A nuclear weapon is a device that produces enormous explosive energy due to atomic fusion, atomic fission, or a combination of the two reactions. Nuclear bombs are also called fission weapons, while thermonuclear missiles are referred to as meld weapons or hydrogen bombs. The early atomic bombs were conveyed by the airplane, and later, the missiles developed were tactical ballistic weaponries which are now the most hazardous weapons that are in existence (Sechser and Fuhrmann 2017). There has also been a development of smaller weapons, including landmines, artillery projectiles, torpedoes, cruise missiles, and anti-submarine depth charges. This paper will discuss the problems raised by the spread of nuclear weapons.
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Both long-term and immediate impacts caused by the weapons’ use and radioactive test fallout, blast wave, intense heat, or radiation cause destruction and massive death as well as triggering large-scale displacement. Human health and well-being, infrastructure, environment, social order, and socio-economic development face long-term harmful effects (Sechser and Fuhrmann 2017). The spread of nuclear weapons increases the reach of radiation worldwide, leading to cooling of the atmosphere, food shortages, global famine, and shorter growing seasons. Nuclear detonation leads to a significant scale of destruction and contamination. This, in turn, disrupts a social and political profound as it takes numerous decades to reform infrastructure and restore economic deeds like communication, trade, schools, and health care facilities.
Furthermore, exposure to ionizing radiation, the use or testing of a nuclear weapon has long-term effects in several parts of the world, which has left a legacy of severe environmental health consequences that unfavorably affects children and women (Sechser and Fuhrmann 2017). Thermal radiation produces heat and light that is capable of causing skin burns, injuries to the eyes, and causing fires through flammable material over extensive distances. In this scenario, the fire spreads further because of the shock wave that arrives later after the initial blast or impact. The fire ignited by the explosion can amalgamate into ablaze, in some cases preventing the survivors from escaping.
Original radioactivity comprises gamma rays and neutrons, which are created within the second of the blast. Alpha and beta particles are also produced, but they have short ranges, and usually, they don’t reach the Earth’s surface when the weapon is detonated high enough above the ground. Neutrons and Gamma rays produce harmful effects on living organisms (Sechser and Fuhrmann 2017). This peril causes a substantial proportion of the casualties even though their energy is about three percent of the total released in a nuclear explosion. Moreover, the tremor wave causes direct injury to humans by rapturing lungs or membranes or flinging people in great rapidity (Sechser and Fuhrmann 2017). Most fatalities happen due to the weakening of edifices and hovering debris. Fallout is when the atomic explosion occurs near the earth’s surface, there is a mixture of soil with fission products that are highly radioactive from the missile, with the wreckages dropping back to Earth.
In conclusion, a nuclear weapon is a device that produces enormous explosive energy due to nuclear fusion, nuclear fission, or the two processes combined. Both long-term and immediate impacts caused by the weapons’ use and test are subject to scientific investigation ever since, devastating to the human body. Radioactive fallout, blast wave, intense heat, or radiation causes destruction and massive death, and large-scale displacement is triggered.
Sechser, Todd S., and Matthew Fuhrmann. Nuclear Weapons and Coercive Diplomacy. London, Cambridge University Press, 2017.