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Research: Nuclear Disarmament

Nuclear weapons are the most dangerous weapons on earth

Anti nuclear powerAccording to the United Nations:

Nuclear weapons are the most dangerous weapons on earth.  One can destroy a whole city, potentially killing millions, and jeopardizing the natural environment and lives of future generations through its long-term catastrophic effects.  The dangers from such weapons arise from their very existence.  Although nuclear weapons have only been used twice in warfare—in the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945—about 14,500 reportedly remain in our world today and there have been over 2,000 nuclear tests conducted to date.  Disarmament is the best protection against such dangers, but achieving this goal has been a tremendously difficult challenge.

No surprise then that people have tried to stop these weapons. According to Wikipedia:

Nuclear disarmament is the act of reducing or eliminating nuclear weapons. It can also be the end state of a nuclear-weapons-free world, in which nuclear weapons are completely eliminated. The term denuclearization is also used to describe the process leading to complete nuclear disarmament.

The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament

The catalyst for the foundation of CND occurred in November 1957, when the writer JB Priestley wrote an article in the New Statesman calling for unilateral disarmament. Readers responded to such an extent that the editor suggested that a mass movement against nuclear weapons was needed. 

5000 people turned up to the first CND meeting, on February 17th, 1958.  The first march to the nuclear bomb factory at Aldermaston, in Berkshire, followed – an event which brought anti-nuclear campaigning, together with the new CND symbol, to public consciousness… 

Most recently, CND was one of the grassroots organisations that successfully campaigned for a global ban on nuclear weapons  at the United Nations. The UN adopted the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in 2017 and it is now open for states to sign. The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons – of which CND is part – won the Nobel Peace Prize for this work.

The UN Secretary-General has produced a five point proposal on nuclear disarmament. You can read it in full here.

But in all this, I have not seen anything about old stock. This is picked up by the author of A Brief History of the Future who talks about aging nuclear devices becoming unstable, and in 2151 an accident with an old device irradiated a large area. This gave impetus to the argument for disarmament and led to the One Accord – each country would keep only 1 device – with the target of 1 Jan 2165.

Ann Marie Thomas is the author of four medieval history books, a surprisingly cheerful poetry collection about her 2010 stroke, and the science fiction series Flight of the Kestrel. Book one, Intruders, and book two Alien Secrets, are out now. Follow her at