পৃষ্ঠাসমূহ

শুক্রবার, ৪ অক্টোবর, ২০১৩

Study analysis of impact on the global nuclear weapons.


Study analysis of impact on the global nuclear weapons.



Two years after the Fukushima disaster started unfolding on 11 March 2011, its impact on the global nuclear industry has become increasingly visible. Global electricity generation from nuclear plants dropped by a historic 7 percent in 2012, adding to the record drop of 4 percent in 2011. This World Nuclear Industry Status Report 2013 (WNISR) provides a global overview of the history, the current status and the trends of nuclear power programs worldwide.


Two years after the Fukushima disaster started unfolding on 11 March 2011, its impact on the global nuclear industry has become increasingly visible. Global electricity generation from nuclear plants dropped by a historic 7 percent in 2012, adding to the record drop of 4 percent in 2011. This World Nuclear Industry Status Report 2013 (WNISR) provides a global overview of the history, the current status and the trends of nuclear power programs worldwide.
This report looks at nuclear reactor units in operation and under construction. Annex 1 provides 40 pages of detailed country-by-country information. A specific chapter assesses the situation in potential newcomer countries. For the second time, the report looks at the credit-rating performance of some of the major nuclear companies and utilities. A more detailed chapter on the development patterns of renewable energies versus nuclear power is also included. Annex 6 provides an overview table with key data on the world nuclear industry by country.
The 2013 edition of the World Nuclear Industry Status Report also includes an update on nuclear economics as well as an overview of the status, on-site and off-site, of the challenges triggered by the Fukushima disaster. However, this report’s emphasis on recent post-Fukushima developments should not obscure an important fact: as previous editions (see www.WorldNuclearReport.org) detail, the world nuclear industry already faced daunting challenges long before Fukushima, just as the U.S. nuclear power industry had largely collapsed before the 1979 Three Mile Island accident. The nuclear promoters’ invention that a global nuclear renaissance was flourishing until 3/11 is equally false: Fukushima only added to already grave problems, starting with poor economics.
The performance of the nuclear industry over the year from July 2012 to July 2013 can be summed up as follows:

Construction. Fourteen countries currently are currently building nuclear power plants, one more than a year ago as the United Arab Emirates (UAE) started construction at Barrakah. The UAE is the first new country in 27 years to have started building a commercial nuclear power plant.
As of July 2013, 66 reactors are under construction (7 more than in July 2012) with a total capacity of 63 GW. The average construction time of the units under construction, as of the end of 2012, is 8 years. However:
• Nine reactors have been listed as “under construction” for more than 20 years and four additional reactors have been listed for 10 years or more.
• Forty-five projects do not have an official planned start-up date on the International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA) database.
• At least 23 have encountered construction delays, most of them multi-year. For the remaining 43 reactor units, either construction began within the past five years or they have not yet reached projected start-up dates, making it difficult or impossible to assess whether they are on schedule or not.
• Two-thirds (44) of the units under construction are located in three countries: China, India and Russia.
The average construction time of the 34 units that started up in the world between 2003 and July 2013 was 9.4 years.
Construction & New Build Issues
• Construction Cancellation. In Russia, one reactor, which had just started construction in 2012 (Baltic-1), was abandoned in May 2013.
• Construction Starts. In 2012, construction began on six reactors and on three so far in 2013, including on two units in the U.S. for the first time in three and a half decades. Those two units have been offered over $8 billion in federal loan guarantees and other subsidies whose total rivals their construction cost, and special laws have transferred financial risks to the taxpayers and customers.
• Certification Delays. The certification of new reactor designs has continued to be delayed, in the U.S. certification of the Franco-German-designed EPR was pushed back again, this time to 2015. Only the Westinghouse AP1000 has received full generic design approval in the U.S.
• Construction Start Delays. In various countries firmly planned construction starts were delayed, most notably in China, where for almost two years, between December 2010 and November 2012, not a single new reactor building site was opened. Furthermore, in the first half of 2013 it did not start any further constructions.
Source: 2013 World Nuclear Industry Status Report

Background:

The United States developed the first atomic weapons during World War II in co-operation with the United Kingdom and Canada as part of the Manhattan Project, out of the fear that Nazi Germany would develop them first. It tested the first nuclear weapon in 1945 ("Trinity"), and remains the only country to have used nuclear weapons against another nation, during theatomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. It was the first nation to develop the hydrogen bomb, testing an experimental prototype in 1952 ("Ivy Mike") and a deployable weapon in 1954 ("Castle Bravo"). Throughout the Cold War it continued to modernize and enlarge its nuclear arsenal, but from 1992 on has been involved primarily in a program of Stockpile stewardship.[8][9][10] The U.S. nuclear arsenal contained 31,175 warheads at its Cold War height (in 1966).[11] During the Cold War the United States built approximately 70,000 nuclear warheads, more than all other nuclear-weapon states combined.
·         Soviet Union / Russian Federation

The Soviet Union tested its first nuclear weapon ("RDS-1") in 1949, in a crash project developed partially with espionage obtained during and after World War II (see:Soviet atomic bomb project). The Soviet Union was the second nation to have developed and tested a nuclear weapon. The direct motivation for their weapons development was to achieve a balance of power during the Cold War. It tested its first megaton-range hydrogen bomb ("RDS-37") in 1955. The Soviet Union also tested the most powerful explosive ever detonated by humans, ("Tsar Bomba"), with a theoretical yield of 100 megatons, intentionally reduced to 50 when detonated. After its dissolution in 1991, the Soviet weapons entered officially into the possession of the Russian Federation.[14] The Soviet nuclear arsenal contained some 45,000 warheads at its peak (in 1986); the Soviet Union built about 55,000 nuclear warheads since 1949.[13]
·        United Kingdom

The United Kingdom tested its first nuclear weapon ("Hurricane") in 1952. Britain had provided considerable impetus and initial research for the early conception of the atomic bomb, aided by the presence of refugee scientists working in British laboratories who had fled the continent. It collaborated closely with the United States and Canada during the Manhattan Project, but had to develop its own method for manufacturing and detonating a bomb as U.S. secrecy grew after 1945. The United Kingdom was the third country in the world after the United States and Soviet Union to develop and test a nuclear weapon. Its programme was motivated to have an independent deterrent against the Soviet Union, while also maintaining its status as a great power. It tested its first hydrogen bomb in 1957 (Operation Grapple), making it the third country to do so after the United States and Soviet Union.[15][16] The UK maintained a fleet of V bomber strategic bombers and ballistic missile submarines (SSBNs) equipped with nuclear weapons during the Cold War. It currently maintains a fleet of four 'Vanguard' class ballistic missile submarines equipped with Trident II missiles. The British government announced a replacement to the current system to take place between 2007-2024.
·         France

