The destructive power of a nuclear attack is unparalleled. The immediate impact of a nuclear explosion is an intense burst of radiation, mainly gamma rays and neutrons. This radiation can cause flash blindness on a clear day up to 52.8 miles away, and temporary blindness on a clear night. Minor first-degree burns can occur up to 11 km (6.8 miles) away, and third-degree burns, which destroy and blister skin tissue, can affect anyone up to 8 km (5 miles) away.
Third-degree burns that cover more than 24 percent of the body would likely be fatal if people don't get immediate medical attention. The effects of a nuclear attack don't end there. Alex Wellerstein, a nuclear weapons historian, created a nuclear bomb simulator to demonstrate the extent of the destruction. He found that the destructive effects of explosions extend miles from the point of detonation, and the lethal consequences can cover communities hundreds of miles downwind of a single nuclear explosion. The debate about 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. A nuclear war would produce enormous quantities of ozone-consuming chemicals, and studies suggest that even modest nuclear exchange would lead to unprecedented increases in ultraviolet exposure. This phenomenon is known as 'Nuclear Winter', which is a substantial reduction in global temperature that could result from the injection of soot into the atmosphere during a nuclear war.
The effects of this could be devastating for humanity, leading to crop failure, famine, and mass death. For more information on the current state of nuclear weapons in the world, including the scale of bombs, you can visit the Nuclear Notebook in the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists. A limited form of nuclear warfare would be like conventional conflict on the battlefield, but using low-performance tactical nuclear weapons. Can we eliminate nuclear weapons? Should we? What risks could such removal entail? Those are the real issues in the ongoing debates on the future of nuclear weapons. It is clear that any form of nuclear warfare would have catastrophic consequences for humanity.