Dangers Of Nuclear Weapons

Dangers Of Nuclear Weapons
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C O N T E N T S:

KEY TOPICS

  • The world is filled with dangers, but nuclear weapons constitute a transcendental threat, capable of putting civilization at risk.(More…)
  • Despite the end of the Cold War over two decades ago, humanity still has over 14,400 nuclear weapons.(More…)
  • Should India and Pakistan join such a convention, they would have to agree to halt the production of fissile materials for weapons and to accept international verification on their relevant nuclear facilities (enrichment and reprocessing plants).(More…)
  • “A new danger has been rising in the past three years and that is the possibility there might be a nuclear exchange between the United States and Russia ? brought about by a substantial miscalculation, a false alarm.”(More…)
  • Possible deaths from uncertain climatic effects are a small danger compared to the incalculable millions in many countries likely to die from starvation caused by disastrous shortages of essentials of modern agriculture sure to result from a Soviet-American nuclear war, and by the cessation of most international food shipments.(More…)
  • Following the 1998 tests the question has been reopened and both Pakistan and India have indicated their intention to sign the CTBT. Indian ratification may be conditional upon the five weapons states agreeing to specific reductions in nuclear arsenals.(More…)
  • In order to determine the effects of nuclear explosions on human tissue, several animals were placed in the vicinity of Pacific Ocean weapons tests conducted in 1946.(More…)
  • Beyond the risks associated with nuclear power and radioactive waste, the threat of nuclear weapons looms large.(More…)
  • The current escalating nuclear danger reminds us of a similar time of peril.(More…)
  • The danger of nuclear attacks was ever-present for more than four decades during the Cold War.(More…)

POSSIBLY USEFUL

  • A 1979 report by the U.S. Government estimated that all-out war would kill 28%-88% of Americans and 22%-50% of Soviets (150-450 million people with today’s populations), but this was before the risk of nuclear winter was discovered in the 1980’s.(More…)
  • Those who are sceptical of deterrence easily slip back from nuclear logic, by which slight risk of great damage deters, to conventional logic, by which states may somewhat sensibly risk war on narrowly calculated advantages.(More…)
  • All other nations of the world have joined the treaty as “Non-Nuclear Weapons States,” but one country (North Korea) has withdrawn.(More…)
  • Ferguson has served as a foreign affairs officer in the Bureau of Nonproliferation, U.S. Department of State, where he helped develop policies on nuclear safety and security issues.(More…)
  • It is a clear incitement to other weapon states to do the same, and a clear violation of the NPT obligation to end the arms race and pursue effective disarmament measures.(More…)
  • It did not take a decision on whether such weapons would be compatible with the law in “an extreme circumstance of self-defence in which the very survival of a State would be at stake”, a part of the decision that has been widely criticized.(More…)
  • During the chaos that followed the Soviet collapse in the early 1990s, radioactive material was frequently stolen from poorly guarded reactors and nuclear facilities in Russia and its former satellite states.(More…)
  • Beyond the first few days, however, it appears that no federal or state agency has detailed plans in place for recovering from a nuclear attack.(More…)
  • The possibility that a warhead, or the material to build one, could fall into the hands of a rogue state or terrorist helped drive President Barack Obama’s deal to temporarily halt Iran’s alleged weapons program.(More…)

RANKED SELECTED SOURCES

KEY TOPICS

The world is filled with dangers, but nuclear weapons constitute a transcendental threat, capable of putting civilization at risk. [1] Those who hold exaggerated beliefs about the dangers from nuclear weapons must first be convinced that nuclear war would not inevitably be the end of them and everything worthwhile. [2] PSR advocates on the issues you care about by addressing the dangers that threaten communities, such as nuclear weapons. [3] The dangers from nuclear weapons have been distorted and exaggerated, for varied reasons. [2]

The current arms race between the United States and Russia betrays the same assumptions as the last one: that new weapons will be better, and that technological innovations can overcome the nuclear threat. [4] By deploying large numbers of both tactical and strategic weapons, the United States embraced a nuclear decision-making process that was simultaneously centralized and decentralized–and bound to be chaotic in a crisis. [4] The most recent Nuclear Employment Strategy of the United States, issued by the Obama Administration, in 2016, is a veritable jobs program for weapons of mass destruction. [4] Defense Threat Reduction Agency : Official U.S. combat support agency for countering weapons of mass destruction, including nuclear, biological, radiological, chemical, and high yield explosive threats. [3] I emphasize the conditions and caveats that would have to accompany any such treaty regime–including clear rules for ways the major powers might consider temporarily rearming themselves with nuclear arms in the event of a future violation of the treaty regime, even after weapons had been eliminated. [5] “This treaty will not make the world more peaceful, will not result in the elimination of a single nuclear weapon, and will not enhance any state?s security,” the State Department said in a statement after the group won the Nobel Peace Prize. [4] He also supports extending the norms against nuclear weapons, and in that regard appeals to States that possess nuclear weapons to affirm that a nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought. [6] We have strong leadership on the issue from outside government, including Secretary Perry, former Secretaries of State George Schultz and Henry Kissinger and former Sen. Sam Nunn, who have written a series of articles outlining the threat of nuclear weapons. [1] Last November, Pope Francis backed the treaty, altering the Catholic Church?s position on nuclear weapons; the Vatican had long opposed their use in war and advocated nuclear disarmament, but recognized their value in deterring war. [4] Two countries, the United States and Russia, have a special responsibility to lessen the risk of nuclear weapons, simply because we created, deployed and still possess the great bulk of these weapons. [1] After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the fear of nuclear war receded, and arms-control agreements between the United States and Russia cut the number of nuclear weapons by about eighty per cent. [4] During the Kennedy and Johnson Administrations, Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara concluded that the United States should have enough nuclear weapons to fulfill two objectives: deter a Soviet attack and limit the damage of such an attack by destroying Soviet nuclear forces. [4] He said that the United States had a moral responsibility, as the only country that has used nuclear weapons, to lead the international effort to abolish them. [4] The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) : Coalition of non-governmental organizations in one hundred countries promoting adherence to and implementation of the United Nations nuclear weapon ban treaty. [3] In July, 2017, the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, sponsored by ICAN, was endorsed by a hundred and twenty-two of the hundred and ninety-three countries in the United Nations. [4]

Some progress has been made, including adoption by the U.S. and Russia of the New START treaty that limits the number of strategic nuclear weapons for each side and provides new means of verification. [1] Russia and the United States possess about ninety per cent of the world?s approximately fifteen thousand nuclear weapons, maintaining arsenals large and diverse enough to hit a variety of targets. [4] The world’s governments are trying to control the spread of nuclear-bomb-making technology and materials and reduce the arsenal of nuclear weapons deployed during the Cold War. [7] The Soviet Union built a similar mix of tactical and strategic forces to deter the United States–and had more than forty thousand nuclear weapons at the end of the Cold War. [4] During the Cold War, the Soviet Union claimed that it would never be the first to use nuclear weapons. [4] By the late nineteen-eighties, the United States had more than twenty thousand nuclear weapons, and planned to use almost four hundred of them just to strike targets in Moscow. [4]

The new policy assumes that American tactical weapons will deter the use of Russian tactical weapons, raising “the nuclear threshold” and making “nuclear employment less likely.” [4] We also support the removal of nuclear weapons from hair-trigger alert, which further increases the risk of accidental war. [3] Soviet propagandists promptly exploited belief in unsurvivable “nuclear winter” to increase fear of nuclear weapons and war, and to demoralize their enemies. [2] Powered by a visionary group of 300 international leaders and experts who support our bold, step-by-step plan to eliminate all nuclear weapons by 2030, the relentless creativity, energy and optimism of young people and half a million citizens worldwide, Global Zero is challenging the 20th century idea of basing national security on the threat of mass destruction. [3] ICAN wants to stigmatize nuclear weapons, portraying them as inherently immoral and in violation of international law, not symbols of power or guarantors of national security. [4] I have also met with many of the top officials at our nuclear-weapon laboratories, with the leadership of the National Nuclear Security Administration (the civilian agency in charge of our nuclear weapons), and with the commanding officers at the Air Force Global Strike Command, the unit responsible for our intercontinental ballistic missiles and strategic bombers. [4] These include the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), the Treaty Banning Nuclear Weapon Tests In The Atmosphere, In Outer Space And Under Water, also known as the Partial Test Ban Treaty (PTBT), the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT), which was signed in 1996 but has yet to enter into force, and the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW), opened for signature in 2017 but has yet to enter into force. [6] “North Korea test nuclear weapon ‘as powerful as Hiroshima bomb.'” [7] At the height of the Cold War, the United States kept about seven thousand tactical nuclear weapons in Europe. [4] North Korea feels threatened by the United States, while some politicians in Japan and South Korea advocate developing their own nuclear weapons to counter those of North Korea. [4] If the two countries, which possess nine-tenths of the world?s nuclear weapons, can agree to make significant cuts in their arsenals, the other nuclear powers can be pressured to do the same. [4] From my point of view, however, the gravest threat to our security and well-being as a nation is the threat posed by nuclear weapons. [1] In addition to possibly spooking U.S. allies who worry about how they will ensure their security in a dangerous world, there are two problems with trying to abolish nuclear weapons too soon. [5] ° Myth: Overkill would result if all the U.S. and U.S.S.R, nuclear weapons were used meaning not only that the two superpowers have more than enough weapons to kill all of each other’s people, but also that they have enough weapons to exterminate the human race. [2] Eliminating nuclear weapons from the face of the Earth has technically been a goal of U.S. policy since the 1960s, for example. [5] Many, if not most, advocates of nuclear disarmament consider the abolition of nuclear weapons the moral equivalent of the abolition of slavery–and imply that, just as with slavery, once eliminated, nuclear weapons should be gone for good (absent a blatant violation of the treaty by a country that chooses to build a nuclear arsenal in the future). [5] What of the issue of timing–not only of when to try to negotiate and then implement a treaty but how to describe the vision of nuclear disarmament in the short term? Many nuclear disarmament advocates pull back the minute anyone asks if they want a treaty soon, recognizing the impracticality of trying to abolish nuclear weapons in the next few years. [5] Anyone affiliated with the Future of Life Institute concerned with nuclear weapons ought to study the some of the books published in the past 20 years about the history of the struggle for peace, for nuclear disarmament, and for an end to the Cold War. [3] The problem with putting off debate about nuclear disarmament, however, is that existing powers remain in a weak position to pressure would-be proliferators to abstain from the pursuit of nuclear weapons. [5] The U.S., Russia and other powers now plan to invest over $1 trillion to create new, more modern nuclear weapons. [3] Russia is building a wide range of new missiles, bombers, and submarines that will carry nuclear weapons. [4] During the Eisenhower Administration, the authority to use nuclear weapons was secretly delegated to relatively low-level American officers assigned to NATO. [4] The Atomic Energy Act of 1946 specified that the President had the sole authority to order the use of a nuclear weapon. [4] “Such fatalism is a deadly adversary, for, if we believe that the spread of nuclear weapons is inevitable, then in some way we are admitting to ourselves that the use of nuclear weapons is inevitable.” [4] In a recent documentary, Putin said that his country would only use its nuclear weapons in retaliation–and that he wouldn?t hesitate to use them. [4] If a meeting between Trump and the North Korean leader, Kim Jong Un, ever occurs, Kim should be told that having nuclear weapons, for a wide variety of reasons, makes the destruction of his country more likely. [4] The abolition of nuclear weapons will require unprecedented trust between nations, a strict inspection regime, and severe punishments against any country that cheats. [4] At Hiroshima and Nagasaki, nuclear weapons were used against a nation that didn?t have them. [4] ° Facts: Unsurvivable “nuclear winter” is a discredited theory that, since its conception in 1982, has been used to frighten additional millions into believing that trying to survive a nuclear war is a waste of effort and resources, and that only by ridding the world of almost all nuclear weapons do we have a chance of surviving. [2] Abolition 2000 : An international global network of organizations and individuals working for a global treaty to prohibit and eliminate nuclear weapons. [3] At a 1986 summit in Reykjavik, Reagan and the Soviet leader at the time, Mikhail Gorbachev, nearly reached an agreement to get rid of all of their countries? nuclear weapons. [4] The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff at the time, General Colin Powell, had trained in the employment of tactical nuclear weapons as a young officer and thought that they “had no place on a battlefield.” [4] J. Robert Oppenheimer, known as the “father of the atomic bomb,” opposed the development of the H-bomb, and, in 1951, he strongly advocated the development of low-yield, “tactical” nuclear weapons that would be aimed at military targets. [4] Pakistan is now moving away from that sort of minimum deterrence to a more complex strategy known as “full-spectrum deterrence,” building tactical nuclear weapons to offset India?s superiority in troop strength and conventional weapons. [4] That authority was later embodied in America?s main nuclear-war plan, the Single Integrated Operational Plan ( SIOP )–a highly-centralized scheme that launched nuclear weapons in an all-out attack on the Soviet Union and its allies. [4] In addition to minimizing the nuclear threat & getting rid of nuclear weapons, we need to get rid of the nuclear state, and have truly democratic state again — a well-informed, principled, democratic state. [3] One of the most detrimental effects of nuclear weapons has been the development of the nuclear state. [3] Nuclear weapons have incredible, long-term destructive power that travels far beyond the original target. [7] President Barack Obama argued for ridding the world of nuclear weapons in the first major foreign policy speech of his presidency, delivered in Prague in April 2009. [1] China pursued a policy of minimum deterrence, planned only to destroy American cities, and never had more than a few hundred nuclear weapons. [4] To explode enough nuclear weapons of any size to completely destroy American cities would be an irrational waste of warheads. [2] The Air Force got the most lethal nuclear weapons of all, mounted on cruise missiles, ballistic missiles, and bombers. [4] The detonation of a nuclear weapon unleashes tremendous destruction, but the ruins would contain microscopic evidence of where the bombs’ materials came from. [7] We also need to step up our efforts to reduce the quantity of nuclear weapons and materials. [1] Less than a decade after President Barack Obama called for the abolition of nuclear weapons, the nine countries that possess them are engaged in a new nuclear-arms race. [4] Tensions are on the rise, and both countries are pursuing a new generation of smaller nuclear weapons. [1] Those estimates did not include deaths from illness, radiation poisoning, or Soviet nuclear weapons. [4] Don’t Bank on the Bomb : A European effort to discourage investments in companies that help build or upgrade nuclear weapons. [3] The Trump Administration and the eight other governments that have nuclear weapons vehemently disagree on a wide range of issues, but they are united in opposition to ICAN ?s treaty. [4] More than seven decades later, on the afternoon of December 10, 2017, I watched Thurlow accept the Nobel Peace Prize on behalf of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons ( ICAN ). [4] In light of the news that the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons has won this year?s Nobel Peace Prize, below is a newly-relevant excerpt from O?Hanlon?s book. [5] Global Zero : International movement for the elimination of nuclear weapons. [3] Mayors for Peace : Close cooperation among the cities that strives to raise international public awareness regarding the need to abolish nuclear weapons. [3] Although nuclear weapons have only been used twice in warfare–in the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945–about 14,500 reportedly remain in our world today and there have been over 2,000 nuclear tests conducted to date. [6] The world will be frozen if only 100 megatons (less than one percent of all nuclear weapons) are used to ignite cities. [2] The United Nations Secretariat supports efforts aimed at the non-proliferation and total elimination of nuclear weapons [6] According to the World Health Organization, no nation has the medical facilities or emergency-response capability to deal with the detonation of a single nuclear weapon in a city, let alone hundreds. After a nuclear blast, as in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, survivors would have to fend for themselves. [4] There are obstacles to progress, including economic interests tied to producing and maintaining nuclear weapons, the sheer complexity of how to achieve a reduction and the nationalistic pride that drives nations to develop and hang onto their weapons. [1] ° Facts: A nuclear weapon 1000 times as powerful as the one that blasted Hiroshima, if exploded under comparable conditions, produces equally serious blast damage to wood-frame houses over an area up to about 130 times as large, not 1000 times as large. [2] Eric Schlosser is the author of “Command and Control: Nuclear Weapons, the Damascus Accident, and the Illusion of Safety,” from 2013, and a producer of the documentary “Command and Control,” from 2016. [4] Nine years later, nuclear weapons have regained their sinister allure. [4] “Yet in spite of the immeasurable importance of nuclear weapons, the world has declined, on the whole, to think about them very much,” Jonathan Schell wrote in ” The Fate of the Earth,” which was published in The New Yorker thirty-six years ago. [4] The Army wanted a hundred and fifty-one thousand tactical nuclear weapons to hit battlefield targets, but eventually obtained about a twentieth of that number. [4] Francis called nuclear weapons “senseless from even a tactical standpoint,” criticized their “catastrophic humanitarian and environmental effects,” and “firmly condemned” any possession of them. [4]

The return of tactical weapons is the most controversial aspect of Trump?s Nuclear Posture Review. [4]

The main dangers from an air burst are the blast effects, the thermal pulses of intense light and heat radiation, and the very penetrating initial nuclear radiation from the fireball. [2] In the nineteen-eighties, the astronomer Carl Sagan brought public attention to the danger of “nuclear winter,” a sudden and extreme form of climate change that would be precipitated by the dust and debris rising into the atmosphere as mushroom clouds from obliterated cities. [4]

That choice effectively disappeared with the production of atomic bombs by the United States during World War II. Since the great powers are unlikely to be drawn into the nuclear wars of others, the added global dangers posed by the spread of nuclear weapons are small. [8] After asking: might a future Russian ruler or renegade Russian general be tempted to use nuclear weapons to make foreign policy? The documentary writers revealed a greater danger of Russian security over its nuclear stocks, but especially the ultimate danger of human nature to want the ultimate weapon of mass destruction to exercise political and military power. [9] D uring the past decade, the United States and Russia have joined in a number of efforts to reduce the danger posed by the enormous quantity of weapons-usable material withdrawn from nuclear weapons. [10] Fears are compounded by the danger of internal coups in which the control of nuclear weapons may he the main object of the struggle and the key to political power. [8]

Despite the end of the Cold War over two decades ago, humanity still has over 14,400 nuclear weapons. [3] The knowledge to make nuclear weapons will not disappear, and relevant nuclear materials will not do so either. [5] Israel is expanding the range of its Jericho III ballistic missiles and deploying cruise missiles with nuclear weapons on submarines. [4] Until the day when those things are possible, greatly reducing the number of nuclear weapons, taking ballistic missiles off of alert, and abandoning high-risk strategies will make the world a much safer place. [4]

Should India and Pakistan join such a convention, they would have to agree to halt the production of fissile materials for weapons and to accept international verification on their relevant nuclear facilities (enrichment and reprocessing plants). [9] It is widely believed that the nuclear programs of India and Pakistan used CANDU reactors to produce fissionable materials for their weapons; however, this is not accurate. [9] Other than the acquisition of these special materials, the scientific and technical means for weapons construction to develop rudimentary, but working, nuclear explosive devices are considered to be within the reach of industrialized nations. [9] These efforts began immediately after the discovery of nuclear fission and its military potential. 4 None of these efforts were explicitly public, because the weapon developments themselves were kept secret until the bombing of Hiroshima. [9] While this was a well-suited design to start a wholly indigenous nuclear reactor development, it also exhibited all the features of a small plutonium production reactor for weapons purposes. [9] After saying what follows for American policy from my analysis, I briefly state the main reasons for believing that the slow spread of nuclear weapons will promote peace and reinforce international stability. [8] Preventive strikes against states that have, or may have, nuclear weapons are hard to imagine, but what about pre-emptive ones? The new worry in a world in which nuclear weapons have spread is that states of limited and roughly similar capabilities will use them against one another. [8] Nuclear weapons in the hands of six or seven states have lessened wars and limited conflicts. [8] Four countries besides the five recognized Nuclear Weapons States have acquired, or are presumed to have acquired, nuclear weapons: India, Pakistan, North Korea, and Israel. [9] The treaty recognizes five countries as “Nuclear Weapons States,” and three other countries not party to the treaty are de facto possessors of nuclear weapons. [10] A state may want nuclear weapons for fear that its great-power ally will not retaliate if the other great power attacks. [8] In their article, “The Correlates of Nuclear Proliferation,” Sonali Singh and Christopher R. Way argue that states protected by a security guarantee from a great power, particularly if backed by the “nuclear umbrella” of extended deterrence, have less of an incentive to acquire their own nuclear weapons. [9] The measured and selective spread of nuclear weapons does not run against our interests and can increase the security of some states at a price they can afford to pay. [8] The slow spread of nuclear weapons gives states time to learn to live with them, to appreciate their virtues, and to understand the limits they place on behaviour. [8] India has consistently attempted to pass measures that would call for full international disarmament, however they have not succeeded due to protests from those states that already have nuclear weapons. [9] In light of this, India viewed nuclear weapons as a necessary right for all nations as long as certain states were still in possession of nuclear weapons. [9] The have-not nations have agreed not to receive nuclear weapons, their components, or relevant information, whereas the Nuclear Weapons States have agreed not to furnish these items. [10] Third. many fear that states that are radical at home will recklessly use their nuclear weapons in pursuit of revolutionary ends abroad. [8] Use of nuclear weapons by lesser states will come only if survival is at stake. [8] Concentrating attention on the destructive power of nuclear weapons has obscured the important benefits they promise to states trying to coexist in a self-help world. [8] The ‘ Gandhi Plan ‘, put forward in 1988, proposed the revision of the Non-Proliferation Treaty, which it regards as inherently discriminatory in favor of the nuclear-weapon States, and a timetable for complete nuclear weapons disarmament. [9] And, most important of all, the Nuclear Weapons States have agreed to reduce the role of nuclear weapons in international relations and to work in good faith toward their elimination. [10] By acquiring nuclear weapons a state changes one variable in a complex equation of forces. [8]

The Navy argued that a few hundred nuclear warheads, mounted atop missiles in its submarines and aimed at Soviet cities, would keep the peace, guarantee deterrence, and render all those Army and Air Force weapons unnecessary. [4] The exotic weapons recently announced by Putin–long-distance undersea drones with nuclear warheads, nuclear-powered cruise missiles that can circle the globe–aren?t necessary to evade a missile defense system. [4]

The dangers from such weapons arise from their very existence. [6]

“A new danger has been rising in the past three years and that is the possibility there might be a nuclear exchange between the United States and Russia ? brought about by a substantial miscalculation, a false alarm.” [11] Unlike coal, oil, or natural gas, it doesn’t produce greenhouse gas emissions (because it doesn’t combust carbon), and we’re not in any danger of running out of nuclear fuel for tens of thousands of years. [12] Former Secretary of Defense William Perry stated, “Today, the danger of some sort of nuclear catastrophe is greater than it was during the Cold War.” [13]

