In an article for Arms Control Today, Stephen Herzog, a political science Ph.D. student at Yale University, demonstrates the advantages and opportunities that CTBT ratification would offer for the new US administration.

“It has been two decades since the nuclear Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) was opened for signature at the United Nations. So far, 183 states have signed and 166 have ratified the treaty, which U.S. President Bill Clinton called “the longest-sought, hardest-fought prize in the history of arms control.” As the Trump administration sets out policies on the CTBT regime and other nuclear arms control and nonproliferation issues, it should not overlook the opportunity to advance related scientific and technical measures to strengthen nuclear explosion monitoring worldwide. This article discusses a series of technical initiatives that would improve the already excellent global monitoring capabilities and further align the international community behind ending nuclear tests. “

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Among these initiatives, Herzog names and illustrates the prospects of data collection improvement, data analysis expansion as well as the civil and scientific outreach of the CTBTO data. Prompting Trump administration to pursue CTBT ratification, Herzog says: “As the new administration considers a ratification debate, it should not forget about the complementarity of science, technology, and politics within the CTBT sphere”.

Original Article published by Arms Control Today.

Stephen Herzog is a Ph.D. student in political science at Yale University.
Previously, he directed scientific engagements supporting the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty and geophysical hazard mitigation for the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration. 

Posted by: ctbtonewsroom | January 20, 2017

The CTBT at 20: Ambition on the Road to Success

CTBTO Executive Secretary Lassina Zerbo writes on the achievements made thus far and the future prospects of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) in Arms Control Today.

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“The certification of the International Monitoring System (IMS) station in China represents a milestone for the treaty and illustrates the real progress that has been achieved in cooperating with China on nuclear test monitoring and verification challenges,” according to CTBTO Executive Secretary Lassina Zerbo writing in Arms Control Today.

Zerbo sees the CTBT as a “good news” story, continuing along the road to success, even if some of the steps forward take longer than others. An example of the successes would be “the CTBT monitoring system’s accurate and timely detection of all five announced nuclear tests conducted by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, including two in 2016.” In addition he points out that “more than 90 percent of the planned global nuclear test monitoring assets are in place, and the detection threshold is far better than the treaty’s negotiators thought feasible.”

“Movement on the treaty would buttress the nuclear nonproliferation regime and would help build the confidence needed to move forward on a number of related issues, regionally and globally, would bring a permanent end to the destabilizing practice of nuclear testing and would constitute a firm barrier to a resumption of the nuclear arms race,”- concludes Zerbo.

Original Article published by Arms Control Today.

Posted by: ctbtonewsroom | January 10, 2017

Time for India to sign the CTBT, by Dr. Rajaraman

“The time has come for India to unilaterally and voluntarily sign the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT)”-, Dr. Ramamurti Rajaraman says in article for the Wire.

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Rajaraman argues that India would benefit from “immense” diplomatic gains without making economic or military sacrifices by singing the Treaty.

If India voluntarily decides to sign the CTBT, not only would it strengthen the country’s global reputation but also strengthen its case for Nuclear Suppliers Group membership, Rajaraman says.

“The fact that India would be doing so without requiring prior ratification by China and the US, would establish our ability to take independent initiatives that are good for the country and the world,” -he says.

“A nation aspiring to be a world power must not shy away from taking bold initiatives at crucial periods,” Dr. Rajaraman concludes, indicating that signing the CTBT is an opportunity for India “to fortify its place as a leader in the community of nations, that too without flexing its military or economic muscle.”

Read the full article at the Wire.
R. Rajaraman is an Emeritus Professor of Theoretical Physics at Jawaharlal Nehru University and former co-chair of the International Panel on Fissile Materials.

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