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Consequences of Regional-Scale Nuclear Conflicts: Understanding and Avoiding Nuclear Catastrophe Brian Toon Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics University of Colorado, Boulder History of Nuclear Warheads

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Presentation Transcript
slide1

Consequences

of Regional-Scale Nuclear Conflicts: Understanding and Avoiding Nuclear Catastrophe

Brian Toon

Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences

Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics

University of Colorado, Boulder

slide2

History of Nuclear Warheads

R.S. Norris, H.M. Kristensen, Bull. Atom. Scientists, 62 (4), 64 (2006).

nuclear weapons states
Nuclear Weapons States

NWS

Israel, 116 (102-130)

DeFacto

North Korea, 10?, 2007

Pakistan, 52 (44-62), 1998

India, 85 (65-110), 1974, 1998

South Africa 7, dismantled 1989, 1979?

D. Albright, F. Berkhout, W. Walker, Plutonium and Highly Enriched Uranium, 1996 (Oxford, 1997) http://www.isis-online.org

R.S. Norris, H.M. Kristensen, Bull. Atom. Scientists, 61 (3), 64 (2005).

fatality estimates for nuclear wars
Fatality Estimates for Nuclear Wars

The deaths per kt are 100 times greater for small yield weapons than for large ones.

fuel loading per person
Fuel loading per person

We assume fuel loading is proportional to population

summary
Summary
  • The number of nuclear states is growing
  • 40 countries have enough fissionable materials for 1-104 weapons.
  • Modern nuclear weapons are small and lightweight. One weapon detonated by a terrorist could cause a million casualties.
  • 50 nuclear explosions of 15 kt yield can cause as many fatalities as once projected for a full scale “counterforce” war between the superpowers.
  • Large amounts of smoke can be generated from a regional war that could trigger global climate change and ozone loss affecting non-combatant countries.
slide14

Based on the Papers:

ATMOSPHERIC EFFECTS AND SOCIETAL CONSEQUENCES OF REGIONAL SCALE NUCLEAR CONFLICTSAND ACTS OF INDIVIDUAL NUCLEAR TERRORISMOwen B. Toon, Richard P. Turco, Alan Robock, Charles Bardeen, Luke Oman, Georgiy L. StenchikovAtmos. Chem. Phys. . 7, 2003-2012, 2007

and

CLIMATIC CONSEQUENCES OF REGIONAL SCALE NUCLEAR CONFLICTSAlan Robock, Luke Oman, Georgiy L. Stenchikov, Owen B. Toon, Charles Bardeen, Richard P. Turco Atmos. Chem. Phys., 7, 1973-2002, 2007

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40 countries have the fissile material to build at least one bomb

1-100 weapons

100-1000 weapons

>1000 weapons

D. Albright, F. Berkhout, W. Walker, Plutonium and Highly Enriched Uranium, 1996 (Oxford, 1997) http://www.isis-online.org