The International Day Against Nuclear Tests on August 29th raises awareness and educates about the harmful effects of nuclear testing.
Nuclear weapons testing began in 1945. Since that time, nearly 2,000 nuclear tests have taken place. When nuclear testing first began, scientist knew very little about its harmful effects. Through the years, increasing concern and evidence points to the devastating impact of nuclear testing. From 1951 to 1973, radioactive fallout from nuclear tests is responsible for killing up to 690,000 Americans.
These deaths occurred as a result of radiation exposure. Residents living near-atomic testing sites were particularly affected. On nearby farms, cows exposed to the radiation proved to spread the contamination further. The cows’ contaminated milk traveled beyond the fallout area, endangering even more people. Those who drank contaminated milk suffered the deadly effects of radiation. Since radioactive emissions drifted into the atmosphere, many others were also put at risk.
It wasn’t until 1992 that the last U.S. nuclear weapons test took place. In 1996, President Bill Clinton signed the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty. A total of 183 countries signed the treaty. However, the United States has not yet ratified the convention. As of the 21st century, the only country believed to conduct nuclear testing is North Korea.
Even though the U.S. no longer conducts nuclear testing, many Americans still suffer. Even those exposed decades ago continue to suffer today. Conditions range may include cancer, acute radiation syndrome, and cardiovascular diseases.
HOW TO OBSERVE #DayAgainstNuclearTests
While exploring nuclear testing history, learn more about its impact. Explore its effects on plants, animals, humans, and the earth. Then, discover what you can do and what’s being done.
Books and documentaries offer ways to understand. Visit NukeWatch.org to find lists of books and films documenting the history of the nuclear era. From the dawn of the nuclear age to the Cold War and into the future, these glimpses offer a variety of perspectives.
Learn more at the nih.gov, justice.gov, and un.org.
Use #DayAgainstNuclearTests to share on social media.
INTERNATIONAL DAY AGAINST NUCLEAR TESTS HISTORY
The United Nations General Assembly declared International Day Against Nuclear Tests with the adoption of resolution 64/35 on December 2, 2009. The first observance took place on August 29, 2010. Each year, conferences, exhibits, new initiatives, and media attention focus on the day.
The Republic of Kazakhstan initiated the resolution. Kazakhstan is the home of one of the world’s largest nuclear testing sites. It closed on August 29th, 1991.