Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty: Background and Current Developments [June 2, 2015]   [open pdf - 747KB]

"A ban on all nuclear tests is the oldest item on the nuclear arms control agenda. Three treaties that entered into force between 1963 and 1990 limit, but do not ban, such tests. In 1996, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT), which would ban all nuclear explosions. In 1997, President Clinton sent the CTBT to the Senate, which rejected it in October 1999. In a speech in Prague in April 2009, President Obama said, 'My administration will immediately and aggressively pursue U.S. ratification of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty.' However, while the Administration has indicated it wants to begin a CTBT 'education' campaign with a goal of securing Senate advice and consent to ratification, it has not pressed for a vote on the treaty and there were no hearings on it in the 111th, 112th, or 113th Congresses, or so far in the 114th. This report will be updated occasionally. This update reflects the FY2016 budget request and developments through May 2015. CRS [Congressional Research Service] Report RL34394, 'Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty: Issues and Arguments,' by Jonathan E. Medalia, presents pros and cons in detail. CRS Report R40612, Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty: Updated 'Safeguards' and 'Net Assessments,' by Jonathan E. Medalia, discusses safeguards--unilateral steps to maintain U.S. nuclear security consistent with nuclear testing treaties--and their relationship to the CTBT. CRS Report R43948, Energy and 'Water Development: FY2016 Appropriations for Nuclear Weapons Stockpile Stewardship,' by Jonathan E. Medalia, provides details on stockpile stewardship."

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CRS Report for Congress, RL33548
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