Blast radius of a nuclear explosion?

Updated: 9/27/2023
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it depends mainly on the amount or weight of the nuclear bomb.....that is ....the amount of radioactive uranium and plutonum inside it....diff weights have different blast radiuses.....the heavier the bomb the larger the explosion.

Actually it has nothing whatsoever to do with the weight of the bomb, It depends on:

  • yield
  • burst height/depth
  • weather (e.g. inversion layer above burst)
  • What level of overpressure you want to measure as the "blast radius"

The amount of uranium or plutonium in the bomb is usually an insignificant fraction of the weight of a nuclear bomb or warhead. Fatman had about 10 pounds of plutonium yet weighed 10,000 pounds. The remaining 9,990 pounds consisted mostly of depleted uranium, conventional explosives, electronics, and a steel ballistic casing!

One bomb can easily be much lighter than another and have a higher yield, if its materials usage is more efficient. This is a major goal of nuclear weapon designers.

The three usual overpressure zones nuclear weapons planners are concerned with are the 1000 psi zone (which is generally the requirement to knock out a hardened missile silo), the 20 psi zone (which destroys steel reinforced buildings), and the 5 psi zone (which destroys normal buildings). In particular, the 5 psi zone is used for casualty calculations, since the number of survivors of inside the 5 psi zone is roughly equivalent to the deaths outside that zone, for a typical area with an even population distribution.

For a 1 MT weapon detonated at the optimal distance from the ground to produce the maximum radius of the PSI zone in question, here are the appropriate distances from ground zero: 3.2 miles (5 psi), 1.4 miles (20 psi), 0.5 mile (1000 psi). The power of a nuclear weapon goes up with the cube root of the yield - so, if you want a weapon that has twice the area of effect, it needs to have 8 times the yield. So, a 1kT weapon has 0.1 of the area of effect of a 1MT weapon, while a 125kT weapon has 0.5 the area of effect compared to a 1 MT weapon.

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Q: Blast radius of a nuclear explosion?
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What is the cause of immediate destruction of a nuclear explosion?

blast effects

What is the blast radius of the largest nuclear weapon?


Greatest damage in an explosion?

In any explosion (conventional or nuclear) most of the damage is from blast effects.

What makes a nuclear explosion so deadly?

magnitude of the blast & fire effectsradiation

What the effect of a nuclear explosion?

Radiation taints the ground, everyone in the blast radius of the initial explosion would be decimated. Look at Hiroshima, Japan, or Nagasaki, Japan (not sure on spelling), they were bombed by an atomic bomb, and still have radiation poisoned in the ground.

What is the blast radius of a nuclear weapon?

That depends on what you're referring to: The fireball radius (the nuclear explosion itself), the total anhiliation range radius, and etc. For example, the bomb launched on Hiroshima had a fireball of several hundred feet in radius, a 1km total destruction range radius, and severe damage for miles. For firepower bombs (nuclear bombs made for power show & not effectiveness) The Tsar bomba of USSR had 50~55 megatons of TNT firepower, a fireball with 1km+ radius, total destruction for miles, and created a sound shockwave that could be heard in Norway/Other far Northern European areas. Modern nuclear weapons don't have a single blast radius; the U.S. developed M.I.R.V.s (cluster nuclear bombs) that spread apart to create a shotgun blast of multiple nuclear explosions.

How big is a nuclear blast radius?

Little Boy was the nuclear bomb detonated over Hiroshima. It used uranium and had an explosive blast equivalent to 12,500 tons of TNT. A 1 megaton hydrogen bomb, hypothetically detonated on the earth's surface, has about 80 times the blast power of that 1945 explosion. Considering the tonnage of a bomb to be contant, The blast radius varies dependent on whether it is a ground burst or an airburst. Further, the height of the airburst above ground affects the radius too. At a height of 1900 feet above ground, Little Boy produced a blast radius of 1 mile; an area of some 4.7 square miles.

When did the explosion take place?

The Halifax Explosion occured in Halifax on the morning of December 6, 1917. The blast was the largest man-made explosion prior to the development of nuclear weapons.

If a nuclear weapon exploded on a nuclear Power Plant would the explosion radius increase?

No, but there would be more release of radioactivity because the reactor itself would probably be melted in the explosion.

What was the Trinity nuclear blast radius?

The fireball was roughly 1500 feet in diameter (750 feet in radius).Blast damage was found at 10000 yards (30000 feet) to some of the bunkers.The blast was heard hundreds of miles away.

When did the Halifax Explosion take place?

The Halifax Explosion occured in Halifax on the morning of December 6, 1917. The blast was the largest man-made explosion prior to the development of nuclear weapons.

What are some of the effects on the human body of a nuclear explosion?

Some of the effects on the human body from a nuclear explosion are death (from thermal energy/blast effects or super lethal radiation exposure), infertility and blood disorders.