France tested its first nuclear weapon in 1960 ("Gerboise Bleue"), based mostly on its own research. It was motivated by the Suez Crisis diplomatic tension vis-à-vis both the Soviet Union and the Free World allies United States and United Kingdom. It was also relevant to retain great power status, alongside the United Kingdom, during the post-colonial Cold War (see: Force de frappe). France tested its first hydrogen bomb in 1968 ("Opération Canopus"). After the Cold War, France has disarmed 175 warheads with the reduction and modernization of its arsenal that has now evolved to a dual system based on submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs) and medium-range air-to-surface missiles (Rafale fighter-bombers). However new nuclear weapons are in development and reformed nuclear squadrons were trained during Enduring Freedom operations in Afghanistan. In January 2006, President Jacques Chirac stated a terrorist act or the use ofweapons of mass destruction against France would result in a nuclear counterattack.[17] France signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty in 1992.[18]
·         China

China tested its first nuclear weapon device ("596") in 1964 at the Lop Nur test site. The weapon was developed as a deterrent against both the United States and the Soviet Union. Two years later, China had a fission bomb capable of being put onto a nuclear missile. It tested its first hydrogen bomb ("Test No. 6") in 1967, a mere 32 months after testing its first nuclear weapon (the shortest fission-to-fusion development known in history).[19] The country is currently thought to have had a stockpile of around 240 warheads, though because of the limited information available, estimates range from 100 to 400.[20][21][22] China is the only NPT nuclear-weapon state to give an unqualified negative security assurance due to its "no first use" policy.[23][24] China signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty in 1992.[18]
Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty in 1992.[18]

Other states declaring possession of nuclear weapons

·         India

India is not a party to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. India tested what it called a "peaceful nuclear explosive" in 1974 (which became known as "Smiling Buddha"). The test was the first test developed after the creation of the NPT, and created new questions about how civilian nuclear technology could be diverted secretly to weapons purposes (dual-use technology). India's secret development caused great concern and anger particularly from nations, such as Canada, that had supplied its nuclear reactors for peaceful and power generating needs. It appears to have been primarily motivated as a general deterrent, as well as an attempt to project India as a regional power.
Indian officials rejected the NPT in the 1960s on the grounds that it created a world of nuclear "haves" and "have-nots," arguing that it unnecessarily restricted peaceful activity (including peaceful nuclear explosives), and that India would not accede to international control of their nuclear facilities unless all other countries engaged in unilateral disarmament of their own nuclear weapons. The Indian position has also asserted that the NPT is in many ways a neo-colonial regime designed to deny security to post-colonial powers.[25] Even after its 1974 test, India maintained that its nuclear capability was primarily "peaceful", but between 1988 and 1990 it apparently weaponized two dozen nuclear weapons for delivery by air.[26] In 1998 India tested weaponized nuclear warheads ("Operation Shakti"), including a thermonuclear device.[27]
In July 2005, U.S. President George W. Bush and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singhannounced plans to conclude an Indo-US civilian nuclear agreement.[28] This came to fruition through a series of steps that included India’s announced plan to separate its civil and military nuclear programs in March 2006,[29] the passage of the United States-India Peaceful Atomic Energy Cooperation Act by the U.S. Congress in December 2006, the conclusion of a U.S.-India nuclear cooperation agreement in July 2007,[30] approval by the IAEA of an India-specific safeguards agreement,[31] agreement by the Nuclear Suppliers Group to a waiver of export restrictions for India,[32] approval by the U.S. Congress[33] and culminating in the signature of U.S.-India agreement for civil nuclear cooperation[34] in October 2008. The U.S. State Department said it made it "very clear that we will not recognize India as a nuclear-weapon state".[35] The United States is bound by the Hyde Act with India and may cease all cooperation with India if India detonates a nuclear explosive device. The US had further said it is not its intention to assist India in the design, construction or operation of sensitive nuclear technologies through the transfer of dual-use items.[36] In establishing an exemption for India, the Nuclear Suppliers Group reserved the right to consult on any future issues which might trouble it.[37] As of early 2013, India was estimated to have had a stockpile of around 90–110 warheads.[3]
·         Pakistan

Pakistan also is not a party to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. Pakistan covertly developed nuclear weapons over decades, beginning in the late 1970s. Pakistan first delved into nuclear power after the establishment of its first nuclear power plant near Karachi with equipment and materials supplied mainly by western nations in the early 1970s. Pakistani Prime Minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto promised in 1965 that if India can build nuclear weapons then Pakistan would too, "even if we have to eat grass." The United States continued to certify that Pakistan did not possess nuclear weapons until 1990, when sanctions were imposed under the Pressler Amendment, requiring a cutoff of U.S. economic and military assistance to Pakistan.[38] It is believed that Pakistan has possessed nuclear weapons since the mid-1980s.[39] In 1998, Pakistan conducted its first six nuclear tests at the Chagai Hills, in response to the five tests conducted by India a few weeks before.

In 2004, the Pakistani metallurgist A.Q. Khan, a key figure in Pakistan's nuclear weapons program, confessed to heading an international black market ring involved in selling nuclear weapons technology. In particular, Khan had been selling gas centrifuge technology to North Korea, Iran, and Libya. Khan denied complicity by the Pakistani government or Army, but this has been called into question by journalists and IAEA officials, and was later contradicted by statements from Khan himself.[40] As of early 2013, Pakistan was estimated to have had a stockpile of around 100–120 warheads.[3]
·         North Korea
North Korea was a party to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, but announced a withdrawal on January 10, 2003, after the United States accused it of having a secret uranium enrichmentprogram and cut off energy assistance under the 1994 Agreed Framework. In February 2005 the North Koreans claimed to possess functional nuclear weapons, though their lack of a test at the time led many experts to doubt the claim. However, in October 2006, North Korea stated that due to growing intimidation by the USA, it would conduct a nuclear test to confirm its nuclear status. North Korea reported a successful nuclear test on October 9, 2006 (see 2006 North Korean nuclear test). Most U.S. intelligence officials believe that North Korea did, in fact, test a nuclear device due to radioactive isotopes detected by U.S. aircraft; however, most agree that the test was probably only partially successful.[41] The yield may have been less than a kiloton, which is much smaller than the first successful tests of other powers; boosted fission weapons may have an unboosted yield in this range, which is sufficient to start deuterium-tritium fusion in the boost gas at the center; the fast neutrons from fusion then ensure a full fission yield. North Korea conducted a second, higher yield test on 25 May 2009 (see 2009 North Korean nuclear test) and a third test with still higher yield on 12 February 2013 (see 2013 North Korean nuclear test).

