Has the US ever been in a nuclear war?
During the final stages of World War II in 1945, the United States conducted atomic raids on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the first on August 6, 1945, and the second on August 9, 1945. These two events were the only times nuclear weapons have been used in combat.
The United States was the first country to manufacture nuclear weapons and is the only country to have used them in combat, with the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in World War II.
All U.S. nuclear weapons in the current stockpile were designed and produced in the 1970s and 1980s, with an original design life of 20 years. Since the end of U.S. nuclear production in 1991, the United States has developed and executed LEPs for weapon-types in the legacy Cold War stockpile.
The Cuban Missile Crisis of October 1962 was a direct and dangerous confrontation between the United States and the Soviet Union during the Cold War and was the moment when the two superpowers came closest to nuclear conflict.
The United States is reportedly missing six nuclear bombs to date. Although there were rumors that the bomb was retrieved by a Soviet submarine, no evidence has been found to support this, so it is still accepted that the Tybee bomb remains in its original dropped location.
The destructive power of a nuclear bomb is typically measured in terms of its yield, which is the amount of energy it releases. While a nuclear bomb could cause devastating damage to a city, it would not be able to destroy an entire country like the United States.
Irwin Redlener at Columbia University specialises in disaster preparedness and notes that there are six cities in the US that are more likely to be targeted in a nuclear attack – New York, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Washington DC.
FARO, Wayne County — United States military leaders have admitted to losing six nuclear weapons since 1950. Unsealed documents show one is in the Mediterranean Sea, two are in the Pacific Ocean, two in the Atlantic Ocean and one is in Eastern North Carolina.
The United States
The weapons are kept in submarines and 80-foot-deep missile silos across five of the Great Plains states. Others are stored at air force bases, where they can be loaded on long-range bombers. One hundred US bombs are deployed at airbases in five European countries.
The current ICBM force consists of Minuteman III missiles located at the 90th Missile Wing at F.E. Warren Air Force Base, Wyoming; the 341st Missile Wing at Malmstrom Air Force Base, Montana; and the 91st Missile Wing at Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota.
What is the doomsday clock in 2023?
2023 Doomsday Clock Announcement
The Clock now stands at 90 seconds to midnight—the closest to global catastrophe it has ever been.
In response, the Soviets readied their nuclear forces and placed air units in East Germany and Poland on alert. This "1983 war scare" is considered by many historians to be the closest the world has come to nuclear war since the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962.
Many nuclear historians agree that 27 October 1962, known as “Black Saturday”, was the closest the world came to nuclear catastrophe, as US forces enforced a blockade of Cuba to stop deliveries of Soviet missiles.
In short, the total available resources on our planet would plummet, and the loss of human life would be staggering. Scientists estimate losses counted in the billions. There isn't a nuclear bomb on Earth that could actually destroy the world, but they could destroy the world as we know it.
You'd need 290,000x 100 kilotonne Nuclear warheads to physically destroy the US by raw damage and not radiation coverage. That's 290,000 Warheads aimed to detonate evenly to maximise area coverage and cover the entire US landmass. The largest Nuke ever detonated was the Tsar Bomba at 50 Megatonnes.
So for now, the US' three lost hydrogen bombs – and, at the very least, a number of Soviet torpedoes – belong to the ocean, preserved as monuments to the risks of nuclear war, though they have largely been forgotten.
The resulting inferno, and the blast wave that follows, instantly kill people directly in their path. But a new study finds that some people two to seven miles away could survive—if they're lucky enough to find just the right kind of shelter.
An improvised nuclear device can have the same destructive force as 10,000 tons of TNT and would do catastrophic damage if it exploded in New York City. A nuclear explosion could destroy many buildings within a half mile from where it exploded.
Each impact creates a fireball about as hot as the core of the sun, followed by a radioactive mushroom cloud. These intense explosions vaporize people nearby and cause fires and blindness further away. The fireball expansion then causes a blast wave that damages buildings, crushing nearby ones.
Some estimates name Maine, Oregon, Northern California, and Western Texas as some of the safest locales in the case of nuclear war, due to their lack of large urban centers and nuclear power plants.
What does 90 seconds to midnight mean?
At 90 seconds to midnight, the "Doomsday Clock" is now the closest it has ever been to midnight. It is the first time it has moved since it was set at 100 seconds to midnight in 2020. Its setting reflects a world in which Russia's invasion of Ukraine has revived fears of nuclear war.
The 10-kiloton nuclear device would most likely be assembled near a large U.S. city. The cities that would most likely be attacked are Washington, New York City and Los Angeles. Using a van or SUV, the device could easily be delivered to the heart of a city and detonated.
A hydrogen bomb has never been used in battle by any country, but experts say it has the power to wipe out entire cities and kill significantly more people than the already powerful atomic bomb, which the U.S. dropped in Japan during World War II, killing tens of thousands of people.
The explosive power of a thermonuclear bomb can be hundreds or thousands of times more powerful than atomic bombs. While the force of the bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki were measured in kilotons (one thousand tons) of TNT, the force of thermonuclear bombs is measured in megatons (a million tons).
The nuclear weapons are thought to be stored at an estimated 24 geographical locations in 11 US states and five European countries. The location with the most nuclear weapons by far is the large Kirtland Underground Munitions and Maintenance Storage Complex south of Albuquerque, New Mexico.