Delegation of Indonesian Parliamentarians
visit CTBTO as part of process to ratify CTBT

Indonesian Parliamentarians and diplomats with Tibor Tóth, Executive Secretary of the CTBTO.

Delegation of Indonesian Parliamentarians visits CTBTO

“It is important this step [ratification of the Treaty] is taken by everybody. By doing this we can start a programme for nuclear disarmament because we have stopped testing,” said Kemal Azis Stamboel, Chairman of the First Committee in Indonesia’s House of Representatives in a visit to the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) in Vienna. The visit by Stamboel and other parliamentarians was an opportunity for them to familiarize themselves with the Treaty and the work of the CTBTO.

Read the CTBTO highlight here.

Co-chairs of the ICNND during their press conference, Gareth Evans and Yoriko Kawaguchi.

Centre to advocate nuclear disarmament -- proposed by ICNND

The Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) entry into force “remains a critical priority...,” said Professor Gareth Evans, co-chair for the International Commission on Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament, at a press conference in Vienna, Austria. Evans and co-chair Yoriko Kawaguchi explained that the Commission proposes to open a new international centre for nuclear disarmament with the aim of moving forward on commitments agreed to by the international community, including the CTBT.

Read the CTBTO highlight here.

Infrasound test facilities at the Conrad Observatory.

A new CTBTO test bed to further refine infrasound technology

“Infrasound has a potential that is not fully understood or fulfilled,” said Federico Guendel, Director of the International Monitoring System of the CTBT during the official opening of the CTBTO’s Infrasound facility at the Conrad Observatory in Vienna, Austria. The infrasound test facility provides the CTBTO with the tools to refine a technology that is part of a global system to detect nuclear explosions, but has been neglected for over 30 years.

Read the CTBTO highlight here.

U.S. President George W. Bush with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in 2006. (AP Photo/Gurinder Osan)

States urged to make CTBT and FMCT a precondition for nuclear trade

Expressing concern over the possibility of States entering into nuclear trade agreements with countries such as Pakistan and India, who have not joined international treaties such as the Non-Proliferation Treaty or the CTBT, nuclear non-proliferation experts and former government officials around the world are urging national governments to refrain from doing so. States, they suggested, should first sign the CTBT and the Fissile Material Cut-Off Treaty as a precondition for any future trade.

Read the following articles to learn more about the issue:

India's nuclear ambition runs up against China's

India must agree to nuclear restraints

Experts, Organizations from 14 Countries Call on Nuclear Suppliers Group to Uphold Rules Barring Chinese Sale of Reactors to Pakistan

Is the NSG Up to the Task?

India, Canada ink landmark civil nuke cooperation pact

Japan weighs role in India's nuclear boom by Peter Brown

Non-proliferation panel concerned about India exemption from NSG guidelines

North Korean leader Kim Jong Il.

Tensions in Korean Peninsula, North Korea to bolster its nuclear deterrent

The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea has threatened to “bolster its nuclear deterrent in a newly developed way to cope with the U.S. persistent hostile policy,” according to a North Korean Foreign Ministry official. Experts believe the North Koreans may be referring to an earlier announcement by the DPRK of reaching the final stages of uranium enrichment, which could be used as a second way of making a nuclear weapon in addition to North Korea’s plutonium based nuclear devices.

Read the following articles to learn more about the issue:

N.Korea to bolster nuclear deterrent

DPRK's Efforts to Bolster up Its Nuclear Deterrent

N.Korea warns against UN censure

N.Korea warns accident during exercise could start war

"Newly Developed Way" for NORK Nukes?

Abnormal radiation detected near Korean border

U.S. President Barack Obama in Prague.

CTBT: How the Dominoes Might Fall after U.S. Ratification

In an article for the Non-Proliferation Review, the authors discuss the potential implications of Washington's ratification of the CTBT for the Treaty’s future by analyzing the positions and options of the eight remaining Annex 2 holdouts. The authors conclude that without the United States to hide behind and lacking substantial strategic reasons to remain outside the Treaty, most holdouts will move toward ratification.

Read the article here.

US President Barack Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev.

Russia, ratification and the CTBT’s entry into force

“… The Obama administration will need as much help as it can get from other CTBT supporters—Russia in particular— if entry into force is ever to become reality,” says Victor Slipchenko in an occasional paper for VERTIC. Slipchenko says that Russian intervention could help solve several of the controversial issues dividing the political lines in the U.S. with regards to CTBT ratification.

Read the occasional paper here.

Special Report: Should BP nuke its leaking well?

Ship at the site of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

“… Don’t expect an explosion under the Gulf of Mexico any time soon. Even a conventional blast could backfire and cause more problems,” concluded a report by Reuters on the possibility of using a nuclear explosion to seal off the oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico. According to the report Washington has repeatedly dismissed the idea and BP executives say they are not considering an explosion -- nuclear or otherwise. Bill Broad from the New York Times reported last June that U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu and other U.S. officials had canceled out the nuclear option and added "it would violate arms treaties that the United States has signed and championed over the decades."

Read the Reuters article here and the NY Times article here.