Nuclear Weapons: Who Has What at a Glance

Discussion in 'Strategic Forces' started by LETHALFORCE, Nov 1, 2009.

  1. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    Nuclear Weapons: Who Has What at a Glance | Arms Control Association


    Nuclear Weapons: Who Has What at a Glance


    Strategic Arms Control and Policy
    Fact Sheet, September 2009

    At the dawn of the nuclear age, the United States hoped to maintain a monopoly on its new weapon, but the secrets for making nuclear weapons soon spread. Four years after the United States dropped atomic bombs on Japan in August 1945, the Soviet Union detonated its first nuclear device. The United Kingdom (1952), France (1960), and China (1964) followed. Seeking to prevent the nuclear weapon ranks from expanding further, the United States and other like-minded states negotiated the nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) in 1968. In the decades since, several states have abandoned nuclear weapons programs, but others have defied the NPT. India, Israel, and Pakistan have never signed the treaty and possess nuclear arsenals. Iraq initiated a secret nuclear program under Saddam Hussein before the 1991 Persian Gulf War. North Korea announced its withdrawal from the NPT in January 2003 and has tested nuclear devices since that time. Iran and Libya have pursued secret nuclear activities in violation of the treaty’s terms, and Syria is suspected of doing the same. Still, nuclear nonproliferation successes outnumber failures and dire forecasts decades ago that the world would be home to dozens of states armed with nuclear weapons have not come to pass.


    Nuclear-Weapon States:

    The nuclear-weapon states (NWS) are the five states—China, France, Russia, United Kingdom, and the United States—officially recognized as possessing nuclear weapons by the NPT. Although the treaty legitimizes these states’ nuclear arsenals, it also establishes that they are not supposed to build and maintain such weapons in perpetuity. Article VI of the treaty holds that each state-party is to “pursue negotiations in good faith on effective measures relating to cessation of the nuclear arms race at an early date and to nuclear disarmament.” In 2000, the five NWS committed themselves to an “unequivocal undertaking…to accomplish the total elimination of their nuclear arsenals.” But for now, the five continue to retain the bulk of their nuclear forces. Because of the secretive nature with which most governments treat information about their nuclear arsenals, the figures below are best estimates of each nuclear-weapon state’s nuclear holdings, including both strategic warheads and lower-yield devices referred to as tactical weapons:

    China: 100-200 warheads.
    France: Approximately 350 strategic warheads.
    Russia: 2,787 strategic warheads[1], approximately 2,000 operational tactical warheads, and approximately 8,000 stockpiled strategic and tactical warheads.
    United Kingdom: Less than 160 deployed strategic warheads.
    United States: 2,126 strategic warheads[1], approximately 500 operational tactical weapons, and approximately 6,700 reserve strategic and tactical warheads.

    Defacto Nuclear-Weapon States:

    Three states—India, Israel, and Pakistan—never joined the NPT and are known to possess nuclear weapons. Claiming its nuclear program was for peaceful purposes, India first tested a nuclear explosive device in 1974. That test spurred Pakistan to ramp up work on its secret nuclear weapons program. India and Pakistan both publicly demonstrated their nuclear weapon capabilities with a round of tit-for-tat nuclear tests in May 1998. Israel has not publicly conducted a nuclear test, does not admit to or deny having nuclear weapons, and states it will not be the first to introduce nuclear weapons in the Middle East. Nevertheless, Israel is universally believed to possess nuclear arms. The following arsenal estimates are based on the amount of fissile material—highly enriched uranium and plutonium—that each of the states is estimated to have produced. Fissile material is the key element for making nuclear weapons. India and Israel are believed to use plutonium in their weapons, while Pakistan is thought to use highly enriched uranium.

    India: Up to 100 nuclear warheads.
    Israel: Between 75 to 200 nuclear warheads.
    Pakistan: Between 70 to 90 nuclear warheads.

    States of Immediate Proliferation Concern:

    Iran is pursuing an uranium enrichment program and other projects that could provide it with the capability to produce bomb-grade fissile material and develop nuclear weapons within the next several years. In contrast, North Korea has the material to produce a small number of nuclear weapons, announced its withdrawal from the NPT, and tested nuclear devices. Uncertainty persists about how many additional nuclear devices North Korea has assembled beyond those it has tested. In September 2005, Pyongyang “committed to abandoning all nuclear weapons and existing nuclear programs.”

    Iran: No known weapons or sufficient fissile material stockpiles to build weapons. However, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the institution charged with verifying that states are not illicitly building nuclear weapons, concluded in 2003 that Iran had undertaken covert nuclear activities to establish the capacity to indigenously produce fissile material. The IAEA is continuing its investigation and monitoring of Tehran’s nuclear program.

