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A necessary protection against nuclear proliferation


Submitted:Jan 1, 2013    Reads: 20    Comments: 0    Likes: 0   


Rice University

Dept.of Physics and Astronomy

Fidele Twagirayezu

Nuclear Energy

Necessary Protection against Nuclear Proliferation

The history of the mankind has been majorly characterized by natural disasters that humans faced during primitive times; flying rocks had repeatedly fell to Earth with apocalyptic results, pandemics such as plagues, and others attacked humans and wiped out important part of the Earth's population, but the humanity survived and continue to exist. Even though, humans were lucky enough to survive those natural dangers of the past that tended to extinct the life on Earth, the future may seem different. Human progress in sciences, technology, and engineering has extremely changed our world because fantastic inventions were performed to embellish the way of living of the mankind transforming natural resources into final products, and at a given moment, desire for control by force and global dominance was born, having forced mankind to utilize possible ways to calm down the situation, but it was not possible using ways that existed that time, so the humans were obliged to conduct researches and even more advanced in an attempt to calm down the situation, and they got idea that atomic energy could be turned into a deadly weapon capable to end those tensions. But they did not know that they were putting the entire world in jeopardy by creating such weapons. Nowadays, scientists agree that weapons based on atomic, nuclear and thermonuclear energies constitute one of possible ways life can end on Earth, the Seven Signs of the Apocalypse, because there is a great probability that those weapons fall into hands of dangerous groups or rogue nations and utilize them against humans or to ignite the nuclear war.

In the wake of the World War II, the United States conducted multiple atomic and nuclear experiments, and finally it built and tested the first atomic bomb in Alamogordo, White Sands Missiles Range, New Mexico on July, 16, 1945, the blast emitted a fire ball over six hundred feet wide and produced an explosion that equals to 20,000 tons of TNT, the mushroom cloud reached over seven miles in height, and the vibrations could be felt nearly two hundred miles away, there is no doubt to say that the world had just created a powerful weapon so terrifying to the degree that it even left its creators such as Dr. Robert Oppenheimer chocked and shaken " Few people laughed, few people cried, most people resilient ,….,I have become death to destroy the worlds "he said after that atomic test. The information quickly went public because American scientists did not keep it secret correctly, and it was estimated that if the Soviet Union got that knowledge, it would have built the same weapon in four years, that is what exactly happened, the Soviet Union detonated its first atomic bomb on August, 29, 1949, just four years after the United States, but a man and a regime that murdered millions of innocent people with bullets, famine ,and concentration's campus was not able to acquire the most powerful weapons in the mankind's history even though some people say that he was closer to get them before anybody else because German scientists were the first to discover the nuclear fission and they surely knew that it could be utilized to make a new type of bombs. The era of cold war between the United States and the Soviet Union ended, but nuclear weapons build during that era still exist even at this very day, fear of eruption of global nuclear war decreased, but possibilities of nuclear attacks increased, and nuclear test never stopped, nowadays there are nine nations that have acquired nuclear weapons, and eight of them possess them in accordance with the international laws, but the number may increase in the future because rogue nations tend to acquire those weapons illegally, and they are able to get access to nuclear materials easily because black markets have increased, this shows that there a great possibility that terrorist groups also get them.[1]

Although the Soviet Union got the knowledge after the first American nuclear blast and built nuclear weapons, and even hydrogen bomb no dangerous thing happened between these super-giants that were in a race for arms control. So it is easy to apparently think that the proliferation of nuclear technology and weapons is inevitable but it does not pose any danger because whenever a nuclear balance is achieved there are no more possibilities of waging a war, in other words, a nuclear balance prevents an eruption of war. However such judgment appears to be wrong because many Soviets believed that a war against the United States would have been so long and they would have ended up with losing it and finally repairing expensive damages, so they preferred to change the game by showing that they also were capable of doing the same as the Americans, so they preferred to wage a no-damaging war, the cold war. In reality, it seems that nuclear proliferation is inevitable because universities are spreading knowledge by teaching nuclear sciences, nuclear engineering, and nuclear technology , and many nuclear scientists and engineers graduate every year around the world, this has caused the nuclear knowledge to spread out worldwide, so rogue nations can easily get access to that knowledge and use it in the wrong way, but it is possible that proliferation be prevented by establishing policies targeting the acquisition of fissile materials, because the problem is not getting such knowledge, the problem is developing or possessing nuclear weapons. Nowadays nine nations already have nuclear weapons and others are surely conducting clandestine nuclear program to get such weapons, and worse thing is that some rogue nations behave in inappropriate ways while they do not have nuclear weapons, which means that if they had them they could cause a real damage of the mankind, but theoretical measures to deal those challenges may be possible. [2]

