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Nuclear weapons: Who all have them, and how many?

Last updated on: March 26, 2013 09:36 IST

Nuclear weapons: Who all have them, and how many?

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More than two dozen countries in the world have nuclear power, but only a few have nuclear weapons or are suspected of pursuing nuclear weapons, a latest report has revealed.

The combined findings of the Federation of American Scientists, CIA World Factbook, Nuclear Threat Initiative and the US Census Bureau were recently published by CNN.

We bring forth to our readers the list of nations sitting on a nuclear stockpile, based on the study findings:

Please click NEXT to find out who all possess nuclear weapons, and how many...


Image: Smoke rises more than 60,000 feet into the air over Nagasaki from an atomic bomb, the second ever used in warfare, dropped from a B-29 Superfortress bomber in this U.S. Air Force photo dated August 9, 1945.
Photographs: Reuters
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United States of America

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Estimated Warheads: 7,650

Operational: 2,150

Reserve: 2,500

Retired, awaiting dismantlement: 3,000

First Test: 1945

Most Recent Test: 1992

Total Tests: 1,054

It is estimated that about 500 warheads are assigned to land-based missiles, 1,150 are assigned to nuclear submarines and 300 are ready to be deployed on aircraft. Also, as part of NATO's nuclear sharing program, an additional 200 B61 gravity bombs are deployed in five NATO countries: Belgium, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Turkey, the report notes.

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Image: US Air Force missile maintenance technicians look over the top of a Peacekeeper nuclear missile, that were being dismantled, deep in an underground silo on the Wyoming prairie.
Photographs: Rick Wiking/Reuters
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Russia

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Estimated Warheads: 8,420

Operational: 1,720

In Reserve: 2,700

Retired, awaiting dismantlement: 4,000

First Test: 1949

Most Recent Test: 1990

Total Tests: 715

Of those, it is estimated that about 1,070 warheads are assigned to land-based missiles, 350 are assigned to nuclear submarines and 300 are ready to be deployed on aircraft, according to the report.

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Image: A nuclear warhead is loaded from a rail car onto a truck in outskirts of Kirovograd, Russia.
Photographs: Reuters
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United Kingdom

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Estimated Warheads: 225

Operational: Fewer than 160

In Reserve: 65

First Test: 1952

Most Recent Test: 1991

Total Tests: 45

All are assigned to nuclear submarines, the country's only launch mechanism. In 1998, it retired all air-delivered nuclear weapons, the report notes.

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Image: A dummy Tomahawk cruise missile lies next to a weapons system delivery tube onboard one an Astute class nuclear submarine as they are built in the Devonshire Dock hall at the BAE systems facility in England.
Photographs: Phil Noble/Reuters
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France

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Estimated Warheads: 300

Operational: 290

In Maintenance or awaiting dismantlement: 10

First Test: 1960

Most Recent Test: 1996

Total Tests: 210

Of those, about 240 are thought to be assigned to nuclear submarines, while the other 50 are ready to be deployed on aircraft. France dismantled its land-based nuclear weapons in 1996, according to the report.

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Image: France's missile M51 soars into the air during its first test in Biscarosse, on November 9, 2006.
Photographs: Regis Duvignau/Reuters
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China

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Estimated Warheads: 240

Operational: Unknown

First Test: 1964

Most Recent Test: 1996

Total Tests: 45

Of China's 240 estimated warheads, about 180 can be carried via aircraft or land-based missiles. The rest are either awaiting dismantlement or meant for nuclear submarines that are not yet available, the report states.

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Image: A security guard stands under the Chinese DF-2 ground-to-ground nuclear bomb at an exhibition in Beijing.
Photographs: Jason Lee/Reuters
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India

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Estimated Warheads: 80-100

Operational: 0

First Test: 1974

Most Recent Test: 1998

Total Tests: 6

The warheads in storage can be carried via aircraft or land-based missiles. India is looking to add a sea-based launch mechanism, report notes.

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Image: India's nuclear-capable Agni-III missile is seen before its third flight launch system at Wheeler Island, on May 7, 2008.
Photographs: Reuters
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Pakistan

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Estimated Warheads: 90-110

Operational: 0

First Test: 1998

Most Recent Test: 1998

Total Tests: 6

The warheads in storage can be carried via aircraft or land-based missiles, report states.

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Image: Ghauri missile, capable of carrying nuclear warheads, with a range of 1,500 km, on a mobile launch-pad at an undisclosed location in Pakistan
Photographs: Reuters
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North Korea

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Estimated Warheads: Fewer than 10

First Test: 2006

Most Recent Test: 2013

Total Tests: 3

Experts say the country has plutonium for about 10 warheads, but it is not thought to have the technology to deliver the weapons, the report states.

North Korea has conducted three underground nuclear tests, with the most recent coming in February. It has also carried out ballistic missile tests. But it is not thought to have brought the two technologies together yet, the report adds.

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Image: A satellite image of the North Korean missile launch facility at Musudan-Ri
Photographs: Reuters
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Israel

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Estimated Warheads: 80

First Test: No confirmed test

Most Recent Test: No confirmed test

Total Tests: No confirmed test

Israel refuses to confirm or deny the widespread belief that it has the bomb, but it is believed to have about 80 atomic weapons and enough plutonium for as many as 200, according to the Federation of American Scientists.

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Image: Israel's new Dolphin-class submarine surfaces in the Mediterrannean Sea. Israel received the first of three $300-million German-made submarines similar to models which, according to foreign reports, it has modified to carry cruise missiles with nuclear warheads.
Photographs: Havakuk Levison/Reuters
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Iran

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Estimated Warheads: 0

First Test: No confirmed test

Most Recent Test: No confirmed test

Total Tests: No confirmed test

A number of Western nations have placed economic and arms-related sanctions on Iran since 2010, when the International Atomic Energy Agency said Tehran was pursuing technology that could be used to build nuclear weapons. Last year, the IAEA confirmed that Iran had begun enriching uranium at its Fordo nuclear facility, the report stated.

Iran maintains its nuclear program is for civilian energy purposes only. But the IAEA has said it cannot verify whether the intent of the program is for peaceful means.


Image: A general view of the Bushehr nuclear power plant in Iran.
Photographs: Reuters
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