Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

[CRS Issue Brief for Congress]

92099: Nuclear Weapons Testing and Negotiation of a Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty

Updated November 14, 1996

Jonathan Medalia
Foreign Affairs and National Defense Division





National Positions on Testing
Negotiating a CTB
The Senate and the CTB
The Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty and Its Link to a CTB
Stockpile Stewardship
Summation: CTB Pros and Cons
Historical Data: Nuclear Tests and Test Budgets




A nuclear test ban is the oldest item on the nuclear arms control agenda; Congress has debated the issue since the start of the nuclear age. Three treaties limit testing to underground only, with a maximum force equal to 150,000 tons of TNT.

Nuclear tests have been used to develop nuclear weapons, enhance their safety, check their reliability, determine how nuclear explosions affect military equipment, and study weapon physics. Through 1992, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council, the Soviet Union had conducted 715 tests, the United Kingdom 44, France 210, and China 38. In December 1993, the Department of Energy announced 204 previously unannounced tests, bringing the U.S. total to 1,051, a figure later increased to 1,054. The FY1997 request for testing capabilities and readiness is $162.5 million, vs. $167.4 million scheduled for FY1996.

Since 1992, China has conducted seven nuclear tests; the latest was July 29, 1996, and China indicated that would be its last. At its South Pacific test site, France conducted its first nuclear test since 1991 on September 5, 1995, and its sixth on January 27, 1996. On January 29, President Jacques Chirac announced an end to French nuclear testing. The United States and Britain have not tested since 1992; Russia has not tested since 1991, with the possible exception of a test in January 1996.

CTB negotiations were held at the Conference on Disarmament (CD) in Geneva from 1994 to 1996. The negotiations were unable to resolve entry into force (specifically, the combination of nations that would have to agree to the treaty for it to take effect). The CD Chairman's draft treaty required the five nuclear weapon states and the three near-nuclear states (India, Israel, Pakistan), among others, to ratify the treaty for it to enter into force. The CD operates by consensus; India vetoed the CTB in the CD on August 20 on grounds that it does not include a commitment by the nuclear weapon states to nuclear disarmament by a set date, a condition they reject. As a result, the draft treaty was not sent to the U.N. General Assembly as a CD-approved document. On August 23, Australia asked the U.N. General Assembly to consider the draft treaty. On September 10, the General Assembly voted 158-3 (with 5 abstentions and 19 not voting) to adopt the treaty. President Clinton signed it on September 24, along with representatives of Britain, China, France, and Russia; as of November 14, 1996, 133 states had signed the treaty.

President Clinton explicitly linked his position on testing to several safeguards, "strengthen[ing] our commitments in the areas of intelligence , monitoring and verification, stockpile stewardship, maintenance of our nuclear laboratories, and test readiness." He would be prepared to exercise U.S. supreme national interests and conduct further nuclear testing despite a CTB "if the safety and reliability of our nuclear deterrent could no longer be certified."

It appears that the Administration will submit the CTB to the Senate in early 1997. In 1997, Congress will also continue its consideration of the budget and program for Stockpile Stewardship and Management, the Administration's plan for maintaining U.S. nuclear weapons under a CTB.


As of November 14, 1996, 133 states had signed the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, including 41 of the 44 states that must ratify the treaty for it to enter into force.



A ban on nuclear testing is the oldest item on the current arms control agenda. Efforts to curtail nuclear tests have been made since the 1940s. In the 1950s, the United States and Soviet Union conducted hundreds of tests of newly developed hydrogen bombs. The radioactive fallout from these tests spurred public protest around the world. These pressures, reinforced by a desire to reduce U.S.-Soviet confrontation in the wake of the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962, led to the Limited Test Ban Treaty of 1963, which banned nuclear explosions in the atmosphere, in space, and under water.

