Military > WMD > Nuclear: Countries Compared

DEFINITION: A description of the nation's situation with regards to the possession and manufacture of nuclear weapons.

ArgentinaArgentina Argentina has never produced nuclear weapons and does not possess them today. From the 1960s to the early 1990s, however, Argentina pursued an ambitious program of nuclear energy and technological development, which included construction of an unsafeguarded uranium enrichment facility. Buenos Aires also refused to join the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) and to bring the Treaty of Tlatelolco into legal force. When democratic rule returned in 1983, the new president placed the nuclear program under civilian control and initiated a process of nuclear confidence building and cooperation with historic rival Brazil. In the early 1990s, the two countries established a bilateral inspection agency to verify both countries' pledges to use nuclear energy only for peaceful purposes. Argentina acceded to the NPT as a non-nuclear weapon state on February 10, 1995.
BelarusBelarus When Belarus gained independence in December 1991, there were 81 road-mobile SS-25s on its territory stationed at three missile bases, and an unknown number of tactical nuclear weapons. During the 1980s, a number of units equipped with intermediate-range ballistic missiles (IRBMs) were also stationed in the Belarusian SSR; however, all of these weapons were eliminated under the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty by 1991. In May 1992, Belarus signed the Lisbon Protocol, which obligated it to accede to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) as a non-nuclear weapon state, which it did in July 1993, and to ratify the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START), which it ratified in February 1993. As a result of these commitments, Belarus transferred its nuclear weapons to Russia. The process of transferring tactical warheads was completed in May 1992, and the last strategic warheads and associated missiles were sent to Russia in November 1996. No nuclear forces have been stationed in Belarus since then, although the possibility of stationing Russian nuclear weapons in Belarus was broached by a number of Belarusian officials in the late 1990s.
BrazilBrazil From the 1960s to the early 1990s, Brazil pursued an ambitious program of nuclear energy and technological development, which included construction of an unsafeguarded uranium enrichment facility under Navy direction. However, Brazil has since disavowed nuclear weapons, become a State Party to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), and, with Argentina, established a bilateral inspection agency to verify both countries' pledges to use atomic energy only for peaceful purposes. Brazil mines uranium, which is shipped to foreign countries for conversion and enrichment, and returned to Brazil, where it is fabricated in Resende into fuel for its two nuclear power reactors. When completed, a uranium enrichment plant under construction at Resende will allow the country to make its own low-enriched uranium fuel for its nuclear power industry. As of mid-2005, the government of Brazil was considering the possibility of signing an Additional Protocol with the IAEA and was planning to release a comprehensive report on the future of the country's nuclear program.
ChinaChina China's nuclear weapons program began in 1955 and culminated in a successful nuclear test in 1964. Since then, China has conducted 45 nuclear tests, including tests of thermonuclear weapons and a neutron bomb. The series of nuclear tests in 1995-96 prior to China's signature of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) may have resulted in a smaller and lighter warhead design for the new generation of intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) now under development. China is estimated to have about 400 strategic and tactical nuclear weapons, and stocks of fissile material sufficient to produce a much larger arsenal. China joined the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in 1984 and acceded to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) in 1992 as a nuclear weapon state. China provided nuclear reactors and technology to several countries in the 1980s and early 1990s, including design information and fissile material that reportedly helped Pakistan develop nuclear weapons. Since the early 1990s, China has improved its export controls, including the promulgation of regulations on nuclear and nuclear dual-use exports and has pledged to halt exports of nuclear technology to un-safeguarded facilities. In 2002 China ratified the IAEA Additional Protocol, the first and only nuclear weapons state to do so.
EgyptEgypt Egypt's efforts to develop nuclear technology likely began in the late 1950s. The program is housed at the Inshas Nuclear Research Center, 40 km outside of Cairo. Inshas hosts a Soviet-supplied 2 MW research reactor that went critical in 1961, and an Argentine-supplied 22 MW light water research reactor that went critical in 1997. Cairo has long expressed the desire to import power-generation reactors, but thus far these efforts have proven unsuccessful. In the 1970s, there was apparently a debate within Egypt about pursuing a weapons capability and, as part of that effort, developing an independent fuel cycle. However, it appears that no serious work was done towards these ends. In 1981, Egypt acceded to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and, one year later, began implementing the International Atomic Energy Agency's (IAEA) comprehensive safeguards. Egypt has been a vocal critic of the NPT—beginning notably at the 1995 Review and Extension Conference—and has supported a nuclear weapons free zone in the Middle East, citing Israel's non-ascension to the NPT as an obstacle to this process.
EstoniaEstonia Estonia played an important role in both the civilian and military nuclear programs of the former Soviet Union. Its major facilities were the Sillamae Metal and Chemical Production Plant (Silmet), which milled uranium ore until 1990, when it began to focus exclusively on rare-earth metal production, and the Paldiski training reactor facility, which had two research reactors (now dismantled) that were used to train Soviet naval personnel to work on nuclear submarines. Estonia receives foreign assistance from a number of countries, particularly from Scandinavia, to improve conditions at radioactive waste sites associated with the nuclear complex. Estonia is party to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) and signed an Additional Protocol with the International Atomic Energy Agency in April 2000.
