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Choose one of the two options below to write up an assay for conducting ethical research in science or social science study. Please select ONE option ONLY. 

Option 1

Outline an interested research topic and proposed approach (what are you going to implement your research work) for your master degree study and identify the associated ethical, integrity and safety issues and risks associated with what you are proposing. 

For each identified area how will these be addressed through the proposed approach to key aspects of the research and how can you substantiate that the approach you are proposing to deal with the identified risks is defensible ethically in relation to codes for research and professional conduct relevant to the field? 

Option 2

Choose one of the following research cases and write a report on the ethics issues that may happen. You need to consider both pros and cons of certain type of research. Together with the ethics issues you will consider in the chosen case, you also need to provide the response plan to solve the problems according to the ethics policies, principles, rules in VU, VIC state and Australia.

Research background

Reports from ICAN say" More than two thousand events of nuclear weapon tests have been carried out since the start of nuclear era in 1945 – on land, submerged and underground. This has staggered the environmental and human health toll. Today we pass endless radioactive substances around our bodies from the result of nuclear testing, broadening the cancer contraction risk. Radioactive particles have contaminated essential parts of the earth’s surface. An analytical argument would associate nuclear testing with nations that have, for a long time, sought to improve lethality through nuclear.

Most people are less knowledgeable about nuclear testing and pay little or no attention to articles and papers which educate them on the subject. This paper seeks to expound the knowledge on the ethical issues related to nuclear testing. The paper seeks to inform more on the less understood effects of nuclear weapons. With the knowledge given in this paper, people can understand how their lives are impacted and champion the lawful tests which consider the humanitarian benefits and environmental conservation. The report will propel better approaches to comprehension by drawing people closer and explaining the ethics of nuclear testing.

Nuclear tests are done to gauge their effectiveness. An excess of sixty regions around the globe has hosted nuclear tests. These regions have been biased as they are only located in areas inhabited by aboriginals of low profiles. The International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War has analyzed that about 2.4 million individuals would die because of the atmospheric pollution by nuclear testing that occurred between 1945 and 1980 (French, 2016).

Wayne Biddle of New York Times argued that America's extensive test program got renewed after the negotiations for a complete ban on nuclear testing were deliberately ignored by President Reagan (Neufeld, 2011, Pg. 220). The questions relayed to our mind is how much conservation would be done to the atmosphere and environment as a whole if there was a ban on nuclear testing and the kilotons on nuclear wastes were brought down.

A focal issue is whether programs of nuclear testing would continue by relying on simulations from laboratories. Under consideration of all factors, technical issues would be picked on technical grounds. In any case, the prerequisite for continual testing has been ludicrously tinted by politics, especially the deterrence ones. The Defense Nuclear Agency and the Department of Energy have confirmedly argued on interviews that banning nuclear tests would threaten the process of weapon development.  

The impacts of nuclear testing on the environment and health have been brought to the public concern. Studies on post-Nagasaki nuclear blast have shown that most people experienced genetic disorders that lead to physical deformation, effects on mother’s milk and babies’ teeth. Open worry over the thriving and typical effects of atomic testing, including its impact on moms' exhaust, and infant youngster kids' teeth. The observed effects led to a negotiation treaty of 1963 which negotiated to ban underwater and atmospheric nuclear test comprehensively. In 1996, another treaty was held to negotiate a ban of underground nuclear tests. The latter treaty never entered legal forces; nonetheless, there has been a drastic reduction in nuclear testing. However, some countries persist in taking nuclear tests.

Pros and Cons of Nuclear Testing

Treaties that have aimed to ban nuclear testing have displayed brilliant ideas which need immediate implementation. It is arguably clear that nuclear technology outstripped the sensibilities of proper use and had led to more harm than good. The presence of nuclear weapons has proven to be a threat to the human race since its impact in addition to waste offers a leeway to extinction. Nuclear testing, in no question, poisons the environment which implies that the existence of other living things is threated. At the very least, treaties fostering the ban of nuclear tests have been pushing to diminish harm against the human race.

Nuclear testing is pigeonholed harmful and destructive. Even though the assumption is not far from the truth, it goes without a saying that nuclear testing has its advantages. The history of war recalls that nuclear weapons have only been used twice – by America on the Nagasaki and Hiroshima cities of Japan during World War II. The first detonation was aimed at Hiroshima on August 6, 1945, while Nagasaki received the same treatment on August 9 (Etzioni and Etzioni, 2017). The immediate impact of the bombing was a loss of close to 200,000 lives. The bombing has raised endless debates on the ethics of nuclear testing. This explains the world’s opposition against North Korea’s Kim Jong Un who, in the latter, has ordered more nuclear tests in a dismissal of international condemnation and sanctions.

