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In these days of economic woe, potential pandemic disease and widespread civil unrest, it may come as a surprise that so many people around the world still view nuclear conflict as the greatest threat facing humanity.

They do so with good reason. Consider the potential effects of a 50-megaton nuclear explosion, similar to the Tsar Bomba, detonated in October 1961, which shattered windows 900 km away and sent a mushroom cloud rising above the stratosphere.

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