Friday, June 09, 2023 Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 licence.

Andrei Sakharov

« All quotes from this author

Three technical aspects of thermonuclear weapons have made thermonuclear war a peril to the very existence of humanity. These aspects are: the enormous destructive power of a thermonuclear explosion, the relative cheapness of rocket-thermonuclear weapons, and the practical impos­sibility of an effective defense against a massive rocket-nuclear attack.

Andrei Sakharov

» Andrei Sakharov - all quotes »

Tags: Andrei Sakharov Quotes, Authors starting by S

Similar quotes


The problem of thermonuclear reactions is not a usual physics problem. This is a problem that must transform society and the world. Our generation, which gave to mankind atomic energy and thermonuclear energy in the form of explosions, is responsible to humanity for solving the main problem of energy – obtaining energy from water. People are waiting for the solution of this problem. Our duty is to solve it within the lifetime of our generation, and therefore we must set out on this path.

Gersh Budker

The experience of past wars shows that the first use of a new technical or tactical method of attack is usually highly effective even if a simple antidote can soon be developed. But in a thermonuclear war the first blow may be the decisive one and render null and void years of work and billions spent on creation of an anti-missile system.

Andrei Sakharov

During the next several years, in addition to the four current nuclear powers, a small but significant number of nations will have the intellectual, physical, and financial resources to produce both nuclear weapons and the means of delivering them. In time, it is estimated, many other nations will have either this capacity or other ways of obtaining nuclear warheads, even as missiles can be commercially purchased today. I ask you to stop and think for a moment what it would mean to have nuclear weapons in so many hands, in the hands of countries large and small, stable and unstable, responsible and irresponsible, scattered throughout the world. There would be no rest for anyone then, no stability, no real security, and no chance of effective disarmament. There would only be the increased chance of accidental war, and an increased necessity for the great powers to involve themselves in what otherwise would be local conflicts. If only one thermonuclear bomb were to be dropped on any American, Russian, or any other city, whether it was launched by accident or design, by a madman or by an enemy, by a large nation or by a small, from any corner of the world, that one bomb could release more destructive power on the inhabitants of that one helpless city than all the bombs dropped in the Second World War.

John F. Kennedy

What is the only provocation that could bring about the use of nuclear weapons? Nuclear weapons. What is the priority target for nuclear weapons? Nuclear weapons. What is the only established defense against nuclear weapons? Nuclear weapons. How do we prevent the use of nuclear weapons? By threatening the use of nuclear weapons. And we can't get rid of nuclear weapons, because of nuclear weapons. The intransigence, it seems, is a function of the weapons themselves.

Martin Amis

The dinosaurs disappeared because they could not adapt to their changing environment. We shall disappear if we cannot adapt to an environment that now contains spaceships, computers — and thermonuclear weapons.

Arthur C. Clarke
© 2009–2013Quotes Privacy Policy | Contact