The Threat of a Nuclear War

Is it a possiblity?


Buisiness Insider

Image Credit: Business Insider

Ever since Russian President Vladimir Putin started a war on Ukraine, he has been turning heads with some of his statements. He has made it clear that anyone who provided aid to Ukraine would be facing “consequences never experienced in history.” With this statement, he means nuclear war. The only time nuclear weapons have been used in war was at the end of World War II against Japan.

At this time, Russia possesses the world’s largest nuclear arsenal, which includes around 5,977 warheads. This adds up to about half the world’s nuclear weapons. The U.S. itself has about 5,428 warheads and has the second place amount of nuclear weapons globally – followed by China, France, and the United Kingdom. 

Strategic nuclear weapons are generally used to target cities, but a large-scale attack from Russia would risk activating NATO. Basically, if Russia launched its entire nuclear arsenal, half the planet would become uninhabitable because of radiation, and even a smaller amount would cause devastation. 

Nuclear weapons were invented in a laboratory in Berlin, Germany, in 1938, and made the first atomic bomb possible. This happened after Otto Hahn, Lise Meitner, and Fritz Strassman founded nuclear fission. However,  Robert Oppenheimer is often called the “father of the atomic bomb” for leading the Manhattan Project, the program that developed the first nuclear weapon during World War II.