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Suspected Nuclear Arsenals



Suspected Total Nuclear Weapons
China 410
France 464
India 60+?
Israel 200+?
Pakistan 15-25?
Russia ~10,000
United Kingdom 185
United States ~10,500

The above table shows the estimated nuclear arsenals of the countries suspected to hold the greatest number of thermonuclear devices. This list does not include the countries
 thought to hold smaller arsenals, or those who
are currently developing nuclear weapons.

Nuclear Proliferation

 US, USSR, France , China , Israel and Great Britain have a substancial nuclear capability.

 Other Countries With Smaller Arsenals

 Pakistan and India have nuclear weapons. 
In May 1974 India tested 10 kiloton device.

In 1979 a US satellite detected a flash of light 
in the Indian Ocean, near South Africa.

South Africa denied all allegations.
 In 1989 President Carter reported that this was 
probably not a nuclear test.

Countries assumed to be near creating nuclear deterrent include Argentina, Brazil, Iran, Iraq, North and South Korea. Iraq the closest to creating a usable bomb. At the time of the Gulf War it was estimated the country was between 2-5 years from producing a usable bomb.

Arms Control Treaties

  In order to reduce the number of nuclear weapons, and thus reduce the cost of manufacturing and maintaining a nuclear arsenal, 3 Arms limitation treaties have been ratifed by the leading nuclear powers.

Strategies Arms Limitation Treaty "SALT" + "SALT 2".
 In 1998, US and USSR, signed intermediate range nuclear forces treaty. This eliminated an entire class of nuclear missiles.

Strategies Arms Reduction Treaty "START" called for 70% reductions in nuclear arsenals over 7 years.

  The Future 

Although the risk of all out nuclear war between America and Russia is now remote, the threat of nuclear exchange still hangs over us. 
Of special concern is the break up of the Soviet Union as there is now no overall control.

The greatest concern, however,  is rogue countries or terrorists acquiring nuclear material . There have been several unsuccessful attempts to smuggle nuclear material out of the former Soviet Union.

It is not known how many attempts have succeeded.



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