Despite the Coronavirus pandemic, the global nuclear spending increased by $1.4 billion in 2020, a report by International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) has revealed.
According to the report, nine nuclear-armed countries spent an estimated $72.6 billion on nuclear weapons in 2020. It also included agreements worth $27.7 billion with defense contractors to build nuclear weapons. The defense contractors then spent $117 million on lobbying policymakers and $10 million on think tanks writing about nuclear weapons.
The US spent $37.4 billion on nuclear weapons in 2020. China and Russia followed the US and spent $10.1 billion and $8 billion on nuclear arms last year respectively.
The UK spent $6.2 billion on nuclear weapons in 2020, France $5.7 billion, and India $2.48 billion. Israel spent $1.1 billion on nuclear arms last year, Pakistan spent $1 billion, and North Korea spend $667 million.
Collectively, the nine nuclear-armed countries spent $137,666 every minute in 2020 for developing weapons of mass destruction.
On the other hand, Northrop Grumman, General Dynamics, Lockheed Martin, Raytheon Technologies, and Draper emerged as the top defense contractors profiting from agreements with nuclear-armed states.
Meanwhile, the Atlantic Council, Center for New American Security, Center for Strategic and International Studies, International Institute of Strategic Studies, and Royal United Services Institute emerged as the top think tanks benefitting from the nuclear defense contractors.