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Nuclear Weapons

Updated: Jun 3, 2022

Nuclear weapons are the most dangerous weapons on earth. One can destroy a whole city, potentially killing millions, and jeopardizing the natural environment and lives of future generations through its long-term catastrophic effects. The dangers of such weapons arise from their very existence. Although nuclear weapons have only been used twice in warfare—in the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945—about 13,400 reportedly remain in our world today and there have been over 2,000 nuclear tests conducted to date.

A nuclear weapon is an explosive device that derives its destructive force from nuclear reactions, either fission or a combination of fission and fusion reactions. Both bomb types release large quantities of energy from relatively small amounts of matter. There are two basic types of nuclear weapons: those that derive the majority of their energy from nuclear fission reactions alone, and those that use fission reactions to begin nuclear fusion reactions that produce a large amount of the total energy output. J. Robert Oppenheimer was an American theoretical physicist.

During the Manhattan Project, Oppenheimer was director of the Los Alamos Laboratory and responsible for the research and design of an atomic bomb. He is often known as the “father of the atomic bomb." Tsar Bomba, (Russian: “King of Bombs”), by name of RDS-220, also called Big Ivan, Soviet thermonuclear bomb that was detonated in a test over Novaya Zemlya Island in the Arctic Ocean on October 30, 1961. The largest nuclear weapon ever set off, it produced the most powerful human-made explosion ever recorded.

If all nuclear warheads are counted—operational warheads, spares, those in both active and inactive storage, and intact warheads scheduled for dismantlement—the USA, Russia, the UK, France, China, India, Pakistan, and Israel together possess a total of approximately 19,000 nuclear weapons. Some scientists estimate that a nuclear war with 100 Hiroshima-size nuclear explosions in cities could cost the lives of tens of millions of people from long-term climatic effects alone. The climatology hypothesis is that if each city firestorms, a great deal of soot could be thrown up into the atmosphere which could blanket the earth, cutting out sunlight for years on end, causing the disruption of food chains, in what is termed a nuclear winter. Summing it up, the point of realization narrows down to the fact that nuclear weapons can be as unpredictable as they are deadly in their effects.


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