78 Years Ago the Trinity Bomb Changed the Nature of War

July 28th, 2023 - by Win Without War

78 Years Ago the Trinity Bomb
Changed the Nature of War
Win Without War

(July 23, 2023) — Almost exactly 78 years ago, on July 16, 1945 at 5:29 AM, a nuclear weapon was detonated for the first time in human history.

The story of the Trinity test and the people who led the creation of humankind’s deadliest weapon is dramatized in the new Hollywood blockbuster that just came out: Oppenheimer.

But nuclear weapons have advanced in both destructive power and delivery systems since 1945. The weapons we have today are far more sophisticated, dangerous, and prevalent than the warheads from 78 years ago. Nine countries own approximately 13,000 nuclear warheads. And they’re actively working on developing more sophisticated delivery systems.

In the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for 2024, also known as the annual Pentagon budget authorization bill, the House has passed at least $31 billion for the development of a new nuclear-armed sea-launched cruise missile (SLCM-N) delivery system. It’s a Cold War-era idea that was retired by George H.W. Bush and revived by Donald Trump.

Congressman Jeff Jackson from North Carolina recently did a short video explaining what the arguments for and against SLCM-N are and you should check it out!

In addition to their use in war, nuclear weapons have also caused deadly harm to the people who happen to live in proximity to the places where the military had unilaterally decided to develop and test weapons. Radiation from nuclear explosions lingers for decades. Generations of families in rural and indigenous communities as well as veterans have been left to pick up the pieces of health crisis, financial ruin, and losing loved ones.

And that’s why the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act (RECA) has been the law of the land since 1990.

RECA provides compensation and care for people who have suffered from the lasting effects of nuclear testing. But the law is set to expire next year unless Congress renews the bill. Advocates and activists around the country are working hard to renew and expand RECA in Congress so that generations of impacted communities can get the compensation and care they deserve.

We’ve put together some resources on RECA and the legacy of harm caused by nuclear weapons — including things you can do to help out. So check it out!

Since the Trinity test in 1945, the US has conducted over 1000 nuclear tests spread across over 50 named operations. And the US nuclear arsenal has changed a lot over the decades as well. Do you want to test your knowledge of US nuclear weapons? Take our short quiz and find out!

Whether you’re watching Oppenheimer in theaters or not, we hope this compilation of resources were helpful! Nuclear weapons should not exist. Let’s work together to abolish them for good.

Thank you for working for peace,
Yint, Sam, Annika and the Win Without War team