Back in the 1960's people were building bomb shelters in their yards and few were stocking supplies around the time of the Cuban missile crisis and because of it. We are a long way from that perilous time but there have been some close calls, some that we may not even know about. After the cold war was behind us we learned that had the US invaded Cuba that no doubt our forces would have been met, unknown to us until then, with field nukes in a conflict that would have no doubt gone nuclear fast with no one knowing where it would have ended.
In the 1980's there was a event where Russian satellites were fooled by sunlight into thinking that a US launch had happened and only due to the calm, intelligent guess of a Russian commander did they wait and hold off launching a retaliatory strike. Another event that almost led to a Russian response was revealed and possibly there was others. Those would have been tragic outcomes triggered by miscalculations or mistakes but in our world today there are weapons so much greater than those of World War II and beyond most people's comprehension that it's almost impossible to conceive that if the US and Russia and/or China ever committed fully to a Nuclear attack that any of us would survive it or have any kind of world/life to face in the aftermath.
Now aside from the major players such as the US, Russia, China, France, and the UK there are several other sources that could easily bring the major players into conflict or potential conflict such as the Indian - Pakistan situation over the Kashmir territory or North Korea and their potential aggression against South Korea, Japan, or even our own territories. Also a growing potential is Iran getting Nuclear capability if they don't have it already and from there comes two potential sources of an unthinkable situation such as Iran launching against Israel and/or Iran funneling a device into terrorist hands to be used against the West in Europe and/or the United States.
I don't want to sound like Chicken Little but I just wonder how seriously people feel today that they will live to see a Nuclear weapon unleashed upon some Nation either due to terrorist attack or some Military aggression of a Nation against another.
Up to now we've had some rational leaders or careful ones, and some great luck, due in large part to the thought of mutually assured destruction if someone did actually take the temptation to attempt to launch against another nation. The danger today though is with technology being what it is there are offensive type weapons that in theory could protect against some aggression from a power that was to launch an attack in that we could intercept and disable the incoming weapon before it could be implemented and used. This type technology in the hands of Nations with the source of such weapons could very well tempt a leader to think they had a short timed advantage and the ability to actually win or prevail in a nuclear world conflict.
All that said the question I again ask is, knowing what we know, do you think in your lifetime you will see or experience such an event as a Nuclear device set off by a nation against another nation or one set off in a terroristic suicide attack? Regretfully I'm about 70% leaning toward believing such an event can and will happen in my lifetime. I wish I could say different but I base that upon the feeling that it would come from three to four very possible situations.
#1) If Iran gets the weapon an attack on or against Israel feeling that they could summon Allah or the Mahdi to come assist and protect them and that they could bring on and about the end of the world in their favor.
#2) Terrorist, in my mind, have a single goal of being able to stun the west in a grand way and the greatest way they could instill panic and horror is if they could actually use one of these weapons against the US and/or Europe and given North Korea has them and IRAN most assuredly will along with many of the terror organizations having large quantities of money their likelihood of securing a device one day is greater.
#3) The Pakistan and India situation is a tinderbox that could explode at any time and both nations have expressed the intention to use their Nuclear arsenal against the other if such an event did blow up over the highly disputed area of Kashmir. From there it could spread to other nations depending on who aligns with whom.
#4) Lastly there is a certified nut and loon in control of Nukes in North Korea with a group of leaders who may know better but surely wouldn't challenge the supreme leader for fear they would end up in front of some anti-aircraft weapon due to their suggestions. I fear that the only check there is on North Korea is China's input and dissuasion because they known what would surely follow if North Korea did launch such an attack on South Korea, Japan or some US territory.
Those top four, of my own thought, didn't even include the major players such as Russia who could very easily start encroaching on Europe again taking back territories that they lost in the Cold war era or China whose disputes with Japan and over the seas around China and Vietnam have become a very possible source of conflict not to even mention Taiwan.
It's a much more dangerous world, today, than during the Cuban Missile crisis, or is it?