Why do we need to be reminded twice a year to be nuclear weapon free, through the international day against nuclear tests, and the international day for the total elimination of nuclear weapons?
In August 1945, towards the end of the World War II, the world shuddered due to nuclear explosions at Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan. The explosives were uranium and plutonium fission type bombs, respectively. While developing fission weapons, activated fissile material is allowed to grow exponentially, via a radioactive chain reaction. The explosion of fission bombs not only destroyed, but also genetically mutated future generations in these cities and the areas nearby. This incidence is sufficient to justify the hazard of nuclear attacks on the environment and the ecosystem.
Further, tragedies such as the one that occurred at Chernobyl in Ukraine on April 26, 1986, has left behind residual radioactivity even today! Such disastrous has been the environmental impact that the area is no longer suitable for habitation by almost all species. Thus innovations in nuclear research should be responsibly conducted and under stringent regulations. It is important to protect the environment from its harmful and incorrigible consequences.
Fig 1. depicts the dark cloud contributed by the French Thermonuclear Licorne Test on July 3, 1970.Over 2,000 nuclear tests have been carried out since 1945 till now as shown in the plot below. Although innovations for the safety of the individual nations are imperative, they should not supersede the safety of our planet. Thus, execution of nuclear research should be a responsible and organised effort with mutual understanding and cooperation between the nations.
Dedicated to the safe and peaceful future, the UN understood the necessity of nuclear disarmament in the world. The UN aims to enhance public awareness about the threat posed to humanity by nuclear weapons and the necessity for their total elimination. And thus, the organisation announced the international day for the total elimination of nuclear weapons on September 26 yearly.
During these efforts, governments, intergovernmental organisations, civil societies, academia, and mass media, will all play definitive and critical roles for propagating peace, disarmament and non-proliferation of nuclear weapons. Every act should lead us to prevent irrational use of nuclear technologies and chemical weapons, and promote diplomatic use of nuclear energy. Through this effort, the UN is hopeful to see a day when the idea of a nuclear-weapon-free-world has materialised.
Editor: Dr. Prajakta Dandekar-Jain
- https://undocs.org/A/RES/64/35, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_weapon