The global threat posed by nuclear warheads has jumped up a gear in recent months owing to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s decision to launch a full scale invasion of Ukraine. Previously, nuclear bombs have only been used in combat during World War Two, which led to the decimation of the Japanese cities, Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Can you survive a nuclear bomb?
The chances of anyone within what is known as the “blast zone” surviving a nuclear bomb are virtually impossible.
But for those who are just out of range from this, there is some hope of survival.
There is no clear-cut way to estimate the impact of a single nuclear bomb, because it depends on many factors, including the weather on the day it’s dropped.
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Of the threats posed to anyone near to where a nuclear bomb detonates the most dangerous is radiation or nuclear fallout.
To give yourself the best possible chance of not being exposed to this you would need to find a safe building and shield yourself.
A reinforced bunker or basement would lend itself particularly well in this situation, though if that’s not possible getting inside the nearest building would be your best option.
Once indoors you should remove any contaminated clothing and wipe off or wash unprotected skin if you were outside after the fallout arrived.
As you’re waiting you should try and tune into any media available for official information such as when it is safe to exit and where you should go.
For example, battery operated and hand crank radios will function after a nuclear detonation.
Of course even when you are allowed to venture outside the effects of nuclear fallout will remain indefinitely and make any of the areas it spreads to practically inhabitable.
Indeed, it’s because of the dangers that nuclear weapons pose that countries have so far avoided using them in combat for more than 70 years.
Which countries own nuclear weapons?
Russia, according to the Federation of American Scientists, is estimated to own the largest stockpile of nuclear weapons in the world.
The total accrued by Moscow stands at 6,257, nearly 1,000 more than the US which has the second biggest arsenal of 5,600.
Completing the top five countries on this list are China (350), France (290) and the UK (225).
Pakistan and India are thought to be the only other nations globally who own more than 100 nuclear warheads each.