FranceFrance France is a nuclear weapon state party to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). France maintains approximately 350 nuclear warheads on 60 Mirage 2000N bombers, four nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines (SSBN), and on carrier-based aircraft. From the time it detonated its first nuclear bomb in 1960 until its final test on January 26, 1996, France conducted 200 tests at sites on Pacific atolls and in the Sahara. In 1996, President Jacques Chirac introduced reforms for the country's nuclear forces, including scaling down its SSBNs from five to four, withdrawing aging Mirage IVP bombers from service, reducing its number of launchers by 50%, and dismantling its Plateau d'Albion land-based ballistic missile system. It dismantled its nuclear test facilities in the Pacific and ratified the Treaty of Rarotonga and the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty. France ceased production of plutonium and highly enriched uranium in 1992 and 1996, respectively, and, in 1998, began to dismantle the Marcoule reprocessing plant and the Pierrelatte enrichment facility. The French Navy operates about 80% of the total nuclear arsenal.
GeorgiaGeorgia Georgia is home to three nuclear research institutes. The Andronikashvili Institute of Physics in Tbilisi houses a nonoperational IRT-M research reactor. All fresh and spent fuel was transferred from the reactor facility to Scotland in April 1998 under a multinational effort known as Operation Auburn Endeavor. The High Energy Physics Institute in Tbilisi is not known to house fissile material. The Sukhumi I. Vekua Institute of Physics & Technology (SIPT) was relocated from Sukhumi to Tbilisi due to the Abkhazian conflict. There are reports that SIPT once housed isotope production reactors and/or 2kg of 90% enriched uranium, though the whereabouts of the HEU is not known. Georgia is party to both the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. In addition, on 6 June 2003, Georgia ratified an Additional Protocol to the NPT.
IndiaIndia India embarked on a nuclear power program in 1958 and a nuclear explosives program in 1968. Following a test of a nuclear device in May 1974, and five additional nuclear weapon-related tests in May 1998, India formally declared itself a nuclear weapon state. New Delhi's stock of weapons-grade plutonium is estimated to be between 240-395kg, which depending on the sophistication of the warhead design, could be used to manufacture 40-90 simple fission weapons. According to Indian government sources, India is capable of building a range of nuclear weapon systems ranging from "…low yields to 200 kilotons, involving fission, boosted-fission, and two-stage thermonuclear designs." India is not a member of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT).
IranIran By early June 2005, the EU-3 (France, Great Britain, and Germany) had not yet submitted their proposal to Iran outlining future nuclear negotiations. The EU-3 requested a delay in negotiations, but Tehran rejected the delay and publicly announced it would resume peaceful nuclear research activities. At issue was Iran's insistance that right to peaceful nuclear research be included in any proposal, a position the United States adamantly opposed. Attempts were made to persuade Iran to give up its fuel cycle ambitions and accept nuclear fuel from abroad, but Tehran made it clear that any proposal that did not guarantee Iran's access to peaceful nuclear technology would lead to the cessation of all nuclear related negotiations with the EU-3. In addition, members of the Iranian Majlis, scientists, scholars, and students were protesting and holding rallies to encourage the government to lift the suspension on uranium enrichment and to not succumb to foreign (U.S.) pressure. One week later, Iran once again agreed to temporarily freeze its nuclear program until the end of July when the European Union agreed it would submit a proposal for the next roud of talks. In June, IAEA Deputy Director Pierre Goldschmidt stated that Iran admitted to providing incorrect information about past experiments involving plutonium. Tehran claimed all such research ceased in 1993, but results from recent tests show experiments took place as late as 1995 and 1998. In early July, Iran asked the IAEA if it could break UN seals and test nuclear-related equipment, stating the testing would not violate Tehran's voluntary suspension of nuclear activities. At the end of July, an official letter was submitted to the IAEA stating that the seals at the Isfahan Uranium Conversion Facility (UCF) would be removed. The IAEA requested that it be given 10 days to install the necessary surveillance equipment. On 1 August, Iran reminded the EU-3 that 3 August would be the last opportunity for a proposal to be submitted to continue negotiations. A few days later, the European Union submitted the Framework for a Long-term Agreement proposal to Iran. The proposal specifically called on Iran to exclude fuel-cycle related activity. Tehran immediately rejected the proposal as a negation of its inalienable rights. On 8 August, nuclear activities resumed at the Isfahan UCF and two days later, IAEA seals were removed from the remaining parts of the process lines with IAEA inspectors present. In the days leading up to Iran's resumption of nuclear activities, several countries called on Iran to cooperate with the IAEA and to re-establish full suspension of all enrichment related activities. Additionally, some European countries and the United States threatened to refer Iran to the UN Security Council. Once again, Iran rejected any proposal related to the suspension of conversion activities, but stated they were ready to continue negotiations. Tehran did not believe there was any legal basis for referral to the UN Security council and believed it was only a political move. Iran also threatened to stop all negotiations, prevent any further inspections at all its nuclear facilities, suspend the implementation of the Additional Protocol, and withdraw from the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT), if it was referred to the UN Security Council. In August 2005, the IAEA announced that most of the highly enriched uranium (HEU) particle contamination found at various locations in Iran were found to be of foreign origin. The IAEA concluded much of the HEU found on centrifuge parts were from imported Pakistani equipment, rather than from any enrichment activities conducted by Iran. In late August, Iran began announcing it would be resuming nuclear activities in Natanz and that Tehran would be willing to negotiate as long as there were no conditions. In August, Iran refused to comply with a resolution from the IAEA to halt its nuclear program, stating that making nuclear fuel was its right as a member of the NPT. The European Union believed that although Iran did have a right to nuclear energy under Article 4 of the NPT, it had lost that right because it violated Article 2 of the NPT - "not to seek or receive any assistance in the manufacture of nuclear related weapons or other nuclear explosive devices." On 24 September 2005, the IAEA found Iran in non-compliance of the NPT. The resolution passed with 21 votes of approval, 12 abstentions, and one opposing vote. Russia and China were among those that abstained from voting and Venezuela was the only country to vote against the resolution. The resolution stated Iran's non-compliance due to "many failures and breaches" over nuclear safeguards of the NPT were grounds for referral to the UN Security Council.
