Nuclear arms decline stalls
June 15, 2021 - A decline in nuclear arsenals since the end of the Cold War appears to have stalled, with Russia and the U.S. both increasing numbers of operationally deployed weapons.
Although the world’s overall stockpile of nuclear weapons has decreased since last year, the number of operationally deployable weapons is on the rise, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) says in its Yearbook report.
At the beginning of 2021, the U.S., Russia, the UK, France, China, India, Pakistan, Israel and North Korea possessed a total of 13,080 nuclear warheads, a decrease of 320 from the previous year.
However, the number of deployable weapons increased from 3,720 to 3,825 over the previous year. These weapons are either mounted on missiles or located on active bases.
The U.S. and Russia continued to dismantle retired warheads, but both had about 50 more in operational deployment at the start of 2021 than one year earlier.
In August, the parties to the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) -- or most countries in the world -- are set to meet in New York for a review held every five years.