Russians release video of Tsar Bomba denotation

| August 25, 2020

Tsar Bomba

Tsar Bomba is the informal name given to the largest thermonuclear bomb ever detonated. Bursting with a yield estimated around 50 megatons (i.e. 50 million tons of TNT), it far surpasses the largest American explosion (Castle Bravo at 15MT).

The Russian nuclear agency Rosatom has released a regarding the bomb, including never before seen footage of the massive bomb’s blast. The bomb, which weighed about 60,000 lbs, was so massive the fireball (within which everything is vaporized) was 5 miles in diameter. The blast was visible for 600 miles. The mushroom cloud was 42 miles high (it actually left the stratosphere). The blast destroyed a village 34 miles away. Windows were broken 560 miles away.

The video’s in Russian and was commissioned for the 75th anniversary of Russian nuclear progress.

Source; Task and Purpose

Category: Cold War, Nukes, Russia

Comments (24)

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  1. IS1 (SW) says:

    And to think, it was designed at 100mts. Where’s Commissar? I know he’s stroking it somewhere to this marvel of Soviet engineering.

    • 11B-Mailclerk says:

      They did not fully fuel it. The multi-stage design allows for that. I suspect someone thought “maybe this is a bit too much. Half”

      Our “castle bravo” test had the opposite condition. The second stage used a mixture of Lithium 6 and Lithium 7 as fusion fuel, the latter was believed to play no role in the fusion reaction.

      Oops. It did. And how. Yield was 2.5 times intended. Ouch. A “low probability” reaction that yielded more fuel was overlooked, and the warhead produced conditions that favored it.

      The message of Tsar Bomba was “so much for Cheyenne Mountain” or other super-hardened shelters. Of course, delivery was an unaddressed need. But if we ever need to shatter an asteroid, that design is expandable.

  2. SFC D says:

    Denotation? Lysdexia?

    • AW1Ed says:

      Heh. One of the cool things I found about being granted Editor privileges was the ability to actually correct my typos.

    • Mason says:

      This is what I get for trying to post it from my phone. Experiment = failure.

      This is also why a 5-way binding post is the thumbnail for the article.

  3. Could it have been seen from Bim BomB Bay????

  4. Toxic Deplorable Racist SAH B Woodman says:

    So? 50MT vs 15MT…… or slow, you’re still dead.

    • FuzeVT says:

      50MT or 15MT makes a big difference if you are 40 miles away from ground zero.

      I was an NBC guy and tried real hard to undo all of the anti-nuke disinformation that was put out in the 80s. If a bomb goes off, it doesn’t necessarily mean that if you are within sight of it you are dead. Case in point:

      All those guys didn’t die.

      ►If you are 1 mile from a 10 MT explosion you will get 456,000RAD. This would be very bad for you. Over 600 you have a 75% chance of dying. Over 1000 and there’s no chance.
      ►2 miles from a 10MT explosion is 570RAD. Still very bad for you.
      ►3 miles from 10MT blast? 1.7 RAD. This will have practically no effect.

      Now you still have the problem that metals vaporize up to 6.8 miles away from a 10MT blast, but at least you won’t have to worry about radiation. Sardonic humor aside, the point is that radiation decreases exponentially as distance increases. As far as being safe from a 10MT blast that might take about 40 miles.
      For a 200KT yield blast (remembering that bombs dropped on Japan were 15 and 21 KT) being 10 miles away would negate most of the effects (blast, burns, pressure). As for radiation, you are getting 10.25 mRAD at 3 miles, so you would be good there.

      Two last thoughts:
      1. if you have a ground burst, you are going to get a lot of fallout so you would have that to worry about (time for your field protective mask)
      2. If Czar bomba comes to town, yeah. . . that would look like a lot of those 80s movies.

      • Mason says:

        Once I knew how to map out a nuclear blast and the downwind hazard distance I started putting stuff on maps of areas I was familiar with. Turns out that even though I was in a first ring suburb of a major metropolitan area, if even a MT-level bomb hit the city, we’d be in the clear.