    North Korea: Has separated enough plutonium for up to 12 nuclear warheads.

    Syria: In September 2007, Israel conducted an airstrike on what U.S. officials have alleged was the construction site of a nuclear research reactor similar to North Korea’s Yongbyon reactor. Intelligence officials briefed members of congress on the airstrike eight months later in April 2008, discussing the evidence leading to their judgment that the site was an undeclared nuclear reactor. While the extent of Syrian-North Korean nuclear cooperation is unclear, it is believed to have begun in 1997. Subsequent IAEA investigations into the U.S. claims uncovered traces of undeclared man-made uranium particles at both the site of the destroyed facility and Syria’s declared research reactor. Syria has failed to provide adequate cooperation to the IAEA in order to clarify the nature of the destroyed facility and procurement efforts that could be related to a nuclear program.




    States That Had Nuclear Weapons or Nuclear Weapons Programs at One Time:

    Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Ukraine inherited nuclear weapons following the Soviet Union’s 1991 collapse, but returned them to Russia and joined the NPT as non-nuclear-weapon states. South Africa secretly developed and dismantled a small number of nuclear warheads and also joined the NPT in 1991. Iraq had an active nuclear weapons program prior to the 1991 Persian Gulf War, but was forced to verifiably dismantle it under the supervision of UN inspectors. The U.S.-led March 2003 invasion of Iraq and subsequent capture of Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein definitively ended his regime’s pursuit of nuclear weapons. Libya voluntarily renounced its secret nuclear weapons efforts in December 2003. Argentina, Brazil, South Korea, and Taiwan also shelved nuclear weapons programs.


    ENDNOTE

    1. SORT limits the United States and Russia to 2,200 strategic warheads each.

    Sources: Arms Control Association, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Central Intelligence Agency, Congressional Research Service, U.S. Department of Defense, Institute for Science and International Security, International Atomic Energy Agency, and Natural Resources Defense Council.
     
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  3. StealthSniper

    StealthSniper Senior Member Senior Member

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    Thanks for this Lethal. I can understand the large and influential countries having nuclear weapons but I gotta say I don't understand how a small population and country like Israel can get away with not signing the NPT and not be in trouble but Iran and other countries are told they cannot produce nuclear weapons. I understand the threat that some countries pose but if you look at the whole picture with a clear mind, you can't say that Israel can have nuclear weapons but Syria can't.

    Also I don't understand why India had sanctions against it but it seems like Pakistan or other small countries didn't have any heat put on them. If any country had the requirements to have nuclear weapons it's India. At least now we are recognised in the global arena to be a good nuclear state.
     
  4. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    Stealth, you forgot the America angle in the whole thing. Thats why Israel can have the nukes.
     
  5. StealthSniper

    StealthSniper Senior Member Senior Member

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    Yeah I was just going to point out on the whole American influence in the NPT deal. It definitely to me seems a little biased and I'm not saying that any country can just have nukes but I think it would be fair to say that a country with a population of 7 million shouldn't even have nuclear weapons and have a say at who can have them.

    I think the treaty should be looked at again and maybe they should have strict parameters at who can have nuclear weapons. Because right now it seems America is controlling the situation around the world with this NPT.
     
  6. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    stealth your points are valid, currently there are five nuclear armed countries that have signed the NPT and coincidentally they are also in the UNSC. And there are 5 nuclear armed countries (or will be soon) that have not signed the NPT or signed but dropped out India,Pakistan,Israel,N.Korea (dropped out), Iran(signatory but not for long??). Also the in the non NPT club Israeli estimates are the highest;if Israel was in the NPT club taking the 200 estimate would make their nuclear warhead arsenal bigger than Great Britain and China. Strange why Israel is a non NPT signatory??
     
  7. Indianrabbit

    Indianrabbit Regular Member

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    Why USA and Russia have more then 2000 Nukes, they need to reduce it. Nuclear weapons maintainability is costly will help Russian economy 500 should be more then enough.

    Also I do not see any seriousness in NPT, China has supplied sensitive technology to countries that can be called father of terrorism.
     
  8. StealthSniper

    StealthSniper Senior Member Senior Member

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    Yeah Lethal if Israel has good intentions why don't they admit to having nuclear weapons and sign the NPT. Of course everyone who hasn't signed the NPT is bad so I guess Israel is bad too, but they are never questioned. This is why the NPT is flawed and a new treaty should be discussed with a more global audience.
     
  9. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    Welcome to the world of geopolitics guys. Precisely all these double standards has forced India to not sign NPT.
    Look at what big powers can do. When it came to earning billions, they created a bypass of the NPT for India. NPT was created because of Indian test in the first place and now we have been accomodated in it.
     
