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Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty / Test Moratorium

FAS Perspectives

  • False Fears About a Test Ban By Ray Kidder, Lynn Sykes and Frank von Hippel
  • Nuclear Test Ban Treaty needed to help prevent nuclear war by Charles D. Ferguson
  • Test ban treaty is last line of defense against nuclear espionage by Charles Ferguson and Daryl Kimball
  • Ratify Test Ban Treaty to Help Protect Nuclear Secrets by Charles Ferguson
  • Our Dealings with the Middle Kingdom by Charles D. Ferguson
  • The Case for the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty David Hafemeister
  • Small Earthquake Near Russian Test Site Leads to U.S. Charges of Cheating on Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty By Lynn R. Sykes
  • The Department of Energy's Stockpile Stewardship Program by Frank von Hippel

    Related Web Sites

  • CTBTO PrepCom Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization, Vienna
  • Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty @ DOS
  • Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty Site @ Coalition to Reduce Nuclear Dangers
  • Nuclear Test Ban Treaty NOW Action Site
  • Prototype International Data Center (pIDC), Arlington
  • Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty @ Cornell Peace Studies Program
  • Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty Research & Development Program U.S. Department of Energy
  • Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) @ Navy Arms Control Homepage
  • Reports of the Foster Panel on the Reliability, Safety, and Security of the U.S. Nuclear Stockpile

    Chronological archive of news reports, factsheets, announcements, speeches and other related material.

    A chronological listing of major events and developoments.

    Primary documents, including treaty text and associated memoranda, statements, Congressional Hearings and other related material.

    Prohibits any nuclear explosion whether for weapons or peaceful purposes. The Treaty establishes an organization to ensure implementation, which includes a Conference of States Parties, an Executive Council and a Technical Secretariat, which includes the International Data Center. The Treaty includes a Protocol which details the International Monitoring System (IMS), On-Site Inspections (OSI) and on Confidence Building Measures.

    To date, all but 3 of the 44 nations (India, Pakistan, and North Korea) have signed the CTBT and 31 of the Annex 2 states (those that have nuclear weapons or nuclear facilities whose signature and ratification are required to bring the treaty into force) have ratified the treaty. Of the 13 states that have signed, but not ratified the treaty the United States of American and the People's Republic of China are notable exceptions.


    1999 CTBT Review Conference

    2001 CTBT Review Conference

    The CTBT's extensive verification regime includes: an International Monitoring System, an International Data Center, on-site inspections, and confidence-building measures. The International Monitoring System will be composed of four global monitoring regimes; 1) seismological, with 50 primary stations and 120 auxiliary stations; 2) radionuclide, with 80 stations monitoring particulates and 40 stations (to be extended to 80 in the future) monitoring noble gases; 3) hydroacoustic, (monitoring for sound waves caused by a nuclear explosion in the ocean), with 11 stations; and 4) infrasound (monitoring for very low frequency sound waves in the atmosphere which could be caused by a nuclear explosion), with 60 stations. The International Data Center, to be accessible to all States Parties, will receive, collect, process, analyze, report on, and archive data from International Monitoring System facilities. On-site inspections, to determine whether a suspected nuclear explosion detected by the monitoring stations actually occurred, can have three phases: 1) overflight/visual observation, photography, radioactivity measurement, environmental sampling, and passive seismic monitoring for aftershocks; 2) active seismic surveys, to locate underground anomalies, plus magnetic and gravitational field mapping, ground-penetrating radar surveys and electrical conductivity measurements; and 3) drilling to obtain radioactive samples.

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