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Nuclear Weapons in the World: Who has them & how many are there? Who has given them up? What’s an official “nuclear weapon state”? Cristina Hansell James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies Monterey Institute of International Studies December 4, 2008 Overview

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Nuclear Weapons in the World: Who has them & how many are there?Who has given them up?What’s an official “nuclear weapon state”?

Cristina Hansell

James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies

Monterey Institute of International Studies

December 4, 2008


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Overview

  • How many nuclear weapons are there, and where are they?

  • What is an “official” nuclear weapons state?

  • What other kinds of states are there?

  • What countries have sought nuclear weapons?

  • What is a weapons program?

    • Aside: the relationship between the civilian nuclear fuel cycle and weapons programs

Sen. Lugar and Typhoon (Russia)

Smallest U.S. Nuclear Weapon built (23.2 kg)

Photo sources: Sen. Lugar’s website; PowerPoint presentation by Jing-dong Yuan, Feb. 7, 2008


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How Many Weapons Are There?

  • The most the world ever had:

    1986: about 70,500

  • How many there are today:

    about 27,000

Photo source: Department of Energy website


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Where are the nuclear weapons today?

http://www.nti.org/db/disarmament/map.html


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“Official” Nuclear-Weapon States (NWS)

  • Defined in the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT)

  • Article IX, paragraph 3, recognizes states that detonated a nuclear device prior to January 1, 1967, as nuclear-weapon states.

  • All other treaty members are Non-Nuclear Weapon States (NNWS)

  • Note: there are 3 states that have not joined the treaty & one that says it withdrew


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Other states with nuclear weapons

  • Israel: Strongly suspected of possessing nuclear weapons. By late 1966, had completed the R&D on first nuclear weapon device BUT did not test its nuclear devices or declare itself a nuclear weapon state; never joined NPT; estimated 100-200 warheads

  • India: “peaceful nuclear test” in 1974, “weapons test” 1998; never joined NPT; 40-50 warheads

  • Pakistan: nuclear tests 2 weeks after India in 1998; never joined NPT; 24-48 warheads

  • North Korea: withdrew from NPT (according to Pyongyang); tested nuclear device October 2006, number of warheads unknown


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Arsenals of the official Nuclear-Weapon States

  • China: 100-200 warheads.

  • France: Approximately 350 strategic warheads.

  • Russia: 4,978 strategic warheads, approximately 3,500 operational tactical warheads, and probably over 11,000 stockpiled strategic and tactical warheads.

  • United Kingdom: Less than 200 strategic warheads.

  • United States: 5,968 strategic warheads, more than 1,000 operational tactical weapons, and approximately 3,000 reserve strategic and tactical warheads.

Photo of Titan missile (all Titans have been decommissioned)

Source: www.nuclearwinter.com/titan/


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Nuclear stockpiles in NWS, 1945-2006

Includes stockpiled as well as operational weapons.

Estimates from:

http://thebulletin.metapress.com/content/c4120650912x74k7/fulltext.pdf


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Source: http://thebulletin.metapress.com/content/h2125x87046603r5/fulltext.pdf


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Future NWS Arsenal Plans http://thebulletin.metapress.com/content/h2125x87046603r5/fulltext.pdf

  • December 2001 Nuclear Posture Review: U.S. to draw its nuclear forces down to 1,700-2,200 operationally deployed strategic nuclear warheads

    • planned force structure for 2012: 14 Trident SSBNs (with two of the 14 in overhaul at any time) 500 Minuteman III ICBMs, 76 B-52H bombers, and 21 B-2 bombers.

  • Russia: under 2,000 operationally deployed warheads by 2012, probably about 1,500

  • U.K.: maintain current numbers (under 200), only deployed on submarines

  • France: reduce to “under 300,” no NW except in operational stockpile (Sarkozy statement, 2008), most on submarines

  • China: maintain current numbers? (200-400?), working on submarines


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Some 20 countries have sought nuclear weapons http://thebulletin.metapress.com/content/h2125x87046603r5/fulltext.pdf

Programs ending before NPT began:Australia, Egypt, Sweden, Canada

Factions Within Advocated for or Sought Nuclear Weapons, but these Ambitions Ended by the Time NPT Started:Italy, Japan, Germany, Norway

Programs that Ended After 1970:Brazil, South Korea, Switzerland, Taiwan, Yugoslavia, Romania, and South Africa (which had weapons, and gave them up in the early 1990s)

Programs that began after 1970, but have been given up:Iraq and Libya

Suspected of nuclear intentions (but no program proven):Iran, Syria, Algeria

Inherited Nuclear Weapons, but Now Non-Nuclear Weapon States Party to the NPT:Belarus, Kazakhstan and Ukraine

Source: http://isis-online.org/mapproject/worldmap.html


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Nuclear weapons programs that began before 1970 when the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) came into force, succeeded, and are still ongoing

Programs that ended after 1970

Ongoing, successful programs that started after 1970

Source: http://isis-online.org/mapproject/introduction.html


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What is a “nuclear weapons program”? Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) came into force, succeeded, and are still ongoing

Note: A peaceful nuclear program can be the source of fissile material for a nuclear weapon (bomb fuel): highly enriched uranium or plutonium


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Uranium Mining Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) came into force, succeeded, and are still ongoing

The Nuclear Fuel Cycle

Milling (getting the uranium out of the mined material, results in “yellowcake”)

Conversion (turning solid yellowcake into a gas)

Enrichment (separating U235 from U238)

Fuel fabrication for heavy water reactors

(like early CANDU reactors) that do not use enriched uranium fuel

Conversion (turning gas back into solid)

Fuel fabrication (making reactor fuel rods)

Use in Nuclear Reactor

Spent fuel

Reprocessing

Plutonium

Waste storage


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Nuclear Weapons Programs Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) came into force, succeeded, and are still ongoing

  • Need “bomb fuel” – either enrichment facilities (to acquire highly enriched uranium) or reactor plus reprocessing plant

  • Need bomb design

  • Need scientists & engineers to build the weapon

  • Need to test the device

  • Need delivery systems

    — peaceful nuclear programs can be misused to help get #1 and #3


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Recap Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) came into force, succeeded, and are still ongoing


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