On-Site Inspection Exercise IFE08 concludes successfully

On-Site Inspection Exercise IFE08 concludes successfully

The first ever integrated on-site inspection exercise, the Integrated Field Exercise 2008 (IFE08), has come to an end. It showed that on-site inspections are indeed the ultimate verification measure. The ficitious state of Arcania was eventually found not to have conducted a nuclear explosion (image: the ground penetrating radar is prepared for use during the second inspection period).

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Happy birthday - the PTBT turns 45

Signed by the United Kingdom, the United States and the Soviet Union on 5 August 1963, the Partial Test Ban Treaty (PTBT) banned nuclear testing in the atmosphere, underwater and in space. Underground testing, however, was not banned as it is in the CTBT. The PTBT entered into force on 10 October 1963, three days after it was ratified by the three original State Signatories (image: U.S. President Kennedy ratifies the PTBT on 7 October 1963).

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Two-year anniversary of DPRK nuclear test

Another but much less pleasant anniversary is the nuclear test announced by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) two years ago, on 9 October 2006. The UN Security Council strongly condemned the act as a clear threat to international peace and security. Although only two-thirds of the facilities of the CTBTO's International Monitoring System had been installed at the time, the verification system exceeded the expectations of the Treaty negotiators in 1996 in terms of sensitivity, reliability and precision.

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Read recent news about North Korea's nuclear situation:

Washington to back Pyongyang nuclear proposal
(Financial Times)

North Korea in nuclear U-turn after terror list reprieve
(The Guardian)

The Russian Federation's support for the CTBT

The Russian Federation is a key player in the Treaty that bans all nuclear explosions on Earth. Russia hosts the second highest number of the Treaty’s International Monitoring System facilities of any Member State after the United States, and the installation of several monitoring stations has been completed over recent months.

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Nuclear Test Ban Commission hopes to persuade waverers

Folowing a CTBTO press conference on 8 October, AFP reports that "Tibor Toth, head of the CTBTO Preparatory Commission, which is working to implement the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, or CTBT, also said he hoped Washington would change its stance after the departure of President George W. Bush."

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How the U.S. can fix its damaged reputation abroad

Stobe Talbott, president of the Brookings Institution in Washington, DC. and former US deputy secretary of state for seven years in the Clinton administration, comments on the challenges facing the new U.S. President. According to the author, these will include restoring U.S. credibility in the field of nuclear disarmament and arms control by working towards ratification of the CTBT.

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The Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty: Effectively Verifiable

David Hafemeister, science affiliate at Stanford University’s Center for International Security and Cooperation, reviews recent political developments on the CTBT in the United States and provides an overview of the progress in the CTBT's verification regime since the U.S. Senate voted on the CTBT in 1999.

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Are new nuclear bargains attainable?

Deepti Choubey, deputy director of the Nonproliferation Program at the Carnegie Endowment, analyzes how nuclear non-proliferation could be furthered by the Nuclear Weapon States living up to their commitment to nuclear disarmament, in particular by ratifying the CTBT.

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Global security must not rely on nuclear weapons, Vatican official stresses

Archbishop Dominique Mamberti underlined the support of the Holy See for the CTBT at the recent General Conference of the International Atomic Energy Agency, articulating that "Global security must not rely on nuclear weapons. The Holy See considers the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty an important tool to achieve this aim."

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Rice warns India on post pact nuke test

The Indian online-newspaper "Merinews" criticises the US-India nuclear deal, arguing that it endangers Indian security rather than giving energy infrastructure and resources for faster development. By preventing India from further tests, so the author, it corners the nation from holding a secret weapons programme.

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