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Nuclear Weapons Today. A presentation prepared by the Medical Association for Prevention of War. Nuclear Weapons Today. The Weapons The Effects The Locations The International Response. The Basics. Nuclear Weapon Cores. Fission weapons require “fissile isotopes”

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nuclear weapons today

Nuclear Weapons Today

A presentation prepared by the Medical Association for Prevention of War

slide2

Nuclear Weapons Today

  • The Weapons
  • The Effects
  • The Locations
  • The International Response

MAPW (Australia) Nuclear Weapons 2006

nuclear weapon cores
Nuclear Weapon Cores
  • Fission weapons require “fissile isotopes”
  • Most important - plutonium-239 (Pu-239) and uranium-235 (U-235)
  • Some weapons are made from both isotopes
  • Basic nuclear weapons rely on nuclear fission chain reaction to produce large amount of energy in a very short time

MAPW (Australia) Nuclear Weapons 2006

nuclear explosions
Nuclear Explosions
  • Explosive power measured by the mass equivalent of TNT:
    • A 1 kiloton bomb has an explosive yield equivalent to 1000 tons of TNT
    • A 1 megaton bomb has an explosive yield equivalent to 1,000,000 tons of TNT

MAPW (Australia) Nuclear Weapons 2006

plutonium
Plutonium
  • Weapons grade - produced in military plutonium-production reactors specifically for nuclear weapons use
  • Reactor grade - produced in all nuclear-power reactors
    • For electricity production, but can be used to make weapons

MAPW (Australia) Nuclear Weapons 2006

plutonium7
Plutonium
  • Powerful nuclear explosive
  • Highly radioactive and toxic
  • The half-life of plutonium is 24,500 years
  • Remains hazardous for 250,000 years

MAPW (Australia) Nuclear Weapons 2006

uranium
Uranium
  • Naturally occurring uranium contains 0.7% U-235
  • Weapons use highly-enriched uranium (HEU) - proportion of U-235 increased
  • Weapons grade - usually enriched to greater than 90%, but lower percentages still useable

MAPW (Australia) Nuclear Weapons 2006

separated plutonium stocks
Separated Plutonium Stocks

MAPW (Australia) Nuclear Weapons 2006

estimated heu stocks
Estimated HEU stocks

MAPW (Australia) Nuclear Weapons 2006

core requirements
Core requirements
  • A 20 kt nuclear bomb requires:
    • 4-5 kg of weapons grade plutonium OR
    • 10-15 kg of weapons grade uranium
  • A 1kt nuclear weapon could be made with:
    • 1 kg of weapons-grade plutonium OR
    • 2.5 kg of weapons-grade uranium

MAPW (Australia) Nuclear Weapons 2006

the fission process
The fission process
  • Nucleus of U-235 or Pu-329 captures a neutron - U-236, Pu-240 nucleus formed.
  • U-236, Pu-240 very unstable, rapidly split into two (fission)
  • Neutrons and a large burst of energy are emitted
    • Complete fissioning of 1 gram of U-235 releases 23,000 kilowatt-hours of heat

MAPW (Australia) Nuclear Weapons 2006

the fission process13
The fission process

MAPW (Australia) Nuclear Weapons 2006

critical mass
Critical mass
  • Each nucleus undergoing fission must produce a neutron that splits another nucleus
  • Critical mass - the minimum mass of fissile material that can sustain a nuclear fission chain reaction
  • Sphere is optimum shape

MAPW (Australia) Nuclear Weapons 2006

nuclear explosions15
Nuclear explosions
  • Nuclear explosions occur at super-critical masses
  • Basic weapons contain fissile material less than critical mass.
  • Within half a millionth of a second:
    • Temperatures - hundreds of millions degrees centigrade, and pressures - millions of atmospheres, build up

MAPW (Australia) Nuclear Weapons 2006

fusion
Fusion
  • Isotopes of hydrogen - deuterium and tritium
  • Extremely high temperatures required for reaction to occur
  • Require a fission bomb to provide energy to initiate reaction
  • Used mainly to ‘boost’ fission bombs - increase fission rate by providing more high energy neutrons

