Atomic bombs are a threat to the world. Atom bomb nicknamed “Little Boy”
that exploded in Hiroshima exploded at an altitude of 580m. The atomic bomb employed
uranium 235 and war equivalent in power to approximately 15 kilotons of TNT gun
Hiroshima was a city at work. The
streets were filled. Children had reported to schools; it was a time when
direct exposure in the open was at its peak…then, at 8:14 AM a prolonged and
brilliant flash. Accompanying the flash of light was an instantaneous flash of
heat traveling with the speed of light…duration probably less than one-tenth of
a second, and its intensity sufficient to cause nearby things to burst into
flames as far as four thousand yards from the hypocenter, with temperatures
exceeding 1800 degrees Celsius…then a shock wave (Lie bow 24).
During the final stages of World War II in 1945, the United States
conducted two atomic bombings against the cities of Hiroshimaand
Nagasaki in Japan, the
first on August 6, 1945 and the second on August 9, 1945. These two events are
the only use of nuclear weapons in war to date.
For six months before the atomic bombings, the United States intensely
fire-bombed 67 Japanese cities. Together with the United Kingdom and the Republic
of China, the United States called for a surrender of Japan in the Potsdam
Declaration on July 26, 1945. The Japanese government ignored this ultimatum.
By executive order of President Harry S. Truman, the U.S. dropped the nuclear
weapon “Little Boy” on the city of Hiroshima on Monday, August 6,
1945, followed by the detonation of “Fat Man” over Nagasaki on August
Within the first two to four months of the bombings, the acute effects
killed 90,000–166,000 people in Hiroshima and 60,000–80,000 in Nagasaki, with
roughly half of the deaths in each city occurring on the first day. The
Hiroshima prefectural health department estimates that, of the people who died
on the day of the explosion, 60% died from flash or flame burns, 30% from
falling debris and 10% from other causes. During the following months, large
numbers died from the effect of burns, radiation sickness, and other injuries,
compounded by illness. In a US estimate of the total immediate and short term
cause of death, 15–20% died from radiation sickness, 20–30% from flash burns,
and 50–60% from other injuries, compounded by illness. In both cities, most of
the dead were civilians.
Six days after the detonation over Nagasaki, on August 15, Japan announced its
surrender to the Allied Powers, signing the Instrument of Surrender on
September 2, officially ending the Pacific War and therefore World War II, as Germany
had already signed its Instrument of Surrender on May 7, ending the war in
Europe. The bombings led, in part, to post-war Japan’s adopting Three
Non-Nuclear Principles, forbidding the nation from nuclear armament. The role
of the bombings in Japan’s surrender and the U.S.’s ethical justification for
them, as well as their strategic importance, is still debated.
Dropping the atomic bombs on Nagasaki
and Hiroshima brought an end to many years of destruction and debilitation.
Perhaps had the United States not taken such drastic matters, the war soon
would have ended on its own. Yet, despite such obliteration, at that time nuclear
bomb use seemed the appropriate, viable option. It was not until afterwards,
when it was too late, did the world learn of the devastating implications. And
while Japan prospered soon after, negative effects of the bombs linger, effects
that will never be covered despite concerted efforts. The absence of detecting
a statistically significant effect of radiation on the frequency of genetically
based birth defects should not be construed as evidence that mutations were not
induced by parental exposure to atomic radiation. Nor should we ignore the
proliferating psychological implications across the world. We have an
obligation to learn from this tragedy. We must continue to understand the
effects, conduct more studies, and most importantly, identify other means
through which to end world conflict.