Nuclear Proliferation

Since the Americans exploded an atomic bomb in the New Mexico desert at Alamogordo on July 16 1945, over


nuclear devices have been detonated by nine different countries:

Country Tests Devices
USA 1,032 1,132
USSR 727 981
UK 88 88
France 217 217
China 47 48
India 3 6
Pakistan 2 6
Israel/South Africa1 1 1
North Korea2 4 4

These ranged in size from a few kilotons to a Russian device (Tsar Bomba) of over 50 megatons exploded over Novaya Zemlya in October 1961. This explosion was so large that the shockwave travelled three times around the globe and the mushroom cloud rose to 60 kilometres.

Atomic mushroom cloud


  1. The Vela Incident was an unidentified double flash of light detected on 22 September 1979 in the Indian Ocean. The most widespread theory is that it resulted from a joint South African and Israeli nuclear test.
  2. On 6 January 2016 North Korea claimed to have detonated a fusion device. This is currently unconfirmed.