List of States with Nuclear Weapons
There are currently eight states that have successfully detonated nuclear weapons. Five are considered to be "nuclear weapons states," an internationally recognized status conferred by the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). In order of acquisition of nuclear weapons these are: the United States of America, Russia (formerly the Soviet Union), the United Kingdom, France and the People's Republic of China. Since the formulation of the NPT, three non-signatory states of the NPT have conducted nuclear tests: India, Pakistan, and purportedly North Korea. Additionally, Israel is also strongly suspected to have an arsenal of nuclear weapons though it has refused to confirm or deny this, and there have been reports that over 200 nuclear weapons might be in its inventory. This status is not formally recognized by international bodies as none of these four countries are currently signatories to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. Iran has been developing uranium enrichment technology and stands accused by the United Nations of doing so for weapons purposes.
History of Nuclear WeaponsThe United States was the first country to develop nuclear weapons with the Manhattan Project, from 1942 to 1946, where they won the race for the weapon with Germany and Japan. The United States was the first and remains the only country to have used nuclear weapons, in WWII, on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, on August 6, 1945, and August 9, 1945. The bombs together killed roughly 214,000 people, the majority civilians. Dropping the bombs arguably ended WWII early, preventing the planned invasion of Japan and saving many American and Japanese lives.
MADIn the Cold War that followed WWII, Russia first developed nuclear weapons in 1949. Eventually, Russia and the United States had so many nuclear weapons that they could destroy each other in any all-out nuclear confrontation. This led to a kind of uneasy peace guaranteed by MAD (mutually assured destruction), the fear that the use of nuclear weapons by any country will also lead to its own destruction, by the sure retaliation of the attacked state.
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