Issue 24: September 2015

Click to view entire issue (PDF).

This issue has been published to coincide with the Ninth Article XIV Conference on 29 September 2015 at UN headquarters in New York, United States.

The Foreign Ministers of Japan and Kazakhstan, Fumio Kishida and Erlan Idrissov will jointly preside over this conference. In this issue, they explain how their countries’ eagerness to see an end to all nuclear testing is rooted in experiencing the horrific effects of nuclear weapons explosions.

Federica Mogherini, the European Union’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and member of the Group of Eminent Persons (GEM), argues why the Iran nuclear agreement bodes well for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT).

Angela Kane, former UN High Representative for Disarmament Affairs and also GEM member, recommends progress on the CTBT’s entry into force as an antidote to the prevalent “disarmament malaise”. 

Reflecting on this summer’s 70th commemoration of the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945 is an article by Ari Beser, a young journalist whose grandfather was the only U.S. airman to be on board during both attacks.

A little-known aspect of the first series of nuclear tests carried out after the Second World War is explored by physicist and science communicator Michael Bücker, the fate of the captured warships used in the Baker test at the Bikini atoll in 1946.

The effects of a nuclear explosion the size of the Baker test or that of a much more powerful h-bomb developed in the course of subsequent nuclear testing can be visualized for any location on Earth with the “Nukemap”. U.S. nuclear weapons historian Alex Wellerstein explains his motivation for creating this unique online tool.

The Member States’ forum overseeing the build-up of the CTBT’s verification regime that is capable of detecting a nuclear explosion anywhere on Earth is Working Group B (WGB). One of WGB’s longest-serving members, Robert Kemerait, Senior Scientist at the U.S. Air Force Technical Applications Center (AFTAC), looks back upon two successful decades of WGB’s work.

One of the topics discussed by WGB but yet to be exercised is drilling for radioactive samples, the ultimate of the 17 on-site inspection techniques. Walter D. Dekin from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and Ward L. Hawkins from Los Alamos National Laboratory explain what it takes to safely conduct this most elaborate and potentially most hazardous of all on-site inspection techniques.

Finally, this issue features Chinese artist Xiaoyu Li and samples from other artists from China, Kazakhstan and the United States inspired by the issue of nuclear testing.

Editorial 1 [PDF]
CTBT signatures and ratifications
as of 4 September 2015
2 [PDF]
The Group of Eminent Persons (GEM)
3 [PDF]
Iran deal bodes well for CTBT's entry into force
By Federica Mogherini, European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy
4 [PDF]
Overcoming the disarmament malaise
By Angela Kane, Former United Nations High Representative for Disarmament Affairs
5 [PDF]
Article XIV Conference 2015    
Why Japan is fully committed to the CTBT
By Fumio Kishida, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan
6 [PDF]
Time to ban nuclear weapons testing forever
By Erlan Idrissov, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan
7 [PDF]
Two succesful decades of Working Group B
By Robert Kemerait, Senior Scientist, Air Force Technical Applications Center (AFTAC)
9 [PDF]
Science and Technology 2015 in Pictures 12 [PDF]
Everything is connected
By Ari M. Beser, Author and Journalist
14 [PDF]
Certified International Monitoring System facilities
as of 4 September 2015
17 [PDF]
Identifying ships in photos of the Baker nuclear test
By Michael Buecker, Physicist and Science Communicator
18 [PDF]
Interview with Alex Wellerstein
Historian of Science, Stevens Institute of Technology, Creator of Nukemap
20 [PDF]
Monitoring Science    
Drilling for radioactive samples
The ultimate CTBT verification measure
By Walter D. Dekin, Lawrence Livermore National Labaratory
Ward L. Hawkins, Los Alamos National Laboratory
23 [PDF]
Art and Nuclear Testing    
Featuring Xiaoyu Li
Art and the Test Ban
27 [PDF]
People 30 [PDF]