  10. Vladimir79

    Vladimir79 Defence Professionals Defence Professionals

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    NPT doesn't mean anything today. Iran carries on with enrichment while non-NPT states like India and Pakistan get away with developing them and then no longer face sanctions. It only matters for what is politically expedient for the United States, like Usrael. Now Ukraine is kicking themselves for signing it thinking we are going to overun Crimea. :lol:
     
  11. bengalraider

    bengalraider DFI Technocrat Stars and Ambassadors

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    The only country to give up nuclear arms afetr building them South africa

    Source: Nuclear Weapons Program - South Africa
     
  12. bengalraider

    bengalraider DFI Technocrat Stars and Ambassadors

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    Picturs from israels bomb factory

    Am posting the pictures vanunu made public, the below are pictures from inside Dimona the heart of the Israeli nuclear program.

    [​IMG]
    Looking inside a glove box for tooling nuclear materials
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    Looking from outside into a glove box
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    Control panel
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    Control panel for lithium 6 production
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    Workshop
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    Looking inside a glove box at lathe for turning precision shaped pieces of plutonium or other components.
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    Laboratory model of nuclear weapons core
    [​IMG]
    Looking inside a glove box at models of bomb components or containers for nuclear materials.
    [​IMG]
    Outside of glove box
     
  13. bengalraider

    bengalraider DFI Technocrat Stars and Ambassadors

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    more pictures from dimona

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    Plutonium separation plant control room
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    Shielded viewing portal for observing nuclear reactions.
    [​IMG]
    Production model of nuclear weapons core.
    [​IMG]
    Production model of nuclear weapons core
     
  14. bengalraider

    bengalraider DFI Technocrat Stars and Ambassadors

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    The US DIA predictions from nuclear warheads in other nations by 2020

    [​IMG]
    Excerpt from 160-page secret DIA report, first disclosed and reproduced in Rowan Scarborough, Rumsfeld's War (Regnery, 2004), pp. 194-223.
     
  15. bengalraider

    bengalraider DFI Technocrat Stars and Ambassadors

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    The virtual nuclear wepoans state-JAPAN

    The only reason japan has not made the bomb is the U.S umbrella granted to it, in the coming decades as the power of the united states declines and china and other nations grow in stature it is possible that japan may reconsider having only a "Virtual nuclear weapons state status".
     
  16. roma

    roma NRI in Europe Senior Member

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    LF - superb idea of a thread - thanks
     
  17. roma

    roma NRI in Europe Senior Member

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    stealth i guess youve been replied to on that , but just to give a slightly different angle - dont view israel on its on . rather view it as wall street plus political clout in any chamber of the usa political caucasses.

    plus the various christian organizations are overtly pro-israel .
     
  18. StealthSniper

    StealthSniper Senior Member Senior Member

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    I honestly think that this START thing that Russia and America have going on is in America's favor. I think secretly that America is not really disposing of it's nukes and maybe America is trying to make Russia reduce it's nuke arsenal for other reasons. From things I have read and how things were done in the past America always has a double standard to get what it wants, whether political, with money, or with force.
     
  19. Vladimir79

    Vladimir79 Defence Professionals Defence Professionals

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    No longer...

    US Inpectors will no longer moniter Russian missile production
     
  20. K Factor

    K Factor A Concerned Indian Senior Member

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    This statement is far from the truth. Anti-semitism originated in Christianity way before the muslim arabs (in the dark ages), as Christians thought that the Jews had betrayed Jesus leading to his crucifixion.

    You can read the book - Constantine's Sword, also made into a documentary by the same name (Constantine's Sword (2007)). This delves into the dark side of the churches and anti-semitism in modern USA.

    Also, a basic background reading into Christianity and Anti-Semitism.
    Christianity and antisemitism - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Why Do People Hate The Jews?

    The main reason for the support for Israel in the US is the powerful Jewish lobby. Jewish Americans are the most powerful and influential ethnic group in America. Jewish Americans make up 2 percent of the U.S. population yet comprise 40 percent of U.S. billionaires.

    18% of Jewish households have a net worth of $1 million or more. More than 55% of all Jewish Adults received a college degree and 25% earned a graduate degree.

    More than 60% of all employed Jews are in one of the three highest status job categories: professional or technical (41%), management and executive (13%) and business and finance (7%). Over 45% of large gifts made to charity are made by Jewish Americans. Over 50% of Jewish Americans live in just four states: New York, New Jersey, Florida and California.

    List of Jewish billionaires in the world. Check out the USA.
    List of Jews in Business


    PS - Sorry for the off-topic reply.
     
  21. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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