The weapons

An atomic explosion is a chain reaction in which atoms are split. This releases colossal amounts of energy, and particles that collide with more and more atoms causing an exponentially growing chain reaction. This process is called fission. The most powerful fission explosion is achieved by using enriched uranium and plutonium atoms, which are unstable and radioactive.

What they do

Nuclear weapons are far more destructive than conventional bombs. Their explosions kill indiscriminately on a massive scale, and their radioactive fallout can continue causing fatal illness for years to come.

Testing them

Nuclear map5

Nine countries have nuclear weapons and it is estimated that 35-40 have the knowledge to acquire them.6

Who’s complicit?

Who’s kicked the habit?

Who’s nuke free?

Who generates nuclear power?

What they cost

The eco-cost of one bomb

The radioactive waste created in the manufacture of an average nuclear bomb includes 2,000 tons of uranium mining waste, 4 tons of depleted uranium and 50 cubic meters of ‘low-level’ waste. ‘Clean up’ following nuclear weapons production and testing in the US will cost more than $300 billion through to the year 2070.17

  1.; How Stuff Works,
  2. Kate Hudson, CND – Now More Than Ever, The Story of a Peace Movement, Vision Paperbacks, 2005.
  3. ICAN, ‘Nuclear Weapons Today’,
  4. Frank Barnaby, How to build a nuclear bomb, 2003, Granta.
  5. ICAN Nuclear Map,
  6. Mohamed ElBaradei, ‘Preserving the Non-Proliferation Treaty’, 2005,
  7. Bradford Disarmament Research Centre,
  8. Nuclear Information Project, ‘US Nuclear Weapons in Europe’,
  9. Arms Control Association, ‘Nuclear Weapon Free Zones’,
  10. International Atomic Energy Association,
  11. Arms Control Association, ‘Nuclear Weapons – who has what?’,
  12. Natural Resources Defense Council, ‘Nuclear Insecurity – A Critique of the Bush Administration’s Nuclear Weapons Policies’, 2004,
  13. 1998 UNDP Human Development Report,
  14. Brookings Institution, ‘The US Nuclear Weapons Cost Study Project’, 1998,
  15. The American War Library,
  16. Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, ‘The cost of British nuclear weapons’,
  17. ‘The Environment and the Nuclear Age’, Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom,