I am a great fan of science fiction that’s plausible enough to be ‘scientific’, but which doesn’t take the ‘science’ so far as to be boring.
In the miniseries that launched the re-imagined Battlestar Galactica a decade or so ago, Galactica took a direct hit from a nuke and survived with near-undiminished fighting capacity. Is it plausible?
Test Baker – a 23kt Mk III nuclear bomb detonated underwater off Bikini Atoll on 25 July 1946. US DoD, public domain.
The answer’s yes…and no. Operation Crossroads – atomic tests on Bikini Atoll against a fleet of warships in 1946 – revealed that large armoured vessels were resistant to an air-burst. But radiation was a killer, even inside the hulls, and over a surprising distance. Underwater blasts were even worse for radiation. Test Baker, an underwater nuke, crushed the closer ships, and the whole test fleet was showered with thousands of tons…
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