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Nations Spent $73bn on Nuclear Arms Amid COVID-19, UK in 3rd as US Tops at Half of Global Costs

By Demond Cureton – Sputnik – 13.05.2020

Despite being the global epicentre of COVID-19 cases and deaths, the world’s leading nuclear power accounted for roughly half of total global spending on nuclear arms, a shock report from a major Swiss nonprofit coalition found.

Nuclear armed states spent a record $73bn on nuclear weapons amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, a report from the Geneva-based International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) revealed.

The report, entitled Enough Is Enough: 2019 Global Nuclear Weapons Spending, found an increase of nuclear weapons spending in 2019, up $7.1bn from 2018.

The findings, which assessed the world’s leading nuclear powers – The United States, United Kingdom, France, China, Russia, Pakistan, India, Israel and North Korea – revealed that top nuclear powers spent $138,699 on over 13,000 nuclear weapons every minute of 2019.

The amount of money the US spent in 2019 alone could pay for 300,000 intensive care unit beds, 150,000 nurses, 75,000 doctors and 35,000 ventilators, the report found.

But the United Kingdom was the third highest spender at $8.9bn after the US and China at $35bn and $10.4bn, respectively, according to the report.

“It is absurd to be spending $138,700 every single minute on weapons that cause catastrophic human harm rather than spending it to protect the health of their citizens. They are abdicating their duty to protect their people,” ICAN executive director, Beatrice Fihn, said in a statement.

Nuclear arms were banned by the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW), which the UN will enforce after all participating 50 nations ratify or accede the document, effectively criminalising such expenditures under international law.

But the figures only included direct spending on nuclear warheads and delivery systems costs for operation and deployment, with real numbers skyrocketing after factoring in costs due to environmental damage and victim compensation, with ICAN calling on governments to remain transparent in disclosing expenses, the statement read.

2019 Nuclear Defence Spending ICAN

International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN)

Alicia Sanders-Zakre, author of the report, said: “The figures do not include the massive humanitarian costs and the environmental toll from a legacy of nuclear testing and production. Even in the unlikely chance these weapons are never used, governments are paying massive sums to poison their environments and put their people at grave risk.”

The news comes as British MPs slammed the Ministry of Defence for wasting £1.3bn ($1.6bn) on upgrading the country’s nuclear Trident programme, which is currently six years behind schedule. Costs were estimated at £2.5bn for the three upgrade programmes, which have spiked an additional £1.35bn, according to reports.

May 13, 2020 - Posted by | Environmentalism, Militarism, Timeless or most popular | ,


  1. Once you start a Nuclear Arms Race, you are then compelled, by competition, to increase expenditure as others try to match, or counter your power. And, added to that, if you treat the rest of the World with unconcealed contempt in the only place that can bring about World Peace, the United Nations, you are really looking for trouble.

    The USA Government’s(and its Israeli dominated Congress), contempt for so many other countries in the World, is leading us all into very dangerous territory, not to mention, sending the USA broke.
    The only country that can stop this madness is the USA, but only if it wants to.


    Comment by brianharryaustralia | May 13, 2020 | Reply

  2. Odd that this scandalous waste of taxes gets no MSM mention. Covid-19 is a convenient smotherer of other news. And this waste does not include the untold cost of neutralizing the waste irradiated materials it generates. As Brian Harry says, it has built-in escalation. And the non-nuclear countries threatened by nuclear states such as Iran by Israel are also entitled to nuclear defences. Yes, the US could end the MADness. That could happen if its taxpayers and environmentalists exposed the nuclear arms industrial complex as a criminal cabal corrupting government in contravention of the Constitution and took legal action to arrest the lobbyists and CEO’s and put them away. At the same time the 120 Non-Aligned (non-nuclear) States could unite to boycott the exclusive clubbers until they bury their nuclear hatchets.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by jbthring | May 16, 2020 | Reply

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