CTBTO-WMO cooperation enhances nuclear test-ban verification

Major step forward in detecting nuclear explosions

The ability to detect the location of possible nuclear explosions will be significantly enhanced following the provisional entry into operation of a joint response system of the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) on 1 September 2008.

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CTBTO starts first ever on-site inspection simulation

The biggest and most ambitious project to date to test the preparedness of on-site inspections - a key element of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) global alarm system – started on 1 September 2008 in Kazakhstan. The Integrated Field Exercise 2008, IFE08, will examine methods and procedures of an on-site inspection and test their functioning and effectiveness.

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Iraq signs the CTBT

Iraq signed the CTBT on August 19, thereby bringing the total number of treaty signatures to 179. The CTBTO Executive Secretary, Tibor Tóth, welcomed the step: “It is a strong political signal for nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation. My hope is that it will encourage other countries of the region and beyond to follow suit.”

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Test ban treaty official urges India to sign CTBT

In an interview with Siddarth Varadarajan, CTBTO Executive Secretary Tibor Tóth encourages India to sign the Treaty and thereby set a positive example for the other outstanding Annex II states, whose ratification is required for the Treaty to enter into force.

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Australia, Japan to co-chair nonproliferation commission in October

Associated Press reports that the International Commission on Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament is to hold its first meeting in October. Former Australian Foreign Minister Gareth Evans and former Japanese Foreign Minister Yoriko Kawaguchi, who will be jointly co-chairing the Commission, explained that the focus will be, inter alia, on "what to do with countries that are developing nuclear programs while violating the NPT or are not members of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty.’’

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In secret letter, tough U.S. line on India nuclear deal

As Washington Post Staff Glenn Kessler reports, the United States would immediately terminate nuclear trade if India conducted a nuclear test, the Bush administration told Congress in correspondence that has remained secret for nine months. According to the letter, "[T]he fuel supply assurances are not, however, meant to insulate India against the consequences of a nuclear explosive test or a violation of nonproliferation commitments".

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U.S.-India deal: don’t loosen nuclear rules

U.S. Congress representatives Edward Markey and Ellen Tauscher propose for India to sign the CTBT and halt all further nuclear material production as conditions for the Nuclear Suppliers Group’s agreement to the contended U.S.-India Nuclear Deal.

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The U.S.-India nuclear deal

Karl F. Inderfurth scrutinizes Markey and Tauscher’s proposed solution, emphasizing India’s probable objection to double-standards and arguing that “the U.S. must lead by example, not by imposing conditions that America itself does not support.”

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Six NSG members hold out against clean waiver for India

Mehru Jaffer reports that six NSG Member States hold that the new draft for an NSG exemption for India fails to meet their nonproliferation concerns. India has “so far not signed the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty that prevents countries from conducting further nuclear tests.”

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India sees red as China voices n-deal concerns

Indrani Bagchi reflects on an comment on the US-India nuclear deal in the Chinese newspaper People’s Daily that might be indicative of the official Chinese position in the NSG and reports that many NSG Member States insist on including provisions in the NSG decision for the event of renewed nuclear testing by India.

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NSG: revised draft circulated among member countries

Pranab Dhal Samanta reports that the revised NSG draft has been approved of by India and is within its “red lines”, as it omits the mentioning the “testing” word and any reference to the CTBT.

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All eyes on the Nuclear Suppliers Group

According to the U.S. thinktank Carnegie Endowment, the “clean exception” for India proposed by the U.S. in the context of the nuclear trade guidelines of the Nuclear Suppliers Group not only represents a diversion from the non-proliferation mainstream, but also threatens to alter the mainstream itself.

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