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Nuclear Weapons

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Tue Jan 25, 2011 9:38 pm
Nate says...

A world without nuclear weapons would be less stable and more dangerous for all of us. - Margaret Thatcher

My dream is to see the day when nuclear weapons will be banished from the face of the Earth. - Ronald Reagan

Who do you agree with, and why?
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Sat Jan 29, 2011 7:14 am
Lava says...

This was posted on our Republic Day and when the main talk was on the future of nuclear power, in essence. :P

Me, I agree with Ronald Reagan.
Anyway, this is a tough topic.
For one, banning nuclear weapons would be very difficult when there's also nuclear power research undergoing. True, they're very different topics, but if it was banned the governments are going to do it anyway. Maybe be more discreet. Also; no two countries are at peace. There's always a race of who's better. It's basic human tendency to outdo the other. And in this era, they do this by launching satellites or by nuclear test implosions.
But if there was a stability between nuclear tests and just using nuclear power, I think it would be good.
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Tue Feb 01, 2011 5:31 am
Griffinkeeper says...

I'm with Margret Thatcher on this one. The same nuclear power that can power our houses is the very same that can obliterate them. We made a terrible discovery when we unlocked the atom, but we can not go back to the days before then. Like it or not; we're in the age of nuclear weapons.

The situation is inherently unstable, but it is possible to have unstable fixed points. One way is to threaten unconditional nuclear annihilation to any country that pursues a nuclear weapons program. Ambitious as dictators can be, nobody wants to control a glass radioactive parking lot. By being willing to annihilate countries with nuclear weapons, we would actually make it safer, since no one would dare risk a nuclear holocaust.

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Tue Feb 01, 2011 7:50 pm
AuroraOrodel says...

Griffinkeeper wrote: We made a terrible discovery when we unlocked the atom, but we can not go back to the days before then. Like it or not; we're in the age of nuclear weapons.

We were talking about this in my Science and Theatre class on Monday. Once discovered, something cannot be undiscovered. However, the jump to "let's make a bomb" was not the immediate next step from discovering the atom could be split. That discovery (or decision) was predicated and driven by war and desperation. If WWII had not happened, would we have the atom bomb today, or would we see the splitting of the atom only as a means for generating power?

But now that we have them, we can't really ever be rid of them. Someone, somewhere, will make nuclear weapons, no matter what treaties are signed. Nations break treaties constantly.
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Tue Feb 01, 2011 9:57 pm
Kamas says...

Ah, my favourite topic.


The same nuclear power that can power our houses is the very same that can obliterate them

This isn't exactly true, sorry Grif. Both come from uranium BUT nuclear energy facilites and nuclear weapon facilities are two very different things. Different amount of power, material. Making weapons demands far more materials, man power and different science. So you can have nuclear facilities for power and not have those of nuclear weapons.

I actually agree with both of them. The complete disarmament of all nuclear weapons is a goal to reach, but is not an option at the moment. The foundation that must be laid out for disarmament is trust, which these days international relations is one that lacks trust.

Until agreements are signed with Iran and progress is made with the DPRK, we will remain armed. It's not that can't disarm, in fact we could start disarming right now. But trust is very hard to come across when there is a threat of a weapon that could obliterate an entire city.
Nuclear weapons serve as political leverage on the world stage and without them you become essentially "powerless".

So really the first step to disarmament, which realistically will not happen in the next decades, is non-proliferation of nuclear arms, and information/technology that helps the such. Since nuclear energy and nuclear power are very different in production and science. Stopping the spread of these things will not effect our need for energy, but stalls/stops the production of NEW arms. That way, stockpiles remain as is.

Nuclear energy itself is a whole different matter, and really is an energy which I believe should be invested in. I personally think money should be invested in the IAEA, so the standards are met and inspections follow through in places like Iran which refuse IAEA inspectors in certain plants.

All in all, nuclear power is a new source of energy that can help combat the global climate situation, and can help poor countries establish proper energy, create jobs and create a better standard of living for their citizens. But, it's also dangerous, and seeing the instability that rules this world right now, nuclear disarmament is currently not an option. But steps can be taking that build up to such a goal.

