Nuclear weapons are one of the most dangerous weapons ever invented, that can destroy mankind in just fraction of a second. It is called a nuclear weapon as the weapons destructive force is derived from the reaction of nuclear, either fission or both fusion and fission.
The first and the last nuclear attack were done by United States on Nagasaki and Hiroshima in 1945, towards the end of World War II. The bombing killed approx 129,000 people and people who survived suffered severe injuries. Apart from being the most destructive attack, it is also most expensive and according to a report, in terms of present day, United States spent $8.8trillion money on the bombing attack.
Here is a list of Top 10 Countries with Most Nuclear Weapons:
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Iran, also called as Persia and officially known as Islamic Republic of Iran doesn’t have a nuclear weapons presently. It is believed that they have signed treaties refusing possession of nuclear weapons like Biological Weapons Convention, Chemical Weapons Convention and Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty.
Iran has the knowledge of effects of the weapon as over 100,000 Iranian people consisting of its civilians and troops were killed in the Iraq-Iran War. On the grounds of ideology, categorical and public religious decree was issued by Supreme Leader of Iran Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, against production, development, use and stockpiling of weapons. According to some reports published, Iran can produce enough uranium of weapon grade for 1 nuclear war head in 1.7mnths. US intelligence reports said Iran was conducting researches that could it in the weapons production but not doing it. Despite no evidence of the weapons, it is believed that Iran has nuclear weapons but the number is a mystery.
9 North Korea
North Korea, officially known as Democratic People’s Republic of Korea declared about possessing 1 nuclear weapon and stockpile of comparatively simpler nuclear weapons in the year 2009. They might possess chemical and biological weapons.
North Korea, withdrew as a party to Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons since 2003. In 2006, the country successfully conducted 1st nuclear test. For the test, a nuclear explosion under the ground was detected and its yield estimated to be a kiloton and few radioactive outputs. In 2007, it declared that they possess nuclear weapons. As of September 2016, North Korea has conducted 5 nuclear tests successfully and the yield of the last one was the highest. Even though, they considered it to be less and expecting something between 15-20kt as Germans got about 25kt for the same test.
This country is believed to have nuclear weapons and the country which is not recognized by Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty as Nuclear Weapon State. According to US Congress Office of Technology Assessment, Israel has undeclared chemical weapon capabilities and offensive program for biological warfare. Israel has neither accepted nor denied owning nuclear weapons.
They are believed to have nuclear weapons since 1967, but there is no official statistics to support the fact exist; estimated weapons range from 75-400. The nuclear weapons are manufactured at Negev Nuclear Research Center. The maximum known about the nuclear program is from Mordechai Vanunu, who worked at Negev Nuclear Research Center as technician for 18yrs. The country is not party to Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, but is in support of nuclear weapon free Middle East. Although it is hard to say if they if the country has nuclear weapons or not but they definitely have the ability to manufacture one.
India possesses nuclear weapons and had chemical weapons in the past. Although, the country never officially declared the number but it is believed that they have approx 110 weapons. In 1999, India had 800kgs of plutonium of reactor grade, civilian plutonium of 8300kgs, which enough for nearly 1000 nuclear weapons. It is not a party to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, 1968 but has rectified and signed Chemical Weapons Convention and Biological Weapons Convention. The country is a part of Missile Technology Control Regime and subscribing state of Hague Code of Conduct.
The nuclear program in India started in 1944 and was incorporated by scientist Dr. Homi Bhabha, who founded Institute of Fundamental Research, a research center. In 1974, the nuclear device was put to test for the first time and named it “peaceful nuclear explosion”. The country has a policy of “no first use”, which means it will not be the first one to initiate a attack by nuclear weapon but will always respond to it.
Pakistan is the only Muslim country out of the nine states that possess the nuclear weapons. It began the production in 1972 when Zulfikar Ali Bhutto was the Prime Minister and chairman of Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission was Munir Ahmad Khan. He committed to complete the bomb preparations by 1976 but was behind schedule, this is when Abdul Qadeer Khan was called from Europe and completed the project in 1984.
