In May 2013, it was reported that there were an estimated 17,625 nuclear warheads in the arsenal of governments worldwide. The estimated number of warheads was down from the 19,000 at the beginning of 2012. Russia has about 8,500 nuclear warheads in its arsenal, and the United States has 7,700. China is the only country… Continue reading Number of Nuclear Warheads in the World as of 2013
Between 1998 and 2012, the North Korea Government is estimated to have spent between $2.8 Billion and $3.2 Billion on its missile program. The amount of money spent on the missile program would have been able to feed the entire country with corn for 3 years. Source: Jane Perlez, “Despite Risks, China Stays at North… Continue reading North Korean Missile Spending
Between 2010 and November 2012, lawyers with the United States Department of Justice filed 8 cases against individuals and companies who were illegally trading with Iran. Prosecutors also report that more cases are being investigated but have remained sealed from the public due to its ongoing investigation.
According to the International Atomic Energy Agency, there have been 2,200 recorded attempts of smugglers attempting to steal uranium between 1995 and 2012.
A nuclear smuggling gang in Moldova offered an undercover group of police officers 9 kilograms of highly enriched uranium for $31 Million. Around 27 kilograms of highly enriched uranium is needed to make a “dirty bomb”.
Terrorists would need at least 25 kilograms of highly enriched uranium to make a crude nuclear device.
98 to 99 percent of highly enriched uranium is stored at military stockpiles around the world where security is considered to be at a high level.
A report on the threats of nuclear terrorism reported that most attempts at selling nuclear materials on the black market occurred either in former Soviet Union states or in Eastern Europe. The report highlighted the country of Georgia for the numerous cases of nuclear trafficking. Highly enriched uranium has been seized in cases reported in 2003, 2006 and 2010.
The United States spends close to $2 Billion a year on anti-nuclear smuggling proliferation activities. The money is spent both on monitoring nuclear materials and policing the black market trade in loose nuclear weapons.
An estimated 700 tons of highly enriched uranium is stored in Russia at over a hundred military bases, each with various levels of security.