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SOURCE: JOYDEEP GHOSH/ FOR MY TAKE / IDRW.ORG

What is a megaton nuke bomb, its a nuclear weapon with an explosive power equivalent to one million tons of TNT.  The largest nuke ever tested was Tsar Bomba, a thermo nuclear bomb developed by the Soviet Union. The bomb exploded over a island in the arctic region, was originally designed to have a yield of about 100 megatons of TNT however, however the bomb yield was reduced to 50 megatons in order to reduce nuclear fallout. In comparison the Little Boy dropped on Hiroshima and Fat Man dropped on Nagasaki had a yield of just 15 and 21 kilotons respectively.

It may be known that a megaton nuclear weapon when exploded in an attack will create a blast overpressure spread out over a larger area. Unlike fission devices, fusion devices or thermo nuclear bombs produce 50 million degree fireballs. Within 10 seconds the fireball grows into 1 mile around and cools off to 11 million degrees. 4 miles away from blast of 1 MT Bomb, pressure is 6 pounds per square inch (It may be known that 5 pounds overpressure breaks the eardrums) and winds blow at 180 miles per hour. The blast wind cleans all houses and buildings with 2 pounds per square inch enough to crush a house. The light flash of the explosion that will last upto 22 seconds wil cause people living 10 miles away to receive 2nd degree burns.

About 22 second later the blast wave moving at speed of 5 seconds /mile clears out a area 6 mile radius area is wiped out. The blast wave will hit areas 10 miles away from ground zero with “enough force” that will shred glass with force enough to cut a human body. It means 5-6 million people living in a densely populated area will die instantly. Not to forget that the blast will create a mushroom cloud that will reach a height of 80,000 feet and about 30 miles across that will create further problems as it moves with the air. So people living even 30 miles away will have to deal with the fallout and such as contaminated water, acid rains, burns and not forget prolonged radiation fallouts such as various cancers in the near and long term future, stunned growth and deformities for next several generations. Consider this situation if a bomb like that is exploded over the city of New York, Paris, London, Moscow; all of which are heavily populated. It will result in a absolute catastrophe of unimaginable proportions with millions of people dead within minutes.

But with hostilities between US (which created a 15 megaton bomb as its largest) and Russia, the 2 biggest proliferators of nuke bombs having reduced and both having decided to cut their nuclear stockpile to 1500 a piece over the next few years; we need to really figure out do we really that kind of weapons. Even the 1500 a piece with Russia and US are enough to destroy the whole world twice over. As such the latest flashpoint places where nuclear weapons can be used is Asia with India, Pakistan and China having declared themselves as nuclear power with nuclear tests (though only China is recognized). What the worry is that only India has declared a ‘no first use’ policy where as Pakistan has declared that it will the first to use such a weapon, and China even though has proclaimed a ‘no first use’ policy, it has stated that it will change its stance based on situation.

We can safely say that if Pakistan, their all weather friend is under threat, China will not hesitate to use megaton nukes (it supposed has a few) most probably against India. What remains to be seen is that whether India will give up its ‘no first use’ policy in case of 2 front war with Pakistan and China. With close to 40% of global population living in these 3 countries, its important for all 3 countries to understand the catastrophic repercussions of a nuclear weapon use. Though US and Russia can fret about the fact that they reduced their nuke stockpile but the USA still hold the maximum yield devices such as the B53 nuclear bomb. What is more important is the realization in countries that using megaton nukes in war will only result in catastrophic damages often collateral. Considering the fact that Little Boy resulted in the death of over 200000 almost instantly and Fat Man resulted in the death of over 60000 people almost instantly and thousands have died at both places as a result of radiation after effects, its time we realize that its important to get rid of megaton nukes first and ultimately all the nukes as using the nukes will only result in mutually accepted destruction, we cant really afford.

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Article by JOYDEEP GHOSH ,  cannot be republished Partially or Full without consent from Writer or idrw.org
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