The Little Boys always grow up too fast…

Most substantial Nuclear developments (At least the advances to which the world was privy to anyways):
Ivy King: 500 Kilotons*,
B53 : 9,000 Kilotons,
Castle Bravo : 15,000 Kilotons
& finally The Tzar Bomba : 50,000 Kilotons

*(In case you’re not aware, A kiloton = One thousand tons of TNT)

Following on from my last piece (If anyone actually read it**), This time we’re going to delve just a little bit into how Atomic Bombs (or Nuclear Warheads as the media commonly refers to them as) developed over time. The most significant one, the Tzar Bomba (50,000 KTs), was developed by the Russians in 1961. Now, 50,000 kilotons is no small number and certainly no joke.

However, before we go any further, I feel its imperative to refer back to the infamous bombings that forced a bloody end to a pretty messy WWII. Explosions that were considered so catastrophic that Japan was forced to fold their cards and concede defeat. Any guesses as to how how many Kilotons of TNT were packed into those bombs?

The Fat Man (Dropped on Nagasaki) & Little Boy (Dropped on Hiroshima) had 15 & 21 kilotons of TNT respectively. That’s it. Hard to believe? It definitely was for me. These bombs which leveled those Japanese cities and killed more than a 100,000 (200,000 according to other sources) were merely a shadow of what Nuclear Power would become.

So if 15 KTs decimated a city, what could 50,000 KTs do?

First, Lets hope humanity does not have to ever endure a scenario where this happens. When the Tzar Bomba was tested, its detonation was so strong that windows in three other countries were broken and it produced a mushroom cloud 40 miles high. It was said that if there were spectators even as far as 60 miles away, they would have experienced third degree burns.

I’ll give you peeps some time to process this, especially since it took my pessimistic self a while to contemplate not-so-pretty scenarios. I mean are we really ever going to feel safe knowing that a man or group of individuals have the power to decimate anyone or anything with 50,000 KILOTONS of TNT?

In other words, As long as Nuclear with such destructive potential exists, I don’t see humanity getting a happy ending any time soon.


Never Forget the Little Boy and the Fat Man…

   Despite what the title might suggest, I’m afraid this is not one of those didactic stories with a crystal clear moral conveniently present at the end of the ride. Or perhaps it is. You be the Judge.
Regardless, I’m sure you’re at least a little bewildered by the title?

Let me clarify, This “Little Boy” I talk of, weighed roughly 140 lbs and his brother, the “Fat Man” weighed 14 lbs. Even though they were genetically different, when they were unleashed onto the world both had unparalleled carnage at the time and shook the world to it’s very core, with the 140 pounder causing the ultimate massacre. Still perplexed? If you know your chemistry (I had to do a bit of research since I don’t) you will have a fairly decent idea from the following: The genetic difference is that of plutonium and uranium.

No worries if you’re still confused, I’m going to stop beating around the bush and get right to it: Hiroshima, August 6th & Nagasaki, August 9th 1945.

Ring a bell? I’ll be damned if it didn’t.

This “Little Boy” killed 90,000166,000 people when it was dropped on Hiroshima , with the “Fat Man” killing 39,00080,000 in its respective city of Nagasaki. That’s somewhere between 129,000 to 246,000 human lives. Human lives not dissimilar to you and I.
And it doesn’t end there, Just about half of these deaths occurred on the first day. So lets say you were in Nagasaki or Hiroshima and miraculously survived the initial blast (Reportedly equivalent to 15,000 Tons of TNT), the radiation poisoning would most probably lead to your genes mutating and Cancer, even if you were exposed to only a moderate dose. Not to mention your children & grandchildren would suffer with similar conditions due to the ramifications posed (Leukemia among other cancers) by the exposure to Nuclear radiation. All in all it would probably be a gruesome experience, with an unnatural death a very plausible ending.
Not pretty is it?

Although The Fat Man and Little Boy were retired in ’50 and ’51 respectively, it was not out of humanity but out of them being overshadowed by newer and more powerful upgrades. Which makes one ponder the question: What monstrous behemoths awaits mankind after more than 50 years of biological and chemical research on these Nuclear Warheads & Why do nations pride themselves on advances in this field?

I’ll talk more about this in upcoming posts, for now let us take a moment to remember the tragedy that the world likes to conveniently overlook.

“I’d rather change the world, than let it change me”