Other states believed to possess nuclear weapons

Israel
Israel is widely believed to be the sixth country in the world to develop nuclear weapons, having assembled crude, but likely operational, nuclear weapons in 1967.[42] Israel is not a party to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. Israel engages in strategic ambiguity, saying it would not be the first country to "introduce" nuclear weapons into the region, but refusing to otherwise confirm or deny a nuclear weapons program or arsenal. This policy of "nuclear opacity" has been interpreted as an attempt to get the benefits of deterrence with a minimum political cost.[42][43] In 1968, the Israeli Ambassador to the United States, Yitzhak Rabin, affirmed to the United States State Department that Israel would "not be the first to introduce nuclear weapons into the Middle East." Upon further questioning about what "introduce" meant in this context, however, he said that "he would not consider a weapon that had not been tested a weapon," and affirmed that he did not believe that "an unadvertised, untested nuclear device" was really "a nuclear weapon." He also agreed, however, that an "advertised but untested" device would be considered "introduction." This has been interpreted to mean that official Israeli policy was that the country could possess a nuclear weapon without technically "introducing" it, so long as it did not test it, and as long as it was "unadvertised".[44][45]
There is extensive evidence Israel has nuclear weapons or a near-ready nuclear weapons capability. There is also speculation that Israel may have tested a nuclear weapon along with South Africa in 1979, but this has never been confirmed, and interpretation of the Vela Incident is controversial. The stated purpose of the Negev Nuclear Research Center near Dimona is to advance basic nuclear science and applied research on nuclear energy.[46]

In 1986, a former Dimona technician, Mordechai Vanunu, disclosed extensive information about the nuclear program to the British press, including photographs of the secret areas of the nuclear site, some of which depicted nuclear weapons cores and designs. Vanunu gave detailed descriptions of lithium-6 separation required for the production of tritium, an essential ingredient offusion-boosted fission bombs, as well as information about the rate of plutonium production. Vanunu's evidence was vetted by experienced technical experts before publication, and is considered to be among the strongest evidence for the advanced state of the Israeli nuclear weapons program.[43][47] According to the Natural Resources Defense Council and the Federation of American Scientists, Israel likely possesses around 75–200 nuclear weapons.[7][48] In May 2008, former US President Jimmy Carter stated that "Israel has 150 or more [nuclear weapons].

Nuclear weapons sharing


· Belgium, Germany, Italy,Netherlands, Turkey
Under NATO nuclear weapons sharing, the United States has provided nuclear weapons for Belgium,[51] Germany,[51]Italy, the Netherlands,[51] and Turkey[51] to deploy and store.[52] This involves pilots and other staff of the "non-nuclear" NATO states practicing, handling, and delivering the U.S. nuclear bombs, and adapting non-U.S. warplanes to deliver U.S. nuclear bombs. U.S. nuclear weapons were also deployed in Canada until 1984, and in Greece until 2001 for nuclear sharing purposes.[


Members of the Non-Aligned Movement have called on all countries to "refrain from nuclear sharing for military purposes under any kind of security arrangements."[54] The Institute of Strategic Studies Islamabad (ISSI) has criticized the arrangement for allegedly violating Articles I and II of the NPT, arguing that "these Articles do not permit the NWS to delegate the control of their nuclear weapons directly or indirectly to others."[55] NATO has argued that the weapons' sharing is compliant with the NPT because "the U.S. nuclear weapons based in Europe are in the sole possession and under constant and complete custody and control of the United States."[56]

States formerly possessing nuclear weapons

Nuclear weapons have been present in many nations, often as staging grounds under control of other powers. However, in only one instance has a nation given up nuclear weapons after being in control of them; in most cases this has been because of special political circumstances. The fall of the Soviet Union, for example, left several former Soviet republics in possession of nuclear weapons. Spare bomb casings from South Africa's nuclear weapon program
South Africa
South Africa produced six nuclear weapons in the 1980s, but disassembled them in the early 1990s. In 1979, there was a putative detection of a clandestine nuclear test in the Indian Ocean, and it has long been speculated that it was possibly a test by South Africa, perhaps in collaboration with Israel, though this has never been confirmed (see Vela Incident). South Africa signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty in 1991.[57]
Belarus had 81 single warhead missiles stationed on its territory after the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991. They were all transferred to Russia by 1996. In May 1992, Belarus acceded to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.[58]
Kazakhstan inherited 1,400 nuclear weapons from the Soviet Union, and transferred them all to Russia by 1995. Kazakhstan has since acceded to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.[59]
Ukraine has acceded to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. Ukraine inherited about 5,000 nuclear weapons when it became independent from the Soviet Union in 1991, making its nuclear arsenal the third-largest in the world.[60] By 1996, Ukraine had voluntarily disposed of all nuclear weapons within its territory, transferring them to Russia.[61]

All numbers are estimates from the Federation of American Scientists, unless other references are given. The latest update was in December 2012. If differences between active and total stockpile are known, they are given as two figures separated by a forward slash. If specifics are not available (n.a.), only one figure is given. Stockpile number may not contain all intact warheads if a substantial amount of warheads are scheduled for but have not yet gone through dismantlement; not all "active" warheads are deployed at any given time. When a range of weapons is given (e.g., 0–10), it generally indicates that the estimate is being made on the amount of fissile material that has likely been produced, and the amount of fissile material needed per warhead depends on estimates of a country's proficiency at nuclear weapon design.

