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List of states with nuclear weapons
Nations that are known or believed to possess nuclear weapons are sometimes referred to as the nuclear club. There are currently nine states that have successfully detonated nuclear weapons. Five are considered to be "nuclear weapons states" (NWS), an internationally recognized status conferred by the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). In order of acquisition of nuclear weapons these are: the United States, Russia (successor state to the Soviet Union), the United Kingdom, France, and China.
Since the NPT entered into force in 1970, three states that were not parties to the Treaty have conducted nuclear tests, namely India, Pakistan, and North Korea. North Korea had been a party to the NPT but withdrew in 2003. Israel is also widely believed to have nuclear weapons, though it has refused to confirm or deny this. The status of these nations is not formally recognized by international bodies as none of them are currently parties to the NPT. South Africa has the unique status of a nation that developed nuclear weapons but has since disassembled its arsenal before joining the NPT.
Map of nuclear weapons countries of the world. NPT Nuclear Weapon States (China, France, Russia, UK, US) Non-NPT Nuclear Weapon States (India, North Korea, Pakistan) Undeclared Nuclear Weapon States (Israel) States accused of having nuclear weapon programs (Iran, Syria) NATO weapons sharing weapons recipients States formerly possessing nuclear weapons
The following is a list of states that have admitted the possession of nuclear weapons, the approximate number of warheads under their control in 2009, and the year they tested their first weapon. This list is informally known in global politics as the "Nuclear Club". With the exception of Russia and the United States (which have subjected their nuclear forces to independent verification under various treaties) these figures are estimates, in some cases quite unreliable estimates. Also, these figures represent total warheads possessed, rather than deployed. In particular, under the SORT treaty thousands of Russian and U.S. nuclear warheads are in inactive stockpiles awaiting processing. The fissile material contained in the warheads can then be recycled for use in nuclear reactors.