Thursday, June 13, 2024


Dhaka Tribune

Which countries have nuclear weapons and how many?

Update : 04 Apr 2016, 12:55 AM
The Nuclear Security Summit that just ended Friday in Washington, DC wrangled over several thorny nuclear proliferation and terrorism issues, and involved over 50 countries. But the two countries on everyone’s mind were North Korea, China and Russia. North Korea, because of its recent nuclear and missile programme. China, because they have started on the world’s largest nuclear build-up in 50 years. And Russia, because they decided not to attend at all. But many other countries, including the US, have known stockpiles of nuclear weapons. Nine countries together possess more than 15,000 nuclear weapons; the US and Russia possess 93% of them. The US and Russia maintain roughly 2,000 of their nuclear weapons on high-alert status – ready to be launched within minutes of a warning. The failure of the nuclear powers to disarm has heightened the risk that other countries will acquire nuclear weapons. The only guarantee against the spread and use of nuclear weapons is to eliminate them without delay. Although the leaders of some nuclear-armed nations have expressed their vision for a nuclear-weapon-free world, they have failed to develop any detailed plans to eliminate their arsenals and are modernising them. While the exact number in each country’s arsenal is often a closely guarded secret, some information is publicly available. Here’s a breakdown of nuclear arsenals by country, based on data from leading experts in nuclear estimates. Russia Total nuclear weapons: 7,300 Operational: 1,790 Retired/awaiting dismantlement: 4,490 Total nuclear tests: 715. First test: August 1949 Most recent test: October 1990 United States Total nuclear weapons: 6,970 Operational: 1,750 Retired/awaiting dismantlement: 4,670 Total nuclear tests: 1,030 First test: July 1945 Most recent test: September 1992 China Total nuclear weapons: 260 Operational: 0. All are in stockpile. Retired/awaiting dismantlement: 260 Total nuclear tests: 45 First test: October 1964 Most recent test: July 1996 United Kingdom Total nuclear weapons: 215 Operational: 120 Retired/awaiting dismantlement: 95 Total nuclear tests: 45 First test: October 1952 Most recent test: November 1991 France Total nuclear weapons: About 300 Operational: 280 Retired/awaiting dismantlement: 10 Total nuclear tests: 210 First test: February 1960 Most recent test: January 1996 India Total nuclear weapons: 110 to 120 Operational: 0. All are in stockpile. Retired/awaiting dismantlement: 110 to 120 Total nuclear tests: 3 First test: May 1974 Most recent test: May 1998 Israel Total nuclear weapons: 80 Operational: 0. All are in stockpile. Retired/awaiting dismantlement: 80 Total nuclear tests: 0. There haven’t been any confirmed tests. North Korea Total nuclear weapons: Unknown. Total nuclear tests: 4 First test: October 2006 Most recent test: January 2016 Pakistan Total nuclear weapons: 110 to 130 Operational: 0 Retired/awaiting dismantlement: all 110 to 130 Total nuclear tests: 2 First test: May 28, 1998 Most recent test: May 30, 1998
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