How to win friends and influence people.
A brief history.
16th July 1945
The White Sands Missile Range in the New Mexico desert is home to Trinity, the place where the nuclear age began on July 16, 1945.
The Trinity weapon, a version of which destroyed Nagasaki on Aug. 9, 1945, used plutonium. That fuel was more far more efficient than the uranium in the bomb dropped over Hiroshima on Aug. 6, but it was thought to be less certain to work.
6th August 1945
The Hiroshima bomb, known as “Little Boy” – a reference to former President Roosevelt, contained the equivalent of between 12 and 15,000 tons of TNT and devastated an area of five square miles (13 square kilometres). More than 60% of the buildings in the city were destroyed.
Official Japanese figures at the time put the death toll at 118,661 civilians. But later estimates suggest the final toll was about 140,000, of Hiroshima’s 350,000 population, including military personnel and those who died later from radiation. Many have also suffered long-term sickness and disability.
Three days later, the United States launched a second, bigger atomic bomb against the city of Nagasaki. The device known as “Fat man”, after Winston Churchill, weighed nearly 4,050 kg (nearly 9,000lb).
Nagasaki is surrounded by mountains and because of this the level of destruction was confined to about 2.6 square miles or 6.7 square kilometres.
Nearly 74,000 were killed and a similar number injured.
The two atomic bombs, with the Soviet declaration of war against Japan on 8 August 1945, finally left the Japanese no choice.
Japan surrendered to the Allies on 14 August 1945.
Did we learn?
Instead we gave it to our children.
Gilbert Atomic Energy Lab 1950-51
But that was ok, governments informed us we could just build a shelter against…
…and everything would be alright!
31st October 1959
The U.S. deploys the first operational intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), the Atlas D.
Time marched on.
Had we learnt yet? No, but we agreed to tell people how stupid we were being…
31st May 1988
The U.S. and U.S.S.R. signed the Agreement on Notification of Missile Launches.
A lot of posturing and treaty making and breaking between various nations then ensued until…
12th February 2013
North Korea conducts its third nuclear test. The estimated yield is 8-10 kilotons.
Back to square one? Hardly…
The exact number of nuclear weapons in global arsenals is not known. With little exception, each of the nine countries with nuclear weapons guards these numbers as closely held national secrets. What is known, however, is that more than a decade and a half after the Cold War ended, the world’s combined stockpile of nuclear warheads remain at unacceptably high levels. Ploughshares Fund
Trinity – still showing raised radiation levels.
Grade A fools.
We are our own worst enemy.
Is this all a bit too much ‘disarmament style’ for you?
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