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Hiroshima Insight

Nuclear weapons in the world

After World War II, the United States and the former Soviet Union (now Russia) came to a standoff over political systems. During the so-called “Cold War,” the two nations engaged in a fierce nuclear arms race.

Nuclear weapons then spread to the United Kingdom, France, China, Israel, India, and Pakistan. Other nations, too, are seeking to develop nuclear arms.

In the mid-1980s, there were about 70,000 nuclear warheads in the world. In 1989, the United States and the Soviet Union declared that the Cold War had come to an end. Since then, the number of warheads has gradually been reduced. However, about 17,000 warheads still remain in the United States, Russia, and other nations.

Today, the power of a nuclear weapon is much greater than the atomic bomb that devastated Hiroshima. And missiles can now be used to deliver a nuclear warhead. If nuclear weapons were actually used, the catastrophe would be staggering. The disastrous conditions can be easily imagined from the experiences of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

This is why nuclear weapons are called “the most inhuman weapon” and the warning is made that “there are no winners in a nuclear war.”

Fortunately, nuclear weapons have not been used since Hiroshima and Nagasaki. But many radiation victims have been produced, in locations around the world, in the process of manufacturing and testing nuclear weapons, and as a result of accidents at nuclear power plants, which use the same nuclear materials that are found in nuclear arms.