Nuclear vs. Conventional Blasts
In general terms, a blast or explosion is a rapid release of a large amount of energy within a limited space.
There are five basic differences between nuclear and conventional blasts:
- Nuclear explosions are caused by an unrestrained fission reaction whereas conventional explosions are caused by chemical reactions.
- Nuclear explosions can be millions of times more powerful than the largest conventional explosions.
- Nuclear explosions create much higher temperatures and much brighter light flashes than conventional explosions, to the extent that skin burns and fires can occur at considerable distances.
- Nuclear explosions are accompanied by highly penetrating and harmful radiation.
- Radioactive debris is spread by a nuclear blast, to the extent that lethal exposures can be received long after the explosion occurs.