Eliminating Nuclear Warheads; August 1993; Scientific American Magazine; by Frank von Hippel, Marvin Miller, Harold Feiveson, Anatoli Diakov and Frans Berkhout; 6 Page(s)
The U.S. and the former Soviet Union are making deep cuts in their cold war arsenals. In the long run, the elimination of tens of thousands of surplus nuclear weapons will greatly reduce the threat of nuclear war. In the short term, however, chaotic conditions in the former Soviet Union pose a danger that weapons or materials derived from them may find their way to renegade states or terrorist groups.
About 35,000 nuclear warheads are scattered across the territory of four of the nations that were born when the Soviet Union disintegrated late in 1991: Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan and Belarus. Political struggle persists within Russia, which inherited the largest part of the arsenal, as does friction between Russia and Ukraine, which inherited the second largest part.