The Nuclear Black Market

The Nuclear Black Market

Unanswered Questions in a Dangerous Topic

12/2021  |  2021E28, Length: 10 pages

In popular culture, the nuclear bomb is the trump card: it is the game ender and the ultimate weapon to make an enemy capitulate. In the James Bond movie series, Bond regularly must defuse or stop nuclear bombs from destroying the world, and, in the popular video game Call of Duty, the nuclear bomb is the hardest item to obtain in the entire game; it is a weapon feared in both genres for its absolute power. Globally, nuclear weapons hold just as much cachet. The eight nuclear-weapon states, the United States, Russia, United Kingdom, France, China, India, Pakistan, North Korea, and Israel, regularly have the upper hand in defence and military negotiations, their opponents knowing that the ultimate weapon, an item a country spent untold dollars developing and testing, sits one order away. Nuclear weapons are admired for their power and their rarity in popular culture and actual global politics—but are they as hard to come by as the popular media makes it out to be? In theory, there is a limit to how many nuclear weapons and how much nuclear material exists which could be used for creating weapons because this is tracked.

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