Digests and Blog

Authored by Meri Lugo

The 2010 nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference concluded on May 28 with a consensus document that commits states parties to universalize norms against nuclear nonproliferation, strengthen safeguards, respond quickly to cases of noncompliance and treaty withdrawal, and take further steps on nuclear disarmament. The NPT states parties agreed to very strong and specific action steps on the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. Most importantly, the final document calls for nuclear weapon states to ratify the accord "with all expediency." In addition to calling for Annex 2 states…

Authored by Meri Lugo

A Republican candidate for the Utah Senate seat, Mike Lee, announced Wednesday that if elected, he would likely vote to ratify the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, The Salt Lake Tribune reported yesterday. "I don't think we need [nuclear testing] and I think, on the whole, we as Americans would be safer if the treaty were in place," Lee said. Lee also cited the "supreme national interest" clause, which allows the United States to withdraw from the treaty in the very rare case that it decides nuclear testing is necessary, as a key element of his support. "I don't think we currently have any…

Authored by Meri Lugo

Two Republican candidates for the U.S. Senate set off a state-wide debate about the whether to resume nuclear weapons testing, leading to calls from key opinion leaders for them to reverse their position. The Salt Lake Tribune reported last Thursday that Mike Lee and Tim Bridgewater, the two Republican candidates for the U.S. Senate in Utah, indicated possible support for future underground nuclear testing. Mike Lee signed a "Peace Through Strength" pledge, organized by conservative think-tanks, which supports, "a robust defense posture including a safe, reliable, effective nuclear…

Authored by Meri Lugo

The CTBT, as a key tenet of the nonproliferation regime, has been a noticeable part of the conversation at this month's NPT Review Conference in New York. Below is an index of opening statements from countries that cite the CTBT as a requirement of reinvigorating the NPT: African Group Algeria Australia Austria Bangladesh Botswana Brazil Bulgaria Chile China Colombia Croatia Denmark Estonia European Union France Germany Ghana Greece Guatemala Holy See Indonesia Ireland Italy Japan Kazakhstan…

Authored by Meri Lugo

The Jakarta Post reported today that Indonesia plans to ratify the CTBT soon, despite previous announcements that the country would wait to ratify the treaty until the United States Senate voted to ratify. Indonesian Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa told the Indonesian House of Representatives yesterday that he will officially announce the ratification during the NPT Review Conference next month in New York. "We have been holding off the ratification process since 2002 as we expected the US and other nuclear weapons states to ratify first," said Natalegawa. "However, we decided there was no…

Authored by Meri Lugo

The new Nuclear Posture Review represents a significant boost to the political and substantive case for Senate ratification of the CTBT. One of the most dramatic turnarounds from George W. Bush's 2001 NPR is the 2010 NPR's support of Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) ratification and entry into force. Another is the prohibition on new nuclear warhead development and declining the pursuit of new military missions or new military capabilities for the warheads. The 2001 NPR sought to provide the president with a broader range of nuclear weapons employment options, reportedly calling for…

Authored by Meri Lugo

On Monday, the Utah House of Representatives unanimously passed a resolution urging the U.S. Senate to give its advice and consent for ratification of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. The resolution, HR4, was introduced by Democratic Representative Jennifer Seelig, and co-sponsored by Republican Representative Ryan Wilcox, Democrat Trisha Beck, and Republican Rebecca Edwards. Several Utahns spoke in favor of the test ban at hearing on the resolution, including a "downwinder" whose family had died due to nuclear testing-related effects. The nonbinding Utah House resolution notes that the…

Authored by Meri Lugo

Yesterday, Congressman Michael Turner, ranking Republican member on the House Subcommittee on Strategic Forces, released three letters from the directors of the Los Alamos National Laboratory, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, and Sandia National Laboratory written at his request on their views on the unclassified executive summary of December 2009 report of the JASON group of independent scientific experts on the stockpile stewardship program. (Click here for the summary of the report.) None of the lab directors’ letters contradict the fundamental finding of the unclassified JASON…

Authored by Meri Lugo

In a press release yesterday, the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) highlighted the International Monitoring System's (IMS) contribution of vital data to the rapid alerts issued by tsunami warning centers following the catastrophic 8.8 magnitude earthquake in Chile early on February 27. About 20 seismic and hydroacoustic IMS stations sent data in real time to warning centres in the Pacific, helping the centers issue alerts to Latin American countries and the wider Pacific region. "The CTBTO monitoring data has proven to be the speediest and…

Authored by Meri Lugo

The Congressional Research Service (CRS) recently released an update (dated January 6, 2010, as there is often a delay between the update and release) of its "Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty: Background and Current Developments" report. Have a look here.