Have you ever seen Dr. Strangelove’s movie (Or How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The Bomb)? It’s a classic movie, one that satirizes the Cold War nuclear arms race. Spoiler alert: A chain of unfortunate events ends up causing detonation of every single nuclear weapon in the world, leaving humanity quite screwed.
With Trump’s recent and frightening remarks about boosting the U.S. nuclear arsenal and not ruling out using any of these weapons in the Middle East or Europe, we felt it best to work out what would happen in the event of a nuclear apocalypse–for your horror. What would happen if there were fire and detonation of every nuclear weapon in the world today?
.In short, there is nothing good about it. Here’s behind the end of the world the rather grim mathematics and science.
From Russia With Love
First, let’s have a look at what various countries have in their nuclear arsenal.
According to data from the 2017 Federation of American Scientists, the world has 14,900 nuclear warheads. The US has 6,800 and Russia has 7,000, making up the vast majority of city killers around the world. The United Kingdom has 215, France 300, China 260, India 120, Pakistan 130, Israel around 80, and about 10 in North Korea.
Each of these yields varies significantly. For example, the US and Russia have hyper-powerful thermonuclear weapons, while North Korea can scarcely get past an old – school fission – style plutonium device.
The B83, which has an explosive yield equivalent to 1.2 megatons of TNT, is one of the most powerful weapons in the US arsenal. This is equivalent to about 5 quadrillion joules of energy, or 5 Petajoules – or the energy value of 79 Hiroshima “Little Boy” nuclear bombs.
Say one of those B83s went off in Moscow because President Trump lost a Twitter war with President Putin and it all escalated pretty fast. If it detonated on the surface, nuclear historian Alex Wellerstein said it would leave a crater 420 meters (1,378 feet) across and 92 meters (300 feet) deep.
A gigantic fireball would appear almost instantly upon detonation, 5.7 square kilometers (2.2 square miles) in size and reaching temperatures up to 83.3 million degrees Celsius (150 million degrees Fahrenheit). Using 50 percent of the entire warhead’s energy, a huge pressure wave would also accompany it. All buildings in a total area of 16.8 square kilometers (6.5 square miles) area would be totally flattened.
Through thermal radiation – which uses 35 percent of the explosive’s energy – everyone in a region of 420 square kilometers (162 square miles) will receive third – degree burns, which will only be painful for a fraction of a second as their nerve endings are completely destroyed.
Then there is the radiation ionizing and falling. If there is no wind at the time, we can assume that an area of 20.6 square kilometers (8 square miles) will be so heavily irradiated that 50 to 90% of people there will die from radiation disease.