International day against nuclear tests

no-bomb-linedrawToday is the international day against nuclear tests. This is an important date in our collective efforts to achieve and maintain a nuclear weapons free world. It is a day to remember the countless victims lost to the intergenerational legacy of nuclear weapons explosions, and the new victims impacted daily by the continued existence of nuclear weapons.

By Susi Snyder

For many people, the only time nuclear weapons were ever used was at the end of the second world war. By the United States on the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Those were the only uses of the weapons in war, but they were certainly not the only uses of the weapons.

The US has used nuclear weapons far more than any other country. They have used them during war in Japan. The US also used them on the people of the Pacific, and on its own population during the testing that took place at what is now known as the Nevada National Security Site. The US conducted over 1000 nuclear weapons tests, and continue to do a modified form of testing without causing nuclear chain reactions- subcritical tests.

The Russians left their nuclear testing legacy at Novya Zemla, but also on what is now the independent state of Kazakhstan conducting over 700 tests of their own. France never tested on its own territory, instead bombing those in the Pacific and in North Africa.

The French, for some reason, felt it necessary to do over 200 tests. They were the last of the recognised nuclear armed countries to test, and I remember the boycotts of French wines and cheeses to try to get them to stop.

The UK and China only did about 45 tests each, while India and Pakistan have both done 6. North Korea has had three now, and some suspect that South Africa and Israel did a joint test together in the Indian Ocean sometime in the early sixties.

Of course, South Africa has completely disarmed, and Israel neither confirms nor denies that they have nuclear weapons at all.

We have an international Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT). Although, that US scallywag has not ratified it, and it has not yet entered into force. Admittedly the US is not the only holdout, there are seven others. Even though the CTBT is not yet international law, it has changed how the world looks at nuclear tests.

Once upon a time, back in the 1950s, nuclear testing was a point of pride. In Las Vegas, showgirls would sport atomic hairdos, and families would have early morning picnics to watch the bombs go off. Times have changed. Now, any test triggers action by the UN Security Council. Any test is immediately condemned by the international community. Any test is seen as a threat to the peace, a threat to the world.

The situation has changed. The horrifying impact of nuclear testing on innocent populations demonstrated that they are simply unacceptable. The use of nuclear weapons- whether for testing or in war, is unacceptable. Those who maintain, modernize, and keep nuclear weapons, despite all their arguments, do it because they know that one day they might want to use them. That is unacceptable.

Today is the International day against nuclear tests. Today is a great day to remember that even without universal implementation of a treaty, it changes our perceptions. Today is a great day to think about the power of a nuclear ban treaty to change our perceptions about those who would keep these weapons. Today is a great day to start banning the bomb.

You can also read this blog on the No Nukes website

Dit bericht werd geplaatst in Blogs in English, Nucleaire Ontwapening. Bookmark de permalink .

Een reactie op International day against nuclear tests

  1. Hey you?! Yes you human. WAKE UP!
    It is time for humanity to wake up and raise our voice against any form of using nuclear weapons and even doing nuclear test. Wake up or we will never wake up!

    The effects of using nuclear weapons is not only to wipe out the enemy, but many innocent civilians will be killed also.

    And maybe worse the effect of using nuclear weapons or doing test is a form of irresponsible intervene in the structure of nature. This means only one thing we are destroying our natural environment. From the beginning of the creation, nature was formed to make Live possible, as we know now. As human we are one of uncountable forms (species) of life on earth. We have to take care of nature instead of intervene in her stucture. By destroying her structure we are destroying ourselves, and all other life forms on earth.

    Wake up! Or on an evening when we go to sleep, we will not see the sunrise …..
    Wake up NOW! Or we will never wake up!

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