In an oped in today's Los Angeles Times, former Energy Secretary Hazel O'Leary outlines the case for careful Senate reconsideration and ratification of the Treaty. She notes that:
"In 1999, opponents of the treaty expressed concern that it would hamper America's ability to maintain a robust nuclear arsenal. Those worries are now moot. Thanks to technological progress over the last decade, nuclear scientists can determine with high confidence that warheads work without detonating them. Indeed, the United States hasn't conducted a nuclear test explosion since 1992."
O'Leary, who served as U.S. Energy Secretary from 1993-1997, was instrumental in the Clinton administration to extend the nuclear test moratorium first mandated by Congress and pursue a "zero-yield" test ban treaty, and under her watch the Department developed the stockpile stewardship program.
"By ratifying the treaty," O'Leary writes, "the United States would gain the political and moral leverage to end nuclear testing worldwide. And we'd help establish the kind of robust framework needed by the international community to monitor and deter the nuclear activities of the most dangerous countries."
"Now is the time for the Senate to seriously reconsider and approve the test ban treaty."
The oped, "Ratify the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty,' by O'Leary and Daryl Kimball is available online.