Types And Effects of Nuclear Weapons, The Basics

by TheSurvivalistBlog.net contributor Ron G

NUKE WW3Think of this as a primer if you will. It is written to cover the basics that will matter most to you as a prepper. I am intentionally leaving out a lot of technical jargon; there are others willing to throw that out at you. There will be some terms and concepts that do need to be understood. One I will use a lot is Ground Zero (GZ).

Ground Zero is that point on the surface of the earth directly under, at, or over, a nuclear detonation. Your location, distance, and direction, from GZ is very important.

It’s important that you understand that there are four types of nuclear detonations or “burst”. Sub Surface Burst, Surface Burst, Air Burst, and High Altitude Burst.

All nuclear burst will produce the same basic effects, blinding light, tremendous heat, massive blast wave, radiation, and the electromagnetic pulse. However, the type of burst will greatly determine the degree of each effect upon the target.

A Sub Surface Burst is one that occurs underground in which the fireball produced does not break thru to the atmosphere. The ground will shake and there may be a surface collapse at GZ but on the surface there will be no radiation or EMP released or blast wave. Really nothing to be concerned with and I mention it only because they have been used during weapons design testing programs in the past.

A Surface Burst is a detonation on or near enough to the surface where the fireball touches the earth’s surface. This is the one we almost always see in the movies and in illustrations for articles like this. There will be a brilliant flash of light, a massive fireball, and an intense outward-bound blast wave outward from GZ. As the fireball starts to rise a second blast wave, this time returning towards GZ, arrives and brings with it massive amount of debris. This debris is forced upward into the fireball and creates the stem of the familiar “Mushroom Cloud”. At GZ there is total destruction and depending on the size, design of the weapon, and to a degree the terrain, the area of total destruction can be considerable. Large areas of partial and incomplete destruction will extend even further.

Meanwhile the Mushroom Cloud continues to rise through the atmosphere, the stem discontinues and temperatures inside the fireball start to cool down. As it cools the prevailing winds will start to push the fireball downwind. Material inside the fireball, now radioactive, cools and starts to fall, largest, heaviest material first. By the time it reaches 30,000 feet the fireball will appear to be just another cloud but this cloud will be leaving behind a trail of radioactive fallout for several hundred miles.

GZ will not be survivable and will be radioactive for a long time. The further away from GZ you are the better your chances. A safe distance downwind will be much further than a safe distance cross or upwind.

An Air Burst is a detonation in which the fireball does not touch the surface of the earth. It has all the other characteristics of a Surface Burst but there is no Mushroom Cloud and most important there will be no significant fallout. What the Air Burst will do however is create a much larger area of destruction. It does this by creating three blast waves.

As the expanding blast wave (or initial wave) strikes the surface of the earth, it is reflected off the ground to form a second shock wave traveling behind the first. This reflected wave travels faster than the initial wave since it is traveling through air already moving at high-speed due to the passage of the initial wave. The reflected blast wave will merge with the initial wave to form a single wave. This is called a Mach wave. The over-pressure at the front of the Mach wave is generally about twice as great as that at the initial blast wave. If you have trouble picturing this try thinking of a ripple hitting the edge of a calm pond. This deflected wave becomes a second wave. The third wave will be the displaced air mass returning to GZ.

These types of detonation will double the area of destruction without the messy fallout. You can see the military advantage of this type of detonation. GZ will not be survivable but will not be radioactive for long. The distance from GZ you will need to survive the destructive blast are much greater but fallout will not be an issue.

Last of all is the High Altitude Burst. A detonation above 100,000 feet is a High Altitude Burst. No blast damage. No fallout. Your personal physical threat from this would be the potential flash blindness from the initial burst. The purpose of this type of detonation is the Electro Magnetic Pulse.

Lets review. A Sub Surface Burst is really not a military option. Surface or Air Burst, if you are at or are too close to GZ you are either toast or soon to be toast. If it was an Air Burst fallout is not a threat. If it was a Surface Burst and you are located far enough up or cross wind you should be in good shape. If you are downwind…

Fallout. Fallout is material that was made temporarily radioactive in the fireball through a process called ionization. It has a known decay rate.

