Fifty Facts on the Nuclear Arms Race

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The U.S. Nuclear Weapons Cost Study Project

50 Facts About U.S. Nuclear Weapons

- All figures in Fiscal Year 1995 dollars -

1. Cost of the Manhattan Project (through August 1945): $20,000,000,000

SOURCES: Richard G. Hewlett and Oscar E. Anderson, Jr., The New World: A History of the United States Atomic Energy Commission, Volume 1, 1939/1946 (Oak Ridge, Tennessee: U.S. AEC Technical Information Center, 1972), pp. 723-724; Condensed AEC Annual Financial Report, FY 1953 (in Fifteenth Semiannual Report of the Atomic Energy Commission, January 1954, p. 73)

2. Total number of nuclear missiles built, 1951-present: 67,500

U.S. Nuclear Weapons Cost Study Project

3. Estimated construction costs for ICBM launch pads and silos, 1957-1964: $12,000,000,000

Maj. C.D. Hargreaves, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Ballistic Missile Construction Office (CEBMCO), "Introduction to the CEBMCO Historical Report and History of the Command Section, Pre-CEBMCO Thru December 1962," p. 8

4. Total number of nuclear bombers built, 1945-present: nearly 4,700

U.S. Nuclear Weapons Cost Study Project

5. Peak number of nuclear warheads and bombs in the stockpile/year: 32,200/1966

Natural Resources Defense Council, Nuclear Weapons Databook Project

6. Total number and types of nuclear warheads and bombs built, 1945-1990: 70,000/65 types

U.S. Department of Energy; Natural Resources Defense Council, Nuclear Weapons Databook Project

7. Number currently in the stockpile (1996): 12,937 (10,395 active, 2,542 awaiting disassembly)

Natural Resources Defense Council, Nuclear Weapons Databook Project

8. Number of nuclear warheads requested by the Army in 1956 and 1957: 151,000

History of the Custody and Deployment of Nuclear Weapons, July 1945 Through September 1977, Prepared by the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Atomic Energy), February 1978, p. 50 (formerly Top Secret)

9. Projected U.S. nuclear warheads and bombs after completion of the START II reductions in 2003: 5,000

U.S. Department of Defense; Natural Resources Defense Council, Nuclear Weapons Databook Project

10. Additional warheads the military wants to hold in inactive reserve to "hedge" against future threats: 2,500

U..S. Department of Defense; Natural Resources Defense Council, Nuclear Weapons Databook Project

11. Largest and smallest nuclear bombs: B53 (8,850 lbs., 9 megatons); W54 (58 lbs., .01-1kiloton)

Natural Resources Defense Council, Nuclear Weapons Databook Project

12. Peak number of domestic uranium mines in operation (1955): 925

Nineteenth Semiannual Report of the Atomic Energy Commission, January 1956, p. 31

13. Fissile material produced: 104 metric tons of plutonium and 994 metric tons of highly-enriched uranium

U.S. Department of Energy

14. Amount of plutonium still in weapons: 43 metric tons

Natural Resources Defense Council, Nuclear Weapons Databook Project

15. Number of thermometers that could be filled with mercury used to produce lithium-6 at the Oak Ridge Reservation: 11 billion

U.S. Department of Energy

16. Number of dismantled plutonium "pits" currently stored at the Pantex Plant in Amarillo, Texas: 8,874 as of April 30, 1996

U.S. Department of Energy

17. States with the most deployed nuclear weapons: Georgia (1,450) and Washington (1,450)

Natural Resources Defense Council, Nuclear Weapons Databook Project

18. Total known land area occupied by U.S. nuclear weapons bases and facilities: 36,330 square miles

U.S. Nuclear Weapons Cost Study Project

19. Total land area of the District of Columbia, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Vermont: 35,992 square miles

Rand McNally Road Atlas and Travel Guide, 1992

20. Legal fees paid by the DOE to fight lawsuits from workers and private citizens concerning nuclear weapons production and testing activities, from October 1990 through March 1995: $89,000,000

U.S. Department of Energy

21. Money paid by the State Department to Japan following fallout from the 1954 "Bravo" test: $15,000,000

Barton C. Hacker, Elements of Controversy: The Atomic Energy Commission and Radiation Safety in Nuclear Weapons Testing, 1947 -1974, University of California Press, 1994, p. 158

22. Money paid by the U.S. to Marshallese Islanders to redress damages from nuclear testing: $226,000,000

op. cit., pp. 270-1; Jonathan M. Weisgall, Operation Crossroads, The Atomic Tests at Bikini Atoll, Naval Institute Press, 1994, p. 313

23. Money paid to U.S. citizens under the Radiation Exposure and Compensation Act of 1990, as of June 21, 1995: $172,000,000 (2,239 claims)

U.S. Department of Justice, Torts Branch, Civil Division

24. Total cost of the Aircraft Nuclear Propulsion (ANP) program, 1946-1961: $6,000,000,000

"Aircraft Nuclear Propulsion Program," Report of the Joint Committee on Atomic Energy, September 1959, pp. 11-12