IraqIraq Iraq began limited efforts in the civilian nuclear field in the late 1960s. By the early 1970s, then Vice-President Saddam Hussein issued direct orders for the creation of a nuclear weapons program. The Iraqi plans called for the initial development of a civilian fuel cycle and related expertise. A parallel weapons program was then to be built off the civilian efforts. Accordingly, Iraq acquired a French nuclear reactor in 1975. Israel later destroyed the reactor in a June 1981 air strike, leading Iraq to explore a number of clandestine uranium enrichment methods. By the start of Operation Desert Storm in 1991, Iraq had created a robust, covert nuclear weapons program that included a complete, although untested, nuclear weapon design. Subsequent estimates suggest that Iraq was perhaps only one to three years away from building a nuclear weapon at that time. Following Iraq’s defeat in the first Operation Desert Storm, inspectors from the United Nations and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) worked to uncover the full extent of Iraq’s nuclear weapons program. They destroyed facilities and relevant equipment in the process, with this work continuing until inspectors left Iraq in 1998. IAEA inspectors returned to Iraq in November 2002 after a four-year lapse. They stayed until their March 2003 evacuation, which preceded the start of Operation Iraqi Freedom. The subsequent invasion by US-led coalition forces was rooted in the belief that Saddam Hussein’s regime had been deceiving the IAEA and hiding its WMD arsenals and capabilities. Soon after the start of the war, former UN inspector David Kay was named head of the Iraq Survey Group (ISG), which was tasked with searching Iraq for WMD and related programs. The ISG did not find evidence of a reconstituted nuclear program or stockpiles of WMD. Instead, in its comprehensive report released on 30 September 2004, the ISG confirmed that Saddam Hussein effectively ended Iraq’s nuclear program following the first Gulf War in 1991 and did not direct a coordinated effort to restart the program thereafter. The ISG report does describe Saddam Hussein’s intention to rebuild his WMD capabilities after international sanctions were removed, however. To that end, the ISG uncovered evidence that the regime sought to conceal documents from its nuclear program following the 1991 war as well as maintain an intellectual capacity among scientists who might be involved in future activities aimed at restarting a nuclear weapons program. In addition, the report concludes that Saddam Hussein purposefully sought to spread ambiguity about his WMD capabilities in order to avoid appearing weak and to deter aggression. Meanwhile, shortly after the ISG’s findings were published, troubling new reports emerged about missing nuclear-related equipment and materials in Iraq which, according to the IAEA, has been disappearing from previously monitored sites since the start of the war in 2003.
IsraelIsrael Israel has the most advanced nuclear weapons program in the Middle East. David Ben Gurion, Israel's first prime minister, clandestinely established the program in the late 1950s to meet the perceived existential threat to the nascent state. The program allegedly is centered at the Negev Nuclear Research Center, outside the town of Dimona. Based on estimates of the plutonium production capacity of the Dimona reactor, Israel has approximately 100-200 nuclear explosive devices. Officially, Israel has declared that it will not be the first to introduce nuclear weapons in the Middle East; however, it has not signed the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT). Israel's possession of nuclear weapons and its policy of declaratory ambiguity have led to increased tensions in current Middle East peace discussions and arms control negotiations. In July 2004, however, Israel accepted a visit from International Atomic Energy Agency director Mohamed ElBaradei. Israeli officials continue assert that they will address disarmament only after a comprehensive Middle Eastern peace is obtained, and to deny international inspection of the Dimona nuclear complex.
