An instructor sits at missile launch controls during a simulation training
Staff Sgt. Jonathan Snyder/U.S. Air Force

Nuclear Weapons

They’re the most dangerous invention the world has ever seen. Can we prevent them from being used again?

They’re the most dangerous invention the world has ever seen. Can we prevent them from being used again?

What we're facing

When the United States dropped the first atomic bomb on Hiroshima, the destruction was unlike anything experienced before. Tens of thousands of people died instantly. An entire city was destroyed in the flash of a single bomb.

9,000

nuclear weapons in the world

Today, roughly 9,000 nuclear weapons are spread across nine countries, with the vast majority in the United States and Russia. Both countries are actively planning to build new weapons, sparking a 21st century arms race and increasing the risk of nuclear war.

Meanwhile, many of the Cold War’s most absurd and dangerous nuclear policies remain unchanged. In the United States, the president can order the launch of nuclear weapons without consulting anyone. And US policy allows it to use nuclear weapons first in a non-nuclear conflict with Russia, China, or North Korea—likely starting a nuclear war.

These policies and plans threaten the world in very real ways, and they need to change. You can help.

Get involved

What you can do:

Support electoral change

The #1 way to change nuclear weapons policies is to change the people in control of them. Make your voice heard; write and call your elected officials, participate in local meetings, and, above all, vote.

Fight complacency

For many people, nuclear weapons are an issue of the past. They shouldn’t be. Get educated, share information, and encourage those around you to do the same.

Get involved

We’re running a campaign on nuclear weapons. You can help.

"I’ve supported UCS for almost 50 years because of its unique approach to arms reduction: rigorous technical analysis translated to public policy that can make us all safer.”

Joel Weisberg, professor of physics and astronomy, Carleton College

How we work

Learn more

Meet the experts

Related resources