Talk:Nuclear weapon

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Former featured article Nuclear weapon is a former featured article. Please see the links under Article milestones below for its original nomination page (for older articles, check the nomination archive) and why it was removed.
Main Page trophy This article appeared on Wikipedia's Main Page as Today's featured article on March 13, 2004.
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Date Process Result
January 19, 2004 Refreshing brilliant prose Kept
May 26, 2005 Featured article review Kept
April 29, 2006 Featured topic candidate Not promoted
May 2, 2007 Featured article review Demoted
July 15, 2007 Good article nominee Not listed
Current status: Former featured article

Section on public awareness

I feel what this article still lacks is a section on the history of public awareness of the bomb. Throughout the remainder of the 1940s, knowledge of the bomb was still highly classified. Throughout the 1950s, the public was told that "duck and cover" and brushing off one's clothes would be all that's required to weather a nuclear fall-out. Generally, it took until the 1970s until the public in many first and second-world countries got to know about the true horrors due to nuclear radiation. This is not exactly the same as the history of ban-the-bomb and pacifist movements, and I couldn't find this information in those articles either. -- (talk) 07:39, 13 June 2017 (UTC)

What you're forgetting is that the technology changed over time, so what was an appropriate response in the 1950s was subsequently outdated. For information on this subject, I suggest Boyer (1985) By the Bomb's Early Light. Hawkeye7 (talk) 11:42, 13 June 2017 (UTC)
I pretty much doubt it was "appropriate" to try and find out how close you could get ground troops to the blast without them dying within days. There had been radiation deaths on the Manhattan Project, so scientists and the government knew how dangerous the technology was even without any explosions. And besides, I'm talking about what the governments let their people know: During the 40s, populaces didn't even know the bomb existed or what it was, and government agents would probably take you to be interrogated if you even just used the words "Manhattan Project" or "a-bomb" as late as 1949. In the 50s, people were told that nuclear power was safe and if the bomb blast didn't kill you, you could simply "duck and cover" and brush your clothes off, and it took until the 70s that the public actually received unbiased scientific information on stuff such as radiation poisoning, probably even by whistleblowers only. -- (talk) 13:45, 13 June 2017 (UTC)
There were two radiation deaths on the Manhattan Project, of involving criticality experiments, out of the 24 deaths at Project Y. The Manhattan Project and atomic bomb were made public in August 1945. Details were published in the Smyth Report, which quickly became a best seller. What wasn't made public was that before 1949 you could have counted them on your fingers and toes. The bombs of the early 1950s were much less powerful and much less numerous than what my generation grew up with - this became reality only in the 1960s; but by the late 1950s, large numbers of bombs were being exploded in tests annually, and there was widespread discussion of the dangers of fallout. Popular movements to end atmospheric testing gathered momentum, resulting in the Partial Nuclear Test Ban Treaty in 1963. In the 1950s, scientists setting safety metrics for nuclear power copied those of the coal industry; but by the 1970s it became clear that the public would not tolerate nuclear power stations emitting radioactive nuclear waste at anything approaching the levels of coal-fired stations, nor would they permit the number of fatalities. (In the U.S., coal power has a fatality rate of 10,000 per trillion kWhr, whereas the corresponding figure for nuclear stations is 0.1.) Hawkeye7 (talk) 21:24, 13 June 2017 (UTC)
See, you already have all this knowledge which would be required for a sourced section on what the public knew. Just pointing me personally to a book is just not the same as actually having it in the article. -- (talk) 05:18, 14 June 2017 (UTC)


Just to be pedantic. Detonation is an explosion caused be a exothermic front. Should 'detonation' not be replaced by initiation of a chain reaction? In the Trinity test, the only denotations was those of the implosion shell, used to 'initiate' a chain reaction within the core. Nuclear bombs do not detonate - they get initiated. A fine line maybe for some but an important one. This factual inexactitude appears spread throughout WP articles on these subjects. Just a thought. Comments? Aspro (talk) 19:00, 20 September 2017 (UTC)