The alternative to nuclear weapons for some countries may be ruinous arms races with high risk of their becoming engaged in debilitating conventional wars. [8] Nuclear weapons have reduced the chances of war between the United States and the Soviet Union and between the Soviet Union and China. [8] The United States and the Soviet Union have more readily contemplated the use of nuclear weapons than lesser nuclear states have done or are likely to do. [8] Twenty years after the cold war, neither nation has ruled out first use of its nuclear arsenal and both maintain a launch-on-warning, keeping a combined total of 1,800 nuclear weapons on hair-trigger alert. [11] Deterrence works because nuclear weapons enable one state to punish another state severely without first defeating it. [8] Hiding nuclear weapons and keeping them under control are tasks for which the ingenuity of numerous states is adequate. [8] In asking what the spread of nuclear weapons will do to the world, we are asking about the effects to be expected as a larger number of relatively weak states get nuclear weapons. [8] Notable non-signatories to the NPT are Israel, Pakistan, and India (the latter two have since tested nuclear weapons, while Israel is considered by most to be an unacknowledged nuclear weapons state). [9] Nuclear weapons have never been used in a world in which two or more states possessed them. [8] Present policy works hard to prevent additional states from acquiring nuclear weapons. [8] In sharp contrast, the presence of nuclear weapons makes States exceedingly cautious. [8] Where States are bitter enemies one may fear that they will be unable to resist using their nuclear weapons against each other. [8] States that acquire nuclear weapons will not be regarded with indifference. [8] Some studies and evaluations, including an assessment by Arjun Makhijani on the health effects of nuclear weapon complexes, estimate that cancer fatalities due to the global radiation doses from the atmospheric nuclear testing programmes of the five nuclear-weapon States amount to hundreds of thousands. [14] Proliferation begets proliferation is a concept described by Scott Sagan in his article, “Why Do States Build Nuclear Weapons?”. [9] Nuclear weapons increase the ability of states to fend for themselves when the integrity of their legitimate boundaries is at stake. [8] They have failed to notice that radical states usually show caution in their foreign policies and to notice that nuclear weapons further moderate the behaviour of such states when vital interests are at issue. [8] This is another way of saying that even with nuclear weapons weaker states continue to depend on stronger states in various ways. [8] This heightened concerns regarding an arms race between them, with Pakistan involving the People’s Republic of China, an acknowledged nuclear weapons state. [9] America would be showing Asian states that she would not let China blackmail them and would thus dampen their desires to have their own nuclear weapons. [8] Any state has to examine many conditions before deciding whether or not to develop nuclear weapons. [8] If one state produces a nuclear weapon it creates almost a domino effect within the region. [9] Even though proliferation causes proliferation, this does not guarantee that other states will successfully develop nuclear weapons because the economic stability of a state plays an important role on whether the state will successfully be able to acquire nuclear weapons. [9] Health professionals and national security experts alike have denounced policies to build up the U.S. nuclear arsenal as destabilizing and increasing the risks that nuclear weapons are used. [13] Russian security services continue to be preoccupied with preserving the secrecy of the nation’s nuclear weapons facilities, whereas the U.S. Department of Energy has been insisting on direct access by its personnel in order to ensure that U.S. funds are being properly spent in reducing risks. [10]

The use of nuclear weapons by lesser powers would hardly trigger them elsewhere, with the U.S. and the USSR becoming involved in ways that might shake the central balance. [8] Nuclear weapons and an appropriate doctrine for their use may make it possible to approach the defensive-deterrent ideal, a condition that would cause the chances of war to dwindle. [8] Wars fought in the face of strategic nuclear weapons must be carefully limited because a country having them may retaliate if its vital interests are threatened. [8] We have rightly put strong emphasis on strategic deterrence, which makes large wars less likely, and wrongly slighted the question of whether nuclear weapons of low yield can effectively be used for defence, which would make any war at all less likely still. [8] Because strategic nuclear arms races among lesser powers are unlikely, the interesting question is not whether they will be run but whether countries having strategic nuclear weapons can avoid running conventional races. [8] Small nuclear states may experience a keener sense of desperation because of extreme vulnerability to conventional as well as to nuclear attack, but, again, in desperate situations what all parties become most desperate to avoid is the use of strategic nuclear weapons. [8] Many have feared that lesser nuclear states would be the first to break the nuclear taboo and that they would use their nuclear weapons irresponsibly. [8] Looking at the situation of weaker nuclear states and at the statements of stronger nuclear states, one suspects that weak states are less likely to use nuclear weapons first than are strong ones. [8] Uncertainiy about the course that a nuclear war might follow, along with the certainty that destruction can he immense, strongly inhibits the first use of nuclear weapons. [8] Urge Congress to speak out forcefully against the president’s plans for radical, dangerous, and costly changes in U.S. nuclear weapons policy that will make nuclear war more likely. [15] U.S. nuclear weapons policy proposals in the 2018 Nuclear Posture Review outline plans to build two new types of “low-yield” nuclear weapons for submarine-launched missiles and a sea-launched nuclear cruise missile. [13] Within policy proposals to build up the U.S. nuclear arsenal, there are plans to produce new “low-yield” nuclear weapons on the grounds that they are “more usable” in military scenarios. [13] Perry said: “In the cold war, we and Russia were in the process of dismantling nuclear weapons ? Today, in contrast, both the Russia and the U.S. are beginning a complete rebuilding of the cold war nuclear arsenals. [11] As demonstrated by the leakage of illegal drugs into the United States, closing U.S. boundaries to the entry of nuclear weapons is essentially impossible. [10] The United States for some years, especially under the Clinton administration, pursued a variety of initiatives to persuade India and Pakistan to abandon their nuclear weapons programs and to accept comprehensive international safeguards on all their nuclear activities. [9] At present, 189 countries are States Parties to the Treaty on the Nonproliferation of Nuclear Weapons, more commonly known as the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty or NPT. These include the five Nuclear Weapons States (NWS) recognized by the NPT: the People’s Republic of China, France, Russian Federation, the UK, and the United States. [9] The risk of proliferation of nuclear weapons among countries has been limited in the past by the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), signed in 1968. [10] The United States has the most to lose if nuclear weapons fall into the hands of terrorists, but thus far the nation has failed to take constructive leadership in attacking that risk. [10] The strongest means by which the United States can persuade a country to forgo nuclear weapons is a guarantee of its security, especially if the guarantee is made credible by the presence of American troops. [8] Both the United States and the Soviet Union have strategic nuclear weapons that can destroy some of the other sides strategic nuclear weapons. [8] For the Soviet Union, as for the United States, other interests may weigh more heavily than her interest in halting the spread of nuclear weapons. [8] For the United States and the Soviet Union to achieve nuclear maturity and to show this by behaving sensibly is more important than preventing the spread of nuclear weapons. [8] Any slight chance of bringing the spread of nuclear weapons to a full stop exists only if the United States and the Soviet Union constantly and strenuously try to achieve that end. [8] Should the United States then promote the spread of nuclear weapons for the sake of peace, even though we need not for the sake of stability? To do so would replace one extreme policy with another. [8] The spread of nuclear weapons threatens to make wars more intense at the local and not at the global level, where wars of the highest intensity have been possible for a number of years. [8] One may nevertheless oppose the spread of nuclear weapons on the ground that they would make war, however unlikely, unbearably intense should it occur. [8] We may be grateful for decades of nuclear peace and for the discouragement of conventional war among those who have nuclear weapons. [8] Nuclear weapons, responsibly used, make wars hard to start. [8] Other reports also indicate that North Korea had been working covertly to develop an enrichment capability for nuclear weapons for at least five years and had used technology obtained from Pakistan ( The Washington Times, 18 October 2002). [9] With North Korea, the promised provision of commercial power reactors appeared to resolve the situation for a time, but it later withdrew from the NPT and declared it had nuclear weapons. [9] A number of problems arc thought to attend the efforts of minor powers to use nuclear weapons for deterrence. [8] Any lesser power contemplating the use of nuclear weapons even for deterrent or defensive purposes will expect opposition from at least one of the great powers. [8] When only one country had nuclear weapons, threats to use them had more effect. [8] Since the end of the Cold War, the likelihood that one or another country would deliberately use nuclear weapons has indeed lessened, although the consequences of such use would be enormous. [10] Scientific data shows that the use of “low-yield” nuclear weapons in a regional nuclear war have devastating climatic impacts and humanitarian consequences. [13] The Learning Channel documentary Doomsday: “On The Brink” illustrated 40 years of U.S. and Soviet nuclear weapons accidents. [9] They came up with a project of destroying large quantities of chemical wastes collected from Western countries at the island of Novaya Zemlya (a test place for Soviet nuclear weapons) using an underground nuclear blast. [9] These risks fall into three classes: the risk that some fraction, be it large or small, of the inventories of nuclear weapons held by eight countries will be detonated either by accident or deliberately; the risk that nuclear weapons technology will diffuse to additional nations; and the risk that nuclear weapons will reach the hands of terrorist individuals or groups. [10] The greatest risk from nuclear weapons proliferation comes from countries which have not joined the NPT and which have significant unsafeguarded nuclear activities; India, Pakistan, and Israel fall within this category. [9] The group began with seven membersthe United States, the former USSR, the UK, France, Germany, Canada and Japan but now includes 46 countries including all five nuclear weapons states. [9] The proposed new “low-yield” nuclear weapons are about the same size of the atomic bombs that the United States dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945. [13] Why should we think that if the United States relaxes, numerous states will begin to make nuclear weapons? Both the United States and the Soviet Union were more relaxed in the past, and these effects did not follow. [8] In the late 1950s and early 1960s, Gen. Pierre Marie Gallois of France, an adviser to Charles DeGaulle, argued in books like The Balance of Terror: Strategy for the Nuclear Age (1961) that mere possession of a nuclear arsenal, what the French called the force de frappe, was enough to ensure deterrence, and thus concluded that the spread of nuclear weapons could increase international stability. [9] Since the mid-1970s, the primary focus of non-proliferation efforts has been to maintain, and even increase, international control over the fissile material and specialized technologies necessary to build such devices because these are the most difficult and expensive parts of a nuclear weapons program. [9] The threats of cyber and nuclear warfare collide at a time when momentum is draining away from the arms control effort under way at the beginning of Obama?s presidency, when he vowed to work for the elimination of nuclear weapons. [11] A 2013 review by the Pentagon?s defence science board found that U.S. nuclear weapon control systems had not been properly assessed for their cyber-vulnerabilities. [11] That?s why we?re raising our voice that U.S. nuclear weapons policy must change course and get on the path toward total elimination. [13] Nuclear weapons lessen the intensity as well as the frequency of war among their possessors. [8] Where nuclear weapons threaten to make the cost of wars immense, who will dare to start them? Nuclear weapons make it possible to approach the deterrent ideal. [8] After inspections in Iraq following the UN Gulf War cease-fire resolution showed the extent of Iraq’s clandestine nuclear weapons program, it became clear that the IAEA would have to broaden the scope of its activities. [9] “Low-yield” nuclear weapons raise the risk of a catastrophic nuclear war. [13] We cannot expect countries to risk more in the presence of nuclear weapons than they have in their absence. [8] Even more troubling, this threat is only one of several risks imposed on humanity by the existence of nuclear weapons. [10] What goals could a conventionally strong Iran have entertained that would have tempted her to risk using nuclear weapons? A country that takes the nuclear offensive has to fear an appropriately punishing strike by someone. [8] Using “low-yield” nuclear weapons in a military scenario also presents the risk of conflict escalation where higher-yield nuclear weapons are used. [13] The IAEA now operates a safeguards system as specified under Article III of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) of 1968, which aims to ensure that civil stocks of uranium and plutonium, as well as facilities and technologies associated with these nuclear materials, are used only for peaceful purposes and do not contribute in any way to proliferation or nuclear weapons programs. [9] Early in 1994 India proposed a bilateral agreement for a ‘no first use’ of nuclear weapons and an extension of the ‘no attack’ treaty to cover civilian and industrial targets as well as nuclear installations. [9] India had conducted its first nuclear weapons test in 1974, but its program for developing and fielding such weapons had been covert. [16] In August 1949, the USSR tested a nuclear weapon, becoming the second country to detonate a nuclear bomb. 3 The United Kingdom first tested a nuclear weapon in October 1952. [9] By building nuclear weapons a country may hope to enhance its international standing. [8] Since rapid changes in international conditions can be unsettling, the slowness of the spread of nuclear weapons is fortunate. [8] Nations that have nuclear weapons have strong incentives to use them responsibly. [8] Today Russia is threatening the use of nuclear weapons ? Those are very dramatic steps between today and the 90s. [11] The Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea (or better known as North Korea ), joined the NPT in 1985 and had subsequently signed a safeguards agreement with the IAEA. However, it was believed that North Korea was diverting plutonium extracted from the fuel of its reactor at Yongbyon, for use in nuclear weapons. [9] On 9 October 2006, North Korea announced that it has performed its first-ever nuclear weapon test. [9] We damage our relations with such countries by badgering them about nuclear weapons while being unwilling to guarantee their security. [8] Deterrence rests on what countries can do to each other with strategic nuclear weapons. [8] Some countries may find nuclear weapons a cheaper and safer alternative to running economically ruinous and militarily dangerous conventional arms races. [8] Nuclear weapons are fundamentally different from conventional weapons because of the vast amounts of explosive energy they can release and the kinds of effects they produce, such as high temperatures and radiation. [16] In order to decrease the discriminatory nature of the agreement, the nations possessing nuclear weapons are obligated to assist other nations in the peaceful applications of nuclear energy. [10] The United States should prioritize diplomacy, especially when nuclear weapons are in play–as they are in East Asia. [15] Nuclear weapons are outdated and inhumane weapons of mass destruction that the United States should have eliminated in the twentieth century. [13] With the Russian military buildup, France and the United Kingdom perceived this as a security threat and therefore they pursued nuclear weapons (Sagan, pg 71). [9] Security of nuclear weapons in Russia remains a matter of concern. [9] This radioactive super-heavy hydrogen isotope is used to boost the efficiency of fissile materials in nuclear weapons. [9] Nuclear weapons might be used in a regional conflict, such as between India and Pakistan. [10] American President George W. Bush met with India Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to discuss India’s involvement with nuclear weapons. [9] Many South Korean officials believe that South Korea would lose more in terms of American support if she acquired nuclear weapons than she would gain by having them. [8] After the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan in December of 1979, American officials considered using nuclear weapons in the Middle East if need be. [8] The Soviet Union has strongly supported efforts to stop the spread of nuclear weapons. [8] Much of the writing about the spread of nuclear weapons has this unusual trait: It tells us that what did no, happen in the past is likely to happen in the future, that tomorrow’s nuclear states are likely to do to one another what today’s nuclear states have not done. [8] Stopping the spread of nuclear weapons has had a high priority for American governments, but clearly not the highest. [8] Nuclear weapons will spread from one country to another in the future for the same reasons they have spread in the past. [8] Following this logic, a country with nuclear weapons may be tempted to destroy the nascent force of a hostile country. [8] No one would want to provoke an already desperate country it that country had strategic nuclear weapons. [8] Once a terrorist group acquires nuclear weapons, preventing their detonation on U.S. soil would be extremely difficult. [10] This question then arises: Once the weapon is fired, what happens next? The domestic use of nuclear weapons is, of all the uses imaginable, least likely to lead to escalation and to threaten the stability of the central balance. [8] The chances of de-escalation are high if the use of nuclear weapons is carefully planned and their use is limited to the battlefield. [8] Decisions to use nuclear weapons may be decisions to commit suicide. [8] Those who fear the worst have not shown with any plausibility how those expected events may lead to the use of nuclear weapons. [8] Nuclear weapons may fall into the hands of military officers more inclined than civilians to put them to offensive use. [8] On 9 August 2005, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei issued a fatwa forbidding the production, stockpiling and use of nuclear weapons. [9] Until recently, only the great and some of the major powers have had nuclear weapons. [8] Nuclear weapons do not make nuclear war a likely prospect, as history has so far shown. [8] Proposed “low-yield” nuclear weapons are designed to fight a “limited nuclear war” -that?s an oxymoron. [13] For Pakistan. for example, acquiring nuclear weapons is an alternative to running a ruinous conventional race with India. [8] It perceives nuclear weapons as a cost-effective political counter to China’s nuclear and conventional weaponry, and the effects of its nuclear weapons policy in provoking Pakistan is, by some accounts, considered incidental. [9] Both engaged in a conventional arms race in the 1980s, including sophisticated technology and equipment capable of delivering nuclear weapons. [9] The risk posed by the possible acquisition of nuclear weapons by terrorists is growing rapidly. [10] The risks posed by nuclear weapons are perhaps the most threatening results of the interaction of science and technology with human endeavors. [10] Get involved with PSR to educate our elected officials about the health risks of building new nuclear weapons. [13] A much larger number of countries have pursued nuclear weapons programs in the past but have been persuaded to abandon them. [10] Assisting some countries in the development of nuclear weapons and failing to oppose others has not caused a nuclear stampede. [8] This message may give pause to some of the countries that are tempted to acquire nuclear weapons. [8] Many technologies and materials associated with the creation of a nuclear power program have a dual-use capability, in that several stages of the nuclear fuel cycle allow diversion of nuclear materials for nuclear weapons. [9] According to Kenneth D. Bergeron’s Tritium on Ice: The Dangerous New Alliance of Nuclear Weapons and Nuclear Power, tritium is not classified as a “special nuclear material” but rather as a by-product. [9]

The “low-yield” nuclear weapons in debate today are of similar size as the bombs that devastated Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945. [13] Therefore, the prevention of nuclear catastrophe caused by terrorists has to rely either on interdicting the explosive materials that are essential to making nuclear weapons (highly enriched uranium and plutonium, in particular) or on preventing the hostile delivery of such weapons. [10] Its nuclear weapon and missile support for Pakistan is a major bone of contention. [9] Nuclear weapons have been the second force working for peace in the post-war world. [8] PSR?s physicians and health professionals are alarmed by the health threat posed by the plan to build new nuclear weapons. [13] From a public health perspective, the plan to build “low-yield” nuclear weapons present a dire threat to global health. [13] The question demands a negative answer all the more insistently when the deter rent deployment of nuclear weapons contributes more to a country’s security than does conquest of territory. [8] The UN Security Council then ordered the IAEA to remove, destroy or render harmless Iraq’s nuclear weapons capability. [9] Nuclear weapons may promise increased security and independence at an affordable price. [8] Nuclear weapons were maintained by Britain and acquired by France at least in part as triggers for America’s strategic deterrent. [8] The President can independently order the launch of nuclear weapons at any time and for any reason. [15] Nations want nuclear weapons for one or more of seven reasons. [8] In one important way nuclear weapons do change the relations of nations. [8] In the event, Presidents, like Party Chairmen, will shy away from using nuclear weapons and will act with extreme care in dealing with situations that might get out of control, as they have done in the past. [8] From previous points it follows that nuclear weapons are likely to decrease arms racing and reduce military costs for lesser nuclear states in two ways. [8] From NATO’S experience we may conclude that alliances are not wrecked by the spread of nuclear weapons among their members. [8] What the further spread of nuclear weapons will do to the world is therefore a compelling question. [8] Most people believe that the world will become a more dangerous one as nuclear weapons spread. [8] They identify some possibilities among many, and identifying more of the possibilities would not enable one to say how they are likely to unfold in a world made different by the slow spread of nuclear weapons. [8] We need not fear that the spread of nuclear weapons will turn the world into a multipolar one. [8] Lf defence and deterrence are made easier and more reliable by the spread of nuclear weapons, we may expect the opposite result. [8] The spread of nuclear weapons, though dreaded, prompts only mild reactions when it happens. [8] The further spread of nuclear weapons can be expected to widen those effects. [8] The spread of nuclear weapons is something that we have worried too much about and tried too hard to stop. [8] Under those circumstances, alliances endure even as nuclear weapons spread among their members. [8] I have argued that the gradual spread of nuclear weapons is better than no spread and better than rapid spread. [8] It is not likely that nuclear weapons will spread with a speed that exceeds the ability of their new owners to adjust to them. [8] Such fears have proved un-rounded as nuclear weapons have slowly spread. [8] If so, the spread of nuclear weapons will further help to maintain peace. [8] Because they do, the measured spread of nuclear weapons is more to be welcomed than feared. [8] On 10 January 2005, North Korea declared that it was in the possession of nuclear weapons. [9] Nuclear weapons have caused China and the Soviet Union to deal cautiously with each other. [8] As a neighbour of China, India no doubt feels more secure, and can behave more reasonably, with a nuclear weapons capability than without it. [8] A country without nuclear allies will want nuclear weapons all the more if some of its adversaries have them. [8] A country may be in an early stage of nuclear development and be obviously unable to make nuclear weapons. [8] This is evident in our relations with every country that has developed nuclear weapons, or appeared to be on the verge of doing so, from Britain onwards. [8] By acquiring nuclear weapons a country is said to erode, and perhaps to wreck, the alliance to which it belongs. [8] Nuclear weapons have not been fired in anger in a world in which more than one country has them. [8] Filth, nuclear weapons can be used for defence as well as for deterrence. [8] The purpose of the Dimona plant is widely assumed to be the manufacturing of nuclear weapons, and the majority of defense experts have concluded that it does in fact do that. citation needed However, the Israeli government refuses to confirm or deny this publicly, a policy it refers to as “ambiguity”. [9] Libya possesses ballistic missiles and previously pursued nuclear weapons under the leadership of Muammar Gaddafi. [9]

How are we going to get to our goals of reducing the dangers, reducing arsenals, reducing the role of nuclear weapons, what?s the strategy there? There?s virtually no discussion of the arms control component of U.S. nuclear policy in this document.” [17] A new Council on Foreign Relations-sponsored Independent Task Force report, co-chaired by former secretary of defense William J. Perry and former national security adviser Brent Scowcroft, says that while “the geopolitical conditions that would permit the global elimination of nuclear weapons do not currently exist,” steps can be taken now to diminish the danger of nuclear proliferation and nuclear use. [18] Recently, nuclear weapons and the dangers of nuclear war have begun to re-enter the minds of the American public. [19] The current public interest in the North Korean nuclear issue may present an opportunity to bring forward the less obvious dangers of nuclear weapons, and education offers a promising route to do so. [19] When humans pose dangers to their own existence, they could potentially take measures to protect themselves, even by using nuclear weapons to wipe out the human race. [20] While we weathered those decades of fear and paranoia, the dangers presented from nuclear weapons are just as real now, though they may take a somewhat different form. [21]

The 2010 review updated and strengthened the U.S. pledge of nonuse against non-nuclear-weapon states that are in good standing with their nuclear nonproliferation obligations, even in the unlikely event that one of those states attacks the United States or its allies with chemical or biological weapons. [17] The NPR comports with the president?s stated objective by laying the groundwork to provide “capabilities needed to quickly produce new or additional weapons” beyond the 4,000 warheads currently in the active U.S. nuclear stockpile (pgs. 59-64). [17] This treaty essentially demilitarized the entire continent, prohibiting any military exercises, troop emplacements, and the testing of or installation of weapons systems, both nuclear and conventional. [21] What makes the growing cost to sustain the nuclear mission so worrisome for military planners is that costs are scheduled to reach a peak during the mid-2020s and overlap with large increases in projected spending on conventional weapon system modernization programs. [17] The UN Office for Disarmament Affairs: An omnibus group looking after the threats caused by all weapons of mass destruction, whether biological, chemical or nuclear. [21] They have a long history of hatred and distrust towards each other, and they are tied for 6 th place among the nuclear nations with 120 weapons a piece. [21] The problem is difficult to define as most counts focus on the nuclear devices themselves, and not the delivery system required to make it true weapon. [21] The problem with so many weapons out there is that it doesn’t take much to push a regime over the nuclear edge. [21] “The idea is in a full nuclear exchange, where weapons are not, say, going off in a desert or something, they’re going off on cities or prairies or what have you, a lot of fires are going to be started and those fires are going to put a lot of smoke, just regular old soot into the atmosphere,” Wellerstein says. [22]