There are multiple layers in the atmosphere; each layer is capable of having different wind speeds and directions. As the fireball becomes a fallout cloud and raises and lowers thru each layer the winds in that layer will have an effect. Lower levels will have less effect while upper levels will have more. In predicting where the fallout will go it helps to be a weatherman. Generally Continental US weather patterns flow from the South to North and West to East. But, there are seasonal variations. Understanding Highs and Lows and where you are in relation to them, would be useful information. Knowing that your westerly winds are the lower part of an upper level low that is moving south you can determine that the fallout will mostly travel south and east. (I once had to explain why surface winds have no effect to an Air Force General. The Major who ran the DoD weather school just sat there and grinned.

Fallout Protection is all about Time, Distance, and Shielding. The longer it takes for fallout to arrive the less there will be. If you are in a safe space, the longer you wait to go out the less you will be exposed to. The greater the distance between you and fallout that has arrived the less radiation you will be exposed to. The more mass between you and the fallout the less radiation will reach you. I think everyone understands these concepts well enough.

The next topic is very important. Targeting in Nuclear War.

In an all out war the first strikes will be against an enemy’s ability to strike back. Missile Silos, Bomber and Submarine Bases, and Command and Control Centers will be the first targets. Major military bases, seaports and manufacturing centers would be secondary. In a nuclear war most targets are going to be hit with Air Burst. Let me say it again. In a nuclear war most detonations are going to be Air Burst. (ICBM Silos and Cheyenne Mountain in Colorado will be exceptions to this). Fallout will be a problem, but probably not to the extent most of us think. Nuclear Winter? Forget about it. Totally made up bull!

One last thing, if you are outdoors and see an unexplainable, sudden, intense, flash of light and cannot identify the source, immediately drop to the ground, close your eyes, and cover your ears and open your mouth. You want to protect against flash blindness and the oncoming over-pressure of the blast wave. Remember, there will be a second blast wave in the opposite direction, so don’t be in a hurry to get up. Of course you may be far enough away that the wave(s) may never get there. Count that as a blessing.

M.D. Creekmore adds : If you’re interested in learning more about this subject (you should be) then I suggest that you order a copy of Nuclear War Survival Skills: Lifesaving Nuclear Facts and Self-Help Instructions


  1. Solid information, cross your fingers people dont get itchy yet!

  2. Check out the nucmap for your area! (http://www.nuclearsecrecy.com/nukemap/)

    • Thomas The Tinker says:

      Nice JP… Glad I got outta that part of Toledo.

    • Crazy Joe in South Jersey says:

      Soon as I saw the title .. went to favorite places to paste that site here … ya beat me to it . In the old days , 40 years ago , we did this with maps made out of paper and mechanical drawing tools and pencils … now just a click of the button .

    • Thank you for this link! Amazing information and a bit frightening, however, necessary. Thank you JP – always good to have you responding!

  3. Interesting and I hope the contributor will elaborate in a follow-up article. Bomb sizes, tactical bombs, target selection, number of strikes projected for a given area. Etc.
    I grew up in Norfolk VA and knew that I was in a very high priority area as it is the home of the worlds largest naval base. From what I recall in my time in the army reserves we were slated for three bombs. Kill and overkill I guess.
    Thoughts on terrorist acquisition and likely targets if they do manage to get one.? All very scary.

    • Hi believer, I’m no expert, but my guess for a target if they get just one bomb: Jerusalem, DC, or New York.

      Of course, the logistics of getting a bomb to one of those may militate in favor of a 2nd tier target. The Vatican/Rome, Paris, London.

      I like to hope that without active state level help, one would be all they could get, but there are persistent rumors of Cold War Era Soviet backpack nukes gone missing. (IIRC they were, like ours, designed for destroying thinks like dams and bridges, so truly devastating but not gigantic. As nukes go….)

