Scarier than ‘Oppenheimer’ — NJ nuke maps reveal nightmare scenarios
Moviegoers have been flocking to Christopher Nolan's "Oppenheimer," a smash box office hit detailing the World War II Manhattan Project that ushered in the nuclear age.
That reminded us of this report we published late last year looking at what could happen to New Jersey in the event of a nuclear attack.
Not since the Cold War era has the threat of nuclear war been as great as it is right now.
New York City recently issued guidelines on how to survive a nuclear attack.
The warning comes as the U.S. and our allies are facing threats from Russia, North Korea and China.
At a Korean War anniversary event last year, North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un insisted his nation was prepared to mobilize a nuclear arsenal as a deterrent to American and South Korean “aggression.”
North Korea is not the only concern.
As he wages war in Ukraine and faces backlash from the international community, Russian President Vladimir Putin spent all last year alluding to nukes. Putin warned about the "increasing" threat of nuclear war and discussed the possibility of abandoning Russia's stated policy of not being the first to resort to nuclear weapons in a conflict.
Former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev also has vowed “the horsemen of the apocalypse” are on their way.
Despite the continuing threats, however, most international observers believe the risk of Putin unleashing a nuclear bomb on the United States is relatively low.
China also possesses nuclear warheads. France, India, Israel, Pakistan and the United Kingdom are also nuclear states but are either allies with the United States or on friendly terms.
What would happen to NJ if we were attacked by nuclear weapons?
What if the unthinkable did happen? What would the impact of a nuclear attack be on New Jersey?
The most likely targets would be cities like New York, Los Angeles, Philadelphia or Washington, DC. New Jersey’s proximity to three of those primary targets could be devastating for the Garden State.
Using data from what is known of Russia’s nuclear arsenal and missile capable of hitting the U.S., we simulated the potential impact of a nuclear blast on New York, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C., as well as targets in New Jersey in the event that a missile went astray.
The biggest factor in terms of casualties, damage and nuclear fallout: An aerial detonation as opposed to ground impact (which results in nuclear fallout contamination spreading downwind), and the direction of atmospheric winds. For these simulations, we used a default Northeast wind direction.