This was followed by the Threshold Test Ban Treaty, signed in 1974, which banned underground nuclear weapons tests having an explosive force of more than 150 kilotons, the equivalent of 150,000 tons of TNT. For comparison, the Hiroshima bomb had an explosive force of 15 kilotons. The Peaceful Nuclear Explosions Treaty, signed in 1976, extended the 150-kiloton limit to nuclear explosions for peaceful purposes. President Carter did not pursue ratification of these treaties, preferring to negotiate a comprehensive test ban, or CTB, a ban on all nuclear tests. When agreement seemed near, however, he pulled back, bowing to arguments that continued testing was needed to maintain reliability of existing weapons, to develop new weapons, and for other purposes. President Reagan raised concerns about U.S. ability to monitor the two unratified treaties and late in his term started negotiations on new verification protocols. As a result, the two treaties were not ratified until 1990. Meanwhile, in the 1980s, the House amended several defense authorization bills to halt nuclear tests of more than one kiloton for a year if the Soviet Union did likewise and agreed to certain verification measures. These amendments died in conference.

With the end of the Cold War, pressures for a CTB grew and those against weakened. The need for new warheads with improved military qualities dropped sharply, as evidenced by the Bush Administration's policy of July 1992 to conduct no further tests to develop new warheads for five years. The U.S.S.R. began a nuclear test moratorium in October 1990 that Russia has continued, and France began a moratorium in April 1992 that continued until 1995. In response, in the first half of 1992, many in Congress supported a one-year moratorium on nuclear testing. As the effort progressed, however, it became more complex and more ambitious. Supporters of continued testing feared that a moratorium, once started, would become a permanent de facto CTB; they wanted a six-month moratorium, followed by nuclear testing through 1998 with certain restrictions. Opponents felt that a six-month halt would not induce Russia to retain its moratorium, that testing could end before 1998, and that a halt to testing should then be followed by a multilateral CTB.

The result was an amendment to the FY1993 Energy and Water Development Appropriations Bill. The Hatfield amendment banned testing before July 1, 1993. It set many conditions on a resumption of testing, including Presidential submission of a required report on testing and congressional review. The United States could conduct only 15 tests for safety and three for reliability; three U.K. tests could be substituted for safety tests. Testing would be banned after September 1996 unless another nation tested. President Bush signed the bill into law (P.L. 102-377) October 2, 1992.

National Positions on Testing

United States: Under the Hatfield amendment, President Clinton had to decide whether or not to ask Congress to resume testing. On July 3, 1993, he announced his decision. He noted that "(a) test ban can strengthen our efforts worldwide to halt the spread of nuclear technology in weapons," and that "the nuclear weapons in the United States arsenal are safe and reliable." While testing offered advantages for safety, reliability, and test ban readiness, "the price we would pay in conducting those tests now by undercutting our own nonproliferation goals and ensuring that other nations would resume testing outweighs these benefits." Therefore, he (1) extended the moratorium at least through September 1994; (2) called on other nations to extend their moratoria; (3) said he would direct DOE to "prepare to conduct additional tests while seeking approval to do so from Congress" if another nation tests; (4) promised to "explore other means of maintaining our confidence in the safety, the reliability and the performance of our own weapons"; and (5) pledged to refocus the nuclear weapons laboratories toward technology for nuclear nonproliferation and arms control verification. He extended the moratorium twice more, most recently on January 30, 1995, when the Administration announced his decision to extend the moratorium until a CTB enters into force, assuming a treaty is signed by September 30, 1996.

United Kingdom: The United Kingdom cannot test because it has conducted all its nuclear tests for several decades at the Nevada Test Site and does not have its own test site. Its last test was held in 1991.

