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IN History & Culture ON 27 Aug, 2016
The International Day against Nuclear Tests is observed every year on the 29th of August. The advent of nuclear science has made the world a more dangerous place than ever. The disasters of the use of nuclear technologies are well documented. Over the years despite witnessing colossal disasters like Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Windscale, Chernobyl, and Fukushima, the governments haven't done enough to put an end to the nuclear menace.
On the contrary, the threat of a nuclear apocalypse continues to hang like the Sword of Damocles. Under the circumstances, the observance of the International Day against Nuclear Tests has become more important than ever.
They say a picture is worth a thousand words. So, on the occasion of the International Day against Nuclear Tests, I present to you a compilation of some of the most disturbing memories of nuclear catastrophes from across the globe.
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Vova, a Chernobyl victim, lost his left leg to cancer a year before this photo was taken. His cancer spread further and the doctors had no treatment for it.
87-year-old Sumiteru Taniguchi was only 16 years old when a nuclear bomb called Fat Man devastated the city of Nagasaki. The explosion threw him off his bicycle and he had to spend the next 21 months on a hospital bed. Taniguchi heads a Nagasaki survivors group actively working against nuclear proliferation.
Here is another Chernobyl victim, a boy with growth containing his kidneys. The photograph was taken by Paul Fusco for Magnum Photos.
Another victim of the Chernobyl disaster, Nikolai Yanchen was one of 600,000 liquidators assigned with the task of fighting the fires and cleaning up the radiation ash. Yanchen lost his right leg to cancer owing to radiation contamination.
Polycephaly is the presence of more than one head. Nuclear radiation can cause this type of mutation in animals. That's exactly what has happened to this calf.
These boys are unable to walk owing to congenital defects caused by nuclear radiation. The photograph was clicked by Magnum photographer Paul Fusco.
Here is a devastating picture of a Hiroshima burn victim confined to a hospital bed.
Here is a young Semipalatinsk radiation victim. Semipalatinsk in the eastern part of Kazakhstan was one of most infamous nuclear tests sites in the world. According to reports, the residents were forced to step outside their homes during the nuclear test blasts so that they could later be examined by scientists as part of studies on the effects of radiation on human life.
This Semipalatinsk radiation victim is suffering from a rare bone condition that makes his body shrink. He weighs just 34 kilograms.
The wolf fish typically only grow up to 112cm and weigh 15kg but this one, caught by Japanese fisherman and adventurer Hiroshi Hirasaka, was over two meters long. It was widely speculated that this mutation was caused by the radiations leaked from the Fukushima Nuclear Plant. Giant catfish had earlier been discovered near the site of a nuclear disaster at Chernobyl in Russia.