      They certainly were a huge concern after the break up of the Soviet Union, as apparently a lot of the new countries did almost nothing to secure nukes, and there were quite a few people with access who could well have seen opportunities for huge financial windfalls. The upside of that is that the Soviet Union collapsed a long time ago, and no one has used any of those supposedly missing bombs. If the Bad Guys did get any, why didn’t they use them long ago?

      If we are lucky, they will prove to be nothing but rumors.

  4. Here is what you need to know about a nuke: The nukes today are not the nukes of 1945 and Hiroshima. If a nuke is set off in a city near you and you are downwind and don’t have “fallout shelter” quality of cover you will likely receive a fatal radiation dose. That is if it doesn’t kill you immediately (as in being too close to ground zero) it will either kill you within days (as in being a few miles from ground zero without any cover) OR kill you over weeks to months (again from radiation or other related causes). If we were to receive a full nuclear attack from Russia or China (2000-4000 nukes) most of us will die.

    Are nukes survivable? Absolutely, if you are lucky and not close to ground zero and/or have adequate shelter you could survive. However it is likely that most survivors of a nuclear attack will die within the first year from all of the other risks involved (a follow up invasion, your neighbors, gangs, illness, starvation, etc.).

    Bottom line; probably after a nuclear attack half of Americans will be dead within a few weeks, half of the remaining survivors will die within months and within a year perhaps 10%-20% will still be alive.

  5. Thanks, Ron G, for a sensible, written-in-plain-English article.

  6. I’m mildly surprised no one mentioned the guy in Japan who lived to a ripe old age after being at Ground Zero – twice – in WWII.

    Also, no mention of the idea put forth at The Daily Bell that these weapons might not work as advertised. Dependent upon atmospheric conditions, lack of independent verification they even work, etc… Interesting stuff.

    • There is considerable evidence that many of the Russian nuclear weapons are old and may either not work or not yield as advertised and some evidence that even under good conditions some of the weapons would not be delivered on target. Under the conditions expected in a massive nuclear exchange it is probable that nuclear weapons will go astray. That is it might be targeted on Denver but actually hit Cody Wy. This isn’t “good” news because every large city will be targeted and there is an assumption that living in the middle of nowhere is safer. But if the missile is aimed at a city 500 miles from you goes astray and hits in the middle of nowhere than you are out of luck. In the plan for a massive nuclear attack every critical target is multi-targeted. That is the airport in LA is a target and has two nukes aimed at it. So is every major airport and every major city and every major manufacturing site, etc. Additionally the initial targeting might entail 2000 nukes the plan is to reevaluate after the initial attack and hit those targets not destroyed. In a nuclear war with Russia expect between 2000-4000 nukes within half an houir and then 20-40 nukes a day for weeks. This is not a “survivable” environment. Most will die. There isn’t enough fallout shelter space in the entire country for 0.01% of the population. If you don’t have a shelter in a major nuclear attack you will die from radiation poisoning within days to weeks.

      One other important point. Both Russia and China have fallout and blast proof shelter for as much as 20% of their population AND for critical heavy industry. They are actively planning on surviving a nuclear war and being able to press forward with ground forces. The U.S. is NOT.

    • Right is RIGHT-wrong is WRONG says:

      Yes helot I am surprised also. One of the first if not THE first American to go into a nuke blast zone (not sure which at this time) in Japan reported back to America about the effects of the nuke blast. Two different parachuted objects were dropped at the same time before the blast and the blast was above the ground. The first Japanese doctors he talked to said only about 20,000 people were killed in the blast. Plus there were American prisnors laying in trenches under the blast that survived the blast. Much much more info. was sent back to the American government and 100% of it was censored. The son of the American who sent the nuke effect info back to America wrote a small book (stood and read the whole book at Barnes and Noble, Jensen Beach Fla.) about the truth of what his father found (with documentation) in Japan after she was nuked. The son’s thinking was that it was more important that the world knew that America would use the bomb if she had to (which to my way of thinking probably put off ww3 for decades) and the more deathly gore rumor from the nuked people of Japan (true or untrue) the better. At an air show in Stuart Fla. Tibits the pilot of the first nuke drop said if the two nukes did not work as planned they were working on a third one and it would be a few months before it would be ready. He also said the pilot of the second plane that dropped the second nuke was also almost courtmarshaled because of the way he flew his plane back. I believe it had to do with avalable fuel and indecision on landing. Side-note….Japan did not surrender quickly after she was bombed with nukes. She surrendered only after Russia declared war on Japan (and cleaned out Manchuria in a week) after Japan was nuked.

