“In a nuclear war, there would be no victors, only victims. The truth of peace requires that all —whether those governments which openly or secretly possess nuclear arms, or those planning to acquire them— agree to change their course by clear and firm decisions, and strive for a progressive and concerted nuclear disarmament. The resources which would be saved could then be employed in projects of development capable of benefiting all their people, especially the poor.” – POPE BENEDICT XVI
The International Day against Nuclear Tests (IDANT) is a day observed annually on August 29 to increase the public’s awareness and education on the effects of nuclear weapons testing, the need for the cessation of nuclear testing to avoid it’s devastating effects towards human life and the environment and the goal to achieve the goal of a nuclear-weapon-free world.
Background of IDANT
The day was established when the 64th session of the United Nations General Assembly on 2 December 2009 unanimously adopted the Resolution 64/35.
The resolution was initiated by the Republic of Kazakhstan to commemorate the closure of one of the largest nuclear weapon test sites in the world, the Semipalatinsk Test Site (STS or Semipalatinsk-21) on 29 August 1991.
The STS was the primary testing venue for the Soviet Union’s nuclear weapons from 1949 to 1989.
456 nuclear test (340 underground and 116 above-ground) was conducted with little consideration of its consequences towards the people living within the vicinity.
And the full impact of the test was only discovered after many years of secrecy by the Soviet authorities when the site was closed.
More Information on Nuclear Tests
Nuclear tests are experiments conducted to determine the effectiveness, yield and explosive capability of the nuclear weapons. The testing is also used as an indicator for a country’s scientific & military strength.
(Four major types of nuclear testing: 1. Atmospheric, 2. Underground, 3. Exoatmospheric, and 4. Underwater)
Since the United States first tested their nuclear weapon in 1945, more than 2000 nuclear test has been conducted by 8 countries from 1945 – 2018 in over 60 locations all over the globe.
Little consideration is given to the devastating effects of nuclear testing does on the environment and human life.
WHAT ARE THE Effects of Nuclear testing?
- Unhibited Land
Even after several decades of nuclear testing been conducted, the damage was done to the environment and human being are still being felt until today.
For example, the people in Bikini Atoll were asked to vacate the Island for just 3 months because the US was testing their nuclear weapons on the Island.
However, after more 60 years after the detonation of the “Castle Bravo” bomb, the island is still too dangerous to be inhabited as the radiation level is around 639 millirems when the safe radiation level is set at 100 millirems per year by the US and the Marshall Islands.
The health impacts of radiations at that level is acute illness, possible heart failure, bone marrow almost completely destroyed and probable permanent female sterility.
2. Long-term exposure to Ionizing Radiation
Nuclear weapons produce dangerous Ionizing radiation, which either kills or causes illness to those that are exposed.
If exposed to high doses of ionizing radiation, the person can get Acute radiation sickness where it can cause death within hours, days or weeks and those who recover remains ill for months or even years.
Lower doses of radiation may cause diseases such as leukemia, thyroid cancer, cataracts, breast cancer and many others. Exposure may also cause birth defects to the children as a result of genetic damage and mutation.
Nuclear weapons are the worst weapon of mass destruction ever created as it kills people indiscriminately and brings long-term catastrophic effects to the following generations. The only way to permanently stop the further testing of nuclear weapons and usage of it is to ban and eliminate them.
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References: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/2/25/Worldwide_nuclear_testing_multilang.svg https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_weapons_testing https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Day_against_Nuclear_Tests http://undocs.org/A/RES/64/35 http://www.un.org/en/events/againstnucleartestsday/ http://www.un.org/en/events/againstnucleartestsday/gapresident.shtml https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Semipalatinsk_Test_Site https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_explosion http://www.icanw.org/the-facts/catastrophic-harm/the-legacy-of-nuclear-testing/ https://hinwcampaignkit.org/ https://www.ctbto.org/nuclear-testing/the-effects-of-nuclear-testing/general-overview-of-theeffects-of-nuclear-testing/ https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2016/09/nuclear-weapons-test-environmental-damage/