Researchers have developed a terrifying simulation that shows how an escalating nuclear war between the United States/NATO and Russia would play out.
The model — based on realistic data on nuclear force postures, targets and causality estimates — predicts that 34.1 million people would die within hours.
The catastrophic conflict would leave another 55.9 million injured — figures which do not include subsequent deaths from nuclear fallout and other effects.
The team behind the video hope that the simulation will highlight the apocalyptic consequences and cost to humanity of nuclear war between the two blocs.
Researchers have developed a terrifying simulation that shows how an escalating nuclear war between the United States/NATO and Russia would play out
WHAT IS THE IMPACT OF A NUCLEAR BOMB?
A nuke’s impact would depend on factors like the weather, weapon design and the blast zone’s nature.
About 35 per cent of the bomb’s energy would be released as heat.
Flash blindness from a 1 megaton nuke could be triggered up to 13 miles away on a clear day and 50 on a clear night.
Those within a 5-mile-radius would receive third degree burns.
The blast of air pressure generated would destroy nearby buildings.
Winds of up to 158 mph would affect people up to 3.7 miles away, causing objects to fly around.
The four-minute video was created by engineering and international affairs expert Alex Glaser of Princeton University and colleagues.
The simulation, dubbed ‘Plan A’, was drawn up based on various independent assessments of current US and Russian military postures, nuclear war plans and corresponding weapons targets.
It included extensive data on the number of nuclear weapons currently deployed, bomb yields and the order in which such a war would likely progress.
A nuclear war would likely evolve from an initial phase of tactical targeting through to a strategic period intended to take out each side’s offensive nuclear capacity.
Finally, a phase of targeting key cities to impede opposition recovery would begin.
‘It is estimated that there would be more than 90 million people dead and injured within the first few hours of the conflict,’ the researchers wrote.
The simulation begins within the context of a conventional, non-nuclear conflict.
In the scenario, Russia fires a nuclear warning shot from a base near Kaliningrad, on the Black Sea, with the aim of halting a US–NATO advance.
In response, NATO hits Russia with a single tactical nuclear air strike, from which the conflict escalates to a tactical nuclear war across Europe.
At this point, the simulation anticipates that Russia would deliver around 300 nuclear warheads — carried either by aircraft or short-range missiles — against NATO bases and advancing troops.
The international military alliance would then respond with around 180 aircraft-borne nukes.
At this stage, casualties would be expected to reach around 2.6 million people within a three-hour period and Europe is left essentially destroyed.
The model — based on realistic data on nuclear force postures, targets and causality estimates — predicts that 34.1 million people would die within a matter of hours
The catastrophic conflict would leave another 55.9 million injured — figures which do not include subsequent deaths from nuclear fallout and other effects
Following this, NATO acts from the continental US and nuclear submarine fleets, launching a strategic nuclear strike of around 600 warheads with the aim of taking out Russia’s nuclear capability.
Before this strike hits, Russia launches nukes from its complement of missile silos, submarines and mobile launch pads.
The model projects 3.4 million casualties from this phase of the war, which would last only 45 minutes.
In the final phase of the conflict, both sides take aim at each other’s 30 most populated cities and economic centres — deploying 5–10 nukes for each one — to attempt to inhibit each side’s recovery from the war.
Such a move, the researchers conclude, would see 85.3 million casualties within the space of 45 minutes.
The total number of immediate fatalities in this scenario would exceed 34.1 million people — and does not include the subsequent deaths that would invariably result as a consequence of nuclear fallout and other related long-term effects.
The team behind the video hope that the simulation will highlight the apocalyptic consequences and cost to humanity of nuclear war between the two blocs
In the final phase of the conflict, the simulation suggests that both sides would take aim at each other’s 30 most populated cities and economic centres — deploying 5–10 nukes for each one — to attempt to inhibit each side’s recovery, as depicted in this artist’s impression
The researchers said that the project is intended to highlight the potentially devastating consequences of the current nuclear war plans maintained by the US and Russian military forces.
‘The risk of nuclear war has increased dramatically in the past two years,’ the researchers wrote.
‘The United States and Russia have abandoned long-standing nuclear arms control treaties, started to develop new kinds of nuclear weapons and expanded the circumstances in which they might use nuclear weapons.’
HOW TO SURVIVE A NUCLEAR BOMB
Experts have detailed a number of tips to improve your chances of survival in the event of a nuclear disaster, including:
Pack an emergency supply kit containing water and non-perishable food items.
When a nuclear bomb goes off, it sends out radiation that can ruin your mobile phone and laptop, so preparing battery-powered radios for communication is wise.
For the blast, it is important to get as much concrete between you and the blast as possible.
For the fall-out it’s important to have thick walls and a thick roof, he says, and in a house it is a good idea to blockade all the windows.
Scientists have devised the Svalbard Global Seed Vault (pictured) as a way to protect the world’s food supply in the event of a global disaster. It’s located in Norway
But if you are outside and know the blast is coming, you might have time to get to a better shelter.
First you should get on the ground with your hands behind your head and brace yourself for the blast.
Never look at the blast, because it can cause you to go blind temporarily.
The, after the blast, you have 30 minutes to get to the best place.
Once you get inside remove your clothes and clean yourself straight away and blow your nose, to stop the radioactive materials from spreading, and do not use conditioner.
If you cannot have a shower, wipe yourself with a wet cloth.