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Questions tagged [nuclear-weapons]

This tag should be used for questions specifically asking about the nuclear weapons. The question can be about the usage in war, its construction under certain circumstances or its effects in a given scenario. When using this tag you should also think about using the tag [weapon-mass-destruction].

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Solar Flare disabling Nuclear Weapon defenses?

I have a nuclear post-apocalypse that isn't 100% depressing. It's only 95% so. /s I was contemplating an origin story of a solar flare doing some rather nasty things to circuitry related to nuclear ...
3
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5answers
273 views

Single-use nuke-propelled mass driver spaceship

So this is in the context where space battles are fought by ships that are little more than giant railguns (or other electromagnetic mass drivers), and therefore are fought at extreme ranges with very ...
2
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2answers
107 views

Apocalypse by Atomic Catalyst

This question is a continuation of Unprepared and Without a Homeworld. The premise of this idea is that a substance called an Atomic Catalyst exists that can lower the temperature at which particles ...
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3answers
173 views

Suspicious helicopter-borne relief packages

Jormungandr, the Snakebot of Doom, is sitting in the ruins of New York City, busily extracting iron and steel from the rubble in order to turn it into railgun slugs - and also extracting any survivors ...
2
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0answers
129 views

Suppose I have an Earth sized planet whose oceans are made of pure glass - what would be the effect of striking said oceans with nuclear bombs? [closed]

This question was prompted to me by my answer I gave to this question. In it I stated that an Earth sized planet would satisfy the criteria if it's oceans were made of glass or at least regions of ...
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8answers
14k views

How dangerous is a 500-year-old nuclear warhead?

Inspired by this question: For several excellent reasons, a 500-year-old nuclear warhead is not going to produce an actual nuclear explosion. But that doesn't mean it's not dangerous anymore. ...
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2answers
211 views

A world where nuclear fission does not produce radioactivity [closed]

I think the title explains it, but I am interested in how a world might differ from our own if fission had no radioactivity associated with the fuel, process, or waste/byproducts. The obvious answers ...
19
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5answers
7k views

How long could a nuclear warhead remain functioning underground?

So, in my world, a nuclear war engulfed the Earth in the autumn of 1962. It is now the year 2568. In my story, a cult of mutants known as “The Followers Of Uranius” have sprung up in Kansas City. ...
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11answers
6k views

How long would it take to nuke an alien spaceship in orbit?

Some gigantic, and presumably evil, alien spaceship has taken up residence in LEO. This spacecraft is ominously blocking all satellite communications, and launching smaller flying saucers towards the ...
4
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8answers
752 views

Losing Knowledge

Is it plausible to create a world in which the people who live inside it developed technologies like the ones we had in WW2, but after their progress came to a halt they forgot their knowledge. ...
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3answers
145 views

What missile defence system can defend a country from thermonuclear ICBMs? [closed]

I have a fictitious country, let’s call it Democratica, which is a democratic western nation, threatened by a neighbouring communist state (called Sovietania.) Sovietania has a number of Soviet and ...
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3answers
261 views

How would a nuclear blast affect me? [closed]

We all know what's a nuclear bomb, but how would a nuclear bomb affect the human body, for example, let's say a nuclear bomb as powerful as The Fatman 1000m away from me, would I survive the blast? ...
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2answers
145 views

How to eliminate mankind: concentrated nukes or scattered ones?

Assume the entire governments of US and Russia are possessed by aliens from beyond to use nuclear weapons to exterminate the human race. For now ignore the fact that there are may be more effective ...
5
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9answers
653 views

Was it possible to keep the nuclear mechanism of the atom bomb a secret?

After the bombing of Hiroshima, US President Harry Truman issued a speech talking about the use of an "atomic bomb". But was it possible to keep this mechanism a secret? Perhaps by pretending it was a ...
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1answer
215 views

Why might people mistake a nuclear warhead explosion for Lucifer rising? [closed]

So, the cult of Uranius in Kansas City have just detonated a 50 megaton nuclear warhead, and the entirety of KC is now a deep, deep radioactive crater. A few people saw the bomb explode from about 40 ...
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2answers
453 views

What would happen if a nuclear warhead with a yield of 50 megatons exploded in a silo 160 feet underground? [closed]

Backround The setting is Kansas City, a few centuries after the apocalypse. The Worshippers Of Uranius, a band of 700 mutants, are the only inhabitants of KC, besides a few human slaves from out west....
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9answers
6k views

Could an object from space crash into Earth and set off a majority of the nuclear bombs created?

