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U.S. Senate Ratification of the Comprehensive Test BanTreaty (CTBT)


CTBT Background

The Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) is a worldwide ban on all nuclear test explosions, including underground testing. To monitor compliance, the treaty is backed by the International Monitoring System. This network of over 330 testing stations is now over 80% complete. The proven system has already successfully detected real-world events, including North Korea’s 2006 and 2009 nuclear tests. Once the treaty is enacted, suspected treaty violations would trigger mandatory on-site inspections.

Over 153 nations have ratified the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, including Russia and every one of our NATO allies. But the treaty cannot enter into force globally without U.S. Senate ratification.  It will take U.S. leadership to complete this vital treaty.  The longer we delay, the more nuclear weapons states there may be, making it increasingly more difficult to curb proliferation of the world’s deadliest weapon.

Ronald Reagan was a firm believer in both a strong national defense and in the potential for the world powers to eliminate all nuclear weapons.  To assure a secure national defense, mutual arms control treaties cannot be based on trust alone.  Any progress in arms control agreements must include strict verification measures.  The long sought Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) with its provisions for a global network of detection stations and on-site inspections, is just such an agreement. It meets Ronald Reagan’s often stated criteria of, “Trust, but verify.”


What You Can Do

1. Write or Call your Senators

Tell them why you believe U.S. Senate ratification of a global, verifiable nuclear test ban treaty is necessary for our safety and security.

2.  Write a Letter to the Editor

Bring awareness to the CTBT in your community by writing an op-ed or letter to the editor to your local paper.  Encourage your friends to do the same.

3.  Become a Grass Roots Volunteer Leader

When this issue is ready to move toward a vote in the U.S. Senate, grassroots leaders will be needed in most states.  Go to Support Grassroots Activities to get more details.



Additional Information

Statements of Support for the CTBT

Visit Project for the CTBT

Visit the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty Organization website

CTBT Flyer

Banning Nuclear Explosions: A Test-Ban Treaty Primer

Congressional Research Service Report on the CTBT – August 3, 2011