A asked in News & EventsCurrent Events · 6 years ago

Questions on Nuclear Weapons?

How have nuclear weapons changed over 60 years (from World War 2 to Modern Day)? Like how did the effectiveness (outcome) and the usage of nuclear weapons change?

And what are some potential consequences of having nuclear weapons?

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  • Anonymous
    6 years ago
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    There are intercontinental ballistic missiles that carry them now with the press of a button, the ones used in Hiroshima and Nagasaki were dropped from maned planes!

    "consequences" total annihilation of the human race and everything else living on earth!

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  • 6 years ago

    The size of nuclear weapons have been refined. We can build everything from megaton weapons that can level a city, to "backpack" nukes that can destroy a city center, but leave the suburbs undamaged. The delivery systems have improved as well. A single rocket can carry multiple warheads that can target up to 16 separate targets. The early nukes were only accurate to within a few miles. Now we can drop them to within a meter of the intended detonation site.

    Nukes can also be detonated at different altitudes to have differing effects. Ground level detonations will create a huge crater, kick up a lot of radioactive debris, but have a somewhat limited area of damage. An airburst, 1-2 thousand above the target will cause more widespread damage from the blast and heat waves, but produce less radiative fallout. A burst tens of thousands of feet will do little direct damage, but generate electrical magnetic pulses that will fry electronics, including personal devices, computers controlling our utilities, and even our modern cars. This is the most terrifying aspect, as tens of millions of people could find themselves back in the stone age, with only a few "hardened" places maintaining normal services.

    Fortunately, no one has been willing to use nukes after the examples of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. One reason is that any state that dares use them risks retaliation not only by their target, but by other nuclear powers. Should terrorists gain such weapons, they will have little compunction about using such devices, knowing how difficult it will be for nations to retaliate.

    Potential consequences? up to now, the "balance of terror" has assured those weapons have not been used. But mistakes can happen, or a chain of events could trigger their use. That means potentially all of humanity is at risk. But then, we have many things that threaten our existence, so there is no point in worrying too much about nukes. Take what precautions we can, yes. But become paranoid will accomplish nothing.

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