In the world today, there are many controversies that affect our every day lives, and these are important to stay informed about to be informed about. In this paper, I will review the history and up rise of nuclear weapons, and how nuclear proliferation has become a fear for the world. I will describe in detail what treaties, NGO & IGOs are involved with the topic, and the nations involved with nuclear proliferation. The more we know about the history and the present, the better decisions we can make for the future to make the world a better place. OVERVIEW:
Nuclear proliferation is the spread of nuclear weapons, or related research information to nations not recognized as a “nuclear weapon state” by the NPT. The NPT is the Treaty on the Nonproliferation of Nuclear Weapons with signatories from various nations that hope to diminish the threat of nuclear weapons to the world. These weapons are also known as weapons of mass destruction, because its type of explosive can cause enormous damage to thousands of people from its nuclear fission. Nuclear proliferation causes fear around the world because the spread of these weapons can be life threatening, especially when in the hands of those who do not have regard for human life.
The vital atomic bomb discoveries began in the 1930s by Enrico Fermi, Otto Hahn, Fritz Strassman and Lise Meltner. In the late 1940s, The U.S. used this research to explode the world’s first atomic bomb, known as the “The Trinity Test” in New Mexico, which released 19 kilotons of TNT. This bomb was the most powerful weapon ever used before at that time. The U.S. later used a uranium bomb on Hiroshima, Japan and Nagasaki, Japan within three days of each other during the closing of World War II. These bombs killed almost 200,000 people, and they later contributed to Japan’s surrender of the war. No nuclear weapons have been used in a war since this event. However, accidents have occurred that has also caused an uprising of opposition towards nuclear weapons. The biggest was in 1986 in the Ukraine, which was then the Soviet Union, and was the worst nuclear power plant accident effecting over 500,000 people. (2) DEVELOPMENTS OVER TIME:
The fear of nuclear weapons started to erupt in 1949, when the Soviet Union had taken research into their own hands and retained nuclear weapons, called the “Joe-1”. This sparked the “nuclear arms race” for power in the world. This was just the start of the widespread fear that will exist until all nuclear weapons are gone. Since the Soviet Union has not existed since 1991, the nuclear weapons it possessed, which were located in the current nations of Ukraine, Belarus, and Kazakhstan, were given back to Russia.(3) Nations began disclosing their possession of nuclear weapons soon thereafter; The United Kingdom in 1952, France in 1960, China in 1964, India in 1974, Pakistan in 1998, and North Korea in 2006.(3) In efforts to keep these weapons of mass destruction from being used, many nations have made agreements to reduce the spread of them. However, there have been many nuclear weapon threats to the security of the world from nations that have not cooperated with others. This is the ultimate problem that has become from nuclear proliferation since there are still many nations that refuse to comply with the safety precautions of them that are a necessity for the peacefulness of the world. In an effort to stop the spread of nuclear weapons to non-NPT signers, numerous governments have signed treaties that hope to control them. Five original nuclear powers are the US, Russia, Britain, France, and China. Other states that are assumed to have nuclear weapons are India, North Korea, and Pakistan. Israel has yet to confirm or deny if they do. NGOS & IGOS INVOLVED
One of the largest IGO involved with nuclear proliferation is the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), which was created by the United Nations in 1957. The...
References: 1. Jeremy Bernstein, Nukes for Sale, The New York Review of Books, April 14, 2010
3. ICAN, Nuclear Weapons Timeline, 2013, http://www.icanw.org/the-facts/the-nuclear-age/#.UXlD33BghTU
7. Chaffee, Devon, Nuclear Age Peace Foundation “North Korea’s Withdrawal from Nonproliferation Treaty, 2003 April 10 http://www.wagingpeace.org/articles/2003/04/10_chaffee_korea-npt.htm
13. Schell, Jonathan, The Nation “The Spirit of June 12”, 2007 June 14 http://www.thenation.com/article/spirit-june-12#
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