You're a sailor on (in?) a brand-spanking-new Virginia-class nuclear submarine. You just set sail a couple of weeks ago, and were doing some routine exercises in the North Atlantic (about 500 miles north of Bermuda/500 miles east of New York), when total nuclear annihilation happened top-side - this is a total global nuclear apocalypse. All nuclear warheads are deployed, and nuclear power plants meltdown. Whoever orchestrated this was very skilled and thorough.
My basic question is: How feasible is survival aboard the submarine?
Some other thoughts/specific questions to guide your answers:
- Assuming the warheads dropped and meltdowns occurred all on land, is the sub in any immediate danger underwater?
- Does the fallout reach the middle of the ocean? If so, does this put the sub in direct danger? Is there a better place the submarine can move to avoid potential danger (e.g. the Arctic or the equator)?
- The reactor on the sub can last for about 30 years. You can get fresh water by distilling ocean water. My best guess is that the hardest part of this scenario will be food. Let's say the sub has food aboard to last for about 3 months. With strict rationing we can eke out some more time. But eventually it will run out.
- How do you obtain food? Can you catch fish from the submarine? I imagine you'd have to surface to do that...is that a big risk? Also, how will the longer-term ocean ecology be affected? Is fishing even feasible in the long run?
- Another thought is to visit islands...small islands weren't targeted directly. You could try to visit survivors on these islands, but likely they are as dangerous as everything else.