IRRC No. 899 The human cost of nuclear weapons
Since their first use in 1945, the world has known about the catastrophic effects of nuclear weapons. Today, the urgency of the threat of these weapons has faded for many, and while the threat no longer seems as present, paradoxically we know more than ever before about the effects that even a limited nuclear war would have on the environment and the health of human beings. As long as nuclear weapons exist there remains a danger of intentional or accidental nuclear detonation, and we also know that there is a lack of capacity at the national and international levels to effectively respond to such a humanitarian catastrophe. This edition of the Review looks at nuclear weapons from the perspective of survivors, journalists, writers, lawyers, humanitarian practitioners and other experts, to examine the human cost.