How Powerful Are Modern Nuclear Weapons?

How Powerful Are Modern Nuclear Weapons?

On July 16th, 1945 the first ever nuclear
weapon was detonated in a New Mexico desert. At the time, the Trinity test was one of the
largest manmade explosions ever. Nuclear blasts are measured in TNT, and this one yielded
about 20 thousand tons of TNT. That size blast would cover an estimated area of about five
square miles in radioactivity. But in the 70 years since, nearly 2,000 nuclear tests
have been performed, and about 125,000 nuclear bombs have been built. So we wanted to know,
how powerful are modern nuclear weapons? Well, most people think of the nuclear bombings
of Hiroshima and Nagasaki during World War Two as extraordinarily powerful explosions.
Combined, they yielded about 36 thousands tons of TNT. But 16 years later, the Tsar
Bomba was built, designed to be about 3,000 times more powerful. It was originally supposed
to deliver a yield of 100 million tons, which would destroy an area the size of Connecticut.
The weapon was built by the Soviet Union as a display of power against the United States,
and was tested with a yield of fifty million tons of TNT. That test is, to this day, the
most powerful man made explosion in history. But that was more than 50 years ago. So did
the US one-up the Soviet Union and build their own 200 megaton bomb? In fact, they did the
opposite. During the Cold War, the actual point of building more nuclear weapons was
mutually assured destruction. If the Soviets nuke the US, they might as well be nuking
themselves. For this system to work, the US determined that they’d need the equivalent
of 400 million tons of TNT in their nuclear arsenal. Instead of building one giant bomb,
they diversified into thousands of relatively lower yield weapons. Additionally, new rockets
called “MIRVs” were developed to carry multiple nuclear warheads, thereby upping
the maximum yield. By the end of the Cold War, the US was estimated
to hold about 3.8 billion tons worth of nuclear weapon yield. But in the years following,
the US and Russia signed a series of nuclear disarmament treaties, promising to limit their
stockpile to about 2,000 deployed weapons each. Today, nine countries are believed to have
nuclear weapons. The US and Russia hold about fifteen thousand nukes, with the other seven
countries holding between 8 and 300 nukes each. The most powerful thermonuclear weapon
currently in the US’s arsenal yields 1.2 million tons, equal to about 200 square miles
of devastation. Meanwhile, China is believed to have a 5 million ton yield weapon within
their active arsenal. And although Russia was once the world leader in giant nuclear
bombs, in recent years, they’ve retired their largest, 20 million ton bombs. Similarly,
the US dismantled their nine million ton B53 bomb in 2011. From the start of the nuclear arms race to
today, weapon yields have varied dramatically. In the late 1950s, and tactical nuclear gun
was even developed, which fired the smallest nuclear bomb ever, called the Davy Crockett.
It was 2 and a half million times smaller than the yield of the Tsar Bomba. Clearly,
nowadays it doesn’t really matter how big your nuclear weapons are. Every single one
is capable of unmitigated devastation. So now we know the true force of nuclear weapons
today. But which countries actually have them? Find out in the video up above. You can also
check out my own reporting on fallout from Fukushima in the box below. Thanks for watching
TestTube News! Be sure to like and subscribe for new videos. Have a great one.


  1. The Davy Crockett was not the smallest nuke, technically. The U.S. designed a nuclear grenade, we just couldn't find anybody dumb enough to throw it. Last I heard, we sent the schematics in an Easter basket to Poland. Inside, a card read "Thanks for all your contributions to humanity.
    BFF, ❤ the U.S. Have a nice day 😁

  2. Nuclear war is always presented as a case of logic being presumed as infallible. Attack me which causes me to attack you; we all die therefore no point in doing it in the first place. Jesus. You do realise how many seriously crazy people don't know or care at all about what 'logic' happens to be?

  3. The primary reason both the U.S. and the Soviets looked to increase yield was the inherent inaccuracy of most of the delivery systems.  Weapons accuracy is measured by what is known as circular error probable, this is a circle within which statistically half of shots would fall.  The bigger that circle, the less accurate the weapon.  Because many of these early delivery systems had CEPs measured in miles, both sides sought to increase the yield to ensure the target would be destroyed.  As accuracy improved, the need for massively high yields was lessened.

  4. Basically, a 50 megaton yield weapon is destructive and all, but it’s useless if a cargo jet is needed to transport it to the drop site. What countries need are small nukes with yields is the 100kt-1MT range that can be put on ICBMs and cruise missiles.

  5. 3:02 wow! A nuclear rocket propelled grenade launcher with perhaps a few kilotons yield!! Nice!! Let us just shoot this badass at that annoying tank at a few yards targeting our position and see if we can outrun the blast too!! XD

    Now this is something stupid i think it would happen if this weapon were to be mass manufactured and used in action.

  6. Disarming is not equal to rearming. Someone told me that just because they said that they disarmed the nuclear bombs of the past doesn't mean they can't rebuild them in less than a second.

  7. The former USSR left a radioactive mess 100 times bigger than Hanford at Semipalitinsk and other regions, the Greeenpeace documents destroyed 40 years ago using stolen plans from the USA in the first place. If it was not for USA ingenuity and immense effort in such a short span of time,, the Soviets would've been crushed a long time ago.

  8. Majority of animal specie have their own area or territory. We humans call ourselves disciplined and evolved than other animals and on the contrary it's we who make our kingdoms , empires and countries… If we humans behave like "dogs" who mark their territory with a flag then how are we different from them? Are we different because we use "Flags" to mark our territory instead of "something" else?

  9. 1.2 megatons is pretty small. Obama ordered getting rid of the larger weapons. He's a KGB agent. Almost destroyed the U.S.

