Pakistan Observer

No to nuclear weapons

Saima Kamal

Sunday, August 26, 2012 - On August 29 the world celebrates the International Day against nuclear testing. Exactly twenty years ago there was an event, which overturned the course of modern history - the largest nuclear test site – Semipalatinsk test site was closed. For the first time Kazakhstan, a nation possessing the world’s fourth largest nuclear capacity - abandoned it. August 29 should remind the world about the threat to the existence of mankind. Struggling for world domination major powers have made many mistakes. Weapons of retribution, turned into weapons of terror, were created by policemen “on the bones” of civilians. The atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki are the only examples of the combat use of nuclear weapons in the history of mankind. Half a million lives, of whom more than half - the descendants of irradiated ones. Japan is still reaping the benefits of such a brutal demonstration of power.

However, there are a lot of victims of the arms race around the world. The famous Bikini Atoll, where the U.S. conducted 67 nuclear tests in the period from 1946 to 1958. The inhabitants of the atoll, relocated from there after the first explosion have never been able to return to their homeland. Nearly 840 inhabitants of the Pacific atoll have died from cancer and other diseases caused by U.S. nuclear testing. Approximately 7,000 former residents of Bikini, which were evacuated from the island, demanded to be recognized as victims of the U.S. trials. However, the authorities officially recognized only 1865 people as victims, nearly half of them died. The victims, which were paid compensation worth 83 million dollars from United States government, had the symptoms of 35 different diseases.

Among the population of the regions of Kazakhstan, located near the border with China in the Lop Nor nuclear test site (testings took place there in 1964-1996) cancer rates rose sharply. According to the Kazakh Research Institute of Oncology and Radiology, cancer rates of children in the border area with China in the 70-90 years of the twentieth century has increased by 30 times, and their deaths - in 3 times and it is the highest rate in Kazakhstan. “Radiation traces” of Chinese Bombs can be seen around the world. All radioactive clouds formed as a result of atmospheric nuclear explosions at the Lop Nor test site, passed over the East Asian countries, then in North America, Europe, Central Asia and Kazakhstan and were gone again to the east. Such clouds exist approximately one month in the troposphere. (Radioactive cloud from the Chernobyl accident spared the Globe for more than two times).

These clouds have passed over the ground also from the British nuclear tests in the area of Monte Bello Islands (north-west Australia) and on Christmas Island in Polynesia. From French tests conducted on an oasis Reggan in Algeria and at Mururoa Atoll. Indian tests at the site Pokharan. Pakistani tests - at the site of the Chagan-Hills in Baluchistan province. And many others. In fact, the consequences of a demonstration of nuclear power were experienced by citizens of countries which were not even dreaming to enter the nuclear club. And to this day they continue suffering. Conducted in recent years, the analysis of ice in Antarctica and in the North Pole has shown that it has accumulated a huge stock of radiation as a result of tests carried out in the world. Actually, in every plant on earth, in every person born after the first test there are the traces of the tested nuclear weapons.

It is likely that global warming is also a consequence of nuclear and thermonuclear explosions. The most striking example of the negative impact of radiation on the human race is the story of the Semipalatinsk test site in Kazakhstan. There were produced 50 tests, affecting half a million people. Even 20 years after the closure of the landfill radioactive background in it is still several times higher than the maximum permissible rate. In fact, more than 18,500 square miles of steppe land are withdrawn from safety agricultural use and have a little use for life.

Today, more and more countries join the initiatives of Kazakhstan to create a world free from the threats of weapons of mass destruction. This is especially important on the background of recent calls in the field of nuclear terrorism. Members of the Nuclear Club encourage other states to use nuclear energy solely for peaceful purposes. The result of international community’s uncontrolled ownership of such weapons is seen today: millions of victims, lands that are contaminated for tens or hundreds of years, children mutants. On August 29 the world community can heed the calls and not repeat the tragic nuclear history of the last century. And this decision requires joint efforts to implement the initiatives to build a safer world.

comments powered by Disqus