Graphs of Nuclear Weapons Effects

by Wm. Robert Johnston
last updated 23 June 2002
Graphs of:

Range of effects for lower yield weapons

Same, .pdf version

Range of effects for medium yield weapons

Same, .pdf version

Range of effects for all weapon yields

Same, .pdf version

Explanation and assumptions:

All graphs assume airbursts (specifically, at an altitude which optimizes 10-psi blast damage). Note that one or both scales on the graphs are logarithmic.

Prompt radiation ranges include "fatal" (1500 rem outdoors, causing 100% fatalities), "50% fatal" (450 rem outdoors, causing 50% fatalities in 30 days), and "some injuries" (100 rem outdoors, causing some radiation sickness).

Flash ranges include "fatal" (ignition of wood/cardboard, widespread fires), "50% fatal" (50% third degree burns to exposed flesh, average population), "some injuries" (50% first degree burns to exposed flesh, average population). Flash ranges are the average of ranges for 20 km visibility and 80 km visibility (clear and very clear weather).

Blast ranges include "fatal" (20 psi overpressure, most buildings destroyed or severely damaged, 90% fatalities indoors), "50% fatal" (5 psi overpressure, 50% fatalities indoors), and "some injuries" (1 psi overpressure, 10% injuries indoors).

All results are approximate and can be affected by a variety of factors. For more information see Nuclear weapons effects: Some data.

© 2002 by Wm. Robert Johnston.
Last modified 23 June 2002.
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