Search icon


24th Jan 2023

Doomsday clock moves to 90 seconds before midnight – the closest ever

Jack Peat

The clock was founded by the US scientists involved in the Manhattan Project

The Doomsday clock has moved 10 seconds closer to midnight due to Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine.

Founded by the US scientists involved in the Manhatten Project, the clock has been tracking humanity’s proximity to annihilation since 1947 after the first nuclear bombs were released at the close of World War II.

The hypothetical timepiece is supposed to create an image that would ‘frighten men into rationality,’ according to Eugene Rabinowitch, the first editor of the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists.

But with global conflicts continuing to rage on, it is moving perilously close to the doomsday hour.

On Tuesday (24th January), researchers at the Science and Security Board of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists moved the hand to 90 seconds to midnight due to the war in Ukraine, which they believe will carry on for its second year.

It is ten seconds closer than it was in 2022, when the war first broke out.

The Bullient’s announcement notes: “Worst of all, Russia’s thinly veiled threats to use nuclear weapons remind the world that escalation of the conflict—by accident, intention, or miscalculation—is a terrible risk. The possibility that the conflict could spin out of anyone’s control remains high,’ the announcement reads.

“Russia’s recent actions contravene decades of commitments by Moscow. In 1994, Russia joined the United States and United Kingdom in Budapest, Hungary, to solemnly declare that it would ‘respect the independence and sovereignty and the existing borders of Ukraine’ and ‘refrain from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of Ukraine…”

The scientists also highlight that Russia has brought the war to Chernobyl and Zaporizhzhia nuclear reactor sites, violating international protocols and risking widespread release of radioactive materials.

Related links: