Nuclear Weapons Effects Simulator and Models

Jean M. Bele

Physics Dept., Laboratory for Nuclear Science, MIT

Built on mathematical models, this web-based calculator use the nuclear weapon effects data from the users (e.g., weapons yield, weather condition, wind speed). It then provides an output awareness to the users with potential risks and understanding of real threats of nuclear weapons.

Nuclear weapons can be many millions of times more powerful than the largest conventional weapons. Most of the damage caused by a nuclear explosion at the surface or at a low or moderate altitude in the air is due to the intense blast wave which accompanied the explosion.

                                                                            fig 1. Nuclear explosion effects timeline
  • The large proportion of the energy released in a nuclear explosion is in the form of thermal radiation capable of starting fires and causing skin burns.
  • The nuclear explosion is accompanied by two type of nuclear radiation which are the initial nuclear radiation capable of harmful invisible gamma rays and neutrons and also the residual nuclear radiation which emit the radiation over an extended period of time.
  • Longer-term effects on human health and the environment has been documented from Nagasaki and Hiroshima.
  • The impacts of a nuclear explosion depend on many factors, including the design of the weapon (fission or fusion) and its yield; whether the detonation takes place in the air (and at what altitude), on the surface, underground, or underwater; the meteorological and environmental conditions; and whether the target is urban, rural.

For further information see Nuclear weapons effects

Please, check the links below for calculators and simulators effects:

References: Samuel Glasstone and Philip J. Dolan:The Effects of Nuclear Weapons, The UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE and the UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY