posted on Mar, 19 2014 @ 08:03 PM
This is a great question, and I think it depends on various factors. But first of all, do not waste any energy worrying about the Ukranian mess going
on at the moment, because the odds of nuclear war being triggered are, by my estimates, 19 to 1. Others may not agree exactly with those numbers, and
I won't get into how I arrived at that conclusion, but the point is that such an outcome is not very likely. In fact, the chances may be even less
than 4-5%, which means the outcome is possible, but will happen only a handful of times out of one hundred. I don't think the odds are in favor for a
nuclear strike by the US or Russia.
I say this because Putin obviously cares about what the West thinks, otherwise why bother with attempting to make a Crimean takeover look justified?
But that is not the point of your thread, so moving on...How close one is to the blast will make a huge difference. Many people think of a nuclear
explosion wiping out a very large portion of a country like the US, but the truth of the matter is that the actual explosion, while much larger than
conventional explosives, is not that large. A large city could definitely be taken out with a high-yield warhead, that is for certain, but it would
take many nuclear warheads exploding on impact or in the atmosphere for a significant portion of the population to be wiped out.
And the truth of the matter is that out of all the nukes that would be launched at the US, not all of them would reach their target. The US has an
anti-ballistic missile shield, a conglomerate of independent units, that could take down a nuclear tipped missile. I would say the US is more advanced
in this area than any other country, because there are likely some elements to the US program that remain classified. I believe this shield started
with Raegan's Star Wars program, but I'm not certain, and has remained in existence until now, although it did suffer some setbacks occasionally.
Basically these systems shoot an intercepting projectile at incoming missiles. It takes a distinctive type of system to intercept most nuclear
projectiles, because of the high velocities, so it will take a different system to intercept an ICBM as opposed to a ballistic missile that is meant
for shorter ranges. In fact, some of the systems that the US has for such a purpose, intercepting missiles, contain no explosives. They are basically
akin to a large bullet, which will impact its target with quite a lot of energy. It is really neat in my opinion.
But anyway, what I was getting at before I went off on a tangent is that the nuclear fallout after an explosion is going to reach much further than
the explosion itself. Depending on the magnitude of the attack, there could even be a nuclear winter. Many things would go wrong with our way of life,
and it would not be easy. And in my opinion, from a strategic point of view, if a nuclear missile attack does come, it will involve a large number of
warheads. No nuclear nation would purposefully launch a nuclear strike with a handful of missiles. And once nuclear weapons are launched, there is a
high probability that the nation being attacked would retalliate with nuclear weapons. Thus comes about mutually assured destruction.
But the other option to MAD is the reason the Star Wars program was invented I believe...To give an alternative to mutually assured destruction, by
being able to keep these missiles from striking their targets. I think the US is capable at the moment to bring down maybe 20-30 incoming nuclear
missiles, but I am not certain to be honest. That is just a guess on my part, knowing some of the systems that are in place. If I remember correctly,
the US strateg shifted to focusing on regional defense systems as opposed to larger ones, and therefore there could be large gaps in the defense
system. Surely such information would be highly classified, so that the enemy could not easily bypass our systems.
If one was certain that life after a nuclear war would be hell on earth, and that the chances of survival were small, then being in the direct path of
the blast might be the easy way out. I definitely do not think one would feel any pain at all. The worst thing would probably be not dying from the
blast, but being hit with massive doses of radiation. The world's nuclear arsenals are not advanced enough at this point to use non-radiation causing
Something that most people don't realize is that even if all the nuclear devices in the world were detonated, the dose of radiation, if divided up
among the population of the earth, would be well below the lethal limit. A nuclear war probably would not end life on earth, and the effects of
radiation would depend on how close one way to the blast. The radiation component of such weapons are definitely the most far-reaching lethal effect,
but one still has to be relatively close to get a lethal dose.
Another thing most people don't realize is that the only nuclear devices ever launched in aggression, in WWII Japan, did not really cause much
fallout damage. All of the radiation damage that was done was accomplished within the first minute or two of the blast.
And what I mentioned about nuclear arsenals not being advanced enough to reduce radiation has to do with two things. First, the fact that there are
different types of atomic weapons, with different radiation levels being generated...And second, the possibility that a hydrogen bomb could be
produced that substitues the primary fission stage for something else. I've heard talk of such a thing, but I don't know how feasible it would
be...But I think it is possible.
So to sum it up, you would still have to be relatively nearby to a nuclear explosion to be killed, and it would take a whole host of individual
explosions to produce an appreciable amount of damage to the entire country.