A new study now warns that a large0-scale nuclear attack would have devastating effects not just on the area targeted, but also on the aggressor nation as well.
Researchers have estimated that it would take 100 nuclear weapons would be enough to put a nation past its tipping point if used.
However, between the nine nuclear nations, there are roughly 15,000 nuclear weapons in the world.
Scientists warn a major attack could trigger worldwide effects, with millions killed in the initial blast, and a global ‘nuclear autumn' leading to food shortages and mass starvation.
Researchers add that US and Russia each have thousands of nuclear weapons, and the United Kingdom, France, China, India, Pakistan, Israel, and North Korea all have their own arsenals.
According to the new study, published in the journal Safety, researchers argue the total number should be slashed to 900 or fewer.
Speaking about it, Joshua Pearce, professor at Michigan Technological University said, “With 100 nuclear weapons, you still get nuclear deterrence, but avoid the probable blowback from nuclear autumn that kills your own people.”
The researchers examined the potential threat of three hypothetical scenarios: a 7,000-weapon arsenal, a 1,000-weapon arsenal and a 100-weapon arsenal.
They also assessed the environmental blowback, which would affect even the aggressor nation’s population.
If just 100 weapons were fired at a densely populated city, such as one of China’s more highly inhabited areas, the blast would kill over 30 million people.
Soot from a large-scale nuclear attack would block out sunlight, causing temperatures and precipitation to drop which would trigger dramatic decreases in food production.
Even in the best case scenario, as estimated in the study, the researchers say the consequences would be grave.