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The history of nuclear weapons chronicles the development of nuclear weapons. Nuclear weapons are devices that posess enormous destructive potential that uses energy derived from nuclear fission or nuclear fusion reactions. Starting with the scientific breakthroughs of the 1930s which made their development possible, continuing through the nuclear arms race and nuclear testing of the Cold War, and finally with the questions of proliferation and possible use for terrorism in the early 21st century.
A nuclear weapon derives its destructive force from nuclear reactions of fusion or fission. As a result, even a nuclear weapon with a small yield is significantly more powerful than the largest conventional explosives, and a single weapon is capable of destroying an entire city.