On 30 March 2012, the U.S. National Academy of Sciences held a public briefing in which a panel of high-level experts presented and released the unclassified version of a report entitled “The Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty: Technical Issues for the United States (2012).”
The new report reviews and updates a 2002 study on technical issues regarding the CTBT. Since it is a technical report, it does not pronounce on the political issue of CTBT ratification by the United States.
The report acknowledges that the last decade saw advances in verification science and technology, and takes note of the impressive buildup of CTBTO’s monitoring system, now more than 80% complete, and its successes in detecting the nuclear tests by North Korea in October 2006 and May 2009.
The study then examines in depth how the United States is now in a better position than ever to maintain a safe and effective nuclear weapons stockpile without explosive nuclear testing and to monitor clandestine nuclear testing abroad by combining the findings of the CTBTO monitoring system, available to all CTBTO Member States, with data from its own national technical means.
Comments and analysis by think-tanks and NGO’s:
New Support for the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, by Steven Pifer (Brookings)
The New NAS Report: The Case is Stronger Than Ever for the Test Ban Treaty, by Daryl Kimball (Arms Control Association)
Test Ban Treaty: Myths vs. Realities, by Tom Collina and Daryl Kimball (Arms Control Association)
Scientists Advance Case for CTBT Ratification, by David Culp (FCNL)
CNS Experts Comment on National Academies of Science Test Ban Report, (CNS – Monterey)
Nuclear testers can run but not hide, (Center for Public Integrity)
CTBT: New Study Fails to Resolve Differences over Risks to U.S. Nuclear Arsenal, by Baker Spring (Heritage Foundation)