I'm currently trying to create a separate kind of Earth, without just changing my setting to a world that fits my criteria. So I'm trying to figure out a way for Earth to have a new beginning, so that ...
2
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6answers
316 views

Protection against h-bomb core explosion conditions thinkable?

Assume a human in direct vicinity (think 1-50 m [if you need more space for your intended device]) to the explosion center of a nuclear fusion bomb. Is survival via technology thinkable? The TNT ...
2
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2answers
142 views

Nuclear knowledge, can someone in this situation know they're about to die? [closed]

I was watching a movie which is mostly a fun fantasy romp that bears no relation to science whatsoever but there is one scene towards the end that got me thinking; a character is sitting in a pod ...
5
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3answers
511 views

Multi staged relativistic projectile usable in hard sci-fi space combat

Following this question, in the exact same setting I'm making a world where sub-FTL interstellar travel is a thing, and so is interstellar war, but for the purpose of this question we'll assume ...
26
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14answers
8k views

Railgun-launched nuclear warhead

I'm making a world where sub-FTL interstellar travel is a thing, and so is interstellar war, but for the purpose of this question we'll assume the scale to be of a single system. Spaceships have ...
2
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3answers
181 views

Could I EMP most of Earth using nuclear weapons without damaging it otherwise?

Let's say you have the entirety of Earth's nuclear stockpile at your disposal (you don't have to use it all, and if you need it there's an infinite supply of extra ICBMs) and that every weapon you ...
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1answer
117 views

What circumstances would lead to someone involuntarily having nuclear codes placed in their heart? [closed]

Going off the quote from this link - https://taskandpurpose.com/president-nuclear-authority-kill-heart-fisher-protocol/ The gist is that in order for the president to launch a nuclear weapon, he must ...
6
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4answers
235 views

Maximizing Nuclear Detonation Effects against a Lunar Colony

Nuke the Moon! Earth's had it with the Moon colony's insubordination and independence efforts. The situation has escalated to a hot war. The W90 nuclear warhead is nearing the end of development. ...
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5answers
448 views

Could a nuclear explosion occur naturally on a planet with crazy enough (but still possible) conditions?

My question here is if there is any circumstance, however unlikely, that could lead to explosive nuclear fission that was not set off by intelligent creatures. I'm working on some bizarre planets for ...
33
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12answers
7k views

How would one design an undetectable nuke to hit the Moon with?

Colonists have set up a viable, long term lunar colony on the near-side of the moon in the mid-21st century. They are quickly reaching total self-sufficiency and the earth governments who sponsored ...
3
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2answers
154 views

How long until the micrometeorites stop?

In my setting, a The Moon is a Harsh Mistress-style mass driver existed around Mare Tranquillitatis, and was destroyed by a 100 megaton nuke in a preemptive strike. While I understand that the nuclear ...
29
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25answers
10k views

How can Mutually Assured Destruction be made…not assured?

By the late 1950s, the USA, the UK and the Soviet Union had enough nuclear weapons and the ability to deliver them that any nuclear exchange was virtually guaranteed to result in the destruction of ...
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1answer
114 views

What would countries be like after nuclear war? [closed]

So there is a nuclear war between the Soviet Union and the United States Of America in 2068. All countries with nukes fire at their enemies. The countries of China, the USA, USSR, the EU ( with ...
4
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3answers
407 views

Building a workable nuke in my backyard is it feasible?

I was just reading the Wikipedia article about the 1961 Goldsboro B-52 crash. In the bomb recovery section there is this quote (emphasis mine): Excavation of the second bomb was abandoned as a ...
29
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13answers
7k views

Would it be possible to accidentally nuke ourselves?

I understand that the U.S. has accidentally dropped bombs on ourselves many times without actually detonating the bombs. These accidents have caused craters, but no radiation (or in a couple cases, ...
5
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4answers
561 views

Nuclear terrorism 4 billion years ago: Was natural uranium enriched enough to create weapons without need for further enrichment?

Natural uranium (NU) is a mixture of about 0.7% $\ ^{235}U$ (fissile) and 99.3% $\ ^{238}U$ (non-fissile). To create uranium-based nuclear weapons NU has to undergo a process called enrichment in ...
4
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1answer
607 views

How many nukes can explode in the US without seriously affecting Canada?

Perhaps you have read Margaret Attwood's story 'A Handmaid's Tale' (spoiler alert- entire plot synopsis)? I thought a prequil is in order. A story to explain how American society got to that point. ...
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4answers
231 views

How does an extraterrestrial spacecraft survive a nuclear explosion directly impacting it in LEO? [closed]

I am trying to think of some materials that an extraterrestrial spacecraft owned by an extraterrestrial species, known to humans as the Visitors, can use to survive a nuclear explosion in Low Earth ...
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3answers
1k views

What subatomic particle is best for a particle accelerator gun?

