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Fallout 76

Nuclear physicist on Fallout 76: Radiation isn't the biggest danger

There are worse things out there than a few angry isotopes.

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Fallout 76, Bethesda's new online-focused Fallout game which lands on PC, PS4, and Xbox One on November 11, is a prequel game to the main series and it takes place much earlier than the previous games.

In Fallout 76, surviving vault dwellers leave the shelter only 25 years after the nuclear blast that changed the world. But is that safe? How much radiation will they be exposed to? Can you eat the food and drink the water you find? These were the questions PCGamesN put to nuclear physics expert Professor Paddy Regan at the University of Surrey where he lectures on the structure of matter.

Although he hasn't played the Fallout games himself, he had a few things to say about surviving in the aftermath of a nuclear war in general.

"The amount of radiation that happens immediately is not insignificant. But most of the radioactive material becomes not radioactive pretty soon after that nuclear weapon has been exploded. The half-life for most of the stuff that comes out of fission fragments is much shorter than years. After about ten or 15 days, you've got a limited amount of different radioactive isotopes that are present. And after 30 years there are only two that are actually of significant strength," Regan told PCGamesN.

"What kills people is the infrastructure that's wiped out," he added. "No communication, no access to food or running water, sewage, cholera. Same as an earthquake.

"Getting radioactive material inside your body is generally not good for your health. Stuff in tin cans I think would be ok - what you'd be more worried about is eating bits of meat, or cows that had been grazing on the fields in the three or six months after the attack happened."

So there you have it. Now you should be properly prepared for whatever Fallout 76 throws at you. Well, except for the radioactive beasts, and the other players carrying nukes...

Fallout 76