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 You are in: Under Secretary for Arms Control and International Security > Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation (ISN) > Releases > Fact Sheets > 2003
Fact Sheet
Bureau of Nonproliferation
Washington, DC
May 1, 2003

U.S. Actions and Policies in Support of Its NPT Article VI Obligations Related to Nuclear Disarmament

Moscow Treaty
  • Reductions under START Treaty completed December 2001. Level went from 10,000 U.S. strategic warheads to less than 6,000.
  • Moscow Treaty reduces to 1,700-2,200 by December 31, 2012 -- the lowest level in decades. Senate approved March 6.
  • U.S. reductions have already begun. 50 Peacekeeper missiles to be deactivated in next two years. Two Trident missile submarines have been removed from strategic service; two more to follow.
  • Warheads removed from operational service will be stored, disabled and not available for quick redeployment, or retired/dismantled. Spares are needed if a warhead is found to be unreliable/ unsafe.
  • Under START and Moscow Treaty, U.S. will have eliminated or decommissioned more than three-quarters of its strategic nuclear warheads over two decades.

Fissile Material

  • U.S. has dismantled more than 13,000 nuclear weapons over the past 15 years. Dismantling continues.
  • U.S. has not produced fissile material for nuclear weapons for more than a decade.
  • U.S. supports a Fissile Material Cutoff Treaty that would advance U.S. national security. This Treaty would ban new production of fissile material for nuclear weapons.
  • U.S.-Russian 1997 plutonium reactor agreement codified the shutdown of 24 plutonium production reactors. Recent amendment calls for shutdown of last 3 Russian reactors.
  • U.S. and Russia will dispose of more than 700 tons of excess fissile material so that it is no longer useable in nuclear weapons. Contributes to irreversibility of nuclear reductions. This quantity could be used to manufacture more than 30,000 nuclear weapons.
  • For example, more than 170 tons of Russian weapons-grade uranium has been converted under a 1993 agreement to peaceful uses. U.S. has identified 174 tons for this purpose.
  • A 2000 U.S.- Russian agreement calls for each side to dispose of 34 tons each of excess plutonium.

Cooperative Threat Reduction

  • Since 1992, U.S. has provided $8.2 billion in nonproliferation and threat reduction assistance in the former Soviet Union.
  • U.S. has helped eliminate almost 900 ballistic missiles, over 100 strategic bombers, and 26 ballistic missile submarines.
  • U.S. has assisted in removing nuclear weapons from Kazakhstan, Ukraine and Belarus.
  • U.S. is working at more than 850 institutes to redirect former Soviet scientists working on weapons of mass destruction to civilian programs.
  • U.S. has export control assistance programs in more than 30 countries that involve training and providing equipment.
  • G-8 Global Partnership pledged up to $20 billion over next 10 years for nonproliferation, disarmament, counterterrorism and nuclear safety. Priorities include CW [chemical weapons] destruction and plutonium disposition in Russia

Nuclear Weapons Policy

  • U.S. is reducing reliance on nuclear weapons. Placing more emphasis on conventional deterrence and missile defense.
  • U.S. is not developing, testing or producing any nuclear warheads and has not done so in more than a decade.
  • There is no current requirement for a new nuclear warhead; the President has not directed such an action.
  • U.S. maintains its moratorium on nuclear testing. It has no plans to conduct nuclear tests.
  • We do not target any countries with nuclear weapons. There has been no change in U.S. negative security assurances policy toward NPT parties.

Non-Strategic Nuclear Weapons (NSNW)

  • The total of U.S. NSNW has been reduced nearly 90%. In January 2003 U.S. completed dismantling of all NSNW under the 1991 Presidential Nuclear Initiative.
  • Nuclear weapons have been removed from the Army and Marines Corp, as well as from the surface and air components of the Navy.
  • The only remaining U.S. nuclear weapons in Europe are gravity bombs, the numbers of which have been greatly reduced.
  • NATO has considerably reduced its reliance on nuclear weapons. Alert status of delivery aircraft lengthened to months.
  • U.S. committed to pursuit of transparency on NSNW. Issue has been discussed with Russia in bilateral consultative group established at Moscow Summit, and within NATO-Russia Council.


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