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Understanding the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty

Understanding the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty

The Nuclear Non-Proliferation
Treaty was signed into effect in 1970 and was designed to prevent nuclear
weapons from proliferating throughout the world, thereby limiting the danger
represented by nuclear weapons. The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty currently
has 189 different nations as member states, five of whom are held under the
Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty as states which have nuclear weapons. Those
nations are France, China, the United Kingdom, Russia, and the United Nations.

The Nuclear Non-Proliferation
Treaty does not apply to all nations in the world, however, and some of those
non-member nations are believed to have nuclear weapons of their own, thus
posing something of a danger with regard to the overall purpose of the Nuclear
Non-Proliferation Treaty. These include India, Pakistan, North Korea, and
Israel.

The Nuclear Non-Proliferation
Treaty was initially put into effect in order to help stabilize the world and
prevent a situation in which a great many nations all held nuclear weapons, as
many individuals in national governments realized that the Cold War standoff
deterrent relationship which existed between the United States and the Soviet Union
might not be sustainable if there were more nations with nuclear weapons, which
might destabilize the already fragile relationship.

The Nuclear Non-Proliferation
Treaty is based around three basic notions: non-proliferation, meaning a lack
of spreading of nuclear weapons; disarmament, meaning a reduction of the number
of nuclear weapons in the world overall; and peaceful use of nuclear energy,
which is focused on ensuring that nuclear energy is still available for use as
long as it is being used in a safe and peaceable fashion.

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