South Africa

South Africa had a nuclear weapons program which ended after 1970.

Ex-Military Stocks of Fissile Material, end of 2003 (in kilograms)1
Unirradiated Plutonium0
Highly Enriched Uranium (HEU)430-5802
Number of Weapons0

Learn more by reading the ISIS Reports on South Africa here.


[Summary Table]


1 From Global Fissile Material Inventories, June 2004.

2 South Africa dismantled all its nuclear weapons and associated programs in the early 1990s.  In 1991, after the bulk of the dismantling occurred, South Africa had over 800 kilograms of HEU (average roughly 70% uranium 235), the vast bulk of which was unirradiated.  Of this amount, South Africa used or irradiated about 200 kilograms of HEU in the Safari reactor as fuel (90% and 45% enriched) and targets (45% enriched).  South Africa may recover the HEU used in the targets, about one-quarter of the 200 kilograms of HEU used in the reactor.  Since the early 1990s, it may have blended down up to 150 kilograms of HEU in this stock of 800 kilograms to low enriched uranium.  Thus, the unirradiated HEU stock at the end of 2002 was about 450-600 kilograms.  This stock is estimated to have decreased in 2003 by roughly 20 kilograms of HEU that was used in the Safari reactor.  South Africa’s total HEU stock is roughly 600-750 kilograms as of the end of 2003.