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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What might case cause the development of biological nuclear weapons as a natural evolutionary adaptation of a species?

Im doing a one-shot space campaign with some friends. One of the navigation hazards I wanted to add for my PCs was the system being infested with space Bourne biological life forms that, like some ...
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3 votes
1 answer
163 views

How would an invading force purposely put high levels of radiation on a planet?

The planet I've built was at one point inhabited by a society of somewhat advanced (think late 1800s) humanoids. Earth-people came to the planet in their first attempt at universal conquest, but ended ...
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5 votes
2 answers
124 views

Is there a metric for how far underground a nuclear bomb needs to be to safely be tested?

I'm running a one-shot cold war campaign where the PCs are going to sabotage a prototype Soviet giga-ton bomb. Realistically, how far underground would a giga-ton bomb have to be buried to be safely ...
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9 votes
1 answer
794 views

How far away from earth could atomic weapon detonations be detected?

Let us suppose that ten high kiloton to low megaton range fission/fusion weapons are being detonated between three and five kilometers under the surface of the sea on a planet much like earth, in a ...
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3 votes
3 answers
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How do I design a city to be habitable under a constant barrage of low-yield nukes?

In this setting, international treaties restrict the yield of legally usable nuclear weapons to under the equivalent of 1,000 metric tons of TNT (one kiloton). If an entity detonates nuclear warheads ...
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44 votes
18 answers
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The USA breaks up. Who gets the nukes?

When the USSR broke up into fifteen independent states, it's well known that Russia inherited the nuclear arsenal of the dissolving state. I don't know exactly how this was decided: if it was just &...
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2 votes
4 answers
289 views

How do you have Mutual Assured Destruction in space politics

Space is VAST, and many country occupied only a part of it. They do trade and make war just like we do on Earth. On Earth, we have our "peacemaker" between powerful nations in the form of ...
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32 votes
6 answers
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Can a NASER be used as a weapon?

Before I go to my question, let me refresh the basic principles of operation of a LASER (Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation): an active medium is brought in an excited state and, ...
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1 vote
2 answers
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Joint Nuclear Weapons Control?

As stated in a previous question, the main political entity of my world, the United Commonwealth, is protected by a combined Army and Navy, made up of personnel from all nations, and funded by all ...
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3 votes
2 answers
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How weight and volume-efficient can you make a high-yield nuclear weapon for setting off a volcano?

Let's say that we need a nuke that can fit into a very small space while also providing a very large boom. Now, the US's B-41 nuclear bomb was quite mass-efficient indeed; it put out 22 petajoules, or ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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Could a supervolcanic eruption in the Phlegraean Fields be triggered by detonating a 1-gigaton nuclear bomb and then fracking the resultant salt dome?

So. There's a group of nutcases in my setting; they are an ages-old, all-powerful secret society, yadda yadda yadda, control massive amounts of the world behind the scenes, have agents everywhere of ...
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5 votes
2 answers
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How rapidly can small nuclear weapons be produced?

In my setting, there is a ban on nuclear detonations greater than one kiloton in magnitude. This ban is enforced with a supranationally controlled strategic nuclear arsenal capable of essentially ...
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24 votes
10 answers
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Nuclear weapons with 1850s technology

Let's say a group of people in the 1850's had access to all modern knowledge of nuclear physics, but nothing else from modern technology. They have at their disposal resources equivalent to those of ...
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10 votes
12 answers
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Wizards have nuclear weapons now but how have they not killed themselves

The wizarding world is a cut throat place. It's divided between several great mage families. Each one of these has a network of lesser families allied to them through marriage. Relations between ...
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7 votes
4 answers
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What shape most efficiently disperses an overpressure wave from a nuclear weapon?

One rule of architectural design in one of my settings is the prime number rule: a building that abides by this rule can survive a 2-kiloton nuclear surface burst 300 meters away 5 times in a row ...
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4 votes
5 answers
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Can nuclear intercontinental missiles be launched into space to destroy asteroids menacing Earth?

Wikipedia states that intercontinental ballistic missiles can fly a minimum of 5500 kilometers, can we shoot these missiles into space to reach beyond the thermosphere and explode on contact with an ...
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1 vote
2 answers
189 views

How do I design a main battle tank to fight a tactical nuclear war?

Exactly what it says on the tin: how do I design a tank to fight a nuclear war? Nukes in this setting are limited to one kiloton yield or below by treaty, with the smallest ones having a yield of ten ...
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10 votes
3 answers
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What would an above-ground residential apartment designed to negate the effects of a one-kiloton nuclear surface burst at 500 meters look like?

