A nuclear weapon is a very powerful explosive device that derives its destructive force from nuclear reactions. The nuclear reaction here could be “Fission”(for atomic bombs) or “Fusion”(for hydrogen bombs). Both reactions release large quantities of energy from relatively small amounts of matter. Nuclear weapons are weapons of mass destruction! A typical nuclear bomb of the size of traditional bombs can destroy an entire city by blast, fire, and radiation.
Nuclear weapons have been used just twice in war, both times by United States of America against Japan during the Second World War. On August 6, 1945, the U.S. Air Forces dropped atomic bomb nicknamed “Little Boy” over the Japanese city of Hiroshima. Three days later, on August 9, the U.S. Air Forces again dropped atomic bomb nicknamed “Fat Man” over the Japanese city of Nagasaki. This was in retaliation of killings of U. S. soldiers at Pearl Harbour, Honolulu, by Japanese Army.
The nuclear bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki by U. S. resulted in the deaths of approximately 200,000 civilians and military personnel from acute injuries sustained from the explosions. Since the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, nuclear weapons have been detonated over 2000 times for testing, releasing dangerous radiations into the Earth. Some of the cases of cancers we have in the world today might be connected to those nuclear radiations. The United States alone conducted over a thousand nuclear tests between 1945 and 1992, with a primary health consequence of increased radiation exposure leading to cancer. It is estimated some 6,000 people will die from thyroid cancer as a result.
The atomic bombs of today are far more powerful than those used in World War II. For instance, “Little Boy”, the atomic bomb which was dropped on Hiroshima, was a 16 kiloton weapon, which means it exploded with the force of 16 thousand tonnes of high explosives. Nowadays, weapons like that are considered to be tactical nuclear weapons designed for use against armies on the battlefield. Modern nuclear weapons are measured in millions of tonnes of high explosive. In other words, modern nuclear weapons have an explosive yield of a thousand or more times greater than the bombs used against Japan in World War II.
Modern nuclear bombs are crazy weapons! They are capable of destroying a whole country, killing women, children, the aged and destroying plants and animals!
In 2016, Russia unveiled a nuclear missile “Satan 2” that could destroy an area “the size of Texas or France”! Landmass area of Texas is about 75% of Nigeria’s landmass area.
Countries that possess nuclear weapons in the world today with the number of nuclear warheads they have are as follows:
- Russia – 7,300 nuclear warheads
- United States of America – 6,970 nuclear warheads
- France – 300 nuclear warheads
- China – 260 nuclear warheads
- United Kingdom – 215 nuclear warheads
- Pakistan – 110 – 130 nuclear warheads
- India – 100 – 120 nuclear warheads
- Israel – 80 nuclear warheads
- North Korea – < 15 nuclear warheads
It is not all nuclear bombs that are designed to go off with a big bang explosion. For instance, neutron bomb is not really designed to cause a huge explosion. Instead, the neutron bomb is designed to spew out huge amounts of radiation killing people in the vicinity whilst leaving buildings and infrastructure intact.
There are thousands of nuclear warheads on high alert with U. S. and Russia. The meaning of this is that the nuclear warheads are ready for launching, within few minutes! Among the most dangerous nuclear weapons are the nuclear weapons on a single Trident submarine. Each of them can kill over 40 million people in an urban settlement! UK has 4 of them and US has 14.
Gone are those days when U.S., Russia, China or any of the super powers would have to carry nuclear weapons in a fighter jet to attack a country. Today, each of the super powers can nuke another country right from home with the use Inter-Continental Ballistic Missile (ICBM). ICBM has a minimum range of 5,500km (3,400mi) and the range could be as high as 16,000km (R-36M (SS-18 Satan)- Russia)!
So, we have dangers lying ahead of us in the world should nuclear war break out. At the level of United Nations, policy should be made to destroy all existing nuclear weapons. Nuclear weapons should no longer be produced so that our world would be free of nuclear weapons.
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