  7. High fallout areas will have 1,000 R/hour. In 2 weeks that will be 1 R/hour. A dose of 350 R-450 R is fatal for about 50% of the population. Mass and distance from fallout will protect you. In Japan rates of birth defects were normal for those conceived after the blasts. Potassium Iodine costs about $15- for 4 oz. This enough for 2 families. Get Kearny’s book. With the book you can make a fallout meter with household items. Much of this prepping is mental preparedness.

  8. JP in MT, that’s a interesting site. I’ve used it enough to know the PNW would just about receive total fallout coverage. Many, many targets from southern OR to northern WA

    There is also a count method that will tell you alot about yield, distance away, etc by counting seconds from flash to bang; and the blast light length. The info is available on the web. I wonder if many would be collected enough to remember to count in the first place? I would likely be scrambling for some sort of cover as a first priority.

    • Patrick, The flash to bang count is like counting lighting from the time of the sound of thunder. It can give you a rough estimate on distance but nothing else.

      • Blast light length will also roughly show the yield, if blast light lasts 1-3 seconds it’s yield is 20 kt or less, 3-7 seconds of light the yield is 20-kt- 125kt, 7-10 seconds/125kt-250 kt, 10-20 seconds of light 250-1 mt, 30 seconds of light yields 2 mt, 45 seconds of light works out to 25 mt.

        This is important to determine where a device may come from; 20 kt or less is from a small nation like Iran, N Korea or rogue state. 125 kt-300kt Russian SLCM/ICBM. 3-5 MT, Chinese SLCM /ICBM.

        10 seconds of light could also denote a multiple warhead device.

        Flash to bang:
        24 seconds- 5 mile away
        47 ” 10 ”
        71 ” 15
        95 ” 20
        119 ” 25
        142 ” 30
        166 ” 35
        190 ” 40 miles away

        Blast light length is what really determines rough information. If you cannot see blast light, or experience blast wave then your primary concern is fallout. Distance from target would also give an idea to thickness or mass of shielding needed. Could prove to be important if one is lacking dosimeters, geiger counter or other means to count rads and roentgens. Besides being infantry I was our platoons NBC NCO. As I stated, this info is readily available online.

      • Thomas The Tinker says:

        forgive me Ron… please… dark… dark humor here….

        I watching Gray’s Anatomy re-runs and suddenly the front room curtains flame up along with the sun rise in front yard…. I sit quietly swilling my LAST Ying Ling while counting down to the ….. shock wave that will mitigate my need to mow the lawn…………. The ‘BOOM’ and my Wife’s Honda come through the front room window at the same instant…. at Mach 1.

        Day ruined…. Preps …… EHhhh!

  9. Dave from San Antonio says:

    I live in a “military city” and have numerous Army posts and Air Force bases that literally surround me. “IF I see the flash”…1.) I’ll be blind 2.) then I’ll have to find my butt in the dark and kiss it good-bye. Face it…I’m a realist on this.
    The article has good information…especially if there is warning ahead of time or you live in a relative “target free zone”. I doubt, though, if our gov’t. would give us any real warning. The days of “atomic bunkers”…may come back.

    • Dave, While there is a lot of military around San’tone there is nothing there of a strategic nature. In other words, nothing there can reach out and touch someone in Russia or China. I really can not see it as a primary target.

