International Day against Nuclear Tests (29th August, 2018)

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It is scary how man has always struggled to create weapons meant to destroy their fellow human being. Since the Stone Age to this day man has struggled to keep himself safe from their fellow human beings by creating crude and explosive arms. However, the arrow, the rifle, and many other weapons cannot be measured by the power of the nuclear weapon. When it was first used it proved to be a devastating weapon the effects of which continue to be felt till today in Japan.

A nuclear weapon is an explosive device that gets its destructive force from nuclear reactions, either fission (fission bomb) or from a combination of fission and fusion reactions (thermonuclear bomb). Both bomb types release large quantities of energy from relatively small amounts of matter. There are two types of nuclear weapons - Atomic bombs and thermonuclear hydrogen bombs (H bombs) such as those used in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan.

Countries that can be regarded as nuclear powers today include - the United States, the Russian Federation, Britain, France, China, India, and Pakistan. There was a great fear that Germany was building nuclear weapons in the mid 1940 and that the weapons would be used against the United States and Great Britain.

However there are other countries to take note of:

  • North Korea is known to be actively seeking nuclear weapons and has conducted several tests.
  • Iran is accused of secretly pursuing a nuclear weapons program
  • Israel’s case is an open secret. It is known to possess nuclear weapons, but has never confirmed nor denied this position.

Countries that had and eventually gave up their nuclear weapons include:

  • South Africa
  • Belarus
  • Kazakhstan
  • Ukraine

The extent of the negative impact of nuclear weapons use is without question. It results in:

  1. Vast destruction of life and physical structures
  2. Emission of nuclear radiation that can cause severe health complications
  3. Long lasting environmental contamination and  degradation

Let’s fight and discourage the manufacture and testing of nuclear weapons. Mankind should instead come together and fight against humanity’s self destructive nature by giving diplomacy and dialog a chance when disputes occur.

Compiled by Grace Sitienei - University of Nairobi Library