MAPW (Australia) Nuclear Weapons 2006

main components of nuclear weapons
Main Components Of Nuclear Weapons
  • High quality, high purity conventional high explosives and reliable detonators
  • Electronic circuits
  • A tamper and neutron reflector
  • A core of fissile material
  • A neutron source

MAPW (Australia) Nuclear Weapons 2006

detonation techniques
Detonation techniques

Gun technique

  • Only used with HEU
  • Mass of sub-critical HEU fired at another - sum of two masses supercritical
  • Simple technique
  • Long assembly time
  • Hiroshima bomb

MAPW (Australia) Nuclear Weapons 2006

detonation techniques19
Detonation techniques
  • Implosion technique
    • 1/10 the assembly time of the gun technique
    • HEU or plutonium can be used
    • Fissile core surrounded by conventional high explosives

MAPW (Australia) Nuclear Weapons 2006

detonation techniques20
Detonation techniques
  • Implosion technique
    • Explosives detonate and uniformly compress the core and increase its density, making it super-critical
    • Neutrons also fired into fissile material to encourage fission chain reaction

MAPW (Australia) Nuclear Weapons 2006

delivery systems
Delivery Systems:
  • Gravity Bombs
  • Ballistic Missile Warheads
  • Cruise Missile Warheads
  • Other Forms:
  • Anti-ballistic Missiles
  • Anti-submarine Warfare

MAPW (Australia) Nuclear Weapons 2006

tactical vs strategic nuclear weapons
Tactical vs. Strategic Nuclear Weapons
  • Tactical:
    • US and Russian definition - less than 500 km range
  • Strategic:
    • Intended to be detonated in other countries, i.e. intercontinental delivery

MAPW (Australia) Nuclear Weapons 2006

launch on warning low
Launch on Warning (LoW)
  • Retaliation with nuclear weapons to a perceived nuclear attack by another state
  • Response to a warning (by radar or satellite sensors) of attacking missiles
  • Decision must be made in minutes

MAPW (Australia) Nuclear Weapons 2006

august 6 1945
August 6, 1945
  • US detonated a 15 kiloton bomb over Hiroshima, Japan
  • Deaths – 66,000
  • Injuries - 69,000

MAPW (Australia) Nuclear Weapons 2006

august 9 1945
August 9, 1945
  • US detonated a 21 kiloton bomb over Nagasaki, Japan
  • Deaths - 73,884
  • Injuries - 74,909
  • 6.7 million square metres leveled

MAPW (Australia) Nuclear Weapons 2006

hiroshima and nagasaki
Hiroshima and Nagasaki
  • Ground temperatures reached about 7,000 degrees
  • “Black rain” containing radioactive fallout poured down for hours after the explosions

MAPW (Australia) Nuclear Weapons 2006

one megaton bomb detonated in the air
One-MegatonBombDetonatedInTheAir
  • Flash
    • Intense flash of light, a thousand times brighter than lightning
    • Pulse of heat radiation - sets fire to combustible material 14 km away
    • Pulse of X-rays, lethal within 3 km

MAPW (Australia) Nuclear Weapons 2006

one megaton bomb detonated in the air29
One-MegatonBombDetonatedInThe Air
  • Fireball
    • Forms after the ‘flash’ and rises in the air
    • Can permanently blind people up to 80 km away
    • All exposed body parts burned deeply within 10 km
    • Superficial burns within fifteen km

MAPW (Australia) Nuclear Weapons 2006

one megaton bomb detonated in the air30
One-MegatonBombDetonatedInThe Air
  • Blast
    • Powerful blast wave - starts immediately, but travels slower than the flash and fireball
    • Destroys everything within 2 km
    • 100% fatalities within 3 km
    • 50% of people killed within 8 km
    • Major damage to buildings within 14 km, windows broken out to 20-30 km

MAPW (Australia) Nuclear Weapons 2006

one megaton bomb detonated in the air31
One-MegatonBombDetonatedInThe Air
  • Blast
    • Hurricane force winds, first outwards, then inwards
    • Tornado force winds (six hundred km/hr), within four km - can drive glass splinters into people
    • People picked up and hurled into any object strong enough to be still standing