France: On June 13, 1995, President Jacques Chirac announced that France would conduct eight nuclear tests at its test site at Mururoa Atoll in the South Pacific, finishing by the end of May 1996. Reports indicated that the armed services had recommended the tests to check existing warheads, validate a new warhead for a submarine-launched ballistic missile, and develop a computer system to simulate warheads to render further testing unneeded. "This decision is of course irrevocable," he said. Nations of Europe and the South Pacific, Japan, and others have sharply criticized this decision, which has spurred demonstrations and official protests. Australia blocked a French firm from bidding on a $360 million contract for jet trainer aircraft for its air force. On August 10, 1995, France indicated it would halt all nuclear tests once the test series was finished and favored a CTB that "prohibit(ed) any nuclear weapon test explosion or any other nuclear explosion." France conducted tests on September 5, October 1, October 27, November 21, and December 27, 1995, and January 27, 1996. On January 29, Chirac announced the end to French testing.

Russia: The Russian moratorium continued at least through 1995. The Washington Times reported on March 7, 1996, however, that Russia may have conducted a low-yield nuclear test at its Arctic test site at Novaya Zemlya in mid-January 1996. This evidence is ambiguous. Secretary of Defense William Perry said that intelligence opinion was split, with "some people saying yes and other people saying maybe." An Administration official said seismic waves were not detected, according to the Times.

China: China did not participate in the moratorium but conducted a nuclear test on October 5, 1993, that many nations condemned. China countered that it had conducted only 39 tests, vs. 1,054 for the United States, and that it needed a few more tests for safety and reliability. The Chinese government reportedly wrote to U.N. Secretary General Boutros Boutros-Ghali after its test that "after a comprehensive test ban treaty is concluded and comes into effect, China will abide by it and carry out no more nuclear tests." China conducted other tests on June 10 and October 7, 1994, May 15 and August 17, 1995, and June 8 and July 29, 1996, bringing its total to 45 tests. Many nations have criticized the post-1992 Chinese tests. The July 1996 test was reported to have a yield of one to five kilotons. In announcing that test, China indicated it would be its last, as China would begin a moratorium on July 30, 1996.

India: On December 15, 1995, the New York Times reported that "American intelligence experts suspect India is preparing for its first nuclear test since 1974." The article indicated that the purpose might be political, to influence upcoming elections, or technical, to provide data on nuclear weapons. There is concern that testing by India would undermine efforts to negotiate a CTB and would spur Pakistan to conduct its own nuclear tests. (As of mid-December 1995, India had conducted one nuclear test and Pakistan had conducted none.) On December 19, India indicated that it did not plan to conduct a nuclear test.

Negotiating a CTB

The Conference on Disarmament, or CD, calls itself "the sole multilateral disarmament negotiating forum of the international community." It is affiliated with, funded by, yet autonomous from the United Nations. It operates by consensus. While that principle fosters compromise, it gives each member state the power to block a decision. On August 10, 1993, the CD gave its Ad Hoc Committee on a Nuclear Test Ban "a mandate to negotiate a CTB." On November 19, 1993, the United Nations General Assembly unanimously approved a resolution calling for negotiation of a CTB. The CD's 1994 session opened in Geneva on January 25, with negotiation of a CTB its top priority. After two and one-half years of negotiations, Ambassador Jaap Ramaker of the Netherlands, Chairman of the Ad Hoc Committee, tabled a draft treaty on June 28, 1996, with the following key provisions:

Scope (Article I): The heart of the treaty is the obligation "not to carry out any nuclear weapon test explosion or any other nuclear explosion." This formulation bars even very low yield tests, as some in the nuclear weapon states had wanted, and bars peaceful nuclear explosions, as China had wanted, but rejects India's concern that a CTB should "leave no loophole for activity, either explosive-based or non-explosive based, aimed at the continued development and refinement of nuclear weapons."

Organization (Article II): The treaty establishes a Comprehensive Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty Organization, composed of all member states, to implement the treaty. Three groups are under this Organization. The Conference of States Parties, composed of one representative from each member state, shall meet in annual and special sessions to consider and decide issues within the scope of the treaty and oversee the work of the other groups. An Executive Council shall, among other things, take action on requests for on-site inspection, and may request a special session of the Conference. A Technical Secretariat shall carry out verification functions, including operating an International Data Center, processing and reporting on data from an International Monitoring System, and receiving and processing requests for on-site inspections.

