Would Amarillo, Texas Survive if Pantex Exploded
So I've talked in the past about the time that Pantex nearly exploded in 2006, and it was pretty scary to think about. The reports regarding this incident by the U.S. Department revealed that exhausted engineers had been using faulty equipment on a W-56 warhead, which could have resulted in detonation. Thankfully nothing bad came out of that situation except for a few small slaps on the wrist for Pantex.
But have you ever wondered what would happen in another reality where a warhead at Pantex detonated, and a mere accident turned into an all-out disaster?
Well, you can actually get an idea of what a local nuclear apocalypse would look like using online simulations. The website nukemap allows users to simulate what a nuclear explosion would look like on a GPS map using known data from past nuclear bombs that have been developed throughout history.
So I decided to use this website to get an idea of what a nuclear explosion would look like and find out whether Amarillo would survive or not.
I started by detonating the Fat Man, the bomb dropped on the Japanese during WW2. Although Pantex would not survive the blast and some surrounding areas would likely be affected by the bomb, Amarillo would remain untouched according to this map.
Next, I detonated a W76, a warhead that Pantex may have manufactured in the late 1970s. The blast radius still is not as big, but it's definitely worryingly close to Amarillo and some surrounding towns.
Finally, I detonated a W-53 a bomb attached to a Titan II warhead that was in service from 1962 to 1997. And in this scenario, the entirety of Amarillo and surrounding towns would be decimated in the initial blast.
And that's just the damage from the initial blast. When you consider the fallout from the blast and the amount of radiation that would be carried by our winds, the true damage would be incalculable.
I'm no expert in nuclear weapons and have no knowledge of what nuclear weapons Pantex is currently in charge of disassembling. Still, after looking at what the initial blast from these bombs would do, I know I definitely wouldn't want an incident like that to happen.
So let's raise one to another day without incident at Pantex. Because if there was one, it could be the end of Amarillo and the Panhandle.
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