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Physical and Environmental Effects of a Nuclear War

  • Date Submitted: 01/28/2010 03:12 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 57.5 
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Imagine the heat of millions of degrees, the immediate destruction of thousands of acres, and the deaths of hundreds of thousands of lives.   Now imagine all of that times a thousand.   There you have a nuclear war, the explosion of a thousand or more nuclear bombs on the earth.   That is what is estimated would be a nuclear war.   All of that power packed in relatively small(considering the power they unleash) bombs.   The results of a nuclear war would be devastating.   It would be devastating to the health and lives of people, and to the environment in which we live.   The world wouldn't fully recover for hundreds of years.

How a nuclear weapon works

In a modern nuclear bomb, commonly called a thermonuclear bomb or a H-bomb, fusion is the power behind the explosion and destruction.   Fusion is the fusing of the nuclei of two atoms, which produces an extreme amount of energy(about 40 times that of a fission reaction).   For fusion to occur, though, an extremely high temperature and pressure must first be reached, and this is achieved by fission(splitting of the nucleus of an atom).   The detonation of a fusion weapon begins with the detonation of a conventional explosive that sets off a fission reaction explosion.   Plutonium and uranium are used to create fission.   The atoms fused are those of the isotopes of hydrogen, deuterium or tritium.   The fusion and fission from a thermonuclear weapon result in large amounts of radiation that can be fatal to humans and animals and can also cause many other effects.

Short-term physical effects

One short-term effect of a nuclear war would, of course, be the deaths of millions of people.   It has been estimated that an attack on U.S. populations centers by 100 one-megaton nuclear weapons would kill up to 20 percent of the population immediately through blast, heat, ground shock, and instant radiation effects.   Also, and attack with 1,000 one-megaton nuclear weapons (which many...


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