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World & Current Events > Nukes in the world

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message 1: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 13781 comments Federation of American scientists has published its fresh assessment of nuclear weapons quantities and deployment: https://fas.org/issues/nuclear-weapon...
According to the report (which accuracy I don't know) there are almost 15K of them, most of which are in US and Russia's possession and encompassing 8 countries in total.
So, with all the nukes, do you feel safe or endangered?


message 2: by Michael (last edited Jan 30, 2017 07:49AM) (new)

Michael Fattorosi | 477 comments Im more worried about suitcase size nuclear weapons that went missing from Russia years ago. And warheads that can easily be bought on the black market.

This will be the next nuclear bomb detonated...

From Vice -- this is much scarier than any amount of nuclear weapons that the US and/or Russia has.

http://youtu.be/0c4f4NJSB_4


message 3: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 13781 comments Scary scenario, indeed, and unfortunately plausible....


message 4: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 9759 comments At this stage, I do not think this is the greatest problem in the world, although I think it is important that the finger on the trigger is not impulsive, and I think that is a risk now.

There was a case, apparently, where to was reported that one nuke was heading to the US. The then President did not retaliate because ehe was suspicious. It turned out it was accidentally a training scenario had been loaded and not taken down.


message 5: by Dave (new)

Dave Edlund (dedlund) | 13 comments Nukes are complicated devices. A threat? Yes, but I've lived my entire life in a nuclear shadow. I remember well the "duck and cover" drills when I was in elementary school. In my opinion, the danger was much greater in the 60s than it is now.

My fear? Low tech weapons like biological agents. We now have two generations who have not been vaccinated against small pox--and yet stockpiles still exist, and not always under control.


message 6: by Michael (new)

Michael Fattorosi | 477 comments Dave wrote: "My fear? Low tech weapons like biological agents. We now have two generations who have not been vaccinated against small pox--and yet stockpiles still exist, and not always under control. "

Excellent point.


message 7: by Philip (new)

Philip (phenweb) The doctrine in all the countries that possess nuclear weapons to use them exists. That is a completely different equation to authorizing their use. The people who actually sit with these weapons under their physical control, i.e. real launch buttons and triggers, are well trained, highly intelligent and competent. Just like any soldier on the front line chooses to pull his own trigger or not.

Yes the leadership can order such an act. Most orders are followed.

In any given threat scenario the stakes would be raised on both sides. Ignoring the madness that is North Korea (at the moment it does not have the missile range to strike the USA directly) the biggest tension is India and Pakistan and even that is not in hot war again ignoring the odd border clash.

NATO/Russia is nothing like as bad as the 60s or the 80s in terms of tension despite the rhetoric. I too lived through it and served throughout the 80s and 90s.

As Dave said, terrorism is a bigger threat and chemical/biological threats are much higher in my view. They are easier to make and transport and they are harder to detect. Nuclear material gives out radiation and can be detected. A vial of some virus cannot.


message 8: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 13781 comments Does a nuclear arsenal many times more than needed to destruct the entire planet make sense?


message 9: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 9759 comments It does if you are a manufacturer of them - the more the fatter the bank balance :-(


message 10: by Graeme (new)

Graeme Rodaughan Ian wrote: "It does if you are a manufacturer of them - the more the fatter the bank balance :-("

Ironic LOL. Ian, your cynicism sometimes exceeds mine. I lift my glass in your general direction.


message 11: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 9759 comments Enjoy the drink, Graeme. I drink back!


message 12: by J. (last edited Oct 10, 2019 03:16PM) (new)

J. Gowin | 3107 comments Ian wrote: "It does if you are a manufacturer of them - the more the fatter the bank balance :-("

Manufacturing new warheads is not all it's cracked up to be. If you're doing it for the major powers, then you are mostly just using an old core in an updated design. This is because the number and production of cores is governed by treaties.

As you can imagine, the big money is in producing the U235 and Plutonium for new cores. Because noone is buying new cores, the expensive facilities to do this are currently mostly producing fuel for reactors. Electric utilities are wanting to run their reactors on a richer mix, which would allow them to go longer between refueling cycles. The fuel vendors want to sell them the hotter (more profitable) fuel. Therefore both are petitioning the regulators to be allowed to do it. The regulators are hesitant because the resulting waste from hotter fuel is more dangerous, and long term storage has become a boondoggle. Plus, a meltdown in a reactor running on the hotter fuel will be far worse.

