It’s estimated that a 10 kiloton nuclear weapon can kill 1.32 million people (or cause 1.3 megadeaths, which is an awesome term).

There are approximately 15,000 nuclear weapons globally, according to the research, with the US and Russia accounting for nearly 90 percent of that total.

So, theoretically 19,500 megadeaths (19.5 gigadeaths) could be produced by our current asenal.  There are currently 7.53 billion people in the world.  Hence, it should be possible to kill everyone on the planet 2.6 times.

As of 2017, the US has an estimated 4,018 nuclear weapons in either deployment or storage. So the US would be capable of killing 5.2 billion people.  That leaves 2.3 billion people that we’d still need to kill.  However, if we killed everyone in Russia first, we could steal their bombs and kill everyone on the planet 2.6 times.

Between 1940 and 1996, the U.S. spent $8.63 trillion on nuclear weapons development.

How many nuclear bombs should we have?  How likely are we to be killed by a foreign power than by a disease like cancer or Alzheimers?  How much should we be spending on research to cure diseases relative to building more nuclear weapons?  Please let me know in the comments!

Sources

  1. http://www.askamathematician.com/2010/01/q-would-it-be-possible-to-kill-all-of-earths-life-with-nuclear-bombs/
  2. http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20081102114242AA71te2
  3. http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=389×183859
  4. https://www.google.com/webhp?sourceid=chrome-instant&ie=UTF-8&ion=1#hl=en&safe=off&sclient=psy-ab&q=how+many+warheads+would+it+take+to+kill+everyone&oq=how+many+warheads+would+it+take+to+kill+everyone&gs_l=hp.3…1354.36694.1.37105.41.25.9.4.4.1.184.2567.17j8.25.0.les%3B..0.0…1c.1.SrxWj2Sm_PU&pbx=1&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_cp.r_qf.&fp=9ab7bdb26321ca5d&ion=1&biw=1179&bih=891
  5. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_weapons_and_the_United_States#United_States_strategic_nuclear_weapons_arsenal
  6. https://www.worldometers.info/world-population/
  7. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_projected_death_tolls_from_nuclear_attacks_on_cities

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