Nuclear Weapons and Their Effects


The availability of nuclear weapons to terrorist groups is one of the most severe risks linked with
their use and spread. Terrorist acts are becoming more common, but if these groups get nuclear
weapons, the effects will be far more devastating than in previous years. As a result, states’ primary
worries are no longer terrorist acts per se but rather those in which actors can transition from
conventional to nuclear explosives.

There are no effective restraint strategies.

Whereas just two major nuclear powers competed during the Cold War, the current situation is far
more dangerous, as around ten countries now possess nuclear weapons (declared or undeclared).
Former and existing deterrence methods, on the other hand, are not as effective as states and other
interested parties would like (Nuclear Tipping Point 2011). According to declassified records from
the Cold War era, nuclear catastrophe was averted not by strategic efforts but by luck or a series
of unexpected circumstances, as Doyle (2013) points out. The current model of deterrence, in
which nuclear weapons are acquired to prevent other nuclear powers from utilizing the bomb, does
not reduce the risk of an accidental or deliberate launch. Furthermore, economic sanctions do not
contribute to deterrence because they have not prevented North Korea from getting nuclear
weapons, as it claims.

Materials Dispersed Throughout the World

Weapon-making materials aren’t kept in a single location or state; instead, they’re dispersed over
the globe, available for purchase or theft by interested parties. It does not mean that building a
nuclear warhead is simple, but the availability of materials enhances the likelihood of terrorist
groups obtaining a nuclear weapon.

Infrastructure, social, and economic structures are being destroyed.

As stated in the film, the deployment of nuclear weapons will have serious implications, including
the destruction of homes, hospitals, roads, bridges, and entire city infrastructures (Nuclear Tipping
Point 2010). Due to immense destruction, the social and economic systems of the affected country
will be impossible to reconstruct; additionally, radioactive fallout will render the attacked
city/country uninhabitable.

Thousands of people have died.

The use of a nuclear weapon will not only destroy infrastructure, but it will also result in massive
casualties, far greater than the Hiroshima and Nagasaki attacks. Some residents may suffer
radiation syndrome if they do not die as a result of the collision. The loss of infrastructure will
prevent the majority of survivors from being saved and treated.

Defeating the Challenges

As a strategy of overcoming nuclear weapons concerns, Nuclear Tipping Point (2011) offers the
following steps:

• Reduce the number of nuclear weapons on the battlefield.
• Ensure that all nuclear weapons are secured to the greatest possible standards around the
• To avert an accidental launch, abandon Cold War tactics.
• All countries should reduce their nuclear arsenals.
• Short-range combat nuclear weapons must be eliminated.
• Put a stop to uranium and plutonium production.
• Conflicts in the region should be resolved.

It will be impossible to fire a nuclear weapon by accident if the number of nuclear weapons is
reduced and secured access to them. If all governments agree to lower the number of warheads in
their arsenals, non-nuclear-weapon states’ desire to acquire such weapons will decrease as well
(Baum, 2015). Reduced uranium and plutonium production, as well as increased security at
locations where these materials are available (e.g., present or past nuclear power facilities), can
help minimize the threat of terrorist groups obtaining weapons (Doyle, 2013). The ability of
governments to handle regional conflicts can aid nuclear deterrence, particularly in non-nuclear
states that plan to use them.

The UAE’s Role

The nuclear program of the United Arab Emirates, which will be used to meet the country’s
projected national energy consumption needs, is intimately linked to the problem of nuclear
weapons and their spread. Congress expressed concerns about export restriction, as Blanchard and
Kerr (2010) note out. According to the report, some UAE-based firms were allegedly involved in
“Iranian weapons acquisition, nuclear, and ballistic missile program activities” (Blanchard & Kerr,
2010, p. 11). As a result, the UAE can address the issue by strengthening its national export control
system, ensuring that no unlawful proliferation activities occur.

In 2007, the UAE passed a stronger national export control law in response to the United States’
concerns about possibly suspicious transfers to Iran and the Iranian nuclear program (Blanchard
& Kerr, 2010). In addition, the UAE is a party to the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, and its
actions are subject to IAEA supervision. The UAE’s nuclear program uses light-water reactors,
which are among the most proliferation-resistant reactors in the world, to ensure that it does not
feed proliferation activities. It’s also worth noting that commercial reactors were never used to
develop nuclear weapons (Blanchard & Kerr, 2010). By improving export restrictions, managing
its nuclear program, and protecting reactors used in it, the UAE can limit proliferation risk

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