Puts Negotiation First

Nuclear weapons are taken as a shield against aggression. It is arguable that nations in possession of nuclear equipment bring equilibrium in power. Thoughts holding peaceful negotiations amid disputes are given high preference for launching attacks (Mukhatzhanova, 2017). Nations with inferior weapons would also prefer peaceful compromise and agreements to engage in wars. For instance, America's President, Donald Trump sought to negotiate with Kim Jong Un of North Korea to negotiate steps to take on solving the disputes between the countries.

Shields Veritable Wars

The 2015 report on nuclear report gave a toll of 16000 nuclear warheads in atomically armed nations. 90% of this arms belonged to the US and Russia. It was estimated that 10,000 of these warheads were in military service whereas, the rest awaited pulverization (Thompson, 2017). Attacks on a nuclear-armed nation are unlikely to happen even when the protagonist country owns the same type of armaments. This can be arguably defended by the fact that good defense would mean a nation's ability to protect itself and correspondingly strike back in case of an attack. This balance results in state consciousness which promotes peace and diplomatic solution to conflicts.

Increases National Power and Status

A country’s ability to carry out nuclear tests communicably relays a message of power to other nations. With the historical scars of nuclear destruction in Japan, nations take careful steps while dealing with those in possession of nuclear equipment (Dittmer, 2015). For instance, a country like North Korea which is of small economic power has raised fear after its leader threatens to detonate nuclear weapons.

Pros of Nuclear Testing

Cons of Nuclear Testing

Countries in possession of nuclear weapons have excused themselves claiming that it's a move of strategic defense. They claim vulnerability to attacks and ought to have this type of destructive weapons. This has been used as an excuse to keep the weapons despite their devastation and mass destruction risks, and this type of countries have preferred keeping nuclear weapons active and ready for combat when necessary. Experts in defense have argued that demolition and decimation of nuclear weapons would be disadvantageous to a country (Kishi, 2018, Pg. 25). The claim is based on the argument that hostile nations are in a vigorous acquisition of dangerous weapons. They propose continued testing by powerful nations to maintain order in the world.

Overwhelming expense and Maintenance

There is a dumbfounding measure of resources used to make and maintain nuclear weapons. Testing these weapons is also costly since caution measures taken on the same is high. Considering North Korea as a ripe example, it has been reported that the nuclear tests carried by the country are infringing on its economic growth. By concentrating absurdly on working up these sorts of weapons, nothing has been left for its citizens (Cesca, 2017, Pg.305). Resources that would be used to improve the livelihood of citizens are channeled to building weapons of mass destruction.

Nonattendance of Morals

Right when atomic weapons end up being the basic factor, the ethics related to a country’s honesty to the goodness of its citizens is put into question. Lack of sensibilities to dispose of ruinous weapons compromises a country's honesty to goodness. The United States and Russia made consent to diminish the measure of atomic weapons to serve as an example for different countries (Vanstone, 2014, Pg.520). It is often considered immoral and perilous for a state to be in possession of nuclear weapons.

Ethics, Integrity, Safety and Risk issues in Nuclear Testing

There has been security, political, financial issues related to nuclear weapons. There are moral questions in the ultimate analysis of nuclear testing. It is an issue of good and terrible, character blowing, toxicity, and ethics (Kuletz, 2016, Pg.20). We focus on the bit of ethics of nuclear testing basing as it applies to the design and manufacturing of this type of weapons.

Nuclear equipment has proved to be different from other classes of equipment. Their uniqueness has been shown in their massive impact both at the time of detonation and its effects afterward. Research has shown that women and children are most vulnerable to these effects. The effects of atomic weapon which inherently indiscriminative and uncontrollable have shown to persist through generations. The consequences of the explosion have shown to leverage incomparable environmental threats. Slightest nuclear tests have proven to devastate the global scale by causing dramatic harm to the climatic stability and agriculture.

Hazard Issues

According to Walker (2016, Pg. 21), nuclear testing keeps running with a broad measure of perils, a segment of the conceded delayed consequences of an atomic examination can hold up quite a while after the preliminaries have been done. This raises the risks to human life. Nuclear weapons can by chance induce radiation disasters with a monster reach. Sufficient if radiation would leave in a minute. Shockingly, the dangers it positions to the earth and mankind remain.

Cons of Nuclear Testing

The nuclear weapon industry makes a wide capacity of low-level radioactive waste that is present in objects that regularly come in contact with people, for example, hand tools, clothing, resins of water purification, and nuclear reactor building materials. Prelude to radiation will actuate deficiency and cancers, and the effect can prolong for decades.

