Nuclear rain is the residual radioactive material propelled into the upper atmosphere after a nuclear explosion, so called because it falls from the sky after the explosion and the shock wave has passed. Commonly refers to radioactive dust and ash that is created when a nuclear weapon explodes. Fallout is Rarely Good. However, new research suggests that charged particles emitted by Cold War-era nuclear tests may have increased rainfall thousands of miles away from test sites, triggering electrical charges in the air that caused water droplets to melt.
Nuclear rain, or simply rain, also known as black rain, is the residual radioactive material propelled into the upper atmosphere after a nuclear explosion or a nuclear reaction carried out in an unarmored installation, so called because it falls from the sky after the explosion and shock wave passed. Commonly refers to radioactive dust and ash that is created when a nuclear weapon explodes, but that dust can also originate from a damaged nuclear plant. For example, it was assumed that each nuclear installation would be attacked on the surface by a precision delivered, high-performance warhead that would completely pulverize and vaporize all nuclear materials and that these materials would follow the same pathways as weapon materials (a worst-case assumption). It was further assumed that the main nuclear facilities of a 100 GW (e) civil nuclear power industry would also be attacked.
100 rad rainfall dose contours for 1 year of exposure, beginning 1 month after the detonation of a 1 Mt (A) bomb and a 1 Mt bomb in a 1 GW (e) nuclear reactor (B). On the other hand, a nuclear explosion that occurs at or near the Earth's surface can cause serious pollution from radioactive fallout. Local precipitation is the early deposition of relatively large radioactive particles that are ejected by a nuclear explosion that occurs close to the surface, where large amounts of debris are carried towards the fireball. Although these models are extreme in terms of overlapping rainfall patterns, neither can be taken as a limit calculation of extremes in areas of catarrhal rainfall for specific doses.
Global precipitation consists of radioactivity carried by fine particles and gaseous compounds that are expelled into the atmosphere by nuclear explosions. There are three very different versions of the rain pattern from this test, because rain was only measured on a small number of widely spaced Pacific atolls. Given a specific nuclear war scenario, it is possible to use the experience gained from atmospheric nuclear tests to estimate the fate of precipitation particles on an intermediate time scale and in the long term if the atmosphere is not disturbed by smoke. To illustrate the method of predicting consequences presented here, an increasing nuclear exchange scenario was used, which is consistent with that described in the SCOPE-ENUWAR study (Pittock et al.
Potential targeting of nuclear fuel cycle facilities with nuclear warheads raises considerable controversy. A nuclear weapon detonated in the air, called an air blast, produces less rain than a comparable explosion near the ground. The consequences can also relate to nuclear accidents, even though a nuclear reactor does not explode like a nuclear weapon. In summary, using some worst-case assumptions for a speculative nuclear war scenario in which 100 GW (e) of the nuclear power industry is included in the list of targets, it is estimated that the 50-year global catastrophic rainfall dose increases by a factor of 3 over similar estimates in which nuclear energy are not attacked.