Possible deaths from uncertain climatic effects are a small danger compared to the incalculable millions in many countries likely to die from starvation caused by disastrous shortages of essentials of modern agriculture sure to result from a Soviet-American nuclear war, and by the cessation of most international food shipments. [2] A realistic simplified estimate of the increased ultraviolet light dangers to American survivors of a large nuclear war equates these hazards to moving from San Francisco to sea level at the equator, where the sea level incidence of skin cancers (seldom fatal) is highest- about 10 times higher than the incidence at San Francisco. [2] A principal reason is that government organizations, private corporations, and most scientists generally avoid getting involved in political controversies, or making statements likely to enable antinuclear activists to accuse them of minimizing nuclear war dangers, thus undermining hopes for peace. [2] Therefore, before giving detailed instructions for making and using survival equipment, we will examine the most harmful of the myths about nuclear war dangers, along with some of the grim facts. [2] Other misleading calculations are based on exaggerations of the dangers from long-lasting radiation and other harmful effects of a nuclear war. [2]

Following the 1998 tests the question has been reopened and both Pakistan and India have indicated their intention to sign the CTBT. Indian ratification may be conditional upon the five weapons states agreeing to specific reductions in nuclear arsenals. [9] One may then also believe that they will suffer the fate of the United States and the Soviet Union, that they will compete in building larger and larger nuclear arsenals while continuing to accumulate conventional weapons. [8] Worries about the intensity of war among nuclear states have to be viewed in this context and against a world in which conventional weapons become ever costlier and more destructive. [8] Some potential nuclear states are not politically strong and stable enough to ensure control of the weapons and of the decision to use them. [8] William Perry, who served at the Pentagon from 1994 to 1997, made his comments a few hours before North Korea?s nuclear test on Wednesday, and listed Pyongyang?s aggressive atomic weapons programme as one of the global risk factors. [11] A nuclear war fought with 100 Hiroshima-sized weapons would loft enough soot into the atmosphere to cause instant climate change, disrupting the agricultural production and causing up to 2 billion people to be at risk of malnutrition from a global famine. [13] The thought that fear and caution may lead insecure countries to launch pre-emptive strikes has amplified anxieties about the instability of regions populated by lesser nuclear powers and about the extent of destruction their weapons may bring. [8] Lesser nuclear states might deploy, say, ten real weapons and ten dummies, while permitting other countries to infer that the numbers are larger. [8] The impacts of a nuclear explosion depend on many factors, including the design of the weapon (fission or fusion) and its yield; whether the detonation takes place in the air (and at what altitude), on the surface, underground, or underwater; the meteorological and environmental conditions; and whether the target is urban, rural, or military. [16]

As Jeffrey Edmonds, a former director for Russia on the National Security Council, has written, “If the Russian leadership decides to use nuclear weapons in a limited way to gain escalation control, then it is likely doing so as a last measure, reacting from a perception that the Russian state is about to fall.” [17] There is a conflict between the security interests of states possessing nuclear weapons, which rely on nuclear deterrence to assure their defense, and the security interests of the world?s population as a whole–which is arguably made less safe overall by the existence of nuclear weapons and the associated risk of nuclear war. [19] This risk is especially high considering the short amount of time allowed for making decisions about if there is a state of emergency occurring or not. (For bonus points, you can even add on that the breakup of the USSR weakened the nuclear weapons early warning system, which renders the country at an increased likelihood of an attack.) [21]

While Russia appears to rely more heavily on nuclear weapons for its security than the United States due to its overall conventional inferiority and concerns about U.S. missile defenses, is violating the INF Treaty, and developing new types of nuclear weapons, Russia?s official nuclear doctrine does not support the claim that it has an “escalate to deescalate” doctrine. [17] Tagged: Nagasaki Hiroshima U.S. North Korea Japan United States New Jersey Alaska California Carl Sagan Alan Robock Alex Wellerstein Ira Flato Ira Flatow Laura Grego Steve Simon nuclear weapon nuclear war Hiroshima Nagasaki missile defense atomic bomb hydrogen bomb. [23]

The Task Force emphasizes that post-Cold War changes in the security environment call for renewed American leadership to shape U.S. nuclear weapons policy. [18] Whatever helpful role nuclear weapons may have played in deterring great power conflict since World War II, it is difficult to imagine that their benefits are worth the perpetual risk of their use. [19] Threatening nuclear retaliation to counter new kinds of “asymmetric” attacks would lower the threshold for nuclear use, increase the risks of miscalculation, and make it easier for other countries to justify excessive roles for nuclear weapons in their policies. [17]

In his January 2018 State of the Union address, Trump dismissed the idea of the elimination of nuclear weapons — a goal embraced by American President?s since the beginning of the nuclear age– as some “magical moment in the distant future.” [17] One might expect that the funding for the production, storage and maintenance of nuclear weapons designated for American national defense would come from the United States Department of Defense, but in fact the actual funding of the U.S. nuclear arsenal can be found in the budget of the Department of Energy. [21] The 2010 NPR stated that the United States “will continue to strengthen conventional capabilities and reduce the role of nuclear weapons in deterring non-nuclear attacks, with the objective of making deterrence of nuclear attack on the United States or our allies and partners the sole purpose of U.S. nuclear weapons.” [17] Around 22,000 nuclear weapons are in our world today, the United Nations reports, and as North Korea and the United States continue to trade threats, a nuclear attack is no complete impossibility. [23] As then Vice President Joe Biden put it in remarks delivered in January 2017: “given our non-nuclear capabilities and the nature of today?s threats, it?s hard to envision a plausible scenario in which the first use of nuclear weapons by the United States would be necessary. [17] The 2018 NPR says that the first use of nuclear weapons will only be considered under “extreme circumstances” to defend the “vital interests” of the United States and its allies (p. 21). [17]

The United States has tactical nuclear weapons (low-yield) 500 B61 bombs deployed to several countries, which are the B61-3 and B61-4 variants that are reported to have yields of 0.3 – 170 kilotons and 0.3 – 50 kilotons respectively. [20] All states share the responsibility to ensure that nuclear weapons are never used again, to prevent the acquisition of additional nuclear weapons by other states, and to redouble efforts to secure and reduce existing nuclear weapons and weapons-usable materials.” [18] Every nuclear weapons state has made explicit promises to negotiate towards nuclear disarmament. [21] The distant, but persistent, possibility of an unintentional nuclear launch due to unauthorized access, technical failure, or a cyberattack on warning systems, is also overlooked, as is general information about which states possess nuclear weapons today. [19] International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism (2005): This treaty was designed to address a new nuclear threat posed by the possibility of nuclear weapons or material coming into the possession of nations or organizations who engage in acts of terrorism on a regional or global basis. [21] Miller currently serves on the U.S. Strategic Command Advisory Group, the Defense Policy Board, and the Sandia National Laboratory’s Nuclear Weapons External Advisory Board, and additionally is a senior adviser for the Center for Strategic and International Studies’ International Security Program. [18] Linton F. Brooks served from July 2002 to January 2007 as administrator of the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration, where he was responsible for the U.S. nuclear weapons program and for the department’s international nuclear nonproliferation programs. [18]

The review also walks back from the longstanding U.S. leadership role on arms control and nonproliferation at a time when the global nuclear weapons risk reduction enterprise is facing significant challenges. [17] Taken together, these and other changes in the Trump Nuclear Posture Review rest on faulty assumptions, are unnecessary and unlikely to achieve their stated goal, set the stage for an even more unsustainable rate of spending on U.S. nuclear weapons, would accelerate global nuclear competition, and could increase the risk of nuclear conflict in the years ahead. [17] The comments mostly prompted condemnation in the United States and around the world and raised concerns about the direction the president would take U.S. nuclear weapons policy. [17] The Task Force report, titled U.S. Nuclear Weapons Policy, focuses on near-term policies to reduce nuclear weapons to the lowest possible level consistent with maintaining a credible deterrent, while also ensuring that the U.S. nuclear arsenal is safe, secure, and reliable for as long as it is needed. [18] The Independent Task Force on U.S. Nuclear Weapons Policy was made possible in part by generous grants from the Carnegie Corporation of New York and the Ploughshares Fund. [18] The NPR is a strategy document that outlines the role of nuclear weapons in U.S. strategy, the plans for maintaining and upgrading nuclear forces, and the overall U.S. approach to nuclear arms control and nonproliferation. [17] Nicknamed ‘The Arms Race’, this accumulation of nuclear weapons was an attempt by both the U.S. and the USSR to have a strategic advantage from the size of their arsenals, trying to maintain a condition of Mutually Assured Destruction. [21] The review warns that Russia maintains a much larger arsenal of “non-strategic” nuclear weapons than the United States and is upgrading those weapons. [17] Ten percent of the nuclear energy that the United States uses is made from recycled Russian nuclear weapons. [21] Steps, like the Ban Treaty, aimed at reducing the risk of catastrophic nuclear weapons use are necessary and should be welcomed. [17] If so, educating students on nuclear weapons on a large scale could have the long-term effect of creating an American public that is politically engaged on the nuclear issue and motivated to hold its elected leaders accountable for implementing nuclear policy that reduces the risk of nuclear war. [19] Nuclear weapons still pose grave risks, even if an intentional nuclear attack against the United States feels unlikely. [19] It?s been just over 70 years since two atomic bombs devastated the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the first and last time that nuclear weapons have been used in warfare. [22] For starters, the claim that Russia has lowered the threshold for the first use of nuclear weapons is hotly disputed. [17] The Trump NPR calls for the development of new low-yield nuclear capabilities, primarily to counter Russia?s alleged willingness to use nuclear weapons first on a limited basis early in a conventional conflict or crisis (also known as “escalate to deescalate”). [17] The review proposes to expand the circumstances under which Trump might consider the use of nuclear weapons, including in response to so-called “non-nuclear strategic threats” and calls for the development of new, more usable nuclear weapons capabilities. [17] Instead of deemphasizing the role of nuclear weapons in U.S. policy as previous NPRs have done, the Trump NPR envisions a greater role for the weapons against a wider range of threats. [17] It is nuclear weapons, and U.S. threats of “fire and fury,” that are dangerous and divisive. [17]

For instance, a course on foreign affairs or security could include a discussion of why North Korea felt the need to develop nuclear weapons, or a physics assignment could ask students to calculate the operational range of North Korea?s missiles, based on their lofted-trajectory missile tests. [19] We watched missiles installed in Cuba, test ban treaties made and broken, and the creation of enough nuclear weapons to annihilate the world many times over. [21] After the Japan nuclear bombing disaster in 1945, many treaties have been signed world-wide to ensure nuclear disarmament, such as the Treaty on the Non-proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), and the Treaty Banning Nuclear Weapon Tests in the Atmosphere, in Outer Space and Under Water. [20] “This opens questions,” writes former Pentagon official Rebecca Hersman, “about whether the United States would consider using” nuclear “weapons more readily than it might have in the past or in response to attacks that are less than fully catastrophic.” [17] The 2010 NPR stated that the “fundamental role” of nuclear weapons is to deter nuclear attack against the United States or its allies, not “any act of aggression.” [17] This act, while not a total solution, would greatly reduce the chance of nuclear weapons being used by countries engaged in conflict, and would severely limit the availability of nuclear weapons and material to terrorist groups. [21] Why don?t we just stop nuclear weapons proliferation? If nations fail to eliminate their nuclear weapon arsenals, then it is likely to result in proliferation of nuclear weapons to dangerous countries. [21] Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism: A group made up of members from 86 countries which is dedicated to ferreting out and creating effective responses to attempts by terrorist nations and organizations to add nuclear weapons to their arsenal. [21]

Nuclear war: What is ‘nuclear winter,’ and how likely is it? Around 22,000 nuclear weapons are in our world today, the United Nations reports. [22] Given the tremendous advances made by North Korea?s nuclear weapons program over the last decade and the public exchange of nuclear threats between President Trump and Kim Jong-un last year, such fears can hardly be called unfounded. [19] In 1968, a U.S. B-52 bomber carrying 4 nuclear weapons was lost over the North Atlantic. [21] According to the U.S. Government Accountability Office report issued last year, the “NNSA?s plans to modernize its nuclear weapons do not align with its budget, raising affordability concerns.” [17] This approach represents a clear shift away from past U.S. strategy and practice that aims to reduce the role of nuclear weapons in U.S. military and foreign policy. [17] Several of the arguments offered in the NPR for expanding the diversity and role of nuclear weapons in U.S. policy are highly misleading. [17] With the recently unveiled policy that envisions the introduction of low-yield nuclear weapons on submarine-launched ballistic missiles, many concerns have been raised about the safety of the world, as well as the potential international competitions of expanding nuclear arsenal. [20] The International Campaign to Ban Nuclear Weapons: As the name implies, this civilian organization is dedicated to the complete elimination of the nuclear option on a global scale, due to the tremendously inhumane nature of these weapons, regardless of the reason behind their use. [21] The majority do not have a strong understanding of what nuclear weapons are, their destructive power, or their role in the international order, and even fewer have a sense of how many nuclear weapons exist. [19] Global Zero: An international group whose aim is to cause the complete elimination of specific weapons systems, especially nuclear weapons systems, which are the greatest threats to global stability and safety. [21] A global petition drive to unite international public opinion against additional nuclear weapons testing and deliver those petition signatures to the leaders of nuclear and nuclear weapons capable nations. [24] Nations acquire nuclear weapons for all sorts of reasons, and it’s rarely about actually setting off the bomb. [22] Strategic Arms Reduction Treaties (I and II): A set of treaties worked out in the latter part of the 200 th century which tried to reduce the total number of nuclear weapons systems in use. [21] Before joining the White House team, Gordon was the first administrator of the National Nuclear Security Administration and undersecretary of energy, responsible for the entirety of the nation’s nuclear weapons program, serving from June 2000 until June 2002. [18] Massive spending on nuclear weapons on the scale and schedule envisioned by the 2018 NPR will pose a major threat to other high priority national security programs, to say nothing about Trump?s pledge to expand the non-nuclear military. [17] History education on the Cold War often addresses the US-Soviet arms race of that time, but nuclear weapons issues in other regions–such as the tense situation between India and Pakistan–are rarely ever mentioned. [19] The review references the role of nuclear weapons in deterring non-nuclear attacks over 30 times. [17] Nuclear weapons and their production sites are vulnerable to terrorist attacks at any time. [21] Remember Hiroshima? The yield of one of the several nuclear weapons deployed on a typical American stealth bomber is seventy times more powerful than the device that destroyed that city. [21] The pathways to nuclear weapons education that the authors are pursuing and advocating are bottom-up, beginning with a small number of interested individuals devoting personal time and energy to bring nuclear weapons education to their own university communities. [19] The authors urge professors and lecturers at universities across the United States and elsewhere to consider what steps could be taken to bring nuclear weapons education to their campus. [19] Students in the United States (and likely elsewhere) typically graduate from high school having received almost no information on nuclear weapons. [19] NATO members Germany, Italy, Belgium and Turkey currently have nuclear weapons belonging to the United States which they are ‘hosting’ under NATO defense agreements. [21] Kazakhstan was once the fourth largest nuclear power in the world after inheriting the Soviet Union?s nuclear weapons. [24] In 1991, Kazakhstan became the first country to shut down a nuclear test site and to renounce nuclear weapons voluntarily and unilaterally. [24] Even countries that are not a part of the NPT have sworn to destroy their own nuclear weapons (India and Pakistan) if others like them agree to do so as well. [21] How were nuclear weapons distributed? Which countries developed nuclear weapons and which countries received nuclear weapons from their allies. [25] The document incorporates wish list items long-advocated by parts of the nuclear weapons establishment and breaks with past U.S. efforts to reduce the role and number of nuclear weapons worldwide in several key areas. [17] Another problem is that after the breakup of the Soviet Union, many nuclear safeguards have fallen into disarray, which could lead to either an unplanned nuclear incident or, just as bad, working nuclear weapons disappearing and falling into the hands of terrorist nations around the world. [21] Around 22,000 nuclear weapons are in our world today, the United Nations reports. [22] Because of their power and overall destructive potential, nuclear weapons are especially wanted by terrorists (seriously though, if you have to keep going here is what you can say). [21] Nuclear weapon testing also harms the environment and makes the weapons and nuclear materials involved more vulnerable to acquisition by international terrorists. [24] For our part, the authors have initiated the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Nuclear Weapons Education Project, a grassroots endeavor to help university professors and lecturers introduce relevant information about nuclear weapons into their curricula and course materials at MIT and beyond. [19] The Trump nuclear plan argues that the new Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons has been “polarizing” and “could damage the nuclear nonproliferation regime.” [17] While the military takes great care to make sure that their nuclear weapons do not go astray, in 1961, two of them were accidentally released while the plane carrying them was flying over North Carolina. [21] If you think about it a little more, and your audience needs more convincing, you can tell them that in a world where terrorists are hard to find, and nuclear weapons need a steady target; therefore, it will be near impossible to attack terrorists with nuclear weapons since they are hiding beneath the sand. [21] The idea is that file cabinet-sized kill vehicle would maneuver itself and try to run into the incoming nuclear weapon and destroy it with the force of impact.” [22] As long as nuclear weapons exist, they will continue to pose a severe threat to the planet and its inhabitants. [19] Many people have also expressed their concerns for an emerging technology – Artificial Intelligence, or A.I. that could pose greater threat than nuclear weapons in the long run. [20] People have suffered from the 1945 trauma and been constantly trying to ensure the regulations against nuclear weapons and the expansion of nuclear power. [20] The authors have also engaged with MIT?s broader student population by supporting the student organization MIT Students for Nuclear Arms Control, which holds informative events and discussions about nuclear weapons issues for the undergraduate audience. [19] An alternative explanation exists: The American public doesn?t know enough about nuclear weapons to have much political opinion on them, but if they had more knowledge, that could change. [19] It is generally assumed that today?s American public simply doesn?t care about the complicated and somewhat abstract issues of nuclear weapons and deterrence because they rarely affect people?s lives directly. [19] CIA Director Mike Pompeo says North Korea is months away from perfecting its nuclear weapons capabilities. [22] The 2010 NPR, on the other hand, described “a narrow range of contingencies” in which nuclear weapons may play a role in deterring “a conventional or CBW attack.” [17] There are lots of arguments circling around about keeping or destroying nuclear weapons, who should have them, and where or when they should be developed or used. [21] Throughout the Cold War, nuclear weapons of this yield are considered “tactical?, implying to battlefield usage or specific target strike. [25] As the world’s citizens unite against terrorism in all of its forms, let us encourage the world?s leaders to negotiate a responsible end to nuclear weapons and deny terrorists the chance to initiate a catastrophic nuclear attack. [24] While total nuclear disarmament may still be a dream, the measures in place to reduce the massive stockpiles of nuclear weapons will help to add stability to a dangerous situation. [21]

Each generation since has had to deal with the potential dangers of large scale nuclear conflict. [21] It is sometimes claimed that the few bombs of a new nuclear state create a greater danger of nuclear war than additional thousands for the United States and the Soviet Union. [8] Even the 1995 Norwegian rocket incident demonstrated a potential scenario in which Russian democratization and military downsizing at the end of the Cold War did not eliminate the danger of accidental nuclear war through command and control errors. [9] New nuclear states will be more concerned for their safety and more mindful of dangers than some of the old ones have been. [8] “I think the danger of AI is much bigger than the danger of nuclear warheads by a lot,” Musk said. [26]

Even though an all-out nuclear war is far from the public consciousness in the post-Cold War world, as long as nuclear weapons exist there is a danger that they will be used or accidentally detonated. [27] A Stanford University MOOC raises public consciousness about nuclear weapons dangers, the course designers say. [28] Lastly, there is also a danger that nuclear weapons could fall into the hands of non-State actors. [27]

Conversation about the treaty highlighted the critical role that non-nuclear weapons states can play in nuclear security and nonproliferation. [28] The longer these weapons exist, and as they are developed by more States and possibly even acquired by non-State actors, the likelihood of another nuclear detonation increases. [27] In that, that’s a really important point because what’s happened is that the missile and the nuclear program have been braided into the North Korean sense of pride and self-respect and joy and so that everybody is reminded every day that these programs, these weapons are essential elements of your own sense of personal and family satisfaction. [29]

Nuclear Proliferation – the uncontrolled spread of nuclear weaponry, has been the fear of nations since the first bombs were dropped in World War II. And while the U.S. remains the only country in the world to use strategic nuclear bombs in a combat situation, the stockpiles of these weapons of mass destruction are a major concern to governments and private groups around the globe. [21] The threat of a nuclear war has hung over the world since the first military use of an atomic weapon in 1945. [21]

The commitment of the nuclear-armed states to halt the arms race and achieve nuclear disarmament established in the NPT has been crucial to preventing proliferation and was essential to the non-nuclear weapon states decision extend the NPT indefinitely in 1995. [17] In any event, the review fails to produce compelling evidence that Russia might believe the United States would be self-deterred from using the weapons in its current arsenal (conventional or nuclear) in response to a limited Russian nuclear attack. [17] While many countries are genuinely working to reduce the total number of weapons both in their own arsenals and worldwide, other countries are looking to join the list of nuclear powers. [21]

Antarctic Treaty (1959): One of the first international weapons agreements, this treaty recognized the unique strategic danger that military installation and weapons sites in Antarctica would present. [21] Your argument will come full circle when you remind your stubborn adversaries of the International Court of Justice?s obligation to nuclear disarmament that clearly reveals an obligation to reduce atomic weapons to zero: “There exists an obligation to pursue in good faith and bring to a conclusion negotiations leading to nuclear disarmament in all its aspects under strict and effective international control.” [21]

With such weapons the lethal radii (from nuclear radiation) in space may be of the order of hundreds of miles. [30] More than 70 years ago, America became the first and only country to use nuclear weapons in war. [31] Topics included inquiries about no-first-use–a policy the Obama administration was weighing implementing, which would have established that the U.S. would not use nuclear weapons unless previously attacked by them–the risk of proliferation in East Asia, rising tensions among Pakistan and India, and the debate about nuclear policy in the 2016 election. [28] In July, North Korea launched its first intercontinental ballistic missile that could potentially reach the mainland of the U.S. This month, it detonated a nuclear weapon several times more powerful than the atom bombs dropped over Hiroshima and Nagasaki. [29]

Nuclear weapons remain a pillar in the security policies of a number of States, and for some, possessing them has become a perverse status symbol. [27] Within the Movement, this was followed by a resolution reiterating its historic positions regarding nuclear weapons and encouraging States to work towards their elimination, together with a four-year action plan to that end. [27] For instance, numerous course participants discussed the Treaty of Tlatelolco –a little-known accord signed by a number of Latin American and Caribbean nations banning the testing, use or manufacture of nuclear weapons in the region–and the positive precedent it set for disarmament efforts. [28] In light of what we know about the terrible consequences of the use of nuclear weapons and the challenges of adequate humanitarian response in the event of a nuclear catastrophe, it is now more clear than ever that the international community must imperatively find a way to achieve total nuclear disarmament, through a ban treaty or otherwise. [27] Nuclear weapons, the means of producing them, and their potential use play significant roles in international relations and homeland security. [32] In view of recent initiatives to reframe the issue of nuclear weapons in terms of the humanitarian consequences of their use, the International Review of the Red Cross has published an issue on The human cost of nuclear weapons. [27] In its comments following the ICJ?s Advisory Opinion in 1996, the ICRC concluded that it is “difficult to envisage how a use of nuclear weapons could be compatible with the rules of international humanitarian law.” [27] In its 1996 Advisory Opinion, the ICJ decided that the use of nuclear weapons would “generally be contrary to the rules of international law applicable in armed conflict, and in particular the principles and rules of humanitarian law”. [27] It is compelled to use its voice to draw attention to the unacceptable humanitarian consequences of the use of nuclear weapons, highlight the implications of such weapons under international humanitarian law (IHL) and urge governments to pursue the prohibition and elimination of these weapons as quickly as possible. [27]

