What Nuclear Weapons Do

Nuclear weapons are not simply immoral.  They make nonsense of the very idea of morality.  They destroy people on a massive scale just because they happen to be there when the bombs drop.  They are not just weapons of mass destruction; they are extermination devices. They are of no military value. Their aim is to instill terror under the guise of “deterrence”.

Every day the peril of nuclear weapons being used hangs over each one of us.  Human beings are fallible and not safe to be trusted with such awesome responsibility.  Whether by design or accident, catastrophe is always possible.

Unspeakable Suffering

(Adapted from the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament website)

We know about the unspeakable suffering inflicted on human beings by the use of nuclear weapons from  a single atomic bomb dropped on the Japanese city of Hiroshima by an American plane in 1945.   Nearly seventy years later there are tens of thousands
of nuclear weapons, most them far more devastating.  Any one of them would have catastrophic effects.

Hiroshima - a devastated city

Hiroshima – a devastated city


The heart of a nuclear explosion reaches a temperature of several million degrees centigrade. Over a wide area the heat flash vaporises all human skin and bone. In Hiroshima, within a radius of half a mile, the only remains of most of the people caught in the open were their shadows burnt into stone.


People inside buildings would be killed as buildings collapse and burst into flames. The immediate death rate will be over 90%. Fires will combine to produce a hurricane force fire storm. People in underground shelters who survive the initial heat flash will die as all the oxygen is sucked out of the atmosphere.
Shadow of an obliterated person burnt into a wall

Shadow of an obliterated person burnt into a wall


Survivors will be quickly affected by radioactive fall-out.  The effects include hair loss, bleeding from the mouth and gums, internal bleeding and haemorrhagic diarrhoea, gangrenous ulcers, vomiting, fever, delirium and terminal coma. There is no effective treatment and death follows in a matter of days.


Hiroshima Firestorm

Hiroshima Firestorm

The effects of nuclear weapons would go beyond the immediate area.  The results would be globally devastating.Radiation-induced cancers will affect many, often over twenty years later.  Certain cancers such as thyroid cancer in children are particularly associated with exposure to radiation. The children of those exposed to radiation are statistically more likely to be born with abnormalities and suffer from leukaemia. 


Nuclear weapons cause severe damage to the climate and environment on a scale incomparable to any other weapon. Even a “small” nuclear war could trigger a global and climatic catastrophe. Apart from the horrific initial annihilation of life, it would cause nuclear winter and billions would starve. Cancer rates would soar and here could be no effective assistance. 

We totally reject the idea of ever using nuclear weapons:
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