MAPW (Australia) Nuclear Weapons 2006

one megaton bomb detonated in the air32
One-MegatonBombDetonatedInTheAir
  • Firestorm
    • Fires started by the first flash coalesce
    • Cause sufficient updraft to form their own wind, which blows inwards from all sides - increasing the intensity of the fire
    • Fire uses all available oxygen
    • “People caught in the open would melt, those in shelters would probably be baked”

MAPW (Australia) Nuclear Weapons 2006

one megaton bomb detonated in the air33
One-MegatonBombDetonatedInTheAir
  • Acute Radiation Exposure
    • Central nervous system dysfunction
    • Gastrointestinal damage
    • Uncontrolled internal bleeding
    • Bleeding from gums or within the skin
    • Massive infections
    • Death

MAPW (Australia) Nuclear Weapons 2006

one megaton bomb detonated in the air34
One-MegatonBombDetonatedInTheAir
  • Delayed Radiation
    • Everything in vicinity of explosion radioactive
    • Hiroshima - radioactive rainstorms
    • 1/3 of original fissile material not destroyed
    • Widespread contamination
    • Increased risk of developing cancer for survivors

MAPW (Australia) Nuclear Weapons 2006

one megaton bomb detonated in the air35
One-MegatonBombDetonatedInTheAir
  • In case of a nuclear bomb - don’t bother to call your doctor
    • No significant medical response possible
    • Hospitals destroyed, most health care providers killed

MAPW (Australia) Nuclear Weapons 2006

one megaton bomb detonated in the air36
One-MegatonBombDetonatedInTheAir
  • Medical response barriers
    • No electricity, water or telephone service
    • No drugs, sterile IV solutions, bandages
    • Impassable roads, inaccessible areas
    • Overloading of emergency/ hospital services in surrounding areas
    • Rescuers risk radiation exposure

MAPW (Australia) Nuclear Weapons 2006

one megaton bomb detonated in the air37
One-MegatonBombDetonatedInTheAir
  • Medical problems: one city of 1-2 million
    • Fifty times more severe burns than burn beds in North America
    • A year’s supply of blood for transfusions needed immediately
    • Bottlenecks and delays due to the need for radioactivity assays
    • Most of injured die, even from easily treated injuries

MAPW (Australia) Nuclear Weapons 2006

one megaton bomb detonated at ground level
One-Megaton Bomb Detonated At Ground-Level
  • Enormous crater - 400 metres wide and 70 metres deep
  • Major fallout of radioactive particulates, potentially lethal hundreds of kilometres downwind
  • Area of blast damage and immediate deaths about one half of air detonation scenario
  • More deaths days to weeks after bomb due to radiation sickness from fallout

MAPW (Australia) Nuclear Weapons 2006

effect of nuclear war
Effect Of Nuclear War
  • Many nuclear bombs exploded
  • Radioactive contamination of whole continents
  • Permanent large scale damage to environment
  • Nuclear winter

MAPW (Australia) Nuclear Weapons 2006

nuclear winter
Nuclear Winter
  • Airborne contaminants absorb and reflect the sun’s rays
  • Results in an extended period of semi-darkness and freezing temperatures
  • Potentially generated from less than 100 detonations

MAPW (Australia) Nuclear Weapons 2006

slide41

Nuclear Winter

The view of the Earth from Apollo 10 (18 May 1969)

from 26,000 nautical miles on its journey to the Moon

MAPW (Australia) Nuclear Weapons 2006

slide42

Nuclear Winter

This is what the world would look like after a large-scale

nuclear holocaust

MAPW (Australia) Nuclear Weapons 2006

nuclear winter43
Nuclear Winter
  • Nuclear winter could occur with detonation of 100 nuclear warheads over major cities
  • 30,000 weapons currently, deployed – 90% reduction of deployed weapons could still cause nuclear winter
  • This puts nuclear weapons are in a league of their own

MAPW (Australia) Nuclear Weapons 2006

nuclear testing
Nuclear Testing
  • 2,058 nuclear test explosions by 8 countries:
  • United States – 1,030
  • Russia (USSR) - 715
  • France - 210
  • United Kingdom - 45
  • China - 45
  • India - 7
  • Pakistan - 6

