go nuclear

go nuclear

1. To use nuclear weapons, as by the military, often considered a last resort. I'm worried about the repercussions if our military officials decide to go nuclear.
2. In the US Senate, to pursue a course of action allowing the majority party to end filibustering with a simple majority, rather than the usually required supermajority of 60%. Senators could, however, go nuclear and approve this nomination.
3. To behave wildly. You only turn 21 once, so I plan to go nuclear at my birthday party this weekend!
4. To aggressively express one's anger. When mom finds out you dented her brand-new car, she's going to go nuclear!
5. To take drastic action. Whoa, calling the CEO about this issue is definitely going nuclear—let's see what we can do on our own first.
See also: go, nuclear

go nuclear

mainly BRITISH, INFORMAL
If someone goes nuclear, they get extremely angry and start shouting or behaving violently. The row during which he went nuclear and resigned from his post was much reported in the press. Compare with go ballistic.
See also: go, nuclear
References in periodicals archive ?
Michael Shellenberger, a visiting environmentalist who was a Time magazine "Hero of the Environment," hopes to convince President Duterte to let the Philippines "go nuclear" on the basis of convincing arguments and comparative data between countries using and not using nuclear energy.
River City BBC1 Theresa is still on the run with baby Mackenzie, and Scarlett is ready to go nuclear. The tension is at breaking point at the O'Haras and a panicked Scarlett is convinced that the police aren't doing enough.
The project will make Saudi Arabia only the second Arab country after the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to go nuclear, in a bid to provide its 32 million population with electricity.
Should the conflict go nuclear, it is capable of triggering larger ozone losses globally than the ones previously predicted for a full-scale nuclear war.
So why go nuclear? If we had no other option, I would think you may have to consider nuclear.
#I disagree with your Voice of the Mirror comment "It's time to go nuclear" (March 8).
* The Americans became the first Western leaders to break a taboo by recognizing that Iran may go nuclear. Yes, the Israeli lobby and its Senate Republican friends wouldn't like it, but it became a fait accompli in Western capitals.
A senior British military officer also told the paper that Western military leaders "all assume the Saudis have made the decision to go nuclear."
Yet the prospective agreement is so clearly a pathway to an Iranian bomb that the Saudis are signaling that the deal itself would impel them to go nuclear.
"With the best intentions and all efforts, (the former US) President (Ronald) Reagan vowed that Pakistan would not go nuclear. Didn't happen.
allows Iran to go nuclear, it risks the "Finlandization" of the Persian Gulf.
"To be fair to King Jong-un, if I was given a haircut like that, I'd go nuclear." - Rory Bremner.
Does the nation go nuclear, rely on renewable technology or "frack" our countryside to release gas?
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu argues that Iran must be kept from holding huge quantities of enriched uranium lest it go nuclear. He also argues that Iran should be deprived of triggers and missiles that can help Iran in its bid to go nuclear.