Short Film Depicts How a Nuclear Bomb Would Destroy a City

Posted: 15th October 2020

by Matthew Hart

Oct 13 2020 • 9:28 AM

Although the topic of nuclear bombs is grim, there’s value in reminding ourselves of just how powerful the weapons are. In a new short film from documentarian, Neil Halloran, that reminder is delivered with a stark visualization of what would happen if a nuclear bomb went off in a city. And the results are just as devastating as you’d expect.

Neil Halloran

Click the link below to see the film.

Simulation of a Nuclear Blast in a Major City

Halloran recently posted the nuclear-blast simulation to his YouTube channel. Halloran says that the short film is data driven, and that the film is a collaboration with the Nobel Peace Prize – Research and Information unit.

The video’s main aim is to estimate the death toll that would result from a warhead’s blast in the middle of a major city with a population of four million people. In the simulation, the 800 kiloton bomb is detonated roughly 1,800 feet in the air, above the city. This tactic, the narrator notes, would result in the maximal radius of impact. (For reference, this bomb would be 100 times more powerful than the one the US dropped on Hiroshima.)

Using “data from leading researchers,” the video estimates the nuclear bomb would instantly kill 120,000 people with a gargantuan fireball and subsequent blast wave. The fireball would be roughly 2,600 feet in diameter, while the blast wave would have a 1.2-mile radius.

The bomb blast would, of course, kill many more people indirectly. Not only would building debris from the blast kill people, but so would heat and radiation. Roughly 500,000 people who were somewhere between a mile and seven miles away from the detonation would also die within days to weeks after the explosion. Falling debris, burns, and radiation sickness would cause these deaths.

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