One of the things that’s quite striking when you get to Pyongyang is that talk of war and nuclear weapons and missiles is everywhere. [29]

In order to determine the effects of nuclear explosions on human tissue, several animals were placed in the vicinity of Pacific Ocean weapons tests conducted in 1946. [21] Neither weapon detonated, and the landings were soft enough that no nuclear material was released into the environment. [21]

The danger of mass destruction is present in an unstable state or group in possession of just one nuclear weapon. [33] Though an ever-present danger, fears of nuclear war have heightened with North Korea?s possession of nuclear weapons and the country?s intensification of missile tests. [33] During Barack Obama’s presidency, prospects for reducing nuclear dangers and making genuine progress toward the aim of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), through reductions in the salience and stockpiles of nuclear weapons, was heightened following developments such as Obama’s 2009 Prague speech and the subsequent 2010 U.S. Nuclear Posture Review. [34] In 2017, the US-North Korea standoff brought the hidden danger of nuclear weapons back out of the shadows. [35]

The mechanics by which nuclear possessor states rid themselves of their weapons are undefined. [36] Even if the other side may hope or believe that the incoming warhead might just be a low-yield weapon, it must assume the worst, because the risks of guessing wrong include losing millions of people or potentially its entire nuclear force. [37] The agreement was rushed: Other international arms-control agreements, such as the prohibitions on chemical and biological weapons, on nuclear testing, and on strategic arms reduction have taken years and even decades to negotiate. [36] These include the increasing number of conventional capabilities with strategic effects previously only achievable with nuclear means, and an emergence of relatively novel capabilities (cyber, autonomous weapon systems, weaponized artificial intelligence) that have yet-to-be fully determined effects. [34] Nuclear devices range from a small portable device carried by an individual to a weapon carried by a missile. [38]

Beyond the risks associated with nuclear power and radioactive waste, the threat of nuclear weapons looms large. [39] The spread of nuclear technology and nuclear weapons is a threat for national security and the safety of the entire planet. [39] This webpage provides information on DOE’s role in ensuring the capability and security of U.S. nuclear weapons. [40] It’s hard for the U.S. government to say that now because they certainly don’t want to give up the possibility of North Korea giving up its nuclear weapons. [29] From the little you were able to get, do you think that people in North Korea are afraid of the consequences of nuclear war? Do they understand what a nuclear weapon really does, that if there was a nuclear war and North Korea was attacked in exchange for their weapon, you know, if there was a counter nuclear attack on North Korea, that it would be devastating, that they would – you know, millions would die horrible deaths? It’s, like, way beyond a sense of pride. [29] Journalist Says: In North Korea, Talk Of War And Nuclear Weapons Is ‘Everywhere’ New Yorker writer Evan Osnos visited North Korea in August to understand what they really mean when they talk about nuclear war. [29] After their first use in 1945, the world was quite aware of the catastrophic effects of nuclear weapons. [27] When the Cold War ended in the late 1980s, the United States, and much of the rest of the world, stopped making and testing new nuclear weapons. [40] Between 1944 and 1988, the United States built special reactors to make about 100 metric tons of plutonium for nuclear weapons. [40] The goal was to try to achieve the capability that matters, which is the capability of putting a nuclear weapon on the mainland United States. [29] There are steps that could make a difference if taken before the North Korean nuclear weapon threat grows any further. [32] The use of nuclear weapons may pose a serious problem to manned military space operations. [30] This year, North Korea has probably built five to nine more nuclear weapons. [32] I wanted to understand what North Korea intends when they talk about nuclear weapons. [29] We understand that North Korea is not going to give up their nuclear weapons. [29] Most of the people you talk to who specialize in this subject agree that we’re probably going to end up in a situation where North Korea has nuclear weapons. [29] As long as nuclear weapons exist, there remains a risk that they might be detonated, and this must never happen again. [27] Today, nearly 16,000 nuclear weapons are stored at sites located in fourteen countries. [27] This brochure describes the role of the Savannah River site in producing radioactive materials for nuclear weapons. [40] Lantern ceremony at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial, 7 August 2011. (Video by David Clumpner, from ICRC?s e-briefing ” A price too high: Rethinking nuclear weapons in light of their human cos t”) By Vincent Bernard and Ellen Policinski, respectively editor-in-chief and managing editor of the International Review of the Red Cross. [27] In spite of the international community?s difficulty in making real progress towards the prohibition and elimination of nuclear weapons, the Movement has a deep responsibility to ” rise in defence of humanity “. [27] Then they began to test their nuclear weapons also more frequently. [29] At that time, the Review produced an issue addressing the topic of nuclear weapons through the lens of the Nuclear Weapons Advisory Opinion. [27] The prospect of a U.S.-North Korea summit has led to analogies between the present case and that of Libya, which abandoned its longstanding quest to develop nuclear weapons in 2003. [32] We?ve been fighting against nuclear weapons and nuclear power ever since. [39] In that vein, we advocate to strengthen nuclear arms control and reduce and eliminate nuclear weapons. [41] In the coming years, AI-enabled progress in tracking and targeting adversaries’ nuclear weapons could undermine the foundations of nuclear stability. [32] In this blog, ICRC senior legal adviser Louis Maresca argues that ” verything that we know about nuclear weapons and the new information and analysis that has come to light over the past 20 years has only strengthened that conclusion.” [27] In recent years, two notable ICRC initiatives have contributed to a renewed debate on nuclear weapons through the lens of their human cost. [27] The Department of Energy is working to safely cleanup and dispose of these nuclear weapons production wastes. [40] Plutonium and uranium were used to create fuel for nuclear weapons. [40]

NRDC works to reduce the dangers of nuclear energy in every form, from uranium mines to warheads to waste piles. [41] The incident highlighted the dangers of technical failure in early-warning systems, but it may also have had a broader effect: bringing the long-dormant fear of a nuclear attack against the U.S. homeland back into the American consciousness. [19] Limited Test Ban Treaty (1969): This treaty recognizes and addresses that there is a danger to the world population not only from nuclear attacks, but from the side effects of the development and testing process itself. [21] What would a modern nuclear war look like? And in the seven decades since Japan was bombed, what have we learned about the human cost of nuclear war and the lasting dangers of radiation exposure? Science Friday host Ira Flatow spoke to three nuclear experts to learn more. [23]

As the number of nuclear-armed countries has grown from at least five to as many as nine since the 1970s, the danger of World War III has been joined by a host of secondary nuclear threats. [42] Despite the frustrations of the non-nuclear-weapon states at these developments, given vent in the adoption by 122 countries in July 2017 of a materially ineffective and unrealistic UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, 2 there is a genuine risk that the major and some minor nuclear powers are slipping back into an acceptance of limited nuclear warfighting as a palatable option. [34] Though “trust but verify,” as President Ronald Reagan often put it, remains the core of any international arms-control agreement, the U.N. treaty presents a nebulous mention that weapons states shall cooperate with a “competent international authority or authorities to negotiate and verify the irreversible elimination of nuclear weapons programs.” [36] This is the “porcupine theory,” advanced by, among others, the late strategist Kenneth Waltz: After Hiroshima and Nagasaki, many states wanted nuclear weapons, not for offensive purposes, but as a hedge against attack by other nations. [36] Nuclear alliances, NWCSs, and nations for whom nuclear weapons states offer extended deterrence guarantees are facing critical choices over the next two decades about how best to maintain strategic stability, including nuclear deterrence. [34]

Mixing low- and high-yield nuclear weapons on Trident missiles, one of the key systems the United States would use in a counterforce mission targeting an adversary?s nuclear forces, poses a particular problem if an adversary is worried about the survivability of its arsenal (even Russia may worry about this given America?s persistent emphasis on counterforce and damage limitation capabilities). [37] The administration?s basic concern is that Russia may try to use a low-yield nuclear weapon on American or allied forces without the United States being able to successfully respond in kind. [37]

As CBS News notes, none of the countries “known or believed to possess nuclear weapons” — the United States, Russia, Britain, China, France, India, Pakistan, North Korea and Israel – supports the treaty. [36]

Since the Soviet Union’s first atomic test in 1949, the existence of nuclear weapons in many hands has not only deterred the use of nuclear weapons, but also made nuclear possessors and their adversaries think carefully about the desirability of going to war at all. [36] The situation is particularly hazardous when the likely geographical location of any tit-for-tat nuclear use is not on the home territory of either of the involved nuclear weapon states, since any geographic restraint on responses would be significantly diminished. [34] Most states voting for the treaty lack the capability, or significant interest, in acquiring nuclear weapons. [36] Sitting around this small table more than 30 years later, the goal of the four of us was to help decrease the risk of nuclear war between the U.S. and North Korea–a challenge demonstrating the permanent problem nuclear weapons create for humanity. [35] “It may make them more desperate,” says Andrew Bieniawski, vice president of the Nuclear Threat Initiative, a U.S. nonprofit that works to reduce the risk of nuclear weapons and materials. [42]

The chances of nuclear miscalculation and nuclear weapons employment are dependent, in part, on the degree to which nuclear weapons are socialized in a nuclear-capable state. [34] The nuclear weapons policies of two nuclear weapon states (the UK and, to a slightly lesser extent, France) provide signposts to a different approach that is perhaps better suited to the increased complexity of twenty-first-century deterrence. [34] Think about it this way: if the United States detected that Russia had launched a missile off a submarine, that carried either a low-yield nuclear weapon or 8 strategic nuclear weapons, how would it react? Would it assume it is the low-realyield option and wait for it to hit the continental United States before reacting and retaliating? Of course not. [37] Nuclear weapons are a great equalizer: Nukes permit smaller nations–or nebulous terrorist groups–to threaten a great power such as the United States, China, or Russia. [35] Under the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, signed in 1968, the United States and Russia promised to reduce the role and number of nuclear weapons. [43] In 1980, the United States and the Soviet Union spoke of fighting and winning a nuclear war with their 60,000 nuclear weapons. [35] The ambassador stated that the DPRK had developed nuclear weapons to deter a nuclear attack by the United States, which he noted was the only nation to have used nuclear weapons. [35] President Barack Obama made a down payment on a saner policy by narrowing to “extreme circumstances” the conditions under which nuclear weapons would be used and ruling out their use against most non-nuclear countries. [43] Expanding the instances when America might use nuclear weapons could also make it easier for other nuclear-armed countries to justify using their own arsenals against adversaries. [43]

In trying to deter more — and lower — forms of aggression with nuclear weapons and broaden the deterrence spectrum, the Nuclear Posture Review generates real risks of spirals of nuclear escalation in a crisis or war. [37] There are already four types of aircraft-delivered tactical nuclear weapons in the force posture (three variants of the B-61 gravity bomb and an air launched cruise missile). [37] Proponents argue that incorporating more low-yield nuclear weapons into the force posture gives the United States the ability to respond to various forms of aggression with more calibrated responses on the so-called escalation ladder (and in theory, deter or defeat that aggression without escalation to the strategic nuclear level). [37] The United States already has immense nuclear and conventional capabilities, and experts say there is no evidence these so-called more usable low-yield nuclear weapons will force adversaries to behave better. [43] Now, as he tries to force North Korea to abandon its nuclear weapons capability and ensure that Iran never acquires one, Mr. Trump is poised to make public a new policy that commits America to an increasing investment in those very weapons, according to a draft document made public by HuffPost and confirmed by The Times. [43] Mr. Trump?s policy also talks about “extreme circumstances, ” but it dangerously broadens the definition to include “significant non-nuclear strategic attacks,” which could mean using nuclear weapons to respond to cyber, biological and chemical weapon attacks. [43] Allowing some Cold War certainties to endure without serious challenge will result in postures, policies, and capabilities that risk reducing strategic stability, either through a lowering of the threshold of acceptable employment of nuclear weapons, or an increase in the risk of miscalculation. [34] A NWCS with these capabilities risks sending an unwritten message to an adversary that there is a level of nuclear weapon employment below the strategic one that can be countenanced and, equally, that there is a level of nuclear weapon response that would not inflict upon any party strategic or unacceptable levels of damage. [34] One of the greatest risks to strategic stability is miscalculation in the nuclear weapons domain. [34] Pakistan is developing battlefield tactical nuclear weapons, which are smaller and more portable than strategic ones, even as its domestic extremist threat grows. [42] The use of sub-strategic nuclear weapons in a conflict must, by definition, involve the pursuit of objectives beyond and below prima facie strategic nuclear deterrence. [34] Signatories will promise never to “develop, test, produce, manufacture. possess or stockpile nuclear weapons”; never to transfer weapons to other parties nor to receive them; and never to “use or threaten to use nuclear weapons.” [36] Negotiations on further reductions have stalled in recent years as Russia, threatened by America?s superior conventional arsenal, became more reliant on nuclear weapons, and there is no serious sign that Mr. Trump wants to revive the talks. [43] The theory is that fielding this capability will deter Russia from its so-called “escalate to deescalate” nuclear strategy ( insofar as that even exists ), which is premised on the notion that using nuclear weapons early in a conflict, but in a limited way, will lead the United States to back down. [37] Until Mr. Trump, no one could imagine the United States ever using a nuclear weapon again. [43] Therefore, the Nuclear Posture Review argues, the United States needs a new capability that can penetrate Russian defenses and deliver a low-yield nuclear weapon from anywhere within minutes. [37] Kim said that “the entire United States is within range of our nuclear weapons. [35] Into this nadir of international trust has stepped a seriously unpredictable U.S. administration that has posited a more expansive vision of nuclear deterrence and requested several new types of nuclear weapons to carry it out. [34] That optimism, and a wider hope of reducing the salience of nuclear weapons in international security policy, has since diminished. [34] This is a profoundly important development for the role that nuclear weapons play in international security. [34] The increase in the number of small nations with nuclear weapons in turn decreases the security of larger nations. [35] WASHINGTON — This month, the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons will open for signature at the United Nations. [36] Thirty-two years later, we hoped that a focus on the human consequences of the use of nuclear weapons could again be instructive for world leaders. [35] Any lesser or variable response, far from enhancing deterrence, reduces the threshold for nuclear use and increases the possibility of nuclear weapon employment in an escalating conventional conflict. [34] They also showed us how terrible a war fought even with conventional weapons can be, yet nuclear weapons have deterred not only nuclear war but conventional war in Europe as well. [36] This risks eroding the proper stigma associated with the weapons and gradually accepting the position of nuclear weapons as simply super conventional weapons. [34] As dangerous as the US-DPRK nuclear confrontation is, it is just another flare from the 70 years of risk created by the development of nuclear weapons. [35] His last six years in service were spent in the UK Ministry of Defence, responsible for policy advice and formulation on countering weapons of mass destruction, arms control, and counterproliferation and particularly UK and NATO nuclear weapons policy. [34] “As long as we keep control of enrichment and reprocessing, nuclear power can spread without spreading nuclear weapons,” Bunn explains. [44] It would be just one step in resolving the larger nuclear dilemma–the spread of nuclear weapons across nine countries, the desire of terrorists to obtain such weapons, and the possibility that one or more of the world?s existing 16,000 nuclear weapons will be launched in error. [35] The discrimination problem outlined here applies very specifically to mixing low-yield and strategic nuclear weapons on the same missile and same system, deployed on the same platform (in this case submarines). [37] Once accepted, such a posture would, over time, erode any rationale for less than strategic nuclear weapon systems. [34] At a time when many are questioning whether Mr. Trump ought to be allowed anywhere near the nuclear “button,” he is moving ahead with plans to develop new nuclear weapons and expanding the circumstances in which they?d be used. [43] In a Republican primary debate in December 2015, Donald Trump said the risk of “some maniac” getting a nuclear weapon is “the single biggest problem” the country faces. [42] Maintaining and expanding lower-level nuclear options strongly risks creating a “safe space” in which nuclear weapon employment can both be easily conceived of and executed due to the perception of tolerable national risk levels. [34] A nuclear weapon is a device that uses a nuclear reaction to create an explosion. [38] The new low-yield, or nonstrategic, nuclear weapons envisioned in the Nuclear Posture Review would not be the first in the American inventory. [37] Jeremy Corbyn said he would never approve “first use? of Britain?s nuclear weapons. [33] In such an adversarial situation, the leadership on both sides are well aware of the likely targets of any response to their first nuclear weapon employment, and they are thus deterred. [34] My first two seagoing training appointments were in Leander-class frigates, both of which carried nuclear weapons routinely. [34] Admittedly, the signaled response will likely be disproportionate to the potential lowest nuclear weapon employment within that conflict, especially if the adversary retains tactical warheads and delivery systems. [34] The continuous and permanent presence of a tactical nuclear weapon–as we went about our peacetime business of exercises, training, and port visits amid the panoply of activity in a naval warship–subtly changed the relationship that the men on board had with nuclear weapons. [34] There must be no space for considering an acceptable norm of tactical nuclear weapon employment. [34] The terrifying consequences of nuclear weapons mean many countries and civil organizations are committed to the reduction or abolition of nuclear weapons around the world. [33] In 2017, the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons ( ICAN ), an organization borne out of the IPPNW, for its proposal to abolish nuclear weapons. [35] Specifically, the document places a renewed emphasis on expanding the role and size of the low-yield nuclear weapon force (with low yields not being all that low since they include 20 kiloton nuclear weapons, the same as those dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki). [37] Such a nation must remain confident that it can manage the likely escalation following nuclear weapon employment. [34] There is great concern that the development of nuclear energy programs increases the likelihood of proliferation of nuclear weapons. [45] A major departure in the new policy is the plan to build new low-yield nuclear weapons. [43] Through the Cold War, nuclear weapons kept the peace in Western Europe. [36] Though the group is unlikely to possess the technical skill to build an actual nuclear weapon, there are indications it could already possess nuclear materials. [42]

Our weapons experts continue to assess the global stockpiles of nuclear warheads. [41]

The current escalating nuclear danger reminds us of a similar time of peril. [35] Unlike renewables, nuclear costs are on the rise, and many plants are being shut down or in danger of being shut down for economic reasons. [45]

The same concern would apply equally to a proposal to load low-yield nuclear weapons onto intercontinental ballistic missiles. [37] Mr. Trump has boasted about the size and power of America?s nuclear arsenal, threatened to “totally destroy” North Korea, pushed for a massive buildup of an arsenal that already has too many — 4,000 — warheads and wondered aloud why the United States possesses such weapons if it isn?t prepared to use them. [43] To avoid weapons proliferation, it is important that countries with high levels of corruption and instability be discouraged from creating nuclear programs, and the U.S. should be a leader in nonproliferation by not pushing for more nuclear power at home (3). [45] In many ways, therefore, the most hazardous of the Cold War shibboleths is that to deter across all possible circumstances a nation must always be capable of matching weapon capability and employment like for like, and must be able to fight a nuclear war at levels below the strategic one. [34] It is unrealistic to assume and hope — in the thick fog of a nuclear war –that the adversary will wait until the warhead has landed, do a detailed yield assessment (even if 20 kilotons hits, how are they to know it wasn?t just because the second stage of a thermonuclear weapon fizzled?), and then choose not to respond because it was “only” 20 kilotons instead of 3.6 megatons. [37] It made tangible the growing fears that after decades of leaders trying to more safely control the world?s nuclear arsenals, President Trump has increased the possibility of those weapons being used. [43]

The danger of nuclear attacks was ever-present for more than four decades during the Cold War. [27] High profile disasters in Chernobyl, Ukraine in 1986 and Fukushima, Japan in 2011 have raised public awareness of the dangers of nuclear power. [39]

POSSIBLY USEFUL

A 1979 report by the U.S. Government estimated that all-out war would kill 28%-88% of Americans and 22%-50% of Soviets (150-450 million people with today’s populations), but this was before the risk of nuclear winter was discovered in the 1980’s. [3] The U.S. Air Force initially wanted ten thousand long-range ballistic missiles to attack Soviet nuclear forces, leadership bunkers, and other strategic targets, but later settled for a tenth of that number. [4] U.S. Department of Defense Nuclear Posture Review : A legislatively-mandated review that establishes U.S. nuclear policy, strategy, capabilities and force posture for the next five to ten years. [3] Sam Nunn, a former chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Armed Services and a co-founder of the Nuclear Threat Initiative, has argued against that sort of thinking for more than forty years. [4] A few years ago, I spent time with her in Stockholm, meeting with academics and legislators to discuss the nuclear threat. [4] We need to increases the time allowed for leaders to decide whether to launch a nuclear missile response to another country’s attack. [1] Pakistan now has the world?s fastest-growing nuclear stockpile, including low-yield warheads on Hatf-9 missiles for use against Indian troops and armored vehicles. [4]

The Cold War arms race between the United States and the Soviet Union has been replaced by a multipolar nuclear competition, with far more volatile dynamics. [4] These range from several treaties between the United States of America and Russian Federation as well as various other initiatives, to the Nuclear Suppliers Group, the Missile Technology Control Regime, the Hague Code of Conduct against Ballistic Missile Proliferation, and the Wassenaar Arrangement. [6]

Communications could prove impossible amid the nuclear blasts, and a Third World War might begin without the President?s knowledge or approval. [4] President Trump has delivered the sorts of nuclear threats that only Soviet leaders used to make, promising to unleash “fire and fury” and boasting about the size of his “button.” [4] William Perry, who?s been involved in nuclear matters for more than half a century, believes that the risk of a nuclear catastrophe is greater today than it was at any time during the Cold War. [4] Some experts say the risk of a nuclear catastrophe is greater now than it was during the Cold War. [1]

The right time horizon for seriously pushing a new nuclear accord is when most of the world?s half dozen or so major territorial and existential issues involving major powers are resolved–and this cannot be set to a calendar as precisely as the Global Zero movement would like. [5] The commander of an American infantry division, about to be overrun by the Red Army, might not have time to call the White House and wait for Presidential approval before authorizing the firing of his nuclear artillery shells and Davy Crocketts. [4] The R-28 Sarmat missile, nicknamed Satan-2, will carry up to sixteen nuclear warheads–more than enough for a single missile to destroy every American city with a population larger than a million people. [4]

“Mutual deterrence,” “flexible response,” “counterforce,” “countervalue,” “buffer distance,” “ladders of escalation,” “circular error probable,” “releasing commander,” “release other than attack,” “nuclear umbrellas,” “nuclear posture,” “force elements,” “yield,” “penetration aids”–none of these sound too alarming. [4] That week, Kennedy also secretly met with military advisers at the White House to discuss the pros and cons of launching a nuclear surprise attack on the Soviet Union. [4]

