6 Advantages and Disadvantages of Nuclear Weapons

The use of nuclear weapons in war happened twice and both were carried out by the United States against Japan during the Second World War. The first bombing occurred on August 6, 1945 over the Japanese city of Hiroshima. On August 9, three days later, a second bomb was dropped over the Japanese city of Nagasaki. The dropping of the bombs resulted in close to 200,000 deaths and to this day, the ethics behind the bombings are still being debated.

Just recently, North Korea’s Kim Jong Un ordered more nuclear weapons tests despite sanctions and international condemnation. The question is: why would nuclear weapons be used? The use of such weapons has sparked fierce debate and here’s a look at both sides of the argument:

List of Advantages of Nuclear Weapons

1. It prevents major wars from occurring.
The number of nuclear warheads from armed states comes up to 16,000 with 90% belonging to the United States and Russia. There are 10,000 warheads in military service while the rest are waiting to be dismantled. A state with nuclear arms is less likely to be attacked because of the presence of a great defensive weapon. As a result, there would be more peace because diplomatic talks would be the first order of the day rather than go to war.

2. It puts negotiation first.
Nations would think long and hard before attacking a country armed with nuclear weapons. This means that conflicts that need to be resolved will be done through a more peaceful manner rather than risking lives.

3. It increases the power of a nation as well as its status.
The mere mention of nuclear weapons strikes fear into the hearts of many. After all, history tells us of the nuclear attacks on Japan by the United States during the Second World War and it’s still painful to relive that moment in history. North Korea may be a small country but when their leader is threatening to use nuclear weapon, that’s something that shouldn’t fall on deaf ears.

List of Disadvantages of Nuclear Weapons

1. It is used as a strategic excuse.
Nations that have nuclear weapons all say they need them for defense purposes, that they are vulnerable to attacks if they don’t have these kinds of weapons. Although these weapons carry a high risk of destruction and devastation, nations still prefer to have them for security purposes.

2. It is expensive and high maintenance.
Nuclear weapons cost a lot of money to build and maintain. North Korea is not considered as one of the richest countries in the world and they continue to threaten with nuclear weapons. By focusing too much on developing these kinds of weapons, they leave nothing much for the citizens of a nation. Resources that could be for the welfare of people are put into building weapons of mass destruction.

3. It comes with lots of risks.
The effects of nuclear experiments can remain long after the tests have completed. As such, the risk to human life is very great. For instance, nuclear weapons can lead to radiation disaster. Plus, tests leave negative impact on the environment as well.