        • FuzeVT says:

          Ah. . . the old NBC 3 report.

          Did you spend some time in Anniston?

          • Mason says:

            Not sure where the Navy does their CBRN training, but USAF and Marines both train at Leonard Wood in Missouri with the Army Chemical Corps. I was AF.

            The only training we had with any of the other branches was the live nerve agent chamber. It’s run by the Army, but our instructors ran the class through.

            • FuzeVT says:

              The Chemical Corps base was at Fort McClellan in Anniston, Alabama from the 50s until 1999 when it was closed due to BRAC. At that point it was moved to Fort Lostinthewoods. I went through in 1995 so I went through in Anniston. Little dump of a town, but they had a great barber shop just of base. Best high and tight ever if that’s your thing, which as a young boot – it was.

      • JustALurkinAround says:

        Good points about the BEIR concerning initial and residual radiation and the dose rates associated with yield and distance from GZ. The radiation won’t kill you if you are 3 miles from a 10 MT det., but that thermal release and shock front are going to scramble your fucking brains.

  5. HMCS(FMF) ret says:

    Got to love that term – a “clean” hydrogen bomb…

  6. KoB says:

    Cool video. A KA-BOOM that even Marvin the Martian could be proud of. Nice shot of the Bear Bomber bouncing around too.

    Hey seagull, this is what your heroes had in mind for us, back in the bad old days of the Cold War. You’d of had to be at least 600 miles away to keep your Civil Affairs talking points papers from getting scorched. And guess what? They’d still like to use these on us. And Commiefornia is still a prime target.

  7. Sapper3307 says:

    50% of AOC’s last brain fart.

  8. Toxic Deplorable Racist SAH B Woodman says:

    Has anyone been back since to look at the long term effects? Residual radiation, water, soil, air, animal mutations, glassing of the area?

    • aGrimm says:

      The residual effects will depend on a myriad of factors, but a prime radiological concern/effect is how effectively, really non-effectively, the bomb material fissions. Incomplete fission leaves particles of uranium or plutonium falling here and there in the immediate area. Fission particles, principally Iodine and Cesium isotopes tend to fall out much further away. I did the RERO (radiation emergency response) course at the Nevada Test Site Yucca Flats in 1970. We safely -no radiation levels- walked the ground directly under where air blasts had occurred. There were some relatively small areas that were marked off as Do Not Enter Areas. It was explained that these contained atomized particles of un-fissioned bomb particles. We were required to go into one area with the charge to find alpha emissions. It was a somewhat difficult task as alpha particles can be hard to detect in the wild. My partner and I got a few extra clicks from the meter in one spot.
      Of course the Nevada Test Site is desert and a lot of sand. In the areas we surveyed, I saw no glassification of the soil but the soil was as fine as any soil I have walked upon. It is hard to imagine sand being pulverized to this fine a level, but here it was. There is not a lot of animals at yucca flats so cannot speak to any issues there. On the other hand, they had a small ranch on site where they would spray radioactive material on a small plot of grass and have cows eat the grass. One of the cows had a portal that opened into one of its stomachs. We were invited to reach in and pull out some of the stomach contents.
      We also visited the Project Sedan hole. Buried about 600′ deep, the nuke explosion created a hole roughly 300′ feet deep and 350′ in diameter. A most impressive sight to see when standing at the edge of it. Apparently there are some radiation levels at the bottom, but nothing measurable at the rim. An underground explosion creates an irradiated cavity, and depending on the cavity’s elements will have varying levels of irradiated materials (elements converted to radioactive elements from neutron bombardment) and fission/unfissioned fission particles.
      Studies of other bomb sites in the Pacific Ocean haven’t really shown any bad animal mutations.
      I better quit here as I can go on all day.

  9. SH Boom SH Boom, The Chords 1954 on Cat.

  10. Ex Coelis says:

    If you want a good idea of what the Tsar Bomba blast effect was like – and you have an iPhone – go the Apple App Store and get the app called BlastSim. Rather eye-opening…
    Thank you for posting this Russian ‘anniversary’ video!