Above-ground detonation of nuclear weapons sends radioactive materials up to 50 miles into the atmosphere. Large particles fall to the ground near the explosion site, but lighter particles and gases move to the upper atmosphere. The most immediate effect of a nuclear explosion is an intense burst of nuclear radiation, mainly gamma rays and neutrons. This direct radiation is produced in the weapon's own nuclear reactions and lasts much less than a second.
Lethal direct radiation extends nearly a mile since 10-kiloton explosion. However, with most weapons, direct radiation is of little importance because other lethal effects generally span greater distances. A major exception is the enhanced radiation weapon, or neutron bomb, which maximizes direct radiation and minimizes other destructive effects. Those closest to the bomb would face death, while anyone within a distance of up to 5 miles could suffer third-degree burns.
People who are up to 53 miles away may experience temporary blindness. Nuclear weapons emit large amounts of thermal radiation in the form of visible, infrared and ultraviolet light, to which the atmosphere is largely transparent. The main hazards are burns and eye injuries. On clear days, these injuries can occur well beyond the range of the explosion, depending on the performance of the weapon.
Fires can also be initiated by initial thermal radiation, but the following strong winds due to the shock wave can put out almost all such fires, unless the performance is very high, where the range of thermal effects far exceeds the effects of the explosion, as seen in explosions in the range of several megatons. This is because the intensity of the explosion effects decreases with the third distance power of the explosion, while the intensity of the radiation effects decreases with the second power of the distance. This results in the range of thermal effects increasing markedly more than the blasting range as increasing device performances are detonated. It is these reaction products, and not gamma rays, that contain most of the energy of nuclear reactions in the form of kinetic energy.
Whether because of the escalation of a limited nuclear conflict or as a large-scale attack, all-out nuclear war is still possible as long as nuclear nations have hundreds or thousands of weapons pointing at each other. Nuclear winter Substantial reduction in global temperature that could result from the injection of soot into the atmosphere during a nuclear war. Using updated models of Cold War nuclear explosions, the Wellerstein simulator can roughly predict the number of casualties and injuries from a nuclear bomb in a given location, large or small. The catchy concept is that the use of some low-performing nuclear weapons could show resolution, with the expected result of the other party retracting their aggressive behavior (this concept is known as escalate to de-escalate).
However, the United States has facilities to treat fewer than 2,000 burn cases, virtually all of them in urban areas that would be devastated by nuclear explosions. A total nuclear war would leave survivors with little means of recovery and could lead to a total collapse of society. Nuclear explosions can produce clouds of dust and radioactive sand-like particles that disperse into the atmosphere, known as nuclear fallout. Nuclear explosions can cause significant damage and casualties from explosion, heat, and radiation, but you can keep your family safe if you know what to do and if you prepare if it happens.
The debate on the national and global effects of nuclear war continues, and it is unlikely that issues will be conclusively decided without the unfortunate experiment of real nuclear war. Nuclear testing in the atmosphere prior to the 1963 Partial Test Ban Treaty resulted in detectable levels of radioactive fission products worldwide, and some of that radiation is still present. A limited form of nuclear war would be like conventional conflict on the battlefield, but using low-performance tactical nuclear weapons. But a nuclear war would involve hundreds or thousands of explosions, creating a situation for which we simply have no relevant experience.
Radioactive material, mostly fission products, released into the environment by nuclear explosions. Even though these EMP weapons are not lethal in the sense that there is no explosion or shock wave, an enemy may be unable to distinguish their effects from those of nuclear weapons. A 1983 war game known as Proud Prophet involved top-secret nuclear war plans and involved high-level decision makers, including President Reagan's Secretary of Defense, Caspar We. .