Overall Number of Nuclear Weapons Lower in 2015 – Peace Research Institute

© AP Photo / Charlie RiedelConcerns that a cyberattack could start a nuclear war could be addressed by taking nuclear weapons off of high alert, says a top US military commander, but neither the US nor Russia wants to make that move.
Concerns that a cyberattack could start a nuclear war could be addressed by taking nuclear weapons off of high alert, says a top US military commander, but neither the US nor Russia wants to make that move. - Sputnik International
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The number of nuclear weapons in the world decreased from 16,350 in early 2014 to 15,850 in early 2015, but the main nuclear powers continue modernizing their arsenal, according to the findings of Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) Yearbook 2015 published Monday.

STOCKHOLM (Sputnik) — According to the Institute, the main reason behind the current decrease in the number of nuclear warheads is that the two main nuclear powers — the United States and Russia — continue to reduce their nuclear arsenal.

"At the start of 2015, nine states — the United States, Russia, the United Kingdom, France, China, India, Pakistan, Israel and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK, or North Korea) — possessed approximately 15 850 nuclear weapons, of which 4300 were deployed with operational forces. Roughly 1800 of these weapons were kept in a state of high operational alert."

According to SIPRI, in Russia the number of nuclear warheads currently stands at 7,500 as opposed to 8,000 a year ago. Over the same period of time, the United States decreased the number of nuclear weapons in its possession from 7,300 to 7,260.

"At the same time, both countries have extensive and expensive long-term modernization programmes under way for their remaining nuclear delivery systems, warheads and production."

The organization noted that today the process of nuclear disarmament is going at a slower pace than a decade ago.

© FlickrMilitary personnel observe a nuclear weapons test in Nevada, the United States, in 1951
Military personnel observe a nuclear weapons test in Nevada, the United States, in 1951 - Sputnik International
Military personnel observe a nuclear weapons test in Nevada, the United States, in 1951
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