Nine countries together possess more than 15,000 nuclear weapons. The United States and Russia maintain roughly 1,800 of their nuclear weapons on high-alert status – ready to be launched within minutes of a warning. Most are many times more powerful than the atomic bombs dropped on Japan in 1945. A single nuclear warhead, if detonated on a large city, could kill millions of people, with the effects persisting for decades.
Size comparison of nuclear explosions
The failure of the nuclear powers to disarm has heightened the risk that other countries will acquire nuclear weapons. The only guarantee against the spread and use of nuclear weapons is to eliminate them without delay. Although the leaders of some nuclear-armed nations have expressed their vision for a nuclear-weapon-free world, they have failed to develop any detailed plans to eliminate their arsenals and are modernizing them.
|COUNTRY||NUCLEAR PROGRAMME||SIZE OF ARSENAL
|United States||The first country to develop nuclear weapons and the only country to have used them in war. It spends more on its nuclear arsenal than all other countries combined.||6,970 warheads|
|Russia||The second country to develop nuclear weapons. It has the largest arsenal of any country and is investing heavily in the modernization of its warheads and delivery systems.||7,300 warheads|
|United Kingdom||It maintains a fleet of four nuclear-armed submarines in Scotland, each carrying 16 Trident missiles. It is considering whether to overhaul its nuclear forces or disarm.||215 warheads|
|France||Most of its nuclear warheads are deployed on submarines equipped with M45 and M51 missiles. One boat is on patrol at all times. Some warheads are also deliverable by aircraft.||300 warheads|
|China||It has a much smaller arsenal than the US and Russia. Its warheads are deliverable by air, land and sea. It appears to be increasing the size of its arsenal at a slow pace.||260 warheads|
|India||It developed nuclear weapons in breach of non-proliferation commitments. It is increasing the size of its nuclear arsenal and enhancing its delivery capabilities.||100–120 warheads|
|Pakistan||It is making substantial improvements to its nuclear arsenal and associated infrastructure. It has increased the size of its nuclear arsenal in recent years.||110–130 warheads|
|Israel||It has a policy of ambiguity in relation to its nuclear arsenal, neither confirming nor denying its existence. As a result, there is little public information or debate about it.||80 warheads|
|North Korea||It has a fledgling nuclear weapons programme. Its arsenal probably comprises fewer than 10 warheads. It is not clear whether it has the capability to deliver them.||<10 warheads|
I came across a British tabloid site that had an article on where is the best places on the planet to survive a nuclear war. The list is funny, to say the least.
Kansas City! Kansas City is a major American population center. It undoubtedly would be targeted by the Russians.
The island of Guam in the eastern Pacific is a United States territory. It hosts a major American nuclear submarine base and thousands of Marines. Without a doubt, it is targeted.
Cape Town and Antarctica would possibly be safe places. But after the world economy and infrastructure is destroyed. Who do the residents of these places deal with? Tristan Da Cunha would be the safest place on the list.
Isle of Lewis, Iceland, Bern and the Yukon: These places wouldn’t be targets, but they would have to contend with a 5 year nuclear winter of 24 hour dark skies and intense fallout radiation. Not good places.
The key here is that these horrible weapons are built for deterrent. Nobody wants to use them, there would be no winner. And with the safeguards in place it is highly unlikely responsible nations would accidently launch a nuclear attack. However, there is rogue countries with the bomb like North Korea, and to a lesser extent Pakistan. Kim Jong-Um is a very deranged and scary individual. He could do anything. Another concern is if terrorists would get their hands on a weapon. There would not be any second thoughts by those radical extremists to try and use a bomb.