The development of nuclear weapons project was response to their loss in Bangladesh Liberation War in 1971. According to an analysis mentioned in Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists in the year 2010, Pakistan has approx 70-90 weapons. The exact number of weapons are hard to guess, but as mentioned by Strategic Arms Division of Pakistan, they have about 80-120 war heads genuinely.
5 United Kingdom
The country has own a wide variety of mass destruction weapons including chemical, biological and nuclear weapons. It is the official state for nuclear weapon along with 4 others under Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. It has 120 active stockpiles of nuclear war head and 215 total war heads.
In 1956, it rejected and destroyed the biological and chemical weapon general stock. It first tested it nuclear weapon on 3rd October, 1952 with total test being 45. The highest stockpile it had was 520 war heads but at present it has 215 war heads. In 2007, it incurred a cost of £20bn to upgrade its Trident nuclear submarine system and in 2008, it was claimed by The Guardian that £3bn will be spent in up gradation of stockpile of warheads, which will increase its life until 2055.
Officially known as People’s Republic of China, possesses weapons of mass destruction which include chemical and nuclear weapons. The first nuclear weapon was tested in 1964 and in 1967, 1st hydrogen bomb was tested. They continued testing until Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty was signed in 1996.
Country has kept its warhead number a secret and is therefore hard to guess. As estimated by Federation of American Scientists in 2015, the country possesses about 260 war heads in total, which is 2nd smallest of the 5states which are a part of Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear weapons. According to a study, by 2020, the country will double the number of warheads and could threaten United States.
France is a party to Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty along with 4 other countries but its possession of biological or chemical weapons is not known. It was the 4th country which tested nuclear weapon independently in 1960. Presently, the country has 300 operational stockpile of nuclear war heads and is 3rd largest in world in war head terms.
Currently, the country claims not having chemical weapon and rectified Chemical Weapons Convention in 1995 & in 1984, it acceded Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention. According to the French Law, one of its 4 nuclear submarines, one should always patrol in Atlantic Ocean, like United Kingdom’s policy. The government gives compensation to the victims of the nuclear tests and given an estimate of 500 such people, whereas, an Algerian group has given an estimate of 27,000 people.
2 United States
United States of America was the only and first country to use and produce nuclear weapons. They used it for the 1st time in World War II on Nagasaki and Hiroshima. The country possesses all the three types of weapons: Chemical, Biological and Nuclear weapons. They developed the weapons secretly in 1940s under “Manhattan Project”. It is the pioneer of development of hydrogen and nuclear fission bombs. It was the only country for 4 years to possess nuclear power until Soviet Union produced its own weapon.
It started its nuclear program on 21st October, 1939 and tested its first weapon on 16th July, 1945. The 1st fusion test was conducted on 1st November, 1952 and last nuclear test was done on 23rd September, 1992 with a total tests being 1,054. As of 1967, it had a stockpile of 32,040, whereas, in 2016, the stockpile was 4,670 usable.
The most number of stockpiles possessed by any country as 2016 is Russia. It has about 7,300 total weapons with 1,790 strategically operational. The figures mentioned are only estimates as the exact number is kept secret by the country. In 997, the country had 39,967tons chemical weapons, out of which 57% were destroyed. The country is part of the Chemical Weapons Convention and Biological Weapons Convention. From 1949-1991, the country produced approx 55,000 weapons.
The 1st nuclear test was conducted on 29th August, 1949 and 1st fusion test was conducted on 12th August 1953 with last nuclear test on 24th August 1990. It has in total conducted 715 tests till date.
Top 10 Countries with Most Nuclear Weapons
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Nuclear weapons are the most powerful and destructive weapons of all and the after effects of the attack are horrifying. In the benefit of mankind, every country should reconsider its decision of using it.