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Nuclear Testing: The Aftermath Essay

1174 words - 5 pages

The true horrors of nuclear testing was not given much thought prior to 1950 despite radioactivity being dispersed throughout the U.S. during that time. However, the detrimental effects of the bombs dispersion of radioactivity became more and more evident to the people throughout the 1950’s which spurred public protests and concerns. It was at this time where people started to find out that the radioactivity began to have effects on mother’s milk and babies’ teeth which was something many found disturbing. When people started to see that the effects of radioactivity had begun to really affect their lives, the fear became widespread. This resulted in nuclear tests being banned in the atmosphere, outer space, and underwater by the Partial Test Ban Treaty in 1963. Although this was a step in the right direction, it proved to do only little in the long run as loopholes in the treaty were found. According to the treaty, nuclear tests could not been done in the atmosphere, outer space, or underwater however, nothing was stated that prevented testing being operated underground. Unfortunately, that was exactly what happened and the results from the nuclear testing were still terrifying and horrendous which proved that the treaty had not fixed everything. Tests done underground resulted in immense amounts of plutonium, caesium-135 and iodine-129 being released underground. That was not all as although testing was done underground, exposure occurred beyond the testing site if radioactive gases were leaked or vented which actually happened quite frequently. Many was done to try and prevent nuclear testing but it proved to be easier said than done.
On January 27th, 1951, nuclear testing was done on the Nevada Test Site. Many tests were carried out there and after some time, testing was amped up a bit as stronger bombs were tested. Nuclear testing went on for more than a decade as mushroom clouds were often seen in the sky. Despite all the testing being done in the area, residents really did not think much about them but what they did not know was that winds were routinely carrying radioactive fallout to nearby communities such as Utah, Nevada and northern Arizona. To help make things worse, news media were constantly informing people that they were in no danger. However, they would later realize that it had been affecting them all this time once the effects became more widespread and evident. Many other factors resulting from nuclear testing contributed to the declining health of the the people such as hot storms of radioactive particles blanketing the city. An effect that can be linked to all the testing was extraordinarily high rates of thyroid ills which proved to be terrifying and harmful but the most disturbing effect of all was that children and others living downwind started to develop leukemia. Furthermore, the effects also had a large impact on the health of the people living in the state. People did not realize that the effects of the testing...

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