|Nuclear warhead inventory at the beginning of 2023|
|Total inventory of warheads||5244|
|Estimated yield (MT)||857.6|
|TPNW Article 1(1) prohibitions: Compatibility in 2022|
|(a)||Develop, produce, manufacture, acquire||Not compatible|
|Possess or stockpile||Not compatible|
|(c)||Receive transfer or control||Compatible|
|Threaten to use||Compatible|
|(e)||Assist, encourage or induce||Not compatible|
|(f)||Seek or receive assistance||Not compatible|
|(g)||Allow stationing, installation, deployment||Compatible|
|TPNW voting and participation|
|UNGA resolution on TPNW (latest vote)||Voted no (2023)|
|Participated in 1MSP (2022)||No|
|1MSP delegation size (% women)||N/A|
|Adoption of TPNW (7 July 2017)||N/A|
|Participated in TPNW negotiations (2017)||No|
|Negotiation mandate (A/RES/71/258)||Voted no|
|Other weapons of mass destruction (WMD) treaties|
|Party to an NWFZ||No (1 of 5 NSA protocols)|
|Party to the NPT||Yes (Ratified 1970)|
|Ratified the CTBT||No (Signed 1996, Annex 2 state)|
|Party to the BWC||Yes (Ratified 1975)|
|Party to the CWC||Yes (Ratified 1997)|
|IAEA safeguards and fissile material|
|Safeguards agreement||Voluntary offer agreement|
|TPNW Art 3(2) deadline||N/A|
|Small Quantities Protocol||No|
|Enrichment facilities/reprocessing plants||Yes (Mil, Civ)|
|HEU stocks||483.4 tons (Mil)/16 tons (Civ)|
|Plutonium stocks||79.8 tons (Mil)/8 tons (Civ)|
In its Nuclear Posture Review released in October 2022, the United States averred that it ‘actively pursues the goal of a world without nuclear weapons’ but ‘does not consider the [TPNW] to be an effective means to reach that goal’.1 In the First Committee of the UN General Assembly in the same month, the United States, in a joint statement with France and the United Kingdom, stated that ‘Progress on the nuclear disarmament agenda is only possible if we were to have an incremental, inclusive, consensus-based, multilateral process that takes into account the prevailing international security environment.’2
The US President, Joe Biden, also issued a joint statement with his French counterpart, Emmanuel Macron, in December 2022 in which they reaffirmed their opposition to the TPNW. The Treaty does not, in their view, ‘reflect the increasingly challenging international security environment and is at odds with the existing non-proliferation and disarmament architecture’.3
- The United States should acknowledge that nuclear deterrence is not a sustainable solution for its own or international security, and that any perceived benefits are far outweighed by the risk of nuclear accidents or war.
- The United States should comply with its existing obligation under Article VI of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) and pursue negotiations in good faith on nuclear disarmament.
- The United States should urgently adhere to the TPNW. Until it is in a position to do so, it should welcome the TPNW as a valuable component in the global disarmament and non-proliferation architecture, work with the Treaty's states parties on practical steps towards disarmament, and attend the meetings of states parties as an observer. @The United States should also ratify the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT).
Inventory of nuclear warheads at the beginning of 2022
Approximately 800 strategic warheads are assigned to siloed Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs), which can carry single warheads – either the W78 or W87 – to a range of approximately 13,000 kilometres. Around 400 of these warheads are currently deployed on alert across 400 silos, while an additional 50 silos are kept ‘warm’ to load stored missiles if necessary.
Approximately 1,920 strategic warheads are assigned to 14 Ohio-class ballistic missile submarines (SSBNs), each of which can carry up to 20 Trident II D5 submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs). Each of these SLBMs can carry up to eight nuclear multiple independently- targetable re-entry vehicles (MIRV) warheads: either the 90 kiloton W76-1, the 8 kiloton W76-2, or the 455 kiloton W88. Around 945 of these warheads are currently deployed on 12 operational SSBNs, although only four or five of those are thought to be on constant ‘hard alert’ in their designated patrol areas.
Approximately 788 strategic warheads – including the B61 gravity bomb and the W80-1 carried by the AGM-86B air-launched cruise missile (ALCM) – are assigned for delivery by B-2A and B52-H heavy bombers. Around 300 of these warheads are currently deployed at long-range strategic air bases in the United States.
Another 200 or so non-strategic B61 gravity bombs are assigned for delivery by NATO and US dual-capable aircraft. Approximately 100 of these warheads are currently deployed at air bases in Europe.