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Beginner’s guide to nuclear issues

Is this your first time studying nuclear disarmament and nonproliferation? Then you’ve come to the right place!

Use these resources to find answers to our key “Nuclear Disarmament and Nonproliferation 101” questions!

Step 1

  • What are nuclear weapons?

  • What would happen if a nuclear weapon was dropped?

  • What are the effects of nuclear weapons?

-Find the answers by watching this 8-minute video! What if We Nuke a City? – YouTube

-Look at Alex Wellerstein’s NUKEMAP simulation to help understand and visualize what would happen if a nuclear weapon was dropped on your city. NUKEMAP by Alex Wellerstein (


Step 2

  • What happened to Hiroshima and Nagasaki?

    We cannot talk about nuclear weapons without knowing what happened in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.



    City of Hiroshima FAQ: 

    -Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum: Virtual Museum tour, online testimonies, resources available from here 



    Nagasaki City

    -Hibakusha Stories Hibakusha Stories

Step 3

  • Who has nuclear weapons? What is the purpose of having nuclear weapons?
  • Why is the existence of nuclear weapons a critical issue?

  • What is nuclear nonproliferation?

  • What is nuclear disarmament?

  • Why does disarmament matter? Why does nonproliferation matter?

-Use UNODA Disarmament Explainer Video Series to answer these questions: 

Step 4

  • Who has nuclear weapons?

Which countries have nuclear weapons? How many? Does your home country possess nuclear weapons? Find the answers in these videos and factsheets:

Nuclear weapons: Explained in numbers – BBC News

Who has what at a glance:
Source: Arms Control Associate Website


Status of World Nuclear Forces

Source : Federation of American Scientists

[Extra credit!]

Search #didyouknowcif on Instagram and check our Did You Know series for more introductory information