On August 6 and August 9, 1945, the world witnessed its first ? and, currently, only ? nuclear attacks, as the United States dropped atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. It is estimated that 100,000 people died instantaneously on detonation and that at least 140,000 additional deaths over the next 50 years can be attributed to these acts. The atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki were developed during the infancy of the nuclear age and had yields of 15 kilotons and 22 kilotons, respectively; in other words, the 15-kiloton atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima had the same explosive power as 15,000 tons of TNT.
During the Cold War, the policy for the nuclear arms race between the United States and the USSR was mutual assured destruction (MAD). MAD policy assumed that a nuclear attack would be suicidal, since both countries had the ability to retaliate. With the Cold War over as of 15 years ago, what does the United States? weapons stockpile look like today?
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- How would you rate your knowledge of the current state of nuclear affairs?
a) I am very familiar.
b) I am somewhat familiar.
c) I know a little bit.
d) What?s a nuclear affair?
- How many nuclear weapons does the United States possess in its weapons arsenal?
- How many nuclear weapons does the United States possess that are capable of launching within 20 minutes once the command is given?