Verification (Article IV): The treaty provides for collection and dissemination of information, and for consultation and clarification if a nation has concerns about possible noncompliance. The treaty contains provisions for on-site inspections. A Protocol elaborates on the monitoring system and on-site inspections.

Entry into force (Article XIV): The treaty shall enter into force 180 days after 44 states named in Annex 2 have deposited instruments of ratification, but not less than two years after the treaty is opened for signature. If the treaty has not entered into force three years after being opened for signature, and if a majority of states that have deposited instruments of ratification so desire, a conference of these states shall be held to decide how to accelerate the ratification process. Unless otherwise decided, subsequent conferences of this type shall be held annually until entry into force occurs.

While no nation expressed unqualified support of the draft treaty, all but India ultimately supported it in the CD. India's difficult strategic position helps explain its opposition. It feels threatened by China, which is far more powerful, is engaged in a military buildup, and is undertaking a more aggressive international role. India has also fought three wars with Pakistan since 1947; relations between the two remain tense. Pakistan's nuclear program depends significantly on purchases from China. India has therefore sought to maintain its nuclear option. It has reportedly taken a number of steps that, in total, are consistent with development of a thermonuclear weapon, including work on tritium, uranium, and lithium isotope separation. (For an analysis of potential gains by Pakistan and India from nuclear testing, see CRS Report 96-631 F, Indian and Pakistani Nuclear Tests? Potential Test Ban Risks and Technical Benefits.) India's position in the CD negotiations supported its nuclear option by providing a rationale to veto the treaty in the CD. Indian Ambassador Arundhati Ghose stated to the CD on January 25, 1996, that the CTB "should be securely anchored in the global disarmament context and be linked through treaty language to the elimination of all nuclear weapons in a time-bound framework." India also wants a treaty to bar weapons research not involving nuclear tests, such as computer simulations and laboratory experiments. The June 28 draft did not meet these conditions, which the nuclear weapon states reject, so India vetoed the CTB at the CD on August 20, barring it from going to the U.N. General Assembly as a CD document.

With India's veto, nations sought an alternate way to open the treaty for signing. Australia took the lead with an apparently new tactic. On August 23, it asked the U.N. General Assembly to begin considering, on September 9, a resolution calling for the General Assembly to adopt the draft CTB text and the Secretary-General to open it for signing. In this way, the treaty could be adopted by a simple majority, or by the two-thirds majority that India sought, avoiding the need for consensus. A potential pitfall of this approach was that the resolution (i.e., the treaty text) was subject to amendment, yet the nuclear weapon states view amendments as unacceptable. India did not interpose obstacles to the vote, which was held on September 10. The result was 158 nations in favor, 3 against (India, Bhutan, and Libya), 5 abstentions, and 19 not voting. The treaty was opened for signing beginning on September 24. President Clinton signed it on that date, along with representatives of Britain, China, France, and Russia; by mid-October, 125 states had signed it.

The Senate and the CTB

The Administration is expected to submit the CTB to the Senate in early 1997, perhaps in February or March. Further details will be provided as they become available.

The Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty and Its Link to a CTB

The 1995 debate over the extension of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) casts light on the dynamics of CTB negotiations. The NPT entered into force in 1970. It divided the world into nuclear "haves" -- the United States, Soviet Union, Britain, France, and China, the five declared nuclear powers, which are also the permanent five ("P5") members of the U.N. Security Council -- and nuclear "have-nots." The bargain was that the P5 would be the only States Party to the NPT to have nuclear weapons but that they (and others) would negotiate in good faith on halting the nuclear arms race soon, on nuclear disarmament, and on general and complete disarmament. Nonnuclear weapon states saw attainment of a CTB as the touchstone of good faith on these matters. The NPT provided for reviews every five years; a review in 1995, 25 years after it entered into force, would determine whether to extend the treaty indefinitely or for one or more fixed periods. The Review and Extension Conference of April-May 1995 extended the treaty indefinitely. Extension was accompanied by certain non-binding measures, including a Decision on Principles and Objectives for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament that set forth goals on universality of the NPT, nuclear weapon free zones, etc., and stressed the importance of completing "the negotiations on a universal and internationally and effectively verifiable Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty no later than 1996."

