How could I sur­vive a nu­clear bomb?

BBC Earth (Asia) - - Science -


Nu­clear bombs re­lease 35 per cent of their en­ergy as ther­mal ra­di­a­tion. A 1.2 mega­ton de­vice, such as the B83 bomb in the US ar­se­nal, will re­lease two mil­lion gi­ga­joules of en­ergy. This will cause third-de­gree burns to ex­posed skin, at a dis­tance of 10km. If you are al­ready stand­ing next to a wall or a car, duck be­hind it. Other­wise throw your­self on the floor, feet fac­ing to­wards the blast, and cover your head with your arms. The ther­mal pulse will last around 10 sec­onds for a ground burst ex­plo­sion. The ini­tial gamma ra­di­a­tion is less

dan­ger­ous than the heat pulse.


Once that ends, you have a brief lull be­fore the blast wave hits you with 50 per cent of the bomb’s en­ergy. It trav­els at 1,250km/h to­wards you. At 10km from the im­pact point, you have 20 sec­onds to reach safety. The over­pres­sure of 200 kilo­pas­cals will feel like be­ing punched all over, si­mul­ta­ne­ously, which isn’t enough to kill you, but it will knock down all build­ings and send ve­hi­cles fly­ing. The best place to be is the mid­dle of an empty field. Fail­ing that, crouch be­hind a low wall, away from tall

build­ings that can fall on you.

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