Remaining radiation from nuclear weapons can squash the earth and ordinary life for an astounding period. The calamity that happened in Chernobyl is a good example of the devastating and damage that nuclear weapons can cause. Testing of nuclear weapons in like way causes destruction and pollution, a better reason why the world has tried to ban. It is doubtable that creators of nukes would find other ways of carrying out tests would consider environmental pollution and human coexistence.

Reaction Plan to the Issues

Institutions with ethical duties, especially religions, have a call to convey investment guidelines and values into rationality. The resources used in industries which benefit from the degradation of the environment and weapons of haphazard effects should be taken to companies affiliated with an advance in sustainability.

The goal of this recommendation is to vivify and empower a divestment campaign in religious affiliations. This campaign seeks to give a firsthand the proposition that these ethically instituted societies should invest in a manner that encourages activities that support sustainability (Ceriotti et al., 2017, Pg. 7531). It would incite the likelihood that we have obligations to protect future generations against the negligence of environmental conservation by utilization of weapons that cause indiscriminate effects.

We in a general sense should now create legal, unquestionable, and enforceable structures in the setting of our ordinary marvelous credits to deny all weapons of haphazard effect. Nuclear weapons should receive an equal share of treatment as that given to the biological and chemical weapons. Raising open watch out for gainful change will help.


True spiritual sensitivity can be affirmed by feeling the tribulations of others as one’s own.  Nations should express compassion and love for the human race and environment by amelioration of policies that completely ban nuclear testing. Solidarity in the protection of the future of the human race would ensure governments take life as an undebatable priority while giving. Prohibiting nuclear tests would provide a safe environment capable of sustaining life for more generations.

Reference list

Ceriotti, M., Fang, W., Kusalik, P.G., McKenzie, R.H., Michaelides, A., Morales, M.A. and Markland, T.E., 2016. Nuclear quantum effects in water and aqueous systems: Experiment, theory, and current challenges. Chemical reviews, 116(13), pp.7529-7550.

Cesca, S., Heimann, S., Kriegerowski, M., Saul, J. and Dahm, T., 2017. Moment Tensor Inversion for Nuclear Explosions: What Can We Learn from the 6 January and 9 September 2016 Nuclear Tests, North Korea?. Seismological Research Letters, 88(2A), pp.300-310.

Dittmer, L., 2015. South Asia's Nuclear Security Dilemma: India, Pakistan, and China: India, Pakistan, and China. Routledge.

Etzioni, A. and Etzioni, O., 2017. Pros and Cons of Autonomous Weapons Systems.

French, B., Funamoto, S., Sugiyama, H., Sakata, R., Cologne, J., Cullings, H.M., Mabuchi, K. and Preston, D.L., 2018. Pre-Bombing Population Density in Hiroshima and Nagasaki: Its Measurement and Impact on Radiation Risk Estimates in the Life Span Study of Atomic Bomb Survivors. American journal of epidemiology.

Gilpin, R., 2015. American scientists and nuclear weapons policy (Vol. 2064). Princeton University Press.

Kishi, T., 2018. Deliberations on Japanese Nuclear Policy During the Sato Administration: Studies by the Cabinet Research Office (No. 17-15). National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies.

Kuletz, V.L., 2016. The tainted desert: Environmental and social ruin in the American West. Routledge.

Mukhatzhanova, G., 2017. The nuclear weapons prohibition treaty: negotiations and beyond. Arms Control Today, 47(7), pp.12-19.

Neufeld, M.J., 2011. Wayne Biddle, Dark Side of the Moon: Wernher von Braun, the Third Reich, and the Space Race. New York: WW Norton, 2009. xix+ 220 pp. $25.95.

Tarrado-Castellarnau, M., Cortés, R., Zanuy, M., Tarragó-Celada, J., Polat, I.H., Hill, R., Fan, T.W., Link, W. and Cascante, M., 2015. Methylseleninic acid promotes antitumor effects via nuclear FOXO3a translocation through Akt inhibition. Pharmacological research, 102, pp.218-234.

Thompson, P., 2017. Peace and war: a theory of international relations. Routledge.

Vanstone, M., King, C., de Vrijer, B. and Nisker, J., 2014. Non-invasive prenatal testing: ethics and policy considerations. Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology Canada, 36(6), pp.515-526.

Walker, J.R., 2016. British Nuclear Weapons and the Test Ban 1954–1973: Britain, the United States, Weapons Policies and Nuclear Testing: Tensions and Contradictions. Routledge.

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