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Consequences of a Single Failure of Nuclear Deterrence

PSR Senior Scientist Steven Starr, February 2011

Only a single failure of nuclear deterrence is required to start a nuclear war, and the consequences of such a failure would be profound. Peer-reviewed studies predict that less than 1% of the nuclear weapons now deployed in the arsenals of the Nuclear Weapon States, if detonated in urban areas, would immediately kill tens of millions of people, and cause long-term, catastrophic disruptions of the global climate and massive destruction of Earth’s protective ozone layer.


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  • Dr. Ira Helfand Speaks at the UN

    Dr. Ira Helfand spoke before the Untied Nations General Assembly on September 10, 2015 as part of a panel addressing the pursuit of a nuclear weapons free world. Read more »

  • Video: We Have an Iran Deal! Now What?

    Watch PSR Security Program's latest webinar to understand the details of the Iran Deal and what you can do to keep the deal safe from Congress. Featuring speaker Kelsey Davenport, Arms Control Association. Read more »

  • Nukes in Your Backyard

    Ever wonder how many nuclear mishaps and facilities are in your own backyard? Then check out our new map featuring pinpoint locations of close calls and the stories behind them. Read more »

In the Spotlight

  • September 19, 2015
    Nukebusters Short Film Awards
    The votes are in! Five hundred people and three celebrity judges chose the best films on nuclear weapons.