The United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation: Adapting to the Globalization of Atomic Energy

1432 WordsJun 18, 20186 Pages
The 1950s hailed a new era of technological advances and uncertainty, especially in terms of nuclear technology (weapons, power production, and medical advances). As with any new discovery or invention, there were facts about atomic radiation that were not known for sure. Due to the 1945 detonations over Hiroshima and Nagasaki, as well as the results from a few tests, it was obvious that atomic radiation was harmful for overall human health, but many essential details about these risks were unknown. The environmental ramifications were not quantified and the amount of radiation dispersed into the atmosphere was uncertain. As the Cold War simmered on and as many more nuclear tests were completed, international unease increased. As the use…show more content…
With this information, states and institutions would be better able to determine which courses of action to take. This would transform the Prisoner’s dilemma into a game of Assurance (Stag Hunt), because knowing to what extent this technology would affect others as well as how much nuclear fallout can harm the environment would contribute towards decreasing the motivations to defect.4 With the promise of shared information among those involved in this institution, the there would be a stronger benefit to cooperating in order to gain information so that everyone could be on the same page. This organization would also provide a way for states to resolve situations where nuclear radiation had contaminated their environment since data and possible solutions would be shared. In 1955, in an attempt to stall the United Nations General Assembly from passing a resolution against atmospheric nuclear explosions and in response to the fallout created by the Castle Bravo tests, the General Assembly was persuaded to create a committee that would research and fulfill the need for pertinent information.5 At first, the main focus of the newly created United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation was to accumulate and analyze information on the atmospheric and environmental effects of radiation in an attempt to gauge the need for a treaty banning atmospheric tests.6 Because

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