Natural lithium has been used with success in fusion bomb designs, but modern light weight designs seem to use lithium enriched in Li-6. Much of the destruction caused by a nuclear explosion is due to blast effects. This is based on thermal radiation just sufficient to cause 3rd degree burns (8 calories/cm^2); a 4.6 psi blast overpressure (and optimum burst height); and a 500 rem radiation dose. If the site had been occupied during this period, the effective exposure for radiation sickness effects would be 1100/(48 weeks)^0.26 = 403 rads. The timing of the pulse can be precisely controlled. 220.127.116.11 Prompt Radiation Emission From Nuclear Explosions. As powerful as the trigger is, there is a limit to how large a capsule it can compress in the brief time available. The thickness ranges indicate the varying shielding effect for different gamma ray energies. These voltages can destroy unshielded electronics. There is always a chance where there can be a serious accident if something goes wrong. The Tambora eruption of 1815 (the largest volcanic eruption in recent history) was followed by "the year without summer" in 1816, the coldest year in the last few centuries. An important concept to understand is the distinction between _whole body doses_ and radiation exposures concentrated in particular organs.  A firestorm has gale-force winds blowing in towards the center of the fire from all points of the compass. Although the subject is complex, a simplified guide to estimating the prompt radiation exposure from nuclear explosions is given here. They represent a hazard when nuclear weapons are involved in "broken arrow" incidents, that is, accidents where the fissile isotopes inside are released. A high performance explosive can generate shock wave pressures of 400 kilobars (four hundred thousand atmospheres), implosion convergence and other concentration techniques can boost this to several megabars. Pattison, J.E., Hugtenburg, R.P., Beddoe, A.H., and Charles, M.W. When death occurs, it is usually 2-12 weeks after exposure and results from infection and hemorrhage. Like EMP, this effect becomes important with high altitude bursts. The explosion of several thousands of fission megatons in the atmosphere could raise the average body burden of the entire human race to above the occupational exposure limit for Sr-90 for a couple of generations. Eye tissue exposed to radiation shows an increased incidence of cataracts at dose levels below which most tissues show increased cancer rates. High-profile indeed. Cancer risk to radiation exposure can be expressed as the increase in the lifetime probability of contracting fatal cancer per unit of radiation.  Theory suggests that a nuclear explosion could trigger fault rupture and cause a major quake at distances within a few tens of kilometers from the shot point.. Safety exposure standards impose a Sr-90 body burden limit of 2 microcuries (14 nanograms) for occupational exposure, 0.2 microcuries for individual members of the general population, and 0.067 microCi averaged over the whole population. Despite the extreme intensity of thermal radiation, and the extraordinary surface temperatures that occur, it has less incendiary effect than might be supposed.
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