In short, the nuclear iron mongers no longer want to vaporize you. Now they want to poison you. So which do you think is a worse fate for your hometown, Hiroshima or Fukushima?


message 13: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 13781 comments As the last (if I read correctly) treaty limiting nuclear race btw Russia and the US is about to expire soon and its extension seems problematic as long as it depends on China https://www.euronews.com/2020/06/22/r... , do you expect the speedy nuclearization to resume and, if yes, how much safer will it make us?


message 14: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 9759 comments Anyone who thinks more nukes will make us safer doesn't understand the problem.

My guess is the way Trump has been pulling out of treaties all over the place, he is hardly going to renew one unless it is so advantageous to him that nobody else will sign it. Biden might be more reasonable - hard to say. If the US pulls out and presumably starts manufacturing more they lose even more moral high ground to places like Iran, although I doubt that bothers anyone

As I see it, from a strategic point of view, the US spends so much money on the military and in developing new technology nobody else has the economic power to match them. Further, the US, historically, has been at war most of the time since T Roosevelt, so countries that are on its "bad" list cannot ignore the possibility of bad outcomes. The ONLY ways to stop the US militarily is to bog them down in long-term conventional warfare, but the US might counter with tactical nukes, and it seems to believe these are obvious advantages to it because it is the only country that can deploy them and hope to succeed. The only counter to places like Russia is to launch the huge nukes on hypersonic missiles - the MAD defence - with the promise it can turn the US into an ash-heap so guess what Russia and China will do. If anyone can see why this future is good, feel free to explain.


message 15: by Charissa (new)

Charissa Wilkinson (lilmizflashythang) | 293 comments Think of nukes kind of like guns. For example: say that there are three streets. Each street has 12 houses and for this case, all are occupied. One street there is one occupant that owns a gun. On the second, there are three occupied houses that own guns. The third only has two houses that are gun free. If you are a home invader, or a burglar, which street are you going after?

Nukes are the same thing, they are a deterrent. No one wants to use them, but some are willing to defend their homes with them.


message 16: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 9759 comments That is the theory. The problem is, sooner or later someone will make a mistake and initiate a response to a false positive, the other side will retaliate, and unlike a gunfight everything is over before it can be stopped.


message 17: by Charissa (new)

Charissa Wilkinson (lilmizflashythang) | 293 comments That's why people are worried about Iran. They've come out and said that they will bring about the end times by any means necessary.


message 18: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 9759 comments Charissa wrote: "That's why people are worried about Iran. They've come out and said that they will bring about the end times by any means necessary."

Haven't heard that one. Is there a quote?


message 19: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 13781 comments Charissa wrote: "... Nukes are the same thing, they are a deterrent. No one wants to use them, but some are willing to defend their homes with them. ..."

In the context of nuclear disarmament treaties and using your example, would 50 guns for 12 houses be enough, 100 or 300? For, even statistically, the greater the number the harder it becomes to keep all of them safe from misfiring


message 20: by Charissa (new)

Charissa Wilkinson (lilmizflashythang) | 293 comments To Ian: look up 'Iran and the 12th Imam.' This link is part of what you'll find: https://www1.cbn.com/onlinedisciplesh....

To Nik: we used to teach our children that guns were not a toy. It's only been in the last 80 years that children aren't around them much. So when they see a gun, they want to play with the new thing. Playing with something that you don't understand can lead to you getting hurt. Children don't play with knives because they are still in a lot of houses, and they are taught that they can hurt you. Sources of fire are still in most houses. Guess what is usually missing.


message 21: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 9759 comments Charissa, yes it is is unfortunate that numerology is strong in religions that desperately want the "end of times" to turn up "now". I agree it is particularly dangerous if the believers happen to be in power.


message 22: by G.R. (new)

G.R. Paskoff (grpaskoff) | 250 comments Charissa wrote: "To Nik: we used to teach our children that guns were not a toy..."

It does not help that children are often given toy guns to play with. How is a child supposed to differentiate?

But I agree with you that irresponsibility by the adult plays a large role in society. You could also argue that cars kill more people than guns. It's just that with nukes the stakes are much higher. And as Nik stated, with greater numbers comes the greater probability that a crazy person will get their hands on one.


message 23: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 9759 comments The real danger with nukes is someone will misinterpret a warning system, or some other disaster will happen. In the cold war there were too many near misses to be comfortable, one of which was in a silo where a drill scenario was played but they forgot to let everyone know it was a drill. Fortunately, someone in the right place suspected and stopped what would have set off an exchange.


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