A map that shows you the nuke way
This nuclear explosion simulator shows how well you are placed during a radioactive fallout
Since February 2012, people around t he world have exploded more t han 159 mil lion nuclear weapons. They’ve set off big ones and smal l ones and dropped them on Washington, Paris, Moscow, and even t heir own homes. But none of these nuclear explosions are real, of course. They’re all simulated via Nukemap, an in-browser app that lets you choose a location anywhere on Earth, adjust a number of options, and detonate a hypothetical nuclear bomb. The program is the brainchild of Alex Wellerstein, a historian of nuclear weapons at the Stevens Institute of Technology. Using the app has a certain thrill to it — just zoom to your location and click ‘detonate’ to see what happens. Nukemap’s software relies on declassified equations along with models of nuclear weapons and their effects — factors like fireball size, airblast radius, radiation zones, and more. It crunches the numbers, then renders the re- sults as graphics over an interactive map.
Preset options let you pick historic and recent blasts, including North Korea’s test explosions and Tsar Bomba, the most powerful nuclear device ever detonated. The tool can even estimate fatalities and injuries for a given weapon yield, altitude, and location. Wellerstein’s latest update offers a fascinating new option: a way to see how well someone in a radioactive f al l out shelter might fare. The previous version of Nukemap could generate a cloud of radioactive fallout and show users how it might drift based on real weather conditions. Now a ‘probe’ tool lets you explore that cloud and better estimate your chances of survival within it.
Suppose a 150-kiloton bomb detonates in New York City (on ground level). This yield, in kilotons of TNT, would be about 10 times that of the bomb dropped on Hiroshima. Nukemap predicts the dangerous fallout from such a cataclysm