vitis); bleeding from the mouth, gums, throat, rectum, and urinary tract (hemorrhagic manifestations;) loss of hair from the scalp and other parts of the body (epilation); extremely low white blood cell counts when those were taken (leukopenia); and in many cases a progressive course until death. 5
A fission bomb exploded high in the air, such as the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombs, blasts out the radioactive products that result from fission itself. The area covered by these radioactive products will depend on wind and weather conditions at the particular altitude of the explosion. Although an H-bomb exploded high in the air produces tritium, carbon 14, and certain other radioactive products, it is no more "dirty" with radioactivity than its fission trigger.
The surprise -- the unanticipated lethal effects -- came when the United States tested an H-bomb at Bikini atoll on March 1, 1954, the Bravo test in the Castle series in a surface explosion. It turned out that both fission and fusion bombs exploded at the surface pick up debris from the surface and make it radioactive. So bombs exploded at the surface will deposit both the products of fission and surface debris made radioactive by the explosion downwind of the explosion in a cigar-shaped pattern. The Bravo bomb had a yield of 15 megatons. Over onehundred miles downwind from the explosion radioactive "fallout" sickened the crew of a Japanese fishing boat, the Lucky Dragon, and one of the crewmen eventually died. The fallout from the Bravo explosion covered 7 thousand square miles in which "survival might have depended upon prompt evacuation of the area or upon taking shelter and other protective measures." 6
It was quickly realized that bombs could be deliberately made that were much, much "dirtier" than even this. Any U-238 that is present in a fission bomb does not split. But in the environment of an H-bomb, with its much higher temperatures and faster moving neutrons, U-238 does fission. It releases still more energy, and many more radioactive byproducts. So surrounding an H-bomb with a thick jacket of U-238 will not only contribute to the total energy released, but it will also vastly increase the radioactive fallout.
Areas dusted with radioactive fallout will be highly dangerous to all forms of life. Many people in such an area will die within several days. Others will develop cancers that kill them later. Still others will survive, but with genetic damage that will affect future generations. As Bernard Brodie, one of the very first academic strategists of the nuclear age remarked, "The Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombs each destroyed a whole city. Now a bomb can be made that will destroy two cities -- one by heat and blast and the other, downwind, by radioactive fallout."7