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Researchers simulate damage from nuclear weapons use in Northeast Asia A group of researchers from Japan and other countries have simulated direct casualties and delayed deaths that could be caused by the use of nuclear weapons in Northeast Asia.

Nagasaki University in western Japan and other bodies, including a US research institution, jointly conducted a simulation analysis taking into account nuclear strategies of countries concerned and situation in the region.

The joint research project is aimed at ensuring that nuclear weapons are never used again.

The researchers have looked at five possible cases of nuclear weapons use in Northeast Asia and ran a simulation of what could follow if nuclear weapons are used.

In one case, it is assumed that in the Korean Peninsula, three nuclear weapons are used by North Korea and the United States.

In another case involving two nuclear powers fighting over Taiwan, it models what might happen after a total of 24 nuclear weapons are used, including high-yield bombs.

The researchers have quantified the number of deaths based on an analysis of effects such as heat flow caused by a nuclear explosion and radioactive fallout.

Even if only one nuclear weapon is used, the simulation shows 220,000 people, or about 25 percent of the population of the targeted area, would die within several months.

The use of a large number of nuclear weapons, including high-yield ones, could result in deaths of 2.6 million people.

The researchers also simulated effects of firestorms which are multiple fires caused by heat flow merging over a large area driven by powerful wind forces created by the thermal updraft. They found that firestorms could cause a large number of casualties over a wide area.

Radioactive fallout could reach an extensive area depending on weather conditions. Up to 920,000 people could die of cancer over the course of a few decades.

Professor Suzuki Tatsujiro at Nagasaki University’s Research Center for Nuclear Weapons Abolition warns that misunderstanding and a lack of communication between rival nations could lead to the use of nuclear weapons. He says that even if only one is used, it would inevitably cause devastating damage.

Suzuki urges leaders of nuclear powers to face the potential risks and review their defense strategies that rely on nuclear deterrence.

April 9, 2023 - Posted by | ASIA, weapons and war

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