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A nuclear weapon was a powerful and destructive device based on the principles of nuclear fission. The Eighth Doctor once commented that a nuclear device tapped into the power of the planet itself. (AUDIO: The Last)
Nuclear weapons on Earth Edit
During the Cold War, the major powers aimed nuclear missiles at one another, ensuring a stalemate through mutually assured destruction. In 1983, Skaldak attempted to launch a Soviet submarine's nuclear missile so that the two sides would wipe out all of humanity. (TV: Cold War)
In 2009, UNIT attempted to fire nuclear weapons at the Sontaran flagship to prevent the Sontaran invasion of Earth, but this was secretly thwarted by a clone of Martha Jones who averted the countdown. As noted by the Tenth Doctor, those missiles wouldn't have even dented the Sontaran ship, making him curious as to why the Sontarans would take actions to stop the launch, later finding out that it was to preserve the clone feed that they had spread across Earth. After the Martha clone died, the Doctor had the real Martha continue cancelling the countdown, not wanting to start an interplanetary war. (TV: The Poison Sky)
In the early 21st century, Kate Stewart threatened to detonate a nuclear weapon to destroy London and the Black Archive to prevent the Zygons from getting everything in the Archive. Kate and her Zygon duplicate fought over the countdown of the bomb, but the War, Tenth and Eleventh Doctor forced them both to cancel the countdown by erasing their memories of who was who so they would be forced to make peace. (TV: The Day of the Doctor)
Nuclear weapons on other planets Edit
The Marshal of Atrios attempted to end the war between Atrios and Zeos by firing a nuclear missile from his Command Capsule at Zeos, but the Fourth Doctor redirected his attack onto the Third planet. (TV: The Armageddon Factor)
Alternate timelines Edit
In an alternative timeline, it was thought that U.S. President John F. Kennedy would have started a nuclear war on 22 January 1964 if he had not been assassinated on 22 November 1963. (PROSE: Who Killed Kennedy)
In another alternative timeline created by the Elder Gods in the hope of destroying Earth, World War III broke out on 9 November 1989 between the United States and its allies including the United Kingdom on the one hand and the Soviet Union on the other hand. Given that nuclear weapons were used by both sides, hundreds of millions of people were killed in the conflict. This timeline was ultimately negated by the Seventh Doctor. (AUDIO: Protect and Survive)