Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Firefighting after a nuclear explosion

Not to dampen your Christmas spirit or anything, but did you ever wonder how large an area would be set on fire by a nuclear bomb going off? A new Google Maps mashup built by Carlos Labs gives you the ability to create a map showing the radius of thermal damage caused by a nuclear weapons blast centered at the address of your choice.

The map below shows the effects of a 50 megaton "Tsar Bomba" blast centered on Ellsworth Air Force Base near Rapid City, a base for B-1 bombers.

The innermost ring is the "conflagration" area where most buildings will be completely destroyed, while the next circle will be filled with fire. I wonder how many Supertankers it would take to put out fires created by such a blast? And, do you have the personal protective equipment necessary to fight these fires?

Usually at fires, citizens are running away from it while firefighters are running toward it. In this case, firefighters would most likely be running away as well. I would, anyway. My momma didn't raise no fool!

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