Table of Global Nuclear Weapons Stockpiles, 1945-2002

End Year
US
SU
UK
FR
CH
Total
1945
6
--
--
--
--
6
1946
11
--
--
--
--
11
1947
32
--
--
--
--
32
1948
110
--
--
--
--
110
1949
235
1
--
--
--
236
1950
369
5
--
--
--
374
1951
640
25
--
--
--
665
1952
1,005
50
--
--
--
1,055
1953
1,436
120
1
--
--
1,557
1954
2,063
150
5
--
--
2,218
1955
3,057
200
10
--
--
3,267
1956
4,618
426
15
--
--
5,059
1957
6,444
660
20
--
--
7,124
1958
9,822
869
22
--
--
10,713
1959
15,468
1,060
25
--
--
16,553
1960
20,434
1,605
30
--
--
22,069
1961
24,111
2,471
50
--
--
26,632
1962
27,297
3,322
205
--
--
30,823
1963
29,249
4,238
280
--
--
33,767
1964
30,751
5,221
310
4
1
36,287
1965
31,642
6,129
310
32
5
38,118
1966
31,700
7,089
270
36
20
39,105
1967
30,893
8,339
270
36
25
39,563
1968
28,884
9,399
280
36
35
38,633
1969
26,910
10,538
308
36
50
37,841
1970
26,119
11,643
280
36
75
38,153
1971
26,365
13,092
220
45
100
39,822
1972
27,296
14,478
220
70
130
42,193
1973
28,335
15,915
275
116
150
44,791
1974
28,170
17,385
325
145
170
46,195
1975
27,052
19,055
350
188
185
46,830
1976
25,956
21,205
350
212
190
47,913
1977
25,099
23,044
350
228
200
48,920
1978
24,243
25,393
350
235
220
50,441
1979
24,107
27,935
350
235
235
52,862
1980
23,764
30,062
350
250
280
54,706
1981
23,031
32,049
350
275
330
56,035
1982
22,937
33,952
335
275
360
57,859
1983
23,154
35,804
320
280
380
59,938
1984
23,228
37,431
270
280
415
61,623
1985
23,135
39,197
300
360
425
63,416
1986
23,254
40,723
300
355
425
65,056
1987
23,490
38,859
300
420
415
63,484
1988
23,077
37,333
300
410
430
61,549
1989
22,174
35,805
300
410
435
59,124
1990
21,211
33,417
300
505
430
55,863
1991
18,306
28,595
300
540
435
48,176
1992
13,731
25,155
300
540
435
40,161
1993
11,536
21,101
300
525
435
33,897
1994
11,012
18,399
250
510
450
30,621
1995
10,953
14,978
300
500
400
27,131
1996
10,886
12,085
300
450
400
24,121
1997
10,829
11,264
260
450
400
23,203
1998
10,763
10,764
260
450
400
22,637
1999
10,698
10,451
185
450
400
22,184
2000
10,615
10,201
185
450
400
21,851
2001
10,491
9,126
200
350
400
20,567
2002
10,640
8,600
200
350
400
20,190
US = United States, SU = Soviet Union/Russia, UK = United Kingdom, FR = France and CH = China

US warhead estimates exclude a small number of warheads awaiting dismantlement and are accurate to within a few hundred warheads.
..........................................................................................................................................
SU/Russian warhead estimates exclude warheads awaiting dismantlement or in reserve status. The total number of intact warheads is estimated to be 18,000.
UK and French stockpile estimates are believed to be accurate to within a few tens of warheads.
Chinese warhead estimates are probably not accurate to better than 50 percent, due to the uncertainty in the number of tactical warheads.
In addition to the above, Israel, India and Pakistan have nuclear arsenals, and South Africa produced six gun-assembly type weapons in the 1980s, but dismantled them in the early-1990s. Estimates of the composition and evolution of the arsenals of Israel, India and Pakistan are extremely difficult to make. Israel may have a stockpile of some 100-200 nuclear weapons, India 30-35, and Pakistan between 24 and 48 nuclear weapons.
last revised 11.25.02





PARIS – Last June, Yukiya Amano, the director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), declared that “nuclear power will make a significant and growing contribution to sustainable development in the coming decades.” But, as this year’s World Nuclear Industry Status Report highlights, recent trends paint a very different picture.
Duke Energy, America’s largest utility, has shelved plans to build two reactors in Florida, after having spent $1 billion on the project. The decision came only three months after the company abandoned investment in two new units in North Carolina.

In fact, this year, four American utilities have decided to shut down a total of five reactors permanently – the first closures in the United States in 15 years. One of the units – Kewaunee Power Station in Wisconsin – was abandoned after massive investment in upgrades and a 60-year license renewal; it simply could not generate power at competitive prices. For the same reasons, Vermont Yankee, another plant with a license to operate through 2032, is now scheduled to close in 2014.

Similarly, the world’s largest nuclear operator – the French state-controlled utility Électricité de France – announced its impending withdrawal from nuclear power in the US, after having sunk roughly $2 billion into aborted projects. And, in order to help offset soaring operating costs, which resulted in losses of €1.5 billion ($2 billion) last year, EDF will raise electricity prices this year for its French customers by 5%, on average, and by another 5% next year.
Over the five years ending in March 2013, EDF lost 85% of its share value. Likewise, the world’s largest nuclear builder – the French state-controlled company AREVA – lost up to 88% of its share value between 2008 and 2012. Not surprisingly, investors have welcomed new strategic plans by both companies, as well as EDF’s withdrawal from the US market; the downward pressure on their share prices has eased, though for how long remains to be seen.
The nuclear-energy industry’s decline began decades ago. But, since the March 2011 triple-meltdown at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi plant, the pace of the decline has accelerated significantly. Indeed, in 2012, annual nuclear generation worldwide dropped by an unprecedented 7%, exceeding the previous year’s record-breaking drop of 4% and bringing total annual nuclear-power generation to 12% below its historic maximum, achieved in 2006.
Although Japan accounts for three-quarters of this decline, with only two of the 50 units that are officially in operation in Japan actually producing power, 16 other countries, including the world’s top five nuclear generators, also decreased their output. As a result, nuclear power’s share of global electricity generation dropped to around 10% in 2012, compared to its 1993 peak of 17%. Only the Czech Republic reached its historic maximum nuclear share last year.

Moreover, of the 66 reactors under construction worldwide, two-thirds are located in just three countries – China, India, and Russia – with China alone accounting for 28. Nine of the 66 have been listed as “under construction” for more than two decades. (The Watts Bar 2 reactor in Tennessee holds the record, having been under construction for 41 years.) An additional four projects have been underway for more than ten years.
In total, at least 23 of the 66 units currently under construction have encountered delays, many of which have lasted for several years. Whether the other projects, all of which have been initiated in the past five years, are on schedule remains to be seen. As a result of such delays, only three new units began operating last year – half the number of reactors that were shut down. The average age of the world’s reactor fleet now stands at 28 years, and continues to increase steadily.