JapanJapan Japan's "Atomic Energy Basic Law" allows only peaceful nuclear activities, and its "Three Non-Nuclear Principles" pledge that Japan will not possess, produce, or permit the introduction of nuclear weapons into the country. Despite Japan's long-standing stance against nuclear weapons, there was an internal debate in the early 1970s about whether Japan should sign the NPT, in part due to concerns about assuring access to nuclear technology to meet national energy needs, and the discriminatory nature of the treaty. Some conservatives were also concerned that closing off the nuclear option might negatively impact future national security needs. Japan has played an active role in nuclear nonproliferation and disarmament, and has proposed a process for the total elimination of nuclear weapons. Japan ratified the CTBT in 1997 and has been a strong supporter of a Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty (FMCT). However, Japan's security relationship with the United States has tempered Tokyo's emphasis on disarmament. For example, Japan remains quiet about the possible presence of nuclear warheads on U.S. ships and military bases in Japan. Japan increasingly relies on nuclear power for its electricity needs, and has a highly developed civilian nuclear sector. Japan has a controversial program for recycling spent nuclear fuel that has produced large quantities of plutonium in the form of metal-oxide nuclear fuel. At the end of 2001, Japan had more than 30 metric tons of spent fuel stored at reprocessing plants in Britain and France, along with a domestic stockpile of 5 to 6 tons. These nuclear fuel stockpiles will ultimately return to Japan for use in domestic nuclear facilities. The original plan called for consumption of the stored fuel by 2010, but due to technical and safety issues, this timetable has been delayed and return of the stored fuel to Japan is proceeding slowly. Some argue this material could provide Japan with a latent nuclear weapons capability. In addition, the new facility under constructing in Rokkasho (Aomori Prefecture) will increase Japanese domestic reprocessing capacity and potentially produce an additional 5 tons of metal-oxide nuclear fuel per year. Although anti-nuclear sentiment among the Japanese public has far outweighed support for keeping a nuclear option open, several neighboring countries have expressed concerns about possible Japanese nuclear ambitions. Partly in response to these fears, the Japanese government completed an internal study in 1995 that reaffirmed previous conclusions that developing nuclear weapons would damage both Japan’s national security and regional security. However recent tension developing in the region, particularly in the Korean peninsula, has led to increased discussions in Japan about the once taboo subject of nuclear weapons development. Despite recent speculation that Japan may reconsider its nuclear options, the deep aversion to nuclear weapons among the Japanese public will likely make any move in this direction difficult.
KazakhstanKazakhstan When the Soviet Union collapsed in December 1991, Kazakhstan inherited 1,410 nuclear warheads and the Semipalatinsk nuclear weapon test site. Kazakhstan transferred all of these nuclear warheads to Russia by April 1995 and destroyed the nuclear testing infrastructure at Semipalatinsk by July 2000. Weapons-grade nuclear material remains in Kazakhstan, however, including three metric tons of plutonium at a shutdown breeder reactor in western Kazakhstan and small amounts of highly enriched uranium (HEU) at two nuclear research institutes. Approximately 600 kilograms of weapons-grade HEU was removed to the United States from the Ulba Metallurgy Plant in 1994 under a joint U.S.-Kazakhstani operation known as Project Sapphire. Kazakhstan is a party to START-I, the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), and the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT). It signed an Additional Protocol with the International Atomic Energy Agency in February 2004 and is a member of the Nuclear Suppliers Group.
KyrgyzstanKyrgyzstan From the 1950s to the 1990s, the Kara-Balta Ore Mining Combine in northern Kyrgyzstan processed uranium concentrate from deposits in both Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan for use in the Soviet Union's military and civilian nuclear industries. Kara-Balta continues to process Kazakhstani uranium concentrate into U3O8 in an arrangement with the Nuclear Power and Industrial Complex of Kazakhstan (Kazatomprom). Uranium extraction in Kyrgyzstan itself has ceased. Kara-Balta exports U3O8 to Kazatomprom's customers, including Russia. Radioactive waste in uranium tailings ponds in Kyrgyzstan poses a significant health threat. The European Union, Russia, and the United States have provided foreign assistance to help Kyrgyzstan come up with solutions to its uranium waste problem. Kyrgyzstan is party to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) and has an Additional Protocol with the International Atomic Energy Agency.
LatviaLatvia The Latvian Institute of Nuclear Physics at Salaspils, located 20 miles from Riga, houses a 5MW research reactor and a zero power reactor. On 25 May 2005, 2.5kg of fresh HEU fuel were removed from the Salaspils reactor and returned to Russia. The timeline for removing the spent fuel stored at Salaspils is less certain, however. Latvia is a member of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) and party to both the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT). In addition, Riga has signed an Additional Protocol with the International Atomic Energy Agency.
LibyaLibya In its 19 December 2003 announcement that it was eliminating all materials, equipment and programs proscribed by the international community, Libya took the unusual step of first publicly revealing its nuclear weapons program, then renouncing it. Libya then invited the IAEA to verify the elimination of nuclear weapon related activities in-country. According to International Atomic Energy Agency Director General Mohamed ElBaradei, who led a December 2003 inspection team to Libya, Libya's nuclear weapons program is in the very initial stages, about three to seven years away from producing a nuclear weapon. Libya admitted having secretly imported raw uranium and the necessary equipment to convert it for enrichment into weapons-grade material but added that the enrichment plan had been dismantled and that no highly enriched uranium had been produced over the past decade. IAEA inspectors did not find either, though they did find imported equipment and technology at a number of previously secret nuclear facilities in and around Tripoli. It has been revealed that Abdul Qadeer Khan of Pakistan is responsible for providing Libya with its nuclear warhead plans, raw uranium and enrichment centrifuges through his black market network. In his 19 December 2003 announcement, Qadhafi pledged to adhere to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, which Libya ratified in 1975, and to sign the Additional Protocol, which it did on 10 March 2004. IAEA chief El Baradei indicated that signing the Protocol would ensure IAEA oversight over Libya’s nuclear transition from weapons creation to peaceful purposes. Previously, Libya signed Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty in November 2001 and ratified it in January 2004. In 1996, it had signed the Treaty of Pelindaba, which established a nuclear-weapon-free zone in Africa. Besides previously secret nuclear sites disclosed in late 2003, Libya possesses a Soviet-supplied 10MW research reactor in Tajura. With the lifting of UN sanctions in 1998, Russia renewed its nuclear cooperation with Libya, providing funding for renovations to the Tajura nuclear complex. As of October 2004, the IAEA continues to investigate the clandestine network through which Libya supplied its nuclear weapons program. North Korea and several South African, German, and Swiss nationals have been implicated in providing restricted training and technologies to Libya.