Theoretically, assuming it was possible and practical to take a particle accelerator and turn it into a gun/cannon weapon, and use it to shoot accelerated subatomic particles. What sort of subatomic ...
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8answers
3k views

Deployment of nukes on “home” soil? [closed]

You see it in movies: an invading entity is unstoppable with conventional weaponry and a desperate leader is forced (after much soul-searching) to detonate a nuke against said invader as a last ditch ...
30
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9answers
6k views

How realistic is a dirty bomb for area-denial?

I need a city-sized (10 km2 minimum) area to be declared inaccessible for 50 years minimum. My thought was to justify this with a dirty bomb attack of some sort. radiological dispersal device (RDD),...
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1answer
186 views

The Nuke and the Tornado [closed]

What would happen if a nuke was launched into a super powerful tornado? Would the nuke drop as the tornado weakens? Or if the nuke exploded inside of the tornado, would the pieces of the nuke fall on ...
5
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2answers
608 views

How long would the southern hemisphere survive after a nuclear war that, while intense, was limited to the northern hemisphere?

I remember hearing/reading something somewhere a long time ago about how the weather patterns on earth mostly cycle away between the equator and the poles, and that this means if there was a northern ...
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2answers
1k views

How long would it take for the effects of a nuclear weapon to wear off?

I would like to know how long it would take for the plant life in an area to recover from an explosion from a nuclear bomb exploding. Parameters for questions: The bomb is a 100 megaton nuclear ...
10
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1answer
991 views

Appearance and effects of a 200 mt fusion bomb explosion on the moon

Let's suppose that a fusion bomb device with a yield of 200 megatons (4x Tsar Bomba) is detonated in Mare Tranquillitatis on the Moon. My question is: Would the explosion be visible from Earth at ...
4
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2answers
350 views

How many thermonuclear bombs needed to make a hole from the surface to the Mantle of a planet that is the same size as planet Earth?

Background info: The explosion is a simultaneous detonation only. Assume starting level is ~500 feet above sea level. By Mantle, I mean the outer edge. The explosion doesn't necessarily need to ...
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2answers
200 views

Could an underground nuclear test create a volcano?

Is there a possibility of testing a nuclear device underground in order to create a volcano? I'm talking about a device that could be built with today's technology, not theoretical or future tech. ...
32
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8answers
6k views

Would the capability for Japan to drop a nuclear bomb on the USA have deterred the USA from dropping a nuclear bomb on Japan?

Would the USA have been deterred from dropping a nuclear bomb on Japan if Japan had the means of retaliating with a nuclear weapon in WW2? Leading on from that, would Japan have used the nuclear ...
2
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1answer
362 views

Which major foreign powers would likely send supplies, weapons and money to the various belligerents of a Second American Civil War? [closed]

So thanks to @AndyD273, I am now able to provide a coherent scenario of the situation I proposed earlier. So, here goes nothing.... Brief summary first: Pakistan falls into a civil war, followed by ...
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5answers
781 views

Would the US as a nation cease to exist if a nuclear terrorist attack struck it in 2018?

Alright, so since the earlier question turned out to be too broad, I am going to ask a different one now. Here is the scenario from the earlier question: "So, a little thing that propped into my ...
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3answers
378 views

Could anyone with access to a nation's nuclear launch codes unilaterally fire nukes as they please? [closed]

If someone were to have a country's (Take the U.S, for the sake of being specific) nuclear launch codes, could he unilaterally fires nukes as he pleases? Assumptions: 1) He's among the military's ...
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5answers
189 views

What If: Weaponized Nuclear Technology Ceases to Work [closed]

This scenario requires some suspension of disbelief: *assume that for some unknown reason, in 2017 weaponized nuclear technology stopped working. All existing nuclear weapons cease to function and ...
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3answers
195 views

Effects of the detonation of the majority of our nuclear arsenal in the upper atmosphere?

Okay while approaching Earth, aliens have bombarded three of our largest cities into smoking craters. Obviously they mean us harm. So when their large motherships start to enter our atmosphere our ...
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17answers
23k views

Would somebody from the middle ages be able to identify an atomic / nuclear bomb?

Setting: a fantasy world with a culture loosely based on the late middle ages or early renaissance, with more value placed on the fantasy elements than strictly adhering to a proper "time period" (i.e....