History has taught us what’s important

International Day against Nuclear Tests – August 29

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The dangers of nuclear testing are recognized worldwide.

Valeria Perez, Scholarship editor

Nuclear testing has been happening since 1945. Around 2,000 tests have happened since (UN.org).

Nuclear weapons leave irreversible effects in the surrounding areas. These tests cause anxiety for people. Nuclear fallout affects the environment and atmosphere. When the radioactive materials start to decay, there is radiation released having a physical toll on human bodies like increased risk of getting cancer or cell mutation (CRC.org).

These nuclear tests/weapons leave lingering issues. For example, during the Cold War, the country of Kazakhstan had a nuclear testing site. In secret, up to a quarter of the world’s testing took place there. The US had ended the war with two nuclear attacks making Joseph Stalin wanting to catch up. There were 456 atomic explosions at Semipalatinsk Test Site. Twenty years later, the effects are still being seen (UN.org).

Events like these should make us prioritize the effort of banning nuclear weapons overall. The US stopped testing nuclear power in 1996, although they still currently have around 5,800 warheads.

International Day against Nuclear Tests takes place on Sunday, August 29. Seventy-one nations have adopted the Comprehensive Nuclear Test (CTBT).