Prompted by findings from international conferences on their humanitarian impacts held in Norway in March 2013 and Mexico in February 2014, this UNIDIR study explores the challenges for activation and operation of the humanitarian system in a range of plausible, illustrative nuclear weapon detonation scenarios. As a scoping exercise the study identifies specific issues that warrant further policy and operational attention in order to enhance civilian protection from nuclear weapons. It suggests steps the humanitarian system could take to better plan for such eventualities, as well as the redoubling of efforts to prevent nuclear weapons ever being used again in populated areas—whether deliberately or accidentally.

Citation: John Borrie and Tim Caughley (2014). "An Illusion of Safety: Challenges of Nuclear Weapon Detonations for United Nations Humanitarian Coordination and Response", UNIDIR, Geneva.