August 2017 marks the 72nd anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. This is a good time to take stock of where we are in the nuclear age.
The surprisingly good news is that on July 7, 2017, the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons was overwhelmingly adopted at the UN. None of the nuclear-armed states – U.S., Russia, China, U.K., France, Israel, India, Pakistan, and North Korea – are expected to sign the treaty. Nevertheless, it establishes a new global norm that will be a touchstone for those of us working for a nuclear-free world.
The worst news shows how far we have to go. Three days before the Nuclear Ban Treaty vote, North Korea tested its first intercontinental ballistic missile.
The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists’ Doomsday Clock is set at 2 ½ minutes before midnight. To mark this year’s Hiroshima and Nagasaki anniversaries, the Bulletin prepared a collection of reading to help with the work ahead.