By contrast, new renewable technologies are gaining traction, illustrating a fundamental shift in international energy policy and investment strategies. Last year, China, Germany, Japan, and India generated more power from renewables than from nuclear for the first time. In China and India, wind alone outpaced nuclear.
Since 2000, global onshore wind-power generation has averaged 27% annual growth, while the growth rate for solar photovoltaics has been a staggering 42%. Last year, an additional 45 GW of wind and 32 GW of solar were installed worldwide, compared to a net addition of 1.2 GW of nuclear.

The shift to renewables has been particularly pronounced in the world’s major advanced economies. For example, Germany’s ongoing nuclear phase-out has been complemented by accelerated renewables implementation, with up to 3,000 MW of solar photovoltaic capacity connected to Germany’s power grid in a single month. As a result, the price per installed solar kilowatt has dropped by three-quarters over the last seven years.

Even in the US, where cheap shale gas is reshaping the energy industry, more wind power was connected to the grid last year than gas, and, in the first three months of this year, more than 80% of new capacity was renewable.

Over the past decade, the nuclear industry has attempted to capture global leaders’ attention with a promotional campaign centered around the notion of a “nuclear renaissance.” But their promises – including investment costs of $1,000 per installed kilowatt and building times of four years – have proved to be false.

Indeed, since the industry launched its public-relations campaign in the early 2000’s, cost estimates have increased roughly sevenfold, and profits have declined. The 34 reactors that started up over the last decade had a mean construction time of nearly ten years, but contributed just 26 GW – one-third of what solar and wind added in one year.

The IAEA’s optimistic rhetoric cannot obscure fundamental arithmetic: skyrocketing maintenance expenses and, in many cases, post-Fukushima upgrade costs, together with the impossibility of building competitive new capacity without massive government subsidies, are devastating the nuclear industry. As the economist Mark Cooper has put it, nuclear power is actually undergoing a “renaissance in reverse.”
See also:
The Daily Star (Lebanon): Nuclear power is actually undergoing a renaissance in reverse
16 September 2013
Power Engineering (US): Nuclear Power Declines As Wind and Solar Soar
10 September 2013
Maareg (UK/Somalia): Nuclear Power’s Renaissance in Reverse
9 September 2013
Project Syndicate (Czech Republic/US): Marcha atrás del renacimiento de la energía nuclear
5 September 2013

................................................................................................................................................................................................

Country
Warheads active/total
Date of first test
CTBTstatus[
The five nuclear-weapon states under the NPT
2,150 / 7,700[3]
16 July 1945 ("Trinity")
Signatory
1,800 / 8,500[3]
29 August 1949 ("RDS-1")
Ratifier
160 / 225[3]
3 October 1952 ("Hurricane")
Ratifier
290 / 300[3]
13 February 1960 ("Gerboise Bleue")
Ratifier
n.a. / 250[3]
16 October 1964 ("596")
Signatory
Non-NPT nuclear powers
n.a. / 90–110[3]
18 May 1974 ("Smiling Buddha")
Non-signatory
n.a. / 100–120[3]
28 May 1998 ("Chagai-I")
Non-signatory
n.a. / <10[3]
Non-signatory
Undeclared nuclear powers
n.a. / 60-200[3][7]
Signa

The Effects of nuclear weapon


"It was a blinding flash, everything around me turned sheer-white. The ring of light, like a halo around the moon shone and spread like a rainbow. The next moment, a big column of flame reached up to the sky and detonated like a volcanic explosion in the air. It was a sight no words can describe." 
(Quote from a survivor of the Hiroshima bomb.)
 

A nuclear weapon is not just a big bomb. It does not have the same make up as a terrorist bomb or heavy artillery fire seen on the news from any global conflict. It's very difficult to write, let alone read, what these weapons can do to people. But it's vital that we understand the differences.
 
With a conventional weapon, most of the damage is done by the sheer force of the explosion. In contrast, much of the power of nuclear weapons comes from thermal (heat) and ionising (nuclear) radiation, caused by the splitting or joining together of atoms. The effects of a nuclear weapon increase in relation to its explosive power. Also, a blast some distance above the earth would create different effects than one exploded at (or below) ground level.
 
To take one example, if a 20 kiloton nuclear bomb (about twice as powerful as the bomb dropped on Hiroshima) was exploded on a city, the heat and blast generated would vaporise all people and buildings in the immediate area, and make a crater that might be as much as 100 metres in diameter. The wind created by the blast could be several hundred km/hr. The destruction of buildings would increase death and injury due to flying glass and other debris.
The release of ionising radiation is a phenomenon unique to nuclear explosions and causes additional casualties alongside those caused by blast and thermal effects. There would be a number of deaths from radiation sickness, for which there is really no effective medical treatment.
Large amounts of earth, water and other debris in the area surrounding the explosion would be sucked up to form a "mushroom cloud" of radioactive debris. When this material returned to earth, as fallout, the effects could be spread even further, and might make the city (and an area of countryside stretching tens of kilometres downwind) uninhabitable for many weeks or even years.

Health effects

"In the dim light of a hospital room, seven years old Jimmy was remembering the day on which he was told he had leukaemia. He remembered his mother's tears, his father's bewildered anger, the alien feeling of the hospital's environment. His mind replayed the nausea and the diarrhoea caused by radiation therapy and chemotherapy, his hair falling out and kids laughing at him... Jimmy died gently, utterly exhausted having lost so much blood. His tissue had broken down completely, and he was bleeding from every body opening . His bed looked like a battlefield."
"On August 9, 1945, when the atomic bomb was dropped over the city of Nagasaki, Kasuko Yamashina was working at a distance of two kilometers from ground zero. He tried to get home after the dropping of the bomb, but the fire was too fierce for him to approach the district, so that night he had to sleep under a bridge alone. His house was located at a place situated about 350 metres from ground zero. As soon as the fire went down, he reached the house finding out that his parents were burned by the heat of 4,000 degrees and lay scorched black and carbonised. He couldn't find his brother and his sister, and all that he could see were burned bricks and dead bodies. 
On the August 15, the war was over, but by that day Kasuko body had changed. He had black bleeding from the gums, and he wasn't able to walk becouse of fierce shivers caused by high fever.
 
Under that condition he left Nagasaki to enter a hospital in his home town.
 
On 19th September, the headquarters of General Mac Arthur set up a press code, ordering him and the other victims never to speak about the atomic bombs.
 
