Fast Facts about Nuclear Weapons

Nuclear weapons differ from other types of weapons – only nuclear weapons can, within a few hours, kill hundreds of thousands of human beings and bring an end to human civilisation.

  • The nuclear weapon states are obliged to disarm their nuclear weapons. The US spends 1,000 times as much to modernize and maintain their, than to disarm them.
  • One year nuclear weapons spending represents the cost of 14 years of UN peacekeeping operations.

Film from Norwegian People’s Aid.

Official nuclear weapon states (under the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty, NPT)

  • United States of America (USA)
  • Russian Federation
  • United Kingdom (UK)
  • France
  • China

De-facto nuclear weapon states (states that have acquired nuclear weapons after the NPT opened for signature in 1968)

  • India
  • Israel
  • Pakistan
  • Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea)

Laws and regulations

Nuclear weapons are the only weapons that have not yet been banned under an international agreement. There are two international agreements referred to, the first is the NPT, the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, NPT, which regulates the issues surrounding nuclear proliferation and disarmament. NPT entered into force in 1970. The second agreement is the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, CTBT, which regulates the issues surrounding nuclear testing of nuclear weapons.

How many nuclear weapons are there in the world?

There are around 14 900 nuclear weapons in the world. US and Russia owns 93 % of them.

USA: 6800 warheads
Russia: 7000 warheads
UK: 215 warheads
France: 300 warheads
China: 250 warheads
India: 110-120 warheads
Pakistan: 120-130 warheads
Israel: 80 warheads
North Korea: ~10 warheads

For more information: Federation of American Scientist, FAS


This is a video about the nuclear weapons in the US. 

Can we prevent nuclear war?

Sick facts about nuclear weapons

  • International humanitarian law prohibits weapons that cause unnecessary injury or unnecessary suffering. Nuclear weapons can kill hundreds of thousands of people in 10 seconds.
  • 1800 nuclear weapons stands ready to be launched within a few minutes. Their explosive power equivalent to 50,000 Hiroshima bombs.
  • Of the nuclear weapons that are deployed in the world is the smallest big enough to wipe out the Vatican.
  • If the world’s largest nuclear weapon detonated over the Eiffel Tower in Paris, the flash would be seen in Berlin and the window panes would rattle in London.
  • The UN annual budget for disarmament is $ 10 million. That is what the nuclear-weapon States spends every hour on the modernization of their nuclear weapons.
  • Only the president has the right to fire the US’s nuclear weapons. Reagan dropped the code on the floor. Clinton left it in a meeting. Ford left it on the plane. Carter left it on dry cleaning.
  • Until 1977, the secret password to fire the US nuclear weapons was 00000000


Last update: March 15, 2017