infographic

Global nuclear policy is a multifaceted and complex issue. Using infographics, we bring nuclear weapons policy down to Earth.
The U.S. is poised to spend $11.6 billion to upgrade a handful of nuclear bombs - with each bomb costing more than twice its weight in gold. The bombs were originally put in Europe to roll back a Soviet land invasion. With the Cold War over, the costly bomb upgrades would rack up more debt while adding no benefit to our security.  Why are the bombs still around? What else could the U.S. buy with the money? How much gold are we talking about? See the infographic below. Read more »
Posted by Ben Loehrke on July 9, 2013
This year we saw a nearly 16% decrease in the number of nuclear weapons in the world. This is great progress but there is far more work for us to do. Read more »
Posted by Peter Fedewa on December 21, 2012
There's no doubt: Hurricane Sandy has left her mark. The damage the storm left to basic infrastructure on the East Coast will take billions of dollars and months (if not years) to repair. But, hurricane damage costs pale in comparison to the spending our country is already planning to dole out to America's nuclear weapons and related programs.  Read more »
Posted by admin on November 2, 2012
The B61 life extension program gets a gold medal for setting records as the most expensive nuclear warhead in U.S. history. It also gets another ignominious recognition – costing more than its weight in solid gold. Read more »
Posted by Ben Loehrke on July 30, 2012
We see the same story play out in the news almost every day. Costs are rising, revenues are falling and programs and infrastructure that we use all the time are seeing their funding cut. But what’s happening to the things we don’t use and don’t need? The U.S. operates an outsized strategic nuclear force. How much is that costing taxpayers? Read more »
Posted by Peter Fedewa on July 2, 2012
The ratification of New START by the U.S. and Russia set a new ceiling for deployed strategic nuclear weapons at 1,550 in each country. Given the cost of maintaining these weapons and their lack of utility on the modern battlefield, the U.S. could (and should) go even lower. Read more »
Posted by Peter Fedewa on May 18, 2012
Today, the B-2 Stealth bomber is capable of delivering 1,280 times the destructive power that the Enola Gay brought to bear on Hiroshima in 1945. On a scale, what does that look like? And, more to the point isn’t it a little excessive? Take a look below and judge for yourself. If you make it all the way, leave a comment and let us know what you think. Read more »
Posted by Peter Fedewa on January 13, 2012
In a recent article, Jeffrey Lewis of Arms Control Wonk outlined what could happen to U.S. nuclear forces under a sequestration budget. He illustrates that even with Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta’s so-called “doomsday” cuts to nuclear weapons related activities, the U.S. could still field enough warheads to greatly surpass the limits put in place by New START. What could that “doomsday” look like if the U.S. maximized its nuclear forces? (View at full size) Read more »
Posted by Peter Fedewa on December 5, 2011
Whether it came from accident or malice, the likely consequences of any nuclear attack are difficult to fully comprehend. Billions – maybe trillions – of dollars in damage would result, perhaps tens of thousands of lives would be lost with even more injured or sick, not to mention supply lines cut off and massive panic across the nation. In a nation that spends billions of dollars on insurance each year for natural catastrophes from fires and earthquakes to flooding, one would assume that preparing for a man-made disaster of nuclear proportions would be high up on our list of budget priorities. Sadly, this is not the case. Read more »
Posted by Peter Fedewa on August 30, 2011
The U.S. currently possesses nearly half of the world’s nuclear warheads. Each warhead type has its own story and takes its own path through the system. All of these warheads are born in the Department of Energy (DoE) and then reside with the Department of Defense (DoD). Many warheads eventually return to the DoE for dismantlement but some become “trapped” in the DoD through a seemingly endless cycle of upgrades, redeployments or storage in the stockpile. Below is an attempt to trace the path a warhead may take as it moves through the phases of its life-cycle (full view). Read more »
Posted by Peter Fedewa on August 5, 2011