Updated: 7 April 2015
Since 1945 there have been more than 2,000 test nuclear explosions
conducted throughout the world.
As of 28 Aug 2014, there are approximately 16,300 total nuclear weapons.
The United States has approximately 7,300 warheads
Russia - 8,000
China - 250
France - 300
U.K. - 225.
Isreal, Pakistan, India and North Korea are not signatories
(have nuclear weapons, but not part of the) Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.
Treaty members agree to limit the spread of nuclear weapons.
Their warhead arsonel is as follows:
Isreal approximately 80 warheads
Pakistan - 120
India - 110
North Korea possibly 6 to 8.
The bomb dropped on Hiroshima, Japan, in 1945 was an atomic bomb which killed over 140,000 people,
and had the power of 15-Kilotons.
Atomic bombs use nuclear fission, or the splitting of an atom, to achieve an enormous explosion.
A common hydrogen bomb, which uses nuclear fusion, or the fusing of atoms, has the power of up to 10-Megatons.
To achieve fusion, an atomic bomb is at the center of a common Hydrogen bomb, creating immense heat used to fuse the atoms.
All the explosions in World War II combined totalled "only" 2-Megatons
A 10-Kiloton nuclear device has the power of 10,000 tons of TNT.
or just 20% of the power of just one common Hydrogen bomb.
To haul that much explosives you would need a cargo train of 100 cars long!
However, a nuclear bomb could easily fit into the back of a truck.
SIZES AND TYPES OF NOTABLE BOMBS:
* August 6, 1945: 15-Kiloton Uranium bomb dropped on Hiroshima, Japan.
* August 9, 1945: 21-Kiloton Plutonium bomb dropped on Nagasaki, Japan.
* October 30, 1961: Soviet Union detonates a 50-Megaton Uranimu bomb.
This bomb nicknamed the "Tsar Bomba" or "King of Bombs"
would be the largest nuclear weapon ever detonated.
The detonation occurred over the Arctic island of Novaya Zemlya.
Tzar Bomba Mushroom Cloud
The explosive inpact of this device was 6,500 times more deadly than the bomb dropped on Hiroshima.
The bomb proved that the delivery of nuclear weapons by long range aircraft was ineffient in time war.
As a result Intercontinential Ballistic Missiles were created.
The bomb was never intended for actual use. Rather it was used to intimidate the United States.
Tsar Bomba was dropped via parachute from an altitude of 4,200 meters, or 2.6 miles,
and the resulting fireball nearly reached the height of the release plane.
Light from the explosion was visible from 1000 km, or 621 miles, away.
The bomb was so hot it induced 3rd degree burns at 100 km, or 62 miles, away.
EFFECTS OF BOMBS:
Suitcase Bomb; 0.1-Kiloton
Approximate blast at 100 feet above surface:
- Most structures destroyed out to 0.15 miles of the blast area.
- Approxmiately 50% dead from radiation within one month's time out to 0.3 miles.
- Massive fires out to 0.07 miles.
Atomic Bomb; 15-Kiloton bomb.
Approxmiating blast at 550 feet above the surface:
- Most structures destroyed out to 0.8 miles of the blast area.
- Approximately 50% dead from radiation within one month's time out to 0.8 miles.
- Massive fires out to 0.9 miles. Possible fires out to 1.2 miles.
Hydrogen Bomb; 300-Kilotons
Approxmiate blast at 1,500 feet above the surface:
- Most structures destroyed out to 2.2 miles from the blast area.
- Approxmiately 50% dead from radiation within 1.3 miles in one month's time.
- Massive fires out to 3.5 miles; Possible fires out to 4.6 miles from blast area.
Otto Hahn, Fritz Strassmann, and Lise Meitner discover Nuclear Fission,
or the splitting of atoms by bombarding an atom of Uranium with neutrons.
Albert Einstein, along with fellow scientist Leo Szilard, writes to President Roosevelt
to warn that the U.S. must not fall behind Germany in atomic bomb research.
Glenn Seaborg, a chemist from the United States, discover Plutonium.
It has fissile properties like Uranium.
December 7th, 1941:
Japan attacks the United States at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.
Physicist Edward Teller comes up with the concept of a Hydrogen fusion bomb.
Army General L. Groves is named as director for the Manhattan Project.
