A nuclear weapon (also known as an atom bomb, atomic bomb, nuclear bomb or nuclear warhead, and colloquially as an A-bomb or nuke) is an explosive device that derives its destructive force from nuclear reactions, either fission (fission bomb) or a combination of fission and fusion reactions (thermonuclear bomb). Both bomb types release large quantities of energy from relatively small amounts of matter.
The first test of a fission ("atomic") bomb released an amount of energy approximately equal to 20,000 tons of TNT (84 TJ). The first thermonuclear ("hydrogen") bomb test released energy approximately equal to 10 million tons of TNT (42 PJ). Nuclear bombs have had yields between 10 tons TNT (the W54) and 50 megatons for the Tsar Bomba (see TNT equivalent). A thermonuclear weapon weighing little more than 2,400 pounds (1,100 kg) can release energy equal to more than 1.2 million tons of TNT (5.0 PJ).A nuclear device no larger than a conventional bomb can devastate an entire city by blast, fire, and radiation. Since they are weapons of mass destruction, the proliferation of nuclear weapons is a focus of international relations policy. Nuclear weapons have been deployed twice in war, by the United States against the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945 during World War II.

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  1. CountryGent

    Journal of Civil Defense, 2022, Vol. 57

    The latest Journal of Civil Defense is out and it covers, among other things, fallout related matters. Some years back TACDA started offering free PDF versions to everyone, rather than just print copies to card carrying members. Passing along the aforementioned file here, should it be of...
  2. CountryGent

    The Day After (1983), what does it teach?

    Inspired by, and not wishing to hijack said, the "Alas Babylon - what does it have to teach us" thread: for those that have watched The Day After (1983), what ideas did you have from said? Any specific preparations undertaken afterwards? Any work abandoned? Other observations? Enjoy! Oh...
  3. CountryGent

    The Leibowitz Project

    So, this evening, the family cavorted outside. The rather sexy wife put together a hammock for yours-truly (my first ever) and the little Potatoes flitted about. As the smaller people engaged in said, I thumbed through a classic — Life After Doomsday* (1980) by Dr. Bruce Clayton. It is...
  4. Howard1955

    Swalwell (California) ‘Government Has Nukes’

    Eric Swalwell: If Gun Owners Defy 'Assault Weapons' Ban, 'The Government Has Nukes'
  5. CountryGent

    Are you a member of an established Mutual Assistance Group (MAG)?

    I thought I would toss this one out for discussion. While humans have organized themselves in such a way to share resources and skills since time immemorial, the Mutual Assistance Group (MAG) is one specifically setup to pull through a major disaster together, with defined roles, a...
  6. CountryGent

    Favorite Preparedness Quotes?

    Over the years, I've collected various quotes on the topic of preparedness and survival. I thought I'd post said and, naturally, ask if others would like to share their favorites. I'll get us started ... General "Be prepared." — Boy Scout Motto "Recognizing the threat is one thing...
  7. CountryGent

    Keynote speaker Dr. William R. Forstchen

    The following videos feature a talk followed by a question and answer session by Dr. William R. Forstchen. He is the author of the works One Second After and One Year Later. The speech was delivered at the Sensible Mountain Preparedness Seminar and it covers EMP attack, our present...
  8. CountryGent

    Atomic Attack (1954)

    Continuing the Cold War-era film postings, the following is the 1954 television film Atomic Attack. It was part of the Motorola Television Hour and stars Walter Matthau. It is about a family experiencing life during an atomic attack. The acting is, frankly, hit and miss, but it is still...
  9. CountryGent

    Panic in Year Zero (1962)

    All this Cold War talk has inspired me to look up some classics from that period. I'll get the party started with the 1962 Panic in Year Zero. It stars Ray Milland, Jean Hagen, and Frankie Avalon and it is a classic SHTF film. Enough yakety-yak, now showing at the NWFA Drive In:
  10. CountryGent

    A Day Called X (1957)

    The following film is a short movie produced during the early stages of the Cold War called A Day Called X. It is about a hypothetical nuclear attack on Portland, Oregon. It is narrated by the actor Glenn Ford. The rest of the people are officials and citizens of the Rose City. Anyway, it is...
  11. CountryGent

    Realistic SHTF novels that set the mind abuzz ...

    Howdy all. I thought it might be interesting to discuss various realistic SHTF books. By realistic I mean the the plot involves a disaster that could happen in real life. That would include things that have happened (e.g., natural disasters, economic collapse, war, etc.), have happened but not...
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