Seven Facts About Nuclear Weapons

Gabriel KnightStarred Page By Gabriel Knight, 31st May 2013 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL
Posted in Wikinut>News>Science

Basic facts about nuclear weapons; what makes them, how many, and are they a threat.


Nuclear weapons have been around for a while, and they are here to stay. The dreaded nuclear war threat virtually died when the cold war ended. As new countries advance in technology, and the ongoing threat of terrorists stealing nuclear warheads from stockpiles continues, has the nuclear war threat returned?


Nuclear weapons require the fission of Uranium 235 or 233, or Plutonium 239. The way atomic bombs and hydrogen bombs utilize fission energy are exceptional different. The atomic (or atom) bomb uses nuclear fission reactions directly. The hydrogen (thermonuclear) bomb uses fission energy, but mainly uses fusion energy for the explosion. Currently there are only nine countries – Unites States, Russia, China, United Kingdom, and India – that have the technology for the hydrogen bomb.


Plutonium weapons require nearly pure plutonium. This cannot be created by nature alone (on earth anyway). The plutonium must be created inside of a nuclear reactor. Admittedly, once created, the plutonium is very simple to extract because its characteristics are so much different than other elements, but there area of extraction can be difficult to create.

The damage of a nuclear weapon can vary greatly upon the size of the bomb. Here are some statistics of the Hiroshima bomb (20 kT). To survive the blast you must be at least .35 miles from the blast (this is from the pressure of the blast). The winds (up to 200 miles per hour) can knock a 165 pound person approximately 1.06 miles from the blast. The crater left would be approximately 633 feet wide and 80 feet deep. The Hiroshima bomb killed 90,000 people.


Presently there are about 26,000 nuclear warheads in the world.

The average US nuclear weapon is eight times more powerful than the one dropped on Hiroshima.

Number of active warheads per country are: US -4075, Russia -5162, France – 300, Pakistan 200, China-180, United Kingdom – 160, Israel – 80, India – 60, and North Korea – 6. There other countries that store nuclear weapons from the US as part of the NATO nuclear weapons sharing program.

North Korea has the material to build up to 6 nuclear bombs. North Korea has missiles that can fire 6,200 miles. Well, they tested it and it failed right after launch. North Korea does not have the miniaturization technology to post a nuclear warhead on the tip of a missile.


Facts, North Korea, Nuclear Weapons

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author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
1st Jun 2013 (#)

Thank you for the highlight, Launie. All countries want to have these when majority of people are just trying to eke out a living. These bombs kill the innocents and set us back to stone age. It is time we went hammer and tong for disarmament - or are we waiting for lessons still to be learned? siva

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