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– Hans Blix,
former IAEA Director-General

The Nuclear Testing Tally
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In May, India conducted its first nuclear tests in 24 years, followed by Pakistan conducting its first tests ever. The tests—the first since the signing of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) in September 1996—present the most significant challenge to the nuclear non-proliferation regime in decades. In a May 11 press statement, India said it would be prepared "to consider being an adherent to some of the undertakings" of the CTBT provided certain conditions were met. Pakistan has maintained it would be prepared to sign the CTBT if India does.

United States (1,030)
First tested: Jul. 16, 1945.
Last tested: Sept. 23, 1992.
Signed CTBT: Sept. 24, 1996.

USSR/Russia (715 tests)
First tested: Aug. 29, 1949.
Last tested: Oct. 24, 1990.
Signed CTBT: Sept. 24, 1996.

Great Britain (45 tests)
First tested: Oct. 3, 1952.
Last tested: Nov. 26, 1991.
Signed CTBT: Sept. 24, 1996.
Deposited CTBT Ratification:
Apr. 6, 1998.

France (210 tests)
First tested: Feb. 13, 1960.
Last tested: Jan. 27, 1996.
Signed CTBT: Sept. 24, 1996.
Deposited CTBT Ratification:
Apr. 6, 1998.

China (45 tests)
First tested: Oct. 16, 1964.
Last tested: Jul. 29, 1996.
Signed CTBT: Sept. 24, 1996.

India (3 tests1)
First tested: May 18, 1974.
Subsequent tests May 11, 1998 and May 13, 1998.
Not a CTBT signatory.

Pakistan (2 tests1)
First tested: May 28, 1998.
Subsequent test May 30, 1998.
Not a CTBT signatory.

 

Year United States USSR/ Russia Britain France China India Pakistan Total
1945 1             1
1946 2             2
1947 0             0
1948 3             3
1949 0 1           1
1950 0 0           0
1951 16 2           18
1952 10 0 1         11
1953 11 5 2         18
1954 6 10 0         16
1955 18 6 0         24
1956 18 9 6         33
1957 32 16 7         55
1958 77 34 5         116
1959 0 0 0         0
1960 0 0 0 3       3
1961 10 59 0 2       71
1962 96 79 2 1       178
1963 47 0 0 3       50
1964 45 9 2 3 1     60
1965 38 14 1 4 1     58
1966 48 18 0 7 3     76
1967 42 17 0 3 2     64
1968 56 17 0 5 1     79
1969 46 19 0 0 2     67
1970 39 16 0 8 1     64
1971 24 23 0 5 1     53
1972 27 24 0 4 2     57
1973 24 17 0 6 1     48
1974 22 21 1 9 1 1   55
1975 22 19 0 2 1 0   44
1976 20 21 1 5 4 0   51
1977 20 24 0 9 1 0   54
1978 19 31 2 11 3 0   66
1979 15 31 1 10 1 0   58
1980 14 24 3 12 1 0   54
1981 16 21 1 12 0 0   50
1982 18 19 1 10 1 0   49
1983 18 25 1 9 2 0   55
1984 18 27 2 8 2 0   57
1985 17 10 1 8 0 0   36
1986 14 0 1 8 0 0   23
1987 14 23 1 8 1 0   47
1988 15 16 0 8 1 0   40
1989 11 7 1 9 0 0   28
1990 8 1 1 6 2 0   18
1991 7 0 1 6 0 0   14
1992 6 0 0 0 2 0   8
1993 0 0 0 0 1 0   1
1994 0 0 0 0 2 0   2
1995 0 0 0 5 2 0   7
1996 0 0 0 1 2 0   3
1997 0 0 0 0 0 0   0
1998 0 0 0 0 0 2 2 4
Total 1,030 715 45 210 45 3 2 2,050
NOTE

1. In accordance with the definition of a nuclear test contained in the Threshold Test Ban Treaty and to allow accurate comparison with other countries' figures, India's three simultaneous nuclear explosions on May 11 are counted as only one nuclear test, as are the two explosions on May 13. Likewise, Pakistan's five simultaneous explosions on May 28 are counted as a single test.

 

Posted: May 1, 1998