At the centre of the Hiroshima blast, temperatures are estimated to have reached 300,000 degrees Celsius – 300 times hotter than a crematorium oven.
But if you’re not right next to a nuclear bomb, there is a chance you could survive – particularly if a city is hit by a single low-yield nuclear detonation, up to 10 kilotons.
So where should you go? IFLScience reports that – based on Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory research in 2014, it’s best to head for somewhere sturdy if you want to avoid fallout.
A one-story wood-frame house will only cut about half the fallout – while a multi-storey building with a sub-basement will reduce it to one in 200.
In other words, it’s worth heading for a better shelter if you can see one within five minutes – ideally something with solid walls and a basement.
The British government’s Protect and Survive videos – broadcast in the early Eighties, suggests that families should hide in a ‘fallout’ room with no windows, with water supplies.
The video says, ‘If attack is imminent, take cover at once, send your small children to the fall-out room. Then turn off the gas and electricity at the mains. Shut windows, and draw curtains. Then go to your fall-out room and stay there.’
Protect and Survive suggests that anyone outdoors should try and seek cover in any nearby building.
But if you can’t find a nearby building, hide in a ditch or a hole – and cover your face and eyes with your clothing.
The video suggests, ‘Take cover at once. If you cannot reach home, take cover in the nearest building. Try to find some solid cover. If there is no solid cover, lie flat in a ditch or a hole, and try to cover your eyes and face with your clothing.’