How far can a nuclear bomb travel?

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Since the full-scale invasion of Ukraine began six days ago, Russia fired up to 380 missiles into the country until last night. Western leaders have made it clear that they do not intend to go to war with Russia and “put their boots on the ground” because Ukraine is not a member of NATO, but US President Joe Biden said they “will defend every inch of NATO territory.”. So, if Russia transcends Ukraine into a NATO country, the risk of confrontation between NATO countries and Russia is high.   

How powerful are nuclear bombs? 

The bomb produces a flash of light and a giant fireball that evaporates everything inside, including dirt and water, lifting everything up and creating a mushroom cloud. The radioactive material from the nuclear bomb mixes with the mushroom cloud and forms dust particles that fall back to Earth in what is known as fallout. Fallout is carried by the wind and can travel hundreds of miles from the initial blast, contaminating everything it hits.  

The consequences of a nuclear bomb explosion depend primarily on the size of the bomb. Today, atomic bombs are much more potent than those used during World War II, with an explosive yield of about 15-22 kilotons. The most powerful nuclear bombs recorded today have a work of 1,200 tons, which means the spread and impact will be much more severe.    

Immediately, the immediate explosion spread over half a mile in all directions, incinerating people, buildings, and everything within the blast. Those up to five miles outside can get third-degree burns, and those up to seven miles away can get second and first degree burns. People up to 53 miles away could be temporarily blinded or suffer severe retinal burns if they look directly at the explosion site. People in areas surrounding the blast site would be exposed to high radiation levels from nuclear fallout, which could damage body cells, leading to severe and long-term death and illness.    

How massive can the damage from nuclear bombs be?

The most powerful nuclear weapon ever detonated was the Tsar Bomba, which was fired by the Soviet Union in 1961. The bomb raised a mushroom cloud 4.5 times the height of Everest, sending waves of waves that hit the ground three times. The bombs are now much larger, and areas up to 55 miles away from the original explosion could be affected. Fallout, however, can circulate around the world for years until it gradually falls back to Earth and lands hundreds of miles from Ground Zero, a point directly above or below the site of a nuclear bomb.   

Will Putin act on his threats of nuclear war? 

Putin ordered the Russian military to “transfer the containment forces” to a particular mode of military service. Pavel Podvig, who has been described as an expert on Russia’s nuclear forces, widely interpreted as a reference to nuclear weapons, tweeted that this most likely means that “the nuclear control system has received a so-called preliminary command.” This means that the system would be activated and allow the “launch order” to “succeed if given”.   

However, experts have loosely described a nuclear war event as very unlikely due to the enormous cost. British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace told BBC Breakfast: “Basically Putin is putting this on the table just to remind people, to remind the world, that he has a deterrent.” we’re not going to do anything to fuel any miscalculation, we take it very, very seriously. “But at the moment, this is a battle of rhetoric being waged by President Putin, and we just need to make sure we handle it properly.” 

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