      • Every military base, every airport, every large city, every manufacturing center, etc. is a target. The strategic value of San Antonio is the 10’s of thousands of people in uniform who live there.
        Think about this, it is critical for realistic planning. The Soviet plan for a nuclear attack on the U.S. was for an initial attack with 2000-4000 nukes. That is every military installation, every airport, every large city, etc. THEN to evaluate the damage and retarget any surviving target with more nukes. A nuclear war is an all or nothing gamble where the loser loses everything. Russia and more recently China has actively taken steps to not be a loser in a nuclear war. While we only have fallout and bomb blast shelter for a few politicians and hardened military sites Russia and China have facilities that will allow millions and millions to survive a nuclear attack. This was an expensive decision and not taken by chance. They intend to survive and likely intend to initiate a nuclear war. Where will you hide if it happens?

        • Bob, I agree completely. Some folks would be amazed at what areas would be a designated target. A lesson many have forgotten during the cold war is Russia matter of factly stating that they would never be attacked again. I think Russia is more capable of launching a first strike than what most folks believe.

          We have let our old civil defense shelters fall by the wayside while other nations have kept theirs current and built more.

  10. Thank you, thank you for this information! Very informative, and in a way, comforting. Many of us have been taught that almost no one would survive a nuclear war – that all blasts would cause unsurvivable fallout, and almost everyone would die, either due to being too close to the blast or from fallout. The idea of a nuclear attack is scary enough without everyone walking around terrified by incorrect information.

  11. There was a Far Side comic years ago that showed two guys fishing in a lake with mountains behind them and a mushroom cloud beyond that. To paraphrase the caption; “I’ll tell you what this means Bob, forget the size and bag limit’s”. Pretty well sums it up.

  12. My current thinking on a massive nuclear exchange: Really scary chance during the Cold War, but pretty unlikely nowadays. It could happen, but a single bomb or possibly an extremely small number of bombs is now far more likely.

    Russia and China have the capability, but they have essentially no incentive to do so, and the downside for either would be the destruction of their own country because they couldn’t wipe out our nuclear missile carrying submarine fleet before we retaliated.

    Even if they thought they probably could, where is the upside for either of them? We would stop paying interest on the US bonds China holds, and stop buying anything from them. IIRC the interest we pay China covers their entire military budget. They have to get awfully angry with us to justify taking hundreds, if not thousands of retaliatory strikes. Same with Russia.

    North Korea and Iran, on the other hand, may be somewhat less pragmatically inclined. The upside is they have nuclear weapons, or will, but few and with limited capability to deliver more than a very, very small number. They understand they would be annihilated, and if the top people don’t care, some of the generals might not be utterly batpoop crazy enough to obey orders.

    Could they or Pakistan sell/give nukes to terrorists in the hope we wouldn’t figure out who made them? They might be stupid enough to do that, but fissionable material’s purity varies from production facility to production facility. The trace elements act something like a fingerprint. They know we know that, and they know we could trace the fuel to them.

    Assuming they believe our leaders would not go to court and open a dialog, but turn their country into glowing cinders, they have a big disincentive to leave us alone. At least as far as nukes go.

    Still, if Islamists get their hands on any kind of nuclear weapon, I expect they would use it.

    One upside for us: The western governments of the world take that threat very seriously, as do the shipping companies. The ship owners have zero interest in one or more of their ports being destroyed, and there are a lot of controls on shipping which were not in place 15 years ago.

    As I understand it, our satellites and those of some allies are capable of seeing nuclear radiation about ships at sea, and we do get pushy when need be to find out what it is.

    It may not be impossible to get a ship within missile distance of the US or Europe, but it would not be as simple as putting a missile or two on board and just sailing up to the coast. And a missile would get us back to some level of state level involvement, with all the draw backs for that government.

    So: As I see it, the chances of an all out nuclear war are much smaller than 50 years ago, but the chances of one or two weapons being detonated in a Western city are probably up a bit.


