Making a nuke-free world

Asad Latif
Publication Date: 
Wed, 2009-08-12 03:00

When Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were attacked by nuclear weapon, there was massive destruction of civilian lives and properties. The nuclear weapon "Little Boy" was dropped on Hiroshima on Monday, August 6, 1945. Then three days later on August 9, another nuclear weapon "Fat Man" was detonated on Nagasaki.

Those nuclear attacks killed 140,000 people in Hiroshima and 80,000 in Nagasaki by the end of 1945. Almost half of them were killed on the days of attacks.

Entire world condemned those attacks and sympathized with the victims in that horrendous tragedy. But, today after 64 years of the tragedy, many nations continue to possess nuclear weapons. Many others aspire to make the one. This doesn't seem to be a fitting response to the tragedy.

A lesson should be learned from that appalling tragedy. Elimination of all nuclear weapons is the only way to avert such a catastrophic event.

Some argue to support application of uranium for peaceful purposes. Here are their standpoints:

* Nuclear reactors are fuelled by uranium in the process of making nuclear energy for civilian purposes.

* Nuclear energy is gradually becoming a major source of electric power in many countries around the world. In the United States, it supplies more electricity than gas, hydropower, or oil.

* Nuclear energy is more environmental friendly and produces far less pollutants.

* Nuclear power plants continue to become safer day by day as the technology becomes more advanced.

There are obviously advantages in these applications.

But, the point is that nations can also create nuclear weapons. The outcome of this destructive application nullifies benefits that emanate from other applications. And since we have already witnessed the outcome of the misuse, there is no point to argue that nuclear weapons are in safe hands or that they would never be used. The fact remains that they have been used, causing enormous damage. . . .

Therefore, any country involved in uranium sales - even if its intention is only for peaceful purposes - should consider that it could also be used to make nuclear weapons at some time.

The mad race to possess nuclear weapons can never bring out peace. No nation should be allowed to keep it or produce it further. And this rule should be followed by comity of nations as it is in their best interest.

All alternative sources of energy should be explored. The benefits of other forms of energy would outweigh the associated cost over the long term. And as the technology advances, there would be more cost-effective ways to produce these.

It is a matter of mindset. It is about taking the side of morality. People, women, and children who were the victims in Hiroshima and Nagasaki were our own people. They were the citizens of humanity. It is about placing ourselves in their shoes. Then perhaps, we may understand more clearly what should be our goal. No factor whatsoever, inspired by greed, can help us take out of this chaos. Greed stops us from thinking rationally; unless we are free from it and want to do the right thing even if it goes against us, we may fail to do what is required at this point.

The containment of uranium and prevention of nuclear proliferation should be our top priorities.

This is the way we can make our beautiful planet earth free from those nuclear weapons.

This is a point where the East and the West can converge and join hands to advance a noble cause. After all, it is a matter of global concern, and deserves global coordination and cooperation.

And it would be a meaningful legacy of a brighter future and hope for our future generations.

Asad Latif has an engineering background and is a writer based in Toronto, Canada. He can be reached at [email protected]

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