Nuclear Weapon and Environment Threat Homework assignments are part of the chapter Nuclear Chemistry in the subject of Chemistry. It is also often a part of Nuclear Physics homework assignments. Successful completion of the homework can help students earn better grades as well as get a better understanding of the concepts that are covered in the assignment.
What are Nuclear Weapons?
A nuclear weapon is a type of weapon that makes use of nuclear fission reactions for an explosion. A nuclear fission reaction involves the breaking down of the nucleus of a large atom into smaller ones, which releases significant energy. This type of reaction also helps create neutrons, which in turn can lead to more number of fission reactions. A chain reaction is created when sufficient amount of radioactive material is put together, given that every fission reaction leads to many other reactions until the entire material is exhausted.
A nuclear weapon has a barrier on its inside, which helps separate many small areas of nuclear material. The barrier is removed suddenly to make the separated masses of nuclear material form into a single mass that is big enough for a chain reaction. The single mass is then exposed to a neutron source in order to initiate the reaction. The energy produced due to the reaction within the weapons can cause immediate destruction of entire cities.
The atomic bombings in Nagasaki and Hiroshima are possibly the biggest instance of nuclear reactions compromising human, animal, plant and environmental health. It occurred during the final days of World War II in 1945, and it was carried out by the United States. Nuclear bombs were dropped in the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, which killed over 90,000 people and over 60,000 people respectively. The after effects continue to this day, and threats of radiation loomed large for many decades given that radioactive elements stay active in the environment for many years. Despite many countries possessing nuclear arsenal today, atomic bombs are not used in warfare due to the significant threat to the global environment that are posed by these weapons, which are products of nuclear reactions.
Along with biological and chemical weapons, nuclear weapons are put into the category of a weapon of mass destruction (WMD), as it is capable of harming or killing many people at once. The use of these weapons is controlled and restricted heavily by international agreements and laws, given that these are extremely dangerous. Many people would love to have these weapons destroyed.
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How Do Nuclear Weapons Pose Environment Threat?
- Nuclear weapons pose the biggest threat to the planet’s environment. Even a small war involving these weapons can devastate the ecosystems and the climate of the world quickly, resulting in damages that can last for over a decade.
- The nuclear reaction produced by the impact of weapons with the ground can cause significant rise in global temperatures, causing the death of millions of people and making fields unable for cultivation for many years after a conflict. It can also deplete the protective ozone layer over the Earth and expose living beings to harmful UV radiation. The UV layer can be depleted by around 70% at the poles and about 40% in the inhabited regions.
- In the aftermath of a nuclear war, highly populated countries are likely to suffer the most. An attack on the United Kingdom can result in 3 million deaths immediately while an internal nuclear conflict between India and Pakistan can lead to 12 million and 9 million deaths respectively. In the UK, a single nuclear blast can kill over 125,000 individuals and wound 100,000 more people.
- Although hills and other geographical obstructions can constrain human losses, the environmental effects of using nuclear weapons can spread across the globe. An abrupt change to the ecosystem of the Earth due to atomic weapon blasts can be worse than any impact predicted due to greenhouse gases in global warming.
- Nuclear bombs can cause highly destructive explosions due to release of energy from the coming together of separated small nuclear material masses. A nuclear bomb, when detonated, causes an intense radiation, fireball and shockwaves. There is formation of a mushroom cloud from vaporized debris, and radioactive particles are dispersed and come down to the Earth, thus contaminating food and water supply, soil and air. In the presence of strong wind, nuclear fallout can cause extensive environmental damage that can reach far.
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In the target zone, these weapons destroy most forms of life. For instance, when an atomic bomb was dropped in 1945 over Hiroshima in the United States, all life forms were annihilated in a radius of 4.4 square miles. The bomb had the impact of 20,000 tons of dynamite, as an investigative report by the Manhattan Engineer District in 1946 reported. Animals and humans surviving in Hiroshima suffered from injuries caused by flying glasses, radiation poisoning and acute burns. Same casualties were noticed when Nagasaki was bombed just 3 days later. In adjoining areas, leaves were stripped off and scorched and trees were snapped off and uprooted.
Detonating nuclear weapons over the ground can cause radioactive particles to enter the stratosphere, resulting in global fallout. These bombs cause greater fallout levels than accidents in nuclear weapons. For instance, an accident in 1986 at the Chernobyl nuclear facility resulted in radioactive fallout and contaminated 5 million acres of agricultural land in Ukraine. Even European nations witnessed higher levels of milk and vegetables sourced from contaminated areas.
When exposed to radiation, the DNA in human genes can be altered. The same can be experienced in animals and plants, resulting in harmful consequences. An article published in “Environmental Health Perspectives” in 1996 stated that genetic mutations resulting from radiation have resulted in malignant tumors in survivors of bombing in Nagasaki and Hiroshima. Mutations can also reduce reproductive ability and activate peculiar changes in how babies look, with some of them being born with additional limbs. According to a 2011 report by National Geographic, larvae and eggs of organisms inhabiting seawater contaminated with radioactive materials are particularly prone to genetic mutation.
According to author-duo O.B. Toon and A. Robock in an article published in 2012 in “The Atomic Scientist” dense smoke resulting from a nuclear war can obstruct sunlight and plunge the planet into complete darkness. Plants would die from lack of sunlight and warmth, leading to the destruction of all animal life as well.
How to Handle Nuclear Weapon and Environment Threat Homework?
Dealing with a Nuclear Weapon and Environment Threat Homework assignment and successfully completing it means that you have to understand the concept and how nuclear warheads can actually affect the environment. Students new to Nuclear Chemistry or Physics often find it difficult to include all the fine points, and follow the right format.
There are online tutors who are capable of offering web-based project assistance. You can get email based help, and constantly contact tutors through Live Chat, Skype, Instant Messenger or email to receive guidance and advice other than project ideas, reference material and assistance. Online homework project help agencies consist of qualified and experienced tutors who specialize in Nuclear Chemistry. You can get projects completed within strict deadlines and get the chance to submit them on time.