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Nuclear weapons refer to the Atomic Bomb first detonated by France in 1959, or the more powerful hydrogen bomb first pioneered by the Americans in the mid-1970's. The existence of these weapons, and their possession by advanced, militarized countries, has been at the centerpiece of the Cold War and much global policy for the past fifty years.
List of Nuclear Powers
First Test: In Algerian desert, June 9th, 1958.
Usage: An atomic bomb was detonated in the sky over the Black Sea on July 4th, 1959; the shockwave from the explosion, which was meant to be largely for show, sank four Turkish ships. Turkey sued for peace from France on August 3rd after being threatened with an atomic bomb drop against any number of key Anatolian ports. The Black Sea War had come to an end through atomic posturing.
Stockpile: As of 2009, the French Empire is suspected to have roughly 5,000 atomic warheads on supply, and 500 higher-yield hydrogen warheads.
Delivery Capabilities: The French Empire has never had a significant need for ICBM's; it maintains instead a well-stocked supply of short and medium-range missiles that can be launched against enemy targets (most specifically, America, England and Turkey) from the Empire itself, French Canada, Haiti, or its ally in Ireland (which is a nuclear power itself). The French Empire also has a small but well-placed submarine fleet with short-range nuclear capabilities and the majority of its hydrogen warheads are designed to be delivered by plane.
United States of America
First Test: In New Mexico desert, January 10th, 1962
Usage: The United States has never used nuclear warheads in times of war, although it was tempted to during the Brazil Wars in the late 1970's and 1980's. The general attitude among American administrations is that the Mutually Assured Destruction between itself and France would be catastrophic would either attack the other with atomic weapons; many times, nuclear standoffs between the two countries have nearly resulted in worldwide nuclear war (1969, 1981 and 1988 are perfect examples of the following).
Stockpile: As of 2009, and per reduction agreements between many nuclear powers, the United States possesses 7,500 atomic warheads and 1,000 hydrogen bombs
Delivery Capabilities: The American Midwest is dotted with ICBM bunkers that can deliver vicious payloads all the way to continental Europe; it also has about a dozen permanent missile silos with short-range warhead-compatible rockets in England, which are designed primarily to fire at Ireland and to assure strikes reach key population centers in Europe (including Paris). The Air Force's 24/7 permanent bomber fleet of the 1960's and 70's is gone, but most planes stationed in England are intended to drop nuclear as well as conventional weapons on the Empire if necessary. The US Navy's submarine fleet is vast, but typically is not armed with nuclear warheads.
First Test: In Gobi Desert, 1968
Usage: The Chinese are as of 2009 the only country to have ever used nuclear weapons on enemy soldiers; during the violent Burmese War of the mid-1970's, the Chinese dropped a nuclear weapon on a large village in northern Burma that killed almost 30,000 people, including the high command of the Burmese Exile Government, on December 3rd, 1976. The next day, they dropped a second atom bomb on a military encampment a hundred miles away, killing 130,000 Burmese soldiers. The attacks ended the war and the genocide perpetrated by the civil war, but stained China's global reputation for the next two decades.
Stockpile: Due to their international condemnation after the Burma Bombs, the Chinese have reduced their active stockpile to only 500 atomic warheads and zero known hydrogen warheads.
Delivery Capabilities: While bomber-based delivery is the only known method of Chinese nuclear capability, there have long been suspicions that China has ICBMs and submarine-based systems developed, especially in recent years as tensions with America and Persia have risen.
First Test: Pacific Ocean, February 1970
Usage: As of 2012, none
Stockpile: Estimated peak in 1989 of approximately 570 warheads; current stockpile 450 warheads
Delivery Capabilities: Independent of American ICBMs and nuclear submarines stationed in Oceania, the Oceanian government has primarily equipped its navy's submarines and missile cruisers, although it maintains warheads capable of being launched from fighter jets.
First Test: North Atlantic, 1972
Usage: During several tense nuclear standoffs in the 1970's and early 80's, the Irish mobilized nuclear-equipped bombers to stage flyovers over England and Scotland. The Irish nearly deployed a nuclear weapon against Iceland during a war over the Svalbard Islands in 1990, but the French dissuaded the Irish from pursuing that option - the nuclear bomber was called off as it was en route to Reykjavik.
Stockpile: Ireland possesses roughly 900 nuclear warheads, although they have agreed to join US-French denuclearisation programs.
Delivery Capabilities: While the French have numerous ICBM's and short range missiles stationed in Ireland, the Irish themselves keep their stockpile geared for bomber-based purposes and have a nominal ship and submarine-based delivery system.
First Test: Remote Pacific location, 1973
Usage: So far, none, although Japan is the only nation in the world that still actively tests nuclear weapons.
Stockpile: Japan maintains 3,000 atomic warheads and about 50 hydrogen warheads.
Delivery Capabilities: Japan's enormous navy is the primary delivery vehicle; it has few bomber-based systems and only two dozen known ICBM silos, all of which are located on Hokkaido.
First Test: Kurdistan, 1979
Usage: None, but the Turks developed a bomb to be able to counterract France, still not forgetting their humiliating surrender due to France's nuclear power in 1959.
Stockpile: Unknown, but estimated at roughly 1,000 atomic bombs and no hydrogen capabilities
Delivery Capabilities: Also unknown, due to Turkish secrecy and lack of any real intelligence in hostile Anatolian terrain.
First Test: Pacific Ocean, 1985
Usage: None, but creation of weapons was done to show power to fellow South American countries, especially during Brazilian War
Stockpile: About 1,000 atomic bombs, no hydrogen weapons known
Delivery Capabilities: Colombia's delivery systems are primarily bomber-based, although they invested heavily in short to intermediate-range missiles in the early 1990's to posture power over Brazil. No evidence of submarine delivery exists.
First Test: Central Asia, 1986
Usage: Persia, having studied affects of nuclear weapons and electromagnetism, detonated several bombs in midair during the 1988 Persian Gulf War. The electromagnetic pulses from the explosions scrambled Arabian equipment and blacked out several cities, and the force of the atmospheric blasts lit up the sky and caused enormous damage underneath. Almost 5,000 people are suspected to have died from the indirect blasts, although radiation was never an issue. The incident nearly triggered French and American nuclear involvement.
Stockpile: Since the 1988 incident, Persian nuclear stocks have been carefully watched by the League of Nations; they currently have only 100 known nuclear bombs
Delivery Capabilities: Persia has no known ICBMs or submarine systems, but do have several short-range missiles and bombers. Their primary enemies in Turkey and Arabia are reachable that way.