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War: Nuclear Power Essay

1292 words - 5 pages

The Cold War was a time of great tension all over the world. From 1945 to 1989, the United States was the leader and nuclear power and was competing with the Soviet Union to create huge stockpiles of nuclear weapons. However, even though the Cold War ended, nuclear weapons are still a threat. Countries around the world strive to create nuclear power, and they do not promise to use it for peaceful purposes. Some examples of the struggles caused by nuclear weapons include the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the Cuban Missile Crisis, and Iran’s recent nuclear weapon program. Surely, nuclear weapons have created conflict all over the world since the Cold War era.

The world’s conflict over nuclear weapons all began with President Truman’s decision to drop the bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. World War II was coming to a close but Japan would not surrender. So, on August 6, 1945, the bomb Little Boy was dropped on Hiroshima. It was triggered by a gun mechanism where a small piece of uranium-235 was fired down a barrel into a larger piece. This caused an explosion of 15 kilotons, or 15,000 tons of TNT, killing 90,000 to 166,000 people. Surprisingly, Japan did not surrender, so on August 9, 1945, the bomb Fat Man was dropped on Nagasaki. It was triggered when shock waves from high explosives set off the plutonium-239 core. It caused an explosion of 20 kilotons, or 20,000 tons of TNT, and killed 60,000 to 80,000 people. This second attack really sent the message to Japan, and they finally surrendered on August 15, 1945. World War II was finally over, but the Cold War began with the reveal of the United States’ nuclear power. It is believed that dropping the bombs saved both Japanese and American lives by ending the war quickly without any battles, but many people are still against it. General Dwight D. Eisenhower said, “Japan was already defeated and dropping the bomb was completely unnecessary... our country should avoid shocking world opinion by the use of a weapon whose employment was, I thought, no longer mandatory as a measure to save American lives” (Alperovitz). In addition to the bombs being completely unnecessary, an additional 90,000 to 140,000 people died later as a result of burns, radiation, and related diseases, and survivors of the attacks are still suffering from radiation sickness. The bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki caused a lot of argument all over the world and the event is still being discussed today. Although the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki opened up the world to nuclear weapons and caused many disagreements, they are only one example of the conflict caused by nuclear weapons.

The world’s conflict over nuclear weapons came dangerously close to breaking out in a full-blown nuclear war when the Cuban Missile Crisis occurred. The Cuban Missile Crisis was on October 15 to October 28, 1962; the middle of the Cold War. The Soviet Union was transporting nuclear missiles to its ally Cuba, which was...

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