IP - Global spending on nuclear weapons rose by 13% to a record $91.4 bln last year, a report by the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) showed.

Iran PressEurope: According to the Melbourne-based organization, in 2023, nine nuclear powers invested $10.8 bln, or 13.4%, more in efforts to maintain and upgrade their arsenals than in the previous year, with total spending on nukes rising to $91.4 bln, or $2,898 per second, ICAN data show.

The United States remains the largest investor in nuclear weapons as it spent $51.5 bln on its nuclear arms in 2023, a rise from $43.7 bln in 2022. China was second with total spending of $11.9 bln last year as compared to $11.7 bln in 2022, followed by Russia at $8.3 bln ($9.6 bln in 2022).

In the past five years, yearly spending grew by 34%, or by $23.2 bln, ICAN data showed. Over that period, the US increased its spending by 45%, and Britain by 43%, the international organization said. Global nuclear weapons spending is forecast to exceed $100 bln in 2024.

Earlier, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) published an assessment showing that as of January 2024, there were 12,121 warheads in the world, including 9,585 in military stockpiles for potential use. Russia and the United States possess the bulk of the warheads, and China is believed to have put some of its warheads on high operational alert for the first time.

Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshimasa Hayashi commented on SIPRI's report, stating that the international security situation is becoming more complex, and under these circumstances, the path to a world without nuclear weapons is becoming more difficult.