Devastating nuclear bomb maps show impact new weapons would have on European cities

Devastating nuclear bomb maps show impact new weapons would have on European cities
Rome on The Nuke Map
MapBox/OpenStreetMap/Alex Wellerstein/NUKEMAP

The US Department of Defense has revealed that it is working on a new range of nuclear bombs to "strengthen deterrence of adversaries and assurance of allies."

The new range of nuclear bombs, called the B61-13, is being implemented to upgrade America's nuclear stockpile, and will be a new variant of the B61 gravity bomb, first produced in the 1960s during the Cold War.

On October 27, the Department of Defense sent out a press release, saying the new weapons will "assure our ability to achieve deterrence and other objectives" whilst having the "modern safety, security, and accuracy features" of the B61-12, a variant introduced under the Obama administration.

Officials said the new range would roughly have the same yield as the B61-7, which had about 23 times the explosive power of the nuclear bomb dropped on Hiroshima, Japan.

Modelling produced by Professor Alex Wellerstein, an expert in nuclear technology at the Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, New Jersey, estimated the impact on major cities if the B61-7 was dropped.

Due to the similarities between the B61-7 and B61-13, the impact should be comparable.

The "nuke map" produces four tiers of damage. Anything inside the yellow area "is effectively vaporised". The second grey tier is where "most residential buildings collapse, injuries are universal, fatalities are widespread." The orange area show where there is an "100% probability for 3rd degree burns" which "can cause severe scarring or disablement, and can requite amputation."

Finally, the fainter grey circle shows where "glass windows can be expected to break" causing "many injuries in a surrounding population.

Using the model, we looked at the impact the nuclear weapon would have on European cities.


In London, anyone near Big Ben would immediately be wiped out by the bomb. Clapham, Camden Town, and Chelsea would suffer large fatalities, burnt buildings, and mass injuries. The model predicted over half a million fatalities, over one and a half million injuries.

London on The Nuke MapMapBox/OpenStreetMap/Alex Wellerstein/NUKEMAP


The Eiffel Tower would immediately be destroyed in the B61-13/7 was dropped on Paris today and would face almost double the amount of casualties than London. The most fatalities out of any European city modelled of over 2 million.

Paris on The Nuke MapMapBox/OpenStreetMap/Alex Wellerstein/NUKEMAP


In Madrid, even the airport would face injuries such as third-degree burns and fatalities would rack up to over 600,000.

Madrid on The Nuke MapMapBox/OpenStreetMap/Alex Wellerstein/NUKEMAP


Impact would go as far as Prestonpans if a bomb was dropped on Edinburgh, with estimated fatalities reaching just under 200,000.

Edinburgh on The Nuke MapMapBox/OpenStreetMap/Alex Wellerstein/NUKEMAP


If a bomb were to be dropped on Rome, mass fatalities would reach the Vatican City and almost a million civilians would suffer injuries.

Rome on The Nuke MapMapBox/OpenStreetMap/Alex Wellerstein/NUKEMAP

Sign upto our free Indy100 weekly newsletter

Have your say in our news democracy. Click the upvote icon at the top of the page to help raise this article through the indy100 rankings.

How to join the indy100's free WhatsApp channel

The Conversation (0)