North Korea has shocked the world yet again. Just last month it launched a long range missile capable of carrying nukes, and on Monday it conducted an atomic test by exploding a nuclear bomb. By doing so, the 67-year-old Kim Jong Il, whose health has been shaken lately, wants to show the world that North Korea remains strong. The nuke and missile tests were conducted against the U.N. Security Council resolution which bans the country from developing any weapons of mass destruction.
The U.N. Security Council was meeting later Monday to discuss the North Korean crisis.
Put nuclear explosions in any movies or works of art. Showing the destruction from these nuke tests is a plus.
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This contest is fueled by the following news: The power of a nuclear charge is measured in the trotyl equivalent - the quantity of trinitrotoluene which is required for blasting to obtain an explosion of the same energy. Usually, it is expressed in kilotons (kt) and megatons (mt). The Trotyl equivalent is conditional since the energy distribution of nuclear explosion according to various damaging factors essentially depends on the type of ammunition and, in any case, heavily differs from chemical explosion.
It is generally accepted to divide nuclear ammunition with respect to power into five groups:
Subminiature (less than 1 kt);
Miniature (1 — 10 kt);
Average (10 — 100 kt);
Large (huge power) (100 kt — 1 mt);
Extra-large (extra large power) (above 1 mt).
In 1963, when only four countries had nuclear arsenals and the US government anticipated that from 15 to 25 countries will possess nuclear weapons within a decade; other countries indicated that the number could go up further and touch the 50 mark. As of 2004, only 8 countries have nuclear arsenals. The main reason for the non-proliferation is because of the IAEA Agreement which has helped a lot in slowing down the presumed rate of proliferation.
From the United Nations report, 2005:
The following countries, which possess nuclear arsenals form the “Nuclear Club”: USA (1945), Russia (initially Soviet Union: 1949), Great Britain (1952), France (1960), China (1964), India (1974), Pakistan (1998) and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (2006).
Israel is not making it public about the availability of nuclear weapons, however, according to some experts, Israel possesses an arsenal of 200 charges (by estimations of former US president Jimmy Carter — 150).
A small nuclear arsenal was available in the Republic of South Africa but all six nuclear weapons were destroyed voluntarily by South Africa. It is presumed that the Republic of South Africa conducted nuclear tests near Buve Island. The Republic of South Africa is a single nation, which has independently developed nuclear weapons and voluntarily refused the weapons.
In 1990-1991, Ukraine, Belarus and Kazakhstan, possessing part of the nuclear arms of the USSR on their territories, have handed-over nuclear weapons to the Russian Federation, and after signing the Lisbon protocol in 1992, the countries were declared to be nations not possessing nuclear weapons. In this case, Belarus and Kazakhstan handed-over the nuclear weapons gratuitously and the Ukraine had transferred nuclear weapons under condition of demarking the Ukranian borders with Russia (while both of them were CIS members) during the disintegration of USSR (i.e. with peninsula Crimea).
Iran is considered to be the nation which has come very close to developing its nuclear bomb.
Brazil, Libya, Iraq and the Republic of Korea were suspected in different years for carrying out nuclear programs.
The USA is the first nation in history to have conducted a nuclear explosion with the power of 20 kilotons on July 16, 1945 in the desert Alamogordo (in the State of New Mexico). On August 6 and 9, 1945 nuclear bombs were dropped on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima & Nagasaki respectively.
The USSR tested the first nuclear weapon with the power of 22 kilotons on August 29, 1949 on the Semipalatinsk range.
Great Britain tested its first surface nuclear explosion with the power of 25 kilotons on October 3, 1952 near the Monte-Bello Islands (North-west of Australia).
France conducted ground tests of nuclear charges with the power of 20 kilotons on February 13, 1960 in the oasis Reggan (Algeria).
The Peoples Republic of China dropped a nuclear bomb with the power of 20 kilotons on October 16, 1964 on lake Lop Nor.
India conducted underground tests of nuclear charges with a capacity of 20 kilotons on May 18, 1974 in Pokhran but officially did not recognize itself as a holder of nuclear weapons. India announced that it is the holder of nuclear weapons only after conducting underground tests of five nuclear explosives in Pokhran May 11-14, 1998 including a 30 kiloton thermonuclear bomb.
Pakistan conducted underground tests of six nuclear charges with the power of 18 kilotons each on May 28, 1998 in the Beluchistan province as symmetric reply to the Indian nuclear tests of 1974 and 1998.
The Democratic People's Republic of Korea tested a nuclear bomb with the presumed power of 1 kiloton on October 9, 2006.