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Sat Apr 02, 2011 4:13 am
ArticulateOverlord says...

Optimistic I may be, but I agree with Reagan. Thatcher's statement assumes that it is impossible for humanity to ever live peacefully as a whole, that war-causing divisions into countries or based on ideologies are inevitable and incessant, and that it is only the threat of total annihilation that prevents the employment of nuclear attacks.

If such were the case, one could argue that anything with the potential to end human lives en masse, regardless of its beneficial and non-lethal uses, is a weapon, and that the only reason it is not employed as a weapon is due to the threat of mutually irreversible destruction. However, substances and items with widely-known and well-documented killing potential are employed in non-lethal activities every day, and many of them are easily accessible. For instance, nitroglycerin, reknowned for its extreme volatility and sensitivity to vibrations, is a fairly common solvent in chemistry used in the synthesis of various useful compounds. In fact, the hard sciences in general, though chemistry and biology in particular, involve the use and synthesis of countless substances that, if spilled or carelessly handled, could have long-term detrimental effects on not only the scientist but everything and everyone in the surrounding environment.

Now, if such dangerous substances can be used for non-lethal, beneficial purposes, why not nuclear power?

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Sat Apr 02, 2011 9:41 pm
MeanMrMustard says...

Oh this is much too inactive. I must visit this thread.

-consider this a hypothetical in concerns to the reactors, the news released is mixed and sensational and very difficult to believe-

In lieu of recent events in Japan and the ever approaching reality that the northern part of Honshu could become inhabitable if the reactors aren't contained and stopped from melting down, can the pro-Nuclear crowd stick by their guns (implied metaphor with aggressive action ftw!)?

We must consider the damages and cost to society: an entire generation with an increased chance at birth defects, mutation in genetics, increased chance of cancers, perhaps one of the most notable physical signs of radiation being that of thyroid problems (enlarged namely), and the list continues.

[this is not hypothetical, but reality; the estimation for 2050 has no solution as of now to make it anything but fact]
Firstly, Japan's health care system is set down a path of incredible disaster; they will have too many elderly needed care and money and not enough native Japanese workers to adequately provide services. There is, I read in an article somewhere, a 50:1 (I might be missing a zero, but it remains staggering) ratio of elderly to expected workers by the year 2050. Emergency measures, such as importing near Asian workers to work in the Japanese system have failed, at staggering amounts, as all but 2 of the workers failed a mandatory Healthcare test in Japan. And we must remember, Japan is losing population every year, there are not enough children. Couple this healthcare dilemma with the radiation concern to the young and it looks even worse unless things change in Japan.

But that is not even close to the end of the damage from the earthquake and tsunami, only made worse by the reactor problem. Water is contaminated, and by no doubt, water is abundant in many places in northern Japan right now. Food is contaminated, and being forced to stay on shipping docks if it has too high of a reading on a Geiger counter. Not only are basic amenities a problem to find in Japan, much less trust, but the economy will be irrevocably harmed. Shipments into Japan are equally scrutinized and assessed, and for quite some time there were shortages in Tokyo, the largest city in the world, beyond junk food and alcohol. In observing these events, they are bound together by the fear of radiation and a nuclear meltdown. Not of just one reactor, but six, and what's more, they were reactors thought to be able to withstand such problems.

However, the check-ups of the facilities had not been done, for ten years was reported. Facilities that were supposed to be resistant and secure, as claimed by the man who oversaw them (an American, can't find the article with his name) failed to contain and secure their cores. Perhaps most concerning though was Japan's wanton inability to do much but toss giant swaths of water at the reactors. For the supposedly most prepared country in the world for Earthquakes and Tsunamis, as well as most wired and technologically inclined one, it could do little more than use a team of 300 people to manually cool the reactors down. I am unaware if they have been completely successful as of yet.

The Earthquake/Tsunami natural disaster is reported to cost Japan 300 billion yen as of now, with the forecasted effect of the reactors added as well. That will amount to 2-3% of Japanese GDP.