MAPW (Australia) Nuclear Weapons 2006

effects of nuclear testing
Effects of Nuclear Testing
  • 2.4 million people estimated to die from cancer as a result of nuclear testing
  • Tests sites around the world contaminated

MAPW (Australia) Nuclear Weapons 2006

nuclear terrorism48
Nuclear Terrorism
  • Only 20kg of HEU and 10kg of Plutonium needed
  • Possibilities:

-primitive nuclear explosive

-attacking a nuclear-power reactor

-nuclear weapon

-transport attack

-“dirty bomb”

MAPW (Australia) Nuclear Weapons 2006

nuclear material availability
Nuclear Material Availability
  • Fissile materials are not controlled or accounted for effectively
  • At least 40 kg of weapons-usable uranium and plutonium has been stolen
  • Only 1/3 of an estimated 600 tonnes of weapons-usable material in the former USSR has been secured

MAPW (Australia) Nuclear Weapons 2006

terrorism and nuclear energy
Terrorism And Nuclear Energy
  • The International Atomic Energy Agency has confirmed that current nuclear power plants are structurally vulnerable against the Sept. 11 attack scenario
  • Over 120 documented cases of nuclear sabotage
  • Credible threats reported by security agencies

MAPW (Australia) Nuclear Weapons 2006

nuclear weapons declared states
Nuclear Weapons -Declared States

MAPW (Australia) Nuclear Weapons 2006

nuclear weapons de facto states
Nuclear Weapons - De Facto States

Israel – 75-200

India – 40-50

Pakistan – 25-50

Nth Korea - ?

MAPW (Australia) Nuclear Weapons 2006

nuclear weapons
Nuclear Weapons

MAPW (Australia) Nuclear Weapons 2006

numbers by region
Numbers by Region

MAPW (Australia) Nuclear Weapons 2006

international law and nuclear weapons
International Law and Nuclear Weapons
  • Multilateral (3 or more states)
  • Bilateral (2 states)
  • Unilateral (1 state)
  • In existence: proliferation, testing, geographic limitations
  • Not in existence: complete disarmament, fissile material control

MAPW (Australia) Nuclear Weapons 2006

key terms
Disarmament

Decrease in number

‘General and Complete’

Weapon Specific

Abolition

Arms Control

Limitations

‘General and Complete’

Weapon Specific

Non-Proliferation

Key Terms

Vertical

Horizontal

MAPW (Australia) Nuclear Weapons 2006

united nations
United Nations

Main roles:

  • Forum
  • Facilitating
  • Verification & Enforcement
  • Education

UN Treaties:

  • Antarctica Treaty, PTBT, Outer Space Treaty, NPT, Sea-Bed Treaty, NWFZs, CTBT

MAPW (Australia) Nuclear Weapons 2006

slide60
IAEA
  • Established by UN in 1957
  • Nuclear non-proliferation
  • Nuclear Science and Technology in Sustainable Development
  • Nuclear Safety and Security

MAPW (Australia) Nuclear Weapons 2006

conference on disarmament
Conference on Disarmament
  • UN Body
  • Established in 1979
  • 66 countries are members
  • Agreement by Consensus
  • Based in Geneva, Switzerland

MAPW (Australia) Nuclear Weapons 2006

major treaties bilateral multilateral
Major Treaties(Bilateral & Multilateral)
  • INF
  • START
  • NPT
  • CTBT

MAPW (Australia) Nuclear Weapons 2006

intermediate range forces inf treaty
Intermediate-Range Forces (INF) Treaty
  • Missiles with ranges of 500-5,500 km
  • World-first in disarmament talks:
    • Nuclear arsenal reduction
    • Category of weapon eliminated
    • Extensive on-site verification
  • Signed 8 December 1987

MAPW (Australia) Nuclear Weapons 2006

strategic arms reduction treaties start
Strategic Arms Reduction Treaties (START)
  • START I - signed in 1991
    • US and Russia agreed to reduce ICBMs, SLBMs and warheads
  • START II - signed in 1993
    • Reduction of strategic nuclear arsenals to 3,000-3,500 by 2007
  • START III – superceded by SORT
  • SORT – not verified or reversible

MAPW (Australia) Nuclear Weapons 2006

non proliferation treaty npt
Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT)
  • Opened for signature in 1968
  • More signatures than any other arms control treaty
  • Two-part bargain between nuclear weapon states (NWS) and non-nuclear weapon states (NNWS)

MAPW (Australia) Nuclear Weapons 2006

npt article vi
(NPT) Article VI

“Each of the Parties to the Treaty

undertakes to pursue negotiations in good faith on

effective measures relating to

cessation of the nuclear arms race

at an early date and to

nuclear disarmament,

and on a

treaty on general and complete disarmament

under strict and effective international control.”

