A radioactive nuclear weapon is the most destructive, inhumane, indiscriminate weapon of all time. Unlike other weapons, they cause unimaginable devastation, and their unique radioactive fallout causes genetic damage. Millions of people could be killed by a single nuclear bomb detonated above a large city.

Effects of nuclear weapons such as ionizing radiation from nuclear weapons can cause cancer and genetic damage to those exposed, contaminate the environment, and kill or sicken a huge population of society.

All complex life forms on Earth can be wrecked by the effects of nuclear weapons within a relatively short period. We would be rendered uninhabitable if 1,000 atomic weapons were used in a war – roughly 5%of the global stockpile. According to a recent study by the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, a regional nuclear war involving 100 Hiroshima-sized weapons would cause global climate and agricultural production to be disrupted so severely that over a billion people would be vulnerable to famine. Such an event would not wipe out the human race, but modern civilization as we know it would be.

As such, there has recently been radioactive waste found near a school in Missouri that is reportedly hazardous. Upon investigation, it was found to be from the time of World War II, which took place decades ago.

In light of this, Real Research surveyed damage by nuclear weapons to understand public opinions and their understanding of the effects on the environment as a result of exposure to nuclear waste. Here are the key takeaways from the survey:


  • More than half the public (57.27%) is aware of radioactive contamination in Missouri
  • One-third (34.34%) claim they are highly knowledgeable about nuclear weapon waste
  • 46% believe nuclear wastes cause genetic damage to plant and animal lives

Radioactive Contamination Near Missouri Is a Prominent Incident Says Statistics

The survey began by asking the respondents whether they were aware of the recent findings of radioactive contamination near an elementary school in suburban St. Louis. To which, a majority responded yes. While 57.27% had heard about the incident through the news while 17.90% got the information via social media. However, 11.98% are completely unaware of the occurrence.

Figure 1: Respondents on their awareness of the recent radioactive contamination

Furthermore, in reply to the question of whether they think nuclear weapon contaminants are toxic, almost 60% of the respondents said they think it is highly toxic. Another 20% of the public said the contaminants are somewhat toxic while 17.87% of them chose to stay neutral.

Read Also: Public Perception on Threat of Nuclear War

Residents at Risk Due to Nuclear Contamination

The adverse effects on health due to nuclear waste exposure are no news. However, Real Research wanted to gauge people’s views on the matter. As a result, they were asked who or what all was at risk from the recent discovery of nuclear waste near Missouri.

Figure 2: Respondents on who they think is at risk due to nuclear contamination

Approximately 65% responded that residents of the area face the highest health risk. 18.18% of respondents indicated that wildlife was at risk due to radioactive waste, but only one-tenth responded that both residents and wildlife are at risk from nuclear waste.

Following that, the survey asked whether respondents knew and understood nuclear weapons and their impact on the public. Of the respondents, 34.34% were proficient in their knowledge and understanding of nuclear weapons, while 16.41% were knowledgeable and understanding.

Additionally, the survey asked what the public knew about the effects of nuclear waste exposure on health, and the responses varied. Radiation sickness has been cited as the primary health effect of nuclear weapons by 18.20%, genetic problems by 15.56%, cancer by 15.08%, and skin burns by 12.27%.

Following that, the survey asks “what are the effects on the environment as a result of exposure to nuclear wastes?”. According to the statistics, close to half (46.37%) say the effects of nuclear weapon wastage exposure will be genetic damage or mutation to animals and plants, 18.36% say the destruction of plants, and another 16.27% say the threat to marine life will be among the major effects of nuclear weapons.

Read Also: Six in Ten Believe Kremlin Would Cause a Nuclear Outbreak

Proper Disposal of Nuclear Waste Might Help but Not Using One Is the Solution

Afterward, the survey discussed possible measures for combating nuclear waste and damage threats. Approximately 44.52% of respondents indicated that radioactive waste should be properly disposed of. In addition 23.56% advocate banning nuclear weapons altogether. 18.49% suggest developing alternative energy sources to reduce their effects, and 11.27% noted that implementing guidelines for nuclear weapon usage can be one of the solutions to nuclear waste and damage and will reduce the effects of nuclear waste on the environment.

Figure 3: Respondents on the solution to reduce nuclear waste and damage

Moreover, should nuclear weapons be used in wars or anywhere else? According to the survey, 36.32% strongly agreed that nuclear weapons should be used, 15.58% somewhat agreed, whereas, 7.19% somewhat disagreed, and 14.71% strongly disagreed. 26.19% were on neutral grounds.

Ultimately, the survey reveals the public opinion on whether the effects of nuclear weapons and waste are avoidable. While 38.93% think it is highly avoidable, 17.28% consider it somewhat avoidable and another 9% somewhat unavoidable, 6.33% feel it is highly unavoidable. Lastly, 28.47% are indecisive and remain on neutral stands.


Survey TitleSurvey on Damage by Nuclear Weapons (Radioactive Waste Found Near School in Missouri)
DurationOctober 26- November 2, 2022
Number of Participants30,000
DemographicsMales and females, aged 21 to 99
Participating Countries Afghanistan, Algeria, Angola, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belarus, Benin, Bolivia, Brazil, Brunei, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, Chile, China, China (Hong Kong) China (Macao), China (Taiwan), Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Czech Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Gambia, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Greanada, Guatemala, Honduras, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Ivory Coast, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lebanon, Libya, Lithuania, Malaysia, Maldives, Maluritania, Mexico, Moldova, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar [Burma], Namibia, Nepal, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Palestine, Panama, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovakia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Thailand, Togo, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Vietnam, Yemen, Zimbabwe.