Risk of Nuclear Conflict at Highest Point Since Height of Cold War

By Giulia Carbonaro
Jun 13, 2022

he risk of a nuclear conflict is the highest it has been since the times of the Cold War, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).

The “SIPRI Yearbook 2022,” a report published Monday assessing the current state of armaments, disarmament and international security around the world, stated that nuclear arsenals are expected to grow over the coming decade.

Despite the fact that the total number of nuclear weapons in the world has slightly declined between January 2021 and January 2022 (just before the beginning of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine), the number is likely to increase in the near future, according to SIPRI.

Some 90 percent of the world’s nuclear arsenal is owned by Russia and the United States, with a total inventory of respectively 5,977 and 5,428 nuclear weapons as of 2022.

The nine nuclear-armed states—the U.S., Russia, Britain, France, China, India, Pakistan, Israel and North Korea—continue to modernize their nuclear arsenals. The weapons that have been dismantled in the U.S. and Russia last year were already “retired” from military services, leaving the arsenal of useable nuclear weapons of the two countries virtually unchanged.

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