If a 21kt nuclear device was set off in downtown New York City, the overpressure from the blast would only be strong enough to kill instantly within about a 1/3 mile radius. This means that the denizens of Brooklyn would survive the initial explosion, but would have to take shelter from the inevitable nuclear fallout. (via)
2. If the blast doesn't kill you, the heat will.
The heat generated by a nuclear explosion can reach about 9,000 degrees, which is hotter than the surface of the Sun. The thermal component accounts for about 1/3rd of a nuclear weapons power. It's hot enough to permanently burn an object's shadow onto a surface behind it. (via)
3. Despite popular belief, Twinkies won't save you.
Despite what popular culture would like us to believe, Twinkies do not have the radiation resistant, preservative-packed shelf life we would like to think they do. According to Hostess, a Twinkie stays good for about 25 days, and is as susceptible to nuclear radiation as any other food. (via)
4. Cockroaches are not the only things that will survive.
Everyone knows that a cockroach can survive higher dosages of nuclear radiation than humans, but they aren't alone. The Mythbusters proved that a number of insects are remarkably resistant to the effects of nuclear radiation.
The Defense Department has a special name for nuclear weapons that have gone missing. They are known as “Broken Arrows”. During the Cold War, the United States lost track of 8 nuclear weapons (a combined explosive force 2,200 times the bomb dropped on Hiroshima).
6. It only takes about 35 lbs of enriched Uranium to make an atomic bomb.
It takes as little as 35 pounds of enriched Uranium, and as little as 9 pounds of enriched Plutonium to construct a nuclear weapon. Luckily, the facilities required to enrich raw Uranium are expensive, and are larger than 5 football fields. (via)
7. People exposed to nuclear fallout are eight times more likely to develop mutations.
A study from 1956 found that people living in a nuclear test site in Kazakhstan were 8 times more likely to develop genetic mutations, and their children's genetic mutation risk had increased five-fold. (via)
After the initial attack, fallout can linger for months. Fortunately, it only takes 5 inches of steel, 16 inches of brick, 2 feet of packed earth, or 3 feet of water to protect against radioactive fallout. (via)
9. A Neutrino beam could (theoretically) neutralize any nuclear weapon.
In theory, a weapon that fires a neutrino beam could effectively neutralize a nuclear bomb anywhere on the planet, but it would need to be 1000 km wide, require 50 gigawatts of power (enough power to run a city) and would cost $100 billion dollars to construct. (via)
10. Nuclear winter could potentially counteract the effects of global warming.
The dust kicked up into the atmosphere after a big enough nuclear blast could offer enough protection from sunlight to reverse the effects of global warming. Of course, it could also plunge us into a new ice age if too much sunlight is blocked.
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