How Do Countries Create Nuclear Weapons?

The same process used to generate nuclear power can be used to create the most destructive force we know.

25 kilograms

(about 55 pounds) of highly enriched uranium or 8 kilograms (about 18 pounds) of plutonium is needed to make an elementary nuclear weapon.

Source: Belfer Center and IAEA


The Nuclear World

Where are the world’s nuclear weapons and who do they protect?

31 countries and areas operate a total of 449 nuclear reactors for generating power. Top countries:

  • United States: 99
  • France: 58
  • Japan: 42

Source: IAEA

How Nuclear Proliferation Affects You

Explore how nuclear weapons and materials shape today’s world.

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