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Subject: Spending on Nuclear Weapon Programmes - France, Russia, China, UK, etc.
Roman    1/29/2006 12:23:08 PM
From the nuclear audit we have approximate figures of U.S. spending on nuclear weapons (circa $5.5 trillion from 1940 to 1995). Regretfully, I cannot find any similar information regarding spending on annual and cumulative spending on nuclear armaments by other nations. Russian, Franch, Chinese and UK's outlays over the years would be particularly interesting to know, but spending of other nations (e.g. India, Pakistan, Israel, Iran, North Korea, Germany, Japan, etc.) for such purposes would also be welcome. If anybody knows of any estimates for such spending for these countries, I would be grateful. Thanks!
 
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jlb    RE:Spending on Nuclear Weapon Programmes - France, Russia, China, UK, etc.    1/30/2006 8:58:36 AM
About ten years ago I read that France had spent about 1,600 bn FF on its nuclear weapons program since its inception in the mid-fifties. That's about € 240 bn.
 
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Roman    RE:Spending on Nuclear Weapon Programmes - France, Russia, China, UK, etc.    1/30/2006 2:02:59 PM
Interesting piece of info - although a substantial sum, it is less than I would have expected. I would guess it to be even lower for Britain.
 
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Nanheyangrouchuan    RE:Spending on Nuclear Weapon Programmes - France, Russia, China, UK, etc.    1/30/2006 9:00:54 PM
Those numbers may go up if Europe and the UK decide to modernize and now that Iran is a threat they have a reason to.
 
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Roman    RE:Spending on Nuclear Weapon Programmes - France, Russia, China, UK, etc.    1/30/2006 10:11:17 PM
Nanhey - that may be true, though I would say French and British deterrents are sufficient. JLB - do you know if the 1,600 bn FF / € 240 bn is in current (at the time you read it) money or contemporary money? That makes a huge difference.
 
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jlb    RE:Spending on Nuclear Weapon Programmes - France, Russia, China, UK, etc.    1/31/2006 6:56:31 AM
Corrected for inflation, that would be roughly 330 bn of today's Euros. Current spendings are on the order of € 10bn/year for the whole deterrent - that is, including SSBN's. No, it's not that large a sum of money, but France never built that many warheads anyway, and the fissile material from obsolete bombs is recycled into modern warheads and that's a huge saving. I'd also expect most of the uranium for the outer casing of fusion stages to have come as a byproduct of civilian powerplants - France only started to make fusion warheads in the 1970's, at a time when the civilian program was already quite advanced, while the US made thousands of bombs in the 1950's for which all of the fissile material must have come from dedicated military facilities. All in all, I'd be surprised if France had made much more than 5t of military-grade Pu. Of course, should the need arise, there's a very large stockpile of civilian-grade Pu that's still perfectly suitable for making good old plane-dropped bombs. :)
 
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nominoe    RE:Spending on Nuclear Weapon Programmes - France, Russia, China, UK, etc.    1/31/2006 9:32:53 AM
"All in all, I'd be surprised if France had made much more than 5t of military-grade Pu. Of course, should the need arise, there's a very large stockpile of civilian-grade Pu that's still perfectly suitable for making good old plane-dropped bombs. :)" anyway i think being a nuclear power is not about "how many" warheads you can field. US ended a war with only two tiny warheads, after all. you can make bombs to destroy 250x our planet. but 1x is sufficient ;)
 
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Roman    RE:Spending on Nuclear Weapon Programmes - France, Russia, China, UK, etc.    2/1/2006 3:27:22 AM
Interesting, jlb, 240 billion EURO unudjusted and 330 billion EURO adjusted for inflation... Comparable U.S. figures are 3.3 billion USD unadjusted and 5.5 billion adjusted for inflation from 1940 to 1945.
 
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french stratege    RE:Spending on Nuclear Weapon Programmes - France, Russia, China, UK, etc.    2/1/2006 6:57:12 AM
Roman your figure are corrects.On US case a lot is in operational deploiement in cold war as having a fleet of B52 turning in flight around the pole 24/24 is quite expensive. In the case of France spending on R&D is greater in total %. Even today, on 3,1 B€ nuclear procurement spending, 40% is spend on building, spares for maintaining and training and 60% in R&D. In US , a great majority on a much bigger budget (5 times more roughly in PPP)is spend on maintaining and training. On the 3100 m€, only 240 m€ are spend on maintening warheads.
 
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french stratege    addendum   2/1/2006 6:58:11 AM
On the 3100 m€, only 240 m€ are spend on maintening warheads FOR FRANCE of course.
 
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jlb    RE:Spending on Nuclear Weapon Programmes - France, Russia, China, UK, etc.    2/1/2006 12:37:20 PM
Roman, I don't know the inflation figures for the US over the last 60 years, but even at a very reasonnable yearly average of 3%, over 60 years that's 489% inflation, so those $ 3.3bn of 1945 should be the current equivalent of roughly $20bn, and that's a pretty conservative estimate.
 
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