An International Legal Code for Nuclear Powers: Will it serve any purpose?

Author : Prashant R Dahat

A nuclear weapon is a weapon which derives its destructive force from nuclear reactions of fission or fusion. As a result, even a nuclear weapon with a relatively small yield is significantly more powerful than the largest conventional explosives, and a single weapon is capable of destroying an entire city. In the history of warfare, nuclear weapons have been used twice, both during the closing days of World War II. The first event occurred on the morning of August 6, 1945, when the United States dropped uranium gun-type device code-named “Little Boy” on the Japanese city of Hiroshima. The second event occurred three days later when a plutonium implosion-type device code-named “Fat Man” was dropped on the city of Nagasaki.

The use of these weapons, which resulted in the immediate deaths of around 100,000 to 200,000 individuals and even more over time, was and remains controversial critics charged that they were unnecessary acts of mass killing, while others claimed that they ultimately reduced casualties on both sides by hastening the end of the war. This topic has seen increased debate recently in the wake of increased terrorism involving killings of civilians by both state and non-state players, with parties claiming that the end justifies the means for a full discussion. Continue reading “An International Legal Code for Nuclear Powers: Will it serve any purpose?”