The United States has a total of 5,113 nuclear warheads in its stockpile as of September 30, 2009, the Pentagon has revealed, following which Congressmen sought similar move from India, Pakistan, China and Russia.
The newly declassified information was released as part of America's effort to increase the transparency of global nuclear stockpiles -- a step which it thinks is important to nonproliferation efforts.
"This number represents an 84 per cent reduction from the stockpile's maximum (31,255) at the end of fiscal year 1967, and over a 75 per cent reduction from its level (22,217) when the Berlin Wall fell in late 1989," the Pentagon said in a fact sheet released yesterday.
A total of 8,748 nuclear warheads were dismantled during the period between 1994 and 2009.
Several thousand additional nuclear weapons were currently retired and awaiting dismantlement, it said, adding the number of non-strategic nuclear weapons declined by approximately 90 per cent from September 30, 1991-2009.
"This is not the first time that data on the nuclear stockpile have been released. The total size of the stockpile had been previously disclosed. That went through 1961, so we're updating it to 2009," a senior Pentagon official told reporters.
"The numbers of weapons dismantled had previously been released. That went through early part of 1994, and again we are updating it in that case," he added.
The official, however, said that the figure does not include the weapons that were currently retired and awaiting dismantlement.
This includes warheads, which include both active and inactive, in the stockpile. "It includes all the deployed warheads, and it includes a number of non deployed warheads."
Welcoming the move of the United States to reveal its nuclear stockpile, Congressmen demanded that other nuclear powers including India, Pakistan, China and Russia do the same.
"This announcement demonstrates good faith in reducing the number of US nuclear weapons and provides momentum to encourage other countries, including Russia, China, India and Pakistan, to provide more information about their arsenals," House Armed Services Strategic Forces Subcommittee Chairman Jim Langevin said.
"The Obama Administration has demonstrated such leadership in negotiating the new START treaty, pressing the world to secure all vulnerable weapons - usable nuclear materials in four years, and now through its efforts at the NPT review conference," Senator John Kerry, Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said.
Earlier, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton addressing the NPT Review Conference said the move is aimed at promoting transparency in the nuclear disarmament regime and encouraging other nations to comply with it.
"For those who doubt that the United States will do its part on disarmament, this is our record, these are our commitments and they send a clear unmistakable signal," she added.