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Nuclear Weapons Stockpile Shrinking

The fast-dwindling stockpile of U.S. nuclear weapons is now positioned in 16 states - nine fewer than just three years ago, according to private nuclear arms specialists who have tracked the locations for a decade.

North Dakota has replaced South Carolina as the state with the most nuclear warheads, and Louisiana’s Barksdale Air Force Base is now the single largest nuclear arms site in the country, a report by Robert Norris and William Arkin said.

The states that have had all nuclear weapons removed since 1992 are Alaska, Arkansas, Florida, Hawaii, Kansas, Maine, Michigan, New Jersey and New York, they said. Georgia, Louisiana and North Dakota now have more than they did in 1992.

The Pentagon as a matter of policy refuses to discuss locations of nuclear weapons.

The report by Norris and Arkin will be published in the coming issue of The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. Norris said it is based on publicly available documents. The two are authors of numerous authoritative books on nuclear weapons.

In all about 7,000 nuclear warheads are stationed on U.S. territory, plus about 480 at land-based sites in Europe, Arkin and Norris estimated. Also, about 1,500 additional warheads are aboard submarines at sea, they said.

At the peak in the 1980s, there were roughly 24,000 U.S. nuclear warheads around the world. Now there are about 9,000, and by the turn of the century the total will be about half that if strategic arms reductions treaties are implemented.

Norris and Arkin estimate there are 768 active warheads are in Washington state for Trident subs at Bangor.

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