Many times when we see two countries indulging in heated arguments and blame games, it makes us wonder if this will lead to world war 3 or if we like mocking the idea of having the much-dreaded war. But in reality, none of us has an idea how many lives will be wiped off from Earth and how the planet will recover at least in decades, if not years. The importance of nuclear weapons indicates the defense of the nations and discourages any kind of war among the countries. However, they are the biggest threat in a warzone, and the fact that many powerful countries own them in good amounts while other countries are busy making more is quite concerning. Today’s blog is focused on the following topics,
Top Countries with nuclear weapons 2022
Which country has the highest number of nuclear weapons
How many countries have nuclear weapons
What is a Nuclear Weapon?
Before we dive into the details, here is some quick information on what nuclear weapons are. It is an explosive device that triggers a damaging force when a nuclear reaction takes place. The existing fission or a combination of fission and fusion produces a devastating nuclear blast. Not all countries on dangerous weapons, there are only five countries with nuclear weapons currently in the world.
- Russia- 6,257
- United States- 5,550
- China- 350
- France- 290
- United Kingdom-225
Was the United States the First One to Invent a Nuclear Bomb?
Robert Oppenheimer was an American theoretical physicist who was accountable for practicing research and designing the first atomic bomb. Known as the “father of the Atomic Bomb” he ran the first successful test in the desert of New Mexico. After achieving growth in the nuclear test runs, America decided to drop two powerful atomic bombs on Japan. The Japanese cities Hiroshima and Nagasaki were heavily damaged by the uranium-based weapon called “Little Boy” and the Plutonium-based weapon titled “Fat man”. The powerful nuclear weapons killed more than 130,000 civilians. America justified the attack, by saying that it meant to end WW2 as Japan was trying to invade the US. Since then more than 2000 test runs have taken place for the launch of various nuclear weapons. Currently, despite being the first one to invent a nuclear bomb, the USA is ranked in 2nd position among countries with nuclear weapons and owns 5,550 warheads in its storage.
How did Russia Gain its First Nuclear Weapon?
Many would be surprised to know which country has the highest number of nuclear weapons, despite the United States being the winner of the nuclear race, Russia has the highest count of lethal weapons. The journey of nuclear armament started with the debut of the Soviet Atomic Bomb Project which was a research and development program that was approved by Joseph Stalin. The program was created in hope of the Soviet Union creating nuclear power during the stage of World War 2. Georgy Flyorov was a Russian scientist who suspected strongly that the allied powers were already working towards developing a Super-Weapon since 1939. His suspicion was raised due to the unusual silence of German, American, and British scientists, especially on the topic of nuclear fission.
He wrote a letter to Stalin and encouraged him to start the program in 1942, but the progress of the program was slowed down due to the Germans invading the Soviet Union. However, even though the program was delayed, the Russians managed to gather information from its spies who were working on the US Manhattan Project. When the US strike Japan with powerful bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Stalin realized the importance of nuclear weapons and started the program immediately and speeded up the progress through the information collected from the German nuclear armament project and American Manhattan Project. Russia’s first atomic bomb was launched at a test site in Kazakhstan in 1949. The nuclear physicist Igor Kurchatov who was the director of the Soviet Atomic Bomb Project was labeled as the “Father of the Soviet Bomb”.
No matter how many countries have nuclear weapons, Russia has made a more powerful nuclear bomb compared to the ones that the US bombarded Japan with. Tsar Bomb is known to be the most dangerous nuclear bomb to date. It has a record of the biggest blast in history as its explosion gave in nearly 50,000 kilotons in its first test. The blast was so powerful that it triggered an earthquake of 5.25 magnitude. Its big bang created a smoke cloud that was six times higher than the flying height of an aircraft. Originally it was made as 100,000 kilotons but later it was cut down in half to its capacity by the Russians. Despite not being first, the Russians sit at the top of the list with 6,257 warheads in their possession.
