Nuclear Weapons

Eric Sajo
Research and Writing 12-2
Mrs. Krantz

A 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 United States, Great Britain, Russia, and France have joined a
moratorium on all testing. Only China continues to develop lightweight,
multiple warheads that could be deployed on submarine based missiles. Claiming
discrimination, India insists it will not accede to a test ban unless the
declared nuclear states agree to give up their nuclear arsenals by a certain
date. Pakistan also says if India does not sign, they won?t either. One
frequently mentioned scenario is for India to conduct a quick series of tests to
develop a thermonuclear weapon and only then give in to international pressure
to sign the treaty.
The Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty if eventually agreed to, might not be
so comprehensive after all. Meeting in Geneva the 61 nation conference on
Disarmament again failed to produce an agreed treaty before breaking up.
Negotiators will return again to produce another final effort for a test ban
treaty in 1996.
After 18 months of talks, the proposed treaty text bans all nuclear
tests, no matter the size or purpose. Still unresolved is whether ratification
by the three nuclear powers of India, Pakistan, and Israel should be required
before the treaty enters the force. India has declared that it will not ratify
a test ban without a timetable for disarmament by the United States, Russia,
France, Britain and China. China and Britain are reluctant to accept
restrictions on their programs unless India joins in.
Many people believe the political developments of the late 1980?s and of
1990 marked the end of the Cold War. Military analysts expect that nuclear
military arsenals will be reduced in size. At the same time, most weapon
specialists expect that nuclear weapons will continue to help prevent political
tensions-in Europe or elsewhere. They believe that the key issue will be to
define the role of nuclear weapons in whatever military forces are considered
In conclusion, Nuclear Weapons aren?t safe for any country no matter
their stability amongst others. Testing Nuclear weapons destroys the well being
of our Earth. So many treaties have been