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Nuclear Weopons Testing Essay

1553 words - 6 pages

In their effort to create a bomb that would assure destruction of enemies, the world super powers of this century have created a legacy that could presumably destroy the entire world as we know it (Schull 6). During the course of the last fifty years, nuclear weapons have continually become an increasingly detrimental threat to our own health and environment. Consequently, laws have been proposed and bills have been signed to end this senseless build-up of arsenal and testing of havoc-causing atomic was instruments. Unfortunately, enforcing such rules worldwide has proven itself to be remarkably difficult and world allies have had to use extreme caution when dealing with any and all emerging threats.
     In the early days of nuclear weapons production, of course, not all safety hazards were fully appreciated,and possible threats to the environment went completely unrecognized. For this reason, we continued to tryout these deadly war tools without any major concern for our future. To be sure, it is understandable that in the race to produce the atomic bomb before Hitler, such considerations would come second. What is surprising is that this negligence should persist for 50 years thereafter, in spite of the growing awareness of the threats that technology and nuclear weapons production can pose.
     Even the challenge of cleaning up the results of four decades of nuclear weapons production from testing should be vast enough to tell us that testing must absolutely come to a complete stop around the world. Incredible resources will be needed to dispose of 2,700 tons of spent fuel, 10,500 hazardous substances, and 100 million gallons of high-level waste; to clean up 2.3 million acres of land; and to remediate 120 million square feet of buildings on 120 sites (Day 40-41). Four major tasks can be identified: to stabilize and maintain a large number of nuclear materials and facilities; to design, build, and operate a variety of treatment facilities to prepare waste for disposal and provide safe interim storage; to manage large amounts and varieties of wastes; and to work towards environmental restoration (Mosman 13).
     But nuclear weapons testing has had different effects all over the world. And the "not-in-my-backyard syndrome" has come to voice opinions everywhere.-- Nobody is willing to accept waste and storage facilities anywhere near their town. In the United States, Nevada has long been the "center" of weapons testing and inherently a case-in-point that the cessation of testing may prove to be as difficult as the testing itself. The prime location of nuclear weapons testing for over thirty years, one Nevada facility has within its boundaries an extremely high concentration of radioactive substances from atmospheric and underground testing. Although most atmospheric nuclear weapons testing ended in 1964 with the Limited Test Ban Treaty, the...

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