Linus Pauling: Take the Bravo Bomb, that we exploded at Bikini, and with similar bombs exploded since then by the USSR and Great Britain.
What damage would it do if it were used in a nuclear war? It would smash a city flat over an area 20 miles in diameter. When
it is exploded, 2 or 3 miles, or 4 miles above the surface of the Earth, above the center of the city, it would just smash
the city flat and kill everybody in this area 20 miles in diameter. It is estimated that the blast-fire and immediate radiation
effects that you get in the first second after the explosion of the bomb would, in the case of a bomb exploded over New York,
kill 6.5 million people.
In addition, the bomb produces great amounts of radioactive materials. In the case of a "ground burst", which means a burst
within a couple of miles of the surface of the earth, so that the fireball strikes the earth - the fireball has the temperature
of the sun, it is a great ball 4 miles in diameter - when the fireball strikes the surface of the Earth it vaporizes the concrete
and steel of the buildings and the soil, leaving a hole 300 feet deep there and perhaps 3/4 mile wide. The vaporized material
then condenses as the fireball expands and then traps the highly radioactive substances produced by the fission of the plutonium
and uranium. These highly radioactive materials which are in the little droplets of condensed material, then fall to earth
within a period of two or three hours, and seriously contaminate an area of about 7,000 square miles. The amount of radiation
that people in this area, on the average, would recieve during the first day from the radioactive materials, is equal to 30
times the amount necessary to cause people to die of acute radiation sickness.
If someone receives a dose of radiation of about 500 roentgen - the roentgen is a unit of high-energy radiation - if someone
receives a dose to his whole body of about 500 roentgen, he begins to be sick, to feel nauseated and feverish, he begins to
suffer from internal bleeding, and in a few days he is apt to be dead. One thousand roentgen is sure to kill anybody who receives
this radiation in a short period of time. The people within this area of 7,000 square miles are almost sure to die from acute