A nuclear explosion, produced by the detonation of a nuclear bomb, is the joining or splitting of atoms, also known as fusion and fission. The effects of a nuclear attack on humans depend on a variety of factors, such as the size of the bomb, whether it is detonated in the air or on the ground, the geographical location of the blast, how far away you are from ground zero, and what types of buildings and materials are nearby. With the recent threats of terrorism, many people have become increasingly concerned about the potential consequences of a nuclear explosion. A single nuclear weapon has the power to destroy an entire city and kill most of its inhabitants.
If two countries with nuclear capabilities were to engage in a major nuclear war, it is estimated that tens of millions of people would die. In comparison to a conventional attack on a chemical weapons facility, a nuclear EPW (3 kilotons) would cause more casualties than an extremely large release (10,000 kilograms) of sarin. The visual effects of a nuclear explosion are devastating. A bright flash of light is followed by an immense fireball that can reach temperatures up to several million degrees Celsius.
The shockwave from the blast can cause severe damage to buildings and structures within a certain radius. The radiation released from the explosion can cause long-term health effects such as cancer and genetic mutations. The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) is an organization that works to promote adherence to and implementation of the United Nations Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. The DOE and DOD have also initiated an engineering feasibility study, called the Robust Nuclear Ground Penetration Program, to determine if more effective EPW can be designed using existing nuclear weapons components.
It is important to be aware of the potential risks associated with a nuclear attack and take steps to protect yourself and your family in case of an emergency. Knowing what to do in case of a nuclear attack can help minimize casualties and reduce long-term health effects.