The Manhattan Project was a secret U.S. project to build an atomic bomb.
Robert Oppenheimer (photo below) is recruited as the project's science director.
A self-controlled sustaining nuclear reaction is achieved at the University of Chicago.
Large scale production of plutonium begins at Hanford, WA.
Trinity; This is the name for the first atomic bomb explosion at Alamogordo, New Mexico.
Eerie Trinity fireball less than 1 second old.
Click on the picture to see more Trinity photos.
August 6, 1945:
The bomber, Enola Gay, a B-29 bomber plane, drops a 15-Kiloton Uranium bomb, called Little Boy, on Hiroshima, Japan.
August 9, 1945:
Fat Man, a 21-Kiloton plutonium bomb, is dropped on Nagasaki, Japan. Japan surrenders a few days later.
The United States begins tests of the atomophere and water at the Marshall Islands, Pacific.
The Soviet Union explodes a Plutonium bomb in Kazakhstan.
This bomb's design was stolen by scientist, Klaus Fuchs, a German scientist, from the United States.
President Truman authorizes research for Hydrogen bombs.
Studies are conducted of the effects of blast and fallout in Nevada. Soldiers are exposed to a 21-Kiloton bomb 6 miles away.
An A-bomb is tested in Australia by the United Kingdom.
The United States tests it's first Hydrogen bomb at Enewetak Atoll in the Marshall Islands.
The bomb is nick-named, Mike. (Photo below).
The Soviet Union detonates a 1.6 mega-ton Hydrogen bomb in Kazakhstan.
The U.S. Navy decides to carry Nuclear missiles.
It places them on the submarine U.S.S. George Washington.
President Kennedy urges citizens to build bomb shelters.
The Soviet Union explodes the largest nuclear bomb ever.
This bomb had a yield of approximately 50-megatons!
The Navy places a blockade on Cuba after discovering that the Soviet Union has been supplying them with nuclear weapons.
This will be the beginning of the Cuban Missile crisis.
President Kennedy signs the "Limited Test Ban Treaty".
This treaty will ban nuclear testing in the air, underwater, or in space.
Soviet Union and United Kingdom sign the Nuclear Proliferation Treaty along with many other nations.
France tests a Hydrogen bomb in the southern Pacific.
President Nixon and Soviet General Brezhnev sign the "Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty".
This is an agreement to limit the number of nuclear weapons for each nation.
This treaty is also known as the "SALT 1" treaty.
The Arab and Israli Yom Kippur War puts the United States on nuclear alert
because Isreal reportedly assembled nuclear weapons during that war.
India explodes a nuclear device underwater in the Rajasthan Desert.
President Reagan announces his plans for the "Strategic Defense Initiative".
This anti-missile defense system was later referred to as "Star Wars".
It would defend the United States against Nuclear attack from space.
The U.S. deploys "Peace Keeper" intercontinential ballistic missiles to counter the Soviet SS-18's.
Each Peace Keeper has 10 nuclear warheads.
President Reagan and Soviet Leader Gorbachev sign the "Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces Treaty"
to eliminate a certain class of nuclear weapons.
President Bush and Soviet Leader Gorbachev sign the "Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty"
which called for the removal of half of the stored Nuclear weapons for each country.
This treaty was later called the "Start 1" treaty.
The United States conducts it's last underground test of a nuclear weapon.
The "Nuclear Non-Proliferation" Treaty is extended indefinitely by nations.
The United Nations sends nations a "Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty" for it's member nations to sign.
The United States and Russia sign the "Strategic Offensive Reductions Treaty",
whereby each will cut their arsenal down to 2,200 warheads by the year 2012.
Iran is reported to be secretly building 2 nuclear facilities.
An inspection by the International Atomic Energy Agency reveals that there has been a program there to develop uranium enrichment.
North Korea announces it's withdrawl from the Non-Proliferation Treaty.
Pakistan announces that nuclear secrets have been passed to North Korea, Libya,
and Iran by the head of their Nuclear program, Abdul Qadeer Khan.
North Korea announces that it possesses Nuclear weapons.
North Korea tests a nuclear weapon for the first time.
Iran... to be continued...
For questions or comments please contact:
AZC(AW/NAC) Kimberly King
United States Navy