LithuaniaLithuania Lithuania has only one nuclear facility: the Ignalina Nuclear Power Plant. The plant is highly important to the country, as it provides about 75 percent of Lithuania's energy. It has also been the subject of much controversy, as the EU is concerned that Ignalina's Soviet-built RBMK reactors, similar to those at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant, are unsafe. Unit 1 at Ignalina was shut down in December 2004. The second and final reactor, Unit 2, will be shut down in December 2009. Lithuania is party to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT), has an Additional Protocol with the International Atomic Energy Agency, and is a member of the Nuclear Suppliers Group.
MoldovaMoldova Moldova does not have the industrial capability to produce nuclear or dual-use nuclear commodities. There are no known nuclear or uranium mining facilities, nor are there any known quantities of fissile material on Moldovan territory. In March 2003, Moldova's parliament ratified an agreement with Bulgaria, Russia, and Ukraine allowing the transit of spent nuclear fuel across its territory from the Bulgarian nuclear power plant at Kozloduy to Russia. Moldova is party to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).
North KoreaNorth Korea On 10 February 2005, a spokesman for the North Korean Foreign Ministry announced that North Korea had manufactured nuclear weapons. On 19 September 2005, the North Korean delegation to the Six-Party Talks in Beijing signed a "Statement of Principles" whereby Pyongyang agreed to abandon all nuclear programs and return to the NPT and IAEA safeguards. However, on the following day a spokesman for the Foreign Ministry declared that the United States would have to provide a light-water reactor to North Korea in order to resolve the lack of trust between the two countries. The sudden announcement raised doubts about the Statement of Principles, but the Six-Parties have agreed to meet again, probably in November 2005. Although North Korea has not conducted a nuclear test, in early May 2005 press reports indicated that US satellite imagery had detected signs that North Korea could be preparing to conduct a test in June. In early April 2005, North Korea shut down its 5MW(e) reactor in Yŏngbyŏn-kun and declared that the spent fuel would be extracted to "increase North Korea's nuclear deterrent." North Korea had been operating the reactor since late February 2003, so North Korean technicians should be able to extract enough plutonium from the spent fuel for 1-3 nuclear bombs. North Korea's nuclear infrastructure began with the establishment of a nuclear energy research complex in Yŏngbyŏn-kun in 1964. The Soviet Union provided a small research reactor at the site in 1965, and North Korea subsequently expanded the complex and built a number of new facilities, including a large plutonium reprocessing plant (Radiochemistry Laboratory). North Korea signed the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) in 1985 but did not submit to International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspections until May 1992. Discrepancies between North Korean declarations and IAEA inspection findings indicate that North Korea might have reprocessed enough plutonium for one or two nuclear weapons. According to a December 2001 National Intelligence Council report, the U.S. intelligence community ascertained in the mid-1990s that North Korea had produced one, possibly two, nuclear weapons. In mid-2002, U.S. intelligence discovered that North Korea had been receiving materials from Pakistan for a highly enriched uranium production facility. In October 2002, the U.S. State Department informed North Korea that the U.S. was aware of this program, which is a violation of Pyongyang’s nonproliferation commitments. North Korean officials initially denied the existence of such a program, but then acknowledged it. The U.S. responded by announcing in November 2002 that it would suspend heavy fuel oil shipments being provided under the terms of the Agreed Framework, which had led North Korea to freeze its plutonium production facilities. Pyongyang then declared the following month that it was lifting the freeze on its nuclear program, ostensibly to generate electricity. In late December 2002, North Korean technicians broke seals and disabled cameras that had been installed by the IAEA in order to monitor the freeze. North Korea expelled IAEA inspectors on 31 December 2002, curtailing the Agency’s capacity to monitor Pyongyang’s nuclear activities. The IAEA has not been able to verify the completeness and correctness of North Korea’s initial declaration submitted in 1992, and the Agency cannot verify whether fissile material has been diverted to military use. On 10 January 2003, North Korea declared its withdrawal from the NPT. The treaty requires a 90-day waiting period, but Pyongyang claimed the withdrawal was effective immediately because 89 days had transpired in 1993 when North Korea initially announced its intention to withdraw before "suspending its intention to withdraw from the treaty." In late February 2003, North Korea restarted its 5WW(e) reactor, and in March, reports indicated that technicians were active at the Radiochemistry Laboratory, and on 2 October, the North Korean Foreign Ministry declared that the reprocessing of 8,000 spent fuel rods had been completed “to increase its nuclear deterrent force.” On 12 May 2003, North Korea declared that the "Joint Declaration of the Denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula" of 20 January 1992 was no longer valid because of "violations by the United States" [Note: the United States was not a signatory]. Estimates vary on how soon North Korea could begin operating a uranium enrichment plant, but Pyongyang probably could not produce significant quantities of weapons-grade HEU until the end of the decade. In April 2003, Egyptian customs officials intercepted 22 tons of aluminum tubing from Germany that would likely have been used for a pilot cascade of about 100-200 gas centrifuges, which indicates North Korea is probably not yet ready to begin operation of a large-scale plant. North Korea has reportedly established a facility to produce UF6 at the Yŏngbyŏn nuclear complex, which gives Pyongyang the capability to produce the stock of uranium hexafluoride (UF6) gas to feed the cascades of centrifuges in a large-scale plant.
