US discloses size of nuclear stockpile

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Washington– For the first time since 2018, the US State Department has disclosed the number of nuclear weapons in the country’s stockpile.

According to a report provided by the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), the US has 3,750 warheads as of September 2020, Xinhua news agency reported.

“This number represents an approximate 88 per cent reduction in the stockpile from its maximum (31,255) at the end of fiscal year 1967, and an approximate 83 per cent reduction from its level (22,217) when the Berlin Wall fell in late 1989,” the NNSA said.

The stockpile includes both “active” and “inactive” warheads, the report noted, adding that some 2,000 additional warheads are currently retired and awaiting dismantlement.

The disclosure has reversed a policy introduced by the administration of former President Donald Trump to classify the size of the nuclear stockpile.

When the US last disclosed the size of the nuclear stockpile in 2018, the size had been reported as 3,822 warheads in 2017.

The US and Russia possess most of the world’s nuclear weapons.

According to the latest data by the Federation of American Scientists, a Washington, D.C.-based think tank, over 90 per cent of global nuclear warheads are owned by the two countries. (IANS)

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