How was the NUKEMAP created

Nukemap: When an atomic bomb hits Berlin

Meerbusch (dpa-infocom) - Because of the conflict between North Korea and the USA, the danger of atomic bombs is again a big issue. However, the discussions are in part irrelevant, which is mainly due to the fact that many people know little about nuclear weapons.

How dangerous are they really? How much damage do they cause - immediately and afterwards? The US physicist Alex Wellerstein would like to answer these and other questions on the subject in a terrifyingly realistic way. At, the user can drop an atomic bomb anywhere on earth and observe the consequences of the explosion. Wellerstein uses Google Maps on the one hand and publicly accessible data and model calculations on the other in order to represent the detonation and its consequences as faithfully as possible.

For example, what would happen if the bomb that was dropped on Hiroshima in 1945 detonates in the middle of Berlin today? According to Nukemap, everything would be destroyed immediately within a radius of 180 meters. Other direct effects - such as radiation and burns - would still be felt within a radius of 1.9 kilometers. And the radioactive fallout, which Nukemap optionally also displays based on the current weather report, is not even included in the calculation.

Particularly macabre: the website even calculates the possible numbers for fatalities and injuries. The Hiroshima bomb with its 15 kilotons of explosive force would therefore kill 48,020 people in Berlin and injure almost 160,000. You can choose from much larger atomic bombs - right up to the Soviet Tsar bomb with an enormous 100 megatons of explosive power. The devastation would be many times greater and the entire east of Germany would be affected.

With Nukemap, different scenarios can be played through at all locations around the world in order to clearly demonstrate the destructive power of nuclear weapons. Many settings help with fine adjustment, but users can also simply choose one of the presets. For example, the bomb last tested by North Korea can be detonated in San Francisco. Hopefully Wellerstein will achieve its goal of informing and shaking people up. © dpa