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George Bush leads the US toward a policy of unilateral, pre-emptive counterproliferation warfighting strategy.

Abolish nuclear weapons

The Cold War may be over, but this does not mean nuclear weapons have disappeared. Far from it: There are over 30,000 nuclear weapons in the world, with more than a thousand of them ready to launch at a moment's notice, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Over 400 reactors in warships and nuclear submarines are still circlingthe globe. Some are rotting away on the bottom of the ocean or in adistant port somewhere in Russia. Accidents such as the Russiansubmarine, the Kursk, tragically sinking in the Barents Sea can happenevery day, anywhere.

Over 2,000 nuclear weapons tests have left a legacy of global andregional contamination. People living near the test sites have sufferedfrom cancers, stillbirths, miscarriages and other health effects -- and are still suffering today. Manyhad to leave their hometown or island as it became too contaminated tolive there.

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The nuclear threat has quite literally scaled down in the last twodecades. While the prospect of an all out exchange of arsenals betweenRussia and the US has receded, the 15 kilotons of destructionthat obliterated Hiroshima could today be accomplished with a lunch-boxsized bomb. George Bush talks openly of developing new "more useable"nuclear weapons. Even more alarmingly, the administration continues toseek approval for a programme geared toward designing more robust, more'usable' nuclear weapons.

The prospects of a nuclear weapon actuallybeing used are perhaps greater today than during the cold war.

Today, the number of countries involved in active weapons programsis increasing. A growing number of countries are lining up to join thenuclear club, increasing the chance that a nuclear catastrophe willhappen somewhere on the planet. 

George Bush's war on Weapons of Mass Descruction had its firstconcrete result when the number of countries in the world with declarednuclear weapons increased to 8 from 7, when North Korea announced thatit had built "enough nuclear weapons to deter a US attack."

Nuclear brinkmanship is inevitable in a climate of nuclearhypocrisy. Only when all countries pursue nuclear disarmament in goodfaith can we begin putting the nuclear genie back in the bottle bybanning the use and manufacture of the nuclear materials at the heart of the bomb.

The only thing that will stop the threat is the voice of the second superpower: world opinion.

The latest updates

 

Contamination from the plant pollutes the

Image | 1 April, 2002 at 1:00

Contamination from the plant pollutes the soil and ground water of local communities. Hundreds of people, still drink and wash with the contaminated ground water.

Union Carbide left hundreds of tonnes of

Image | 1 April, 2002 at 1:00

Union Carbide left hundreds of tonnes of toxic waste on the site. Until mid-2001, the factory grounds were inaccessible without special permission from the government.

Hasan Ali has seven grown

Image | 1 April, 2002 at 1:00

Hasan Ali has seven grown-up daughters. 'Our education has suffered because of our father's illness, and the fact that we too have been ill at different times. Because of this, there are several problems related to our marriages,' says Kishwar,...

Mohammad Arif, Bhopal 2002

Image | 1 April, 2002 at 1:00

Mohammad Arif, Bhopal 2002 Mohammad Arif has a sick heart and damaged lungs which provoke violent coughing fits that rack his fragile body. Doctors say he has pulmonary fibrosis, a condition that can only be cured by replacing his lungs. Bhopal,...

Pushpa (70) lies in a ward in the Bhopal

Image | 1 April, 2002 at 1:00

Pushpa (70) lies in a ward in the Bhopal Memorial Charitable Hospital and Research Centre. 'She is our aunt. She was exposed to the gas. She has been sick ever since. But now her condition is much worse. In fact, this hospital has become almost...

The Death Doctor: 20,000 autopsies so far

Image | 1 April, 2002 at 1:00

The Death Doctor, Bhopal 2002 "I must have performed more than 20,000 autopsies so far. No relative of a gas victim can get a compensation claim for a death without my certificate. It has been a nightmarish experience. Especially those initial...

Born on the day the toxic gas swept across

Image | 1 April, 2002 at 1:00

Born on the day the toxic gas swept across the city, this girl was named Gas Devi - 'gas goddess' - by her parents.

Shakeel Quereshi was the shift

Image | 1 April, 2002 at 1:00

Shakeel Quereshi was the shift-in charge at the Union Carbide factory on the night of 2-3 December 1984. 'I am one of the witnesses as well as accused in this case. The disaster unfolded before my eyes. But the fact remains that my life has been...

Foetuses which were aborted by pregnant women

Image | 1 April, 2002 at 1:00

Fetuses which were aborted by pregnant women escaping from the gas, or shortly after the gas leak, were preserved at the state government's Hamidia Hospital, to establish the cause of death.

This couple have spent almost everything

Image | 1 April, 2002 at 1:00

This couple have spent almost everything they have on medical treatment since being exposed to the gas. When doctors advised Leela Devi that an abdominal operation was essential for saving her life, they had to borrow money from their neighbours.

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