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2200 nuclear weapons in state of high operational alert

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New Delhi fires a long range missile from Wheeler Island, off the coast of India, in the state of Orissa on April 19, 2012.

The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) reports that despite a decline in the total number of nuclear warheads in the world, major atomic arsenals are modernized continuously.

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.


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