They announced that all the persons who should die of radiation efects, would die by December 1945. Those who would live at that time, would have been spared by radiation.The situation of radiation injuries was unknown at that time, even in Japan. Only in 1957, the Supporting Law of Atomic Victims was passed, and Kasuko was legally admitted as a Hibakusha, but he had to conceal his being in order to survive.
 
In 1963 he had a high fever, his body changed stiff and black. It took him three years to get back his original skin colour, and, during the nights, Kasuko was extremely scared, he heard the voices of the dead..."
 
Jimmy and Kasuko's stories are two of the hundreds of thousands similar stories related to the nuclear age.
 
Radiation released from each step in the nuclear weapons production cycle cause cancer, congenital defects, mental retardation, immune destruction, cancer, stillbirths and other health problems. 
Similar syndromes have been observed among the workers exposed to radiation in nuclear power plants in Japan, or in down-winders living in the irradiated zones near Hanford, and in the Chernobyl children, as well as the areas close to the nuclear test sites.
In 1984 the United Nations Human Rights Committe noted that "it's evident that the designing, testing, manifacture, possession and deployment of nuclear weapons are among the greatest threats to the right to life which confront mankind today" and concluded that "the production, testing, possession, deployment and use of nuclear weapon shold be prohibited and recognized as crimes against humanity." 
In human terms the cost has been astronomical. Rosalie Bertel has estimated that "the global victims of the radiation pollution related to nuclear weapon production, testing, use and waste conservatively number 13 million."

Environmental effects

The production of nuclear weapons has polluted vast amounts of soil and water at hundreds of nuclear weapons facilities all over the world. Many of the substances released, including plutonium, uranium, strontium, cesium, benzene, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), mercury and cyanide, are carcinogenic and/or mutagenic and remain hazardous for thousands, some for hundreds of thousands, of years. Contaminants from nuclear weapons production and testing have often travelled far down wind and down stream. Production facilities for nuclear weapons are heavily polluted, for example in the United States there are over 4500 contaminated Department of Energy sites.
The manufacture and testing of weapons involves the leakage of nuclear material. Of all the activities concerning nuclear weapons, testing has been the most destructive of the environment. Even placing tests underground does not avoid atmospheric pollution. Radioactivity released from atmospheric nuclear testing - including plutonium, strontium, cesium, carbon-14, and radioactive iodine - has been widely dispersed throughout the world. Underground tests have contaminated soil and groundwater. Many square miles in Russia, Belarus and the US have been rendered unusable by contamination of the soil. Also the Irish sea and the Arctic Ocean have been poisoned.
In Russia nuclear submarines, some still armed with nuclear warheads, are rusting away in the fjords of Murmansk. Elsewhere, rivers have been polluted and open reservoirs and lakes have been used to hold large quantities of liquid radioactive materials. In 1957, a waste storage tank at the Chelyabinsk nuclear weapons site in Russia exploded and a radioactive cloud dispersed over more than 200 square kilometres of an agricultural region containing numerous rivers and lakes. Nearly all the trees within the most radioactive zone were damaged or killed. Radioactive waste has been routinely dumped into Lake Karachay, recognized as the world's most radioactive body of water, also at Chelyabinsk.
The environmental damage resulting from nuclear technology is not limited to the two largest nuclear weapons states, the United states and Russia. All nuclear weapons and nuclear energy producing nations have caused some level of environmental contamination, both in their own countries and abroad - such as, nuclear testing in the South Pacific, Nevada, Kazakhstan, China, India and Pakistan; water and airborne discharges from reprocessing plants in the UK and France; and uranium mining in Namibia, Canada, former East Germany and Australia.
Moreover, the ongoing production of both nuclear weapons and nuclear power continues to create nuclear waste. The mining of uranium causes radioactive pollution of the atmosphere and also otherwise damages the environment. Further pollution occurs during the transport and processing of the uranium. Production of nuclear weapons involves the generation of large quantities of waste material and contamination of surrounding areas. Clean-up of contaminated sites, disposition of excess fissile material and dismantling of nuclear weapons also contaminates the environment. New technologies will need to be developed in order to retrieve radioactive materials which have been released into the environment either through accident or by design. Nuclear warfare would result in the wholesale destruction of the environment.
The burial of radioactive materials is presently being promoted as the solution to radioactive waste disposal. However, at present, there are no known disposal routes for long-lived radioactive materials. The burial of these materials must not be confused with their safe containment and isolation from the environment. Whether the storage containers, the store itself, or the surrounding rocks will offer enough protection to stop radioactivity from escaping in the long term is impossible to predict. One of the most likely mechanisms of pollution in connection with waste disposal in rock is the contamination of groundwater. Underground waters may come into contact with radioactive elements that have leached out from the waste and contaminate the drinking water of both local and distant communities.

Social effects

To understand the effects of a nuclear war it is important to distinguish it from conventional war or a natural disaster. In particular, all the factors that would make it possible to cope with a normal emergency situation would be lacking: limited damage, a relatively small number of casualties, surviving political or social leadership, a desire to perform common emergency work rather than look after ones own family, large reservoirs of external, easily mobilized skilled workers, material resources, and organizational skills. 
The massive and simultaneous destruction of economic and human resources would result in an inability to provide immediate and sufficient human and material aid to damaged areas. There will be no time to adapt and to innovate as nations did in World War II. More importantly, the lack of outside aid would create a sense of individual and common isolation. Aid symbolizes a reconnection with a larger, normal world. This connection helps provide the impetus for rebuilding the damaged society, creating a sense of vitality and ability to dispel the continuing perception of isolation. It also has an important function for binding together society, restating a common thread of hope and shared aspirations.
Economic destruction, loss of political leadership (especially at the local level), and the need to mobilize resources for relief and recovery would present extraordinary demands on weakened political institutions. In the interest of implementing survival programs, legal norms and practices would have to be suspended for prolonged periods in many areas. The character of political institutions and authority would almost certainly change, especially if hostilities or the threat of hostilities persisted. Both old and new political structures would be likely to suffer from greatly reduced credibility. Decentralization of political power and more authoritarian methods of political, social, and economic control would be probable responses to post-attack conditions.
However, even before any outbreak of nuclear war, the presence of nuclear weapons has an enormous potential to distort social and economic priorities. Each of the nuclear weapons states has spent billions of dollars on constructing, maintaining and protecting its nuclear weapons. It is not necessary to point out that this money could have been better spent on providing health care, education or other public services. 
The development of nuclear weapons also makes it necessary to create an unaccountable "nuclear elite", made up of scientists, military and civil servants, who work largely in secret to control the development, testing and deployment of nuclear weapons. This makes the presence of nuclear weapons incompatible with a democratic society.
 