MAPW (Australia) Nuclear Weapons 2006

npt safeguards
(NPT) Safeguards
  • The International Atomic Energy Agency is responsible for a safeguards system to verify compliance with the NPT by conducting regular inspections of signatories to the Treaty

MAPW (Australia) Nuclear Weapons 2006

npt the review cycle
(NPT) The Review Cycle

Review Conference – (RevCon)

  • every 5 years over 4 weeks
  • meetings held at United Nations in New York
  • 1995 – NPT indefinite extension
  • 2000 – 13 Point Action Plan

MAPW (Australia) Nuclear Weapons 2006

npt 2005 review
NPT 2005 Review
  • 2-27 May 2005
  • Disagreement over conference agenda:

-Nth Korea, Iran, CTBT, disarmament, non-NPT states, past decisions/agreements

  • No substantive text produced

MAPW (Australia) Nuclear Weapons 2006

comprehensive test ban treaty
Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty
  • Opened for signature 24 September 1996
  • Bans all nuclear tests
  • All 44 “Annex II” must sign and ratify
  • 3 “Annex II” states still to sign
  • 11 “Annex II” states still to ratify
  • CTBTO working from Vienna

MAPW (Australia) Nuclear Weapons 2006

fissile materials cut off treaty fmct or fissban
Fissile Materials Cut-Off Treaty (FMCT or “fissban”)
  • First suggested at the UN over 50 years ago
  • Enthusiasm for a FMCT from early 1990s onwards
  • Talks at Conference on Disarmament deadlocked
  • Disagreement over:

-Existing stocks

-Scope of the treaty

MAPW (Australia) Nuclear Weapons 2006

security council res 1540
Security Council Res 1540
  • 28 April 2004
  • Threat from Non-state actors
  • Calls on states to enact national legislation
  • Member states must report to the 1540 Committee

MAPW (Australia) Nuclear Weapons 2006

international court of justice
International Court of Justice

Advisory Opinion, July 8, 1996:

“...the threat or use of nuclear weapons would generally be contrary to the rules of international law applicable in armed conflict, and in particular the principles and rules of humanitarian law.”

MAPW (Australia) Nuclear Weapons 2006

international court of justice implications
International Court of Justice - Implications
  • Supplements and reinforces the role of international laws (UN Charter, humanitarian law NPT etc)
  • Nuclear weapons are now in effect illegal under international law

MAPW (Australia) Nuclear Weapons 2006

nuclear free zones nwfzs
Nuclear Free Zones (NWFZs)
  • Treaties completely banning nuclear explosive devices in territories:
    • Latin America (Treaty of Tlatelolco)
    • South Pacific (Treaty of Rarotonga)
    • South East Asia (Treaty of Bangkok)
    • Africa (Treaty of Pelindaba)
  • Proposed zones for Central Asia, Central Europe and the Middle East

MAPW (Australia) Nuclear Weapons 2006

slide76

Existing NWFZs

6

4

5

2

3

1

1. Antarctic Treaty 2. Treaty of Tlatelolco 3.Treaty of Rarotonga 4.Treaty of Bangkok 5.Treaty of Pelindaba 6. Mongolia

MAPW (Australia) Nuclear Weapons 2006

slide77

Status Of Key Treaties In 2006

  • NPT: Signed-188, Ratified-188
  • CTBT: Signed-175, Ratified-122 (“Annex 2”-33)
  • FMCT: Treaty in draft form
  • NWC: Treaty in draft form

MAPW (Australia) Nuclear Weapons 2006

status of the non proliferation disarmament regimes
Status Of The Non-proliferation & Disarmament Regimes
  • The risk of nuclear war has not gone away and is in fact increasing
  • The opportunity presented by the end of the cold war was squandered
  • Multilateral disarmament deadlocked

