Nuclear Weapons

The Cold War is over, but the United States and Russia still keep thousands of nuclear weapons on alert and in reserve. Understand the issues with our technical and political analysis.


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Latest Nuclear Weapons Posts

A 75-year Rally Against Nuclear Weapons Brings the World Closer to Justice

Miyako Kurosaki, Nuclear policy research consultant, , UCS

Finally, the day is coming. On January 22, the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) will enter into force. This treaty, the first comprehensive ban of nuclear weapons, sets an important precedent in its recognition of the humanitarian consequences of using nuclear weapons. The movement to center the humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons has gained momentum over the last ten years. However, the survivors of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, called hibakusha, have tirelessly given witness to this humanitarian perspective for 75 years in order to convince the world to eliminate nuclear weapons.
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MI and WI Voters Determined Last Two Elections, New Administration and Congress Would be Wise to Understand Their Spending Priorities

Michigan and Wisconsin together are part of the epicenter of political power in the US. Indeed, these two states form the core of a region—the “Midwest”—that plays a perennial outsized role in US electionsThree of the four people to hold the position of Speaker of the House of Representatives in the first two decades of the 21st century hailed from a state with Great Lakes shoreline. Michigan and Wisconsin have twice recently shifted the direction of presidential elections by awarding their twenty-six electoral votes to President Trump in 2016 and subsequently President-elect Biden in 2020. Joe Biden may not have won the presidency without their key electoral votes.
City councilors, members of Congress, and presidents have won or lost elections in swing areas of these states through their conduct at small, local events,  and a common recurrence during elections in both states is that of razor-thin election margins. 

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Why an Atomic Veteran Says the U.S. Must Never Resume Nuclear Weapons Testing

Jim Dangerfield, atomic veteran, , UCS

I was an Army specialist fourth class in 1957 when I was bused to the Nevada Test Site with other servicemen for an operation we were told nothing about. We soon witnessed a series of nuclear bomb blasts that created such intense flashes of light that I could see the blood vessels and bones in my hands as I covered my closed eyes. Years later, I am still haunted by those excruciatingly bright bursts.
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President Biden, Nuclear Weapons, and US Security: The First 100 Days

, Washington representative and senior analyst

As President-elect Biden prepares for the enormous responsibility of becoming president of the United States, there is one question I want to ask him: Sir, are you a fan of a nuclear arms race? Because you are being handed one, a burgeoning nuclear and technology arms race waged by Russia, China, and the United States.

The Trump administration has embraced this race, with the president’s chief arms control negotiator declaring that the United States knows “how to win these races and we know how to spend the adversary into oblivion.” (Oblivion? Seriously?) And yet, perhaps surprisingly, it was President Barack Obama who started the wheels churning on all this; his administration lay plans to build new versions of every piece of the oversized US nuclear force structure—new long-range bombers, new land-based missiles, new nuclear-armed submarines, new nuclear-armed cruise missiles, and new versions of the nuclear warheads they carry. Since coming to office, President Trump added to the list a new, lower-yield nuclear warhead, a new submarine-launched cruise missile, and one more new nuclear warhead for submarine-based missiles.

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A Historic Nuclear Ban Treaty Is Set to Become International Law: Here’s What That Means

, Research and policy analyst

On October 24, Honduras became the 50th state to ratify the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, also called the nuclear ban treaty. Ninety days from now, the treaty will enter into force as an instrument of international law. This historic treaty is the first comprehensive prohibition of nuclear weapons, placing them alongside biological weapons and chemical weapons as illegitimate tools of war under international law. Read More

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