An Age of Ruin

May 15, 2011
Five-hundred-sixty-three nuclear weapon incidents have been reported by the navy alone between the years 1965-1983. The increasing number of nuclear weapons could cause the destruction of the world. They cause major effects to the environment if a nuclear conflict occurred between the China and India, as it would block out ten percent of the world’s sunlight, severely damaging human health. Thyroid cancer rate rose by two-hundred percent because of nuclear testing in the Marshall Islands. It also provides a weapon to terrorists as long as computer communication is severed for about thirty-five minutes and they could get their hand on the launch codes. It’s hard to safely dispose of nuclear warheads but if those countries that use would take them off hair-trigger then the issue would be easier to deal with.

One of the major issues is accidents since they can be more devastating than any natural disaster. People who oppose nuclear weapons have asked military members whether they think they’re a good idea with the high risk of civilian casualties. Most nuclear accidents cannot be proven because the military’s policy is to “neither confirm nor deny” the presence of nuclear weapons in accidents. The Department of Defense (DoD) has said “Nuclear weapons are designed with great care to explode only when deliberately armed and fired. Nevertheless, there is always a possibility that, as a result of accidental circumstances, an explosion might take place inadvertently.” (Tiwari). If such an event did occur radiation would be spread to a number of areas, whereas if the weapon was non-nuclear it would have simply had an explosion without the spread of radiation.

The DoD published the first list of nuclear weapon accidents in 1968 which totaled thirteen. however no updated list has been released since 1980, and certain events which might have had a catastrophic effect may have been omitted because the DoD considered it an “incident.” To be considered an accident it has to be either be fired by the United States or an ally that could risk war, a nuclear detonation or burning of a nuclear weapon, radioactive contamination, a public hazard, or loss or theft nuclear component. The DoD’s criterion leaves out the possibility that the weapon itself could have been built or tested wrong and to catastrophic effects.

Nuclear weapons could also be used against the United States by terrorists if they could attain the lunch codes which may sound hard but with the help of undercover spies or a corrupt worker it not considered a challenge. A perfect opportunity for terrorists to strike would have been on October 23, 2010 when fifty intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICMB’s), enough fire power to kill 20 million people, lost computer communications with their controllers for forty-five minutes. If it had been a terrorist attack and they possessed the launch codes it would have been utter chaos. Once the launch codes are entered the missiles wait in standby for thirty minutes for any cancelation and then fired toward their destination. The United States’ satellites would have detected the missiles but because there’s no self-destruct or recall not much could be done to prepare.

Nuclear weapons would also adversely affect the health of the world and the environment. In the brief time countries have been experimenting with or using nuclear weapons the health of many humans has taken a turn for the worse. Thyroid cancer rates have risen two-
hundred percent and even affected children when testing in the 50’s and 60’s contaminated animal milk. Those children who were affected by Hiroshima and Nagasaki suffered from health problems at eighty-nine time the rate of normal people their age and most die before turning ten. A local conflict such as China verses Indian could cause a smoke layer blocking out ten percent of the existing sunlight thus eliminating agricultural seasons for a least a decade and cause temperature to reach lowest in the last thousand years.

To solve the problem of nuclear weapons is relatively simple. First, take all nuclear weapons off hair-trigger. If we take the weapons off hair-trigger it means that they aren’t the first defense employed by those using the weapons. Having the weapons on hair trigger means that if the United States were to be attacked the first retaliation would be to launch all the nuclear warheads deemed necessary. If the warheads are just taken off hair-trigger and used as a last resort it would decrease the risk of a major nuclear catastrophe.

Second, all counties remove nuclear weapons from deployment. This forces all countries that currently use nuclear weapons to find an alternative method of defense. This will prevent the government from being tempted by an easy although costly solution. This stops even the possibilities that terrorists could use the weapons to their advantage.

Next, remove all nuclear weapons for their transport vehicles so they cannot be recommissioned, and remove the explosive material so that the weapons are just empty shells and can do very little harm. This will ensure that these weapons cannot be used again and that if the governments were to go back to nuclear weapons it would take a long time to finish construction and testing. This step almost ensures the problem solved.

Finally, all the government will place the explosive and radioactive material under the control of the United nations. thus ensuring that the material cannot be stolen by terrorist or other extreme groups. While also stopping government from using this material to create more weapons if the try to restart production. Since the United Nations is comprised of most of the world’s countries I ensure that all counties will be informed on the state of the material.

The nuclear age has been riddled with problem and fear. Over the years it has proved that it’s more problematic then beneficial. The experiments that are run with these weapons show that it will just wreak havoc on the earth. If nuclear weapons remain the primary defense of countries the world is doomed.





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