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Nuclear Security

Since the invention (and the use) of nuclear weapons in 1945, nuclear security has been a very tricky issue for humanity. Although only 9 countries currently possess them, an all-out nuclear war (which will likely happen even if initially only one nuclear weapon is shot) will cause billions of deaths via direct explosions and more importantly, nuclear winter. In the worst case scenarios it may even cause human extinction. With numerous close-calls and accidents, we seem to be lucky that we actually survived the Cold War. 


Since the peace movement in the 1980s (though its origin is earlier than this), nuclear security has been generally regarded as an issue that can only be tackled by positions in power. However, the peace movement played an important role in reducing the number of nuclear weapons from over 70000 at the time to around 13100 today (50 is regarded as the safe limit). There has been a resurgence in the disarmament movement in recent years, with the notable event that is the creation and entry into force (which means it has legal power) of the TPNW (the Treaty of the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons). On the other hand, with the increased hostility between nuclear-armed states, the risk of nuclear war is at the highest since the Cold War. Now is the time to tackle nuclear security!

5 Nuclear Facts

Fact 1

The world currently has around 13100 nuclear weapons. It once had (at the most) more than 70000 of them in the 1980s.

Fact 2

The US admitted to be responsible to 32 accidents involving nuclear weapons. Among those accidents, 6 nuclear weapons have been lost since the 1950s. (They are still not being found. Also note that there may be more unreported accidents!)

Fact 3

The current nuclear concerns are mainly on North Korea and Iran but North Korea has no more than 45 nuclear weapons while Iran has none - the concern is about stopping Iran from making one. On the other hand, the US and Russia have 5600 and 6257 respectively - together they have 90% of the nuclear weapons in the world! (By the way, China has 350.)

Fact 4

In 2020, the UK spent 8467 pounds per minute on nuclear weapons. That’s around 4.46 billion pounds for the year! (found by ICAN / the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons)

Fact 5

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