Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty: Background and Current Developments
LIBRARY OF CONGRESS WASHINGTON DC CONGRESSIONAL RESEARCH SERVICE
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A comprehensive nuclear-test-ban treaty CTBT is the oldest item on the nuclear arms control agenda. Three treaties currently bar all but underground tests with a maximum force equal to 150,000 tons of TNT. The Natural Resources Defense Council states the United States conducted 1,030 nuclear tests, the Soviet Union 715, the United Kingdom 45, France 210, and China 45. The last U.S. test was held in 1992 Russia claims it has not tested since 1990. In 1998, India and Pakistan announced several nuclear tests. Each declared a test moratorium neither has signed the CTBT. North Korea conducted a nuclear test in 2006. Since 1997, the United States has held 23 subcritical experiments at the Nevada Test Site to study how plutonium behaves under pressures generated by explosives. It asserts these experiments do not violate the CTBT because they cannot produce a self-sustaining chain reaction. Russia reportedly held some since 1998. The U.N. General Assembly adopted the CTBT in 1996. As of January 6, 2010, 182 states had signed it 151, including Russia, had ratified. Of the 44 that must ratify the treaty for it to enter into force, 41 had signed and 35 had ratified. Five conferences have been held to facilitate entry into force, most recently in 2009.
- Government and Political Science
- Nuclear Weapons