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As a result of subsidence of a water column the base wave is formed.

As a result of subsidence of a water column the base wave is formed.

Types of nuclear weapons

There are three main types of nuclear weapons:

actually nuclear (or nuclear weapons), thermonuclear, neutron.

Nuclear munitions are based on the principle of using the fission energy of uranium-235 or plutonium-239 nuclei, the nuclei of which are easily split into two particles by slow neutron strikes. The nuclei of natural uranium-238 are difficult to dissociate, only under the action of very fast neutrons.

The fission chain reaction that leads to a nuclear explosion occurs only in the presence of a certain amount of a substance called a critical mass.

In the spherical form of the charge, the critical mass for uranium-235 is about 30 kg, for plutonium-239 – 6 kg. In nuclear munitions, it can be formed in two ways: implosion (directed in the middle of the explosion, resulting in increased density of matter) or convergence, due to the explosion, uranium and plutonium hemispheres, each of which is less than the critical mass and does not explode.

The explosion of nuclear munitions is as follows. At a certain height, a remote detonator is triggered, powder charges are detonated, by the force of their explosion, the hemispheres of uranium or plutonium come together, a critical mass is formed and a fission chain reaction occurs.

Thermonuclear munitions contain all parts of a nuclear bomb and, in addition, a thermonuclear charge and natural uranium-238 (in the bomb body). A thermonuclear bomb explodes in three stages (a three-stage bomb) based on fission-synthesis-fission reactions.

The thermonuclear charge consists of isotopes of hydrogen (deuterium – 2H, tritium – 3H) and lithium – 6Li. The most commonly used compounds are lithium with deuterium – lithium deuteride – 6Li2H.

The explosion of thermonuclear ammunition occurs in three stages:

exploding nuclear charge of uranium or plutonium (nuclear fission chain reaction) with the formation of a temperature inside the bomb of several million degrees; under the action of high temperature thermonuclear reactions of synthesis of helium nuclei from deuterium, tritium and lithium take place with the release of very fast neutrons with energy 10-20 MeV; fast neutrons, bombarding uranium-238 nuclei, cause uranium fission with the release of enormous energy.

If the power of charges that use fission reactions of heavy nuclei is limited (about 500 thousand tons), the use of fusion reactions in thermonuclear ammunition allows you to create weapons with almost unlimited power.

Neutron munitions are a small thermonuclear charge with a capacity of not more than 10,000 tons, in which the bulk of energy is released by the fusion reaction of deuterium and tritium nuclei, and the amount of energy obtained by fission of heavy nuclei in the detonator is minimal but sufficient to start fusion reactions. The neutron component of the penetrating radiation of such a small-scale nuclear explosion will be the main striking force for the personnel of the troops.

For a neutron munition at the same distance from the epicenter of the explosion, the dose of penetrating radiation is approximately 5-10 times greater than the charge of separation of the same power. Accordingly, the share of energy permitted by the shock wave, light radiation and radioactive contamination of the area decreases.

A characteristic feature of neutron weapons is the formation of induced radioactivity in the materials of military equipment and weapons, some types of food and chemical and pharmaceuticals.

The physical properties of neutrons determine their high ability to cause molecular damage in the biochemical structures of cells in the human body. Due to the interaction of neutrons with water, proteins, lipids, fats, carbohydrates and other bioorganic compounds of the body is a kind of distribution in the human body of absorbed energy (dose) of personal narrative essay ideas neutron flux. Because neutron radiation has a much greater biological effect than gamma radiation, the manifestation of genetic consequences is even difficult to imagine.

At an irradiation dose of 15 rads (0.15 Gy), which can be obtained at a distance of 2300 m from the epicenter of the explosion of neutron ammunition with a capacity of 1000 tons, acute radiation sickness does not develop, but in the future probable malignancies, leukemia and transmission of irradiated genetic defects for several generations of offspring.

The explosive power of nuclear and thermonuclear munitions is measured by the TNT equivalent, which is conventionally understood as the amount of ordinary explosive – TNT, the explosion energy of which will be equivalent to the explosion of a certain nuclear or thermonuclear charge.

According to the force of the explosion, nuclear ammunition is conventionally divided into five calibers:

ultra-small (TE – TNT equivalent – up to 1 kt), small – (TE – 1-10 kt), medium (TE – 10-100 kt), large (TE – 100 kt-1 Mt), ultra-large (TE – more than 1 Mt).

By type of nuclear weapon is divided into: neutron (ultra-small and small caliber), atomic (medium caliber) and thermonuclear (large and ultra-large caliber).

Types of nuclear explosions

By height (depth) it is customary to distinguish the following types of nuclear explosions:

space; high-altitude; air; terrestrial; underground; surface; underwater.

A space explosion is an explosion that takes place at an altitude of several hundred kilometers from the earth’s surface, ie in outer space. Since there is almost no air in outer space, a shock wave is not formed in such an environment.

