The world is reeling into nuclear weaponry as many humanitarian organizations believe that its only use is mass destruction. Currently, there are nine ‘nuclear-weapon states’. Eight sovereign states successfully detonated nuclear weapons, while Israel refused to confirm its possession of nuclear weapons. Five of the states signed the Treaty of Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT). The other four states are Pakistan, India, North Korea and Israel.
Here are five “nuclear-weapon’ states included in the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons
The U.S. created the first nuclear weapons during World War II. The nuclear weapons were made possible in cooperation with U.K. and Canada as part of the Manhattan Project. The U.S. developed a nuclear weapon out of fear that the Nazi Germany might develop them first. The first test of a nuclear weapon happened on July 16, 1945, with the warhead called Trinity.
The U.S. remains to be the only country to have used nuclear weapons in war. It used two nuclear warheads, Little Boy and Fat Man, to destroy the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Moreover, the U.S. was the first nation to develop a hydrogen bomb. It tested the experimental prototype called Ivy Mike in 1952. They also tested a weapon called Castle Bravo in 1954. During the Cold War, the U.S. continued to modernize its nuclear arsenal. From 1992, the country has been involved in a program called Stockpile stewardship.
The U.K. tested their first nuclear weapon called Hurricane in 1952. The nation provided the initial research for the early conception of an atomic bomb. The U.K. collaborated with the U.S. and Canada for the Manhattan project. However, the U.K had to develop their own way of manufacturing and detonating nuclear weapons as secrecy in the U.S. grew after the bombings in 1945.
The U.K. became the third country after the U.S. and Soviet Union (now Russia) to have developed and tested a nuclear weapon. The motivation for its own nuclear program is to have an independent deterrent against the Soviet Union and maintain its status as a great power. The country tested its first hydrogen bomb coined as Operation Grapple in 1957.
Soviet Union (currently known as Russia)
The first test of a nuclear weapon called RDS-1 of the Soviet Union happened in 1949. It was a crash project for the Soviet. The Soviet Union developed it with a partial espionage during and after World War II. The Soviet Union was the second country to have a nuclear weapon after the U.S. The motivation for the Soviet was to achieve a balance of power during the Cold War.
The Soviet tested its megaton-range hydrogen bomb called RDS-37 in 1955. It also tested the most powerful explosive called Tsar Bomba. It has a theoretical yield of 100 megatons but it was intentionally reduced to 50 megatons when detonated.
China first tested its nuclear weapon dubbed the 596 in 1964 at the Lop Nur test site. The nation made the weapon as a deterrent against the U.S. and the Soviet Union. Two years after the first test, China created a fission bomb with a capability of putting into a nuclear missile. In 1967, China tested the first hydrogen bomb, Test No. 6, after only six 32 months of testing its first nuclear weapon.
France tested its nuclear weapon in 1960 called the Gerboise Bleue. The motivation for the creation of the nuclear weapon came from the Suez Crisis diplomatic tension with both the Soviet Union, U.S. and U.K. The country also wanted to maintain the status of great power status during the post-colonial Cold War. In 1968, France tested its first hydrogen bomb called Operation Canopus. After the Cold War, the country disarmed 175 warheads and modernized the other aspects of their arsenals. However, the nation developed new nuclear weapons.