“A common intercontinental ballistic missile carries a one-megaton warhead containing the explosive power of one million tons of TNT or sixty-seven Hiroshima bombs.” Kennedy, Edward, and Mark Hatfield. Freeze. New York: Bantam Books, 1982, p. 11.
NUCLEAR WAR FACT: 67x the size does not equate to 67 times the damage.
Currently there are very few megaton weapons in the arsenals of any countries, and virtually all the weapons are in the kiloton range. This statement does have some truth in that a one-MT weapon does have the explosive power of one million tons of TNT, which is sixty-seven times larger than the Hiroshima bomb. However, it cannot inflict sixty-seven times the damage to a target. In regard to weapon yield, the laws of physics do not progress linearly. For example, a fifty-KT surface burst develops 20-psi (pounds per square inch) overpressure at approximately 0.5 miles from ground zero. A one-MT surface burst, which is fifty times greater, produces 20-psi overpressure at only 1.2 miles from ground zero, not twenty-five miles. Because of this progression and more accurate missile guidance systems, the nuclear arsenals are now composed almost entirely of weapons in the kiloton range. The truth about nuclear weapons is bad enough; the effects don’t have to be exaggerated many-fold.14