    • IMHO you could make exactly the same argument about Germany and Japan in WW II. Why would they risk all when it was likely they would lose all??? The reason is always the same reason; because of stupidity, ego, mania, over confidence, hate, evil. To think things are fine because of a few billion dollars in interest payments is the definition of naive. While I agree that a single or 2 or 3 nuke attack is far more likely today I do not agree that a full scale nuclear attack is less likely today. I believe that on that fatal day when Russian or Chinese leaders believe they can win, right or wrong, they will do it. They “may” choose to go full nuclear blackmail vs full nuclear war BUT that is risky so I think it will be total nuclear attack with total surprise when and if they decide to do it. It won’t be for logical or economic reasons it will be for glory or ego or stupidity or mania. Simple as that.

      When it happens we will have less than 30 minutes warning, probably, realistically less than 15 minutes. When that warning comes our government will waste all of it dithering about what to do. That is they won’t break into TV and Radio and tell you all to duck and cover. Our military will probably act more or less professionally and at the first warning try to mitigate the attack and prepare to respond to it. But even there our military has been dumbed down/emasculated since the days of General LeMay and I would expect less than adequate use of those 15 minutes. Our nuclear subs are the only adequate and relatively secure leg of our MAD deterrence and that leg has been diminished and poorly supported over the last 25 years or so. While at the same time our enemies have doubled and quadrupled their effort to mitigate the threat our Boomers represent to them. Each of our nuclear subs is followed by multiple attack submarines and one day, maybe already, they will attain superiority over us under the sea.

      Why would they do all these things if they do not intend to attack? Why would Russia build extensive underground heavy manufacturing facilities in the Urals if they were not preparing for nuclear war? Why would China build huge tunnel networks far underground safe from blast and fallout and capable of hiding all of their military might AND delivering them to seaports and airports all over their country??? Why? It costs them billions perhaps trillions to do this, why do it? The answer is all too simple; because they fully expect a nuclear war and they intend to survive it and after surviving it to dominate the world. That means they intend to send troops here after a nuclear war and eliminate any survivors.

      • Hi IdahoBob, “To think things are fine because of a few billion dollars in interest payments is the definition of naive.”

        If that was all I said, I would agree with you. However, interest payments was far from all of it. They are a disincentive, though. Even if we were destroyed, what is the upside for them if 150 or so cities and their major dams are destroyed, with some producing massive radioactive fallout as well? Dams take ground bursts, as do airports: lots of fallout. That isn’t survival: that’s Chinese TEOTWAWKI.

        So long as Russia and China believe, rightly or wrongly, that we will survive a first strike with the ability to strike back from even a single nuclear submarine, they will see an enormous disincentive to start a nuclear war.

        At least some of our subs carry missiles with 200 nuclear warheads. Neither enemy is going to say that taking 200 warheads on their cities is something to sneer at.

        Could we get into a situation where we push each other over the brink? Yes. It just seems unlikely. We have been in a situation since the 1950s in which it was possible. Hasn’t happened yet. Again, I’m not saying it is impossible. I AM saying that it is unlikely.

        So far as all the other preps China and Russia make: that is all part of being prepared for a worst case scenario. If they don’t make them, their credibility is shot.

        As we have found out, our own Cold War preps were the same, and also explicitly (among policy makers) to make the Soviets believe that we believed we could survive an all out nuclear war. Part of deterence was making the other side believe that we believed we could survive. If they thought that we believed we would be wiped out, that would decrease our threat to wage nuclear war, because we wouldn’t risk the consequences.

        The current problem with Iran, North Korea, and a possible future revolutionary Pakistani government is that they may not CARE about the consequences of starting a nuclear war. At least one Iranian leader has said that if they could wipe Israel off the earth, and in return Iran be wiped off as well, that would be acceptable because Israel would be gone, but Islam would survive.

        That changes all the calculations.

    • Thomas The Tinker says:

      Penrod Darlin… Cheers indeedy! My bet is on NYC, L.A. or any other port you can park a container ship… bigger the better… Lets say… Oh…. Oakland, California! Ya can write off Oakland sure… San Fransisco, U.C. Berkley… a (Ack) boat load of pin heads … But… we would all lose the greatest concentration of fine dining and Coffee houses on the West Coast.

