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[Editorial] A nuclear shadow from Hiroshima and Nagasaki to Fukushima

70 years ago this week, in the quiet early morning of Aug 6, 1945, the world changed irreversibly when the first nuclear weapon in warfare was used by the USA against Japan. The target of Hiroshima had been spared previous bombing, so that the destructive force of the 15 kiloton uranium bomb could be assessed. The result, repeated 3 days later against Nagasaki with a larger plutonium device, was near-total devastation. The explosion melted metal and incinerated people. Exposure to ionising radiation led to further deaths and damage to health that can be measured today, as Kenji Kamiya and colleagues report in the first paper of a Series in The Lancet today.