*The Featured Image Is Of A Stock Powerplant* 

Fingers crossed this is never a situation the state of Iowa or any part of the United States finds itself in but if Iowa was under a nuclear threat, where are the biggest potential targets?

Most people think of a nuclear blast as a giant explosion and that would 100% be correct. That's exactly what it is. But what is the actual science behind an explosion like this? According to Polk County Iowa, "A nuclear blast is an explosion with intense light and heat, a damaging pressure wave, and widespread radioactive material that can contaminate the air, water, and ground surfaces for miles around."

A nuclear blast is more than just a loud noise that causes damage to the surrounding area. It ruins the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the ground we walk on. An explosion like this has lasting effects for miles.

Unsplash - Daniele La Rosa Messina
Unsplash - Daniele La Rosa Messina

According to Webpal, nuclear weapons aren't the only type of nuclear threat that each state should consider worrying about. "There can be various radiological and other weapons hazards within your state and radiological threats may come from outside your state."

Remember the infamous 1986 nuclear explosion at Chernobyl, located in northern Ukraine? That wasn't an attack, it was an accident that has since widely been blamed on Viktor Bryukhanov. He helped build and run the nuclear power plant, according to History Hit.

That explosion affected Belarus, portions of Russia, and many other European countries. As of today, there aren't any nuclear power plants operating in the state of Iowa but that doesn't mean the power plants surrounding Iowa would not affect the state.

There are two nuclear power plants in operation that are very close to Iowa's borders. According to Ready Iowa, there is the Quad Cities Generating Station and the Cooper Nuclear Station near Brownsville, Nebraska.

Potential Iowa Targets

It's important to remember that this is something you should not be stressing about in your everyday life. Iowa is more likely to deal with potential natural disasters than the threat of a nuclear attack.

There was a map created back in 1990 of potential areas in Iowa that could be targeted in a nuclear attack. Webpal does mention that "circumstances have changed since 1990 some of the targets in many of the maps should be removed and possibly there are others that should be added."


Right away we can look at Des Moines. It is the state capital and the biggest populated area in the state of Iowa. For obvious reasons, this city could be a potential target.

Cedar Rapids used to be the home of the Duane Arnold Energy Center but has since been shut down. Cedar Rapids is the second biggest city in Iowa and is home to Collins Aerospace as well as Alliant Energy Center. Those are three potential reasons why this city could be a target.

Council Bluffs appears on the map as this location is near Iowa/Nebraska border. Omaha, Nebraska is the home of the Offutt Air Force Base, U.S. Strategic Command building. This is a government office and according to U.S. Gov, the U.S. Strategic Command "detects and deters attacks against the United States and its allies."

The Quad Cities also appear on this 1990s map, as this area does currently have an active nuclear power plant and it is also right next to the Mississippi River. If this plant were to ever be attacked, the explosion would most likely contaminate the Mississippi River, which would cause a lot of problems for a lot of people throughout the United States.

Once again, this information is meant to be educational and informative. This is not something meant to cause you extra stress in your life. A situation like a nuclear attack or explosion would be the result of extreme circumstances.

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