|Posted On:||2006-08-20 04:49:58|
Nuclear weapons should be banned by the governments, world wide, because of the negative effects the weapons cause, and because there is too much government funding for the research and development of nuclear weapons. There are several different types of effects cause by the detonation of a nuclear bomb, and these bombs can be very costly to the economy of the area in target, and those in the surrounding areas. Since their introduction in 1945, nuclear explosives have been the most feared weapons of mass destruction. These weapons are highly sophisticated devices that involve a very long, complex manufacturing process.
Nuclear detonations cause a massive amount of damage, short term and long term. When a nuclear bomb is detonated it emits different types of radioactive energy. There are three forms of radiation: blast; thermal radiation; and nuclear radiation. The distributions of these forms of radiation emitted by the nuclear bombs vary with location, and characteristics of the environment. Fifty percent of the radiation produced is in the form of the blast, thirty five percent is in the form of thermal radiation, and the final fifteen is concentrated in the form of nuclear radiation (Federation of American Scientists). Blast waves cause sharp increases in the atmosphere’s air pressure creating a sort of vacuum effect. This causes the most damage because structures cannot resist the force of the massive increase in pressure. There are two waves that result from the blast radiation. There is the initial wave, which results from the pressure of the blast, and the second wave, known as the reflective wave, which is forced back to the initial blast zone by the extreme change in atmospheric pressure, causing the vacuum effect. Many people would die from the explosion itself, and many would die later from infectious diseases, a result of the radioactive waves. There are different consequences that occur from the four different methods of deploying a nuclear bomb.
First of all, there is an air burst which takes place thirty kilometers or less above the ground, but is at a sufficient height that the fire ball, from the blast, does not touch the surface of the earth. This causes mostly thermal radiation, and does not create local fallout, except for skin burns and eye injury to those who witnessed the blast itself. Generally, the largest problem with this type of blast is that the particles are dispersed through rainfall over a large area of the globe, affecting more people. If there is local rainfall, this is the only case, there is local fallout. Secondly, there is the surface blast where the blast is detonated from the ground or in the air where the fire ball touches the surface of the earth. This causes mainly local fallout, and a minimal amount of thermal radiation. This blast causes destruction to the surface of the earth in the blast zone, and the local surroundings. Third of all, there is the subsurface burst were the explosion takes place beneath the surface of the earth or water, and usually causes the surface to crater. There will be less thermal radiation, but local fallout will be very high if the blast penetrates the earth’s surface. The last blast is the high altitude burst, where the weapon is exploded at an altitude exceeding thirty kilometers. This blast is the worse feared, and causes the most damage, to the largest area because the high atmospheric pressure expands the fireball and the thermal radiation to a larger volume. The most feared blasts are those that occur in the air, because they travel with the air waves and can cause damage to surrounding areas. The thermal radiation emitted by these types of blast release electromagnetic pulses that disable most airwave technologies for example: phone wires; satellite systems; and traditional sound waves.
The only method of preventing nuclear attacks is to limit the production of nuclear weapons, which is currently in political debate. For example an advanced gas reactor, used for nuclear development, has the capacity to result in temporary evacuation across a 120,000 sq km area, permanent evacuation of a 120,000 sq km due to plutonium dust fall-out, the spoiling of agricultural products over a 750,000 sq km area, for a century or more (Bunyard 3). Radioactive contamination first affects a person’s external health, then later develops and affects a person’s internal health, due to inhalation, and ingestion.
Governments that are providing funds for nuclear research and development are financing a technology that will result in mass destruction. The US alone would save billions of dollars if the development of nuclear weapons was terminated. “The Defense Department expects to save $1.5 billion a year by going to 2,500 warheads. It would save hundreds of millions of dollars more by going down to 1,000” (Lindsey, 3). The governments are not only funding for the progression of these weapons, but are also spending on defense against them. Take Canada, for example, does not produce nuclear weapons, but is funding unnecessary funds toward defense proposal with the US against these weapons. “Westdal signed a deal Wednesday that commits $33 million in Canadian funds to support Russia’s efforts to destroy its chemical weapons. The deal is among the first under a program that will see Canada spend $1 billion over a decade as a part of a $20-billion US international effort to destroy Russia’s chemical, biological and nuclear weapons”(Mainville,1). Governments could be spending the billions invested on these weapons for much better use, such as the development of third world countries, or helping to fight aids in Africa, or to help humanity instead of destructing it. With the advancement of this nuclear technology Canada and the US have agreed that it is a wise decision to put a defensive system into space to prevent an attack on North America. The US without the support of Canada wants to put weapons in space, which would then cost even more money, to destroy any nuclear attacks.
Although certain governments believe that it is necessary for their country to be supported against terrorism and other threats by producing nuclear weapons. The government has treaties preventing certain nuclear advancements, such as the placement of weapons in space, and restrictions on nuclear development. With this in place eventually there will no longer be a nuclear threat and governments will no longer need to found the production of these weapons or the defense against these weapons. Then civilization will no longer have to worry about the destruction of humanity through nuclear warfare.