At the start of 2012 eight states — the United States, Russia, the United Kingdom, France, China, India, Pakistan and Israel — possessed approximately 4400 operational nuclear weapons. Nearly half of these are kept in a state of “high operational alert”, said SIPRI in its Yearbook 2012 on Monday.
“At the same time, all five legally recognized nuclear weapon states — China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States — are either deploying new nuclear weapon delivery systems or have announced programs to do so, and appear determined to retain their nuclear arsenals indefinitely,” the report added.
According to the SIPRI, Israel possesses 80 highly operational nuclear warheads.
The Swedish institute further added that India and Pakistan continue to develop new systems capable of delivering nuclear weapons and are developing their capacities to produce fissile material for military purposes.