The nuclear weapons debate is about public controversies relating to the use and stockpiling of nuclear weapons. Even before the first nuclear weapons had been developed, scientists involved with the Manhattan Project
were divided over the use of the weapon. The Little
Boy atomic bomb was detonated over the Japanese
city of Hiroshima
on 6 August 1945
. The role of the bombings in Japan's surrender
and the U.S.
's ethical justification for them has been the subject of scholarly and popular debate for decades.
refers to both the act of reducing or eliminating nuclear weapons and to the end state of a nuclear-free world, in which nuclear weapons are completely eliminated. Proponents of nuclear disarmament say that it would lessen the probability of nuclear war occurring, especially accidentally. Critics of nuclear disarmament say that it would undermine deterrence.
Various American government
officials, who were in office during the Cold War period
, are now advocating the elimination of nuclear weapons. These officials include Henry Kissinger
, George Shultz
, Sam Nunn
, and William Perry
. In January 2010
, Lawrence M. Krauss
stated that "no issue carries more importance to the long-term health and security of humanity than the effort to reduce, and perhaps one day, rid the world of nuclear weapons".
Even before the first nuclear weapons had been developed, scientists involved with the Manhattan Project were divided over the use of the weapon. Some—notably a number at the University of Chicago Metallurgical Laboratory
, represented in part by Leó Szilárd
—lobbied early on that the atomic bomb should only be built as a deterrent against Nazi Germany
getting a bomb, and should not be used against populated cities. The Franck Report
argued in June 1945
that instead of being used against a city, the first atomic bomb should be "demonstrated" to the Japanese on an uninhabited area. This recommendation was not agreed with by the
military commanders, the Los Alamos Target
Committee (made up of other scientists), or the politicians who had input into the use of the weapon. Because the Manhattan Project was considered to be "top secret", there was no public discussion of the use of nuclear arms, and even within the U.S. government
, knowledge of the bomb was extremely limited.
The Little Boy atomic bomb was detonated over the Japanese city of Hiroshima on 6 August 1945. Exploding with a yield equivalent to 12,500
tonnes of TNT
, the blast and thermal wave of the bomb destroyed nearly 50,000 buildings and killed approximately 75,000 people. Detonation
of the "Fat Man
" atomic bomb over Nagasaki
occurred on 9 August 1945. The role of the bombings in Japan's surrender and the U.S.'s ethical justification for them has been the subject of scholarly and popular debate for decades. J. Samuel Walker
suggests that "the controversy over the use of the bomb seems certain to continue".
After the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki
, the world's nuclear weapons stockpiles grew, and nuclear weapons have been detonated on over two thousand occasions for testing and demonstration purposes. Countries
known to have detonated nuclear weapons—and that acknowledge possessing such weapons—are (chronologically) the United States
, the Soviet Union
(succeeded as a nuclear power by Russia
), the United Kingdom
, the People's Republic of China
, India, Pakistan
, and North Korea
- published: 03 Jul 2012
- views: 1041245