The role-playing Fallout 4 game which focuses on apocalyptic survival has opened questions not just for gamers but also for scientists.
For the uninitiated, in the Fallout series, the gamer is essaying a character who has been residing in a vault that is buried deep in the Earth. The player has to resort to this living style as a nuclear war devastated the Earth several decades ago and avoiding radiation is the only chance at survival.
To do so, one stays in a bunker below the Earth and tries to self-sustain in the vaults where canned food, nuclear power and unusual experiments conducted by the Vault-Tec determine your life.
Even as avid gamers gear up to battle a post-nuclear apocalyptic era and lock themselves inside a vault — while avoiding threats to their chances of survival — scientists are posturing whether a society could indeed survive if they were to live inside a vault.
Potentially, can humans endure a nuclear fallout and subsist in a shelter for years? While the notion is workable for a work of fiction, in reality would the human race be able to surmount such a scenario and survive for decades in a situation which is the premise of the game?
Researchers from American Chemical Society asked several of its scientists highly experienced in human survival what our chances would be if we were to live in a world destroyed by radiation like in Fallout 4.
A video from the scientists attempts to answer these questions and explains that the chances of survival would not be very low.
The biggest challenge would be protection against radiation and the bunker which one creates underground needs to be made of radiation-proof material.“NASA has developed radiation shielding for space flights which could be adapted for a fallout shelter,” says Dr. Raychelle Burks, a chemistry expert. Adding that “scientists are developing nanomaterial which can resist radiation, high heat and high pressure.”
This means that through some adaptation one can potentially create radiation-proof bunkers. Moreover, the use of carbon nanotubes for bunkers will be effective as this material is 100 times more effective against radiation. It is also stronger than steel.
However, thick protective walls alone will not suffice for survival and one would also need food, water and power. The use of fossil fuels is impractical as they will not last for long and also take up space. Being buried underground also negates Solar Power as an option. Moreover, sourcing food and water will also be tough.
An alternative per experts could be the purification of irradiated water via graphene oxide. Food could possibly be grown using the aquaponics systems, which basically cycles the nutrients from plants to fish.
For fuel/power one can deploy hydrogen power cells that are capable of producing heat, electricity and water.
The biggest question is, how will one manage dealing with other individuals for a continued period of time in a limited space? The scientists too were stumped by this one!
Check out the video where the scientists share the survival strategies and chances of human survival in the event of a real Fallout 4 type world takes place.
‘Fallout 4’ Prompts Scientists To Explain How To Survive In A Real-Life Nuclear Fallout