China- The Journey of Project 596
In the year of 1951, China signed a contract with Moscow according to which China would provide Uranium Ores, in return for the Soviet’s help to build nuclear expertise for its country. China started the process of developing the warheads in the 1950s under the guidance of the Soviets. But when the Soviets pulled back their helping hands and stopped sharing all the data relevant to the process of development of atomic bombs.
Nonetheless, that did not discourage China and the country strived harder toward its goal. Soon, in the 1960s it made astounding progress and ran the first test of its nuclear weapon known as Project 596 AKA Miss Qiu, which took place at Lop Nur. It contained a towering shot that included a fission device that resulted in an explosion of 25 Kilotons. Today China rests number third on the list of Top Countries with nuclear weapons 2022 with 350 nuclear weapons in its pockets. The country is fearless regardless of how many countries have nuclear weapons in the world currently.
France- The Tale of Bombings
Piere Guillanment and Charles Ailleret and Yves Rocard were the core personalities behind the invention of France’s first nuclear weapon. The French invented the nuclear warheads to make the political and military party better with the potential adversaries along with the United Kingdom and Russia while having nuclear capabilities in possession. France produced its first Plutonium bomb in 1965.
France is one of the top countries with nuclear weapons 2022 has decided not to hold up any of its nuclear activities. Following the path of many others, it has decided not to sign the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) which opened for signatures in 2017 despite being part of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons. TPNW is designed to control international security which is raised due to the various reintroduced dangers of the use of force, Russian military force, and regional tensions. Although it is said to be biased, it puts no pressure on the USA compared to the European countries. As of today, France holds the 4th position with 290 nuclear weaponry.
United Kingdom- The Rise of the Nuclear
The British decided to develop an atomic bomb to remain powerful and avoid dependency on the United States, which refused to share nuclear information. In a secret cabinet committee in 1946, Ernest Bevin was focused to gain a nuclear bomb for his country as he was familiar with the importance of nuclear weapons, despite facing opposition from the cabinet members. The final decision was made under cover from most of the cabinet members and the first test run only took place when Churchill’s government came into action.
Dr. W.G Penney was a scientist who had a history of working on the first atomic bomb as well. The nuclear test took place on Monte Bello Islands which was marked as a prohibited zone. The bomb was placed in an anchored frigate called HMS Pym. Once it exploded tons of rocks and seawater jumped high in the air. The burst out caused a Z-shaped smoke rather than the mushroom one and created a pressure wave that jingled the window. Later, Churchill informed the House of Commons and congratulated the Labor Party on the achievement of becoming one of the countries with nuclear weapons. The United Kingdom is placed 5th on the list and holds 225 deadly nuclear bombs.
Is Pakistan included in the List of Countries With Nuclear Power?
The ones mentioned above are known as Nuclear states as they have signed and are part of the Treaty on the Non- Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, however, the list of non-nuclear states includes the following countries, along with the number of nuclear warheads they own,
- Pakistan- 165
- India- 165
- Israel- 90
- North Korea- 40 to 50
The Treaty on the Non- Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons aims to avoid the spread of nuclear weapons. However, the countries listed above are not declared as a nuclear states as their test of nuclear weapons was conducted after January 1967 and according to the Treaty rule book, states that have run a test before the said year are assumed to be legal and a nuclear state only.
When did Pakistan become a Nuclear Power?
Due to the intelligence and dedication of Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan, a nuclear physicist and Metallurgical engineer, Pakistan was able to own its first nuclear weapon. However, the nuclear test took place in 1998 which was quite far off from the approved timeline of NPT which unfortunately stripped the country’s riot to be labeled as a nuclear state. Though Pakistan has displayed its anger towards the discrimination made by the international treaty, no changes were made.
I hope today’s blog has educated you and answered basic questions such as what are nuclear weapons. And learned interesting facts about the countries with nuclear weapons. Even though the Muslim country is not declared as a nuclear state, the fact is Pakistan is included in the list of countries with nuclear power, which is an achievement as well.