Consequences of Nuclear Weapons

Nuclear weapons is unique in its destructive capacity. A single weapon can devastate a city or a country, in an instant. Nuclear weapons can not distinguish civilians from military targets, which means that in principle all use of them contrary to international humanitarian law.

The consequences of nuclear weapons exist not only at a nuclear explosion. The consequences occur even at secession of uranium and plutonium production. This affects both the environment and people.

Film from Norwegian People’s Aid

This also include economic consequences. It’s about what the country could have spend the money on, instead of spending money on nuclear weapons. It may be that the country has inadequate health care, that residents do not have access to clean water, food, schooling and so on.

We can not know with certainty how much money the nuclear weapon states spend on its nuclear weapons. Even though we may know the world’s military spending, we can not say with certainty that the country’s nuclear program funded by the military budget. In fact, the country’s budget for nuclear weapons may lie in other budget posts.

When a nuclear weapon explode, the intense heat gain cells to completely evaporate. The shock wave travels miles and tear apart buildings and infrastructure. Nuclear weapons produce large amounts of radiation that kills instantly, but even long afterwards by radiation sickness and cancer.

Film from Norwegian People’s Aid

All these facts about nuclear weapons consequences can sometimes be difficult to absorb and understand. Ira Helfand, from the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, IPPNW, describe below climatic consequences of a nuclear war.


Last update: February 4, 2015