Thank you, Ambassador Eberhard and Under Secretary Jenkins, for the nice introduction and for your strong partnership with NNSA.
I'm pleased to be here today to demonstrate U.S. transparency of our nuclear weapons stockpile. For the past 50 years, the United States has been committed to its responsibility to work towards nuclear disarmament under the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons. As you will see in just a few minutes, the United States has dramatically reduced the number of nuclear weapons in our stockpile since the height of the Cold War, in line with our obligations under Article Six of the NPT. The historical release of our stockpile quantities demonstrates our commitment to transparency and disarmament progress.
Over the past 10 years, we have released our stockpile numbers three times, in 2010, 2015 and 2017. Today I will be releasing the aggregate number of active and inactive warheads in the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile from 2018 to 2020, reinforcing our leadership and commitment to confidence-building and the NPT Review process.
The graphs on the screen depict the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile from 1945 until today. At its highest peak, the United States had just over 31,000 nuclear weapons in its stockpile. At the end of the Cold War, the United States had more than 23,000 nuclear weapons. Our commitment to disarmament is clear. At the end of Fiscal Year 2020, we had 3,750 weapons, approximately an 88 percent decrease from the height of our stockpile in 1967, and an approximately 83 percent reduction from the end of the Cold War. Not only do we have fewer weapons, we also have fewer weapon types than we did at the end of the Cold War.
Examining the current time period, you can see the numbers generally decrease and level out3,750. We still believe in minimal credible deterrence as we work toward a world in which the security environment allows for further disarmament progress. In addition to reducing our nuclear weapons stockpile, NNSA has dismantled thousands of weapons since the end of the Cold War.
Between 1994 and 2020, the United States dismantled 11,683 nuclear weapons. Since September 2017, we have dismantled 711 nuclear warheads. There are now approximately 2,000 nuclear warheads in our nuclear stockpile retired and awaiting dismantlement. We are making progress in dismantling our warheads and reducing them to their component parts, contributing both towards disarmament and non-proliferation.
As long as nuclear weapons exist, the United States is committed to maintaining a safe, secure and effective nuclear arsenal. At the same time, the United States is committed to transparency and confidence-building in the NPT so that we can work towards a world in which the security environment allows for further disarmament progress. The United States releases more information on our stockpile than any other nuclear weapons state, and we call on Russia and China to do the same.
As a further display of transparency, NNSA releases a yearly report to Congress, titled the “Stockpile Stewardship Management Plan,” or SSMP. The SSMP lays out DOE/NNSA’s plan to ensure the safety, security, and effectiveness of the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile and to maintain the scientific and engineering tools, capabilities and infrastructure that underpin the Nuclear Security Enterprise.
We also release a companion document to the SSMP, titled “Prevent, Counter and Respond, a Strategic Plan to Reduce Global Nuclear Threats.” This document outlines our efforts to prevent proliferation of nuclear weapons and technology, as we have committed to do under the NPT for the last 50 years.
These two companion documents give a detailed explanation of our commitment to both disarmament and non-proliferation. I hope it is clear to you today that the United States is committed to transparency and disarmament progress. We have made demonstrable progress in warhead reductions, reflected in the release of our stockpile numbers and exercised through NNSA’s non-proliferation and arms control programs. The entire U.S. government is committed to this endeavor. Thank you.