Blast, Heat, and Radiation

In Blast, Heat and Radiation, Tsipis summarizes some of the products of and effects of a nuclear weapon explosion. I thought the most interesting theme throughout his description of these products and these effects was the importance of the height of the explosion. It seems as if the effects of nuclear fallout and that of the air blast are both dependent on how high the explosion occurred. The development of a crater is also dependent on the explosion height. I think this is interesting because the user of the weapon can arguably control at what height they chose to explode their weapon, at least to the point choosing to explode it from an aircraft, or exploding it on the ground. So then, where the user explodes the weapon may speak a good deal about their intentions.

I also found the graph, Estimated Fallout Contours for the Bravo Test, on page ninety-five, to be rather interesting. It demonstrates that the fallout from the test traveled nearly 300 miles in just sixteen hours. This made me curious about the potential impacts of a “hostile” country (maybe Iran, North Korea or Pakistan) testing their weapons. If they hypothetically tested their weapons somewhere within 300 miles of the United States, nuclear fallout may arrive on our shores. So then, the logical question is, are countries limited to the amount of weapons they can test, and where they can test them? And if so, how is this enforced? — Anya