Friday, September 20, 2019

France's Nuclear Paradise

Between 1960 and 1996 France carried out 193 nuclear tests in French Polynesia in the South Pacific. The tests have had a devastating and long lasting impact on the area's islands and people. You can learn more about France's nuclear testing program in Nuclear Dissent, an interactive multimedia report into the effect of France's nuclear testing in French Polynesia during the second half of the Twentieth Century.

The documentary uses a combination of video, photos and audio to tell the story of where and when France carried out nuclear tests in the South Pacific. The documentary also explores the legacy of this nuclear testing, including the spread of cancer, the damage to the food chain and the irreparable harm caused to the environment.

In order to bring the story a little closer to home Nuclear Dissent also includes an interactive map which allows you to see the effects of dropping a nuclear bomb in your own backyard. Enter your address into the map and you can explore the fallout that would result from dropping a selection of different sized nuclear weapons on your home.

A number of concentric circles are displayed on the interactive map, centered on your address, to show the fallout range of your selected nuclear bomb. The outer circle shows the thermal zone, the radius within which people will receive third degree burns. Inside this, the next largest circle, is the air blast zone. In this radius buildings will be knocked over from the pressure of the bomb's air blast. Inside this zone is the radiation zone, inside of which 50-90% of people will die from radiation. The smallest circle represents the fireball zone, inside which temperatures reach as high as the sun.

Nuclear Dissent has a very long loading time. If you are impatient, or your device struggles loading Nuclear Dissent, then you can always explore the effects of nuclear bombs on a number of other interactive maps. Both NUKEMAP and Ground Zero allow you to view the potential damage that a wide choice of nuclear weapons would have when dropped on locations around the world. You can also use Outrider - Bomb Blast - which comes with some realistic looking nuclear fallout effects.

Outrider - Bomb Blast allows you to choose from a range of different types of nuclear weapon and select whether you want to detonate the bomb at ground level or as an air burst. You can then view the likely damage on an interactive map. The map shows the likely radius of the fireball, radiation, shock-wave and heat zones. It also provides an estimate of the number of fatalities and injuries your nuclear weapon would cause when dropped on your location.

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