Which countries have nuclear weapons?

Nuclear weapons are the most dangerous on Earth. A single one can destroy an entire city and kill millions of people. What countries have access to these types of weapons that are so powerful as well as fearful?

The first nuclear explosion took place on July 16, 1945. The code name was Trinity and it was included in the then-top-secret Manhattan Project.

According to United Nations reports, some 22,000 nuclear weapons remain in the world. Currently, there are nine countries that have nuclear weapons. Officially or unofficially. Let’s start with Israel

Nine countries have nuclear weapons

Isreal: According to various media reports, it is estimated that it possesses between 80 and 400 nuclear weapons. His ambiguity in not acknowledging that he has this technology prevents the United States from having to sanction him.

The United States was the first to discover this technology (1945) and the only one to apply it to the civilian population. According to CNN, in October 2021, the Biden Administration gave official figures: 3,750 nuclear warheads and 2,000 waiting to be dismantled.

Russia was the second country to have nuclear weapons in its stage as the USSR (1949). It is estimated that it has 1,444 nuclear warheads.

The United Kingdom is the third country to obtain nuclear weapons (1952). It has approximately 225 nuclear warheads, according to the Nuclear Threat Initiative. Almost all of them are of the SLBM type to launch from nuclear submarines.

France joined the “club” in 1960. It has approximately 290 nuclear warheads that can be launched from the sea and from the air. 

China officially discovered the nuclear bomb in 1964 and has 290 nuclear warheads. Of these, 90 are nuclear-capable intercontinental ballistic missiles, known by their acronym ICBMs.

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India claims to have had the atomic bomb since 1974. As per different media reports, India has between 130 and 140 nuclear warheads.

Pakistan has 90 and 110 nuclear warheads. And they have been at odds officially and unofficially for decades.

North Korea made it official in 2006 with up to six nuclear tests.

Countries familiar with nuclear weapons

To this list, we can add other countries for different reasons.

South Africa developed nuclear weapons during the 1970s but abandoned its nuclear program in 1991.

Japan announced in 1996 that it had the capability to create nuclear weapons in response to North Korea’s announcement. But, as far as we know, he has no working nuclear weapons. And, for years, the United States has denounced Iran has nuclear capabilities. What has resulted in successive economic sanctions without, for the moment, there is material evidence?

Finally, countries like Belgium, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Turkey, members of NATO, could use nuclear weapons from allied countries in case of war. Something that, to date, has not been necessary. Yes indeed. Since 2009, these countries have kept US nuclear weapons. It is estimated that a total of 150 are distributed among those territories. Something that Canada did in the past until 1984 and Greece until 2001.


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