" ground-penetrating weapons, but those tend to be thermoberic, not nuclear."
Ground penetrating thermobaric weapons? What gobbledegook is that? Thermobaric weapons depend on the available air to create a shockwave front. They have to be exploded in the open air - or in an existing chamber with an air-space and plenty of oxygen.
As for "Nukes are almost exclusively air-burst, Ground-burst nukes have potential to be too nasty even for the people that would set them off."
Total BS. Virtually all first strike missile nukes would be aimed at reinforced silos in the opposing country - requiring ground burst to even getting near to taking them out. Yes, ground burst is messy due to fallout, but tough shit. Its not as if there would be anyone intending to live there afterwards