Nuclear Notebook: Worldwide Deployments of Nuclear Weapons, 2009

By Robert S. Norris, Hans M. Kristensen | November 1, 2009

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Nuclear Notebook: How many nuclear weapons are deployed worldwide?

As of the end of 2009, we estimate that there are approximately 23,360 nuclear weapons located at some 111 sites in 14 countries. Nearly one-half of these weapons are active or operationally deployed.

By far the largest concentrations of nuclear weapons reside in Russia and the United States, which possess 96 percent of the total global inventory (91 percent if you count only operational nuclear weapons). (See “Estimated Global Nuclear Weapon Inventories, 2009,” p. 87) In addition to the seven other countries with nuclear weapon stockpiles (Britain, China, France, India, Israel, North Korea, and Pakistan), five non-nuclear NATO allies (Belgium, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, and Turkey) host about 200 U.S. nuclear bombs at six air bases. (For a listing of all the sites worldwide, see “Estimated Worldwide Locations of Nuclear Weapons, 2009,” p. 90; it includes sites where there is reason to believe that nuclear weapons are deployed or stored.1)…

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The Nuclear Notebook is researched and written by Hans M. Kristensen, director of the Nuclear Information Project with the Federation of American Scientists and Robert S. Norris, a senior fellow with the FAS. The Nuclear Notebook column has been published in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists since 1987. The Nuclear Notebook column has been published in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists since 1987.

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