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Allegedly, during the Cold War with Russia, agents from that country planted numerous briefcase nukes at strategic locations within the United States. If one assumes this to be true, what would happen if all of those small nuclear devices were detonated s Essay Example

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  • Level:
    Undergraduate
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4COLD WAR

COLD WAR WITH RUSSIA

Name of School

Cold War with Russia

Question 1

If all of the nuclear devices were detonated simultaneously they would cause great harm and a lot of damage to buildings, humans and infrastructure due to the shock waves. It would cause harm to people’s health due to the radiation interacting with matter which greatly increases the risk of certain types of cancer. Delayed effects are also experienced sometimes for years. The magnitude and the radius of the blast effect would be subject to the height of the burst above ground level and also the size of the nuke (Pitchel 2011). Also the location of the nukes could mean they could cover a lot of ground if they exploded together and were the same size and weight of a minimum 15kgs for maximum results.

Question 2

Effects of the Tsar Bomba included a fireball that was estimated to be eight kilometers in diameter that did not touch the ground on account of the shock waves intensity. It reached almost as high as the plane used to release the bomb which was almost 1000 kilometers away. The bombs estimated yield was 50-60 megatons. The mushroom cloud was 65 kilometers high and was above the stratosphere. The cap of the mushroom was 95 kilometers and the base was 40 kilometers (Priyadarshani 2015). Communication on radio was interrupted while buildings that were hundreds of kilometers away got destroyed especially those made of wooden or light materials. Stone buildings lost roofs and doors. Thermal pulses were felt as far away as 250 kilometers. And other effects as far as Norway. The probability of use in a military operation is low as it damage would cause untold harm leading to greater chaos. Weapons of such capability have also been decommissioned in the past.

Question 3

The three categories of biological agent include the category A diseases that have organisms that have risks to national security, can easily be disseminated, have high mortality rates. They can cause disruptions to the public and need special preparedness in terms of health. Category B follows being moderately easy to spread, has low mortality rates and requires enhancements in surveillance and diagnostic capacities. Category C is last covering pathogens that can be used to duplicated for use in the future due to availability. Easy to produce while having a high mortality rate and high morbidity (Pappas 2006). An example of category A is anthrax, for category B there is brucellosis and for category C is the Nipah virus. Ethics regarding the use of these weapons to fight terrorism include the notification of relevant authorities where there is the suspected possibility of use of such weapon. During research they should be used to provide scientific knowledge not inflicting harm. Information on the agents should be given to people who are thought to be trustworthy enough not to use it to inflict harm. Research activities should adhere to strict safety measures to prevent any mishaps from happening that could cause harm in huge dimensions.

References

Pichtel, John. Terrorism and WMDs: awareness and response. CRC Press, 2011.

Pappas, G., et al. «Biological weapons.» Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences CMLS 63.19-20 (2006): 2229-2236.

Priyadarshani, H. E. N., and R. Samarawickrama. «An Analytical Study on Nuclear Weapon Testing, Controlling and Eliminating the Use of Nuclear Weapons.» Defence and Strategic Studies (2015): 115.