Nuclear Weapons Essay

940 words - 4 pages

- -Eric SajoResearch and Writing12-210/21/96Mrs. KrantzNuclear WeaponsA Nuclear weapon is any weapon that gets its destructive power from the transformation of matter in atoms into energy. They include missiles, bombs, artillery shells, mines and torpedoes. Another name for nuclear weapons are Atomic bombs or Hydrogen bombs. The United States was the first country to ever use a Nuclear weapon in battle against Japan.The major arguments for a test ban was first proposed in the 1950's. Today, however, the stopping of radioactive fallout and the superpower arms race are still in negotiation. Nations have sought to limit the testing of nuclear weapons to protect people and the environment from nuclear radiation and to slow the development of nuclear weapons. In 1963, Great Britain, the Soviet Union, and the United States negotiated the first test limitation treaty, the Limited Test Ban Treaty. The Treaty's signers agreed not to test nuclear weapons in the atmosphere, in outer space, or underwater. The only testing that was allowed was underground testing.Attempts to control the number of nuclear weapons in the world began about 1970. The Strategic Arms Limitation Talks(SALT) was a convention held by the United States and the Soviet Union to limit the numbers in nuclear weapons. In 1982, the United States and the Soviet Union began the Strategic Arms Reduction Talks(START). Unlike the SALT talks, these were aimed at the number of nuclear weapons each country could obtain. Then there was another treaty signed in 1987 which was called the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces(INF). This treaty called for the dismantling of ground-launched nuclear missiles.A major obstacle to controlling nuclear weapons has been a lack of trust between the two principal powers; the United States and the Soviet Union. The relationship has improved though in the late 1980's after President Gorbachev introduced the principles of glasnost and perestroika to the Soviet Political System. In 1989 and 1990, democratic reforms spread spread across Eastern Europe. These reforms have greatly reduced tensions.The country of China still wants to test their nuclear explosions for mining and for some construction. For two years China has successfully held up the 38-nation Geneva negotiations on a comprehensive test ban treaty. No other nation has been supportive to the Chinese. They find their reason as a lame excuse to start setting off explosions again. The treaty plays a very important role in creating a barrier to stop the spread of nuclear weapons. The two biggest problems are with nuclear weapons nowadays is that testing isn't necessary to develop a workable, Hiroshima-type fission bomb in this age of computers and wide spread access to nuclear data, and India nor Pakistan, the two most worrisome nuclear powers is likely to sign any deal at all.The...

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