Nuclear Power: Death, Destruction, Dead-End
29th August is the International Day Against Nuclear Tests and it remains a significant day mostly because according to the UN since 1945 over 2000 nuclear weapons have been tested and more will continue to be tested.
Do we want to live in a world where the death and destruction can be brought to a real dead-end by the touch of a button?
One slight relief has been that since Hiroshima and Nagasaki, nuclear weapons have not been actively used in warfare.
According to the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs, several treaties have been since to prevent nuclear proliferation and testing but the most important one- the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT), which was signed in 1996 has not come into effect.
But then what is Nuclear Energy?
This is the energy released when nuclear reactions take place and then are used to generate electricity. Sometimes it can be referred to as Nuclear Power but then that can also mean “political power play” for nuclear weapons. So the appropriate language to describe “power” generated using nuclear materials is “nuclear energy”. The pros of using this energy include lesser emission of greenhouse gases compared to fossil fuels and higher energy output. However the cons outweigh because they include the dirty mining and use of uranium, radioactivity and accidents like the recent Fukushima in Japan have shown live effects of what can happen wrong. Also uranium is scarce and the battle between energy producers and weapon makers is so high that there is high-level smuggling going on. In fact all countries that have nuclear reactors also can easily use the plutonium being produced to make dozens of Hiroshima size bombs annually. Thus, the need for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) and its enforcement so as to prevent the creation and mostly the use of another hydrogen or atomic bomb. These also fall under the category what we may be familiar because of the Gulf War, Weapons of Mass Destruction.
Therefore, “The 64th session of the United Nations General Assembly declared 29 August the International Day against Nuclear Tests through the unanimous adoption of its resolution 64/35 on 2 December 2009. The Preamble of the resolution emphasizes that “every effort should be made to end nuclear tests in order to avert devastating and harmful effects on the lives and health of people” and that “the end of nuclear tests is one of the key means of achieving the goal of a nuclear-weapon-free world.” (Source: http://www.un.org/en/events/againstnucleartestsday/background.shtml)
Is it then possible to have a world without these weapons and then of course no testing?
Yes and no.
Evil has no boundaries but goodness does. Evil has many more supporters, goodness lacks enough. It is easier to teach bad than good. It is easier to spread negativity than positivity. The world’s population is over 7 billion but how many are enlightened enough or are in the right position at the right time with the right power to do the right thing? Sure, one big change starts with one small step and that’s why nuclear tests have to stop, the ban has to come into place otherwise one small button will trigger the dead-end of mankind.