      • Hi TTT: losing the fine dining and coffee houses of the West would be TEOTWAWKI. No question. We shall soldier on, though 🙂

  13. After reading these comments I would like to ask everyone to clear their minds of the image of mushroom clouds and go back and read the section on Air Burst and the section on Targeting again.

    I also went and read the updated info on Kearneys home made “fallout” detector. Good luck with that folks.

  14. “Thirty days hath September, April, June, and a man with a thousand Rads.” Anyone else remember this little ditty? Remember, you could need much less than one hour to reach that point. Papa S.

    • A scientist working on the Manhattan project died from radiation illness. His exposure was of his own error and was extremely brief, perhaps two seconds or so. It was of course a massive exposure because he was in such close proximty to the nuclear source. He died 9 days later. You don’t need hours of exposure to get a lethal dose AND it is cumulative.

  15. This article is mistitled and isn’t about the basics of weapons but about the generalized behavior of ‘bursts’, with the basic presentation that all nucs will be equal.

    Types of nuclear weapons are divided up between fission and fusion/thermonuclear bombs. There are also boosted fission bombs. No mention of neutron bombs (people are killed but structures remain).

    This article seems so over generalized that it has misled readers. Air bursts are the most probable ‘burst’ — but what of it? It isn’t the ‘burst’ it’s the power that created the burst and what that burst contains. Tactical nukes with limited nuclear warfare are the most probable strike if/when a nuclear attack occurs. Tactical nukes (ie B61-12) were developed because MADs would essentially be TEOTWAWKI and tactical strikes would be usable and effective.

    And what about ‘dirty bombs?

    Also, to dismiss ‘nuclear winter’ is absolutely ignorant. There are enough nuclear bombs between the US and Russia — if a true nuclear attack was underway, we would face an extinction event.

    • Right is RIGHT-wrong is WRONG says:

      On the other hand I.C. this nuke article did get people to start thinking which I believe was the author’s purpose to begin with and he did say he left out a lot of nuke jargon intentionally. Thank you for your nuke info. Your placement of your reply really completes the above article because you finish up the first stated nuke info article with more indepth correct science based nuke info. It is like we readers were given a taste of nuke info at the beginning and you followed up with the correct science. Thank you again. Off the top of my head I think more of MD’s readers probably read all of this article (including your reply) just because of the way you followed up.

    • I.C.
      I wrote this article for Preppers, not people who may be interested in the design and construction of Nuclear Weapons. I wrote the article to discuss the effects of nuclear weapons. They are equal in their effects, it depends on how they are used that makes a big difference. That depends on where the weapon detonates in relation to the surface of the planet.

      It has been my experience and observation that the vast majority of people are only aware of the mushroom cloud, fallout producing, surface burst. This is primarily due to the visual images used by the media and movies for the last 70 years. (For example, see the image M.D. used for this article).

      While there has been a recent awareness of the high altitude detonation, due to the discussions on enhanced EMP effectiveness, it is rare that the air burst is mentioned and yet it is the most effective in destroying surface targets and would be used more often then not.

      “it’s the power that created the burst and what that burst contains”. I really have no idea what you are trying to say here.

      Dirty Bombs? Those are not nuclear weapons. They are conventional explosive encased in radiological materials. No fission. No fusion. No ion produced fallout.

      Nuclear Winter? I am not going to waste my time with that propaganda.

  16. Right is RIGHT-wrong is WRONG says:

    Greeaaat article Ron G. If your intention was to start a discussion of general knowledge on nuclear detonations you were spot on in my opinion plus all the additional nuke info from MD readers was a big bonus. Thank you for explaining how you were going to give us your nuke info at the beginning of your article. Some of us gray haired readers need this type of simplicity at the beginning.

  17. Karren Upshur says:

    This actually answered my problem, thanks!