Jonah asked in Science & MathematicsPhysics · 11 months ago

So, the most powerful nuclear weapon can destroy how much?

Like a whole country? What size ?

Give me an estimate.

7 Answers

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  • 11 months ago
    Favorite Answer

    No nuclear weapon could destroy an entire country (unless it is a tiny country like the Vatican). However the largest bomb ever built (of which there was only ever one) the Tsar Bomba could potentially destroy a small US state like New Jersey.

    The true devastation of nuclear weapons isn't so much the sheer physical force - it's the fact that they utterly destroy infrastructure, break down social structure and make a country almost ungovernable. How is a government going to keep control if the population are starving, the police and military are deserting in droves (trying to keep their families alive, or refusing to use lethal force against their friends and neighbours) there's extremely limited fuel, power and clean water and so on?

    You can look at the size of nuclear blast radii on https://nuclearsecrecy.com/nukemap/

  • 11 months ago

    about 80 square miles

    ie: a circle with a radius of 5 miles

  • Huh?
    Lv 7
    11 months ago

    Actually, multiple cities within a country. Some weapon systems are missiles that have MIRVs, Multiple independently targetable reentry vehicles. This is a weapon that carry multiple war heads that can target multiple independent targets. So a single weapon can target more than one city. The bombs that took out Hiroshima and Nagasaki were fission devices, the more powerful fusion based warhead (H-bomb) are many times more powerful, easily destroying an entire city, and because they carry more than one warhead they will take out multiple cities.

  • Will
    Lv 7
    11 months ago

    There are many factors that determine the outcome. The biggest factor is the strength of the bomb. Let's use the Soviet RDS-220 hydrogen bomb as an example since it was and still is the strongest bomb to have ever been detonated. It was designed to yield a strength of 50 megatons of TNT, estimated to have yielded around 60 megatons upon reviewing the test, and it was predicted to possibly yield twice as much with a slight alteration. The mushroom cloud it produced actually peaked at a height seven times that of Mt Everest.

    What kind of destruction would this bring? The hypocenter where complete destruction occurs would have a diameter of roughly 100 miles. By the time the effects are minimal, you will be no less than 800 miles away from the detonation point. So, the RDS-220 could effectively obliterate the entire city of Los Angeles in less than three minutes.

    Source(s): Cold War era nerd and fascinated by WMDs.
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  • Anonymous
    11 months ago

    The environmental impact is much greater than many countries. The whole idea of using a large one is insane.

  • Anonymous
    11 months ago

    Who cares - if its done, then its too late for talking.

  • 11 months ago

    Half the world.

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