U.S. Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman (file photo) (official site)
March 15, 2006 -- U.S. Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman today called on nations to work together to give developing countries greater access to nuclear power while reducing the risk of proliferation of potentially dangerous technologies.
Bodman, in Moscow for a meeting of energy ministers of the G8 group of most industrialized nations, said the United Nations should oversee a new program, the Global Nuclear Energy Partnership.
He said the program is at an early stage, but that the United States has already had encouraging consultations with France, Russia, and China.
Russian President Vladimir Putin recently proposed setting up internationally monitored nuclear-fuel centers that would be open to all countries seeking to develop atomic energy for peaceful purposes.
DECLARED NUCLEAR-WEAPONS COUNTRIES:
country warheads (est.) date of first test
United States 10,500 1945
Russia 18,000 1949
United Kingdom 200 1952
France 350 1960
China 400 1964
India 60-90 1974
Pakistan 28-48 1998
North Korea 0-18 2006
Israel is widely believed to possess nuclear weapons, but it has not declared itself a nuclear-armed country.
South Africa constructed six uranium bombs but voluntarily dismantled them.
Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Ukraine all gave up the nuclear weapons that were on their territory when the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991.