Nuclear weapons are among the most dangerous arsenals in the World, only one has a might of wiping out a whole city, killing scores and extremely contaminating the environment, and putting life of future people in danger. These types of weapons were used twice in the recorded history of the mankind, about 2,000 nuclear tests were conducted, and now, there exists more than 22,000 nuclear weapons capable to destroy life on Earth as we know it if they detonate at the same time. In fact, nuclear weapons ended the Second World War which was started by NAZI regime and its allies and they apparently prevented a nuclear war between the United States and the Soviet Union, but the dangers that they pose to the mankind of the future are real as long as rogue nations keep up with getting illegally nuclear technology and materials for developing nuclear weapons. In an effort of finding solutions to that problem, some people have suggested that a complete solution of the problem would be disarming all nations that possess nuclear weapons and preventing rogue countries from getting such weapons or nuclear materials, and other people suggesting an easy and working solution would be preventing rogue nations from getting nuclear weapons and nuclear materials and existing nuclear- weapons nations would significantly reduce the number of their nuclear weapons. The real thing is that the mankind has no real future if weapons of mass destruction continue to exist because a nuclear war will be inevitable. Happily, one of the most important treaties called Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) was established in 1996, but still is weaken by disagreements and problems posed by rogue nations which do not wish to collaborate peacefully. The Treaty states that no nuclear weapons tests are allowed on ground, underground, in water, in the atmosphere, or in space. In fact, the Treaty abolishes the possession of fissile materials; possession and development of nuclear weapons, but nobody knows for sure if the Treaty will be fully respected. [3]

There have been growing desires to consider a nuclear disarmament as a priority in order to keep the Earth safe for future generations, as part of nuclear disarmament, the United States and Russia agreed to reduce the number of their nuclear weapons, more recently the United States disassemble its most powerful nuclear bomb at Amarillo Nuclear Plant, Texas, and other nuclear- weapons nations promised to do the same, until now none of them has already done some significant thing in the goal of nuclear disarmament but it is hoped that they will follow the example of the US. The desire of banning the nuclear proliferation requires a number of measures, and most importantly it requires paying a political and economic price. Without exaggerating, this desire still faces many problems as rogue nations seem to continue violating international laws and acquire illegally nuclear technology and materials to make nuclear weapons, that is why nuclear weapons- nations are motivated to destroy all of their nuclear weapons fearing to be attacked by rogue nations once they get nuclear weapons, for example Iran continues to violate the international laws by developing nuclear program aiming to get nuclear weapons, but this Islamic nation denies the UN accusations and says that its nuclear program is for civilian purposes. In the same case, North Korea also continues to defy the international laws by building long-range missiles that could carry nuclear warheads and then threatens the regional and possibly international peace, but it denies those accusations. And this is slowly causing non-nuclear weapons nations to disregard the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) system tending to ensure the nuclear energy is being used for non- military purposes. So this shows that the abolition or the no-proliferation of nuclear weapons would be a reality if non- nuclear weapons nations including rogue nations decide first to fully respect the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NTP), abandon any intentions of conducting clandestine nuclear programs for military purposes. [4]

A real abolition of nuclear weapons in the world would require all nine nations that possess them to dismantle them, and all nations that have nuclear reactors, or plants for the enrichment of fissile materials, and any significant thing that has to do with nuclear materials to be frequently controlled to make sure that no nation has any ambition of getting nuclear energy -based weapons. This would be possible if all nations respect and enforce international Laws about the abolition weapons of mass destruction and non-proliferation of nuclear technology for military purposes, but first of all, non- nuclear weapons nations must accept and totally enforce international Laws for non-proliferation of nuclear technology and weapons, and those want to use or already use nuclear energy for civilian purposes must accept to work with the International Atomic Energy Agency( IAEA) because the most important thing in this nuclear crisis is confidence, nobody can trust nobody when it comes to nuclear affairs, that is why all nations intending to use nuclear energy must work with International Atomic Energy which have to routinely verify if nations comply with the laws. There is no doubt to say that nuclear disarmament is difficult to be realized completely, but the true is that it is not impossible to be fully realized because nuclear-weapons states have political and moral obligations to completely eliminate the existence of nuclear weapons in the world according to the Article VI of the NPT which says that nations should agree to a dismantlement of all their nuclear weapons. Nowadays, the only country that completely obeyed to the NPT is South Africa which abandoned the program of developing nuclear weapons when the Nobel Prize of Peace Nelson Mandela became president; he ordered to stop the program and dismantle all nuclear weapons that were developed during the Apartheid regime, so the disarmament really worked because South Africa is now a nuclear-weapons free nation, but something to keep in mind is that South Africa was racing against itself, there was no real cause that pushed South Africa to develop nuclear weapons that is why the disarmament did not pose any problem.

