“Nuclear weapons stink when taken apart,” a Russian nuclear weapons engineer told his audience. The year was 2000, and he spoke to a group of Russian and American experts who were attending a workshop in Sarov, the Russian Los Alamos, on how to safely dismantle nuclear weapons.
On July 7, almost 72 years after the first atomic bomb was detonated in the New Mexico desert, 122 nations voted at the United Nations headquarters in New York to permanently ban nuclear weapons under international law. None of the nine states that possess nuclear weapons even attended the negotiations. The Netherlands was the sole NATO member to participate, and it cast the sole no vote.