PakistanPakistan In the mid-1970s, Pakistan embarked upon the uranium enrichment route to acquiring a nuclear weapons capability. By the mid-1980s, Pakistan had a clandestine uranium enrichment facility; and as early as 1989-1990, the United States concluded that Islamabad had acquired the capability to assemble a first-generation nuclear device. Pakistan is believed to have stockpiled approximately 580-800kg of highly enriched uranium (HEU), sufficient amounts to build 30-50 fission bombs. In 1998, Pakistan commissioned the Khushab research reactor, which is capable of yielding 10-15kg of weapons-grade plutonium annually. According to the United States, China helped Pakistan by providing nuclear-related materials, scientific expertise, and technical assistance. Islamabad conducted nuclear tests in May 1998, shortly after India conducted its own weapon tests and declared itself a nuclear weapon state. Pakistan is not a signatory to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT).
RussiaRussia The Soviet nuclear weapon program began during World War II and culminated in a successful atomic bomb test in 1949. Russia, as the successor of the Soviet Union, is a nuclear weapon state party to the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). According to estimates by the Natural Resources Defense Council, by 1991, the Soviet Union had approximately 35,000 weapons in its stockpile, down from a peak in 1986 of approximately 45,000. Russia is estimated to now have around 20,000 nuclear weapons, although total stockpile size is uncertain because there is no accurate count of tactical nuclear weapons. However, in 2002 Russia declared it will eliminate its tactical nuclear weapons by the end of 2004. Under the START I Treaty, the Russian nuclear arsenal has been reduced to approximately 7,000 strategic warheads. The START II Treaty, which was declared non-binding in June 2002, would have reduced this number to between 3,000 and 3,500 strategic nuclear warheads. The Strategic Offensive Reductions Treaty (Treaty of Moscow) requires Russia to reduce the number of deployed strategic warheads to between 1,700 and 2,200 by the end of 2012. Russia inherited a massive nuclear weapons production complex and large stocks of weapons grade fissile material. It is estimated that Russia has between 735 and 1,365 metric tons (t) of weapons grade-equivalent highly enriched uranium (HEU) and between 106 and 156 t of military-use plutonium.
Serbia and MontenegroSerbia+ The FRY currently has no active nuclear weapons program. From the early 1950s through the mid-1970s, Yugoslavia intermittently pursued both a nuclear energy and weapons program. The regime of Josip Tito, primarily driven by a desire for international status rather than security concerns, initiated the program in the late 1940s (though the Tito regime was truly frightened by the potential aggression of the Stalinist USSR and strengthened its defenses accordingly). Belgrade collaborated with Norway, which had an advanced nuclear research program, until Tito deactivated the weapons program in the early 1960s. After India conducted its first nuclear test in 1974, Yugoslavia restarted its weapons program to "compete" with its rival for leadership of the nonaligned movement. Limited financial resources and indifference among the nuclear scientists working on the program brought it to an end in 1987 without ever producing a functioning weapon. In August 2002, 48 kilograms of 80 percent highly enriched uranium (HEU) were transferred from the Vinca Institute of Nuclear Sciences near Belgrade to a processing plant in Dmitrovgrad, Russia. The Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia acceded to the Treaty on Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) in 1970 and signed an Additional Protocol with the International Atomic Energy Agency in July 2005. (Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, Serbia and Montenegro, and Slovenia are signatories to the NPT.)
South AfricaSouth Africa In the 1960s, South Africa began to explore the technical utility of "peaceful nuclear explosions" for mining and engineering purposes. In 1973, then Prime Minister Johannes Vorster approved a program to develop a limited nuclear deterrent capability. Ultimately, South Africa manufactured six air-deliverable nuclear weapons of the "gun-type" design. In parallel with decisions to end apartheid, the government halted the bomb program in 1989 and dismantled existing weapons and associated production equipment. South Africa acceded to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) as a non-nuclear weapon state in 1991, and International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspectors subsequently verified the completeness of its nuclear dismantlement. South Africa joined the Zangger Committee in 1994 and the Nuclear Suppliers Group in 1995. South Africa was instrumental in winning indefinite extension of the NPT in 1995, and played a leading role in successful conclusion of the 2000 NPT Review Conference as a member of the "New Agenda Coalition" that also included Brazil, Egypt, Ireland, Mexico, New Zealand, and Sweden. More recently, South Africa began working more closely with the IAEA in 2004, in order to monitor international smuggling of nuclear weapons materials, after investigations of a South African businessman exposed connections to the A.Q. Khan network. In 2004, there was also ample discussion concerning South Africa’s dwindling coal reserves and its need for additional nuclear power generation.
