Agent Identification - Nuclear

Nuclear agents release energy via fission such as the devices used in the bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. These devices were equivalent to the detonation yield of 10,000 tons of TNT however fusion devices are even more destructive. Fission involves the energy from elemental nuclei while fusion achieves yet more energy by the combination of nuclei from higher and lower positions on the elemental table. Fortunately these weapons are expensive to acquire and require advanced technology in their developmental processes. Long term side effects and consequences after the initial burns and traumatic injuries may include: radiation sickness and eventually hematological and oncological conditions such as leukemias and cancers of rapidly growing tissues. Recent terrorist events in 2001 have stressed the importance of increased security of nuclear power plants.

Fission - Splitting of element nuclei

  • Less powerful
  • Easier to build

Fusion - Combining nuclei from higher elements with lower elements, with release of energy

  • Only produced by technologically advanced states
  • Costly
  • More destructive
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