25 Total number of nuclear-powered aircraft and airplane hangers built: 0 and 1

Ibid; "American Portrait: ANP," WFAA-TV (Dallas), 1993

26. Number of secret Presidential Emergency Facilities built for use during and after a nuclear war: more than 75

Bill Gulley with Mary Ellen Reese, Breaking Cover, Simon and Schuster, 1980, pp. 34- 36

27. Currency stored until 1988 by the Federal Reserve for use after a nuclear war: more than $2,000,000,000,000

Edward Zuckerman, The Day After World War III, The Viking Press, 1984, pp. 287-88

28. Amount of silver in tons once used at the Oak Ridge, TN, Y-12 Plant for electrical magnet coils: 14,700

Vincent C. Jones, Manhattan: The Army and the Bomb, U.S. Army Center for Military History, 1985, pp. 66-7

29. Total number of U.S. nuclear weapons tests, 1945-1992: 1,030 (1,126 nuclear devices detonated)

U.S. Department of Energy

30. First and last test: July 16, 1945 ("Trinity") and September 23, 1992 ("Divider")

U.S. Department of Energy

31. Estimated amount spent between September 23, 1992 and October 1, 1995 on nuclear testing activities: $1,185,600,000 (0 tests)

U.S. Nuclear Weapons Cost Study Project

32. Cost of 1946 Operation Crossroads weapons tests ("Able" and "Baker") at Bikini Atoll: $575,000,000

"The Evaluation of the Atomic Bomb as a Military Weapon," The Final Report of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Evaluation Board for Operations Crossroads, June 30, 1947, p. 16 (formerly Top Secret)

33. Largest explosion/date: 15 Megatons/March 1, 1954 ("Bravo")

U.S. Department of Energy

34. Number of islands in Enewetak atoll vaporized by the November 1, 1952 Mike" H-bomb test: 1

Chuck Hansen, U.S. Nuclear Weapons: The Secret History, Orion Books, 1988, pp. 58-59, 95

35. Number of nuclear tests in the Pacific: 106

Natural Resources Defense Council, Nuclear Weapons Databook Project

36. Number of nuclear tests in Nevada: 935

Natural Resources Defense Council, Nuclear Weapons Databook Project

37. Number of nuclear weapons tests in Alaska, Colorado [1 and 2], Mississippi and New Mexico [1, 2 and 3]: 10

Natural Resources Defense Council, Nuclear Weapons Databook Project

38. Operational naval nuclear propulsion reactors vs. operational commercial power reactors: 130 vs. 110

Adm. Bruce DeMars, Deputy Assistant Director for Naval Reactors, U.S. Navy; Nuclear Regulatory Commission

39. Current number of attack (SSN) and ballistic missile (SSBN) submarines: 78 SSNs and 16 SSBNs

Adm. Bruce DeMars, Deputy Assistant Director for Naval Reactors, U.S. Navy

40. Number of high level radioactive waste tanks in Washington, Idaho and South Carolina: 239

U.S. Department of Energy

41. Volume in cubic meters of radioactive waste resulting from weapons activities: 104,000,000

U.S. Department of Energy; Institute for Energy and Environmental Research

42. Number of designated targets for U.S. weapons in the Single Integrated Operational Plan (SIOP) in 1976, 1986, and 1995: 25,000 (1976), 16,000 (1986) and 2,500 (1995)

Bruce Blair, Senior Fellow, The Brookings Institution

43. Cost of January 17, 1966 nuclear weapons accident over Palomares, Spain (including two lost planes, an extended search and recovery effort, waste disposal in the U.S. and settlement claims): $182,000,000

Joint Committee on Atomic Energy Interoffice Memorandum, February 15, 1968; Center for Defense Information

44. Number of U.S. nuclear bombs lost in accidents and never recovered: 11

U.S. Department of Defense; Center for Defense Information; Greenpeace

45. Number of DOE federal employees (in 1994): 20,213

U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Worker and Community Transition

46. Number of DOE contractor employees (in 1994): 136,192

U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Worker and Community Transition

47. Minimum number of classified pages estimated to be in the DOE's possession: 280 million

A Review of the Department of Energy Classification Policy and Practice, Committee on Declassification of Information for the Department of Energy Environmental Remediation and Related Programs, National Research Council, 1995, pp. 7-8, 68.

48. Ballistic missile defense spending in 1965 vs.1995: $2,200,000,000 vs. $2,600,000,000

U.S. Nuclear Weapons Cost Study Project

49. Average cost per warhead to the U.S. to help Kazakhstan dismantle 104 SS-18 ICBMs carrying more than 1,000 warheads: $70,000

U.S. Nuclear Weapons Cost Study Project; Arms Control Association

50. Current (1995) estimated annual spending on all nuclear weapons activities: more than $33,000,000,000

U.S. Nuclear Weapons Cost Study Project; Center for Defense Information

The U.S. Nuclear Weapons Cost Study Project - Stephen I. Schwartz, Project Director The Brookings Institution 1775 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Washington, D.C. 20036-2188 Telephone (202) 797-6030 - Facsimile (202) 797-6003 E-mail: sschwartz@brook.edu

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