It is possible to link an increased importance of the military, and a general increase in militarism, to a growth of xenophobia, racial and religious intolerance, as well as male chauvinism.

Psychological Effects

From a psychological point of view, limited nuclear war probably is the worst of all worlds. 
The imagery of nuclear war, the widespread casualties, and the intense fear of radioactivity would lead to the "nuclear war survivor syndrome". This powerful sense of personal vulnerability, helplessness, guilt, isolation and fear, was seen to varying degrees in the Hiroshima and Nagasaki survivors. The powerful psychological effects of the fear of radioactivity, and the "loss of trust" were described in studies of the nuclear accident at Three Mile Island. The spread of radioactive fallout would create the image of nuclear threat and vulnerability across wide areas.
The very short period required to carry out highly destructive nuclear attacks would intensify the emotional impact, particularly those reactions associated with denial of the true extent of the damage or fostering flight from damaged areas. 
Robert J. Lifton, in his study of Hiroshima survivors, described the psychological effect as "a sudden and absolute shift from normal existence to an overwhelming encounter with death." The reaction, as reported by a witness to the disaster, Father Siemes: "Among the passers-by, there are many who are uninjured. In a purposeless, insensate manner, distraught by the magnitude of the disaster, most of them rush by and none conceives the thought of organizing help on his own initiative. They are concerned only with the welfare of their own families." In some cases even families were abandoned. The result of this experience was a deep fear of returning to the cities to rebuild the any form of normal life that may be possible after a nuclear attack.
 
Families would be broken up by death, severe injury, disease, evacuation, or military and labour conscription. The young, elderly, and handicapped would suffer disproportionately since they depend most on society's material and institutional resources. For example, the young and elderly showed significant increases in accidental death attributed to neglect in Great Britain in World War II. The loss of material and institutional resources in urban-industrial attacks would make survival in the post-attack period difficult for individuals and groups alike, compounding the psychological stresses of the attack itself. Satisfying even the simplest survival requirements (food, shelter, and clothing) would become major tasks.
The entire post-war generation has lived under a cloud of fear - sometimes described as the 'shadow of the mushroom cloud', which pervades all thoughts about the human future. This fear, which has hung like a blanket of doom over the thoughts of children in particular, is an evil in itself and will last so long as nuclear weapons remain. The younger generation needs to grow up in a climate of hope, not one of despair that at some point in their life, there is a possibility of their life being snuffed out in an instant, or their health destroyed, along with all they cherish, in a war in which their country may not even take part.
A nuclear strategy requires a genocidal mentality. There are important parallels between nuclear strategies and the Nazi policies that led to the gas chambers. This 'genocidal mentality' consists of dissociative processes of the mind such as 'psychic numbing' and the 'language of non-feeling' and together with distancing, ideological ethics and a passion for problem-solving have the effects of allowing people to remain sane whilst carrying out insane policies. 
Governments also have to psychologically prepare their populations for the idea that such insane and evil strategies are rational and necessary. This requires demonising the enemy. During the Cold War for example, the Russians were demonised in order to try to make it acceptable that in some circumstances it would be justifiable to kill millions of them within minutes, in retaliation for something their government may or may not have done.

More Effects of Nuclear Weapons

·         What are blast effects?
·         What are thermal effects?
·         What are radiation effects?
The energy of a nuclear explosion is released in the form of a blast wave, thermal radiation (heat) and nuclear radiation. The distribution of energy in these three forms depends on the yield of the weapon. For nuclear weapons in the kiloton range, the energy is divided in various forms, roughly as 50% blast, 35% thermal and 15% nuclear radiation. Each one of these forms causes devastation on a scale that is unimaginable. Below these effects are discussed separately for a 15 kiloton bomb, which was the explosive power of the bomb detonated by the U.S. in Hiroshima during World War II. This is also the size of the weapons now possessed by India, Pakistan, North Korea and would likely be roughly the size weapon created by terrorists.


Effects of Nuclear Weapons Detonations


Because of the tremendous amount of energy released in a nuclear detonation, temperatures of tens of millions of degrees C develop in the immediate area of a nuclear detonation (contrast this with the few thousand degrees of a conventional explosion). This compares with the tempera­ture inside the core of the Sun. At these temperatures, every thing near ground-zero vaporizes (from a few hundred meters in 15 kiloton weapons to more than a kilometer in multimegaton weapons). The remaining gases of the weapon, surrounding air and other material form a fireball.
The fireball begins to grow rapidly and rise like a balloon. As the fireball rises and subsequently expands as it cools, it gives the appearance of the familiar mushroom cloud. The vaporized debris, contaminated by radioactivity, falls over a vast area after the explosion subsides – creating a radioactive deadly fallout with long-term effects.

What are blast effects?

See :
Because of the very high temperatures and pressures at ground zero, the gaseous residues of the explosion move outward. The effect of these high pressures is to create a blast wave traveling several times faster than sound. A 15 kiloton weapon creates pressure created in excess of 10 Psi (pounds per square inch) with wind speeds in excess of 800 km per hour up to about a 1.2 km radius. Most buildings are demolished and there will be almost no survivors (much larger strategic nuclear weapons will greatly extend this radius of destruction).
Beyond this distance, and up to about 2.5 km the pressure gradually drops to 3 Psi and the wind speed comes down to about 150 km per hour as in a severe cyclonic storm. There will be injuries on a large scale and some fatalities. Beyond this zone of fatalities, the pressure drops to less than 1 Psi, enough to shatter windows and cause serious injuries. It is the high speed combined with high pressures which causes the most mechanical damage in a nuclear explosion. Human beings are quite resistant to pressure, but cannot withstand being thrown against hard objects nor to buildings falling upon them.

Blast effects are most carefully considered by military warplanners bent upon destroying specific targets. However, it is the thermal effects which hold the greatest potential for environmental damage and human destruction.  This is because nuclear firestorms in urban areas can create millions of tons of smoke which will rise into the stratosphere and create massive global cooling by blocking sunlight.  In any nuclear conflict, it is likely that this environmental catastrophe will cause more fatalities than would the initial immediate local effects of the nuclear detonation.



What are thermal effects?


