Plutonium and Highly Enriched Uranium Inventories, 2015
November 16, 2015
This collection of studies, funded largely by a generous grant from the Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI), contains comprehensive national estimates of plutonium and highly enriched uranium (HEU) stocks as of the end of 2014. The estimates are presented in several chapters, including an overview presentation. The first two chapters are devoted to national civil stocks of highly enriched uranium and plutonium. The third chapter analyzes the military inventories of plutonium and HEU in the five acknowledged nuclear weapon states, Britain, China, France, Russia, and the United States. The final chapters estimate the plutonium and HEU inventories in several proliferant states, including India, Pakistan, North Korea, and Israel. Finally, the last chapter is dedicated to South Africa’s civil HEU stocks, which were originally produced as part of a nuclear weapons program and remain large.
If stocks are not officially declared, the chapters discuss the methodology used to derive the estimates as well as the uncertainties. Uncertainties are a key part of these estimates. In summary tables or figures, these uncertainties are omitted, but they remain an integral part of the estimate. Uncertainties, which in some cases are large, reflect the limited state of knowledge of some stocks. ISIS is continuing to refine its estimates.
These estimates update earlier ISIS assessments of national inventories of nuclear explosive materials. The most detailed description of nuclear explosive material inventories remains Plutonium and Highly Enriched Uranium 1996: World Inventories, Capabilities, and Policies by David Albright, Frans Berkhout and William Walker, (Oxford: Stockholm International Peace Research Institute [SIPRI] and Oxford University Press, 1997) and Global Stocks of Nuclear Explosive Material – End 2003 (Updated 2005), located on the ISIS web site here. This update builds on that earlier work.
National Plutonium and Highly Enriched Uranium Inventories, status as the end of 2014
We would like to thank Paulina Izewicz, Donald Stewart, Daniel Schnur, Christopher Coughlin, Meredith Tull, Ethan McMahon, Priscilla Kim, Austin McVicker, William Baker, Won Gi You, Jack Dishner, and Sarah Burkhard who, while working at ISIS, assisted in the research and preparation of these reports.