“The initial nuclear radiation would subject tens of thousands of square miles to lethal doses.” Schell, Jonathan. Fate of the Earth. New York: Alfred A. Knopf Inc., 1982, p. 58.
NUCLEAR WAR FACT: The total area of initial nuclear radiation for a twenty-KT weapon is 3.1 square miles.
Referring to Effects of Nuclear Weapons, a one-MT weapon has an initial radiation (neutron) radius of only 1.75 miles for sickness doses. This calculates to a total maximum area of initial radiation of 9.6 square miles for a one-MT nuclear weapon. This distance is a far cry from tens of thousands of square miles. The total area of initial nuclear radiation for a twenty-KT weapon is 3.1 square miles. It should also be pointed out that the kiloton weapons develop the highest level of initial nuclear radiation relative to blast, not the megaton weapons, and initial or neutron radiation has a life of less than sixty seconds.18