The humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons is devastating and beyond imagination. The legacy of the bombings in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, as well as numerous nuclear tests conducted around the world are a haunting reminder of the numerous short and long-term impacts of these weapons.
Nuclear weapons are inhumane and indiscriminate. They have no way of differentiating between an intended target and a civilian, and their affects on human life are devastating and long-lasting.
A detonation in a densely populated city could immediate kill hundreds of thousands of people, through the immense heat and pressure of the blast. Those close to the blast site who were not killed instantly would be covered in third-degree burns, which is fatal without proper treatment. Many more would be injured by crumbling infrastructure, residual fires and radiation sickness.
The mass destruction and danger of radiation exposure would make any rescue attempts almost negligible, and even large international organisations, including the International Committee of the Red Cross, has admitted there would be little they could do to assist survivors in the even of a detonation. Many of those injured would die in the coming days, due to the severity of their injuries, radiation poisoning and lack of care.
For survivors, the effects of the detonation would leave a legacy of serious health consequences, for them and for future generations. Exposure to radiation increases the risk of developing cancer, and this is especially pronounced in children. Children of survivors would also be at risk of mutations, increasing their risk of developing a host of illnesses such as cancer, diabetes, and infectious diseases.