29th August is the International day against Nuclear Tests created by UN. This was declared in the 2nd December 2009 session through the resolution that deals with effects of nuclear tests. The entire concept was to galvanize the banning of nuclear tests. This is achieved through symposiums, seminars, exhibition competition etc.
Yet an random thought does pop up, is it enough to celebrate international day against nuclear tests? What makes states detonate nuclear weapons if they jeopardize health?
On one hand President Obama outlines his vision of nuclear weapon free world, he forges treaties to reduce the number of and spread of nuclear arsenal and on the other, he upholds the triad of nuclear arsenal supported by every former US president.
What would the effect of nuclear testing be?
On health we the Hiroshima bombs have revealed the effects which can be classified under four head.
- Initial stage that is 1-9 weeks where 90% of the death occurs, and the cause being thermal injury and about 10% of the deaths are due to radiation exposure. This phase claims the highest mortality.
- Between 10 – 12 weeks in the intermediate state where deaths occur due to ionizing radiation.
- From 13-20 weeks is the late period where the survive could exhibit certain amount of improvement.
- Over 20 weeks is the delayed period, the complications are numerous here, like the healing of the thermal and mechanical injuries, over exposure of radiation, there could be infertility and sub fertility, blood disorders, increased incidents of cancer.
Environment effects were studied in France. The effects were again long term and short term. There have been evidences of landslides, tsunami’s and earthquake being triggered. Fission products leaked into the biosphere and transfer of dissolved plutonium was found in the ocean and food chain.
India as a country has not signed the NPT treaty because it would mean we would have to get rid of our nuclear weapons, or face crippling sanctions. Signing the treaty would put the country to a disadvantage with Pakistan and China. In a way NPT is quite discriminatory, with only five countries which includes India’s hostile neighbour china, would have the status of Nuclear Weapon State. Nuclear energy is quite essential to India as it comes us self reliant when it comes to energy.
The treaty does not determine whether a country requires nuclear power, and there is no framework in the treaty to handle the requirement of nuclear energy. As President Pranab Da put it, NPT is a flawed treaty and it did not recognize the need for universal, non-discriminatory verification and treatment for every nation has the right to use nuclear purpose for peaceful uses, and restricting is not justified.
images courtesy Google Images.