World Institute for Nuclear Security : Helps secure nuclear and radioactive materials from theft, unauthorized access, and sabotage. [3] Since the publication of my book ” Command and Control,” in 2013, I?ve gotten to know the young leadership of the nascent anti-nuclear movement, spoken at ICAN gatherings, joined the board of the Ploughshares Fund (a foundation dedicated to reducing the nuclear threat), and received financial support for some of my work from the Nuclear Threat Initiative. [4] France had a nuclear policy known as “deterrence of the strong by the weak,” operating a command structure independent of NATO and targeting Soviet cities. [4] Many of the crucial details of nuclear policy are top secret, and the mundane terms used in official discussions tend to hide the apocalyptic consequences at stake. [4]

Victims in the U.S. have received over $2 billion in compensation for radiation exposure that resulted from nuclear testing and uranium handling. [3] The Navy got nuclear depth charges, torpedoes, cruise missiles, gravity bombs, and submarine-launched ballistic missiles. [4] That reality, according to the Pentagon, requires a full renovation of the Cold War nuclear triad–new intercontinental ballistic missiles, new long-range bombers, and new ballistic-missile submarines. [4]

With the support of every member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Powell persuaded Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney and President George H. W. Bush to get rid of them, and over the years the size of NATO ?s tactical nuclear stockpile fell by ninety-seven per cent. [4] Both the Democratic and the Republican candidates for President that year, Barack Obama and John McCain, supported nuclear abolition. [4]

Harsh political rhetoric, combined with the vulnerability of the nuclear command-and-control system, has made the risk of global catastrophe greater than ever. [4] The Army got nuclear artillery shells, land mines, anti-aircraft missiles, ground-to-ground missiles, and even the Davy Crockett, a recoilless rifle carried by infantrymen that shot a small nuclear projectile. [4] The problem with the plan, he acknowledged, was that it might not eliminate all of the Soviet Union?s nuclear weapons–which could prove unfortunate for cities like New York and Chicago. [4] The strategy is based on a faith that low-yield nuclear blasts will impose “tailored” damage on NATO, de-escalate the conflict, and force a ceasefire. [4] Republican Presidents had proved especially effective at reducing the nuclear threat. [4] “This peculiar failure of response, in which hundreds of millions of people acknowledge the presence of an immediate, unremitting threat to their existence and to the existence of the world they live in–but do nothing about it. has itself been such a striking phenomenon that it has to be regarded as an extremely important part of the nuclear predicament.” [4]

Some of these are hundreds of times more powerful than those that obliterated Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and they may be able to create a decade-long nuclear winter that could kill most people on Earth. [3] In the agenda, the Secretary-General calls for resuming dialogue and negotiations for nuclear arms control and disarmament. [6] Nuclear policy is no longer widely discussed in the media; the public has been told little about a subject of existential importance; and questions once passionately argued have been largely forgotten. [4] Like so many of the disagreements about nuclear strategy, this one cannot be settled with empirical evidence, and selecting the wrong policy could be catastrophic. [4]

Some religious fanatics celebrate the slaughter of civilians and have no reluctance to die for their gods, while leaders like Syria?s Bashar al-Assad have been willing to use banned chemical weapons and bring on the destruction of their own countries rather than surrender power. [4] The Japanese used conventional, chemical, and biological weapons to kill as many as ten million to fifteen million people, mainly in China, and the United States did not hesitate to employ practices condemned a few years earlier as barbaric. [4] Almost all of today’s warheads are smaller than those exploded in the large- weapons tests mentioned above; most would inject much smaller amounts of ozone-destroying gasses, or no gasses, into the stratosphere, where ozone deficiencies may persist for years. [2] It also requires new, low-yield “tactical” warheads and bombs, a category of weapons once considered so destabilizing that President George H. W. Bush removed almost all of them from active service, in 1991. [4] The B-61 bombs have been retained as symbols of America?s commitment to the defense of NATO, despite concern that the weapons are vulnerable to theft by terrorists, sabotage, and attack, especially in Turkey. [4] In January, 1946, the first resolution of the United Nations General Assembly called for “the elimination from national armaments of atomic weapons,” and during the Cold War every American President supported that goal, with varying degrees of sincerity. [4] ° Facts: As long as Soviet leaders are rational they will continue to give first priority to knocking out our weapons and other military assets that can damage Russia and kill Russians. [2] The new weapons could be made hundreds, if not thousands, of times more powerful than the bomb that destroyed Hiroshima. [4] The weapons are B-61 bombs designed to be carried by fighter planes. [4] Similar air bursting of one 20- megaton weapon (equivalent in explosive power to 20 million tons of TNT) would destroy or severely damage the great majority of houses out to a distance of 16 miles from ground zero.6 The area of destruction would be about 800 square miles – not 6,330 square miles. [2] There isn’t any doubt that, if terrorists got these weapons, they would use them. [1] Exceptions would be in areas of extremely heavy fallout such as might occur downwind from important targets attacked with many weapons, especially missile sites and very large cities. [2] @UN_Disarmament is pleased to release an Aide-Moire on “Options for Reflecting Weapons and Ammunition Management in Decisions of the Security Council”, which was made possible by the financial support of @NLatUN. [6] The United Nations has sought to eliminate such weapons ever since its establishment. [6] Air bursting a 20-kiloton weapon at the optimum height to destroy most buildings will destroy or severely damage houses out to about 1.42 miles from ground zero.6 The circular area of at least severe blast damage will be about 6.33 square miles. (The explosion of a 20 kiloton weapon releases the same amount of energy as 20 thousand tons of TNT.) [2] “Some argue that the spread of these weapons cannot be stopped, cannot be checked,” Obama said. [4] ICAN contends that the same rationale used to outlaw chemical weapons, biological weapons, land mines, and cluster munitions–their cruel, indiscriminate harm to civilians–should be applied to the deadliest weapons of all. [4]

Those who are sceptical of deterrence easily slip back from nuclear logic, by which slight risk of great damage deters, to conventional logic, by which states may somewhat sensibly risk war on narrowly calculated advantages. [8] Is help required, not just for the sake of the recipient, but also to avoid nuclear imbalances between states that might prompt wars and to reduce the chances of accidents that might set them off? We saw earlier that these are minor worries. [8] Some countries are likely to suffer more in cost and pain if they remain conventional states than if they become nuclear ones. [8] As for Waltz, the general opinion is that most states are not in a position to safely guard against nuclear use, that he underestimates the long-standing antipathy in many regions, and that weak states will be unable to prevent – or will actively provide for – the disastrous possibility of nuclear terrorism. [9] He advocates arming both Germany and Ukraine with nuclear weaponry in order to achieve a balance of power between these states in the east and France/UK in the west. [9] In 2015, Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz, a nuclear physicist, accompanied then-Secretary of State John Kerry and others to meet with the Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif (2nd R) and his delegation, which included Iran’s top nuclear physicist, to seal a historic nuclear deal after almost two years of intense diplomatic effort. [12] Ever since, part of the role of the Department of Energy has been to work with the State Department to work to prevent nuclear proliferation, which is why so many of our Energy Secretaries have been Ph.D. nuclear physicists. [12]

If we had refused to supply nuclear fuel to India, would the Soviet Union have done so? Secretary of State Edmund Muskie and others thought so. [8] A nuclear Libya, for example, would have to show caution, even in rhetoric, lest she suffer retaliation in response to someone else’s anonymous attack on a third state. [8] Deterrent forces are seldom delicate because no state wants delicate forces and nuclear forces can easily be made sturdy. [8] Because in a conventional war they can lose so much so fast, it is easy to believe that they will unleash a deterrent force even at the risk of receiving a nuclear blow in return. [8] Earnest international efforts to promote nuclear non-proliferation began soon after World War II, when the Truman Administration proposed the Baruch Plan 5 of 1946, named after Bernard Baruch, America’s first representative to the United Nations Atomic Energy Commission. [9]

NATO accommodates both nuclear and conventional states in ways that continue to evolve. [8] Such worries rest on inferences drawn froom the behaviour of conventional states and do not apply to nuclear ones, for reasons already discussed. [8] Those two issues, involving the creation of enriched uranium and weapons-grade plutonium, are likely going to be at the center of any talks concerning nuclear proliferation among non-nuclear states, with extraordinary expertise required to perform the estimates and calculations accurately. [12] The likelihood of avoiding destruction as more states become members of the nuclear club is often coupled with the question who those states will be. [8] States acknowledged the possibility of nuclear activities entirely separate from those covered by safeguards, but it was assumed they would be detected by national intelligence activities. [9] He remarked, the desire for a nuclear force derives in large part ‘from doubts about the readiness of the United States Government and the American citizens to risk the destruction of their cities on behalf of Europe’. [8] Relations between the United States and the Soviet Union. and later among the United States, the Soviet Union, and China, were at their bitterest just when their nuclear forces were in early stages of development, were unbalanced, were crude and presumably hard to control. [8] Because they are minor, the United States and the Soviet Union are not likely to be tempted to give technical help to countries entering the nuclear military business. [8] They are complemented by controls on the export of sensitive technology from countries such as UK and United States through voluntary bodies such as the Nuclear Suppliers Group. [9] Controls over only about one-sixth of Russian nuclear explosive materials have been upgraded to standards comparable to those in the United States. [10]

The U.S. has accused Moscow of violating the intermediate-range nuclear forces treaty by secretly developing a medium-range cruise missile. [11] Deterrent threats backed by second-strike nuclear forces raise the expected costs of war to such heights that war becomes unlikely. [8] Not only will they not be trying to stretch their deterrent forces to cover others, but also their vulnerability to conventional attacks lends credence to their nuclear threats. [8] The risks of a nuclear catastrophe – in a regional war, terrorist attack, by accident or miscalculation – is greater than it was during the cold war and rising, a former U.S. defence secretary has said. [11] Kashmir remains the most volatile nuclear frontline, but the zone where Russia and the west rub up against each other is also becoming increasingly precarious, underlining the inherent risks of U.S. and Russian nuclear doctrine. [11] Alongside the risks stemming from cyber-attack, North Korea?s nuclear programme and volatility between India and Pakistan in Kashmir, Russia?s military interventions in Ukraine and Syria and the increasingly assertive posture of its air and sea patrols have brought Russian forces into close proximity to their western counterparts. [11] For almost two decades, we have emphasized the importance of having a continuum of forces that would enable the United States and her allies to fight at any level from irregular to strategic nuclear warfare. [8] What can lesser states do to disrupt the nuclear equilibrium if even the mighty efforts of the United States and the Soviet Union cannot shake it? The international equilibrium will endure. [8] The PTBT banned nuclear testing in the atmosphere, outer space and under water, but not underground, and was signed by the United States, the Soviet Union and the United Kingdom. [14]

He also said progress made after the fall of the Soviet Union to reduce the chance of a nuclear exchange between the U.S. and Russia was now unravelling. [11] In its efforts to reassure its eastern European allies over the threat of Russian encroachment, the U.S. has also been mixing its conventional and nuclear signalling. [11] The then head of U.S. Strategic Command, General Robert Kehler, told the Senate armed services committee in 2013 that there was “no significant vulnerability” in the nuclear command and control system, but later conceded: “We don?t know what we don?t know.” [11] Separate reports indicate ( The Washington Times, 22 November 2002) that U.S. intelligence had as early as 1999 picked up signs that North Korea was continuing to develop nuclear arms. [9]

Among nuclear countries, possible losses in war overwhelm possible gains. [8] John Mearsheimer would not support Waltz’s optimism in the majority of potential instances; however, he has argued for nuclear proliferation as policy in certain places, such as post-Cold War Europe. [9] Specifically, these scholars advocate some forms of nuclear proliferation, arguing that it will decrease the likelihood of war, especially in troubled regions of the world. [9]

Former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has been a frequent critic of the concept of “nuclear apartheid ” as it has been put into practice by several countries, particularly the United States. [9] If the world’s community failed to provide political insurance to Pakistan and other countries against the nuclear blackmail, these countries would be constraint to launch atomic bomb programs of their own! ssurances provided by the United Nations were not “Enough!”. [9] All nuclear countries must live through a time when their forces are crudely designed. [8] The International Framework for Nuclear Energy Cooperation is an international project involving 25 partner countries, 28 observer and candidate partner countries, and the International Atomic Energy Agency, the Generation IV International Forum, and the European Commission. [9]

That?s why we?re fighting to reduce the risk of nuclear use. [15] Neither Washington nor Moscow would risk a nuclear apocalypse to advance territorial or power goals, hence a peaceful stalemate ensued (Waltz and Sagan (2003), p.24). [9] The Uranium-235 chain reaction that both leads to a nuclear fission bomb, but also generates power inside a nuclear reactor. [12] The nuclear transitions are some 100,000 times more efficient, meaning the same amount of fuel that can power a city for a day via chemical reactions can, with nuclear reactions, last for centuries. [12] Both of the nuclear great powers become watchful and wary when events occur that may get out of control. [8] Produced as a by-product of nuclear reactions, Pu-238 is the radionuclide used to power deep-space vehicles, from the Mars Curiosity Rover to the ultra-distant Voyager spacecraft. [12]

“Some kind of cyber-attack on our nuclear command system either in the United States or Russia could be the basis for a miscalculation made about a launch.” [11] When asked whether Russia and China could prevent a cyber-attack from launching their nuclear missiles, he replied: “Senator, I don?t know.” [11] According to public sources, small shipments containing a total of roughly 40 kilograms of smuggled nuclear explosive material have been seized worldwide between 1992 and 2002, generally originating in Russia. [10] The first line of defense against nuclear terrorism must be safeguarding the vast worldwide stockpiles of nuclear weapons-usable materials. [10] Counting India and Israel, membership grew to seven in the first 35 years of the nuclear age. [8] Both use local uranium, as India does not import any nuclear fuel. [9] In September of 1980 the Executive Branch, against the will of the House of Representatives but with the approval of the Senate, continued to do nuclear business with India despite her explosion of a nuclear device and despite her unwillingness to sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. [8] In 1990 each side ratified a treaty not to attack the other’s nuclear installations, and at the end of 1991 they provided one another with a list showing the location of all their nuclear plants, even though the respective lists were regarded as not being wholly accurate. [9] Inhibitions against using nuclear forces for such attacks are strong, although one cannot say they are absolute. [8] In a nuclear world, a country cannot sensibly attack unless it believes that success is assured. [8] Not being deterred by self-annihilation, terrorism groups could push forth their own nuclear agendas or be used as shadow fronts to carry out the attack plans by mentioned unstable governments. [9] The uranium used as fuel probably came from indigenous sources, and the nuclear facilities were built by the countries themselves without being declared or placed under safeguards. [9] Relations between the two countries are tense and hostile, and the risks of nuclear conflict between them have long been considered quite high. [9] Need this be the case in a strategic competition between nuclear countries? It need not be if the conditions of competition make deterrent logic dominant. [8] This is almost entirely true at the strategic nuclear level, largely true at the tactical nuclear level, and partly true at the conventional level. [8] As long as there’s the right nuclear fuel present, along with control rods and the proper type of water inside, energy can be generated with only 1/100,000th the fuel of conventional, fossil-fuel reactors. [12] Conventional arms races will wither if countries shift emphasis from conventional defence to nuclear deterrence. [8] His third reason applies explicitly to the Soviet Union and not to third nuclear countries. [8] Although the Soviet Union supported Chinese nuclear aims for a time, that effort was taken over completely by the Chinese after June 1959. [16] Early efforts to prevent nuclear proliferation involved intense government secrecy, the wartime acquisition of known uranium stores (the Combined Development Trust ), and at times even outright sabotage –such as the bombing of a heavy-water facility thought to be used for a German nuclear program. [9]

Joseph S. Bermudez Jr. in Jane’s Defence Weekly (27 November 2002) reports that Western analysts had begun to question what North Korea received in payment for the missiles; many suspected it was the nuclear technology. [9] The missiles are described as uniquely destabilising, as they come in conventional and nuclear variants, so an adversary would have no way of knowing which was being launched. [11] This is blackmail, which can now be backed by conventional and by nuclear threats. [8] Nuclear experts say the growth of cyberwarfare potentially poses the biggest threat to the integrity and reliability of automated command and control systems. [11] It was “reasonable to believe that that threat has extended itself”to nuclear command and control systems,” he said. [11]

The cloud from the atomic bomb over Nagasaki from Koyagi-jima in 1945 was one of the first nuclear detonations to take place on this world. [12] The main concern of the IAEA is that uranium not be enriched beyond what is necessary for commercial civil plants, and that plutonium which is produced by nuclear reactors not be refined into a form that would be suitable for bomb production. [9] According to the report, “The secret complex, much of it in caves tunnelled into a mountain at Naung Laing in northern Burma, runs parallel to a civilian reactor being built at another site by Russia that both the Russians and Burmese say will be put under international safeguards.” 75 In 2002, Myanmar had notified IAEA of its intention to pursue a civilian nuclear programme. [9] One can believe that American opposition to nuclear arming stays the deluge only by overlooking the complications of international life. [8]

On 13 February 2007, the parties announced “Initial Actions” to implement the 2005 joint statement including shutdown and disablement of North Korean nuclear facilities in exchange for energy assistance. [9] The IAEA was established on 29 July 1957 to help nations develop nuclear energy for peaceful purposes. [9] In the latter, no country will press another to the point of decisive defeat In the desperation of defeat desperate measures may be taken, but the last thing anyone wants to do is to make a nuclear nation feel desperate. [8] For the most part, however, the relations of nations display continuity through their transition from non-nuclear to nuclear status. [8] The unconditional surrender of a nuclear nation cannot be demanded. [8]

India exploded a nuclear device in 1974, the so-called Smiling Buddha test, which it has consistently claimed was for peaceful purposes. [9] India appears content to have a nuclear military capability that may or may not have produced deliverable warheads, and Israel maintains her ambiguous status. [8]

Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists – A non-technical public policy and global security magazine that has reported on nuclear proliferation issues since 1945. [9] Unlike wind, solar, or hydroelectric power, it isn’t subject to hourly, daily, or seasonal variation: you supply the fuel and the right conditions and nuclear delivers the power you need on demand. [12] In July of 2015, Iran and six major world powers reached a nuclear deal, capping more than a decade of on-off negotiations with an agreement that may have transformed the Middle East. [12] Whether or not they are nuclear, lesser powers feeling.threatened will turn to, or remain associated with, one or another of the great powers. [8] The official reason given by the Israeli and French governments was to build a nuclear reactor to power a ” desalination plant “, in order to “green the Negev”. [9]

No doubt the Soviet Union would prefer conventional to nuclear neighbours whatever their present leanings may be. [8] That was true in a multipolar, conventional world; it remains true in a bipolar, nuclear world. [8]

On 19 September 2005, the fourth round of the Six-Party Talks ended with a joint statement in which North Korea agreed to end its nuclear programs and return to the NPT in exchange for diplomatic, energy and economic assistance. [9] The legality of North Korea’s withdrawal is debatable but as of 9 October 2006, North Korea clearly possesses the capability to make a nuclear explosive device. [9] It is therefore likely during this period that cooperation in nuclear technology between Pakistan and North Korea was initiated. [9]

They do not want to risk nuclear devastation anymore than we do. [8] Nuclear peace depends not on rulers and those around them being rational but on their aversion to running catastrophic risks. [8]

These three countries show no inclination to engage in nuclear arms races with anyone. [8] His fourth reason applies to any and all nuclear countries. [8]

Material Accountancy – tracking all inward and outward transfers and the flow of materials in any nuclear facility. [9] The country?s ambassador in Copenhagen has said Danish warships would be “targets for Russian nuclear missiles” if they installed advanced radar equipment. [11] Early in the nuclear age, people worried about atomic bombs being concealed in packing boxes and placed in holds of ships to be exploded when a signal was given. [8] Our’special relationship’ with Britain led us to help her acquire and maintain nuclear forces. [8] China’s nuclear forces neither prevented American-Chinese rapprochement earlier nor prompted it later. [8] How a regime can hope to save itself by making a nuclear strike at a superior adversary, or at any adversary having a second-strike force, is not explained. [8]

Pakistan was exposed to a kind of ” nuclear threat and blackmail ” unparalleled elsewhere. [9] Later, Russia announced that it would build a nuclear reactor in Myanmar. [9] Referring to the possibility of a nuclear exchange triggered by a military incident that spiralled out of control, the official said: “It is still remote, but it is no longer trivial.” [11] Nobody knows what a nuclear battlefield would look like, and nobody knows what happens after the first city is hit. [8] A preventive strike during the second stage of nuclear development is even less promising than a preventive strike during the first stage. [8]

While many sources of energy are important, worldwide, for meeting humanity’s energy needs, every single one of them has a disadvantage for either the environment or to meet needs on an on-demand basis (as solar, shown here, does) when compared to nuclear. [12] Unlike Canada, we did not deny India access to our nuclear supplies. [8] In May 1998 India and Pakistan each exploded several nuclear devices underground. [9] India has also been discussed in the context of “nuclear apartheid”. [9] Pakistan’s programme was peaceful but was “a deterrent to India” because New Delhi had detonated a nuclear device. [9]

Would one strike so hard as to destroy the very potential for future nuclear development? If not, the country struck could simply resume its nuclear career. [8] No country will goad a nuclear adversary that finds itself in sad straits. [8]

We must answer the world’s longing for peace and security.” 6 With this remark, Baruch helped launch the field of nuclear ethics, to which many policy experts and scholars have contributed. [9] “The probability of a nuclear calamity is higher today, I believe, that it was during the cold war,” Perry said. [11]

Deterrent arrangements that are working today, but that are also somewhat fragile, could be disrupted; and states entirely disinterested in nuclear disarmament might be encouraged to build up arsenals in the hope that their nascent nuclear power might be greater as the existing nuclear powers build down. [5] Many experts argue that thousands of nuclear warheads are more than enough for effective deterrence, while building new ones weakens national security, makes accidental war more likely and more devastating, encourages additional nations to go nuclear, and gives terrorists easier access to bomb-making materials. [3] During a speech by the Russian President, Vladimir Putin, in March, computer animations projected on a large screen behind him showed Russian nuclear warheads descending over the state of Florida, perhaps aimed at Mar-a-Lago. [4]

He fears that the chance of accidents, miscalculations, and blunders with tactical weapons–as well as the pressure to “use them or lose them” in battle–greatly increase the risk of an all-out nuclear war. [4] The Union of Concerned Scientists : Works on developing and implementing innovative, practical solutions to some of our planet?s most pressing problems–from combating global warming and developing sustainable ways to feed, power, and transport ourselves, to fighting misinformation, advancing racial equity, and reducing the threat of nuclear war. [3] The glaring problem of how the President of the United States and the President of Russia might reliably communicate and negotiate during a limited nuclear war has never been resolved. [4] An all-out nuclear war between Russia and the United States would be the worst catastrophe in history,. [2]

North Korea has repeatedly threatened to launch a nuclear attack on the United States, producing elaborate videos that show the destruction of the White House and the U.S. Capitol. [4] Russia faces possible nuclear attacks by the United States, China, France, and the United Kingdom. [4] Its objectives include preventing a nuclear attack on the United States, protecting American allies from attack, and, if deterrence fails, ending “any conflict at the lowest level of damage possible and on the best achievable terms.” [4] ° Myth: A Russian nuclear attack on the United States would completely destroy all American cities. [2]

The main problem, though, is that the nuclear disarmament notion simply lacks credibility in a world in which even some existing nuclear powers clearly have no interest in denuclearizing anytime soon (even if the United States did). [5] The targeting strategies of today?s nuclear powers stem from the aerial-bombing campaigns of the Second World War, when the distinction between hitting military assets and killing civilians disappeared. [4]