Exactly what it says on the tin: what would an above-ground residential apartment designed to negate the effects of a one-kiloton nuclear surface burst at 500 meters look like? NUKEMAP-2 says that the ...
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3 votes
10 answers
295 views

Why do the nations in my world use tactical nuclear weapons but not strategic ones while still having both?

Exactly what it says on the tin: why do the nuclear bomb-having nations in my world use tactical nuclear weapons but not strategic ones while still having both? They're not launching ICBMs at one ...
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  • 9,596
4 votes
2 answers
141 views

What quantity of neutron radiation could a water-filled inflatable mattress functionally negate?

I have a character who's a paranoid lunatic that's convinced that a nuclear war is about to break out. As a result of this, they've pumped several inflatable mattresses - you know, the type used for ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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What is the best place to sleep health-wise inside an M1 Abrams tank?

There are several characters crossing an NBC-laden apocalyptic landscape in an M1A1 Abrams tank. For various reasons irrelevant to the scope of this question, they cannot leave to set up some kind of ...
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3 votes
3 answers
765 views

How do you defend against a nuclear torpedo?

For reference: the nuclear torpedo. It is a torpedo with a nuclear munition for a warhead - exactly what it says on the tin. Range is 100 kilometers at 75 knots; guidance is sonar, with gyroscope ...
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7 votes
7 answers
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Would the successful creation of nuclear powered bombers in the 1950s have had any meaningful impact on the Cold War?

As far as I am aware nuclear powered bombers were the first attempt by the USSR and USA (either unintentional or not) at enhanced nuclear deterrence. Intending to place a nuclear reactor in a plane ...
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4 votes
5 answers
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How does one subvert a Dead Hand-style automated nuclear weapons system? [closed]

For reference: Dead Hand. Let's say that there's a post-apocalyptic wasteland, and people are attempting to get into it to rebuild/provide aid to survivors. However, there's an automated nuclear-...
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11 votes
13 answers
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Why would it take years to decades for aid to reach the survivors of a localized nuclear war?

Background: in my setting, there's a regional-scale nuclear war across most of Europe that primarily uses gun-type and boosted fission weapons. Essentially, mash this map and this map together, and ...
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11 votes
7 answers
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What are some sociological or military justifications for localized nuclear warfare?

I'm not talking about world-ending, global-scale thermonuclear war, nor about massive salvos of missiles being fired at countries by other countries. I'm talking about, say, a few divisional-level ...
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3 votes
3 answers
136 views

What yield of nuclear explosive would need to be detonated in Valencia, Spain, to flood the Balearic Islands?

A nuclear device goes off on the beach in Valencia, Spain - immediately adjacent to the ocean. How large will this device need to be in order to flood a majority of the human settlements in the ...
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2 votes
1 answer
72 views

How much thermal energy, in joules per centimeter squared, is required to ignite common aerospace materials?

How much thermal energy, measured in joules per centimeter squared, would be required to: melt (or ignite, if possible) commonly-used commercial airliner paint melt (or ignite, if possible) commonly ...
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  • 9,596
3 votes
1 answer
252 views

What would the effects of a 25-megaton thermonuclear weapon be on a military vehicle 13.7 kilometers away?

Let's say you have a B-41 nuclear bomb with a yield of 25 megatons. It ground bursts in the direct center of Madrid, Spain. A Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet multirole fighter is flying directly away ...
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7 votes
5 answers
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Would dropping a nuclear bomb in a hollow world civilization be more disastrous compared to a surface world?

In my world (a very soft sci fi world), humans live beneath the surface in a large planet that is largely inhospitable on the surface. It's not Earth. The hollow planet is kind of like swiss cheese in ...
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3 votes
5 answers
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Asteroid/comet deflection: Will a stream of nukes work?

Imagine you want to change the course of an asteroid quickly. You have huge resources at your disposal. What is the best way to move an asteroid quickly? Consider different compositions, chiefly solid ...
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10 votes
8 answers
5k views

What could be the the consequences in this world if nuclear bombs didn't release radiation anymore?

In an alternative earth, or just a few decades from now, someone was able to make a breakthrough in nuclear bombs. Developing a way to make the radiation be nullified by its extreme chain reactions or ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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Accelerator for polar molecules

I'm writing a story where the protagonist(a scientist) invents an accelerator for polar molecules(Like H2O) using varying electric fields. In one of the experiments he accelerates the water molecules ...
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10 votes
5 answers
5k views

What would happen if 250 nuclear weapons were detonated within Owens Valley in California?

