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A shortened term for a nuclear weapon, which is an explosive device that releases its energy by inducing either fission or fusion in matter, causing a chain reaction which is capable of converting matter to energy. Nuclear weapons are the most powerful weapons currently available to mankind, and are capable of much greater energy output than conventional chemical explosives. Powerful nuclear weapons can destroy a city outright.

In addition to their high damage output, nuclear explosions are dangerous due to the vast amount of heat they release (reaching into the millions of degrees), as well as the ionizing radiation and radioactive fallout that can poison and kill living beings exposed to it.

Many attacks of comparable power in fiction are often referred to as nukes, even if they have different properties than an actual nuclear weapon. In addition, "nuke" can be a verb, meaning to hit a target with one or more such powerful attacks.

There also exist characters who can produce nuclear blasts and manipulate nuclear energy

Fictions that make use of or reference nuclear weapons include:

- Alien vs. Predator (nuke it from orbit, it's the only way to be sure)
- Angel Notes (Certain A-rays and the Ether Knights can output energy comparable to a nuke. For the latter it can be an understatement though.)
- Aria the Scarlet Ammo (a 300 meter submarine loaded with nuclear warheads)
- Bastard!! (nuclear weapons existed before the end of the world, various attacks are compared to nuclear weapons in destructive power, one spell can induce nuclear fusion)
- Battle Angel Alita (nukes are considered one of the "5 deadly inventions of humankind", various characters and entities are compared in power to nuclear weapons)
- Calvin and Hobbes (one of Calvin's fantasies involved him imagining himself to be a bomb "as powerful as 100 H-bombs")
- Captain Planet (one episode involves a villain time traveling back to World War II in an attempt to sell nuclear bombs to Hitler)
- Command and Conquer (exist in all 3 verses, used by the Brotherhood of Nod, Soviet Union and People's Republic of China)
- The Culture (nuclear weapons are mentioned, for example it is said that if a 100 megaton H-bomb were detonated onboard a Culture ship, all of the energy would be caught by the trapdoor system and shunted intohyperspace so quickly that even people standing right next to the bomb would not realize that anything had happened)
- DC Comics (nuclear weapons are common on Earth and elsewhere, several characters such as Captain Atom and Firestorm have the ability to manipulate nuclear energy)
- Digimon (various Digimon are stated to have the power of nuclear weapons)
- Doctor Who (nuclear weapons are used by many civilizations, there are also various types of "super-nukes" such as the Z bombs, only one of which could destroy the earth)
- Duke Nukem (the title character's name is a reference, and there is a threat of a nuclear warhead at the end of Duke Nukem Forever)
- Fallout (guess what happened...)
- Fist of the North Star (civilization was destroyed for the most part in a nuclear war prior to the beginning of the series)
- Fullmetal Alchemist (one character could create artificial nuclear fusion and was going to release it in an explosion)
- Futurama (one episode featured a nuclear testing ground near Roswell, New Mexico, in the year 1947)
- Ghost in the Shell (there was a nuclear World War III and the American Empire's principal power advantage lies in its nuclear arsenal, additionally there is the "Japanese Miracle" - micromachines capable of scrubbing up and cleaning the fallout)
- Ghost Sweeper Mikami (nuclear weapons appear in a few story arcs)
- Godzilla (The title character was mutated by nuclear radiation and the entire franchise is sometimes seen as an allegory for nuclear war)
- Heroes (One character has the ability to create nuclear explosions)
- Houshin Engi (One weapon has the ability to alter and manipulate matter, which can cause effects including nuclear explosions)
- How to Kill a Mockingbird (only all the nuclear explosions in the world could blow the moon into the mockingbirds)
- Illium/Olympos (Zeus used a nuclear bomb once to clear a battlefield)
- Kamen Rider (the two original Kamen Riders survive a nuclear explosion and were blasted all the way to Australia)
- Macross (Thermonuclear generators and engines are very common in mechs. Nukes on the other hand use pair-annihilation tech.)
- Manifold Series (Manifold: Time features a spacecraft using nuclear pulse propulsion, also known as an Orion Drive)
- Marvel Comics (nuclear weapons are common)
- Metal Gear
- Metroid (Samus's power bombs are stated to be small nukes)
- Negima (Nukes are stated to exist in the human world, and various characters have had their power compared to nuclear weapons)
- Neon Genesis Evangelion (The military forces in this series make use of powerful bombs called N^2 mines, which stands for "non nuclear". This, however, implies the existence of nuclear weapons on the planet)
- Saint Seiya (in Episode G, a character was able to use his power to overload a nuclear power plant, making it a threat to the Earth)
- Shaman King (nuclear weapons are mentioned as being insufficient to defeat Hao Asakura)
- Starcraft (tactical nukes are used by the Terrans, as well as using larger nukes to life wipe a planet)
- Stargate (nuclear weapons are commonly used by the Tau'ri, they can also be enhanced with naquadah and occasionally naquadria resulting in massive yields from very small devices)
- Star Trek (nuclear wessels)
- Star Wars (nuclear weapons exist, but are considered mostly obsolete)
- Terminator (a major plot point involves Skynet using nukes to destroy human civilization)
- That Guy with the Glasses (Angry Joe uses them liberally, and the Nostalgia Critic can cause nuclear explosions by shouting "EXPLAIN!")
- To Aru Majutsu no Index (nuclear weapons are mentioned in this universe, some characters like Accelerator are said to be able to tank them)
- Touhou (one character can manipulate nuclear energy)
- Tyrian (There are weapons known as "atom bombs", although considering the technological sophistication of the setting and the kind of damage output its weapons are capable of it is likely they are not the same type of nuclear weapons as we know them)
- Valiant Comics (nuclear weapons are common)
- Vertigo Comics (In Preacher, a nuclear bomb is fired at the Saint of Killers, which does no harm at all to him)
- Watchmen (one of the main themes of the series is an impending nuclear war between the US and the USSR and how to prevent it, Doctor Manhattan can also manipulate nuclear energy)