Dangers of Nuclear Weapons

Dangers of Nuclear Weapons

Nuclear weapons are the greatest danger to the world today. They are terrifying and destructive, as they cause unspeakable human suffering because their radioactive effects and spread cannot be controlled. A nuclear bomb donated in an area can cause the deaths of millions of people, and thousands of others will suffer injuries caused by radiation exposure. Further, nuclear war can cause massive and long-term damage to the planet, including reducing global temperatures and destroying the earth’s ecosystem.

The detonation of a nuclear weapon can cause a fireball with a temperature similar to those on the surface of the sun (McDuff, 2018). The emitted energy can take several forms. Over 85 percent of the produced energy will cause air blasts and thermal radiation. 15 percent will be initial and residual radiation, which is emitted overtime (McDuff, 2018). The immediate effects of nuclear fallout and explosion are known from Nagasaki and Hiroshima’s bomb attacks in Japan. They had massive explosive energy whose effects are felt even today.


The expansion of hot gases at very high pressure in nuclear energy can cause shockwaves that expand at a massive velocity. The shockwaves can be measured in pounds per square inch (psi). The damage by the sudden impact will depend on the pressure. One megaton bomb exploded at an altitude of 1000 feet will cause an overexposure magnitude of up to four miles from the detonation point (Fetter et al., 2018). Following the incident, the hurling winds will throw a standing person against a wall with force equivalent to 7 times the gravity force (Fetter et al., 2018). Massive amounts of glass, metal, woods, and other debris will fly at a velocity of over 100 mph, causing unspeakable destruction.

Thermal Radiation

According to research, approximately 40% of the air bursts will be emitted as thermal radiation (McDuff, 2018). The radiation is capable of causing eye injuries and skin burns. Further, if the fires are widespread, they can cause a firestorm of hot gases that suck fresh air from the environment. The moving winds and high temperatures coming from the firestorm will burn everything combustible. For instance, in Hiroshima, the firestorms exploded through the terrain of 4.4 miles and severely damaged it (McDuff, 2018). The effects were massive and destructive.

Initial Radiation

It is a feature in a nuclear explosion that consists of neutrons and gamma rays produced within a short span of a nuclear weapon detonation (Fetter et al., 2018). The gamma rays and neutrons are hazardous and can produce harmful effects on humans and other living things. Thus, they can lead to a massive proportion of casualties.

Residual Radiation

It is the radiation produced after one minute of the nuclear detonation (Fetter et al., 2018). It mainly comes from the debris of the weapons. If the detonation is on the surface of things like water or soil and other things, they will be sucked upwards, causing a worldwide fallout. It will contaminate large surfaces leading to extreme and immediate biological hazards. A nuclear explosion causes our mix of over 300 different isotopes with half-lives of seconds in millions of years (Fetter et al., 2018). The radioactivity is extremely massive, although it falls with time, causing radioactive decay, which is equally hazardous.

Electromagnetic Pulse

It is time-varying radiation that results from a nuclear explosion (Dodds, 2019). It is shaped by gamma radiation, which produces high energy electrons to the environment when they collide with atmospheric molecules. The EMP was first realized in the 1950s in the United States. Its damage can affect thousands of kilometers from the nuclear detonation point (Dodds, 2019). The efforts to improve infrastructure and networks destroyed by the EMP can be futile due to its hazardous effects.

Prevention of Nuclear Proliferation

Since the development of the first nuclear bomb 65 years ago, there have been two cases where nuclear weapons were used, which include Nagasaki and Hiroshima. However, since then, over 130,000 nuclear weapons have been made (Gibbons, 2018). Also, the probability of nuclear conflicts depends on critical events such as crises that can induce war or nuclear control system technical failures. To avoid nuclear catastrophes, many nations have opted to remain non-nuclear, thus containing its proliferation.

The non-nuclear states are avoiding the acquiring of weapons while the nuclear-weapon states have agreed not to transfer them to other nations in the nuclear proliferation treaty (NTP) (Ruff, 2018). Parties of the NPT treaty should always commit themselves to the agreements and negotiations in the quest for nuclear disarmament and stopping off the nuclear arms race. However, all countries have a right to develop nuclear energy for civilian purposes.

From the 2010 NPT conference, there are serious needs to make the pillars of the NPT strong. All nuclear-weapon states should pursue nuclear disarmament. Monitoring systems should be sophisticated for civilian activities. Further, there should be a framework in the development of nuclear energy to strengthen and guarantee security and foster collective responsibility. Additionally, developed countries should lead the world to a peaceful environment where nuclear armament will be reduced. Lastly, as a sure measure to deal with nuclear armaments, weapons should be banned as all other biological weapons that cause mass destruction.

Share this Post