Maybe Ev, maybe not, depends upon proximity to an explosion and degree of saturation.
We actually live in a sea of radiation even without nukes, it is what creates mutations but also probably causes loss of life.
When I was in high school we had some cobalt 60 sitting in a specimen cabinet, the physics teacher used to bring it out from time to time to show proximity affect using a geiger counter that myself and friends actually built for him. He lived into his 90s so you do have to wonder sometimes just how bad it really is in small doses.
Your skin alone will stop alpha, the others no, but there is an uncertainty principle at work, if it goes straight through you without damaging cells you will be fine and according to some research the body is pretty good at getting rid of damaged cells anyway. Sitting in front of an old CRT screen for hours at a time was probably more dangerous to your health than being a few kms from a nuke detonation, so long as you followed basic nuclear survival principles and got low immediately, did not look at it and showered and changed your clothes ASAP. Then get out of there.
I tend to think that humans in general should not be trusted with nukes, we are not mature enough as a species to have them, but we do, and it is very unlikely that they will go away.
I don't like nukes, not at all, but some evidence suggests they are not as predicted.
After all, two cities have been hit by them, they were rebuilt and are populated, health statistics suggest they are no worse off than living in say Tokyo amongst the smog of burned gasoline.
Hydrogen bombs are the worst really, apart from neutron bombs that seem to be off the table.
It's not so much the initial blast of an H bomb, it is the fact that it is a fission/fusion/fission device and that very blast sends the fission products over a much greater area.
In today's understanding a fission bomb is a trivial construction, two sub critical nuclear masses smashed together would produce an explosion. A scientist once speculated that with the right masses you could sit one half at the bottom of a lift shaft, drop the the other thirty odd stories down the shaft and destroy a city. It actually makes a macabre kind of sense.
Hydrogen bombs are much more complex, all about timing of the compression of the fusion components, deuterium and tritium, by the initial fission explosion. The first few tests just fizzled out until they sorted the clocks out and sort of invented digital watches along the way.
A crazy world we live in, but not so crazy that we are likely to start chucking these things around but I do agree, if terrorists can ever get their hands on enough fissionable material we do have a problem.
Edited by chrisg, 15 May 2018 - 11:28 AM.