Average cooling (in C) during the second summer after a full-scale nuclear war between the U.S. and Russia (from Robock et al 2007 ). [3] Nuclear war can potentially kill 1000 times more people than a nuclear terrorist attack (billions rather than millions), but it is certainly not 1000 times less likely than nuclear terrorism. [3] The superpowers plan to invest over a trillion dollars upgrading their nuclear arsenals, which many experts believe increases the risk of nuclear proliferation, nuclear terrorism, and accidental nuclear war. [3]

It’s also why nuclear tests conducted by North Korea and other countries draw such a strong response from the international community. [7] Nine nations possess nuclear arms, and we don’t have a reliable system to track and account for weapons-useable nuclear materials that are present in 24 countries. [1]

During the Cuban Missile Crisis, President John F. Kennedy and his advisers didn?t know that the Soviet forces on the island and in the sea surrounding it not only had tactical weapons but also had the ability to use them without consulting Moscow. [4] Russia is no longer confident that its conventional forces are superior to those of NATO, and so it has embraced an “escalate to de-escalate” strategy, raising the possibility of the use of tactical weapons against NATO troops. [4]

During Carte Blanche, a war game conducted in 1955, three hundred and thirty-five NATO tactical weapons were used against invading Soviet tanks and troops, for the most part on battlefields in Germany. [4] Subsequent war games confirmed the findings of Carte Blanche: if NATO ever used tactical weapons to defend Germany, it would destroy Germany. [4]

American war plans relying on tactical weapons and those relying on strategic weapons were in many ways incompatible. [4] Confronted with a choice between tactical weapons and more powerful strategic weapons, the United States decided to build both. [4] After the collapse of the Soviet Union, in 1991, the United States unilaterally removed all of its tactical weapons from South Korea and almost all of them from Europe. [4] Today, the United States keeps about two hundred tactical weapons at six NATO bases in Germany, Belgium, Turkey, Italy, and the Netherlands. [4]

A Soviet invasion of Western Europe might sideline the SIOP : tactical weapons would only be effective on the battlefield if they could be used immediately. [4] To be effective on the battlefield, tactical weapons need to be widely dispersed and available for immediate use, making them more vulnerable to theft, sabotage, and unauthorized use. [4] Because the destructive effects of tactical weapons are smaller, the temptation to use them may be greater. [4] Once the first tactical weapon detonated on a battlefield, the escalation of the conflict would be hard to control. [4] If the Soviet Union invaded Western Europe, Oppenheimer supported using tactical weapons against tanks, troops, and airfields. [4] Much like NATO during the Cold War, Pakistan assumes that tactical weapons will deter an invasion or defeat the invading army without endangering cities. [4]

At a practical level, the world will likely have many nuclear power plants as well as all the nuclear waste that nuclear bomb and energy programs will have generated; fissile material can be gleaned from all of these sources. [5] Experts fear that B-61 nuclear bombs, which can fit in the bed of a pickup truck, are vulnerable to theft from U.S. bases abroad. [4]

China is about to introduce Dongfeng-41 ballistic missiles that will be mounted on trucks, loaded with up to ten nuclear warheads, and capable of reaching anywhere in the United States. [4] Non-propagandizing scientists recently havecalculated that the climatic and other environmental effects of even an all-out nuclear war would be much less severe than the catastrophic effects repeatedly publicized by popular astronomer Carl Sagan and his fellow activist scientists, and by all the involved Soviet scientists. [2] Common concerns span the spectrum from a nuclear terrorist attack against a single city, potentially killing millions of people, to all-out global nuclear war, potentially killing billions. [3] An American attack–contemplated for days at the White House and nearly set in motion–would have unwittingly led to a nuclear war. [4] An opinion poll in 1983 found that about half of the American people thought that they?d die in a nuclear war. [4]

As Nunn observed in 1974, after a tour of NATO ?s tactical nuclear units, “Nobody has any experience in fighting nuclear wars, and nobody knows what would happen if one were to start.” [4] The aftermath of a nuclear war may be even more dire than anything anticipated during the Cold War. [4] ° Myth: Most of the unborn children and grandchildren of people who have been exposed to radiation from nuclear explosions will be genetically damaged will be malformed, delayed victims of nuclear war. [2] ° Myth: Blindness and a disastrous increase of cancers would be the fate of survivors of a nuclear war, because the nuclear explosions would destroy so much of the protective ozone in the stratosphere that far too much ultraviolet light would reach the earth’s surface. [2]

The slowness of negotiating the recent New START Treaty with Moscow and the likely slow ratification debates over both it and the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty in the coming years suggest the possibility that nuclear debates will bog down in technicalities and mundane practicalities, losing sight of the big picture. [5] Moving to nuclear disarmament soon by trying to write a treaty in the next few years is too fast. [5]

The cost of rebuilding America?s nuclear arsenal is projected to be more than a trillion dollars, spent over the course of thirty years. [4] Pursuing it, at a cost of close to two hundred billion dollars, has only pushed other nations to modernize their nuclear arsenals. [4] The nuclear-weapon requirements for “damage limitation” could become endless, as the Soviet Union expanded its nuclear arsenal and the number of military targets there multiplied. [4] Throughout the Cold War, the proper size and composition of America?s nuclear arsenal was a continual source of debate, as each military service championed its own role in any conflict. [4]

The world?s other nuclear powers harbored much smaller arsenals and simpler ambitions. [4] Because raging city firestorms are needed to inject huge amounts of smoke into the stratosphere and thus, according to one discredited theory, prevent almost all solar heat from reaching the ground, the Soviets changed their descriptions of how a modern city will burn if blasted by a nuclear explosion. [2] Figure 1.2 illustrates the rapidity of the decay of radiation from fallout during the first two days after the nuclear explosion that produced it. [2] The most influential article was featured in the December 23,1983 issue of Science (the weekly magazine of the American Association for the Advancement of Science): “Nuclear winter, global consequences of multiple nuclear explosions,” by five scientists, R. P. Turco, O. B. Toon, T. P. Ackerman, J. B. Pollack, and C. Sagan. [2] That said, the ideas of nuclear disarmament advocates are already raising questions around the world about how long the American extended deterrent can be depended upon to help ensure regional peace in key theaters. [5]

We must become much more effective, along with the rest of the international community, at securing nuclear materials and keeping them out of the hands of terrorists. [1] The USSR’s strategic modernization program continues unabated,” and that the SS-18 Mod 5 can carry 14 to 20 nuclear warheads. [2]

Fortunately for all living things, the danger from fallout radiation lessens with time. [2] They are not likely to do so unless the American public understands the danger and demands action. [1]

All other nations of the world have joined the treaty as “Non-Nuclear Weapons States,” but one country (North Korea) has withdrawn. [10] Therefore, in weighing the chances for peace, the first questions to ask are questions about the ends for which states use force and about the strategies and weapons they employ. [8] For modest states, weapons whose very existence works strongly against their use are just what is wanted. [8] It merits repeating because of its unusual importance for states whose geographic limits lead them to obsessive concern for their security in a world of ever more destructive conventional weapons. [8] India refused this and similar previous proposals, and countered with demands that other potential weapons states, such as Iran and North Korea, should be invited, and that regional limitations would only be acceptable if they were accepted equally by China. [9] In the five weapons states plus the non-NPT states ( India, Pakistan and Israel ), facility-specific safeguards apply. [9]

This aims to complement the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty of 1996 (not entered into force as of 2011) and to codify commitments made by the United States, the UK, France and Russia to cease production of weapons material, as well as putting a similar ban on China. [9] In January 2003 the DPRK withdrew from the NPT. In response, a series of discussions among the DPRK, the United States, and China, a series of six-party talks (the parties being the DPRK, the ROK, China, Japan, the United States and Russia) were held in Beijing ; the first beginning in April 2004 concerning North Korea’s weapons program. [9]

Weapons and strategies change the situation of states in ways that make them more or less secure, as Robert Jervis has brilliantly shown. [8] Weapons states have agreed to accept the principles of the model additional protocol. [9] Even while destroying themselves, states with few weapons would do less damage to others. [8] However improbable the event, lesser states may one day fire some of their weapons. [8] It endorsed early proposals for a Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty and for an international convention to ban the production of highly enriched uranium and plutonium for weapons purposes, known as the ‘cut-off’ convention. [9] In May 1995, NPT parties reaffirmed their commitment to a Fissile Materials Cut-off Treaty to prohibit the production of any further fissile material for weapons. [9] Although all these facilities at Yongbyon were to be under safeguards, there was always the risk that at some stage, the DPRK would withdraw from the NPT and use the plutonium for weapons. [9] Such weapons might be delivered by aircraft or cruise missile, or they might be detonated on board ships near U.S. harbors. [10] You might assume that the U.S. only has a small number of weapons, and that using them would require careful deliberation by our nation?s leaders. [15]

We may prefer that countries have conventional weapons only, do not run arms races, and do not fight. [8] Could you elaborate some of the scientific background on which Dr. Moniz must have briefed Kerry for those talks? Among issues that are sometimes mentioned with little or no explanation are uranium vs plutonium; materials and technology suitable for peacetime energy production vs those suitable only for weapons; breeder reactors; and illegal technology transfer. [12] Another, more recent approach, centers on ‘capping’ the production of fissile material for weapons purposes, which would hopefully be followed by ‘roll back’. [9] In 1995 the IAEA declared that it was satisfied all materials were accounted for and the weapons programme had been terminated and dismantled. [9] Weapons must not be susceptible to accidental and unauthorized use. [8] Western intelligence agencies began to notice exchange of personnel, technology and components between KRL and entities of the North Korean 2nd Economic Committee (responsible for weapons production). [9] Once that capability is assured, additional strategic weapons are useless. [8] Even if they buy the weapons, they will have to hire technicians to maintain and control them. [8] Available weapons affect the strategy a country adopts, and the strategy that is fashioned in turn calls for the further development of weapons. [8]

Pakistan is outnumbered by India in terms of conventional forces and is growing increasingly reliant on the threat of the early use of tactical weapons to deter an attack. [11]

Ferguson has served as a foreign affairs officer in the Bureau of Nonproliferation, U.S. Department of State, where he helped develop policies on nuclear safety and security issues. [18] This revised negative security assurance expanded the security benefits for non-nuclear-weapon states of good faith membership in the nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) regime. [17] It is true that the international security environment is less favorable than it was in 2010 when the Obama administration conducted its NPR. Some of the other nuclear-armed states have not been responsible nuclear citizens. [17] North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un has claimed an “historic” advance in the country’s nuclear strike capability with the successful test of a solid-fuel rocket engine, state media said. [22] The “Nuclear Ban Treaty,” on the other hand, is a good faith effort by more than 130 states to meet their responsibility as signatories of NPT to help end the arms race. [17] The force outlined in the NPR calls for maintaining and upgrading U.S. nuclear forces at levels that exceed the deterrence requirements outlined by the Pentagon in 2013, which determined that the deployed strategic arsenal could be reduced by up to one-third below the limits set by the 2010 New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START) of 1,550 warheads and 700 delivery systems. [17] Unlike the previous administration, however, the Trump administration defines extreme circumstances more broadly to include “significant non-nuclear strategic attacks” against “U.S., allied or partner civilian population or infrastructure, and attacks on U.S. or allied nuclear forces, their command and control, or warning and attack assessment capabilities.” [17] If New START is allowed to lapse in 2021 with nothing to replace it, there would be no limits on U.S. and Russian strategic nuclear forces for the first time since 1972. [17] In his previous assignment as the commander in chief of the U. S. Strategic Command (STRATCOM), he was responsible for all U.S. Air Force and U.S. Navy strategic nuclear forces supporting the national security strategy of strategic deterrence. [18] It has been estimated that the use of even a fraction of U.S. and Russian nuclear forces could lead to the death of tens of millions of people in each country. [17]

Any international use of a nuclear weapon–intentional or not, authorized or not–could escalate to a devastating war with unthinkable consequences. [19]

Laura S. H. Holgate has served since 2001 as the vice president for Russia/New Independent States Programs at the Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI). [18] This makes it important to keep an eye on the state of nuclear armament. [21]

Reiss is the author of Bridled Ambition: Why Countries Constrain Their Nuclear Capabilities and Without the Bomb: The Politics of Nuclear Nonproliferation,and has authored more than eighty articles on international security and arms control issues. [18] Both the U.S. and Russia have over 7,000 warheads, while the rest of the nuclear countries have 300 or less. [21] Given the overall conventional superiority of the U.S.-led alliance system, it is in the U.S. interest to raise, not lower, the bar for nuclear use. [17] What is far more likely to prompt Russian President Vladimir Putin to perceive that he could get away with limited nuclear use is past and future statements by President Trump questioning the value of NATO and U.S. alliances. [17] It also calls upon other states not to conduct nuclear testing and states that ” he United States will not resume nuclear explosive testing unless necessary to ensure the safety and effectiveness of the U.S. arsenal.” [17] The NPR asserts that “the United States does not support the ratification of the CTBT” (p. 63) even though the United States and 182 other nations have signed the treaty, and even though there is no technical need to resume nuclear testing. [17] The Task Force notes that “the United States cannot form a more effective nuclear security system alone. [18] China: While China is a “nuclear-armed rival,” the Task Force notes that the United States and China “are not yet ready to form a formal nuclear arms control agreement because of the significant asymmetry between their two arsenals.” [18]

Though a kinetic or nonkinetic attack on U.S. nuclear command and control capabilities, which support both nuclear and non-nuclear missions, could have major repercussions, such an attack is unlikely to result in any human casualties. [17] The review extols ambiguity and proposes two new low-yield nuclear capabilities to “expand the range of credible U.S. options for responding to nuclear or non-nuclear strategic attack” (p. 55). [17] North Korea said its latest ballistic missile tests trialled detonation devices for possible nuclear strikes on U.S. targets in South Korea and were personally monitored by supreme leader Kim Jong-Un. [22] Deploying nuclear SLCMs on U.S. surface ships and/or attack submarines also raises several concerns. [17]

Such thinking could also have the perverse effect of convincing Russia that it could get away with limited nuclear use without putting its survival at risk. [17] It would take thousands of nukes to plunge us into nuclear winter, but both Russia and the United States have thousands of nukes. [46] The 2018 NPR does state that the “United States will continue efforts to create a more cooperative and benign security environment” (p. 24) and that “the United States will continue to pursue the political and security conditions that could enable further nuclear reductions” (p. 95). [17] Pyongyang responded with the threat of a pre-emptive nuclear strike on the United States. [22] Many countries listed as having nuclear capabilities lack the missiles or aircraft to make them a true long range threat. [21] The potential for miscalculation would increase since an adversary would be unable to determine if an incoming missile is armed with a nuclear or conventional warhead. [17] On the one bilateral strategic nuclear arms reduction treaty that is currently in force–New START–the NPR does not commit its possible extension, despite the obvious benefits. [17] The ATOM Project: This is an international initiative trying to bring a global nuclear nonproliferation treaty to fruition. [21] CFR also thanks the Robina Foundation for its support of CFR’s work on nuclear energy and nuclear nonproliferation through the International Institutions and Global Governance program. [18]

During the cold war, the most credible scenario for nuclear disaster was a shootout between the U.S. and the USSR, a possibility that was always described by newscasters as being ‘on the brink of becoming a reality’. [21] The existing U.S. nuclear arsenal– originally built during the Cold War-era and refurbished since–is aging. [17] This more aggressive U.S. nuclear posture gives other nuclear actors a cynical excuse to justify their ongoing nuclear upgrade efforts and build up their own nuclear capabilities. [17]

At a time when U.S.-Russian relations remain strained, New START, which is set to expire in 2021, serves an even more important role in reducing nuclear risks. [17] After the September 11 attacks, he was detailed to the National Nuclear Security Administration to work on counterterrorism and homeland security issues. [18] An annual National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) report released in November 2017 shortens the previous readiness timeline to conduct a “simple test” explosion from 24 to 36 months down to six to 10 months, undermining the global nuclear testing taboo. [17]

I n December 2016, President Donald Trump tweeted that the United States “must greatly strengthen and expand its nuclear capability” and later told MSNBC that he would “outmatch” and “outlast” other potential competitors in a nuclear arms race. [17] The NPR proclaims that the United States will remain ready to “resume nuclear testing if necessary to meet severe technological or geopolitical challenges.” [17] The United States would have fewer tools with which to verify the size and composition of the Russian nuclear stockpile. [17] Rather than develop new nuclear roles and capabilities and put additional strain on an already wobbly global nuclear order, the United States needs to show more responsible nuclear leadership. [17] Ever heard of the nuclear scare that sent United States troops into Iraq? Well, there is proof that these documents were fakes. [21]

There was no reference to cyberattacks or attacks on nuclear command, control, and communications capabilities anywhere in the 2010 document. [17] The NPR claims that development of a new nuclear SLCM, which would take nearly decade, could serve as a bargaining chip in future arms control negotiations with Russia. [17]

With the kind of payload that even a small strategic nuclear device caries, accuracy in targeting is not the first concern. [21] “The imperative before the Obama administration,” the report says, “is to use all available tools to prevent the use and further acquisition of nuclear weapons.” [18] A program exists among the NATO countries known as ‘Nuclear Sharing’, where member countries without nuclear capabilities host nuclear devices from other countries. [21] A survey of the chemical content of baby teeth in 1961 by Dr. Louise Reiss revealed that the teeth and bones of babies were becoming contaminated by radioactive materials introduced into the environment by nuclear testing. [21] While they may not have the means to launch and target these devices, a working nuclear device could be assembled at or near a target without the need for missiles or planes. [21] North Korean soldiers attend a mass rally in Kim Il-Sung Square in Pyongyang to celebrate the North’s declaration it had achieved full nuclear statehood, Dec. 1, 2017. [22] Korean People’s Army (KPA) soldiers cheer while watching fireworks during a mass celebration in Pyongyang for scientists involved in carrying out North Korea’s largest nuclear blast to date.Sept. 6, 2017. [22] Well-wishers wave flower bouquets as buses carrying North Korean nuclear scientists and other officials pass by in Pyongyang. [22]

Fallout is a delayed effect of nuclear detonation, he explains: For small bombs, the worst of the radiation might fall out of the cloud within an hour or two. [22] Wellerstein explains that atomic bombs work by nuclear fission, splitting heavy atoms of enriched uranium or plutonium. [22]

Essentially, this treaty limited nuclear testing to underground sites, which reduced their impact on the environment. [21] Still others are working to introduce or emphasize nuclear issues in existing classes with high registration, across fields like physics, peace and conflict studies, international relations and political science, and history. [19] He sits on the University Council of Yale and sponsored the Yale Globalization Center’s conference on WMD. He is on the advisory board of the Nuclear Threat Initiative and recently sponsored their second U.S.-Russian nuclear nonproliferation conference at the Russian Academy of Science in Moscow. [18] Attempting to mimic Russia by developing more low-yield options would play into Moscow’s hands, since it can match NATO in the nuclear sphere. [17] The main deterrence challenge Russia poses to the alliance is not nuclear. [17]

Luisa Kenausis is a Scoville Fellow at the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation in Washington, DC. She received her dual bachelor?s in nuclear science and engine. [19] No previous nuclear arms control agreement has included enforcement measures. [17]

North Korea recently tested a nuclear device that could produce the equivalent of as much as 150,000 tons of TNT, he adds. [23] It?s also not clear how additional nuclear options would be useful bargaining chips given Russia?s concerns about overall NATO conventional superiority. [17] These buildup plans go far beyond those proposed by the Obama administration, which married its proposal to develop a more responsive nuclear infrastructure with pledges to reduce the size of the stockpile of nondeployed hedge warheads and accelerate the rate of dismantlement of retired warheads. [17] He also served as the chair of NATO’s nuclear policy committee (the High Level Group) from September 1996 to January 2001 and of NATO’s counterproliferation policy committee (the Defense Group on Proliferation) from September 1996 to December 1997. [18] The Defense Department released Feb. 2 a new Nuclear Posture Review (NPR), the fourth since the end of the Cold War. [17]

States that lack such guarantees are more likely to feel their security threatened and so have greater incentives to bolster or assemble nuclear arsenals. [9] Significant arms reductions and a “sole use” policy for nuclear bombs and missiles will significantly enhance U.S. security. [15] Many UN and U.S. agencies warn that building more nuclear reactors unavoidably increases nuclear proliferation risks. 10 A fundamental goal for American and global security is to minimize the proliferation risks associated with the expansion of nuclear power. [9] Alliances are weakened by the doubts of some countries that another country will risk committing national suicide through retaliation against a nuclear power that attacks an ally. [8] Although Britain when she became a nuclear power thought of herself as being a great one, her reasons for deciding later to maintain a nuclear force arose from doubts that the United States could be counted on to retaliate in response to an attack by the Soviet Union on Europe and from Britain’s consequent desire to place a finger on our nuclear trigger. [8] No more than the United States and the Soviet Union will lesser nuclear states want to rely on the deterrent threat that risks all. [8] Will the United States and the Soviet Union be drawn into the struggles of lesser nuclear states? This question loses much of its urgency given the aversion of states to crises that raise the spectre of nuclear war and the care they take in crises that do so. [8]

Wars between nuclear states may escalate as the loser uses larger and larger warheads. [8]

The Additional Protocol, once it is widely in force, will provide credible assurance that there are no undeclared nuclear materials or activities in the states concerned. [9] Further evolution of safeguards is towards evaluation of each state, taking account of its particular situation and the kind of nuclear materials it has. [9]

Far from lowering the expected cost of aggression, a nuclear offence even against a non-nuclear state raises the possible costs of aggression to incalculable heights because the aggressor cannot be sure of the reaction of other nuclear powers. [8] Now more than ever people worry about terrorists stealing nuclear warheads because various states have so many of them. [8] Those who compare expected deaths through strategic exchanges of nuclear warheads with casualties suffered by the Soviet Union in World War II overlook this fundamental difference between conventional and nuclear worlds. [8] U.S. Strategic Command headquarters in Omaha, Nebraska, had not provided comment by the time of publication, but the generals in charge of the nuclear arsenal admit they do not know the extent to which it has been compromised because the threat is so new. [11] A 1991 study by the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW) estimated that the radiation and radioactive materials from atmospheric testing taken in by people up until the year 2000 would cause 430,000 cancer deaths, some of which had already occurred by the time the results were published. [14]

As ever, the biggest international dangers come from the strongest states. [8] No state can make the threat with credibility because no state can expect to execute the threat without danger to themselves. [8] These dangers can be removed by great powers assisting lesser ones in building and managing their forces. [8] The balance or imbalance of strategic forces affects neither the calculation of danger nor the question of whose will is the stronger. [8] The simplicity of relations that obtains when one party has to concentrate its worry on only one other, and the ease of calculating forces and estimating the dangers they pose, may be lost. [8]

In the great-power politics of a multipolar world, who is a danger to whom. and who can be expected to deal with threats and problems, are matters of uncertainty. [8] When a reactor is run “normally,” which means for a long period of time and until the U-235 fuel is spent, you have no danger of producing weapons-grade plutonium. [12]

The United States and other nuclear-armed countries part to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty are legally obligated to eliminate their nuclear arsenals. [13] The United States flouts its existing disarmament obligations under Article VI of the Non-Proliferation Treaty by planning an extensive upgrade of the nuclear arsenal. [13]

