What is a nuclear explosion?
A nuclear explosion occurs when vast quantities of heat, light and energy are released by a device or bomb that contains the capability to initiate nuclear reactions continuously and at a speedy rate.
As you may already know, a handful of countries (including the United States) have weaponized nuclear technology as a deterrent for any hostile actions from potential enemy states.
Weaponized nuclear technology has been around since World War II. Historically, nuclear bombs have only been detonated twice for specific war purposes, both times by the U.S. military.
Today’s blog post will explore the various events that take place immediately after a nuclear explosion.
There are many kinds of nuclear explosions; some are peaceful while others are obviously initiated to cause mass damage. In order to survive a nuclear explosion, you first have to familiarize yourself with the nature and extent of damage that this type of explosion can cause.
What can you expect during a sudden nuclear explosion?
The exact magnitude of the damage that a nuclear explosion can cause can be calculated by the type of weapon or bomb used to create the explosion.
For example, a 5-megaton nuclear bomb would have the capacity to decimate a large metropolis with millions of residents.
Hostile organizations and states unfortunately have access to a wide variety of weaponized nuclear technologies.
It’s impossible to predict the exact damage caused after a nuclear explosion. Therefore we must familiarize ourselves with how this type of explosion can harm human life and destroy property.
- Cover Your Eyes – If you can see the site of an actual nuclear explosion, you can go temporarily blind.
Shielding the eyes is a must as our eyes are not designed to handle the extreme light emitted by nuclear particles. Light emitted during a nuclear explosion can last up to fifteen seconds after the initial explosion.
- Beware of Fires – A nuclear explosion doesn’t just generate an extreme amount of light. Where there’s light, there’s also heat.
Heat from nuclear fission or nuclear fusion can set manmade structures on fire from a staggering distance of 20 miles. So if your home is only 5 or 10 miles away from a blast, be ready for sudden blazes in your home and in the surrounding areas.
- Shield Your Skin – Human skin is extremely fragile and its fragility can be seen most clearly during a nuclear explosion. A person who is standing only 15 miles from a blast can suffer from terrible, disfiguring burns similar to being in the direct line of an open flamethrower.
Extend the distance to 18 miles (just 3 miles more) and an exposed person in an open environment will still experiencing severe blistering. If the victim is approaching a blast area, he will begin to experience “nuclear burn” (a skin condition similar to sunburn) up to 23 miles away.
- The Heat Wave – The heat generated by a nuclear blast is delayed, much like the sound of thunder after a lightning strike. It may take several seconds before you can feel the heat wave descending upon your area.
The farther away you are from a nuclear blast, the longer the heat’s delay.
If you happen to be far away from the site of a nuclear blast (20+ miles away), you have approximately 30 seconds to 1 minute to take care from the heat blast, which can cause severe burns. Take cover as soon as possible!
- Expect Structural Damage – Major structural damage can occur immediately after a nuclear blast. If the distance of the physical structure is 3 to 5 miles from the blast area, complete destruction will occur.
Roofs, ceilings, walls and all inner frameworks of homes and buildings will collapse or burn. All life within these structures is extremely likely to be gone along with the structure itself.
All homes standing within a 7 to 15 miles radius of a blast site will still be exposed to the nuclear shockwave and tremendous amounts of heat; such structures will require major rebuilding and repair and will likely be irradiated and unsafe for human habitation.
The figures mentioned above apply only to a smaller 5-megaton nuclear bomb. Should a 20-megaton nuclear device detonate, the severe damage radius will increase by roughly 20%.
This estimate does not take into account the presence of natural formations such as valleys and mountains.
If a mountain stands between your home and a nuclear blast area and you are 30 miles from it, it’s possible that your home will only suffer from relatively light damage. However, the risk of irradiation remains high.