South KoreaSouth Korea South Korea first became interested in nuclear technology in the 1950s but did not begin construction of its first power reactor until 1970. Changes in the international security environment influenced South Korea's decision to begin a nuclear weapons program in the early 1970s. Under significant pressure from the United States, Seoul abandoned the program and signed the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) in April 1975 before producing any fissile material. In November 1991, President Roh Tae Woo declared that South Korea would not "manufacture, possess, store, deploy, or use nuclear weapons." Two months later, North and South Korea signed the Joint Declaration on the Denuclearization of The Korean Peninsula. However, both sides have failed to implement its provision for a bilateral inspection regime. South Korea is an executive board member of the Korean Peninsula Energy Development Organization (KEDO) and is providing most of the financial support for the construction of two light water nuclear reactors in North Korea under the Agreed Framework. Seoul has 18 nuclear power reactors in use and two more under construction.
SyriaSyria Although the Israeli and U.S. governments have expressed concerns about Syrian nuclear weapons aspirations, there is little convincing evidence of such an objective. Syria signed the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) in 1968 and ratified the document one year later; its 30 KW nuclear research reactor in Dayr al Jajar, provided by China, is under International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safeguards. In 1998, the Syrian Atomic Energy Commission began discussions with Russia about expanding its nuclear infrastructure, as prior negotiations with Argentina and China had proved unsuccessful. In May 1999, Moscow and Damascus signed an agreement in which the former will provide at least one light water nuclear reactor, which will be subject to IAEA safeguards. At this time, Syria has neither the infrastructure nor the financial resources to pursue an indigenous nuclear weapons program. Following revelations regarding the nuclear technology proliferation network of Pakistan's A.Q. Khan in 2003, some have evinced concern that Syria may have been a client. In a September 2004 interview, IAEA Secretary General ElBaradei stated that there are "no indications" of such a relationship.
TaiwanTaiwan Taiwan's first nuclear reactor was built at National Tsinghua University in 1956, and its first nuclear power plant was opened in 1965. Taiwan now possesses six nuclear units housed in three nuclear power plants with a total capacity of 5,144 megawatts. Although plagued by domestic opposition and delays, a fourth nuclear power plant is scheduled to begin operation in 2006. Taiwan's nuclear weapons program was established under the direction of the Institute of Nuclear Energy Research (INER) and the Chungshan Institute of Science and Technology following the People's Republic of China's first nuclear test in October 1964. The "Hsin Chu" program involved procurement and operation of a heavy water reactor, a heavy water production plant, a reprocessing research laboratory, and a plutonium separation plant. U.S. pressure caused Taiwan to end its nuclear weapons program in 1988 after International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspections discovered missing fuel rods and the former deputy director of INER defected to the United States with detailed information about Taiwan's program. Taiwan probably possesses the technological expertise necessary to develop nuclear weapons, but U.S. pressure and the possibility of a pre-emptive strike by China have prevented a resumption of the nuclear weapons program.
TajikistanTajikistan During the Soviet era, uranium ore from deposits in Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, and Kazakhstan was milled into yellowcake at the Vostochnyy Rare Metal Industrial Association (Vostokredmet), previously known as the Leninabad Mining and Chemical Combine, in Chkalovsk. The uranium for the first Soviet nuclear bomb tested at Semipalatinsk in August 1949 was produced at Chkalovsk The Argus nuclear reactor, a research reactor designed to run on 21% enriched uranium, was completed in 1991 in Dushanbe, but was never loaded with fuel. Tajikistani officials have expressed interest in obtaining fuel and operating the reactor. While Tajikistan has no operational nuclear reactors, there are radiation sources on Tajikistani territory that were used for industrial applications in the Soviet era. Tajikistan is party to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) and it has an Additional Protocol with the International Atomic Energy Agency.
TurkmenistanTurkmenistan Turkmenistan does not possess nuclear weapons. During the Soviet era, it did not host nuclear tests, though at least one underground nuclear explosion was conducted in 1972 in Mary Oblast to seal a gushing gas well. An abandoned uranium mine reportedly exists in northwest Turkmenistan, near Kizil-Kaya. Turkmenistan's military doctrine includes pledges not to possess, produce, or proliferate nuclear arms. Turkmenistan is a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT). Ashkhabad signed an Additional Protocol with the International Atomic Energy Agency in May 2005.
UkraineUkraine Upon the breakup of the Soviet Union, Ukraine inherited a considerable nuclear potential, in the form of 176 SS-19 and SS-24 intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs; 1,240 warheads) and 44 strategic bombers. In addition, there were an unspecified number of tactical nuclear warheads on its territory. However, in spite of some domestic opposition, Ukraine gradually rid itself of its nuclear weapon inheritance by transferring both tactical and strategic warheads to Russia (the last warheads were transferred by June 1996 in return for Russian compensation in the form of fuel for Ukraine’s nuclear power reactors) and eliminating missiles, missile silos, and strategic bombers on its territory. Ukraine also acceded to the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START I) and joined the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) as non-nuclear weapon state. By January 2002, all strategic bombers on Ukraine’s territory had been either dismantled, transferred to Russia, or converted to non-military use; all ICBMs had been extracted from the silos and either eliminated or disassembled pending elimination; and all ICBM silos had been eliminated.