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, France in 1960, and China in 1964. [14] Nor did Pakistan’s refusal to promise not to conduct nuclear tests prevent the United States from proposing to provide military aid after the Soviet Union’s invasion of Afghanistan in December of 1979. [8]

When the United States demonstrated that it had nuclear power capabilities after the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the Russians started to develop their program in preparation for the Cold War. [9] Some countries “reprocess” used fuel from nuclear power plants, creating material that?s usable in nuclear devices. [15] There’s an insidious downside to nuclear power that goes far beyond the fear of environmental and ecological catastrophe: the fact that the by-products of these nuclear reactions produce material that could be used to build an atomic bomb. [12]

Both countries are opposed to the NPT as it stands, and India has consistently attacked the Treaty since its inception in 1970 labeling it as a lopsided treaty in favor of the nuclear powers. [9] Years before India’s first underground nuclear test in 1998, the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty was passed. [9]

International Society for the Prevention of Nuclear War or ISPNW, is a US-based non-proliferation movement advocating the full control of the world’s nuclear arsenal by a restructured UN. [9] International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War or IPPNW, is a US-based non-proliferation movement advocating amongst other things, a complete ban on all nuclear weaponry. [9]

These policies and plans increase the risk of nuclear war in very real and dangerous ways, and they need to change. [15]

The possibility of one side in a civil war firing a nuclear warhead at its opponent’s stronghold nevertheless remains. [8] It is also easy to believe that in 1945, given the ability to do so, Hitler and some few around him would have fired nuclear warheads at the United States, Great Britain, and the Soviet Union as their armies advanced, whatever the consequences for Germany. [8] Such doubts caused Britain to remain a nuclear power and France to become one, but it did not destroy NATO. The Alliance holds together because even its nuclear members continue to depend on the United States. [8] If we get it right, and all sides act relatively responsibly, we could live in a world where many nations have access to the tremendous benefits that nuclear power brings, while still maintaining a level of global security that relies on those same nations not having access to nuclear bombs. [12] It is the growth and modernization of China’s nuclear arsenal and its assistance with Pakistan’s nuclear power programme and, reportedly, with missile technology, which exacerbate Indian concerns. [9] For less developed countries to build nuclear arsenals requires a long lead time. [8] Some countries included in the aforementioned laissez-faire distribution could predispose the transfer of nuclear materials or a bomb falling into the hands of groups not affiliated with any governments. [9] Traditional safeguards are arrangements to account for and control the use of nuclear materials. [9] Containment and Surveillance – use of seals, automatic cameras and other instruments to detect unreported movement or tampering with nuclear materials, as well as spot checks on-site. [9]

Dual-use technology refers to the possibility of military use of civilian nuclear power technology. [9] This included two 1000 MWe light water nuclear power reactors based on an advanced U.S. System-80 design. [9] This should be easier for lesser nuclear states to understand than it has been for the U.S. and the USSR. Because most of them are economically hard pressed, they will not want to have more than enough. [8] Relations between the United States and the new nuclear states were much the same before and after they exploded atomic devices, as Michael Nacht points out. [8] In 1995 the United States quietly intervened to head off a proposed nuclear test. [9] India’s nuclear explosion in 1974 neither improved nor worsened relations with the United States in the long term. [8] India, in violation of these agreements, used the Canadian-supplied reactor and American-supplied heavy water to produce plutonium for their first nuclear explosion, Smiling Buddha. 18 The Indian government controversially justified this, however, by claiming that Smiling Buddha was a “peaceful nuclear explosion.” [9] India conducted its first nuclear test in 1974, which prompted Pakistan to develop its own nuclear program and, when India conducted a second series of nuclear tests in 1998, Pakistan followed with a series of tests of its own. [9]

Reacting to UN sanctions imposed after missile tests in April 2009, North Korea withdrew from the six-party talks, restarted its nuclear facilities and conducted a second nuclear test on 25 May 2009. [9] With recent nuclear tests by North Korea having just occurred, the lingering fears of the Cold War still remaining, and many people still alive who remember the effects of the 1945 bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the fear of nuclear proliferation is real and valid, and a concern that must be addressed. [12]

The prompt effects of a nuclear explosion and fallout are well known through data gathered from the attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan; from more than 500 atmospheric and more than 1,500 underground nuclear tests conducted worldwide; and from extensive calculations and computer modeling. [16] Each nuclear test resulted in unrestrained release into the environment of substantial quantities of radioactive materials, which were widely dispersed in the atmosphere and deposited everywhere on the Earth?s surface.” [14]

Protect public health! Learn how you can take action and block the buildup of the U.S. nuclear arsenal. [13] Topics include nuclear arsenals, proliferation, verification, missile defense, and more. [15]

In 2001 a final agreement was signed with Russia for the country’s first large nuclear power plant, comprising two VVER-1000 reactors, under a Russian-financed US$3 billion contract. [9] When this happens a nuclear power program can become a route leading to the atomic bomb or a public annex to a secret bomb program. [9] The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) acceded to the NPT in 1985 as a condition for the supply of a nuclear power station by the USSR. [9] Many potential nuclear states are both nearby and hostile from West Germany through Pakistan to South Korea. [8] One or another nuclear state will experience uncertainty of succession, fierce struggles for power, and instability of regime. [8] If the supply of states of good character is limited as is widely thought, then the larger the number of nuclear states, the greater the chances of nuclear war become. [8] In some of the new nuclear states, civil control of the military maybe shaky. [8] With those two tasks accomplished in the first part of this paper, I shall ask in the second part whether increases in the number of nuclear states will introduce differences that are dangerous and destabilizing. [8] One of the first steps in applying NPT safeguards is for the IAEA to verify the initial stocks of uranium and plutonium to ensure that all the nuclear materials in the country have been declared for safeguards purposes. [9] Safeguards are designed to deter diversion of nuclear material by increasing the risk of early detection. [9] Cold War-era policies shouldn?t determine how we manage nuclear warheads today–especially when those policies create undue risk. [15] Arabs did not marshal their resources and make an all-out effort to destroy Israel in the years before Israel could strike back with nuclear warheads. [8] Over the coming years, the Pentagon plans to spend another $1 trillion of taxpayer money to build a new generation of nuclear bombs and delivery systems–and Congress is poised to let it happen. [15] With economic conditions the way they are in Russia today, anyone with enough money can buy a nuclear bomb. [9] There also is the matter of whether Russia can achieve sustainability for its program to safeguard nuclear materials. [10] Physical Security – restricting access to nuclear materials at the site. [9]

Nuclear test bombs have also been dropped by aircraft and fired by rockets up to 320 km into the atmosphere. [14] In early 1996, Prime minister Benazir Bhutto made it clear that “if India conducts a nuclear test, Pakistan could be forced to “follow suit”. 34 35 In 1997, her statement was echoed by Prime minister Nawaz Sharif who maintained to the fact that “since 1972, akistan had progressed significantly, and we have left that stage (developmental) far behind. [9] Pakistan will not be made a “hostage” to India by signing the CTBT, before (India).!” 36 In May 1998, within weeks of India’s nuclear tests, Pakistan announced that it had conducted six underground tests in the Chagai Hills, five on the 28th and one on the 30th of that month. [9]

China and then India became nuclear powers, and Pakistan will probably follow. [8] India has 14 small nuclear power reactors in commercial operation, two larger ones under construction, and ten more planned. [9]

By many metrics, nuclear power is a winner that other energy sources can’t hope to touch. [12] Instead of relying on chemical transitions, where the configurations of electrons in atoms and molecules are changed to release energy, nuclear power relies on the process of nuclear fission, where heavy elements are split apart, releasing energy via Einstein’s E mc 2. [12]

Though their energy is only about 3 percent of the total released in a nuclear explosion, they can cause a considerable proportion of the casualties. [16] On 12 February 2013, North Korea conducted an underground nuclear explosion with an estimated yield of 6 to 7 kilotonnes. [9] After decades of peace, North Korea is now detonating nuclear bombs. [12]

One may easily believe that American and Russian military doctrines have set the pattern that new nuclear states will follow. [8] It is estimated that India may have built up enough weapons-grade plutonium for a hundred nuclear warheads. [9]

Abandoning the nuclear agreement with Iran isolates the United States, reneges on an American commitment, adds to the risk of a trade war with U.S. allies and a hot war with Iran, and diminishes the prospects of an agreement to eliminate the North Korean threat. [32] WASHINGTON, DC (March 7, 2014)–Three years after hydrogen explosions wreaked havoc in the Fukushima nuclear disaster, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is still not adequately protecting American nuclear reactors from the risk of similar hydrogen blasts in a severe accident, according to a new report by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). [41]

The current state of dread, while entirely understandable, has overshadowed two crucial realities about the threat of a nuclear calamity. [31]

It is a clear incitement to other weapon states to do the same, and a clear violation of the NPT obligation to end the arms race and pursue effective disarmament measures. [17] Before joining NTI, Holgate directed the Department of Energy’s Office of Fissile Materials Disposition where she was responsible, from 1998 to 2001, for consolidating and disposing of excess weapons plutonium and highly enriched uranium in the United States and Russia. [18] This undated photo released by North Korea’s official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on April 2, 2016 shows a missile test of a new-type anti-air guided weapon system at an unknown location. [22] With emerging missile technology, nearly every other continent would have been in range of attacks from Antarctic based weapons. [21] Sightings indicated that the craft crashed on the coast of Greenland and the U.S. government reported that the craft and its weapons had been secured, and the bombs subsequently destroyed. [21] For everyone who lived in the Bikini Atoll after the atomic weapons testing, the U.S. government continually pays for medical compensation for their health complications. [21]

Currently, Belgium, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, and Turkey are hosting weapons actually belonging to the United States. [21] Bombs can be deployed over land and still be an effective weapon against a neighboring country. [21] Thermonuclear weapons reached the mt yield, and as powerful as 50 mt for the Russian Tsar Bomb. [25] Speaking of the weapons in its current arsenal, Washington already possesses hundreds of low-yield warheads as part of the air-leg of the triad and plans to invest over $150 billion in the coming decades to ensure these warheads can penetrate the most advanced air defenses. [17] If you want a solid argument against the production of these kinds of weapons and want to wipe them out completely, here are the most informed arguments that you can use to win any fight during your in-law?s tooth-and-nail dispute. [21] North Korean children perform in front of an image of weapons and bayonetsat Mangyongdae Children’s Palace in Pyongyang. [22] Kim Jong-Un inspecting the test of a new-type anti-air guided weapon system at an unknown location. photo released on April 2, 2016. [22] The argument that powerful nations should protect themselves with powerful weapons will surely lead to less powerful nations will make that argument as well. [21] One measure of the scale of the plan for building “new or additional weapons” is given in the commitment to ” rovide the enduring capability and capacity to produce plutonium pits at a rate of no fewer than 80 pits per year by 2030″ (p. 62). [17]

It is notable that President Trump argued in his 2018 State of the Union address that “we must modernize and rebuild our nuclear arsenal, hopefully never having to use it, but making it so strong and powerful that it will deter any acts of aggression by any other nation or anyone else.” [17] Laura Grego, a senior scientist in the Global Security Program of the Union of Concerned Scientists, says that if North Korea were to launch a nuclear attack against the United States, the U.S. would quickly detect the attack using radar and satellite-based sensors, cuing our missile defense system. [22] One of the most prolific of the U.S. Nuclear Test sites is in the largely desert state of Nevada, where more than 900 tests, both above and below ground, were conducted between 1951 and 1992. [21]

While many fear the coming of World War III, where the remaining super powers will unleash their arsenals, an equally disquieting fear is that countries with a history of aggression and terrorism will obtain the essentials for creating their own nuclear bombs. [21] The Hawaii false alarm in January of this year, which warned residents of an incoming North Korean missile attack, was not rescinded until 38 minutes after it was issued–and in that time, many people in Hawaii genuinely feared that nuclear war was imminent. [19] Today?s typical college student was born after the end of the Cold War and has no memory of a time when most Americans were deeply afraid of nuclear war (excluding, to an extent, the fiery exchange of threats between President Trump and Kim Jong-un last year). [19]

The Trump plan is centered on the mistaken belief that the United States is falling behind other countries in the fielding of a reliable and credible nuclear arsenal and it claims that there are gaps in our ability to “credibly” threaten to wage nuclear war. [17]

Throughout its history, RAND has provided detailed analyses and recommendations for defense planners and helped policymakers make informed national security decisions with regard to the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty and the nuclear activities of India, Pakistan, China, North Korea, Iran, and other nations. [32] GROSS: So if North Korea wants to play in the global community of nations and they want diplomatic relations with the U.S., but they don’t want to give up their nuclear program, what if – what if the U.S. said, OK, we’re going to open up relations with you. [29]

WASHINGTON (March 11, 2014)–On the third anniversary of the devastating nuclear accident in Fukushima, Japan, the Government Accountability Office today issued a report on how nuclear regulators in the U.S. and 15 other countries are responding to the lessons learned in that disaster. [41] Despite witnessing the immediate and enduring horror of those attacks — despite decades of technological advances in nuclear warfare — the U.S. remains shockingly unprepared for a similar assault on its own soil. [31]

When it comes to measures aimed at Iran’s nuclear program, more pressure could worsen nuclear risks and further drive a wedge between the United States and its European allies. [32] It could be a mistake for the United States to assume that more pressure will bring Iran closer to ending or reducing its ballistic missile and nuclear programs. [32] Every nuclear plant under construction in the United States is well behind schedule and at least $1 billion over budget. [39] Our advocates are pushing the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to better avoid and reduce the impacts of nuclear accidents at the 99 operating reactors in the United States by increasing safety requirements of nuclear reactor licensing and creating ways for people to monitor radiation in their environment. [41]

I didn’t really expect that, but a senior official in the Institute for American Studies late in the evening one night after we’d had a long dinner said to me, is it true that H. R. McMaster, the national security adviser, has control over the black bag, by which he meant the nuclear codes. [29] This is one of the most senior diplomats in the North Korean Foreign Ministry in charge of the American account, and he’s still very much trying to gather information about the nature of our nuclear decision-making. [29]

This website provides information on the mandated review of U.S. nuclear policy, strategy and capabilities. [40] These connections between course material and current events proved crucial because they demonstrated that nuclear science and policy do not have to be abstruse, but rather are topics essential to understanding contemporary world affairs. [28]

This is just the toll from a bomb that is puny compared to modern nuclear missiles. [31] A nuclear terrorist attack is currently not a realistic threat. [32] Renewable energy is better for the environment, the economy, and doesn?t come with the risk of a nuclear meltdown. [39] The catastrophic risks of nuclear energy — like the meltdowns of nuclear reactors in Japan or Ukraine — far outweigh the potential benefits. [39] It?s time to stop building new nuclear facilities, phase out the ones that exist, and focus on clean energy for the future. [39]

The possibility of a catastrophic accident at a U.S. nuclear plant can not be dismissed. [39] Every waste dump in the U.S. leaks radiation into the environment, and nuclear plants themselves are running out of ways to store highly radioactive waste on site. [39]

His recent work has focused on Chinese conventional and nuclear capabilities, East Asian force projection, and partnership capacity building. [32] A yield of 20 kilotons has been used here as an example to show the dominance of nuclear radiation effects in space; however, it may well be that multimegaton warheads, rather than 20-kiloton warheads, will be far more representative of space defense applications. [30] It is also important to note that the risk of accidental nuclear detonation remains high. [27] We know there’s this risk always of nuclear conflict of some kind. [29] WASHINGTON (August 26, 2014) — The Nuclear Regulatory Commission today approved a controversial new rule and Environmental Impact Statement regarding nuclear waste that could pose long-term risks to public health and the environment. [41] If you?ve felt a new shiver of nuclear fear over the past year, you?re not alone: The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists has moved its ” Doomsday Clock ” to within two minutes of midnight — closer than it has been since the height of the Cold War. [31] Because these lectures were recorded two years ago, some discussions–such as our segment on the Iranian nuclear program–were outdated. [28] During the years between the 2010 and 2018 Nuclear Posture Reviews, U.S.-Russia relations have grown increasingly confrontational. [32] Artificial intelligence has the potential to upend the foundations of nuclear deterrence by the year 2040. [32]

Compared to modern nuclear missiles, which are far more powerful and complex, constructing a crude gun-type nuke is fairly straightforward. [31] Overall, a nuclear missile detonated in the air over New York City would be more destructive and deadlier than a ground explosion, because it would generate a larger blast wave and fireball. [31]

Assessments undertaken by the ICRC in 2007 and 2009 showed clearly that there is a lack of capacity at the national and international levels to effectively assist the victims of a nuclear detonation. [27] Our course, Living at the Nuclear Brink: Yesterday and Today, successfully appealed to a broad audience and increased discourse about this existential threat facing humankind. [28] Experts agree that AI has significant potential to upset the foundations of nuclear security. [32] Within weeks of a nuclear blast in Times Square, trees and shrubs in Central Park that survived the explosion would begin to grow new shoots. [31] The first thing is that people go out of their way to tell you how comfortable they are with the idea of a nuclear exchange. [29] The participant discussion anticipating the nuclear policy of the soon-to-be-in-office Trump administration was the most active thread of the entire course. [28] Nuclear energy has no place in a safe, clean, sustainable future. [39] Nuclear energy is both expensive and dangerous, and just because nuclear pollution is invisible doesn?t mean it?s clean. [39] Nuclear energy isn?t just bad for the environment, it?s bad for our economy. [39] Nuclear energy is diverting attention and investment from the sustainable energy solutions we need. [39] New nuclear plants are more expensive and take longer to build than renewable energy sources like wind or solar. [39] Our work also includes, blocking nuclear reprocessing for energy, and developing a scientifically sound deep geologic repository for spent nuclear fuel. [41]

These participants viewed 5-minute to 15-minute videos, often dealing with sophisticated concepts, from the science of ballistic missile systems to former President Ronald Reagan’s rationale for deploying nuclear missiles in Europe in 1983. [28]

The Task Force notes that the impending expiration of the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) provides an opportunity to make deeper cuts in American and Russian nuclear arsenals and it applauds steps in this direction. [18] New START has improved strategic stability, predictability, and transparency, and verifiably trimmed the still oversized U.S. and Russian nuclear arsenals. [17] When asked how much they think the U.S. spends each year on its nuclear arsenal, most college students had no idea. [19]

The document states that if Moscow “returns to compliance with its arms control obligations, reduces its non-strategic nuclear arsenal, and corrects its other destabilizing behaviors, the United States may reconsider the pursuit of a SLCM” (p. 55). [17] You might argue that the widespread possession of nukes deters the entire world from setting them off, but as this MinutePhysics video points out, there have been an astonishingly large number of close calls where misinterpreted signals or malfunctioning equipment caused either Russia or the United States to briefly think the other had already launched a nuclear attack. [46] The U.S. arsenal is the most potent in the world and is more than intimidating enough to deter nuclear attack by others–and if ever used–kill hundreds of millions of people. [17] As Presidents Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev declared in 1985, today?s Russian and U.S. leaders should recognize that “a nuclear war can never be won and must never be fought.” [17] Members of the younger generations of the 21 st century look back with amusement at the fears of the people who lived through the cold war and with the threat of nuclear war. [21] The Task Force underscores that bolstering the global nonproliferation regime is the best way to contain the threat of proliferation posed not only by Iran, but also by North Korea and other potential nuclear states. [18] Even when they’re not in use, massive nuclear arsenals pose an existential threat to humanity. [46] Other nations may also have access to an ally’s nuclear arsenal under various treaty agreements. [21] Despite the United Nation?s adoption of a Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, some nations have not signed or ratified the agreement. [24]

It allows nations to prosecute anyone planning, threatening, or attempting any act of terrorism using a nuclear device or radioactive materials, or involving acts of sabotage on any nuclear power plant or other nuclear facility. [21]

North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-Un declared the country had achieved a “historic cause” of becoming a nuclear state, its state media said Nov. 29, after the country tested an intercontinental ballistic missile earlier in the day. [22] The U.N. Security Council responded swiftly to North Korea’s Feb. 12 nuclear test by punishing the reclusive regime Thursday with new sanctions that target the communist nation’s economy and leadership. [22] This is a demolition ‘ceremony’ of North Korea’s Punggye-ri nuclear test facility, May 25, 2018. [22] Pyongyang has given South Korean reporters a last minute green-light to witness the slated demolition of North Korea’s nuclear test site. [22]

Reducing the risks of nuclear war will undoubtedly be a decades-long process, but educating future leaders and citizens on those risks is a vital step in the right direction. [19] Greenpeace: While primarily an environmental organization, they are aware of the threat of what nuclear war can do to the population and to the environment. [21] No country should be preparing to wage a “limited nuclear war” that neither side can guarantee would remain “limited.” [17]

A major and important theme throughout the 2010 NPR was that “by reducing the role and numbers of U.S. nuclear weapons?we can put ourselves in a much better position to persuade our NPT partners to join with us in adopting the measures needed to reinvigorate the nonproliferation regime and secure nuclear materials worldwide.” [17] The Trump nuclear plan falsely suggests that U.S. leadership on nuclear disarmament has not contributed to nonproliferation efforts or enhanced U.S. global standing. [17]

Countries never considered a super power before are now nuclear powers, and as such are only a button push away from leveling entire cities and regions. [21] Strategic Arms Limitations Treaties: Known as SALT I and SALT II, these treaties were crafted during talks between the then nuclear powers during the 1960’s and 1970’s. [21]

While the NNSA report and the NPR both reaffirm that “there is no current requirement to conduct an underground nuclear test,” the administration?s hasty rejection of CTBT ratification, combined with the NNSA?s revised testing readiness timeline suggests the Trump administration only wants to reap the benefits of the treaty, including the data from the monitoring system, while leaving the door open to resuming nuclear testing. [17] A North Korea People’s Army (KPA) soldier stands at the entrance to a tunnel at the Punggye-ri nuclear test facility prior to a demolition ‘ceremony’ May 24, 2018. [22] North Korea has successfully tested a nuclear warhead, it said which said the “maniacal recklessness” of young ruler Kim Jong-Un would lead to self-destruction. [22] Residents look up at a big screen TV in front of Pyongyang railway station showing television presenter Ri Chun-Hee officially announcing that the country successfully tested a nuclear warhead earlier in the day on Sept. 9, 2016. [22]

A nuclear explosion is the most powerful force yet created by the agency of man. [21] It would not take much to light up that part of the world, and 240 nuclear bombs can do a lot of damage in a very short time. [21] He is the author of India’s Nuclear Bomb, which received the Herbert Feis Award from the American Historical Association, for outstanding work by an independent scholar, and the A. K. Coomaraswamy Prize from the Association for Asian Studies, as an outstanding book on South Asia. [18]

They also have created plans and contingencies to be used should a terrorist group successfully launch a nuclear attack on a target. [21]

A.I. has the potential to take over people’s jobs, and it can also pose dangers to national security through means like cyberattack. [20]

It did not take a decision on whether such weapons would be compatible with the law in “an extreme circumstance of self-defence in which the very survival of a State would be at stake”, a part of the decision that has been widely criticized. [27] Russia stockpiles numerous bombs built before the use of electronic locks that disable the weapons in the event of tampering. [31] The last step in the process — smuggling the weapon into the United States — would be even easier. [31] It was built specifically to store U.S. weapons production wastes in a way that protects people and the outside environment. [40] The fact that such weapons have not been used in more than seventy years is no guarantee that they will not be used again. [27] People who live near old weapons production or testing sites may have a higher risk of exposure. [40]