The extension decision, binding on the States Party to the NPT, was contentious. Nonnuclear States Party to the NPT argued that the P5 failed to meet their NPT obligations by not concluding a CTB. They saw progress on winding down the arms race as inadequate. They assailed the NPT as discriminatory because it divides the world into nuclear and nonnuclear states, and argued for a nondiscriminatory NPT regime in which no nation has nuclear weapons. The CTB, in their view, was the symbol of this regime because, unlike the NPT, the P5 would give up something tangible, the ability to develop new sophisticated warheads. Some nonnuclear states saw NPT extension as their last source of leverage for a CTB: once they agreed to a permanent extension of the NPT, they could not pressure the P5 to achieve a CTB. Other nonnuclear states saw the NPT as in the interests of all but would-be proliferators and felt that anything less than indefinite extension would undermine the security of most nations. This position saw the NPT as too important to put at risk as a means of pressuring the P5 for a CTB.

Stockpile Stewardship

P5 states want to maintain their nuclear warheads under a CTB and assert that they need computers and scientific facilities to do so. They also want to retain the ability to resume testing in the event other nations leave a CTB. Nonnuclear nations fear that the P5 will simply carry on business as usual under a CTB, designing new warheads without testing. Maintaining nuclear weapons, especially without testing, is termed "stockpile stewardship." This is a contentious issue. This section focuses on the U.S. debate, where there are five main positions on stewardship; four would maintain weapons without testing and one would resume testing.

Denuclearizers would eliminate nuclear weapons worldwide in the foreseeable future, perhaps one to two decades. Until then, they would have a minimal U.S. stewardship program whose personnel, as curators of weapons knowledge, would monitor weapons. Restorers would maintain nuclear weapons with the only proven method, an ongoing program of research, development, design, testing, and production, downsized to meet post-Cold War needs. Three intermediate positions seek to maintain weapons indefinitely without nuclear testing. Remanufacturers believe that since current weapons have been tested and certified as meeting military requirements, this Nation can maintain them indefinitely by "remanufacturing" -- re-producing them to the exact specifications of the originals. Remanufacturers would go to great lengths to do so in order to avoid risks that even slight changes to warheads might introduce. Enhancers, who take the Administration's position on stewardship, see identical remanufacture as impossible. They believe some changes in design, process, and materials are unavoidable and others are desirable. A robust science program, they hold, is the best that can be done without testing to monitor warheads, anticipate problems, modify warheads when problems arise, and revalidate stockpile effectiveness on an ongoing basis. They would have a small manufacturing program. Maintainers fall between Remanufacturers and Enhancers. They focus on how to maintain warheads. They prefer to avoid changes to warheads but would not go to great lengths to do so. They view a strong science program as essential, but only to the extent that its elements connect directly to maintaining weapons. They emphasize manufacturing as the ultimate guarantor of U.S. ability to solve warhead problems. They, along with Enhancers, favor some link to testing if confidence cannot be maintained in any other way.

