- Destroys target and reduces surrounding area to dead tiles.
The Nuke is an intercontinental missile with a payload of nuclear warheads. One of the most destructive weapons available to any empire, the Nuke causes considerable destruction to its target and surrounding area. The environmental impact of the Nuke constitutes an Atrocity, laying waste to a significant area around the point of impact. Though the allure of the Nuke’s efficient and widespread destruction is powerful, one must consider the far-reaching political, social and environmental impacts of such a weapon.
First conceived of and introduced in the mid-20th century, nuclear weapons represented a exponential increase in the power of ranged warfare. Nuclear weapons derived their great explosive power from the sudden release of energy associated with the splitting, or fission, of the atomic nuclei of heavy elements such as uranium or plutonium. As part of the Manhattan project, the ultra-secret United States government research project that took place from 1942-1945, the U.S. built and tested the first plutonium atomic bomb, detonating it at a remote location 120 miles south of Albuquerque, New Mexico. What set nuclear bombs apart from conventional explosive warfare was their explosive force.
On August 6, 1945, the United States deployed the first nuclear weapon in warfare, dropping a bomb on Hiroshima, Japan. The single explosion, which had the force of more than 15,000 tons of TNT, completely devastated a four square mile area in the heart of the city of 343,000 people. 66,000 people were killed instantly, while another 67,000 were injured. Nearly 70 percent of the city’s structures were destroyed or damaged. Three days later, the U.S. dropped a plutonium-type atomic bomb on Nagasaki. This blast, equal to 21,000 tons of TNT, killed 39,000, injured 25,000 and destroyed or seriously damaged 40 percent of the city’s structures. This attack prompted the surrender of the Japanese forces and the end to the Pacific conflict of World War II. After the war, the U.S. conducted dozens of test explosions in remote locations in Nevada and at Enewetak atoll in the Pacific Ocean. Other nations entered the arms race in subsequent years: the Soviet Union in 1949, Great Britain in 1952, France in 1960, China in 1964, India in 1974 and Pakistan in 1998.
Later iterations of nuclear weapons involved nuclear warheads attached to intercontinental ballistic cruise missiles and the destructive power of nuclear weapons increased with the introduction of fusion, or thermonuclear, bombs. Whereas fission bombs were measured in kilotons, equal to 1,000 tons of TNT, fusion bombs were measured in megatons, equal to 1,000,000 tons of TNT. Although nations also developed smaller "tactical" nukes, by the end of the century, many possessed dozens of thermonuclear weapons, each possessing exponentially more destructive power than the bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.