During the chaos that followed the Soviet collapse in the early 1990s, radioactive material was frequently stolen from poorly guarded reactors and nuclear facilities in Russia and its former satellite states. [42] The Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty was dissolved in 2002 when the United States withdrew from the agreement, while the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty is, at best, in limbo with both Russia and the United States alleging material violations by the other. [34] The argument that an adversary might be nonchalant about “only one or two” Trident missiles headed its way makes delusional assumptions about how a state facing the most potent nuclear force on the planet might react. [37] The chance that a conventional attack by a dual-capable system is perceived to be a nuclear first strike increases significantly during a conflict between nuclear-capable states. [34] Within the next five years, the world will face for the first time since the early 1970s a world without meaningful formal arms control agreements, nuclear or conventional, between Russia and the United States. [34] A “State Party that owns, possesses or controls nuclear weapons. shall immediately remove them from operational status” and later “submit to the Secretary-General of the United Nations a declaration that it has fulfilled its obligations.” [36] The most stable nuclear deterrence relationship would be between two states that possess solely strategic ballistic missiles that, while manned by military personnel (for how would civilians be convinced to sit in a missile silo or a missile submarine for their livelihood?), are controlled by and for whom all decisions are made by the civilian political leadership. [34]

While the United States plans to spend around 97.44 billion U.S. dollars on missile defenses, the planned spend on nuclear forces will exceed 390 billion between 2013 and 2022. [33] What does this mean? If the adversary detects even a single missile launch, it has no choice but to react as if the United States has decided to escalate to the strategic nuclear level. [37] This is, without question, a strategic nuclear launch by the United States aimed at destroying the adversary?s high-value cities, or perhaps its strategic nuclear force itself (also known as a counterforce strike). [37] Modernization of the nuclear force includes developing options to counter competitors’ coercive strategies, predicated on the threatened use of nuclear or strategic non-nuclear attacks. [34] To correct any Russian misperceptions of advantage and credibly deter Russian nuclear or non-nuclear strategic attacks–which could now include attacks against U.S. NC3–the President must have a range of limited and graduated options, including a variety of delivery systems and explosive yields. [34] Over that time, Moscow has worked to secure nuclear stockpiles throughout the former Soviet Union, often with help and funding from the U.S. But as relations with Washington have eroded, Moscow has cut off cooperation, insisting it no longer needs American assistance. [42] Since his election, Trump has denounced the work of the U.N. as a “waste of time and money,” even though U.N. organizations like the International Atomic Energy Agency are responsible for monitoring nuclear stockpiles and advising countries on keeping them safe. [42] The war ended the following year with Abkhazia’s de facto secession from the rest of Georgia, and the fate of its nuclear stockpiles has been something of a mystery for international observers ever since. [42] When conflict has broken out, the nuclear deterrent has limited war aims to those short of total destruction of adversary nations or regime change. [36] The United States has the most diverse and potent nuclear force on the planet, capable of deterring and, if necessary, defeating and destroying any military and any nation on earth. [37] Proponents still need to explain why it is necessary — other than to try to develop a bargaining chip to force Russia back into compliance with the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty. [37]

It then examines an alternative approach, drawing on the deterrence policy of the UK, which places nuclear deterrence unmistakably at the strategic level and thus maintains a high threshold of use. [34] I worked with the United States and NATO allies in formulating UK national and alliance nuclear policy throughout this period, and there was a genuine belief that progress was possible. [34] National media in the Soviet Union was harnessed to the government’s view, and the media in the United States was at least, for the most part, strongly behind the government’s position in its nuclear standoff with the USSR. Any government-to-government communications were managed via public speeches by the leadership and official communiques. [34]

I would never say that it bordered on the cavalier, but it was widely and tacitly accepted that these tactical nuclear depth bombs would be the recourse in any Atlantic battle with the Soviet Northern Fleet. [34] Physicists recruited from Germany after World War II set up the first Soviet centrifuges at the Sukhumi Institute of Physics and Technology, which remained a key pillar in the Soviet nuclear program through the Cold War. [42] “Since the first casks were loaded in 1986, dry storage has released no radiation that affected the public or contaminated the environment,” according to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission. [44] By training and equipping foreign governments to stop nuclear traffickers, the U.S. has played a central role in fragile or unstable areas of the world where highly dangerous materials can fall into the wrong hands. [42] A massive tsunami bypassed the safety mechanisms of several power plants in 2011, causing three nuclear meltdowns at a power plant in Fukushima, Japan, resulting in the release of radioactive materials into the surrounding area. [45]

The NPR affirms this by making clear that the ability to conduct nuclear strike operations below the strategic level is again ascendant in U.S. doctrine. [34] It is likely that elements of less than strategic nuclear capabilities will be delivered by dual-use platforms or missiles. [34] North Korea, which is now believed to have more than a dozen warheads and has been busily testing intercontinental missiles to carry them, has also been the world’s most active seller of nuclear know-how. [42] Of all the current and potential nuclear capabilities, the introduction of stealthy nuclear cruise missiles that can be launched from dual-capable platforms offer the greatest risk of miscalculation. [34] As long as new reactors get their fuel from existing enrichment facilities, it doesn?t increase the risk of nuclear proliferation, says Matthew Bunn, a nuclear policy analyst at Harvard. [44]

A nation taking the view that nuclear escalation can be controlled has lowered the threshold for use through its nuclear doctrine, capability, and posture. [34] India and Pakistan have skirmished in recent decades, but the realization that a conflict could escalate to nuclear catastrophe has contributed to the rival nations eventually standing down. [36]

It tries to reintroduce the idea of a calibrated “escalation ladder” — the notion that in a conflict the United States and the adversary can have various “rungs” of very precise and controlled nuclear exchanges of varying intensities without unintentional escalation. [37] Currently, if an adversary were to detect a launch of a Trident missile from an American ballistic missile submarine, there would be no uncertainty about what is coming its way: a strategic nuclear launch of at least about a megaton of yield, perhaps 3.6 megatons. [37] This forces America into the “suicide or surrender” dilemma of either not responding at all or escalating directly to the strategic thermonuclear level by retaliating against the adversary?s cities (or against all its nuclear forces directly). [37] Going beyond the modernization program that upgrades and maintains the existing force, the document calls for a variety of capabilities and missions for American nuclear forces that have long been on Republicans? wish list. [37] The UK centralizes its nuclear deterrence on a limited number of advanced submarine-launched ballistic missiles; France’s deterrence also rests on a similar SSBN force but it is augmented with air-launched cruise missiles for the uniquely French concept of a “demonstration strike” and to give the president “response options.” [34]

Police intercepted shipments of it transiting through cities as faraway as Munich and Prague in those years, and nuclear experts believe that large batches of Soviet nuclear fuel are still unaccounted for and most likely accessible for well-connected traders on the black market. [42] Retaining dual-capable aircraft or air- or ground-launched nuclear cruise missiles, while also possessing a conventional equivalent, raises the likelihood of miscalculation in such circumstances from quite possible to near probable. [34] At the end of that month, Chaduneli and four of his associates were arrested in Kobuleti by a team devoted to countering nuclear trafficking that has received training, equipment and intelligence from various arms of the U.S. government. [42] Both the U.S. administration’s National Defense Strategy and Nuclear Posture Review (NPR) significantly strengthen the salience and recentralize the role of a broader range of nuclear capabilities in U.S. defense and foreign policies. [34] The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission says the accident had “no detectable health effects on plant workers or the public.” [44] This sliver of land along the Dniestr River was a base for one of the world’s most notorious nuclear smugglers, Alexandr Agheenco, a dual Russian-Ukrainian citizen nicknamed the Colonel, who is wanted by U.S. and Moldovan authorities for attempting to sell weapons-grade uranium to Islamist terrorist groups in 2011. [42] It would cut foreign aid, diplomacy and development programs–all of which have helped the U.S. forge a global network of alliances against nuclear trafficking. [42] A new and rhetorically hostile nuclear power–North Korea–has emerged on the U.S. Pacific flank. [34] Expanding flexible U.S. nuclear options now, to include low-yield options, is important for the preservation of credible deterrence against regional aggression. [34]

The nuclear threat had been hidden from millennials, who came of age after the fall of the Soviet Union. [35] The nuclear threat to humanity, ever-present since Hiroshima but only intermittently visible, suddenly recaptured the attention it deserves. [35] Obama’s successor is certainly alive to the nuclear threat. [42] They are a thin line of defense in an era when nuclear threats emerge not only from military and rogue regimes, but from the hard economic reality of some of the world’s most forgotten places. [42]

Though it possesses no nuclear fuel of its own, Georgia sits in the middle of what atomic-energy experts sometimes refer to as the “nuclear highway”–a smuggling route that runs from Russia down through the Caucasus Mountains to Iran, Turkey and, from there, to the territory that ISIS still controls in Syria and Iraq. [42] Border police patrol Georgia?s frontier with Russia in the eastern Caucasus, part of a nuclear smuggling route. [42]

Mr. Trump was compelled to act, the document argues, primarily because of Russia?s “unabashed return to Great Power competition,” including modernization of its nuclear weaponry. [43] To support these retrenchments in some NWCSs, Cold War shibboleths are being extrapolated dangerously and largely unchallenged into a very different nuclear security environment. [34] Investment in nuclear plants, security, mining infrastructure, etc. draws funding away from investment in cleaner sources such as wind, solar, and geothermal. [45] Most nuclear plants have so much security that terrorists look elsewhere, “at a dam or a chemical plant instead,” he says. [44]

The proposed nuclear policy says a more aggressive nuclear posture is warranted because the world is more dangerous, with China, North Korea and Iran cited as concerns. [43] As such, the global community has watched the nuclear development of Iran and North Korea with great concern. [33] That’s why North Korea has sought nuclear capability so fervently. [36]

As nuclear fuel and technologies become globally available, the risk of these falling into the wrong hands is increasingly present. [45] Bunn offers up a simple rubric for thinking about nuclear risk: “(a) the risk is often exaggerated, (b) there are options we should be taking to reduce the risk, but (c) the risk can?t be reduced to zero,” he wrote in an email. [44] In the future, nuclear plants will only succeed when communities weigh the risks for themselves, and decide they want them, Vestergaard says. [44] Far from raising the nuclear threshold, the expansion of current and introduction of new sub-strategic capabilities risks lowering thresholds and increasing the likelihood of nuclear employment in crisis or conflict. [34] The risk of miscalculation increases proportionally with the complexity and range of nuclear capabilities and associated declaratory policies and postures. [34] The U.N.’ s nuclear agency said the material was likely “low grade” and not potentially harmful. [42] After the series of ISIS-linked bombings in Brussels killed at least 32 people in March 2016, Belgian authorities revealed that a suspected member of a terrorist cell had surveillance footage of a Belgian nuclear official with access to radioactive materials. [42]

Nuclear experts also stress over the possibility of a terrorist attack. [44] It’s a good thing, then, that the U.N.’ s nuclear treaty is probably going nowhere. [36] They also make it harder to persuade other nations to curb their nuclear ambitions or forgo them entirely. [43] Poor nations without experience in the building and maintaining of nuclear plants may decide to build them anyway. [45]

The Department will modernize the nuclear triad–including nuclear command, control, and communications, and supporting infrastructure. [34] Relying on an existential gamble–the ability to control nuclear escalation–may not be the most prudent course. [34]

The fear of suffering a first decapitating or disabling nuclear strike is pervasive in a crisis. [34] Since breaking the nuclear taboo is stepping (at best) into the unknown, it is axiomatic that the nuclear taboo should not be broken in the first place. [34]

The waste generated by nuclear reactors remains radioactive for tens to hundreds of thousands of years (1). [45] About a year earlier, in May 2015, ISIS suggested in an issue of its propaganda magazine that it was wealthy enough to purchase a nuclear device on the black market–and to “pull off something truly epic.” [42] Nobody, for instance, wants to get stuck with nuclear waste that stays radioactive for 10,000 years but perhaps some would prefer that to coal waste, which contains mercury and lead and remains toxic forever. [44] In 1982, after training for 10 years, an anti-nuclear activist named Chaim Nissim shot five rocket-propelled grenades at the Superphix nuclear plant on the Rhone River in France. [44] In the 70 years since, we have experienced multiple technical mistakes and nuclear crises. [35] Of course, the strongest container can?t last forever, and nuclear waste remains radioactive for as long as 10,000 years. [44]

“The Americans brought all the technology,” says Vasil Gedevanishvili, director of Georgia’s Agency of Nuclear and Radiation Safety. [42] If deterrence fails, low-yield nuclear options deliverable from American submarines provide a flexible and tailored response option to defeat Russian aggression. [37]

Willingness to engage in battlefield or otherwise limited nuclear exchanges rested on the premise that the transition from conventional warfare to nuclear warfare could, with relative ease, be managed and that nuclear escalation could then be controlled. [34] Studies show that in order to meet current and future energy needs, the nuclear sector would have to scale up to around 14,500 plants. [45] Financing for renewable energy is already scarce, and increasing nuclear capacity will only add to the competition for funding. [45] Calculated in terms of deaths per units of electricity generated, nuclear is among the safest forms of energy that comes from industrial plants. [44] The public needs to stay informed to help governments abandon a nuclear mindset and move toward safety; in particular, the young need to add their energy and idealism in this struggle for the future of humanity. [35]

In the near term this would involve modifying existing SLBMs to carry a low-yield variant of an existing warhead (for a variety of reasons, I assume the W76), while working in the long term to deploy a nuclear SLCM. [37] They foiled an attempt in January to smuggle cesium-137–a nasty form of nuclear waste that could be used in a dirty bomb–across the border into Turkey. [42] America presently fields one type of ballistic missile on its 14 nuclear weapons-designated Ohio-class submarines: the Trident II D5 missile. [37] This concept holds that to deter a nuclear ballistic missile, a ballistic missile is needed, and to deter a nuclear cruise missile, a cruise missile is needed. [34]

Beyond the first few days, however, it appears that no federal or state agency has detailed plans in place for recovering from a nuclear attack. [31] GROSS: So one of the things that’s definitely ratcheted up tensions between the U.S. and North Korea and increased fear within the U.S. is that North Korea in July launched its first intercontinental ballistic missile that has the potential of reaching the mainland of the U.S. And more recently, it detonated a bomb, a nuclear bomb, six or seven times more powerful than the bombs the U.S. dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. [29]

There are also ways that machines could help ease distrust among international powers and decrease the risk of nuclear war. [32] He’s a staff writer who covers politics and foreign affairs for The New Yorker, and his new article is called “The Risk Of Nuclear War With North Korea.” [29] His new article is called “The Risk Of Nuclear War With North Korea,” and it’s based in part on four days he spent in North Korea in August. [29] North Korea may already have nuclear missiles capable of striking anywhere in the U.S., and there is no way to know whether Trump?s negotiations with Kim Jong-un will wind up increasing or decreasing the prospect of nuclear war. [31]

In 1946, a senator asked J. Robert Oppenheimer, the physicist who played a key role in the Manhattan Project, what instrument he would use to detect a nuclear bomb smuggled into the United States. [31] Approximately 1,800 nuclear warheads are kept on high alert status in the United States and Russia, ready to be fired within minutes. [27] The U.S. and Russia, both of which maintain massive nuclear arsenals, are increasingly at odds. [31] That’s – you know, that’s – we’ve had a nuclear arsenal since World War II, and it exists sort of in the background of our consciousness. [29]

In addition to the natural radiation dangers which will confront the space traveler, we must also consider manmade perils which may exist during time of war. [30]

DOE’s Stockpile Stewardship Program assesses the safety, security and reliability of existing nuclear warheads without the use of nuclear explosions. [40] Most individuals–and many policymakers–remain blissfully unaware that risks such as nuclear terrorism, a regional nuclear war, or a nuclear conflict started by accident are higher today than during the Cold War. [28] Our physicists and nuclear energy experts urge U.S. regulators, as well as the entire nuclear power industry, to examine the public safety consequences of severe accidents triggered by unexpected floods, fires, earthquakes, and explosions. [41] By contrast, a nuclear bomb detonated on the ground loses some of its destructive power, because the energy is absorbed by the ground itself, but kicks up more dirt and debris, producing a much larger amount of radioactive fallout and causing a higher proportion of deaths from radiation sickness and cancer. [31]

There are currently at least 2,000 tons of weapons-grade nuclear material stored in some 40 countries — enough to make more than 40,000 bombs approximately the size of the one that devastated Hiroshima. [31] A nuclear attack on the United States could well come not from the skies but from the streets. [31] Due to the fact that there has not been a nuclear attack since Nagasaki, it is easy to underestimate the risk of intentional or accidental nuclear detonation that humanity as a whole faces daily. [27] Nuclear power plants are expensive to build, prompting Wall Street to call new nuclear a “bet the farm” risk. [39]

New Yorker writer Evan Osnos visited North Korea in August to understand what they really mean when they talk about nuclear war. [29] In the long run, the best deterrent to nuclear war may be to understand what a single nuclear bomb is capable of doing to, say, a city like New York — and to accept that the reality would be even worse than our fears. [31] Consider one example: A ten-kiloton nuclear bomb detonated on the ground in Times Square would explode with a white flash brighter than the sun. [31] A terrorist-built nuclear bomb detonated in Times Square would injure 300,000 people and kill 250,000 — 20 times more deaths than in any natural disaster or act of terrorism in America?s history. [31] Once it became clear that Times Square had been hit by a nuclear bomb, many people outside ground zero would attempt to flee, not realizing that cars provide virtually no protection from fallout. [31]

We work to make existing nuclear arsenals safer by increasing nuclear warning and decision times. [41] His national-security adviser, John Bolton, openly advocates a first-strike policy against nuclear-armed enemies, and the Pentagon, after decades of careful disarmament, wants to spend $1.2 trillion to upgrade its nuclear arsenal. [31]

Though the words sound incommensurate with the horror and devastation of a nuclear explosion, the smartest thing to do directly before or after a nuclear blast is to surround yourself with as much solid material as possible, to provide a physical barrier against the heat, pressure, and fallout released by the detonation. [31] When nuclear bombs detonate, atoms split and release enormous amounts of energy through a nuclear reaction. [40]

The possibility that a warhead, or the material to build one, could fall into the hands of a rogue state or terrorist helped drive President Barack Obama’s deal to temporarily halt Iran’s alleged weapons program. [42] It is axiomatic in warfare that a commander will use all weapons at her disposal to ensure the survival of her forces and the achievement of her mission. [34] North Korea exploded weapons and launched intercontinental missiles. [35] This message is in stark contrast to a capability and declaratory policy that retains only strategic weapons systems. [34] Russia has carved a fresh pair of conflict zones out of eastern Ukraine, where separatist rebels used weapons and fighters from Russia in 2014 to seize territory around the cities of Luhansk and Donetsk. [42] The rationale is that most modern weapons are so powerful that no one believes they will ever be used, so lower-explosive warheads are needed to maintain an effective deterrent. [43] The lasting effects of a dirty bomb make this weapon especially attractive to terrorists. [42] Rather than urging its followers to come join the fight in Syria, ISIS recruiters now call for attacks against the West using whatever weapons are available. [42] By the mid-1990s, these weapons had been removed from the UK arsenal. [34] In a later meeting, we reviewed a tape of our 1982 TV broadcast to over 100 million people in Russia, in which we showed pictures of the wounded in Hiroshima and criticized funds being spent on weapons instead of hospitals. [35] At the height of the Cold War, this equivalence reached down to battlefield weapons, including artillery shells. [34]

RANKED SELECTED SOURCES(46 source documents arranged by frequency of occurrence in the above report)

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2. (126) Nuclear proliferation – Wikipedia

3. (118) The Growing Dangers of the New Nuclear-Arms Race | The New Yorker

4. (81) The New U.S. Nuclear Strategy is Flawed and Dangerous. Here?s Why. | Arms Control Association

5. (68) Nuclear Weapons Free – To Live in World Without Fear

6. (58) The Dangerous Illogic of Twenty-First-Century Deterrence Through Planning for Nuclear Warfighting – Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

7. (29) Ch. 1: The Dangers from Nuclear Weapons: Myths and Facts – Nuclear War Survival Skills

8. (29) Nuclear Weapons: Dirty Bombs Pose a Surprising Threat | Time

9. (27) Reducing the risk of nuclear war begins in the classroom – Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

10. (26) Nuclear war: What happens after a nuclear bomb is detonated, and more

11. (26) The Discrimination Problem: Why Putting Low-Yield Nuclear Weapons on Submarines Is So Dangerous – War on the Rocks

12. (25) Nuclear weapons: Rising in defence of humanity – Humanitarian Law & Policy – Medium

13. (25) Nuclear Weapons 101 – Future of Life Institute

14. (24) Nuclear Proliferation Risks, New and Old | Issues in Science and Technology

15. (24) Nuclear weapons risk greater than in cold war, says ex-Pentagon chief | World news | The Guardian

16. (23) U.S. Nuclear Weapons Policy | Council on Foreign Relations

17. (23) What a Nuclear Attack in New York Would Look Like

18. (21) Journalist Says: In North Korea, Talk Of War And Nuclear Weapons Is ‘Everywhere’ : NPR

19. (20) Ask Ethan: How Can A Nation Have Nuclear Power Without The Danger Of Nuclear Weapons?

20. (19) U.S. Nuclear Weapons Policy | PSR

21. (18) At the North Korea Summit, Trump and Kim should abolish all nuclear weapons — Quartz

22. (16) The Many Dangers Of A Worldwide Nuclear Weapons Ban – Worldcrunch

23. (16) Nuclear Energy

24. (16) Opinion | False Alarm Adds to Real Alarm About Trump?s Nuclear Risk – The New York Times

25. (15) Nuclear Weapons Are The Most Consequential Threat America Faces | HuffPost

26. (15) Nuclear Weapons and Warfare | RAND

27. (15) The dangers of rushing to a nuclear-free world

28. (12) Meltdowns, waste, and war: Here are the real risks of nuclear | Grist

29. (11) Nuclear Weapons | Union of Concerned Scientists

30. (11) Nuclear Weapons Production Waste | RadTown USA | US EPA

31. (10) MOOC about nuclear weapons dangers

32. (10) Minimize Harm and Security Risks of Nuclear Energy | NRDC

33. (10) 10 Reasons to Oppose Nuclear Energy | Green America

34. (9) Nuclear Weapons UNODA

35. (7) A.I. vs Nuclear Weapons: Which Is More Dangerous?

36. (6) General overview of the effects of nuclear testing: CTBTO Preparatory Commission

37. (6) Nuclear weapon – The effects of nuclear weapons | Britannica.com

38. (6) Disarmament of Nuclear Weapons, Dangers of Nuclear Nuclear Weapons FAQ

39. (6) Nuclear weapons – Statistics & Facts | Statista

40. (5) Consequences and Health Risks of Nuclear Bombs | HowStuffWorks

41. (4) Everything you need to know about modern nuclear war

42. (4) NUCLEAR WEAPON EFFECTS IN SPACE

43. (3) How dangerous are nuclear weapons? – Quora

44. (3) The Enduring Danger of Nuclear Weapons

45. (2) Nuclear Explosion | Ready.gov

46. (1) Elon Musk: AI is more dangerous than nuclear weapons – Business Insider