Harm of nuclear weapon

Blast damage[ edit ] Overpressure ranges from 1 to 50 psi 6. The thin black curve indicates the optimum burst height for a given ground range.

Harm of nuclear weapon

Nuclear explosions produce air-blast effects similar to those produced by conventional explosives. The shock wave can directly injure humans by rupturing eardrums or lungs or by hurling people at high speed, but most casualties occur because of collapsing structures and flying debris.

Unlike conventional explosions, a single nuclear explosion can generate an intense pulse of thermal radiation that can start fires and burn skin over large areas. In some cases, the fires ignited by the explosion can coalesce into a firestorm, preventing the escape of survivors.

Though difficult to predict accurately, it is expected that thermal effects from a nuclear explosion would be the cause of significant casualties. Nuclear detonations release large amounts of neutron and gamma radiation.

Harm of nuclear weapon

Relative to other effects, initial radiation is an important cause of casualties only for low-yield explosions less than 10 kilotons. When a nuclear detonation occurs close to the ground surface, soil mixes with the highly radioactive fission products from the weapon.

The debris is carried by the wind and falls back to Earth over a period of minutes to hours. By contrast, the radiation dose from fallout is delivered over an extended period, as described in Chapter 5. Most of the dose from fallout is due to external exposure to gamma radiation from radionuclides deposited on the ground, and this is the only exposure pathway considered by the computer models that the Defense Threat Reduction Agency DTRA and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory LLNL used to estimate health effects for this study.

The National Academies Press. Radiation has both acute and latent health effects. Acute effects include radiation sickness or death resulting from high doses of radiation greater than 1 sievert [Sv], or rems delivered over a few days.

Harm of nuclear weapon

The principal latent effect is cancer. Estimates of latent cancer fatalities are based largely on results of the long-term follow-up of the survivors of the atomic bombings in Japan. The results of these studies have been interpreted by the International Commission on Radiological Protection ICRP 1 in terms of a lifetime risk coefficient of 0.

Harm of Nuclear Weapon - Essay Samples Fallout from Nuclear Weapons Tests and Cancer Risks There basically are two kinds of ionizing radiation created by nuclear explosions, electromagnetic and particulate. Radiation emitted at the time of detonation is known as prompt or initial radiation, and it occurs within the first minute of detonation.
IN ADDITION TO READING ONLINE, THIS TITLE IS AVAILABLE IN THESE FORMATS: Fallout from Nuclear Weapons Tests and Cancer Risks There basically are two kinds of ionizing radiation created by nuclear explosions, electromagnetic and particulate. Radiation emitted at the time of detonation is known as prompt or initial radiation, and it occurs within the first minute of detonation.
Documents from the nuclear weapon ban treaty negotiations Other organizations aiming to reduce nuclear risks:
Nuclear Weapons - Future of Life Institute Blast damage[ edit ] Overpressure ranges from 1 to 50 psi 6. The thin black curve indicates the optimum burst height for a given ground range.
The detonation of a nuclear bomb over a target such as a populated city causes immense damage. The degree of damage depends upon the distance from the center of the bomb blast, which is called the hypocenter or ground zero.

Thus, there is no consideration of the presumed greater sensitivity to radiation of the very young and the elderly. Also, there is no consideration of the sensitivity of the fetus. From the experience in Japan, it is known that substantial effects on the fetus can occur, and these effects depend on the age stage of organogenesis of the fetus.

The transfer of radio nuclides to the fetus resulting from their intake by the mother is another pathway of concern. Radiation dose coefficients for this pathway have been published by the ICRP.

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This effect has been noted in the Japanese studies and also in a study of the Chernobyl cleanup workers.

The number of eye cataracts, based on the experience of the Chernobyl workers, is not small. The occurrence of eye cataracts in the now aging Japanese population is several tens of percent among those more heavily exposed.

Finally, there has been a recently confirmed finding that the Japanese survivors are experiencing a statistically significant increase in the occurrence of a number of noncancer diseases, 6 including hypertension, myocardial infarction, thyroid disease, cataracts, chronic liver disease and cirrhosis, and, in females, uterine myoma.

