Let’s Talk Nuclear Bomb Yields



What is a kilo-ton (kt) anyway?

For all practical purposes, the “yield” of a nuclear bomb is a measure of how many tons or megatons of TNT it would take to match the detonation power of the nuclear explosion.

Using a truck-based fertilizer bomb, Oklahoma’s Cities Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building  was destroyed with about  0.002 kt of explosive power. Nagasaki’s ”Fat Man“gravity bomb was just over 20 kt, or about  10,000 times more powerful than the Murrah bombing.

[caption id=“attachment_169” align=“aligncenter” width=“300”]Fat Man Replica Fat Man Replica[/caption]

Let’s take this a step further, Fat Man was just a baby compared to what we have now. Fat Man’s 20 kt yield is child’s play compared to the most powerful nuclear bomb ever detonated. USSR used a bomb that had a 50,000 kt yield called the Tsar Bomba. In other words, it would have been 2,500 times more destructive than Nagasaki’s devastation.

Boston Destroyed

Using a 15 kt nuclear bomb detonated before it hits the ground, simulations show the death toll approaching almost 1.7 million people in the city of Boston. Instant death.

[caption id=“attachment_170” align=“aligncenter” width=“525”]Nuclear Bomb Casualty Simulation Nuclear Bomb Boston Casualty Simulation[/caption]

Oklahoma City, with a 30,000 kt detonation would look like this photo. Over 500,000 people killed instantly and another 400,000 injured.

[caption id=“attachment_171” align=“aligncenter” width=“300”]Oklahoma City Nuclear Bomb Death Toll What would happen if a nuclear bomb of 30,000 kt hit Oklahoma City.[/caption]

I highly recommend you check out the Nuke Map site and plug in your own city.

Yield per Country Since the Start

[caption id=“attachment_173” align=“aligncenter” width=“525”]Nuclear Bomb Yield by Country Since 1945 Nuclear Bomb Yield by Country Since 1945 - http://www.johnstonsarchive.net/nuclear/[/caption]

As you can see, the U.S. and USSR (now Russia) are the two highest yielding nuclear bomb testers on Earth. Combined, the human race as detonated just about 1 trillion pounds of TNT, equivalent, in nuclear weapons.

Remember, the Oklahoma City Murrah building was .02 kt or the equivalent of 40,000 pounds of TNT. You would have to repeat this horrific event 25 million times to match the combined nuclear yield since 1945. Staggering numbers!

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