RUSSIA detonating a nuclear bomb in the Black Sea could trigger a cloud of killer poisonous gas and six-and-a-half-foot-tall tsunamis, it has been warned.
NATO is keeping a close eye on the world on the brink of a nuclear crisis – with US President Joe Biden likening the situation to Cold War highs.
Putin – who turned 70 today – waved his nuclear saber wildly as he repeatedly threatened to go nuclear during his disastrous war in Ukraine.
There are fears that Russia may use a nuclear bomb on the battlefield or conduct a test, potentially in a remote area or over the Black Sea.
Defense sources said there is a real possibility that Putin is planning to detonate a nuclear bomb in the sea bordered by Russia, Ukraine and Georgia, as well as NATO countries Turkey. , Bulgaria and Romania.
But a leading expert has warned that detonating a nuclear bomb in the Black Sea could have disastrous consequences.
Professor Viorel Badescu, a physicist and engineer from the University of Bucharest, wrote an article a few years ago warning of the impacts of a nuclear explosion in the Black Sea.
And he spoke to The Sun Online as he exposed “through the eyes of a scientist” the potentially horrific aftermath – including tsunamis and a cloud of toxic gas released from the sea.
Professor Badescu said he did not see the logic of Russia opting for the sea as a testing ground – and was highly skeptical whether Putin would use such a strategy for such a show of force.
But he soberly discussed the possible consequences if Vlad goes ahead with such a plan, with various reports that the Russian president is becoming increasingly reckless.
He told The Sun Online: “Two different phenomena that can affect coastal regions start simultaneously at the location of the nuclear explosion.
“First, the initial water cavity is the source of a
“Second, the [gas] expelled into the atmosphere – which is denser than air – “falls” at a lower velocity than falling water and eventually creates a gaseous “cloud” or “cover” on the surface of the sea. “
Professor Badescu wrote his original paper in 2006 titled: “Toxic Effects of Asteroid Impacts or Nuclear Explosions in Western Black Sea Regions”.
He compares the dangers of space impacts and nuclear weapons, which have effects comparable to the amount of energy transferred into the sea.
What makes the Black Sea unique is the high level of hydrogen sulphide (H2S) in the water, being the largest natural reservoir of the chemical compound in the world.
The gas – which smells like rotten eggs – is toxic to humans and animals when inhaled and in large doses can cause death.
The effects on the human population can be much greater and faster in the event of a nuclear explosion
Professor Viorel Badescu
Those exposed may be unable to breathe – and in high enough doses, the chemical can rot people’s brains.
So with that in mind, a nuclear bomb hitting the sea would release these chemicals into the air and could be blown towards coastal regions.
Professor Badescu told The Sun Online: “The area affected by the toxic gas cloud is much smaller than the area affected by the Chernobyl nuclear accident.
“However, the effects on the human population can be much greater and faster in the event of a nuclear explosion, depending on the location of the explosion, its magnitude and the speed and direction of the wind.”
However, simulations carried out by the professor for his paper indicate that even the largest nuclear bomb that could expel clouds of gas might not be able to reach the shore – traveling around 20 miles.
Much of this, however, depends on where the bomb exploded in the sea.
The other threat from a very large nuclear explosion – tsunamis – could see waves of up to 6.5ft crash into the shores of the Black Sea.
But a more realistic option for Russia would be a smaller device, like the 2-megaton nuclear bomb thought to be on the Poseidon nuke.
And that would lead to a more likely tsunami of about 3 feet high.
Professor Badescu said the effects of a nuclear test would be “very small” if a bomb went off in the middle of the Black Sea.
And when asked if he had a message to Putin or Russian generals weighing such a test, he replied: “I am not in a position to send political messages.”
Russia looms the threat of nuclear weapons over Ukraine as its forces continue to be pushed back.
Moscow has red lines in its doctrine on when to use nuclear weapons – but they are more flexible than those of the West.
It is widely believed that today’s nuclear threats refer specifically to smaller tactical weapons designed for use on the battlefield rather than massive bombs killing cities.
The Kremlin is happy to use arms if it considers there is an “existential threat” to Russia.
Putin’s commanders thought they could topple Ukraine in days – but now the war has been raging for eight months.
They convinced Russian troops that they would be greeted with cheers and waving flags as “liberators”, instead they were met with Kalashnikovs and molotov cocktails as invaders.
Putin’s war has become a slow, brutal quagmire – a quagmire that has seen the Russians change tactics from attempted surgical strikes to savage and indiscriminate attacks on civilians.
With further defeats on the horizon, a seemingly hopeless mass mobilization and a resurgent Ukraine rushing to its new “territory” – stoking fears that war could escalate again.
Russia is believed to have around 2,000 nuclear weapons in its arsenal in the form of low yield missiles, torpedoes and artillery shells.
It is believed that Moscow’s war doctrine is open to the use of nuclear weapons in conventional conflict as an intimidation tactic – and the use of such a weapon must be personally approved by Putin.
The tactic became known as “escalate to defuse”.
NATO is watching Russia closely, with reports of Vlad’s largest nuclear submarine on the move and a convoy linked to a nuclear unit being spotted heading for Ukraine.
And it looks like Putin is also stepping up his Hybrid War against Europe, with Russia the prime suspect in attacks on Nord Stream pipelines in the Baltic Sea.
As winter looms over Ukraine and Russian defeats pile up, the world is eagerly waiting to see what Vlad does next and what response – if any – there will be from the West.