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Information Sheet for Item 5, Sample Lesson Plan on Hiroshima

1. The Emergence of Super Powers

During World War II the US and the USSR had been allies. After the war they began to compete economically and militarily. This competition resulted in a nuclear arms race which threatened the peace and even the survival of the world. Britain, France and China, the other three members of the UN Security Council,
also acquired nuclear weapons.

With the collapse of the USSR, the US became the only 'super power', although Russia has retained thousands of nuclear weapons.

Historians argue whether Japan would have surrendered if no nuclear weapons had been dropped.

There is also controversy as to whether mutual fear of destruction kept the Cold War from becoming a Third World War

2. Nuclear Developments and the Environment

The mining of uranium causes damage to the environment as radioactive particles are dispersed into the atmosphere, land and rivers. The manufacture of nuclear weapons also leads to contamination. The Irish Government has long complained about the pollution of the Irish Sea caused by the Sellafield plant in Cumbria.

The disposal of unused nuclear weapons is an unsolved problem. Radioactive waste will remain a threat to life for thousands of years.

3. Morality and Reality of WMD

One of the reasons given for the invasion of Iraq by America and Britain was that its leaders were believed to have weapons of mass destruction

Those countries that have nuclear weapons refer to them as a deterrent to war. When other countries try to acquire such weapons they are accused of threatening peace with weapons of mass destruction.

Fortunately, there is general agreement that the use of nuclear weapons would make meaningless the intention of their use.















created 5 May 2005


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