I practised beforehand...

Jon Noble jon_p_noble at yahoo.com
Wed May 14 17:27:28 EDT 2003


--- Philip.Belben at eme.co.uk wrote:
>> Of course nowadays I always sing "six thousand
> million", but does anyone know
> what the current world figure is for aggregate
> nuclear arsenal?

Almost certainly quite a bit less now than thirty or
fourty years ago. Mainly because of changes in the
technology of such weapons rather than anything
altruistic like disarmament (although that has
happened a bit too). The practice of putting multiple
warheads on missiles meant that the individual
warheads are far smaller than a single warhead, and
while 10 100kt warheads are more bombs than 1 10mt
bomb the explossive power is far less (mind you they
would probably kill more people). As other weapons
have become more accurtate they also have had smaller
warheads (again not always for altruistic reasons -
they need to have more space devoted to guidance
systems). The total number of nuclear weapons in the
world is probably 20-22,000 down from a peak figure
twenty years ago of at least twice that. I suspect
that this ammounts to about 1 ton of tnt equivalent
for every 10 people in the world, tops and perhaps
only a tenth of that (I suspect that the
20tonstnt/person figure was always a considerable
exageration). Still looking for these figures on the
net has been a very frightning exercise.

Jon


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