Why Nuclear Weapons?

Nuclear weapons have been around since 1945 and today, nine states possess over 15,000 warheads – many which are ready to be launched within minutes. The Cold War might be over, but all nine states are continuing to modernise and upgrade their arsenals and the threat of nuclear weapons is far from over. 

video courtesy of Norwegian People’s Aid and Atomkommisjonen

1. The effects are inhumane and unacceptable

Nuclear weapons are the most destructive, inhumane and indiscriminate weapons ever created.

A single nuclear bomb detonated over a large city could kill hundreds of thousands of people in just a few seconds. The effects would spread across regions and would affect unborn generations, and the humanitarian suffering would be immeasurable.

The attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki have shown the extent of the humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons. More than 200,000 men, women and children have been the victims of those attacks.

Weapons like chemical and biological weapons, land mines and cluster munitions have all been declared illegal because of their indiscriminate, inhumane and unacceptable consequences. But nuclear weapons, the most destructive of them all, are still considered legitimate. This legal anomaly needs to be corrected through a new treaty prohibiting nuclear weapons.

2. case of nuclear detonation, no meaningful humanitarian relief would be possible

First responders in a large scale humanitarian crisis, such as the International Red Cross or the United Nations have admitted there is little support or relief it could offer in the event of a nuclear detonation.

The decimation of infrastructure and the radioactive danger posed to first responders would prevent the most acutely-affected areas from being reached. Aside from the hundreds of thousands of immediate deaths, those injured would be left without little or no medical assistance.

3. The risk of a nuclear detonation is still a reality

There are more than 15,000 nuclear weapons in the world today. Thousands are on high trigger alert, meaning that they could be launched in minutes. Like any system, the systems controlling nuclear weapons are fallible and prone to error and accident.

Numerous cases have documented negligence by critical personnel that could have led to accidental detonation. The increase in cyber security threats has also posed risks to online detonation systems.

It is only through sheer luck we have avoided a catastrophic nuclear weapons accident to this point. The only way to ensure an accident never occurs is to eliminate nuclear weapons.


video courtesy of Norwegian People’s Aid and Atomkommisjonen

 *Source: ICAN. Go to Original

2015 Human Wrongs Watch

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