What would happen if Sheffield was hit by a hydrogen bomb?

Areas of Sheffield that would be affected by a hydrogen bomb blast
Areas of Sheffield that would be affected by a hydrogen bomb blast
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More than 20,000 people would be killed if a hydrogen bomb hit Sheffield a computer programme has predicted.

North Korean officials have claimed the country carried out an underground hydrogen bomb test yesterday.

The computer programme, Nukemap, predicts 20,010 fatalities and 43,660 injuries – if the bomb has a yield of 10 kilotons, as the country claims.

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If, in the unlikely event the bomb was dropped in the city centre, the radius of the nuclear fireball would reach a diameter of 0.12 kilometres causing fatalities, taking out the city centre and many of the city’s landmarks including The Town Hall.

The results of the computer programme show that the aftermath of the blast would be similar to the 1984 television show Threads - a 1984 docudrama account of nuclear war and its effects on the city of Sheffield.

The air blast radius would reach as up to 0.69 kilometres meaning stretching out towards St Mary’s Gate and Netherthorpe Road. The pressure of the blast in this area would cause most buildings to collapse and widespread fatalities.

Radiation would reach almost five kilometres and without medical treatment, there can be would be between 50 per cent and 90 per cent mortality from acute effects alone. Dying would take between several hours and several weeks. People more than 6 kilometres away would suffer third degree burns. Areas such as Broomhall, Upperthorpe, Highfield and parts of Sharrow would be affected.

Graph colour code:

Yellow - Fireball radius: 200 m (0.12 km²)

Maximum size of the nuclear fireball; relevance to lived effects depends on height of detonation. If it touches the ground, the amount of radioactive fallout is significantly increased.

Red - Air blast radius (20 psi): 470 m (0.69 km²)

At 20 psi overpressure, heavily built concrete buildings are severely damaged or demolished; fatalities approach 100%.

Grey - Air blast radius (5 psi): 0.99 km (3.06 km²)

At 5 psi overpressure, most residential buildings collapse, injuries are universal, fatalities are widespread.

Green - Radiation radius (500 rem): 1.25 km (4.91 km²)

500 rem radiation dose; without medical treatment, there can be expected between 50% and 90% mortality from acute effects alone. Dying takes between several hours and several weeks.

Orange - Thermal radiation radius (3rd degree burns): 1.41 km (6.22 km²)

Third degree burns extend throughout the layers of skin, and are often painless because they destroy the pain nerves. They can cause severe scarring or disablement, and can require amputation. 100% probability for 3rd degree burns at this yield is 8.4 cal/cm2.