Nuclear Weapons

Topics: Nuclear weapon, Nuclear proliferation, Nuclear power, Uranium / Pages: 9 (2083 words) / Published: Dec 16th, 2012
Nuclear weapons were first developed by the United States prior to the start of World War ll. The first and only times that nuclear weapons were used in battle was against Japan in 1945. The United States dropped two different style of nuclear weapons on two different Japanese cities. One bomb used plutonium while the other used uranium to create the explosions. The bombs were dropped on Hiroshima on August 6, 1945 and Nagasaki on August 9, 1945. Estimates of deaths within the four months after the bombings ranged from 150,000 to 250,000 or more. About half the deaths occurred on the first day with the remaining occurring over a four month period from burns and radiation sickness. At that time, only the United States had nuclear weapons in its arsenal.

In 1953, President Eisenhower wanted to encourage the development of nuclear energy and to also convince the European (members of NATO) - North Atlantic Treaty Organization) that they should switch from expensive and manpower intensive conventional weapons to instead rely on cheaper nuclear weapons for defense. Eisenhower slashed the US defense budget while increasing the American nuclear stockpile from 1,005 to more than 20,000 during his eight years in office while stating that in the event of war, the US would use nuclear weapons as readily as conventional ones. He thought that it would be a counter to Soviet propaganda if the US shared nuclear technology with others. Towards that end, EIsenhower thought that Free World nations should be given training, equipment and uranium to create small research nuclear reactors. American companies built or assisted in the building of nuclear facilities in Argentina, Brazil, Taiwan, Israel, South Africa, India and Pakistan. This program eventually fueled the global spread of nuclear arms.

The announcements by Iran of its intent to develop its nuclear capabilities has resulted in cries of panic among certain goverments in the Middle East as well as

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