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  • Reporter: Dropping a nuclear bomb inside a hurricane.

  • Reporter: Drop a nuclear bomb on them.

  • Reporter: The president suggested bombing a hurricane

  • on multiple occasions.

  • Briefers reportedly told the president, quote,

  • "We'll look into that."

  • Narrator: Believe it or not, President Donald Trump

  • isn't the first person to suggest we nuke a hurricane.

  • Back in the '50s, a meteorologist named Jack Reed

  • introduced the idea as a way to prevent hurricanes

  • from reaching the coast.

  • Announcer: High- and low-pressure areas

  • are recorded hourly at each station.

  • Narrator: And people have been asking why

  • we don't nuke hurricanes ever since.

  • In fact, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

  • has been asked this question so much,

  • it has a web page dedicated to answering just that.

  • Alex Wellerstein: So, if you set off a nuclear weapon

  • in a hurricane, not only do we still have a hurricane,

  • now you have a radioactive hurricane.

  • So, that's not a positive development.

  • Narrator: For perspective, a hurricane can generate

  • the same amount of energy throughout its lifetime

  • as 10,000 nuclear bombs.

  • And the physical size of a hurricane

  • is a major issue as well.

  • Hurricane Irma measured 420 miles across.

  • That's 70 times as large as the blast zone for "Little Boy,"

  • the nuclear bomb dropped over Hiroshima.

  • So, detonating an atomic bomb inside a hurricane

  • is sort of like poking a rhino with a stick

  • and expecting it to just get out of your way.

  • It's not gonna happen.

  • Oh, and then there's the issue of

  • highly radioactive nuclear fallout.

  • Wellerstein: Best-case scenario

  • is that it rains out very quickly.

  • And so the area that you set the weapon off

  • becomes highly radioactive and contaminated.

  • That's your best-case scenario.

  • A more worse-case scenario is

  • what if that somehow stays in the hurricane

  • and moves as the hurricane, say, makes landfall?

  • Narrator: In a worst-case scenario, winds from the hurricane

  • would quickly distribute the radiation throughout

  • the entire storm.

  • Basically turning it from a massive storm with wind and rain

  • into a massive storm with radioactive wind and rain

  • that's 10 times larger and millions of times more powerful

  • than any nuclear bomb in history.

  • Not to mention, hurricanes move fast.

  • In 2012, Hurricane Sandy traveled over 2,000 miles

  • from the Caribbean Sea up the US East Coast

  • in just 10 days.

  • And we know from past experience

  • what nuclear fallout does to an ocean and people nearby.

  • Wellerstein: It was in 1954, the United States set off

  • a very large thermonuclear weapon in the Marshall Islands,

  • and it contaminated a lot of fish in the area.

  • Japan ended up having a moratorium on fish consumption

  • for some time as a result of this.

  • And you could detect the radioactivity in fish

  • for thousands of miles.

  • Narrator: Plus, scientists estimated that 55%

  • of all cancers in those living closest to the bomb site

  • might be attributed to the bomb's nuclear fallout.

  • So, if we had nuked, say, Hurricane Sandy,

  • not only would there have been the $65 billion

  • in damage repair,

  • but who knows how much more it would have cost in

  • the additional damage to fishing industries, healthcare,

  • and even the simplest things you might not think about.

  • Wellerstein: Because you can't just rebuild the house.

  • Now you've also got to remove, you know,

  • several inches of topsoil

  • and destroy the original material

  • and rebuild it from scratch if you want people to be able

  • to live there without increasing the cancer risk.

  • Narrator: Suffice it to say, nuking a hurricane,

  • as NOAA puts it, is "not a good idea."

  • Wellerstein: It's less of a sort of doomsday scenario

  • as it is just a, like, really bad idea.

  • No-benefit scenario.

Reporter: Dropping a nuclear bomb inside a hurricane.

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What If We Nuked A Hurricane?

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    林宜悉 posted on 2021/01/04
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