It is 2016 at the time of this writing and the monkey mind continues to assert itself in the organism. Domination and competition rules us with an iron fist and we will do anything to assert control over our environment. Technology has given monkeys the opportunity to extend their domination across continents – and to do so with advanced weaponry mankind has never seen before. Nuclear weapons are a new addition to the monkey arsenal. Weapons with devastating power.
Nukes are an especially hideous breed of explosive technology. A significant amount of the energy emitted from a nuclear blast takes the form of light and heat – also known as thermal energy – making it a fundamentally new kind of beast compared to traditional explosive devices that rely only on BLAST energy. The intensity of the heat blast generated by a nuke is capable of causing skin burns and starting fires at a considerable distance from the point of impact – not to mention disfiguring the immediate landscape with radiation.
As you can see in the image below, the majority of a nuclear bombs power comes from air blast and thermal energy.
The rest of the nukes destruction takes the form of nuclear radiation. When the bomb explodes it vaporizes the immediate the landscape – sending countless radioactive particles high into the air. “Fallout” occurs as these deathly particles descend back to the earth and find their way into the lungs and water sources of the local populace.
Immediate and far reaching destruction
A nuclear bomb packs varying power depending on weapon yield. When a nuke explodes, it produces a powerful shockwave that creates a sudden change in air pressure – utterly pulverizing anything in the blast radius. Giant structures are completely decimated. Human beings reduced dust. The blast radius doles out an extreme amount of damage within a limited radius. Next comes the thermal radiation. This blast travels at the speed of light and can produce flash blindness in those looking directly at the blast. These effects can last for several minutes. First degree, second degree, and third degree burns can occur at distances close to the blast radius up to 5 miles or more. This thermal blast can also cause widespread fires by igniting tinder like materials within the radius.
When a nuclear bomb is detonated on the surface, it pulverizes the surrounding particles and contaminates them with radiation. These particles are sent rocketing into the atmosphere where they “fallout” of the sky. The radius of effect depends entirely on the weather. High winds can carry the contaminated particles many miles from the blast radius. Rain can carry the particles down to the surface at a rapid rate of speed and create “hot spots.”
Fires and firestorms
The initial blast from the nuke along with the thermal blast create a one-two punch of destruction. The blast will reduce the surrounding structures into kindling – easily ignited by the following thermal blast. The combination of multiple fires heats the air and creates prime conditions for a hurricane. Increased winds fan the existing flames and creates a true hell on earth situation.
Effects of radiation exposure are deadly – especially close to the hypocenter of the blast. Those within miles of the blast are also severely effected. Radiation poisoning can take days, weeks, or even years before any symptoms develop. Radiation is measured in rem and has varying levels of biological effect on the human body depending on the dose:
- 0 – 5 rem received in a short period or over a long period is safe—we don’t expect observable health effects.
- 5 – 10 rem received in a short period or over a long period is safe—we don’t expect observable health effects. At this level, an effect is either nonexistent or too small to observe.
- 10 – 50 rem received in a short period or over a long period—we don’t expect observable health effects although above 10 rem your chances of getting cancer are slightly increased. We may also see short-term blood cell decreases for doses of about 50 rem received in a matter of minutes.
- 50 – 100 rem received in a short period will likely cause some observable health effects and received over a long period will increase your chances of getting cancer. Above 50 rem we may see some changes in blood cells, but the blood system quickly recovers.
- 100 – 200 rem received in a short period will cause nausea and fatigue. 100 – 200 rem received over a long period will increase your chances of getting cancer.
- 200 – 300 rem received in a short period will cause nausea and vomiting within 24-48 hours. Medical attention should be sought.
- 300 – 500 rem received in a short period will cause nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea within hours. Loss of hair and appetite occurs within a week. Medical attention must be sought for survival; half of the people exposed to radiation at this level will die if they receive no medical attention.
- 500 – 1,200 rem in a short period will likely lead to death within a few days
Chances of survival
Surviving a nuke depends on 2 important factors – the weapon yield of the nuke and your location relative to ground zero when it detonates. Let’s simulate a nuke attack with the worlds largest known nuclear weapon – The Russian made Tsar Bomba. To put things in perspective, the Tsar Bomba is 3,333 times more powerful than the bomb dropped on Hiroshima.
Radiation radius (3.14 km) – Without medical treatment, there is expected to be between 50% and 90% mortality from acute effects alone. Dying takes between several hours and several weeks. At this close to the fireball however, it is not the radiation that will kill you.
Fireball radius (4.62 km) – Try to imagine a radioactive fireball that burns as hot as the sun. Nothing survives.
Blast radius (8.91 km) – If you’re unlucky enough to be caught within the blast radius then kiss this world goodbye. Most people will die from flying objects and intense thermal radiation. There are, however, extraordinary cases of people surviving nuclear blasts at such close proximity. Akiko Takakura survived the nuclear drop on Hiroshima being just 300 meters from the bombs hypocenter. Her survival is due to her lucky position at the time of the blast – a bank lobby designed with reinforced concrete and other protective elements.
Thermal blast radius (60 km) – roughly 50% of people exposed to to thermal blast will die from trauma and third degree burns. Those that survive will have likely found shelter. Widespread fires and destruction abound.
The fallout – Radioactive debris will fall from the sky with the majority of the debris landing within 24 hours. Many of the heavier particles (the most dangerous) will fall closer to ground zero while the lighter particles will be carried by the wind and other atmospheric conditions. Radioactive fallout decays exponentially – meaning it loses the damaging effects over a relatively short period of time. Fallout locations usually take between 3 – 5 weeks to stabilize.
Courtesy of Nuke Map
This should give you a sobering look at what’s possible with these devastating nukes. Are you ready for a nuclear blast of this magnitude? If not, read the DSK guide to surviving a nuclear attack. The post is CHOCKED FULL of invaluable survival knowledge.
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