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CTBT Factsheet

CTBT Factsheet

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The Comprehensive Nuclear-Test Ban Treaty is a zero-yield ban on nuclear testing that builds upon a long and bipartisan history of attempts to halt nuclear testing.

The CTBT is an important step in enhancing American national security interests: it allows us to maintain our own strong nuclear deterrent while deterring and preventing other non-nuclear states from developing nuclear weapons.

As the U.S. marks twenty years since its last nuclear test, this fact sheet presents the history, elements, and reasons for ratification of the CTBT.
The Comprehensive Nuclear-Test Ban Treaty is a zero-yield ban on nuclear testing that builds upon a long and bipartisan history of attempts to halt nuclear testing.

The CTBT is an important step in enhancing American national security interests: it allows us to maintain our own strong nuclear deterrent while deterring and preventing other non-nuclear states from developing nuclear weapons.

As the U.S. marks twenty years since its last nuclear test, this fact sheet presents the history, elements, and reasons for ratification of the CTBT.

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Categories:Types, Research
Published by: The American Security Project on Sep 19, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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www.AmericanSecurityProject.org1100 New York Avenue, NW Suite 710W Washington, DC
Te Comprehensive est Banreaty 
Sean Boers September, 2012
In Brie 
•
Te Comprehensive est Ban reaty prohibits nuclear tests o any yield in any envi-ronment.
•
Te U.S. has observed a moratorium on nuclear testing or twenty years, but has notyet ratied the CB.
•
Many national security and technical experts assess that ratiying the CB wouldenhance U.S. national security interests.
Background: Elements o the reaty 
Te Comprehensive Nuclear est Ban reaty (CB) isa zero-yield treaty, that is, it prohibits testing o any kindo nuclear device, in any environment, or any purpose.
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 As a zero-yield treaty, the CB difers rom past test ban trea-ties, which prohibited nuclear testing in certain environments orabove certain thresholds.
•
 A total ban on testing denies states who would seek nuclear weapons the ability to use nuclear test data or weaponizationpurposes.Te Comprehensive Nuclear est Ban reaty is not currently in orce.In order to enter into orce the treaty must be signed and ratied by the44 states that participated in the negotiation o the treaty rom 1994-1996 and that possessed nuclear power or research reactors at the time.
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•
Eight o these 44 states (sometimes reerred to as the Annex 2 states) have not yetratied the CB: China, Egypt, India, Iran, Israel, North Korea, Pakistan, and theUnited States.
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•
 A total o 157 states have both signed and ratied the CB.
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Sean Boers is policy analyst and research intern at the American Security Project 
 
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 AmericAn security project
Te U.S. signed the CB on 24 September 1996, but has not yet ratied the treaty. However, the U.S. hasobserved a moratorium on nuclear testing since October 1992.
Monitoring and Verifcation
Te Comprehensive Nuclear-est-Ban reaty Organization (CBO) implements theInternational Monitoring System, a worldwide monitoring and verication regime comprisedo 321 monitoring acilities and 16 laboratories.
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oday, the IMS is about 85 percent complete.
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•
Te system uses seismic, hydroacoustic, and inrasound stations to detect signs o an explosion romthe land, sea, and air respectively; radionuclide stations are used to detect radioactive debris rom ex-plosions.
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Te IMS can detect with high degree o condence ully coupled explosions with yields above 1 kilo-ton.
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Tis data can be collected and analyzed within two hours o the explosion.
•
o supplement this detection capability, on-site inspections can be conducted in the event o a sus-pected test.
Stockpile Stewardship
 As a practical matter, it is almost certain that the United States will not test again. Te political bar against testing is extremely high... in recent years I never met anybody who advocated that we seek authorization to returnto testing.
 - Former Undersecretary o Energy or Nuclear Security Ambassador Linton Brooks, 2011
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 Te United States has observed a moratorium on nuclear testing or twenty years. Instead o testing, the U.S. ensures the saety and security o the nuclear arsenal through a vigorous StockpileStewardship Program (SSP). According to the National Academy o Sciences, the UnitedStates “has the technical capabilities to maintain a sae, secure,and reliable stockpile o nuclear weapons into the oreseeableuture without nuclear-explosion testing,” assuming adequateinvestment in the SSP.
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Dual-Axis Radiographic Hydrodynamic Test Facility (DARHT) at Los Alamos National Laboratory 
 
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Te Case or CB Ratifcation
Ratiying [the CB] will be to the international advantage o the United States… By actively seeking ratifcation, the U.S. will be more able to persuade Nuclear Non-Prolieration reaty member states to erect stronger barriers against the acquisition o nuclear weapons.
- Brent Scowcrot, Joseph Nye, Nicholas Burns, and Strobe albott, 2009
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Ratication o the CB would enhance U.S. national security.
•
Te U.S. would continue to maintain a robust nuclear deterrent.
•
 With over 1,000 nuclear tests and a robust program to ensure the continued saety and security o itsnuclear arsenal, the U.S. has a distinct advantage that the CB would ensure.
Te treaty would deter those who seek to develop nuclear weapons.
 
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Nuclear technology is complex. States with nuclear ambitions must test to develop a reliable arsenal.
•
States that chose to pursue a nuclear weapons program would run the risk o deploying an untested –and possibly unreliable – weapon.
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I an extreme case required a return to testing, the U.S. could withdraw rom the CB under the“supreme national interest” clause.
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Verication and monitoring capabilities would almost certainly catch cheaters.
 
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In 1999, when an attempt to ratiy the CB ailed in the U.S. Senate by a vote o 51-48, none o the International Monitoring System acilities had been certied. oday, signicant improvements tothe IMS ensure with a high degree o certainty that nuclear testers cannot escape detection.
 Eforts or a CB have a long bipartisan history.
•
Te Comprehensive est Ban reaty builds on decades o eforts to halt nuclear testing.
•
President Dwight Eisenhower once said that not achieving a test ban “would have to be classied asthe greatest disappointment o any administration o any decade o any time and o any party.”
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•
President John F. Kennedy signed a treaty banning nuclear tests in the atmosphere, in outer space andunder water. President Richard Nixon signed a treaty prohibiting nuclear tests with yields greater than150 kilotons.
Sean Boers is a senior at the University o ennessee at Martin majoring in Political Science and minoring inInternational Studies.

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