Project News

Governments and NGOs Mark the International Day Against Nuclear Tests

By Alicia Sanders-Zakre

August 29 marks the eighth international day against nuclear tests. Less than ten countries have tested over 2,000 nuclear weapons since the United States exploded the first nuclear weapon in New Mexico on July 16, 1945. The day against nuclear tests was declared by the United Nations General Assembly in December 2009, when it adopted Resolution 64/35. The resolution was introduced by Kazakhstan to commemorate the 1991 closure of the Semipalatinsk testing site. The day is observed each year by events around the world, including symposia, conferences, exhibits, competitions, publications, lectures in academic institutions, and media broadcasts.

Senate Holds Hearing on Bill to Expand RECA

By Alicia Sanders-Zakre

On June 27, the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing about expanding the compensation benefits granted under the 1990 Radiation Exposure Compensation Act. The Radiation Exposure Compensation Act (RECA), together with amendments passed later, created an administrative program to provide compensation for some victims exposed to radiation during U.S. atmospheric nuclear testing and some employees of the U.S. uranium mining industry. Some advocates and lawmakers have criticized the act for excluding some individuals who were impacted by nuclear weapons testing and production.

Head of the CTBTO Discusses DPRK Test Site Dismantlement

By Rowan Humphries

 Dr. Lassina Zerbo, the Executive Secretary of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO), was the keynote at an American Association for the Advancement of Science and the Arms Control Association cosponsored event on June 14, 2018 to discuss the role of technology in North Korean disarmament. Following his opening remarks, Dr. Zerbo and an accompanying panel of experts engaged in a discussion on how the scientific community and international organizations can work together to advance individual and collective goals, particularly as they relate to verifying the dismantlement of a nuclear test site. 

Dr. Zerbo’s opening remarks emphasized the importance of “getting the ball over the goal line,” when it comes to North Korean disarmament. He highlighted the science-based techniques and technologies the CTBTO has as its disposal to monitor nuclear testing, which could be used to verify North Korea’s voluntary testing moratorium, as declared by Kim Jong Un on April 20, 2018. Dr. Zerbo also pointed out that the technology the CTBTO employs to monitor nuclear testing could serve a side purpose of verifying nuclear test site dismantlement. 

Majority of Americans Still Support the CTBT

By Alicia Sanders-Zakre

A new survey shows that 20 years after the opening for signature of the CTBT, the majority of Americans still support the test ban. This latest survey joins many other polls that have found high American support for the CTBT over the past six decades.

CTBTO Proves Relevancy at Symposium

By Sylvia Mishra

The Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) hosted its 2nd CTBT Science and Diplomacy Symposium from May 21 to June 1, 2018 at the Vienna International Center against the backdrop of significant geopolitical developments: the Trump administration’s withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), U.S. declaration of a summit meeting with North Korea and deteriorating U.S.-Russia relations. Understandably, the interest of policymakers, scholars and technical experts gathered at the symposium were focused on a few key questions – Will North Korea sign and ratify the CTBT as a sign of their intent on halting nuclear testing? Will the Trump administration impose sanctions on Iran? Will the United States resume nuclear testing as the Nuclear Posture Review released by the Trump administration argues that the United States “must remain ready to resume testing if necessary to meet severe technological or geopolitical challenges”? In such a scenario, what will be the reaction of Russia? What are the political implications for the CTBTO?

North Korea Reports Nuclear Test Site Closure

By Alicia Sanders-Zakre

Following a late April announcement by Kim Jong Un, North Korea announced on May 24 that it had destroyed its nuclear testing site at Punggye-ri.

Notable Read: Shutting Down Punggye-ri: Confirming Dismantlement of North Korea’s Nuclear-Weapon Test Site

By Alicia Sanders-Zakre

Tariq Rauf, an independent consultant for the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty Organization, makes the case for a CTBTO presence at the upcoming closure of the Punggye-ri test site in a May 13 article.

Notable Read: Test and Effect

By Alicia Sanders-Zakre

George Perkovich assesses the impact of India’s first nuclear tests, 20 years later, by reviewing then-Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s letter to U.S. President Bill Clinton explaining India’s rationale.