Unlikely South Africa, the disarmament of super-Giants of the world such as the United States (US) has to be proceeded with infinite precautions to avoid a global disaster. The United States is the universal peacekeeper, for example if any tragedy (for example, a war) happens in any corner of the Earth, people immediately look at the United States and finally say that it has to intervene to stop that tragedy, so this clearly justifies the fact that the US may have to possess the nuclear weapons and ready to use them if necessary to achieve to its mission of keeping peace globally. However the fact that the US gained the nuclear weapons has instigated other nations to get them despite what they witnessed during the World War II, so because of the devastating effects of these types of weapons, there are lots of concerns that they fall into the hands of dangerous people and regimes, and be utilized to disturb peace, and possibly trigger the most dangerous war that the mankind never known, the nuclear war. In reality, by taking in account of growing tensions that reign between current nuclear- weapons nations, and the progressive rise of rogue states having primary objectives of disrupting regional or international peace, thinking about nuclear abolition really sounds like an impossible thing because no nation will accept to dissemble all its nuclear weapons while it does not know if other nations possessing those weapons are committed to do the same thing, then that nation seems to have a justiciable right to refuse doing that because of lack of convincing evidence that it will not be attacked by other nations that confiscated their weapons, but this theoretic approach is the working solution to protect in long-term the Earth against eruption of nuclear war, so nations of the world should work together to solve the crisis before it becomes too late, and there a chance that it may work because nations of the world have many times worked to together to solve horrible problems and they succeeded to take unanimous working measures.

Agreements can sometimes lead to the abolition of making or using certain things, for example, the global unanimity led to the complete ban of making and using the anti-personnel mines, nowadays, these mines no longer exist. So this shows that getting solutions of the problems may depend on the choice of humans no matter how they may be. The world is facing a global warming caused by missions of harmful gases, but nations have decided to work together and decisions were made to solve that issue by reducing gases emissions, and investing in the fabrication of electric cars, in addition, other diverse efforts are being made to prevent global temperature from keep raising. Then it is possible that the nuclear abolition becomes a reality if the world decided to act for it. [5]

Another approach to deal with problem of nuclear weapons when the first one becomes invalid would be preventing rogue nations or terrorist groups from getting fissile materials and nuclear weapons or capabilities to develop nuclear weapons, and reducing the number of existing nuclear weapons in the world. In the wake of the September terrorist attack in 2001, the United States has become convinced that if terrorist groups manage to acquire nuclear weapons, consequences would be immeasurable. These terrorist groups can by weapons or buy fissile materials in black markets and make even dirty bombs that can kill many people, so preventing them from getting those materials or weapons is a working approach to deter possible nuclear terrorist attacks, this can be effective if all nations decide to work together to disable all methods those groups can utilize to get or develop nuclear weapons. Reducing the number of existing nuclear weapons is another way that may be used when the nuclear abolition is not considered. One thing that makes the nuclear abolition to appear more invalid is that there is lack of confidence between nuclear-weapons nations, so more credits are given to the act of reducing significantly a number of existing nuclear weapons. This approach appears be realistic and to work because it can weaken tensions between nuclear-weapons nations and sudden eruption of nuclear war in the near future. However, that approach is not be durable because people will always fight for natural resources or other sources of goods and as long as nuclear weapons still are in the hands of the man, there will be lots of willingness of using them in fighting, so the durable solution would be the complete elimination of those weapons if possible.[6]

The dangers of the proliferation of nuclear weapons are already known, and possibilities to prevent them exist because choices to free the world from these types of weapons are in the hands of the humanity. No matter how challenges may be, the future of nuclear proliferation will always depend on the success or failure of all nations of the world to collaborate and settle agreements tending to manage the nuclear affairs, in other words, the future of the proliferation of nuclear weapons will depend on unanimous decisions that leaders of this world will make. Good decisions will lead to the prosperous future of the mankind of all generations, and bad ones will place the human civilization in the world of sufferings and agonies. The thing is that if nothing is done before it is late, the nuclear proliferation will bring the humanity in a situation where all solutions will become invalid, and that time, nuclear war could emerge causing extreme damage, and if possible the human extinction. If our ancestor preserved this world for us why cannot we do the same thing for future generations even though we are required to solve almost impossible problem of freeing the world from nuclear weapons? Even though people would be divided in order to deal this problem in question, but many people would prefer to say that the nuclear abolition is an imperative step to make in order to achieve to the preservation of peace for many years in the future. In addition to Dr. Robert Oppenheimer, Albert Einstein warned the world about the consequences of possessing such weapons and their proliferation. He was asked about consequences of weapons and their proliferation on the future of the human civilization, he said that the world will probably return in the prehistoric time if weapons of mass destruction continue to exist and proliferate worldwide.

