Nuclear Weapons

Essay by Eric SajoHigh School, 12th gradeF, January 1996

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Eric Sajo

Research and Writing



Mrs. Krantz

Nuclear Weapons

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...