Get the Facts

Every year, the nine nuclear-armed-states spend insane sums of money on nuclear warheads and the missiles and bombs used to deliver them, instead of putting these resources towards the many urgent needs of their own citizens, humanity as whole or our planet. Imagine what we could do with the tens of billions of dollars are funnelled into the production and maintenance of nuclear weapons?  

Information is key to taking action, but there's a lot to unpack, so we're breaking things down into sections.

How much do they spend?

Video explainer on global nuclear weapons spending 2023

What could this money pay for?

Who profits?

 

How much do they spend?

ICAN's latest report "Surge: Global Nuclear Weapons Spending 2023" exposes the massive increase in global nuclear weapons spending. In 2023, these nine countries spent $91.4 billion on nuclear weapons, of which the private sector earned at least 30%. 

Read the report

Nearly $3000 per second... 

These numbers are so large that it can be hard to wrap our head around them, even when we break them down by minute, or second: 

The United States: $51.5 billion, $97,983/ minute, $1,663/ second
China: $11.9 billion, $22,546/ minute, $376/ second
Russia: $8.3 billion, $15,808/ minute, $263/ second
The United Kingdom: $8.1 billion, $15,331/ minute, $256/ second
France: $6.1 billion, $11,531/ minute, $192/ second
India: $2.6 billion $5,057/ minute, $84/ second
Israel: $1.1 billion, $2,075/ minute, $35/ minute
Pakistan: $1 billion, $1,924/ minute, $32/ second
North Korea: $856 million, $1,629/ minute, $27/ second

Global: $91.4 billion, $173,884 per minute, $2,898 per second on 12,121 nuclear weapons.

More of a video person?

In this explainer, Surge co-authors Alicia Sanders-Zakre and Susi Snyder dive into the key findings of the report: who spent what, what does the money go to, who is profiting, and what we can do about it:

What can the money be spent on instead? 

There are 91 billion better uses for that money than weapons of mass destruction. What could we do if those exorbitant sums were actually used to address real needs?  

1 second of nuclear weapons spending = 16,994 vaccines

One second of nuclear weapons spending could provide UNICEF with 16,994 measles, mumps, rubella vaccines.

1 minute of nuclear weapons spending = 1 million trees

One minute of nuclear weapons spending costs as much as planting 1 million trees.

1 hour of nuclear weapons spending = 535 solar powered homes

One hour of nuclear weapons spending costs as much as converting 535 homes to solar power

Billion_better_uses-_flyer_(2).png

1 day of nuclear weapons spending = 125 football fields

One day of nuclear weapons spending costs as much as building 125 community football fields (both buildings and land)

1 week of nuclear weapons spending = 27 million with water

One week of nuclear weapon spending could provide 27 million people with clean water sanitation for a year.

1 year of nuclear weapons spending = 13 years of food

With one year of nuclear weapons spending you could feed the 45 million people who are in danger of famine for 13 years

 

Help us spread the word! 

We've put these comparisons in a handy flyer: 

Download from Canva

 

 

 

What companies are involved?

Globally, nuclear-armed countries have contracts with companies to produce nuclear weapons totalling at least $335 billion continuing in some cases through 2040. Honeywell International earns the most from nuclear weapons related work, with Northrop Grumman a close second. When shareholders raised concerns about the Northrop Grumman's lobbying efforts to prevent the exploration of alternatives to nuclear weapons, they were told plainly that these lobby efforts are good for business.

The companies behind the bomb

How do they buy influence?

The companies that get contracts for nuclear weapons production then fund think tanks that research and write about nuclear weapons policies. The CEOs and board members of companies that produce nuclear weapons sit on some think tank advisory boards, serve as trustees or are listed as “partners” on their websites. Those companies continued to buy influence in the nuclear weapons debate by hiring lobbyists to sway decision makers that the only option is to go nuclear.

As companies throw money at lobbyists and researchers to assert the continued relevance and value of nuclear weapons, the record shows the inutility of weapons of mass destruction to address modern security challenges — and the legitimate fear, backed by peer-reviewed scientific evidence, that they can end global civilisation as we know it.

 

Want to go even deeper? 

Watch ICAN's financial sector expert Susi & "Untenable Investments" author Alejandra talk about those who profit from nuclear weapon production: 

 

So what do we do now?

Push back! From September 16 to 22, 2024 people all over the world are taking action with one message:  “No Money for Nuclear Weapons!” 
Now that you know what is at stake, check out our tools and ways to take action so you can join them.