The mash-up with North Korea should be making Americans nervous…..not that anything will happen today….but we have started down a path that could end badly for all people involved.
Recalling the hysteria of the 1950’s….the “Duck and Cover” exercises the interest in “bomb shelters”….it’s all coming full circle.
How about a quick tour of the world of nukes?
The USA has more nukes than hairs on one’s butt….like wise for Russia….then there is China, Pakistan, India, North Korea and Iran…..let’s not forget France and Israel….my point is there are a lot of nukes just waiting to be used….and we seldom talk about those nukes.
Just how many are there?
There are five nuclear weapon states in the world: China, France, Russia, United Kingdom and the United States. These are officially recognized as possessing such weapons by the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons.
This treaty acknowledges and legitimizes their arsenals, but they are not supposed to build or maintain them forever. Indeed, they have committed to eliminate them.
There are also four other countries that have nuclear weapons: Pakistan, India, Israel and North Korea. These countries didn’t sign the Treaty, and together possess an estimated 340 nuclear weapons.
Okay but how many are there?
Let’s count them up……there are about a total of 15,000 nukes waiting…..but a breakdown to avoid any confusion…..Russia–about 8,000….US–around 4,000……France, China, UK, Pakistan, India, Israel less than 200 each….then there is North Korea that has 0 but the ambition for a greater role is there.
Now that we have a total…..what kind of damage are we talking about?
According to Telegraph research, it is estimated that the US and Russian arsenals combined have power equating to 6,600 megatons. This is a tenth of the total solar energy received by Earth every minute.
According to the NukeMap website, the dropping of the B-83, the largest bomb in the current US arsenal, would kill 1.4m people in the first 24 hours. A further 3.7m people would be injured, as the thermal radiation radius reached 13.km.
Likewise, the “Tsar Bomba” is the largest USSR bomb tested. If this bomb was dropped on New York, it is estimated that it could kill 7.6m people and injure 4.2m more. The nuclear fallout could reach an approximate area of 7,880km on a 15mph wind, impacting millions more people.
With all that destructive power you would think that players would be happy with their possessions, right?
Oh, Hell NO!
It appears the US has come up with a better idea…..
The future of nuclear weapons might not be huge and mega destructive but smaller, tactical, and frighteningly, more common. The U.S. Air Force is investigating more options for “variable yield” bombs — nukes that can be dialed down to blow up an area as small as a neighborhood, or dialed up for a much larger punch.
The Air Force currently has gravity bombs that either have or can be set to low yields: less than 20 kilotons. Such a bomb dropped in the center of Washington, D.C., wouldn’t even directly affect Georgetown or Foggy Bottom. But a Minuteman III missile tipped with a 300-kiloton warhead would destroy downtown Washington and cause third-degree burns into Virginia and Maryland.
With all this talk about nukes…..I recall the days of my youth when we would have a school drill for a nuke attack….we would crawl under our desks and put our hands over our ears and head between the knees…..now that I think about it were we “kissing our butts good-bye?”
With all the nukes now and the years to come….can we survive a true nuclear attack?
Acute radiation syndrome (ARS) results from exposure to high levels of ionizing radiation. This may be the result of an accident, such as exposure of individuals to x-ray diagnostic and therapeutic devices, or a possible large scale exposure following a nuclear facility accident (for example the Chernobyl and Fukushima incidents). It may also be the result of an intentional act of terrorism, involving the use of a radiological dispersal device (i.e., dirty bomb), an improvised nuclear device, or may involve an attack on a nuclear power plant, or any number of potential nuclear scenarios. Following the 9/11 attacks, and more recently the use of non-conventional weapons and toxic industrial compounds in the Syrian civil war and in Iraq by both state and non-state actors, the possibility of intentional exposure to radiation seems to be rising. Since the primary objective of these perpetrators is to create fear and panic to the general public, and since most of the public, as well as first responders, healthcare providers, and the mass media, may have misunderstandings regarding such an event, radiation is attractive. On top of that, the shortage of available medical countermeasures (MCMs) against ARS could make it even worse. The major goals of a response plan to a radio-nuclear emergency are to protect the public, as well as the emergency personnel while performing their duties. To achieve these goals, local, regional and national resources should be brought together to address such an incident of national impact. In a radio-nuclear exposure scenario, the numbers of casualties, some with life-threatening injuries and resulting complications, may be very high. This means major challenges of assessing the precise levels of individual exposure, and possible delayed medical support and care to those who need it. In any case, these are regarded as complex and resource-intensive efforts, driving research towards approving novel MCMs against ARS. This syndrome involves life-threatening injuries especially to the hematopoietic, gastrointestinal, and the neurovascular systems. Victims exposed to high levels of ionized radiation show a prodromal phase in the first few hours following exposure, followed by a latent phase, which shortens as the radiation dose increases, and finally, develop a manifest phase. The bone marrow involvement is considered as the major contributor to mortality.
This FYI piece started with a bang (pun not intended) and ended with a deep feeling of paranoia the closer we get to the “Nuclear Mid-Night”.