Sign in to follow this  

Nuclear Disarmament

This topic is 4837 days old which is more than the 365 day threshold we allow for new replies. Please post a new topic.

If you intended to correct an error in the post then please contact us.

Recommended Posts

I have been working on a storyline for a game where, through technological means, nuclear arms have been suddenly and abruptly negated. Weapons of mass destruction are still present, biological and chemical, but no large-scale city leveling weapons that can be carried in a briefcase exist. No more ICBM's. Nuclear weapons have been rendered completely harmless. I was curious to see what your thoughts on the repercussions of such an event would be. Mostly in the world political arena, but also socially as well. Say it took place in the present, plus or minus twenty years.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
IMO, no effect. How many times has a nuclear weapon been used in a hostile situation? Again, IMO, nuclear weapons don't count for anything. The establishment of NATO, UN, etc, helps see to that.

People won't feel safer because biological/chemical weapons can pose a large threat and are still around.

I doubt the political scene would change. Why would it? No one's going to suddenly attack a country just because it doesn't have nuclear weapons any more, are they?

This is why I think N. Korea's (or any other country for that matter) attempts at building nuclear stockpiles are fruitless.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Perhaps it's possible to consider a parallel universe where subtle changes in the value of planck's constant cause Uranium and other natural elements to become non-fissile under all producable conditions.

The only snag is, that such changes could also affect the earth's heat production, changing it into a cold lifeless ball of rock...

If you can conceive of a set of conditions which makes the earth still be inhabitable, but have no usable amount of fissile elements in its crust, that would work too.

Mark

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Say that there is a new fad where everyone wants to wear weapons-grade plutonium as jewelry, so they take out all the warheads and forge them into toe rings and those little spots that indian women wear between their eyes. Meanwhile, evil aliens have landed on antartica and have started eating all the penguins, which gets marine biologists worried about the implications, so all of humanity declares war on the aliens and wishes that they could just nuke the whole of antartica, but they can't because they're wearing all the plutonium on their bodies and they'd rather die than give up their pretty new jewelry, so people develop chemical weapons that can kill aliens but do not harm penguins.

How's that for a story...and pass it to the left hand side.
;-)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
... the aliens develop a means of possessing the souls of penguins, thus becoming immune to the biological threat, and the war against the penguin begins ... which worries the marine biologists, who wish they could nuke the rest of the planet.

There are some very odd people in the world, and some of them are in power - it is not hard to imagine some countries launching a nuclear strike not for personal gain, but out of an incomprehensible desire to destroy something. Some form of genocide, for example. I am neither including nor excluding the US in or from the above statement.

I do, however, find it very hard to imagine anyone getting invaded on the grounds that they no longer have nukes... the only thing having nukes deters is other people firing nukes...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Anonymous Poster
Uhm, I think you are forgetting penguins do not have souls, they are all vampiric.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote:
Original post by Beige
I have been working on a storyline for a game where, through technological means, nuclear arms have been suddenly and abruptly negated.

Weapons of mass destruction are still present, biological and chemical, but no large-scale city leveling weapons that can be carried in a briefcase exist. No more ICBM's. Nuclear weapons have been rendered completely harmless.

I was curious to see what your thoughts on the repercussions of such an event would be. Mostly in the world political arena, but also socially as well. Say it took place in the present, plus or minus twenty years.


Just nitpicking, but the only suitcase-sized nuclear weapons there are are a wee bit too heavy to lift.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote:
Original post by Edward Ropple
Just nitpicking, but the only suitcase-sized nuclear weapons there are are a wee bit too heavy to lift.