The stewardship approach chosen is of concern as it bears on Senate advice and consent to ratification of a CTB. Beginning with the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty of 1963, the United States has implemented "safeguards," or unilateral steps to maintain its nuclear weapons capability consistent with treaty limitations. The safeguards were modified most recently as part of the Resolutions of Ratification of the Threshold Test Ban and Peaceful Nuclear Explosions Treaties, as agreed to by the Senate on September 25, 1990 (Congressional Record, p. S 13767). Excerpts follow. Safeguard A: "effective and continuing underground nuclear test programs"; Safeguard B: "maintenance of modern nuclear laboratory facilities and programs"; Safeguard C: "maintenance of the basic capability to resume nuclear test activities prohibited by treaties"; Safeguard D: "research and development programs to improve our treaty monitoring"; and Safeguard E: intelligence programs for "information on worldwide nuclear arsenals, nuclear weapons development programs, and related nuclear programs." President Kennedy's agreement to the original version of safeguards A-D was critical for obtaining Senate advice and consent to ratification of the 1963 treaty.

In his August 11, 1995 statement on a CTB, President Clinton said,

As a central part of this decision, I am establishing concrete, specific safeguards that define the conditions under which the United States will enter into a comprehensive test ban. These safeguards will strengthen our commitments in the areas of intelligence , monitoring and verification, stockpile stewardship, maintenance of our nuclear laboratories, and test readiness.

They also specify the circumstances under which I would be prepared, in consultation with Congress, to exercise our supreme national interest rights under a comprehensive test ban to conduct necessary testing, if the safety and reliability of our nuclear deterrent could no longer be certified.

These points are directly linked to current "safeguards." Safeguards A and C under a CTB are test readiness plus the willingness to resume testing if needed; Safeguard B is "maintenance of our nuclear laboratories" and stockpile stewardship; Safeguard D is monitoring and verification; and Safeguard E is intelligence .

Regarding the stewardship program, the President noted that the Secretary of Energy and the directors of the nuclear weapons laboratories had assured him that the United States could maintain its nuclear deterrent under a CTB through a program of science-based stockpile stewardship. "In order for this program to succeed," he said, "both the administration and the Congress must provide sustained bipartisan support for the stockpile stewardship program over the next decade and beyond."

On December 22, 1995, the Senate included an amendment to the START II resolution of ratification expressing U.S. commitment to "ensuring the safety, reliability, and performance of its nuclear forces." Specific commitments include a robust stockpile stewardship program, sustaining nuclear weapons production capacity, maintaining the weapons labs, providing for tritium production, maintaining the Nevada Test Site, and reserving the right to resume testing if needed.

In November 1996, DOE released its Draft Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement for Stockpile Stewardship and Management.

Cooperative Stewardship: Even if nuclear testing ends, nations with nuclear weapons want to be able to maintain them. In the wake of the Cold War, some believe that cooperation on such matters, especially improving weapon safety, benefits all; others counter that cooperation risks releasing information by U.S. providers or foreign recipients. U.S.-British cooperation on nuclear weapon matters is close, going back to World War II. Cooperation with France dates to the early 1970s. On June 4, 1996, France and the United States signed a secret agreement to share information that would aid each other on stewardship, the Washington Post reported. France, for example, would get data from past U.S. nuclear tests and computer simulations; the United States would gain access to a new French laser facility. The Administration is also reported to be discussing cooperative stewardship arrangements with Russia, specifically sharing unclassified nuclear safety data, but not with China.

Summation: CTB Pros and Cons

A CTB is contentious. Supporters argue it would fulfill disarmament commitments the nuclear weapon states made in the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty and its 1995 Review and Extension Conference; move away from a discriminatory regime in which nuclear weapon states can test while others cannot; and help nonproliferation efforts by preventing nonnuclear weapon states from developing nuclear weapons of advanced design. Some supporters hold a CTB would freeze a U.S. advantage in nuclear weaponry and that this Nation could maintain its weapons without testing through a program of science and production. A CTB, it is argued, would also prevent the development of weapons of advanced design by the P5, reducing future threats to the United States, and impede India's ability to develop a thermonuclear weapon.

