Nuclear Weapons



A nuclear weapon is a weapon of mass destruction. To better understand the severity of nuclear weapons and weapons of mass destruction, the definitions must be known. A nuclear weapon is a device like a bomb or a warhead in which their huge, powerful explosion is caused from nuclear energy being released. Weapons of mass destruction have no one definition so it has to be broken down to gets a definition. A weapon is an instrument used for attack or defense in combat, mass is a large but not specific amount or number, and destruction is the act of ruining completely or spoiling. Put together, a weapon of mass destruction is an instrument used for attack or defense in combat that has a large but nonspecific amount of ruining or spoilage. With these definitions, Nukes don’t completely appear to be weapons of mass destruction but once the effect of them is known it is very clear that nukes are surely weapons of mass destruction.


There are three types of nuclear weapons. The first type is the atom bomb or the a-bomb. An atom bomb is a bomb whose potency is derived from nuclear fission of atoms of fissionable material w/ the consequent conversion of part of their masses into energy. This means that it is a bomb whose ability to perform its action is derived from splitting an atomic nucleus to produce a very large amount of energy. The destruction of these bombs is huge. The mushroom cloud from the blast gets higher than 40,000 feet. Everything from a 1-mile radius of the explosion gets vaporized. And up to 5 miles away, buildings get destroyed.


The second kind of nuclear weapon is a hydrogen bomb or H-bomb. An H-bomb is an A-bomb with deuterium and tritium compounds. In the detonation, a fission bomb is detonated so the temperatures get to 10-100 million degrees. The deuterium and the tritium react with each other to make helium atoms and fast moving 14.6-MeV neutrons. The neutrons react with the environment to deadly things. For example, if one of the neutrons react with nitrogen, a radioactive carbon isotope is produced. H-bombs are usually 100 to 1000 times stronger than an atom bomb. In the first testing of an H-bomb, the mushroom cloud was 27 miles high by 8 miles across and the canopy was over 100 miles wide. Radioactive mud fell from the sky followed by a heavy rain.


The third kind of nuclear weapon is a neutron bomb. A neutron bomb is similar to an H-bomb except that it is detonated before it hits the ground causing the neutrons to spread over a larger distance so they kill more life.


Nuclear weapons are directly, indirectly, internally, and externally hurting people. Although nuclear weapons haven’t been used for a long time, the effect of them is still hurting. The US nuclear bombed Japan almost 60 years ago and people are still dying. The radiation given off by Nukes is deadly because exposure can cause radiation poisoning. This has passed on though generations and people are still dying from the radiation. Also nuked land cannot be farmed for food because the radiation will cause mutated plants that may be deadly. Also people are internally hurt and more were in the past. People are scared of nuclear war and think when they go to sleep, “am I going to be here tomorrow, or am I going to get nuked?” Also in the illegal production of nuclear weapons, people get killed for the supplies or the plans to make nuclear weapons.


Nuclear weapons have been around since the United States tested the first nuclear bomb on July 16, 1945. Since then, the Soviet Union, Britain, France, China, and India have tested nukes. Since 1945, more than 2,000 tests have been conducted worldwide. The United States started the “thermonuclear age” when it tested the first H-bomb. The Soviet Union and the United States have done many ‘Peaceful Nuclear Explosions.’ A PNE is where a nuke is used to achieve good and non-killing purposes. For example: the Soviet Union and the United States have used PNE’s to dig a canal, extract gas, make underground storage facilities, seismic research, etc. Nuclear weapons have made big improvements in the way they work.