Surviving All Out Nuclear Fallout

Harrison Balfour, Staff Editor

The United States has 3,800 working nuclear warheads, Russia has 1,600. This amount of Nuclear warheads is enough to destroy the world. Keep in mind I am not counting all the other countries with nukes. Today, I will be discussing the chances of survival if all these Nukes were shot all over the world and left earth burnt to the mantle. 


According to the Global Catastrophic Risk Conference in Oxford, the chances of 1 billion or more people dying in a nuclear fallout is only 10%. Most would survive until the long term effects set in. For discussion purposes, let’s say that only 4 of the nuclear warheads are thermonuclear. Thermonuclear is the most deadly nuclear warhead invented. The blast radius is almost double a regular nuclear warheads distance. From 3.33km to 6 km. a thermonuclear can easily knock over a 3 story building and can cause 756 km/h wind speeds. To put these numbers in perspective, this thermonuclear bomb is half as strong as a  hurricane. If you survive the actual blast and find a suitable structure to shield you from the wind then you might survive three days. Any longer, and you will need water. Land for miles will be radiation contaminated. One sip or bite of food would kill you. Even if you find fresh water, good luck finding food. The more common and smaller nuclear warheads will still do damage to anything or anyone caught in a blast zone. 183 of the regular nukes and 2 of the Tsar Bomba size nukes (the biggest nuclear weapon), would make the United States unlivable and kill almost every living thing. 


While I was researching this topic, I came across a book called Metro 2033. Metro 2033 entertains the thought of if nuclear bombs dropped all over Russia. The people retreated to the Russian metro and created a city below the radiated ground. I realize this book is fiction, it has radiated monsters that attack the metro city, but it did get me thinking about humanity surviving like how our ancestors survived 65 million years ago when the asteroid hit, underground. I believe that humans have the best chance for survival underground. The survivors might even form civilized city-states if enough survive. 


In Metro 2033, a man survives in a fridge. He survives hundreds of bombs dropping in a lead filled fridge. According to, the chances of surviving in on land bunkers that are meant to survive regular bombardment is about 50-50 if the radiation does not get to them first from a nearby bomb. The main point of what I am saying is the world will be destroyed and food and water will be scarce. The best chance of survival is a short term, a fridge. long term, an underground structure preferable with a lot of lead to block most of the radiation that will soak through the ground the  weeks after dropping.Try to save as many people that your resources allow. 

Humanity loves to be part of a family or group. I would take advantage of this and unite all of Russia under one flag. If I was in that position, I would take all the weapons and give them to designated protectors. I would assign these protectors to keep raiders out and make sure no one steals food or water.  Anyone that disagrees or threatens a mutiny, will be thrown out into the extremely dangerous outside. I would be a very strict dictator.I would unite the city states and reach out to other survivors around the world using the media, such as radio stations, television and maybe even through the internet, if these still exist. If you can avoid the dangers and live, then the nuclear fallout is not that bad of a place. Nuclear weapons are like the foot stepping on the humanity anthill. Ants always survive.