A nuclear weapon is an explosive device that derives its destructive force from nuclear reactions, either fission or a combination of fission and fusion.
Nuclear weapons were first used in World War II on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945, effectively ending the war. The atomic bomb, a purely fission-based weapon, and the hydrogen bomb, a fission-fusion hybrid weapon, were both developed, with hydrogen bombs considered more dangerous due to the sheer size of their explosive yields.
Megaton-class thermonuclear weapons had largely been retired by the major nuclear powers in favor of much smaller-yield warheads by the time of the Great War.[Non-game 1] An average strategic warhead in 2077 had a yield of about 200-750 kilotons, but with a massive increase in radioactive fallout in place of thermal shock.[Non-game 1] However, despite the apparent reduction in raw explosive power, this arsenal was far more dangerous to the Earth's ecosystem, as it deposited far greater amounts of fallout in the atmosphere than had been assumed by pre-War models.[Non-game 1]
|The following is based on the Fallout Bible.|
|End of information based on the Fallout Bible.|
Both reactions release vast quantities of energy from relatively small amounts of matter. A modern thermonuclear weapon weighing little more than a thousand kilograms can produce an explosion comparable to the detonation of more than a million tons of conventional high explosives. Nuclear weapons include bombs, intercontinental ballistic missiles and submarine-launched ballistic missiles.
In Fallout, the Glow is a testament to the horror of nuclear war, a radioactive region destroyed by a direct nuclear hit. In the same game, the Vault Dweller also discovers an unused nuke sitting in the Master's vault, to be used as last resort against this final challenge.
Nuclear weapons feature prominently in Fallout 3, in the form of the C-23 Megaton - Megaton's atomic bomb, the Fat Man and its unique variant, the experimental MIRV, which are two tactical nuclear catapults, a bunker full of nuclear bombs, vertibirds with nuclear carpet bombs, Liberty Prime's arsenal of medium-sized bombs, various orbital weapons platforms such as Highwater-Trousers and Bradley-Hercules.
The Bradley-Hercules platform appears to have been designed for surgical strikes based on its performance, taking out a single target in a small area of effect while leaving the surrounding area unscathed. The Highwater-Trousers platform appears to have been designed to destroy Satcom arrays NN-03d, NW-07c and NW-05a, its missiles only having the force of a standard mini nuke. The Kovac-Muldoon Platform was specifically designed for use in the aftermath of a nuclear war, not during one, by the Enclave.
Fallout: New Vegas
The Fat Man also returned in Fallout: New Vegas; it can be purchased from Knight Torres, a merchant in the Hidden Valley bunker. The Gun Runners also sell them. A unique version can also be purchased if one has the Gun Runners' Arsenal add-on.
In the add-on Lonesome Road nuclear weapons were detonated before the arrival of the Courier and many nuclear weapons remain scattered throughout the Divide, namely in an old missile silo. There are also some undetonated warheads scattered around in the divide that can be detonated using a laser detonator. Then there are the more 'ballistic' missiles, such as the Minuteman XI, and converted Delta 9 rockets that are launched from concrete silos (like the one outside Fort Constantine and in the Divide), and submarines (like the Chinese Yangtze). Most missiles that can still be found are either broken or still waiting for launch, as some officers based in these silos perished or refused to fire their warheads, including an entire arsenal of them in The Divide.
In Fallout 4, Mark 28 bombs are used by Liberty Prime against the Institute. In addition, the Fat Man launchers make a reappearance. The Glowing Sea is a unique landscape caused by the detonation of a high-yield nuclear bomb southwest of the greater Boston area; it is so radioactive that it contaminates passing thunderstorms into radstorms.
Nuclear weapons play a large role in the main story of Fallout 76 with Vault 76's overseer departing from the vault early to track down the launch codes and locations of three nuclear missile silos, Site Alpha, Site Bravo and Site Charlie in the Appalachia area. Player characters who manage to locate one of these silos and its respective launch code can use the silo's ICBM to destroy a target of their choice, be it scorchbeasts or enemy player characters. Fat Man nuclear launchers also return.
Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel
A nuclear device also rests on the Secret Vault in Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel, as an emergency decontamination procedure (a self-destruct system) if the vault started to become too dangerous. A special monorail located in the first complex of the laboratories section should be used to evacuate the vault dwellers quickly to a secret exit in the mountains. The Initiate activates it to obliterate all of its research and all of the experimental deathclaws, radbugs, super mutants, robots, and the heavily mutated Attis, destroying both the Secret Vault and the city of Los.
|The following is based on Van Buren and is not canon.|
|End of information based on Van Buren.|
The term nuke is a generic name for a nuclear bomb.
Nuclear weapons appear or are mentioned in all Fallout games.
- Fallout 4 intro: "In the year 1945, my great-great grandfather, serving in the army, wondered when he'd get to go home to his wife and the son he'd never seen. He got his wish when the US ended World War II by dropping atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki."
- Name plate on the side of the bomb
- Fort Constantine terminal entries; Fort Constantine launch control
- The Courier: "Yeah, any detonation with a yield of less than a half-ton of TNT is boring."
Pete: "Exactly! We haven't detonated any atomic warheads since before I was born, but besides that, to heck with nitpicky restrictions!"
- Vault Dweller's Survival Guide; Nuclear blast effects, Overview of delayed effects
- Fallout Bible 0: "2053 Dec Like an exclamation mark on the end of a very bad year, a terrorist nuclear weapon destroys Tel Aviv."