Critics counter that testing is the only sure way to maintain confidence in the safety and reliability of U.S. nuclear weapons. Confidence, in this view, is also essential for friends and allies: if they doubt U.S. nuclear capability, they might feel compelled to develop their own nuclear weapons to protect their security. Alternatively, a CTB, by undercutting confidence in the U.S. deterrent, could lead to nuclear disarmament, thereby exposing the United States and the world to blackmail by a nation or group possessing a few weapons. Critics also charge that nations wanting to develop nuclear weapons would likely not sign a CTB and in any event could develop fairly sophisticated weapons without testing; that verification would be difficult; and that the United States might need to develop new weapons to meet new threats.

Historical Data: Nuclear Tests and Test Budgets

***TABLE or GRAPHIC not shown here***


09/24/96---The CTB was opened for signing; President Clinton and others signed it at this time.

09/10/96---The U.N. General Assembly adopted, 158 to 3 (with 5 abstentions and 19 nations not voting), the draft CTB negotiated at the Conference on Disarmament.

08/23/96---Australia asked the U.N. General Assembly to begin consideration of the draft CTB on September 9.

08/22/96---India barred the CD from transmitting to the U.N. General Assembly its report on CTB negotiations. The report stated that the Conference on Disarmament (CD) had not reached a consensus on the treaty text.

08/20/96---India vetoed the draft CTB in the CD, barring the treaty from going to the U.N. General Assembly as a CD document.

08/14/96---India blocked forwarding of the draft CTB from the Nuclear Test Ban Committee of the CD to the full CD.

08/07/96 ---China and the United States reportedly reached an agreement that resolves China's concerns over CTB verification, clearing the way for China to support the treaty.

07/29/96 ---(1) The third session for 1996 of the Conference on Disarmament began. (2) China conducted what it said would be its last nuclear test, and pledged to begin a moratorium on testing on July 30. (3) India indicated that it would block the CTB in its current form.

07/28/96 ---Israel declared its support for the current draft CTB.

07/23/96 ---The United States and Russia announced their joint support for the existing draft CTB. While this draft does not fully satisfy either nation, they view it as acceptable and the only route to achieving a CTB in 1996.

06/28/96 ---The second session for 1996 of the Conference on Disarmament ended without reaching agreement on a CTB text, missing its target date.

06/26/96 ---The Senate tabled, 53-45, an amendment by Senators Kyl and Reid to the FY1997 National Defense Authorization Bill to permit U.S. nuclear testing after September 30, 1996, under certain conditions if the Senate had not given its advice and consent to ratification of a CTB.

06/20/96 ---India stated it would not sign a CTB unless the five declared nuclear weapon states agree to a timetable to give up their nuclear weapons.

06/08/96 ---China conducted a nuclear test and declared that after one more test, to be held before September 1996, it would join an international moratorium on nuclear explosions.

06/06/96 ---China dropped its demand that a CTB permit peaceful nuclear explosions.

06/04/96 ---France and the United States signed an agreement to share information relevant to maintaining nuclear weapons.

05/28/96 ---Ambassador Jaap Ramaker of the Netherlands, Chairman of the Conference on Disarmament's Ad Hoc Committee on a Nuclear Test Ban, tabled a draft text of a CTB incorporating compromises on key outstanding issues.

05/13/96 ---The second 1996 session of the Conference on Disarmament opened. Also, China for the first time indicated "flexibility" on its demand that a CTB permit peaceful nuclear explosions.

04/19/96 ---President Yeltsin endorsed a so-called zero-yield CTB; previously, Russia's position on this matter had been ambiguous. Yeltsin also reserved the right to resume testing if Russia's supreme interests are threatened.

03/07/96 ---The Washington Times reported that U.S. intelligence agencies have ambiguous evidence that Russia may have conducted a nuclear test in January 1996.

01/29/96 ---French President Jacques Chirac announced "the final end to French nuclear tests."

01/27/96 ---France held the sixth and last nuclear test in its test series.

01/23/96 ---In his State of the Union Address, President Clinton stated,"We must end the race to create new nuclear weapons by signing a truly comprehensive nuclear test ban treaty -- this year."


