The following is a list of states that have admitted the possession of nuclear weapons, the approximate number of warheads under their control, and the year they tested their first weapon and their force configuration. This list is informally known in global politics as the “Nuclear Club” With the exception of Russia and the United States (which have subjected their nuclear forces to independent verification under various treaties) these figures are estimates, in some cases quite unreliable estimates. In particular, under the Strategic Offensive Reductions Treaty thousands of Russian and U.S. nuclear warheads are inactive in stockpiles awaiting processing. The fissile material contained in the warheads can then be recycled for use in nuclear reactors.
From a high of 68,000 active weapons in 1985, as of 2015 there are some 4,000 active nuclear warheads and 10,300 total nuclear warheads in the world. Many of the decommissioned weapons were simply stored or partially dismantled, not destroyed.
It is also noteworthy that since the dawn of the Atomic Age the delivery methods of most states with nuclear weapons has evolved with some achieving a nuclear triad while others have consolidated away from land and air deterrents to submarine based forces.
Countries with nuclear weapons
- The United State of America has 1750 – 6970
- Russia has 1790 – 7300
- United Kingdom has 150 – 315
- France has 290 – 300
- China has more than 260
- Pakistan 130 – 150
- India 90 – 110
- Israel 60 – 100
- All numbers are estimates from the Federation of American Scientists. The latest update was in September 2015. If differences between active and total stockpile are known, they are given as two figures separated by a forward slash. If specifics are not available (n.a.), only one figure is given. Stockpile number may not contain all intact warheads if a substantial amount of warheads are scheduled for but have not yet gone through dismantlement; not all “active” warheads are deployed at any given time. When a range of weapons is given (e.g., 0–10), it generally indicates that the estimate is being made on the amount of fissile material that has likely been produced, and the amount of fissile material needed per warhead depends on estimates of a country’s proficiency at nuclear weapon design.
- Jump up ^ From the 1960s until the 1990s, the United Kingdom’s Royal Air Force maintained the independent capability to deliver nuclear weapons via its V bomber fleet.
- Jump up ^ France formerly possessed a nuclear triad until 1996 and the retirement of its land-based arsenal.
- North Korea has only 6 – 10