Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) | IAS Target IAS Target

Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT)

Recently, the US State Department has accused China and Russia of conducting low-yielding nuclear tests in violation of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT).
Signed: 10 September 1996; 25 years ago
Location: New York
Signatories: 185

Key points

  • CTBT was negotiated at the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva and adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 1996.
  • The Convention stipulates that anyone, anywhere, bans all nuclear explosions.
  • The nuclear water test inspects nuclear material under conditions of explosive impact compression.
  • Their yields range from very small to a significant portion of the complete weapon.
  • The subcritical (or cold) test is a type of test that uses nuclear material and potentially explosive material that does not intentionally yield.
As of August 2011, 36 of these States have ratified the Treaty. However, eight states still need to do so: China, North Korea, Egypt, India, Iran, Israel, Pakistan and the United States.

All three have also undertaken tests after 1996; India and Pakistan in May 1998 and North Korea six times between 2006 and 2017. The CTBT has therefore not entered into force and lacks legal authority