Nuclear Weapon Tests and its Consequences - Seeker's Thoughts

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Nuclear Weapon Tests and its Consequences

In the world today, there are nine major countries that currently possess nuclear weapons. It’s important to understand what nuclear weapons. can do to the world.

A nuclear weapon is defined as an explosive that has such an intense power behind it that the form of weaponry can cause massive amounts of damage in faraway places.


The amount of radioactivity generated by a nuclear explosion can vary considerably depending upon a number of factors. These include the size of the weapon and the location of the burst. 

An explosion at ground level may be expected to generate more dust and other radioactive particulate matters than an airburst. The dispersion of radioactive material is also dependent upon weather conditions.
Nuclear fallout and the radioactive contamination resulting from nuclear weaponry is incredibly harmful, particularly affecting biological organisms and their ecosystem. 

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Countries with nuclear weapons
  • Russia, 6,850 nuclear warheads
  • The United States of America, 6,550 warheads
  • France, 300 warheads
  • China, 280 warheads
  • The United Kingdom, 215 warheads
  • Pakistan, 145 warheads
  • India, 135 warheads
  • Israel, 80 warheads
  • North Korea, 15 warheads

Types of nuclear weapons
There are two types of explosives, including fission bombs and thermonuclear bomb. Fission bombs are detonated by way of a fission nuclear reaction, hence the name. However, this is not the only method of activating nuclear weapons. 

Bombs that are detonated through a combination of fission and fusion are called thermonuclear bombs. Both types of explosives fall under the category of nuclear weaponry.
The first nuclear test was carried out by the United States in July 1945, followed by the Soviet Union in 1949, the United Kingdom in 1952, and France in 1960, and China in 1964. 

The National Resources Defence Council estimated the total yield of all nuclear tests conducted between 1945 and 1980 at 510 megatons (Mt). 

Atmospheric tests alone accounted for 428 MT, equivalent to over 29,000 Hiroshima size bombs.

Nuclear weapons have been used twice, and both times, they were employed for the sake of wars that had broken out.

The first time the United States of America detonated nuclear weapons against Japan in the city of Hiroshima and it was the end of world war II.

The uranium fission bomb was detonated directly over top of the city, this infuriated not only the Japanese government but everyone who lived in Japan at the time, as well as their allies.

The nuclear weapon that the united states dropped overhead caused more damage than any country should ever inflict in another, a mere three days after the nuclear weapon hit Hiroshima, a plutonium bomb was detonated the USA over the city of Nagasaki, Japan, as if one nuclear weapon was not enough, the USA decided to fire another nuclear weapon in the direction of Japan.
Sadly enough, over 200,000 people died as a result of these two nuclear bombings, which lead to a lot of questions regarding the ethics behind the use of nuclear weapons.

Current scenario 
Presently eight different nations around the world have successfully detonated nuclear weapons. 

Five of these eight countries are actually designated as states that reserve the right to have nuclear weapons on their grounds; which was decided upon in the treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons.
The rest of the three nations including North Korea, India, and Pakistan are not part of Non- Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons. 

The Middle Eastern country of Israel, which is recognized as a religiously-affiliated country, also has nuclear weapons within its borders. 

Known as the holy land to many Christians, Muslims, and Jews, it is shocking to think about Israel as being one of the countries that have their hands on nuclear weapons, mostly because religion tends to emphasize peace and communication over war and destruction, of which nuclear weapons are incredibly capable.
In fact, Israel is currently fighting to prevent an enemy country, Iran, from securing nuclear weapons of their own most likely because that would level the playing field instead if giving Israel a leg up over Iran.

North Korea, has active and increasingly sophisticated nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs and is believed to possess chemical and biological weapons capabilities. 
North Korea unilaterally withdrew from the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons in January 2003, is not a party to the comprehensive nuclear –test – ban treaty, and has conducted six increasingly sophisticated nuclear tests since 2006. 
In defiance of the international community, which has imposed heavy sanction on North Korea for its illicit behavior, the country has continued to escalate its nuclear weapon tests activities.
In July 2017, North Korea successfully tested its first intercontinental ballistic missile, and in September 2017 it’s conducted a test of what it’s claimed was a thermonuclear weapon.
After years of heightened regional tensions and frequent North Korean nuclear and ballistic missile tests, early 2018 saw a thaw in diplomatic relations. 

In April, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un announced a halt to all nuclear and ICBM tests and participated in a summit meeting with the leader of South Korea. 

On 12 June 2018, Kim met with U.S. President Donald Trump in Singapore, the first face-to-face meeting between leaders of North Korea and the United States in history. At the summit, the DPRK pledged “to work toward complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.
 Not only are the ethics of nuclear weapons constantly in question, but these weapons pose a question as to whether they are really necessary in the first place.

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How nuclear weapons can affect human?
Nuclear fallout poses health dangers, particularly in the form of cancer, to humans in the form of radiation when radioactive chemicals break down they release a certain amount of radiation. 

When humans are exposed to this radiation there is a risk that it caused chemical changes in cells which can kill or makes cells abnormal. 

In damaging the DNA contained in cells, radiation can cause cancer and can also lead to birth defects in children due to the tampering with a person’s genetic makeup. 

The amount of radiation that the body is exposed to is measured in a unit known as the gray which is defined as the absorption of one-joule energy per kilogram of tissue. Another long-term health effect the induction of eye cataracts.

Environmental damage

Due to numerous testing weapons testing incidents site have been critically contaminated both on land in marine environments. The spike of radiation levels from the atmospheric test of nuclear weapons is readily observed in nature. 

The increased presence of radioactive isotopes released by nuclear weapons test is still found in test sites worldwide. 

Chemicals have been transferred to the marine environment and affected local food chains. The spread of radionuclides through the food chain resulted in contaminated milk that reached human consumption and is correlated with an increased rate of thyroid cancer. Additionally, underground tests still have potential dangers. Fission by-products enter in ecosystem via underground leakage.
Radiation exposure also has serious impacts on plant life. It causes DNA damage and chromosomal aberrations to reduce seed germination cause sterility or reproduction issues and can kill plants. The magnitude of damage depends on the amount of radiation exposure.

Also, read
Sanctions on Iran by US and its impact on the world
Yemen crisis
Israel Palestine war

What world’s organization is doing to prevent nuclear weapon testing?
The world observed international day against nuclear tests observed on August 29th with the aim to raise awareness about the effects of nuclear weapon test explosions or any other nuclear explosions. 
It seeks to commemorate the closure of the Semipalatinsk nuclear test site (also known as the polygon) on 29 August 1991. This nuclear test site was the primary testing venue for nuclear weapons of the Soviet Union. It is located on steppe in northeast Kazakhstan (then Kazakh SSR part USSR), south of valet if rage Irtysh River. 
On this test site, Soviet Union had conducted total 456 nuclear tests from 1949 until 1989 (340 underground and 116 atmospheric explosions i.e. roughly equivalent of 2500 Hiroshima atomic bombs) with little regard for their ill-effects of radiation on local people or environment.

With what purpose?
To promote peace and security worldwide and calls for urgent need to prevent nuclear catastrophes to avert devastating effects on humankind, environment and the planet. To highlight the urgent need for cessation of nuclear weapons as one of the means of achieving the goal of a nuclear-weapon-free world.
About International Day against Nuclear Tests
It was officially proclaimed by United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) by unanimously adopting Resolution 64/35 in December 2009 initiated by Kazakhstan with the support of a large number of sponsors and cosponsors. It was observed for the first time in 2010 and since then observed annually to galvanize necessity of banning nuclear weapon tests.
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