15:24 Jun. 13, 2016
Swedish researchers reveal high numbers of remaining nuclear warheads
On June 13, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) released its annual nuclear forces report highlighting the ‘current trends and developments in world nuclear arsenals'.
‘The data shows that while the overall number of nuclear weapons in the world continues to decline, none of the nuclear weapon-possessing states are prepared to give up their nuclear arsenals for the foreseeable future,' the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute claims.
At the start of 2016 nine states—the United States, Russia, the United Kingdom, France, China, India, Pakistan, Israel and North Korea—possessed approximately 4,120 operationally deployed nuclear weapons. If all nuclear warheads are counted, these states together possessed a total of about 15,395 nuclear weapons compared to 15,850 in early 2015, according to SIPRI's official website.
In 2016, the Institute estimated that Russia had 7, 290 nuclear warheads, including deployed warheads that are placed on the missiles or located on the bases with operational forces, while USA – 7,000.
At the same time, both Russia and the USA have extensive and expensive nuclear modernization programs under way. The USA, for example, plans to spend USD 348 billion during 2015–24 on maintaining and comprehensively updating its nuclear forces. Some estimates suggest that the USA's nuclear weapon modernization program may cost up to USD 1 trillion over the next 30 years.
'Despite the ongoing reduction in the number of weapons, the prospects for genuine progress towards nuclear disarmament remain gloomy,' comments Shannon Kile, Head of the SIPRI Nuclear Weapons Project. 'All the nuclear weapon-possessing states continue to prioritize nuclear deterrence as the cornerstone of their national security strategies.'