There has been a negative response in the occurrence of glaucoma. A nominal risk coefficient for the seven categories of disease is about 0. The largest fraction of the risk is due to thyroid disease.

Thermal Radiation from Underground Bursts Thermal radiation may make fire a collateral effect of the use of surface burst, airburst, or shallow-penetrating nuclear weapons.

The potential for fire damage depends on the nature of the burst and the surroundings. If there is a fireball, fires will be a direct result of the absorption of thermal radiation. Fires can also result as an indirect effect of the destruction caused by a blast wave, which can, for example, upset stoves and furnaces, rupture gas lines, and so on.

A shallow-penetrating nuclear weapon of, say, to kilotons at a 3 to 5 meter depth of burst will generate a substantial fireball that will not fade as fast as the air blast. Detonation of a nuclear weapon in a forested area virtually guarantees fire damage at ranges greater than the range of air-blast damage.

If the burst is in a city environment where buildings are closely spaced, say less than 10 to 15 meters, fires will spread from burning buildings to adjacent ones.

Production of nuclear weapons Production of the explosive materials used in all nuclear weapons – highly enriched uranium and plutonium – is harmful to our health and the environment. Nuclear weapons derive their explosive force from uranium and/or plutonium, the latter of which is a by-product of nuclear fission in reactors. Nuclear bombs are lethal weapons that cause cataclysmic explosions when energy is released by the splitting of uranium or plutonium atoms in atomic bombs or . Large nuclear weapons (in the megaton class and above) can start fires and do other thermal damage at distances far beyond the distance at which they can cause blast damage. Even with a 15 kiloton detonation, the intensity of the thermal radiation can exceed Watts per square cm.

In Germany and Japan in World War II, safe separation distance ranged from about 30 to 50 feet for a 50 percent probability of spreadbut for modern urban areas this distance could be larger. This type of damage is less likely to occur in suburban areas where buildings are more widely separated.

Page 75 Share Cite Suggested Citation: Thus, fire caused directly by thermal ignitions, fire caused indirectly by disruptive blast waves, and spread of fire are all potential, but uncertain, effects. The area over which casualties would occur as a result of the various weapon effects outlined above depends primarily on the explosive yield of the weapon and the height or depth of the burst.

The areas affected by initial nuclear radiation and fallout also depend on the design of the weapon in particular, the fraction of the yield that is derived from fission reactionsand, in the case of fallout, on weather conditions during and after the explosion notably wind speed and direction, atmospheric stability, precipitation, and so onterrain, and geology in the area of the explosion.

The following calculations assume that the entire population is static and in the open.Thermal radiation may make fire a collateral effect of the use of surface burst, airburst, or shallow-penetrating nuclear weapons.

The potential for fire damage depends on the nature of . Harm of Nuclear Weapon It took a lot of blood, sweat and tears to get to where we are today, but we have just begun.

Today we begin in earnest the work of making sure that the world we leave our children is just a little bit better than the one we inhabit today as the only nuclear power to have used a nuclear weapon – the United States has a. Production of nuclear weapons Production of the explosive materials used in all nuclear weapons – highly enriched uranium and plutonium – is harmful to our health and the environment.

Nuclear weapons derive their explosive force from uranium and/or plutonium, the latter of which is a by-product of nuclear fission in reactors.

Nuclear bombs are lethal weapons that cause cataclysmic explosions when energy is released by the splitting of uranium or plutonium atoms in atomic bombs or . Nuclear weapons have been used twice, on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August Evidence from these occasions, as well as atmospheric nuclear testing and nuclear power accidents have formed the basis of our knowledge of the effects of nuclear weapons.

Large nuclear weapons (in the megaton class and above) can start fires and do other thermal damage at distances far beyond the distance at which they can cause blast damage.

Even with a 15 kiloton detonation, the intensity of the thermal radiation can exceed Watts per square cm.

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