300 (France)
240 (China)
225 (UK)
90 (Pakistan)
80 (India)
80 (Israel)
10 (N. Korea) (More? recent reports say 60)
? (Iran?)

Nuclear Survival Preparedness:

[ Read: Nuclear Radiation Shielding Protection ]

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