In 2020, the world’s nuclear powers have decreased the overall number of nuclear weapons in their possession, but more of them than a year ago are now ready to be fired at short notice, according to a report.

At the start of the year, there were around 13,080 nuclear weapons stockpiled by nine nations – the US, Russia, the UK, France, China, India, Pakistan, Israel, and North Korea – which is down from 13,400 a year prior, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) reported on Monday. Yet, at the same time, the number of nukes deployed with operational forces – that is, mounted on missiles or stored where they can be quickly prepared for use – has increased by about 105, reaching 3,825.

Russia and the US, the two nations holding most of the world’s nuclear weapons, were predominantly responsible for both changes, SIPRI said. Both have continued to reduce their respective arsenals by retiring outdated warheads, but also prepared for action, adding some 50 weapons each. (RT)