Using a neutron reflecting tamper and plutonioum the critical mass is 10KG (10cm/diam sphere). Add the conventional explosives (a few pounds of c4) and the detonators and electronics, and it'll still be possible to create a suitcase nuke that's possible to carry. Of course it won't have any shielding so the person carrying is probably going to be killed even if he leaves the blast radius (and probably a lot of bystanders even if the nuke is disarmed). I'd guess 15-20 KG, and the size of a large briefcase or small suitcase is possible (It could be lined with lead without increasing size, but the weight would rise to probably closer to 30-40KG). Sure, it's very heavy for it's size, but if the person carrying it is strong the weight won't be very noticable. A backpack would probably be a better way to carry it in any case.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I rather like the "Wet Firecracker" theory, which states that a Nuclear Bomb is unusable a decade after it's production do to oxidation of the uranium (or plutonium). It goes along the lines that to keep uranium from oxidizing, you have to keep it in a perfect vacumm. Then, ship it around the country, put it in a stockpile, put it in a missile, remove it from a missile, put it in a stockpile, ship it around the country, your vacumm loses it's perfection gradually as the occasional O2 molecule slips into the chamber.

Its a bit weak, but one could get away with assuming that the nuclear threat isn't possible anymore simply because most of the usable weapons grade materials have rusted.

Oh, and the anti-ballistic missile shields. They stop nukes too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote:
Original post by Beige
I was curious to see what your thoughts on the repercussions of such an event would be. Mostly in the world political arena, but also socially as well. Say it took place in the present, plus or minus twenty years.


I'm going to use a principle that Jim Dunnigan, famous wargame developer and student of history has observed: When offensive pwoer dwarfts defensive capability, you get detente, negotiation, low intensity conflict and police actions against weaker or technologically inferior foes. When defensive power dwarfs offensive power, you get constant, large scale war between very capable rivals who use mass combat to overwhelm their enemy's defensive power.

You'd need more specifics for a more detailed scenario. Do you agree that nations act in their best interest and that there is a fuel shortage coming? If so, this is going to push nations like China to flex their power against American economic dominion. You could get a return of southeast asian conflic with China as a principle player securing fuel rights.

The worldwide trend now is toward tribalism and low intensity conflict. But without worrying about large scale weapons, two very big nations could go at it over fuel rights. Even allies could break up. There's no real point in NATO anymore unless Russia reverts into dictatorship, so you may even have fighting amongst European nations again (unlikely given the amount of cultural diffusion and cross pollenation, but all you need is a strain of nationalism to rear its ugly head).

You might get more fights also because it would be harder for nuclear powers to contain them. But without nukes, I think those powers would rush to get some equivalent. Maybe you'd have the US developing solar mirror lasers to achieve similar effects, with a mad space race / escalation rush.

That's probably enough for now...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote:
There are some very odd people in the world, and some of them are in power - it is not hard to imagine some countries launching a nuclear strike not for personal gain, but out of an incomprehensible desire to destroy something. Some form of genocide, for example. I am neither including nor excluding the US in or from the above statement.

I do, however, find it very hard to imagine anyone getting invaded on the grounds that they no longer have nukes... the only thing having nukes deters is other people firing nukes...


Quote:
IMO, no effect. How many times has a nuclear weapon been used in a hostile situation? Again, IMO, nuclear weapons don't count for anything. The establishment of NATO, UN, etc, helps see to that.

People won't feel safer because biological/chemical weapons can pose a large threat and are still around.

I doubt the political scene would change. Why would it? No one's going to suddenly attack a country just because it doesn't have nuclear weapons any more, are they?


That's what I'm wondering. I doubt that huge conventional wars will immediately break out, but I do think that it will change the dynamics between various nations greatly.

Already, the conventional alliances like NATO are undergoing quite a bit of stress. There are numerous peripheral issues that could be pushed over if a factor as large as nuclear arms is suddenly eliminated.

I am trying to think of a plausible outcome for such an event.

Quote:
You'd need more specifics for a more detailed scenario. Do you agree that nations act in their best interest and that there is a fuel shortage coming? If so, this is going to push nations like China to flex their power against American economic dominion. You could get a return of southeast asian conflic with China as a principle player securing fuel rights.


The time at which this game takes place, is at the point when this new technology (I'm leaning towards it being some sort of forcefield) is just starting to become widespread and prevalent. The governments of the world are in the midst of getting adjusted to this. Sort of a near-future setting like Minority Report or I, Robot.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This topic is 4837 days old which is more than the 365 day threshold we allow for new replies. Please post a new topic.

If you intended to correct an error in the post then please contact us.

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

Sign in to follow this