How many nuclear explosions have there been?

Fact Sheets & Briefs

Type of Test United States Total
Atmospheric 215 528
Underground 815 1,528
Total 1,0301 (Note: does not include atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.) 2,056

Can a nuclear weapon accidentally explode?

Although no accidental nuclear explosion has ever occurred, nuclear weapons, like conventional shells, bombs and rockets, pose accident hazards. The shock wave created by the conventional explosion squeezes the plutonium enough to initiate a chain fission reaction.

What causes nuclear weapons to explode?

Nuclear weapons use that energy to create an explosion. The explosives compress nuclear material, causing fission; the fission releases massive amounts of energy in the form of X-rays, which create the high temperature and pressure needed to ignite fusion.

What happens when a nuclear weapon explodes?

A nuclear explosion creates an enormous shock/blast wave that reaches the speed of many hundreds of kilometers per hour. People close to ground zero will be instantly killed by the blast alone. At a distance, the blast causes internal injuries such as lung injuries, ear damage and internal bleeding.

What is the difference between a hydrogen bomb and an atomic bomb?

An atomic bomb is a nuclear weapon that explodes due to the extreme energy released by nuclear fission. A hydrogen bomb is a nuclear weapon that explodes from the intense energy released by nuclear fusion.

What kills you in a nuclear explosion?

Gastrointestinal death is caused by a dose of radiation between 10 and 50 Gray. Whole body doses cause damage to epithelial cells lining the gastrointestinal tract and this combined with the bone marrow damage is fatal.

How does the explosion of a nuclear weapon occur?

A nuclear explosion is an explosion that occurs as a result of the rapid release of energy from a high-speed nuclear reaction. The driving reaction may be nuclear fission or nuclear fusion or a multi-stage cascading combination of the two, though to date all fusion-based weapons have used a fission device to initiate fusion, and a pure fusion weapon remains a hypothetical device. Atmospheric nuclear explosions are associated with mushroom clouds, although mushroom clouds can occur with large che

How powerful can a nuclear explosion be?

The physical damage mechanisms of a nuclear weapon (blast and thermal radiation) are identical to those of conventional explosives, but the energy produced by a nuclear explosion is usually millions of times more powerful per unit mass and temperatures may briefly reach the tens of millions of degrees.

What are the results of a nuclear explosion?

The Effects of Nuclear Weapons. Nuclear explosions produce both immediate and delayed destructive effects. Blast, thermal radiation, and prompt ionizing radiation cause significant destruction within seconds or minutes of a nuclear detonation. The delayed effects, such as radioactive fallout and other environmental effects,…

What is the largest nuclear explosion?

Tsar Bomba, or the King of Bombs, was the largest nuclear bomb ever detonated. It produces an explosion equivalent to 50 megatons of TNT. By comparison, the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima was equivalent to 13 kilotons of TNT. That means that Tsar Bomba, called “Big Ivan” in Russia, was almost 4,000 times more powerful than the Hiroshima bomb.