  10. so 200 miles = 1.2 tons
    5 tons = roughly 1000 miles
    20 tons = 4000
    so just by the radius, russia can (in 2019) reach argentina from a hit in nyc? thats the whole continent

  11. Nuclear bombs are horrific. But only one nation has ever deployed them. All the other nations have enough sense not to use them. But the United States of America has Donald Trump. He loves his nation and his people and would not endanger his citizens by deploying nuclear weapons. The psycho Hillary Clinton probably would have started the third world war by deploying nuclear weapons. Donald Trump is probably the best thing that could have happened to the United States of America.

  12. the end is near … why they have the weapon if its not to be use? world will be in the nuclear war in world war 3 and leftover zionist as the winner with NWO project to prepare the false messiah dajjal as the rule the world …than imam mahdi will fight with this zion and jesus peace be upon him down to eart as the second coming and kill the dajjal .. it was mention by our prophet muhammad peace be upon him . . may Allah azza wa jalla save us from fitna dajjal

  13. the end is near … why they have the weapon if its not to be use? world will be in the nuclear war in world war 3 and leftover zionist as the winner with NWO project to prepare the false messiah dajjal as the rule the world …than imam mahdi will fight with this zion and jesus peace be upon him down to eart as the second coming and kill the dajjal .. it was mention by our prophet muhammad peace be upon him . . may Allah azza wa jalla save us from fitna dajjal

  14. technically a bunch of 15 kiloton weapons are fine, since making a bigger explosion only results in a slightly bigger blast radius.

  15. Nuclear weapons can literally save us from Alien invasion and meteorite impacts. Think about a rocket as large as the falcon X carrying a 140,000lb ground penetrating space nuke. Intercepting a large meteorite, pierce it deep and let it rip.

  16. I don’t know why countries made nuclear weapons these days when they never will have the chance to use them

  17. Oh look its Tim Pool. Never would have thought to see him on this subject. I need those davy crockets for duck hunting

  18. The Tsar was more powerful than some asteroid strikes like the Arizona one (Barringer crator) which was estimated to be 10-15 megatons.

  19. Ohh nowonder India and America
    Dare not to invade Pakistan because none of them
    Will survive and also the radiation will be all around the world so country like North Korea also build becuse America is bully but no one should press botton becuse if one country dies every country which have nuke will also scary ahahahahahah

  20. There is no aliens we will bring destruction to ourselves.
    Everyone knows how they play their games when they want something at the moment it’s oil if anyone knows history they will know what else they wanted.
    They will use religion,Culture and community as an excuse.

  21. US: bam! 15 megaton.
    Russia: BAM! 50 megaton, could of gone to 100 megatons.
    US: BAM BAM BAM BAM we call it MIRV.

  22. Sorry but I think you're wrong about the Tsar bomba! even if it was desined for 100 megaton, Sakharov told the USSR officials to cut the power in two so when the Tsar Bomb it developed about 57 megaton. Sorry for my english.

  23. 1:30
    Isn't that's what's called nuclear deterrence? Pretty much used as and saying "nuke me and I'll nuke you, so let's not do that and shoot ourselves" lol

  24. We should probably make a anti measure for nukes
    Like a another bomb that explode in the atmosphere that spreads some kind of chemical that make it impossible for uranium from exploding somthing that absorbs all the neutron released or somthing that immediately react with uranium and turns into somthing else that is not explosive anymore. Lol, then all the country holding nuke will be a joke.

  25. Just wait till the first one goes critical because of degradation over time….Then you'll get to watch the world try to fix the problem like an ACME cartoon.

  26. Nuclear weapons are more necessary today than they were during the Cold War. A basic nuke like the one that destroyed Hiroshima isn’t hard to build so long as you have the nuclear fuel (uranium 235) and plutonium can be produced by heavy water reactors. Today a terrorist organization with access to a nuke will use it, unlike during the Cold War there is no mutually assured destruction. If a group like ISIS /ISIL was to use a nuke on the US we wouldn’t necessarily know where to send our response. But with nations like Pakistan,India and N Korea all having nuclear weapons the only thing stopping those nations from nuking each other or someone else is our arsenal.

  27. Ok, but do you really believe any of those treaties are actually being upheld? Imagine what weapons have been created that we simply know nothing about.

  28. thats a joke srsly im 100% sure that TODAY countries like the ones you mentioned have a single nuclear bomb that can destroy half of the earth

  29. I love how people blame hillary for Russia's buildup…when in reality during the 80s Russia had about 40,000 nuclear weapons. LOL

  30. What would be your first thought if you were told that nuclear waste is HARMLESS.


    . . . is what you'd think.

    Now, what would be your first thought if you were told that one day that same nuclear waste is going to be worth 1000× more than gold ?

    You'd undoubtably refer back to the first question, and then wonder why you didn't think about it before.

    We were trained to view anything nuclear as DANGEROUS so that no one would want it.

    Let that sink in, and then try and argue that it's not plausible as well as practical, I DARE YOU!!!


  31. This video is gonna BLOW UP after the US killed the Iran military leader. Prepare for World War 3 boys, it's about to go down.

  32. The Lord will be my refuge.
    For no weapon formed against us will prosper.
    Trust in God, we will make it through,
    The Lord bless the US,
    The Lord keeps us whole and holy.

  33. People continue to die of hunger and thirst while world leader squander there country resources to suit their selfish agenda.

  34. Your attachments dont work… i tried hitting/choosing but neither did anything. You tube fully closed instead.

  35. Was a bit confusing to say 20 million, 20 megatons or 1.2 megatons is easier. Anyway, they are all seriously big nukes

  36. Thea ain't one bomb vid that don't talk about the Nagasaki bombing… It's so annoying, every single bomb is compared it to that like wtdf

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