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Allegan County Health Dept.
3255 122nd Ave, Ste. 200
Allegan, MI 49010
Phone: (269) 673-5411
Fax: (269) 673-4172

HOURS: 8:00am - 5:00pm
Monday - Friday

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Nuclear Warfare

Utilizes a “device, such as a bomb or warhead, whose great explosive power derives from the release of nuclear energy.” (2) Nuclear weapons are powered by atomic energy, rather than by a chemical processes. (3) “Nuclear weapons produce large explosions and hazardous radioactive by products by means of either nuclear fission or nuclear fusion. Nuclear weapons can be delivered by artillery, plane, ship, or ballistic missile (ICBM); some can also fit inside a suitcase. Tactical nuclear weapons can have the explosive power of a fraction of a kiloton (one kiloton equals 1,000 tons of TNT), while strategic nuclear weapons can produce thousands of kilotons of explosive force.” (3

Primary Weapons

An atomic bomb is “an explosive weapon of great destructive power derived from the rapid release of energy in the fission of heavy atomic nuclei, as of uranium 235.” (4)
A hydrogen bomb is “an explosive weapon of enormous destructive power caused by the fusion of the nuclei of various hydrogen isotopes in the formation of helium nuclei.” (5)
“A suitcase bomb is a bomb which uses a suitcase as its delivery method. While conventional bombs can be hidden in any type of container, suitcase bombs have been threats primarily in two different contexts: conventional bombs in suitcases on airplanes (where there are many suitcases, and where even a small bomb will cause a crash), and suitcases with small nuclear weapons inside (sometimes called suitcase nukes).” (7) Suitcase bomb
The energy released from a nuclear weapon comes in four primary categories:
  • Blast—40-60% of total energy
  • Thermal radiation—30-50% of total energy
  • Ionizing radiation—5% of total energy
  • Residual radiation (fallout)—5-10% of total energy
The amount of energy released in each form depends on the design of the weapon, and the environment in which it is detonated. The residual radiation of fallout is a delayed release of energy, while the other three forms of energy release are immediate. (8)
Nuclear Explosion
This image is a work of a United States Department of Energy employee, taken or made during the course of an employee's official duties. As a work of the U.S. federal government, the image is in the public domain.
Nucleur Warhead
This image is a work of a sailor or employee of the U.S. Navy, taken or made during the course of the person's official duties. As a work of the U.S. federal government, the image is in the public domain.
Nucleur Bomb
Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts, and no Back-Cover Texts. Subject to disclaimers.
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