MAPW (Australia) Nuclear Weapons 2006

the ican campaign

The ICAN Campaign

ICAN stands for International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear weapons

slide80
ICAN
  • ICAN to address the erosion of the global nuclear disarmament regime
  • Nuclear Weapons Convention – Review, update, progress
  • MAPW to take a leading role within IPPNW and the global peace movement in the ICAN Campaign

MAPW (Australia) Nuclear Weapons 2006

model nuclear weapons convention nwc
Model Nuclear Weapons Convention (NWC)
  • Draft text produced by NGOs
  • Submitted to the UN by Costa Rica in 1997
  • NWC would prohibit:
    • development
    • testing
    • production
    • stockpiling
    • transfer
    • use and threat of use

MAPW (Australia) Nuclear Weapons 2006

what ican would aim for
What ICAN Would Aim For
  • IPPNW members feel that a coordinated effort across states and institutions, in the framework of voluntary governmental and non-governmental participation, is necessary if there is to be a reversal of the nuclear threat.
  • One element of such coordination will be a multilateral agreement to prohibit and eliminate nuclear weapons ~ a Nuclear Weapons Convention.

MAPW (Australia) Nuclear Weapons 2006

how to work towards a nwc
How To Work Towards A NWC
  • It is strongly felt that the campaign for a NWC would need to be based on an Ottawa style process that lead to the Landmines Treaty – a strong and effectively coordinated global coalition of NGO's and international organisations that drew in governments, starting with Canada, and achieved a treaty in the space of five years.

MAPW (Australia) Nuclear Weapons 2006

phases for elimination
Phases for Elimination
  • All States possessing nuclear weapons will be required to destroy their arsenals according to a series of phases.

MAPW (Australia) Nuclear Weapons 2006

step by step
Step by Step…
  • The Convention outlines a series of five phases for the elimination of nuclear weapons beginning with:
    • taking nuclear weapons off alert
    • removing weapons from deployment
    • removing nuclear warheads from their delivery vehicles
    • disabling the warheads
    • removing and disfiguring the "pits"
    • and placing the fissile material under inter-national control.

MAPW (Australia) Nuclear Weapons 2006

fissile materials and delivery vehicles
Fissile Materials And Delivery Vehicles
  • The Convention also prohibits the production of weapons-usable fissile material and requires delivery vehicles to be destroyed or converted to make them non-nuclear capable.

MAPW (Australia) Nuclear Weapons 2006

working towards a nuclear weapons free world
Working Towards A Nuclear Weapons Free World
  • Today some of these issues may appear intractable, and there is no guarantee that they are soluble.
  • However, a robust and open debate is the most likely - if not the only - way to generate creative solutions and engage the broad transnational and cross-industrial involvement necessary for a nuclear weapons free world.

MAPW (Australia) Nuclear Weapons 2006

nuclear weapons knowledge
Nuclear Weapons Knowledge
  • Nuclear weapons knowledge cannot be disinvented. However, a vast portion of the knowledge, design and maintenance information can and should be destroyed once it is no longer necessary for disarmament.

MAPW (Australia) Nuclear Weapons 2006

our responsibility
Our Responsibility
  • Moreover, and precisely because we cannot return to a world innocent of nuclear weapons knowledge, the answer to the "genie out of the bottle" is to increase scientific responsibility and awareness of potential proliferation risks.

MAPW (Australia) Nuclear Weapons 2006

get involved
Get Involved
  • For further information about the NCW, please see: http://www.ippnw.org/NWC.html
  • or contact the Medical Association for Prevention of War (Australia)

phone: (03) 8344 1637

email: mapw@mapw.org.au

MAPW (Australia) Nuclear Weapons 2006

slide91

Medical Association for Prevention of War Australia (MAPW)

National Office: P.O. Box 1379, Carlton VIC 3053, Australia

Ph: 03 8344 1637 Fax: 03 8344 1638

www.mapw.org.aumapw@mapw.org.au

Australian affiliate of International Physicians for Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW)

MAPW (Australia) Nuclear Weapons 2006