Nuclear Weapons

Who’s got Nuclear Weapons ?

State Approximate number of nuclear weapons
Russia 6,255
United States 5,550
China 350
France 290
Britain 260
Pakistan 165
India 156
Israel 90
North Korea 40-50

The United States, Russia, Britain, France and China are the five states who signed the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) in 1970 as declared nuclear weapon states.

Israel, India and Pakistan never signed the NPT, but have developed nuclear weapons since 1970. Israel still doesn’t officially confirm that it has got nuclear weapons, despite the CIA saying that it has had them since the 1970s. Full details of Israel’s nuclear weapons were leaked to British newspapers in 1986 by Mordechai Vanunu, a technician in an Israeli nuclear installation, who was then kidnapped by the Israeli secret service while he was in Rome, and sentenced to 18 years in prison.

North Korea originally signed the NPT, but then withdrew from it in 2003.

Read more about the nuclear weapons systems in each of the nuclear-armed states here, and read more about the effects of these weapons here.

Four countries used to have nuclear weapons but no longer have them:

South Africa admitted that it developed nuclear weapons in the 1970s, but then scrapped them in 1991; and Ukraine, Belarus and Kazakhstan, formerly parts of the Soviet Union, all had Soviet nuclear weapons on their territory when the Soviet Union collapsed, but have now either scrapped them or sent them back to Russia.

There are a further 39 countries in the world, including Iran, that have nuclear power or research reactors, and thus have the potential capability to produce nuclear weapons. However, nearly all of them have chosen not to possess nuclear weapons and have officially signed treaties with this intention. Many countries have also signed to be part of large nuclear weapon free zones − Southeast Asia, Central Asia, the South Pacific, Latin America and Africa.

Non-nuclear and Nuclear States