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Report: Israel stopped producing nukes in 2004

(JTA) — Israel stopped producing nuclear warheads nine years ago when it reached a stockpile of 80, according to a new report.

According to the September-October issue of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, which was released over the weekend, some 125,000 nuclear warheads have been built since 1945 — approximately 97 percent by the United States, the Soviet Union and Russia.

The report by Hans Kristensen and Robert Norris calculated that Israel began making nuclear warheads in 1967 and produced between two and three each year through 2004 before freezing production.

Citing U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency data, the article said that Israel’s nuclear stockpile will “modestly increase” by 2020.

Israel has neither confirmed nor denied that is possesses nuclear weapons.

The article noted rumors that Israel is equipping some of its submarines with nuclear-capable cruise missiles and is estimated to have produced fissile material sufficient for 115 to 190 warheads.

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