United KingdomUnited Kingdom The United Kingdom is a nuclear weapon state party to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). The UK's current stockpile is thought to consist of less than 200 strategic and "sub-strategic" warheads on Vanguard-class nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines (SSBN). The Strategic Defense Review of July 1998 called for major changes in the United Kingdom's nuclear weapons program. Air-delivered weapons were removed from service, leaving the SSBNs as the United Kingdom's only nuclear deterrent. The Review mandated that only one submarine be on patrol at a time, with its missiles detargeted and with a reduced number of warheads (maximum of 48). On May 1, 2004, the Nuclear Safeguards Act went into effect in the United Kingdom, providing necessary legislation for the enforcement of the "additional protocol" designed to provide greater protection against nuclear non-proliferation. This protocol built on existing nuclear safeguards agreements with the IAEA. The United Kingdom ratified the NPT in November 1968 and the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty in June 1998.
United StatesUnited States As one of the five recognized nuclear weapons states under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), the United States maintains a sizeable arsenal of nuclear weapons, including approximately 10,350 intact warheads, 5300 of which are considered active or operational. Approximately 4,530 strategic warheads are operational, 1,150 of which are deployed on land-based missile systems (Minuteman and Peacekeeper ICBMs), 1,050 on bombers (B-52 and B-2), and 2,016 on submarines (Ohio-class subs). 780 are tactical nuclear weapons (TNWs), and consist of an estimated 200 Tomahawk land attack cruise missiles (TLAM/N), and 580 B61 bombs. The remaining warheads are stockpiled. The only remaining U.S. weapons in forward deployment, aside from those on SSBNs, are approximately 480 of the 580 operational B61 bombs, located at eight bases in six European NATO countries. According to the May 2002 Treaty of Moscow (the Strategic Offensive Reductions Treaty, or SORT) between the United States and the Russian Federation, both countries are required to reduce their strategic nuclear arsenals to 1,700-2,200 operationally deployed warheads by 2012. In June 2004, the US Department of Energy announced that "almost half" of these warheads would be retired for dismantlement by 2012. This statement suggests that the total stockpile of 10,350 warheards would be reduced to about 6,000 by this date. Over 5,000 warheads have been removed from deployment by the United States and placed in a "responsive reserve force" (active but not deployed or in overhaul). These "spares," or warheads on inactive status, have not been dismantled, in keeping with past practice under previous U.S. arms control agreements. The Bush administration has rejected U.S. ratification of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, but calls for a continued moratorium on nuclear testing. The NPR calls for a reduction in the amount of time needed (now 18 months as mandated by Congress, but this could be reduced to as little as 12 months) to test a nuclear weapon, suggesting that the United States might decide to resume nuclear testing, although Bush administration officials deny that this is currently planned and explain the shortening of test-site readiness time as a logical extension of the U.S. decision to maintain a testing option. The NPR also calls for discussion on possible development of new, low-yield, bunker-busting TNW. A law barring research and development that could lead to the production by the United States of a new low-yield "bunker buster" nuclear weapon (warheads with a yield of 5 kilotons or less) was passed by Congress in 1994. In its FY2004 budget request, however, the Department of Defense requested a repeal of the 1994 law, suggesting that the U.S. government intends to proceed with development of new nuclear weapons. The repeal was approved by the Senate on 20 May 2003. The Bush administration has requested an additional $8.5 million in its 2006 budget in order to continue research of nuclear "bunker busters" under the Robust Nuclear Earth Penetrator (RNEP) Project. Congress rejected RNEP funding and resources for the Advanced Concepts Initiative, one that would develop mini-nukes or exotic designs, completely for FY2005. Weapons laboratories under the Department of Energy began research on the RNEP Project in 2003, and the study is expected to be complete in 2006. The United States used nuclear weapons on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945, making it the only country that has ever used nuclear weapons during a conflict. It ratified the NPT in March 1970.
UzbekistanUzbekistan Uzbekistan does not possess nuclear weapons, though tactical nuclear weapons may have been present on its territory during the Soviet era. Nuclear material remains in Uzbekistan in the form of irradiated fuel elements containing highly enriched uranium (HEU) at an operational nuclear research reactor near Tashkent. In September of 2004, nearly 11 kilograms of Russian-origin enriched uranium fuel, including three kilograms of HEU, were repatriated to Russia to be downblended into low-enriched fuel suitable for use in nuclear power reactors. A second research reactor in Tashkent was dismantled in the 1990s. Uzbekistan is a party to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT). Uzbekistani President Islam Karimov formally proposed the creation of a Central Asian Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone at the 48th session of the UN General Assembly in 1993.


"All countries compared for Military > WMD > Nuclear", The Nuclear Threat Initiative. Aggregates compiled by NationMaster. Retrieved from http://www.nationmaster.com/country-info/stats/Military/WMD/Nuclear

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