Nuclear Weapons

If the radiance of a thousand suns were to burst forth at once in the sky, that would be like the splendor of the Mighty One…I am become Death, the shatterer of worlds.” - Bhagavad Gita (sacred Hindu epic recalled by J. Robert Oppenheimer) July 16, 1945

Nuclear explosions 1945 to 1998


It takes a while to get going, but one of the most engrossing, and depressing, 15 minutes of animation that you are ever likely to see.

Graph of nuclear testing (North Korea not yet shown).


“Nuclear weapons are clearly inhumane weapons in obvious violation of international law. So long as such weapons exist, it is inevitable that the horror of Hiroshima and Nagasaki will be repeated — somewhere, sometime — in an unforgivable affront to humanity itself.” - Takashi Hiraoka, Mayor of Hiroshima, Hiroshima Peace Declaration, 6 August 1995


The use of nuclear weapons worldwide (to date)

  • United States: 1,054 tests by official count (involving at least 1,151 devices, 331 atmospheric tests), 2 dropped as weapons
  • Soviet Union: 715 tests (involving 969 devices)
  • France: 210 tests by official count (50 atmospheric, 160 underground)
  • United Kingdom: 45 tests
  • China: 45 tests (23 atmospheric and 22 underground)
  • India: 6 underground tests
  • Pakistan: 6 underground tests
  • North Korea: 2 underground tests


Deployed nuclear warheads, 2012
Data for China, India, Pakistan, Israel and North Korea is not sufficiently reliable to include. Almost 2,000 of the roughly 4,400 deployed warheads are in a state of high operational alert

Other nuclear warheads, 2012
Data for North Korea is not sufficiently reliable to include. Other warheads include spares, those in storage and those awaiting dismantlement.

“The world is a dangerous place to live, not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don’t do anything about it.”
— Albert Einstein