A Terrifying Interactive Map Visualizes the Devastation of Nuclear Fallout

Posted by K R on

The destructive power of nuclear bombs has been seared into our collective memory, thanks to archival images of the devastation of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. There’s the blast itself, and then all the radioactive fallout to contend with. A new interactive map shows what the damage from fallout would be if nuclear bombs were dropped on target cities today. It’s the result of a collaboration between the Future of Life Institute (FLI)—a volunteer organization dedicated to decreasing existential threats to the human race co-founded by MIT physicist Max Tegmark—and Alex Wellerstein, a science historian at the Stevens Institute for Technology in New Jersey who developed the hugely popular NUKEMAP a few years ago. (Wellerstein was also the technical consultant for the stellar—and tragically cancelled—TV series, Manhattan.) A few months ago, the National Security Archive released a 1956 US list of 1,100 nuclear targets in the Soviet Union, Eastern Bloc, China, and North Korea. FLI digitized the entire dataset, and approached Wellerstein about adapting NUKEMAP to the digitized targets. He realized he could use the new data to model nuclear fallout and possible casualties from detonated bombs. Read More: Gizmodo

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