Frequently Asked Questions on Nuclear Weapons

Number of nuclear weapons held in world arsenals?

Portion of that arsenal that, if used in anger over cities, would cause a nuclear winter, devastate agriculture, crash civilization and starve up to 2 billion people?
100 weapons (or about one-half of one percent)[2]

Number of nuclear weapons in the arsenals of just India and Pakistan (who have fought wars in 1947, 1965, 1971, and 1999, and continue to have a tense border?)

Number of times the French alone could use their nuclear arsenal to crash the global climate and civilization?
Three[4] [5]

Number of nuclear warheads available to the U.S. and Russian presidents
6,500 and 6,800, respectively[6]

Number of known incidents, during and after the Cold War, in which either Moscow or Washington were fully prepared to launch nuclear weapons based on a mistaken belief one side was attacking the other?

Goal, in minutes, for time in which a U.S. president should decide whether to launch nuclear weapons if Pentagon believes we are under attack?
12 to 30 minutes[8] [9]

Number of people the U.S. president must consult or convince before he can order a nuclear weapons attack?

Amount of spending the Pentagon plans for upgrading nuclear arsenals in coming years?
More than $1.5 trillion[11]

Explosive power of the nuclear warhead Russia has armed on its new “Poseidon” underwater drone, which is designed to cause city-destroying radioactive tidal waves?
6,000 times more powerful than the bomb that destroyed Hiroshima[12] [13]

Number of minutes the Doomsday Clock says we are from nuclear Armageddon?
2 minutes[14]

Last time we were this close to nuclear self-annihilation, according to the clock?
1953 (and we’ve never been closer) [15]

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Photo: Clare Conboy/ICAN