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As of 2019, there were 15,000 nuclear weapons on planet Earth. And while the United States hoped to maintain control over the new weapon, the technology and secrets soon spread to other countries that now possess nuclear weapons.

The impact of a nuclear bomb explosion varies because there are so many factors to be considered. From the time of day to the weather, the location and surprisingly, clothing. White clothes can reflect some of the energy from a blast, whereas black would absorb it.

Officially recognised by the nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT), the nuclear-weapon states consist of China, France, United Kingdom, United States and Russia. According to the Federation of American Scientists (FAS), Russia and the United States own more than 90 per cent of the nuclear warheads in the world. However, under Article VI of the NPT, they are not supposed to build and maintain such weapons.

North Korea withdrew from the NPT in 2003, a move that was not legally recognised by the other states.

In this time, they had successfully tested nuclear devices and missiles. There is a lot of uncertainty surrounding how many warheads North Korea possess – though they are estimated to have produced enough material for 40-50. They also unveiled a centrifuge facility in 2010, which can produce highly enriched uranium for weapons. US intelligence suggests that there are several additional facilities.

So, how many nuclear weapons do these countries have?

Due to the governments' secretive nature regarding nuclear arsenals, the FAShas provided estimated totals.

  • The deployed strategic are those deployed on intercontinental missiles and at heavy bomber bases.
  • Reserve/nondeployed are those not deployed on launchers but in storage.
  • The military stockpile consists of active and inactive warheads that are in the custody of the military and earmarked for use by commissioned vehicles.

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Russia – 5,977 in total

  • Deployed strategic: 1,588
  • Reserve/nondeployed: 2,889
  • Military stockpile: 4,477


United States – 5,428 in total

  • Deployed strategic: 1,644
  • Reserve/nondeployed: 1,964
  • Military stockpile: 3,708

China – 350 in total

  • Deployed strategic: 0
  • Reserve/nondeployed: 350
  • Military stockpile: 350

France – 290 in total

  • Deployed strategic: 280
  • Reserve/nondeployed: 10
  • Military stockpile: 290

United Kingdom – 225 in total

  • Deployed strategic: 120
  • Reserve/nondeployed: 60
  • Military stockpile: 180


Despite having never joined the NPT, India, Israel, and Pakistan are also known to have nuclear weapons. India and Pakistan famously demonstrated their nuclear capabilities in 1998, whereas Israel has not admitted or denied possessing such weapons.

To survive a nuclear conflict, people would have to avoid countries with access to these types of weapons and those involved in nuclear agreements.

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