In conclusion, nuclear weapons are known to be the most dangerous weapons that the mankind have ever known, they are able to cause important damages to the planet Earth. Concerns about possibilities of eruption of nuclear war are high, and if this takes place in the future, the Earth will probably become a dead planet, but it is not too late to avoid this tragedy, the abolition of developing and possessing nuclear weapons still is possible to be realistic, and it is the only working way to prevent nuclear apocalypse in the long-term, and possible ways to deal with the nuclear matter show that the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons and fissile materials to make such weapons is an immediate necessity to prevent near-future eruptions of nuclear aggressions and deadly wars while the world is working to seek ways to definitely eliminate such weapons in the world. The journey is so long and difficult but the world should know that every real and good thing is achieved after an extreme sacrifice.

References

  1. Steven E. Miller. "Nuclear Power without Nuclear proliferation?" Berfer Center for

Science and International Affairs. Journal Article, Daedalus, volume 138, issue 4,

pages 7-18.Fall 2009.

http://belfercenter.ksg.harvard.edu/publication/19850/nuclear_power_without_nuclear_proliferation.html (Accessed December, 20, 2012)

  1. J. I. Katz. "Limiting the Nuclear Club---Iraq, North Korea et al". Department of Physics

Washington University, St. Louis. p. 74 (Winter 1994)

http://wuphys.wustl.edu/~katz/prolif.html (Accessed December, 21, 2012)

  1. "Nuclear Weapons". United Nations Office for Disarmament affairs.

http://www.un.org/disarmament/WMD/Nuclear/ (Accessed, 21, 2012)

  1. "Principles and Objectives for nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament."Federation of

American Scientists. December 9, 1996.

http://www.fas.org/nuke/control/npt/text/prin_obj.htm (Accessed, 23, 2012)

  1. George Perkovich, James M, Actions "Abolishing Nuclear Weapons: a Debate".

Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

http://www.carnegieendowment.org/files/abolishing_nuclear_weapons_debate.pdf

(Accessed, 26, 2012)

  1. "Preventing Proliferation of Nuclear Materials". Safety and Security. Nuclear Energy

Institute. October 2011.

http://www.nei.org/resourcesandstats/documentlibrary/safetyandsecurity/factsheet/preventingproliferationofnuclearmaterials/ (Accessed, 28, 2012)

Bibliographies

1. Miller.E Steven "Nuclear Power without Nuclear proliferation?" Berfer Center for

Science and International Affairs. Journal Article, Daedalus, volume 138, issue 4,

pages 7-18.Fall 2009.

http://belfercenter.ksg.harvard.edu/publication/19850/nuclear_power_without_nuclear_prolif eration.html (Accessed December, 20, 2012)

2. J. I. Katz. "Limiting the Nuclear Club---Iraq, North Korea et al". Department of Physics

Washington University, St. Louis. p. 74 (Winter 1994)

http://wuphys.wustl.edu/~katz/prolif.html (Accessed December, 21, 2012)

3. "Nuclear Weapons". United Nations Office for Disarmament affairs.

http://www.un.org/disarmament/WMD/Nuclear/ (Accessed, 21, 2012)

4. "Principles and Objectives for nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament."Federation of

American Scientists. December 9, 1996.

http://www.fas.org/nuke/control/npt/text/prin_obj.htm (Accessed, 23, 2012)

5. Perkovich, George James M, Actions "Abolishing Nuclear Weapons: a Debate".

Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

http://www.carnegieendowment.org/files/abolishing_nuclear_weapons_debate.pdf

(Accessed, 26, 2012)

6. "Preventing Proliferation of Nuclear Materials". Safety and Security. Nuclear Energy

Institute. October 2011.

http://www.nei.org/resourcesandstats/documentlibrary/safetyandsecurity/factsheet/preventingproliferationofnuclearmaterials/ (Accessed, 28, 2012)





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