Now consider the hypothetical elements of my proposal; we don't really know what will happen in the aftermath of the reactor meltdown remaining a possibility. Or genetic possibilities. And in my opinion the "radiation reaching the Western US" is BS that's not compared to average radiation levels.

Would these be acceptable costs for nuclear energy?

Nuclear Weapons are a topic I won't touch. Their use is beyond their consequence.

(FWIW I support Nuclear energy and having nuclear weapons around; no better alternative)

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Wed Jun 01, 2011 12:18 am
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Cyb3rBlade says...

Short of a global, oppressive government employing Big Brother tactics or genetically manipulating the general population, nuclear weapons with have to be a part of every nation's resources. You can't stop secret government projects. Period. To ditch our nuclear weapons would be like going to California to mine gold back in '49 without your shotgun. People who thrust themselves into dangerous situations without providing for their protection end up as lunchmeat. The United States has made itself the protector of freedom worldwide, and we need to be prepared to face serious threats. (My apologies to all the YWS members who are from other countries. ) Nothing says "MIND YOUR OWN BUSINESS" like a nuke.
If we keep on guzzling oil at this rate, we'll be forced to use nuclear power.
The scientists who make nukes make nuke reactors, too.
At any rate, nuclear applications are great for science fiction.
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Sat Jun 11, 2011 1:16 am
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inkwell says...

Either option doesn't improve or weaken the world. Unless you make an argument for the environment, or about the psychological effects of toting such an "easy" weapon.

I don't agree with either of them, though. Yes, I want nukes. But, ideally, the only nuclear weapons I want to see, are the ones under my (our) control. Just being frank.

They're simply a weapon that was used to get an edge on other nations. Now many nations, and terrorists, wield them, so the edge-factor decreases. Technology is double edged sword, and how it's used determines if it's good to have them or not.
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Fri Jul 29, 2011 3:18 pm
Rubric says...

I heard a story related by an Australian nuclear policy expert regarding the Cuban missile crisis, it was one of a half dozen examples of how close we have come to Armaggeddon thanks to Nucleaur proliferation.

It's 1962 and Russian Nuclear submarines are in the atlantic, in the caribbean, in freaking cuban waters for that matter. There's a standoff between the Soviets and the US Navy. The US ships drop depth charges, just to let the russians know they know they're there and give them a bit of a fright. These things aren't meant to hit the subs, just freak them out a bit and keep them out of US waters. One of these charges gets closer to a sub than any American would learn for the next 30 years: it takes out the communications array. The sub is now out of radio contact with its command.

Standing orders are that if communications are damaged by enemy combat weaponry it is to be assumed that a state of war has been entered. The discretion to use the nuclear armory is solely the Captain's.

Let's clarify the situation: if one nuke is used to target american soil the retailiation would be devastating, every available target behind the Iron Curtain would be blasted into base components, due to MAD and the newly delivered weapons to Cuba (confirmed only later) and the Soviet subs in cuban waters, millions of americans, and millions more western Europeans would also be killed.

Naturally the soviet captain is a little disconcerted that this is his decision to make. He calls in his two lieutenants and they have a vote.

The vote is 2:1, in favour of there being a tommorrow.

This is evidence you should consider when forming your opinion.
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Thu Aug 04, 2011 2:55 pm
shadowraiki says...

@ Rubric I read that story. It was really interesting and I admit, it had me grinning.

But in my opinion? Neither person is correct. Although America has many, many weapons capable of doing just as much damage as a nuke, which one do people remember most? Which one is it that has embedded fear into people's mind? The nuke. Sure we could go with biological warfare, chemical warfare, standard warfare and what not, but think of the what happens in a nuke: the heat, the fire, the pressure, the vacuum. All of it is an incredible pressence that instills fear. What concerns me though is the amount of nuclear weapons that are located around the world. I feel that having enough to blow up the world is far too many. Each country should only have a few that were to be used in cases of extreme emergency. If you think about it, the radiation from a Nuclear bomb isn't one of the worst ways to die. There are many, many more terrible ways to die.

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