At least nine countries possess nuclear weapons today. These are the United States, Russia, China, India, Pakistan, Britain, France, North Korea, and Israel. It is likely that some other countries are either in the process of developing nuclear weapons now, or will do so in the future. The ability of a country to develop nuclear weapons is greatly increased if that country has a nuclear power program; over 40 countries are now using nuclear power for electricity, so each of these nations likely would have the ability to develop nuclear weapons in the future. This is one of the major problems with increasing global reliance on nuclear power for energy: doing so will inevitably lead to the spread of nuclear technology that gives new countries the ability to build weapons of mass destruction.
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