(NO CIA/FBI/NSA IM NOT A TERRORIST ARMED WITH 250 STOLEN/UNACCOUNTED FOR NUKES) I’m writing a Godzilla fanfiction and in it, while Godzilla was doing Godzilla things on the West Coast (destroying ...
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1 vote
5 answers
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How to manage nuclear armed missiles in a spaceborne combat environment?

Thanks to all the members in my previous question regarding nuclear armed missiles (nukes). From those responses, it turns out nukes are more powerful than I expected they would be in terms of ...
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15 votes
9 answers
7k views

Are nuclear armed missiles effective weapons for spaceborne combat?

So I've read up (NASA has good stuff) that nuclear weapons detonated in space are primarily a radiation hazard. Thermal and concussive effects are negligible, other than I suppose hot fragmentation ...
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1 vote
2 answers
195 views

What would the global effects of a prolonged nuclear war at sea be?

There are a great many studies targeted at the effects on the environment of nuclear war on land, but I can't seem to find any relating specifically to nuclear war at sea. The current basic setup in ...
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2 votes
6 answers
511 views

How would the sudden disappearance of nuclear weapons and power plants affect Earth geopolitics?

Backstory The setting is Earth in 2021 OTL. An invisible space station of an arbitrarily advanced alien civilization is orbiting around Earth keeping watch on humanity. The aliens have determined that ...
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2 votes
2 answers
253 views

Effects of a Rapid Fire Nuclear Weapon on the Environment

One of the weapons I'm planning on having a character use in a sci-fi world is a rapid fire nuclear autocannon. While the strategic use of nuclear weapons is common on inter-galactic battlefields, an ...
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8 votes
7 answers
908 views

Hard sci-fi super weapons?

So in my questions about the intergalactic highway and simulated ship quarters I established a universe where the navy fights a cult of alien worshipers over star gates. 500 to 700 years in the future....
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2 votes
2 answers
430 views

Enhanced Nuclear Fission Weapons: Casaba Howitzers VS Nuclear-Pumped Laser

So, after finding the answer to why not all fissile material is used in a nuclear fission bomb (being blown in multiple directions), I thought that to solve this, the blast should be more focused and ...
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9 votes
20 answers
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What situation would prompt the world to dump the use of Atomic and Nuclear Explosives entirely?

Atomic and nuclear weapons are certainly the most destructive weapons Earth has in modern times, able to rupture cities. In the present, while we have the NPT (Treaty of Non-Proliferation of Nuclear ...
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16 votes
18 answers
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How plausible is it for nuclear power to be invented but not nuclear weapons?

I don’t need a super detailed answer here, so this is definitely going to be pretty opinion-based. For context, let’s say you have a world where WW2 was ended by an all-American superhero punching ...
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9 votes
3 answers
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If people were the size of squirrels, would we ever have developed nuclear fission?

If people were about 1 foot tall and weighed about 1 pound, would we ever have made a reactor or an atomic bomb? Because critical mass doesn't change, the scale of the project to mine and process ...
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1 vote
1 answer
166 views

Effects of Deep Underwater Nuclear Explosions [closed]

I've tried looking this up but can't seem to find the right info. If a nuclear-level explosion went off at the bottom of the ocean, what if any effect would this have on the surface. I'm talking ...
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8 votes
6 answers
2k views

I'm looking for an event that would have accelerated the American nuclear program

I've been brainstorming this idea of America conquering the world right after World War II, during the period when USA was the only nation with the atomic bomb. I'm looking for something either ...
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0 votes
1 answer
174 views

How much TNT do I need to blow up Mars' moon Deimos? [closed]

Specifically I want to blow it up into lots of little bits, not just nudge it towards the planet so that it de-orbits on its own.
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3 votes
3 answers
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Feasibility of Gundam's GENESIS

I was looking at various superweapons in Gundam, and recently came across a Gamma-Ray Weapon in Gundam SEED known as the GENESIS. Here is a description of how it works: "GENESIS is a huge gamma ray ...
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23 votes
10 answers
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Could alien observers detect the Castle Bravo nuclear test?

I am considering writing an alternate history story in which 1950s nuclear testing attracts the attention of benevolent extraterrestrials who do not want to see us destroy ourselves. However a ...
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4 votes
1 answer
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What signs of nuclear explosion in SLC can be seen from Lincoln Highway?

First thing: I don't know if it's the right stack to ask this question, so I'm sorry if it's not. I'm writing an adventure for an apocalyptic RPG session. One point of the plot is a detonation of 100 ...
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