wikt:detonate: to explode. A nuclear explosion certainly involves a shock front as well. Given the ambiguity between the layman and technical definitions of "detonate", I think the proposed pedantic wording is unnecessary. VQuakr (talk) 20:13, 20 September 2017 (UTC)
A nuclear explosion like that of the Trinity Test starts with a conventional one, with detonators starting the detonation of chemical explosives. Once the core is compressed, an initiator is used to supply neutrons to start the nuclear chain reaction. Hawkeye7 (discuss) 20:26, 20 September 2017 (UTC)
Shock? Within gnats whisker of a μ second of initiation, X-rays exit at the speed of light. The surrounding atoms are effected not by other approaching atoms (layman's shock) but by a high X-ray flux traveling at the speed of light. So, it should not be difficult in an encyclopedia to explain that initiation is a different from detonation. At the moment WP appears to be underestimating the readers ability to to comprehend that what they read in the popular press is an over simplification and sometime a gross oversimplification. What is the point of an encyclopedia if we can't tell it like it is but have to lower our vernacular to suit the lowest common denominator. Aspro (talk) 21:56, 20 September 2017 (UTC)
You asked for comments. My comment is that you are being needlessly pedantic. See also WP:SUMMARY and WP:JARGON for a guideline basis regarding overtechnical language in introductory articles such as this one. VQuakr (talk) 23:39, 20 September 2017 (UTC)
I agree with all the above editors, and suggest this: "a detonation initiating a chain reaction". Too much technical info is not necessary, yet it is important for encyclopedia readers to understand the contingencies. Netherzone (talk) 00:12, 21 September 2017 (UTC)
Shouldn't think that any reader imagines, that in order to bring a nuclear power plant online, starts with someone having to first strike a match in order to set the fuel on fire. So why should they have trouble, if every occurrence of the word 'detonation' in the text gets replaced with initiation? In open heart surgery do we say the surgeon first has to 'kill' the patent because it is too over-technical to say the body is first cooled and the heart stopped from beating? Come on. A ten year old child can learn and understand semantical differentiations from the context without having to look them all up in the dictionary. How in the hell do children form a working vocabulary before they are old enough to go to school? If these articles were first created using the word initiation, wouldn't we be objecting to anyone wanting to dumb them down with an inappropriate substitution. So on reflection I don't think my point is pedantic – but from a desire to make them more encyclopedic. Aspro (talk) 01:06, 21 September 2017 (UTC)

United Nations

Hello, for this part i would like to ass some updates from UN concerning the prohibition of nuclear weapons. The question is still vivid nowadays, and we can notice it from UN discussions about it.

Nowadays, the problem of security that the nuclear weapons seem to generate has been questionned by the international scene. Ban Ki Moon, ex General Secretary of U.N., even said that "We must eliminate all nuclear weapons in order to eliminate the grave risk they pose to our world. This will require persistent efforts by all countries and peoples. A nuclear war would affect everyone, and all have a stake in preventing this nightmare". The treaty of prohibition of nuclear weapons has been adopted in july 7th 2017 by the U.N. after the resolution adopted by the General Assembly on 23rd of December 2016. The treaty of prohibition has for aim to delegitimize nuclear weapons but actually there is nothing proposed about the conditidions for the prohibition. It is more a general prohibition which doesn't lead to any abolition of the use of nuclear weapons. It only points out the danger of nuclear weapons hoping that later those weapons will slowly be less used. Moreover, the thing is that the treaty is not legally binding for the countries who choose not to sign it. The countries need to give their consent by singning it in order for the treaty to be legally binding. Therefore, the countries of NATO are likely not going to sign it since nuclear weapons are a way of securing their countries. Indeed nuclear weapons are usually used to dissuade other threatening countries. Futhermore, there is another treaty against the use of nuclear weapons called Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons ( However, the countries having nuclear weapons don't respect the article 6 of this treaty about nuclear disarming for the same reason as to dissuade other threatening countries.

Hoping this edit would be useful for this article :) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Ichraf08 (talkcontribs) 18:50, 1 November 2017 (UTC)

You have not proposed a specific edit. The NPT is already mentioned in this article, sufficiently. The ban treaty might be worth a brief mention and a cross-reference to the corresponding article Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. NPguy (talk) 02:16, 2 November 2017 (UTC)

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