Just How Many Nukes Does the US Have?


Nuclear weapon test Romeo (11 megaton) on the Bikini Atoll on April 15, 1954

Just how many nuclear bombs does the United States of America have? For thirty years, the exact number of bombs the Pentagon stockpiles has been a secret (though people have pretty much guessed correctly).

Now, for the first time ever, that number has been officially released by the Obama administration: it's 5,113 warheads.

From the Federation of American Scientists:

Disclosing the size of the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile puts pressure on other nuclear weapon states to reciprocate. Russia, whose arsenal is more difficult to track and assess, should respond by divulging comparable information about the size and status of its nuclear stockpile. There is simply no national security justification for Russia and the United States to continue to classify nuclear warhead stockpile inventories. The declassification of such data is necessary to achieve deep reductions in the arsenals of all the nuclear weapon states.

The 5,113 warheads in the stockpile do not account for all assembled nuclear warheads currently in the U.S. inventory. We estimate that there is an additional 4,500 retired warheads in storage awaiting dismantlement for a total inventory of approximately 9,600 warheads.

How does this compare to other nations? Here's what the Federation of American Scientists' Status of World Nuclear Forces page tells us:

Enough to destroy every civilization on Earth several times over, I think. One wonders whether the Russians still keep the rumored suitcase nukes in their embassies around the world.

Thanks Monica Amarelo!

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just so u no i was watching the news on channel 10 and the interviewed the head of security for san diego..and asked him if they have found any nukes of mass destruction he said yes..and they have been found in other states..but we never here about it..i know he is getting fired because then he wanted to back track..ooops out of the bag...these damn terroists are no joke we need to get out all muslims to just be on the safe side...if not it will just be a matter of time.....
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Ive collected this information in my head.

so if i do my math correctly, the Earth has a surface area of 510,066,000 sq km. with a nuke radiation range of about 100 k. so 22,500 nukes x 100 km is 2,250,000 km. the Earth is about 80% water. so the remaining land together equals 102,013,200. in time, more nukes will be created. It will definately, destroy mankind.

Sorry about the nuke info. I didnt know much about the effects of a nuke. Pretty devastating.

Watch this video. imagine 22,500 of those, and let me mention it is the biggest bomb DROPPED. huge possibility that there are bigger, more devastating bombs. also to mention they had to half the megatones. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LxD44HO8dNQ
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Radioactive fallout may be the most dangerous effect of a nuclear explosion because the area of exposure to fallout is much wider than that of direct nuclear radiation.

Because there is no known way of neutralising a radioactive substance, apart from sending it through a nuclear reactor, radioactive products are dangerous until they have decayed to such an extent that they no longer emit significant amounts of radiation. This time is usually considered to be 10 times the half-life.

The nuclear weapon detonated in Hiroshima was about 12kt, i.e. the equivalent of 12,000 tons of TNT. The combined effects of blast, and radiation killed about 300,000 people. Current nuclear weapons range in size from 1 kt to over 1000 kt. Most are about 100kt, about 10 times the force of the Hiroshima bomb.
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22,500 nukes COULD wipeout human kind.
The Blast:
The rapid release of energy in an explosion creates a shock wave of overpressure. Very close to the centre of a nuclear explosion, overpressure is equivalent to several thousand pounds per square inch (psi). This is hundreds of times greater than the pressure in a pressure cooker.

The overpressure crushes objects. Human lungs are crushed at about 30 psi overpressure. Brick houses are destroyed at about 10-15 psi overpressure. The blast also generates high velocity winds which can turn humans or objects into missiles. At 15 - 20 psi the winds can fling a person at several hundred kilometres per hour. The pressure of the shock wave can also cause deafness. A nuclear explosion releases a huge amount of energy as light (utlraviolet, visible, and infrared), which can be seen from hundreds of miles away. The light is so intense that it can make sand explode, blind people many miles away, burn shadows into concrete, and ignite flammable materials at large distances. The thermal radiation also causes burns on human skin. The radius of the flash burns depends on the power of the weapon and the clearness of the atmosphere. An explosion above clouds can diminish the burns suffered from heat flash.

The heat from the explosion is so intense that nearly all materials at the center of the explosion (epicenter) are immediately vaporized. The thermal radiation also creates a fireball which rapidly expands outward, consuming oxygen and, combined with the blast effect, creating near total destruction for some distance from the epicenter.

Electromagnetic pulse:
A nuclear explosion also sends out an electromagnetic pulse, similar to the thermal pulse. Although the electromagnetic pulse does not directly harm humans, it can increse the devastation at the site of a nuclear explosion because it disables all electrical devices in its path, such as medical equipment and the microchips found in newer cars.

Direct nuclear radiation:
A nuclear explosion releases several forms of radiation. Both gamma rays and neutrons easily penetrate solid objects and can be deadly. Beta and alpha particles are generally less dangerous, having much shorter ranges - several meters and several centimeters, respectively. Alpha particles cannot penetrate human skin. If ingested, however, alpha particles will cause the most damage to the human body.

Fallout:
Fallout consists of large numbers of particles, from the earth, buildings and other ground objects, which are propelled upward in the blast and irradiated, mixing with the radioactive products of the explosion. Some of this material will fall back to earth within a few minutes, and radioactive fallout may continue its descent for about 24 hours. The rising and descending debris forms the mushroom cloud that follows a nuclear explosion.
Radioactive fallout may be the most dangerous effect of a nuclear explosion because the area of exposure to fallout is much wider than that of direct nuclear radiation.

Because there is no known way of neutralising a radioactive substance, apart from sending it through a nuclear reactor, radioactive products are dangerous until they have decayed to such an extent that they no longer emit significant amounts of radiation. This time is usually considered to be 10 times the half-life.

Radioactive fallout may be the most dangerous effect of a nuclear explosion because the area of exposure to fallout is much wider than that of direct nuclear radiation.

Because there is no known way of neutralising a radioactive substance, apart from sending it through a nuclear reactor, radioactive products are dangerous until they have decayed to such an extent that they no longer emit significant amounts of radiation. This time is usually considered to be 10 times the half-life.
Radioactive fallout may be the most dangerous effect of a nuclear explosion because the area of exposure to fallout is much wider than that of direct nuclear radiation.

Because there is no known way of neutralising a radioactive substance, apart from sending it through a nuclear reactor, radioactive products are dangerous until they have decayed to such an extent that they no longer emit significant amounts of radiation. This time is usually considered to be 10 times the half-life.
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