The surface of the fireball also emits large amounts of infrared, visible and ultraviolet rays in the first few seconds. This thermal radiation travels outward at the speed of light. As a result this is by far the most widespread of all the effects in a nuclear explosion and occurs even at distances where blast effects are minimal.

The range of thermal effects increases markedly with weapon yield (thermal radiation decays only as the inverse square of the distance from the detonation). Large nuclear weapons (in the megaton class and above) can start fires and do other thermal damage at distances far beyond the distance at which they can cause blast damage.

Even with a 15 kiloton detonation, the intensity of the thermal radiation can exceed 1000 Watts per square cm. This is similar to getting burnt by an acetylene torch used for welding metals. For a 15 kiloton bomb, almost everyone within 2 km will suffer third degree burns (which damage the skin and tissues below it); for 550 kiloton bomb, third degree burns occur in a radius up to 9 km. There will be almost no survivors since no immediate medical attention will be available (the entire U.S. has specialized facilities to treat 1500 burn victims).

When studying the effects of a single weapon, it is important to remember that thousands of U.S. and Russian nuclear weapons with yields 8 to 50 times larger than 15 kilotons remain on high-alert, quick-launch status.  In a U.S.-Russian nuclear war, these scenarios would occur thousands of times over in virtually every major city in the U.S., Russia, and NATO member states (and probably in China).

It is the cumulative effects of these firestorms – the creation of a stratospheric smoke layer resulting in deadly global climate change – which ultimately become the primary environmental consequence of nuclear war which threatens the continued human existence.


What are radiation effects?

See:
There basically are two kinds of ionizing radiation created by nuclear explosions, electromagnetic and particulate. Radiation emitted at the time of detonation is known as prompt or initial radiation, and it occurs within the first minute of detonation. Anyone close enough to the detonation to be killed by prompt radiation is likely to be killed by blast and thermal effects, so most concerns about the health effects of radiation focus upon the residual or delayed radiation, which is caused by the decay of radioactive isotopes and is commonly known as radioactive fallout.

If the fireball of the nuclear detonation touches the surface of the Earth, large amounts of soil, water, etc. will be vaporized and drawn up into the radioactive cloud.  This material then also becomes highly radioactive; the smaller particles will rise into the stratosphere and be distributed globally while the larger particles will settle to Earth within about 24 hours as local fallout. Lethal levels of fallout can extend many hundreds of kilometers and miles from the blast area.  Contaminated areas can remain uninhabitable for tens or hundreds of years.

Radiation injury has a long-term effect on survivors. Reactive chemicals released by ionization cause damage to DNA and disrupt cells by producing immediate effects on metabolic and replication processes. While cells can repair a great deal of the genetic damage, that takes time, and repeated injuries make it that much more difficult. Imme­diate treatment requires continual replacement of blood so that the damaged blood cells are replaced, and treatment of bone marrow and lymphatic tissues which are amongst the most sensitive to radiation. One must remember in this context that there are very few hospitals equipped to carry out such remedial procedures.
Radiation injury is measured in a unit called rem. Some authorities consider 5 rem/year tolerable for workers who are occupationally exposed to radiation —a typi­cal value for exposure to medical X-rays is 0.08 rem. 1.5 rem/year is considered tolerable for pregnant women. It should be remembered that natural radiation is always present in the atmosphere over most places on the earth, but at lower levels. However, there is no threshold, universally agreed upon, at which a dose of radiation can be declared safe.

Things which get irradiated by “prompt” radiation themselves become radioactive. People in the area of a nuclear explosion, and those subject to radioactive fallout stand more risk of contracting cancer. A 1000 rem exposure for the whole body over a lifetime (which is entirely possible for those surviving a nuclear war) brings about an 80% chance of contracting cancer.
Cancer from radiation exposure will occur over the entire lifetime of exposed populations. For example, only one-half of the predicted numbers of cancer have occurred in the people exposed to the radiation produced by the atmospheric weapons tests and the explosions of the US atomic bombs in Hiroshima and Nagasaki that took place 50 to 60 years ago.
We have no idea what the long-term genetic consequences will be from the massive release of radioactive fallout on a world-wide basis. 

What are electromagnetic effects (Electromagnetic Pulse or EMP)?


Ionizing radiation from the fireball produces intense currents and electromagnetic fields, usually referred to as the electromagnetic pulse (EMP). This pulse is felt over very large distances. A single high-yield nuclear detonation will create destructive EMP over hundreds of thousands of square kilometers beneath where the explosion occurs.
EMP from high-yield nuclear detonations will subject electrical grids to voltage surges far exceeding those caused by lightning. Modern VLSI chips and microprocessors, present in most communication equipment. TVs, radios, computers and other electronic equipment are extremely sensitive to these surges and immediately get burnt out. Thus all possible communication links to the outside world are cut off. Restoring these facilities will be an arduous (and expensive) task assuming that the infrastructure required to complete this task would still exist following a nuclear war.

Warplanners consider the EMP from the detonation of a high-yield warhead as capable of disrupting the entire communication system of their nation, and in this way a single missile launch could begin a nuclear war.

What are the effects on climate?


Massive absorption of warming sunlight by a global smoke layer would cause Ice Age temperatures on Earth. NASA computer models predict 40% of the smoke would stay in the stratosphere for 10 years. There the smoke would also destroy much of the protective ozone layer and allow dangerous amounts of UV light to reach the Earth's surface.

Half of 1% of the explosive power of the deployed nuclear arsenal can create nuclear darkness. 100 Hiroshima-size weapons exploded in the large cities of India and Pakistan would put 5 million tons of smoke in the stratosphere and drop average global temperatures to Little Ice Age levels. Shortened growing seasons could cause up to 1 billion people to starve to death.

A large nuclear war could put 150 million tons of smoke in the stratosphere and make global temperatures colder than they were 18,000 years ago during the coldest part of the last Ice Age. Killing frosts would occur every day for 1-3 years in the large agricultural regions of the Northern Hemisphere. Average global precipitation would be reduced by 45%. Earth’s ozone layer would be decimated. Growing seasons would be eliminated.

A large nuclear war would utterly devastate the environment and cause most people to starve to death. Already stressed ecosystems would collapse. Deadly climate change, radioactive fallout and toxic pollution would cause a mass extinction event, eliminating humans and most complex forms of life on Earth.

The U.S. and Russia keep hundreds of missiles armed with thousands of nuclear warheads on high-alert, 24 hours a day.

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Sayed Taufiq Ullah