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File:US and USSR nuclear stockpiles.svg

English: Nuclear warhead stockpiles of the United States and the Soviet Union/Russia, 1945-2006. These numbers are total stockpiles, including warheads that are not actively deployed (that is, including those on reserve status or those that may be scheduled for dismantlement). The numbers of active/operational warheads could be much smaller in the present time, circa 5,700 for the United States and 5,800. Inadequate historical data prohibits long-term distiction between the two, hence lumping all numbers together.

The high for the USA is 32,040 in 1966; the high for the USSR is 45,000 in 1986; the point at which the USSR surpassed the USA in warheads is 1978. Note that raw stockpile totals do not necessarily tell you much about nuclear capabilities; delivery mechanisms and types of weapons can make a big difference (many of the weapons added to the stockpile during the "surge" periods were tactical, not strategic, for example)

The goal of this graph is to give a quick, at-a-glance impression of relative stockpile levels between the two countries; those looking for specifics should consult the raw data (compiled on the discussion page of this image).
Date August 2006 April 2008
Source Own work Source data from: Robert S. Norris and Hans M. Kristensen, "Global nuclear stockpiles, 1945-2006," Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists 62, no. 4 (July/August 2006), 64-66. Online at
Author Created by User:Fastfission first by mapping the lines using's Calc program, then exporting a graph to SVG, and the performing substantial aesthetic modifications in Inkscape.
( Reusing this file)

If you want to credit someone, credit "Wikimedia Commons." Otherwise don't credit anyone, that's fine by me. -- Fastfission 15:00, 14 April 2008 (UTC)


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