Analysis & Opinions - The Washington Post

75 Years after Hiroshima, Here are 4 Things to Know about Nuclear Disarmament Efforts

| Aug. 06, 2020

Monkey Cage

Seventy-five years ago, on Aug. 6 and Aug. 9, the United States ushered in the nuclear age by dropping atomic bombs on Hiroshima and then Nagasaki, Japan. Over 100,000 Japanese residents, and possibly up to double that number, died of the blast, fire and radiation. Since then, many survivors — known as the hibakusha — have advocated for global nuclear disarmament.  Our research finds strong public support for nuclear disarmament in both the United States and Japan.

Here are four things to know about efforts to eliminate nuclear weapons.

1. What's the status of existing nuclear treaties?

A total of 191 governments have joined the 1968 Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons. The Non-Proliferation Treaty, or NPT, as it is widely known, allows the United States, Britain, China, France and Russia to maintain nuclear weapons if they move toward eventual nuclear disarmament. Three countries — India, Israel and Pakistan — have nuclear weapons but have not signed onto the treaty. North Korea was previously a member but withdrew from the treaty and developed nuclear weapons.

Today, more than five decades after the agreement opened for signature, there are approximately 13,410 nuclear weapons around the world. Over 90 percent belong to the United States and Russia, which had an intense Cold War nuclear rivalry....

For more information on this publication: Belfer Communications Office
For Academic Citation: Gibbons, Rebecca Davis and Stephen Herzog.“75 Years after Hiroshima, Here are 4 Things to Know about Nuclear Disarmament Efforts.” The Washington Post, August 6, 2020.

The Authors