United States, World

Nuclear Effects, A Shadow

An entire city destroyed, devastated by a singular bomb killing thousands and fatally wounding thousands more the atom bomb had claimed its first lives. At this point it’s rare for people not to know that two atomic bombs blew up two cities, Hiroshima and Nagasaki, in the end of World War II. These bombs killed thousands instantly, and effectively forced the Japanese government to surrender and ushered in the nuclear age. People sometimes forget, however, of the survivors of these two blasts and what happened to them. Scientists can see what the effects of these bombs had on the civilians and the environment and how a modern nuclear war would be much more dreadful than any other ever conceived.

(This picture is the shadow of a man embedded in the concrete pavement due to the explosion. (The Sun)

When Little Boy detonated above the skies of Hiroshima 80,000 people died instantly and some of the closest people near the epicenter of the bomb were literally vaporized. The people far enough away from the epicenter of the bomb to not be killed instantly suffered greatly. Many would be burned by the nuclear explosion and will experience high amounts of radiation exposure.  The majority of initial survivors would die within the next few days from their injuries. Radiation exposure does not make superheroes, rather It will slowly kills you from within. Almost every type of cancer can come from the radiation emitted from a nuclear explosion. ) Artists who got to see the horrific sight first hand drew the scenes that laid themselves before them. A single modern day nuclear bomb can be 100 times more powerful than the ones dropped on hiroshima and nagasaki, perhaps even more devastating.

Artistic image depicting the scene at Hiroshima (Flicker)

It’s no surprise such a powerful explosion will cause enormous damage to the environment. Fallout can affect all animals on earth, not just humans. Carried by winds and landing in the oceans and lands inhabited by people and animals can cause microscopic changes in our body’s DNA. This mutation will cause tumors cancers and abnormal offspring once it has affected its victims. It is theorised that if a large amount of nuclear bombs were to be used, a “nuclear winter” could fall upon the planet. A winter that would not end, gradually bringing the end to the majority of life on earth. The discovery of nuclear energy for use as weapons can end its creators in a few short seconds including every and any other intelligent life. These advancements may become the problems our generation must face when the time comes to be.

The feud between Russia and the U.S.A. has toned down enough that it is safe to say a nuclear war with russia is extremely unlikely. However a new challenger has approached the nuclear pedestal, North Korea. A communist country that has deep hatred to those who support the democratic South Korea. North Korea now has atomic bombs and war between the two nations is not an uncommon thought as the relationships are extremely unstable and tense. Nuclear war between the countries would be completely devastating to east Asia. Nuclear Fallout would affect the surrounding areas and countries for years killing hundreds of thousands and creating an unseen amount of refugees. Imagine, family and friends, melting due to the sheer heat of an explosion knowing full well what made this happened, man. That’s what it would feel like for those affected by a nuclear war with another country for the everyday person.

The weapons of the modern age have only exponentially increased in destructive power in the last hundreds years. We know now of their true effect they have on our world and how fragile our lives can be. The world’s greatest experiment is to see how long we can last without killing ourselves in gigantic wars over trivial disputes. The children of America will however grow up oneday, and hopefully they will realise how they can make a positive impact on this world by voting for the global nuclear disarmament. Peace is still achievable, but wars will only provide temporary peace, growing malicious hatred in its nuclear shadow.

Article by Bret Semkiw

Works Cited:

Hall, Michelle. “By the Numbers: World War II’s Atomic Bombs.” CNN, Cable News Network, 6 Aug. 2013, www.cnn.com/2013/08/06/world/asia/btn-atomic-bombs/index.html.


ICAN. “Hiroshima and Nagasaki Bombings.” ICAN,  www.icanw.org/the-facts/catastrophic-harm/hiroshima-and-nagasaki-bombings/.


Shimp, Henry. “Effects to the Human Body From Nuclear Fallout.” Effects to the Human Body From Nuclear Fallout, 23 Apr. 2017, http://large.stanford.edu/courses/2017/ph241/shimp1/.


CND. “Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament.” The Effects of Nuclear Weapons, www.cnduk.org/campaigns/global-abolition/effects-of-nuclear-weapons.


US Department of Veterans Affairs, and Veterans Health Administration. “Public Health.”Diseases Associated with Ionizing Radiation Exposure, United States of America, 27 Nov. 2013, www.publichealth.va.gov/exposures/radiation/diseases.asp.


Dowd, Mary. “How Nuclear Bombs Affect the Environment.” How Nuclear Bombs Affect the Environment | Education – Seattle PI, Hearst Seattle Media, 2018,                                   http://education.seattlepi.com/nuclear-bombs-affect-environment-6173.html.   

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