• Question: what would happen if we dropped all of our nukes onto the world

    Asked by Mic to Lucy on 21 Jun 2019.
    • Photo: Lucy Budge

      Lucy Budge answered on 21 Jun 2019:

      If we look at just the UK, there are 4 submarines that could carry up to 192 warheads (I’ll explain this later) each, but the government has put a limit saying each will only carry 48. So that’s 192 total across the 4 submarines. (Though I think the UK owns around 52 but I’ll stick to the 48 that’ll be on the submarines).

      Each warhead is a nuclear bomb, with a power of up to 100 kilo-tons of TNT, while the bombs dropped over Hiroshima and Nagasaki had power of around 15-20 kilo-tons of TNT. Since each of these bombs destroyed a city (estimated that 35,000–40,000 were killed immediately by the Nagasaki bomb), imagine what a bomb 5 times more powerful could do. And then think about dropping around 50 of them.

      Politically speaking you could easily reduce several whole countries to practically nothing – destroying cities, landscape and killing millions of people. The effects of the bombs on the earth as a whole would be bad as well – the radiation produced would kill probably millions of animals and you could see whole habitats not only destroyed but uninhabitable for a long time afterwards. The knock-on effect of this would be disastrous!

      And this is just from the UK’s nuclear bombs… I can’t even begin to imagine if all the bombs in the world were detonated!