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A new thermal analysis of a catastrophic mirror damage in laser diodes is presented in the present paper. Three‐dimensional heat spreading and temperature dependence of a thermal conductivity is taken into account in the model. Both an active layer heating and a nonradiative recombination of carriers generated by absorbed radiation in an active area close to a facet mirror are considered as heat sources. The model is strictly correct for times ranging from 6.2 to 500 nsec for a standard stripe laser diode, i.e., for currents not higher than 4.5 A and not lower than 0.8 A. The analytical solution of the thermal conduction equation gives a dependence of a catastrophic‐degradation time, i.e., a permissible length of current pulses from a point of view of the catastrophic mirror damage, on the amplitude of the pulses for the standard stripe laser diode.