.. wo different types of fires, which are created when flammable materials are ignited by the thermal radiation. The first type is called firestorms. A firestorm is violent, has raging winds, and has extremely high temperatures; but fortunately it does not spread very rapidly. The second type is called a conflagration.
A conflagration is when the fire spreads in a front (International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, 1982). The thermal radiation produced by the atomic bomb’s explosion will account for most of the deaths or injuries. In Hiroshima and Nagasaki the thermal radiation accounted for approximately twenty to thirty percent of the deaths or injuries from the atomic bomb’s explosion. Those that were at a distance of four and two hundredths of a kilometer from the hypocenter received first degree burns. Those that were at a distance of three and one half kilometers from the hypocenter received second degree burns.
Those that were at a distance of ninety-seven hundredths of a kilometer from the hypocenter received third degree burns (International Physicains for the Prevention of Nuclear War, 1982). Ninety-five percent of the burns created from the thermal radiation were by flash burns, and only five percent of the burns were by flame burns. The reason for this low number of flame burns is that only two to ten percent of the buildings caught on fire (International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, 1982). By combining the damage from both the flash and flame burns one can begin to see the effects that an atomic bomb’s thermal radiation had. Approximately sixty thousand in Hiroshima, and approximately forty-one thousand people were either killed or injured from the thermal radiation (The Committee for the Compliation of Materials on Damage Caused by the Atomic Bombs in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, 1981).
The final effect that an atomic bomb caused is the nuclear radiation produced from the fission process. The cuclear radiation comes in the form of either Gamma rays or Beta particles. Gamma rays are electromagnetic radiation originating in the atomic nuclei, physically identical to x-rays. They can enter into living tissue extremely easily. Beta particles are negatively charged particles, identical to an electron moving at a high velocity (International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, 1982). These forms of nuclear radiation are measured in rads (radiation-absorbed-dose), which is defined as teh absorption of five ten millionths joule per gram of abosorbing material (International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, 1982).
During the initial nuclear radiation mostly Gamma rays are emitted from the fireball. This period of initial nuclear radiation lasts for approximately one minute. During the residual nuclear period (fallout) the Beta particles and more of the Gamma rays are emitted. The residual radiation has two stages: early fallout and delayed fallout. In early fallout, the heavyand highly radioactive particles fall back to the earth, usually within the first twenty-four hours.
In delayed fallout, the tiny and often invisible particles fall back to the earth, and usually last from a couple od days to several years (Physicians and Scientists on Nuclear War, 1981 and World Book, 1990). The nuclear radiation from the atomic bomb’s explosion was not the main cause of death, but it did still have serious results. In Hiroshima, the initial nuclear radiation was spread over a distance of approximately fifty-three hundredths of a kilometer. In Nagasaki, the initial nuclear radiation only spread one and six thousandths of a kilometer (The Committee for the Compilation of Materials on Damage Caused by the Atomic Bombs in Hiroshima nad Nagasaki, 1981). The reason why the nuclear radiation was not the main caused of deaths or injuries was that the atomic bomb was detonated so high in the atmosphere; approximately five hundred and seventy meters in Hiroshima, and approximately five hundred and ten meters in Nagasaki (Outlaw Labs).
Even without causing many deaths the nuclear radiation probably caused the most serious effects. Those with definite proof were those of increased rates of cataracts, leukemia, cancer of the thyroid, cancer of the breast, cancer of the lungs, cancer of the stomach, and mental retardation on babies in utero. Those that had substantial but not definite proof were those of tumors of the esophagus, tumors of the colon, tumors of the salivary glands, and tumors of the urinary tract organs. Those that had no definite nor substantial proof were those of increased rates of birth mortality, birth defects, infertility, and susceptibility towards illnesses (Physicians and Scientists on Nuclear War, 1981). The total number of people effected by the nuclear radiation was estimated to be thiry-five thousand people in Hiroshima, and twenty-one thousand people in Nagasaki (The Committee on Damage Caused by the Atomic Bomb in Hiroshima and Nagasaki). Either the blast, the thermal radiation, or the nuclear radiation from an atomic bomb explosion will have severe effects on both humans and on the environment in which they live in.
The only two cities that have ever experienced having an atomic bomb being exploded on them were the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki during World War II. In Hirsohima, the total number killed was one hundred and eithteen thousand six hundred and sixty-one. The total number severely injured was thrity thousand five hundred and twenty-four. The number slightly injured was forty-eight thousadn six hundred and six. The total number missing was three thousand and six hundred and seventy-seven.
In Nagasaki, the total number killed was seventy-three thousand eitght hundred and eighty-four. The total number severely injured was seventy-four thousand nine hundred and nine. The total number slightly injured was one hundred and twenty thousand eight hundred and twenty (The Committee for the Compliation of Materials on Damage Caused by the Atomic Bombs in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, 1981). With statistics like these it is clearly seen that Pope John Paul II was right when he said, “Any nuclear war would inevitably cause death, disease, and suffering of pandemic proportions and without the possibility of effective medical intervention. The only hope for humanity is prevention of any form of Nuclear War.” The examples of Hiroshima and Nagasaki will hopefully be the first and the last time that the power of the atomic bomb will ever be used.