Nagasaki in the aftermath of the atomic bombing by the United States

At 11:02 a.m. on August 9, 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the Japanese city of Nagasaki. An area of 6.7 million square meters was completely levelled, 11,574 houses were completely burned, 148,793 people were killed or injured, and thousands died of radioactive poisoning in the years that followed.

Photograph by Yosuke Yamahata. Photo source: Museum of Science, Art, and Human Perception. Information source: The Atomic Bombing of Nagasaki

The nuclear threat

The cause of the nuclear arms race and the situation in the world today is the minds of these men running this country -- and in other countries too but mostly the United States -- and it's important that we psychoanalyze these people for the public health of the planet. And if we find they are mentally or psychologically inappropriate for our survival, they must be removed from office on an urgency basis. [Long applause] -- Dr. Helen Caldicott, from a speech delivered at Smith College on November 12, 2002. Click here to listen to the speech, which is also available on videocassette from Turning Tide.


The U.S. Nuclear War Plan: A Time for Change (NRDC, June 2001) Beyond the Nuclear Shadow: A Phased Approach for Improving Nuclear Safety and U.S-Russian Relations (RAND, 2003) Atomic Audit: The Costs and Consequences of U.S. Nuclear Weapons Since 1940 (Brookings, June 1998)

The short answer: $5.5 trillion.

Recent news

Other resources


The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists moved the minute hand of the "Doomsday Clock," the symbol of nuclear danger, from nine to seven minutes to midnight on February 27, 2002, saying the following: Moving the clock's hands at this time reflects our growing concern that the international community has hit the 'snooze' button rather than respond to the alarm. Dr. Helen Caldicott, a surgeon, antinuclear activist, and author of the book The New Nuclear Danger speaks on the nuclear threat in an audio interview here.

For an analysis of the Nuclear Posture Review, see the following report from the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. For information on the development of new nuclear weapons which has been largely obscured from the public, see the following article.

"Then, as had been foreshadowed, whispered, hinted at and finally broadcast over a period of months, came the monumentally insane, horrendous, and tragic announcement on 13 December 2001 by the Bush Jr. administration to withdraw from the ABM Treaty, effective within six months. Of course it was sheer coincidence that the Pentagon released the bin Laden Video just as Bush Jr. himself publicly announced his indefensible decision to withdraw from the ABM Treaty in order to pursue his phantasmagorical National Missile Defense (NMD) Program, the lineal successor to the Reagan/Bush Star Wars Dream. Predictably, the bin Laden video back-staged this major, pro-nuclear announcement. Once again the terrible national tragedy of 11 September was shamelessly exploited in order to justify a reckless decision that had already been made for other reasons long before then. Then on 25 January 2002, the Pentagon promptly conducted a sea-based NMD test in gross violation of Article 5(I) of the ABM Treaty without waiting for the required six months to expire, thus driving a proverbial nail into the coffin of the ABM Treaty before its body was legally dead.

The Bush Jr. withdrawal from the ABM Treaty, which was originally negotiated by those well-known Realpolitikers Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger, threatens the very existence of other seminal arms control treaties and regimes such as the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and the Biological Weapons Convention, which have similar withdrawal clauses. The prospect of yet another round of the multilateral and destabilizing nuclear arms race now stares humanity directly in the face, even as the Bush Jr. administration today prepares for the quick resumption of nuclear testing at the Nevada test site in outright defiance of the CTBT regime and NPT article VI. The entire edifice of international agreements regulating, reducing, and eliminating weapons of mass extermination (WME) has been shaken to its very core. Now the Pentagon and the CIA are back into the dirty business of researching, developing, and testing biological weapons and biological agents that are clearly prohibited by the Biological Weapons Convention and its U.S. domestic implementing legislation, the Biological Weapons Anti-Terrorism Act of 1989. -- Professor Francis A. Boyle, The Criminality of Nuclear Deterrence; see also his article of the same name

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Last modified: Thu Jan 27 20:32:35 CST 2005