Significant energy of the explosion is released in the form of visible, ultraviolet and infrared, which convert the structural materials of the ammunition and its carrier (missile) into a highly ionized gas. Ionization in the atmosphere disrupts the work of space radio communications.

Altitude is an explosion that occurs at an altitude of several tens of kilometers from the earth’s surface, ie outside the troposphere.

During a high-altitude nuclear explosion, a significant part of the energy is released in the form of light, ultraviolet and infrared, so the characteristic feature of a nuclear explosion at high altitude is the extremely strong brightness of the fireball. Its light radiation can cause visual damage at a distance of more than 500 km, but skin burns at such distances are unlikely. A high-altitude nuclear explosion causes strong ionization in the upper atmosphere, which leads to a long-term (several hours) disruption of radio communications, which can lead to ship and aircraft accidents.

In the case of a high-altitude nuclear explosion, the impact on the special composition of troops and the population of such striking factors as shock wave, ionizing radiation and radioactive contamination of the area are practically excluded.

An explosion is an explosion that takes place at a height of several kilometers from the earth’s surface, ie within the troposphere, but the light ball does not touch the earth’s surface. Air explosions, in turn, are divided into high (occurring in the upper layers of the troposphere) and low (occurring in the lower layers of the troposphere).

Ground is an explosion that occurs above the ground when the light zone touches it and, as a rule, has the shape of a hemisphere, which lies at the base of the earth’s surface. In a ground-based nuclear explosion, a large amount of soil is dispersed and drawn into the cloud by air currents, mixing with the radioactive products of a nuclear explosion. The radioactive dust formed in this way, settling on the earth’s surface, creates a strong radioactive contamination of the area both in the area of ‚Äč‚Äčthe nuclear explosion and on the trail of the radioactive cloud.

The striking effect of an air shock wave, light and initial ionizing radiation extends slightly shorter distances than in an air explosion. But during a ground explosion, a seismic wave is formed, which leads to the destruction of the strongest structures in the area of ‚Äč‚Äčthe explosion.

An underground explosion is an underground explosion at any depth from its surface. At the same time it is necessary to distinguish between experimental and combat underground nuclear explosions. Experimental underground nuclear explosions are carried out in special mines at such depths at which no radioactive products are released into the open space.

The striking factors of a combat underground explosion are the same as in a ground explosion, but weaker air shock wave, light and penetrating radiation and stronger seismic waves in the soil and stronger radioactive contamination both in the area of ‚Äč‚Äčthe explosion and on the trail of radioactive.

Surface is an explosion during which the light zone touches the surface of the water. The factors that damage this explosion are the shock wave, as well as the waves that form on the surface of the water. The effect of light radiation and penetrating radiation is significantly attenuated by shielding a large mass of water vapor. Strong radioactive contamination of water occurs both in the area of ‚Äč‚Äčthe explosion and in the direction of its clouds.

Underwater is an explosion under water. During this explosion, a hollow water column (sultan) is formed with a large cloud at the top, which consists of radioactive vapor and gases. As a result of subsidence of a water column the base wave is formed. The main factor in the damage is the underwater wave, which is a danger to surface ships and submarines and various structures. Light radiation and penetrating radiation are almost completely absorbed by the water column and water vapor. There is a strong radioactive contamination of water, ships and the coast.

Characteristics of factors of nuclear explosion damage

The striking factors of a nuclear explosion that lead to sanitary losses among the personnel of the troops (population) are:

shock wave, light radiation, penetrating radiation during an explosion, radioactive contamination of the area, electromagnetic pulse, the effect of a nuclear explosion on the psyche.

The shock wave is the main factor of destructive and striking action. Represents a zone of compressed air, which is formed due to the strong expansion of gases in the center of the explosion and spreads at high speed (supersonic). The range depends on the power and type of explosion, the terrain and can be from 1 to 30 km. The nature of the impact on humans shock wave is not fundamentally different from conventional weapons, but the power is much higher.

Depending on the amount of excess pressure, there are the following degrees of damage and destruction:

20-40 kPa – mild degree of damage (slight contusion, bruise, etc.) and a zone of weak damage; 40-60 kPa – moderate degree of lesion (dislocations of the extremities, contusions of moderate severity, bleeding from the ears, nose, etc.), 60-100 kPa – severe lesions (severe contusions, injuries of the skull and skeleton, ruptures of the abdominal cavity) and the area of ‚Äč‚Äčsevere destruction; > 100 kPa – extremely severe degree of damage (there is damage to organs incompatible with life) and a zone of continuous destruction.

Depending on the type of explosion and the properties of the environment in which it occurs, in addition to the considered impact factor, others are possible, which include seismic waves in the soil, shock waves in water and surface gravitational waves.

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