Established in 1957, the United Nations Control Authority defines itself as a “center for global nuclear cooperation” and seeks to “promote the safe, secure and peaceful uses of nuclear energy.”All 9 countries with nuclear weapons
One of the main goals of the organization is to prevent the use of nuclear energy for any military purpose, including proliferation. The meeting in the Austrian capital will take place just a week after the IAEA confirmed that Iran is preparing to build and operate more advanced nuclear enrichment centrifuges.
This is another violation of the restrictions set out in the National Nuclear Agreement. And when tensions between Tehran and its historic enemy Saudi Arabia reached a boiling point last weekend, nuclear experts raised concerns about the escalating situation in the Middle East.
The IAEA Council confirmed that discussions on “improving the effectiveness of safeguards implementation” will be on the agenda this week.
9 Countries With Nuclear Weapons
Here are nine countries that currently possess nuclear weapons.
- Number of warheads: 6450
- First successful test: 1949 (Soviet Union)
With over 6,000 missiles, Russia is the leader in nuclear capabilities. However, from a historical point of view, this is a relatively small number. After the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1990, it became clear that it had at least 45,000 warheads.
Our country periodically goes beyond the limits of the possible when it comes to nuclear weapons. So in October 1961, Moscow tested the “Tsar’s bomb”, which remains the largest and most powerful charge ever detonated (about 58 megatons in TNT equivalent).
And last week the Kremlin announced the creation of the so-called Burevestnik missile, a low-flying stealth cruise missile that existing Western air defenses cannot intercept.
2. The USA
- Number of warheads: 6185
- First successful test: 1945
The Americans began nuclear tests in July 1945, just a month before they dropped two charges on the Japanese cities of Nagasaki and Hiroshima.
During the Cold War, the nuclear programs of the USSR and the United States went face to face. Washington had an equally large arsenal of weapons until the 1990s. The states currently have about 1,400 strategic warheads and several hundred bombers scattered around the globe.
- Number of warheads: 300
- First successful test: 1960
France became the fourth country to test nuclear weapons. It happened under President Charles de Gaulle in 1960.
Today, as noted by The National Interest, the country is implementing the “Maritime Nuclear Deterrence” program. Most of France’s arsenal is based on four nuclear-powered submarines.
- Number of warheads: 290
- First successful test: 1964
China, one of the world’s largest powers, has nuclear weapons in its arsenal. But its quantity and effectiveness are a bit surprising.
China currently has about 290 nuclear warheads, but none of them are linked to the delivery system.
5. Great Britain
- Number of warheads: 200
- First successful test: 1952
The UK’s arsenal consists of about 120 strategic warheads, of which no more than 40 can be deployed on ballistic missile submarines at any time, the Arms Control Association said.
However, the United Kingdom’s nuclear weapons, known as Trident, are one of the most controversial programs of their kind in the world and have received the most public opposition.
The Labor Party under Jeremy Corbyn and the Scottish National Party under Nicholas Sturgeon have pledged to cancel the Trident program, as they say: “The biggest threats we face will not be deterred by nuclear weapons. Trident ignores security threats such as terrorism, cyberattacks, and climate change. ”
- Number of warheads: 160
- First successful test: 1998
Pakistan’s decision to join the list of nine nuclear countries sparked a major diplomatic crisis between Islamabad and neighboring India.
In the decades before Pakistan tested the Chagai-I bomb in 1998, India was the only nuclear power in Southeast Asia. A provocative test near Delhi prompted then-Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to initiate the launch of a national nuclear program.
The ensuing confrontation put the two countries by 2001 on the brink of a full-scale nuclear war. The ceasefire only happened in 2003.
- Number of warheads: 140
- First successful test: 1974
As early as the 1940s, India’s first prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, often referred to as the father of the state came up with the idea of nuclear deterrence.
But it wasn’t until the 1962 Sino-Indian War that Delhi officially launched a nuclear program to defend against Chinese aggression. The first successful nuclear bomb test took place in 1974.
Despite renewed hostility towards Pakistan in the context of the ongoing conflict in Kashmir, India has not experienced a nuclear bomb since its confrontation with Islamabad in 1998.
- Number of warheads: about 90
- First Successful Test: Unknown
Israel’s nuclear program is a mystery. The government is very sensitive to military issues and continues to pursue a long-standing policy known as “deliberate uncertainty” by refusing to declare the presence of nuclear weapons.
The New York Times reports that Israeli politics is based on the Hebrew word amount, meaning “uncertainty, opacity or ambiguity.”
However, experts generally agree that Israel has nuclear weapons, although there is currently no evidence that Israel ever conducted a nuclear test.
9. North Korea
- Number of warheads: about 30
- First successful test: 2006
With its withdrawal from the NPT in January 2003, North Korea has since created an illegal nuclear weapons industry and has conducted 6 nuclear tests since 2006.
The authoritarian state is trying to keep its weapons program a secret from international observers, although test sites across the country have been found in satellite photographs.
In August and September 2017, Pyongyang caused a major international crisis when it launched a series of missiles over Japan. This resulted in a historic 2018 disarmament summit between Kim Jong-un, US President Donald Trump, and South Korean Prime Minister Moon Jae-in.
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