The U.S Government on Tuesday released the number of nuclear weapons in the U.S. stockpile for the first time in four years, in a reversal from the Trump administration.
The U.S. stockpile consisted of 3,750 nuclear warheads in September 2020, while approximately 2,000 additional nuclear warheads are awaiting dismantlement, according to a State Department release which stressed transparency surrounding the nuclear weapons stockpile.
“Increasing the transparency of states’ nuclear stockpiles is important to nonproliferation and disarmament efforts, including commitments under the Nuclear NonProliferation Treaty, and efforts to address all types of nuclear weapons, including deployed and non-deployed, and strategic and non-strategic,” the release says.
The announcement comes as the Biden administration has begun conducting a review of U.S. nuclear weapons policy, which is expected to be completed next year.
The new figures represent about an 88% reduction in the stockpile from a high of more than 30,000 in 1967, and an 83% reduction from its 1989 levels, when the Berlin Wall fell, the release says. The U.S. stockpile stood at just over 10,000 as recently as 2003.
Hans Kristensen, director of Nuclear Information Projects at the Federation of American Scientists wrote in a tweet Tuesday that the Biden administration “deserves a big applause for having restored Obama’s nuclear transparency and reversed the Trump administration’s counterproductive classification of the stockpile number.”