Clinton, William. "Briefing on President's Decision to End All Nuclear Testing." August 11, 1995. Transcript provided by Federal Document Clearing House, Inc., via Reuters newswire, August 11, 1995.

Crossette, Barbara. "India Vetoes Pact To Forbid Testing of Nuclear Arms," New York Times, August 21, 1996: 1.

Drell, Sidney, et al. Nuclear Testing. Summary and Conclusions. JASON Program, MITRE Corp., August 4, 1995, 9 p.

Faison, Seth. "China Sets Off Nuclear Test, Then Announces Moratorium," New York Times, July 30, 1996: 3.

Gaffney, Frank. "Don't Abandon N-Tests," USA Today, February 2, 1995: 10A.

Gertz, Bill. "U.S. Officials Suspect Russia Staged Nuclear Test This Year," Washington Times, March 7, 1996: 3.

Goshko, John. "U.N. Approves Treaty, 158-3, That Would Ban Nuclear Tests," Washington Post, September 11, 1996: 20.

Johnson, Rebecca, Test Ban Verification Matters: Finalising the CTBT. Verification Technology Information Centre, July 1996, 27 p.

Perkovich, George. "India's Nuclear Weapons Debate: Unlocking the Door to the CTBT." Arms Control Today, May/June 1996: 11-16.

Ramaker, Jaap. CTB text, draft of June 28, 1996. This is the draft adopted by the U.N. General Assembly on September 10, 1996. Available electronically at: http://www.acda.gov/factshee/wmd/nuclear/ctbt/ramaker.htm

Smith, R. Jeffrey, "France, U.S. Secretly Enter Pact To Share Nuclear Weapons Data,"Washington Post, June 17, 1996: 9.

Sweet, William, "Better Networks for Test Ban Monitoring,' IEEE Spectrum, February 1996: 24-33.

U.N. 1995 Review and Extension Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons. Principles and Objectives for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament: Draft decision proposed by the President. NPT/CONF.1995/L.5, May 9, 1995: 4 p.

U.S. Department of Energy. United States Nuclear Tests: July 1945 through September 1992. DOE/NV-209 (Rev. 14), December 1994: viii + 97 p.

----- Final Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement for Stockpile Stewardship and Management: Summary. DOE/EIS-0236, September 1996: 52 p.

Weiner, Tim. "U.S. Suspects India Prepares To Conduct Nuclear Test." New York Times, December 15, 1995: 9

CRS Reports

CRS Report 96-11. Nuclear Weapons Stockpile Stewardship: Alternatives for Congress, by Jonathan Medalia.

CRS Report 96-496. Nuclear Testing and Comprehensive Test Ban: Background and Recent Chronology, by Jonathan Medalia.

CRS Report 96-631. Indian and Pakistani Nuclear Tests? Potential Test Ban Risks and Technical Benefits, by Jonathan Medalia.

Selected World Wide Web Sites

British American Security Information Council; covers CTB, NPT, and related topics. http://www.igc.apc.org/basic/

Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty International Data Center. Sponsored by the Advanced Research Projects Agency of the Department of Defense. http://www.cdidc.org

DOE's Office of Defense Programs; information on stockpile stewardship. http://www.dp.doe.gov/

Heritage Foundation; information on CTB, among other topics. http://www.heritage.org

Disarmament Diplomacy: news and documents on disarmament and arms control, including the Conference on Disarmament. Published by DFAX monthly. http://csf.Colorado.EDU/dfax/dd/ddblrb.htm

United Nations Press Releases for the past five days. Provides information on U.N. activities on CTB. http://www.un.org/plweb-cgi/prrecent.pl

U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency current list of CTB signatories. http://www.acda.gov/treaties/ctbtsigs.htm

U.S. Information Agency CTB home page. Provides documents, fact sheets, articles, bibliography, treaty text, internet links, and more. http://www.usia.gov/topics/ctbt/design.htm

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