Partial Test Ban Treaty
Overview
 
The treaty banning nuclear weapon tests in the atmosphere, in outer space and under water, often abbreviated as the Partial Test Ban Treaty (PTBT), Limited Test Ban Treaty (LTBT), or Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (NTBT) (although the latter also refers to the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty
Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty
The Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty bans all nuclear explosions in all environments, for military or civilian purposes. It was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on 10 September 1996 but it has not entered into force.-Status:...

) is a treaty prohibiting all test detonations
Nuclear testing
Nuclear weapons tests are experiments carried out to determine the effectiveness, yield and explosive capability of nuclear weapons. Throughout the twentieth century, most nations that have developed nuclear weapons have tested them...

 of nuclear weapons except underground
Underground nuclear testing
Underground nuclear testing refers to test detonations of nuclear weapons that are performed underground. When the device being tested is buried at sufficient depth, the explosion may be contained, with no release of radioactive materials to the atmosphere....

. It was developed both to slow the arms race
Arms race
The term arms race, in its original usage, describes a competition between two or more parties for the best armed forces. Each party competes to produce larger numbers of weapons, greater armies, or superior military technology in a technological escalation...

 (nuclear testing was, at the time, necessary for continued nuclear weapon advancements), and to stop the excessive release of nuclear fallout
Nuclear fallout
Fallout is the residual radioactive material propelled into the upper atmosphere following a nuclear blast, so called because it "falls out" of the sky after the explosion and shock wave have passed. It commonly refers to the radioactive dust and ash created when a nuclear weapon explodes...

 into the planet's atmosphere.

It was signed by the governments of the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

 (represented by Andrei Gromyko
Andrei Gromyko
Andrei Andreyevich Gromyko was a Soviet statesman during the Cold War. He served as Minister of Foreign Affairs and as Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet . Gromyko was responsible for many top decisions on Soviet foreign policy until he retired in 1987. In the West he was given the...

), the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 (represented by Sir Alec Douglas-Home
Alec Douglas-Home
Alexander Frederick Douglas-Home, Baron Home of the Hirsel, KT, PC , known as The Earl of Home from 1951 to 1963 and as Sir Alec Douglas-Home from 1963 to 1974, was a British Conservative politician who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from October 1963 to October 1964.He is the last...

) and the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 (represented by Dean Rusk
Dean Rusk
David Dean Rusk was the United States Secretary of State from 1961 to 1969 under presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson. Rusk is the second-longest serving U.S...

), named the "Original Parties", at Moscow
Moscow
Moscow is the capital, the most populous city, and the most populous federal subject of Russia. The city is a major political, economic, cultural, scientific, religious, financial, educational, and transportation centre of Russia and the continent...

 on August 5, 1963 and opened for signature by other countries.
Discussions
Encyclopedia
The treaty banning nuclear weapon tests in the atmosphere, in outer space and under water, often abbreviated as the Partial Test Ban Treaty (PTBT), Limited Test Ban Treaty (LTBT), or Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (NTBT) (although the latter also refers to the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty
Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty
The Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty bans all nuclear explosions in all environments, for military or civilian purposes. It was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on 10 September 1996 but it has not entered into force.-Status:...

) is a treaty prohibiting all test detonations
Nuclear testing
Nuclear weapons tests are experiments carried out to determine the effectiveness, yield and explosive capability of nuclear weapons. Throughout the twentieth century, most nations that have developed nuclear weapons have tested them...

 of nuclear weapons except underground
Underground nuclear testing
Underground nuclear testing refers to test detonations of nuclear weapons that are performed underground. When the device being tested is buried at sufficient depth, the explosion may be contained, with no release of radioactive materials to the atmosphere....

. It was developed both to slow the arms race
Arms race
The term arms race, in its original usage, describes a competition between two or more parties for the best armed forces. Each party competes to produce larger numbers of weapons, greater armies, or superior military technology in a technological escalation...

 (nuclear testing was, at the time, necessary for continued nuclear weapon advancements), and to stop the excessive release of nuclear fallout
Nuclear fallout
Fallout is the residual radioactive material propelled into the upper atmosphere following a nuclear blast, so called because it "falls out" of the sky after the explosion and shock wave have passed. It commonly refers to the radioactive dust and ash created when a nuclear weapon explodes...

 into the planet's atmosphere.

It was signed by the governments of the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

 (represented by Andrei Gromyko
Andrei Gromyko
Andrei Andreyevich Gromyko was a Soviet statesman during the Cold War. He served as Minister of Foreign Affairs and as Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet . Gromyko was responsible for many top decisions on Soviet foreign policy until he retired in 1987. In the West he was given the...

), the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 (represented by Sir Alec Douglas-Home
Alec Douglas-Home
Alexander Frederick Douglas-Home, Baron Home of the Hirsel, KT, PC , known as The Earl of Home from 1951 to 1963 and as Sir Alec Douglas-Home from 1963 to 1974, was a British Conservative politician who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from October 1963 to October 1964.He is the last...

) and the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 (represented by Dean Rusk
Dean Rusk
David Dean Rusk was the United States Secretary of State from 1961 to 1969 under presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson. Rusk is the second-longest serving U.S...

), named the "Original Parties", at Moscow
Moscow
Moscow is the capital, the most populous city, and the most populous federal subject of Russia. The city is a major political, economic, cultural, scientific, religious, financial, educational, and transportation centre of Russia and the continent...

 on August 5, 1963 and opened for signature by other countries. It was ratified by the U.S. Senate on September 24, 1963 by a vote of 80 to 19. The treaty went into effect on October 10, 1963.

Background

Much of the initiative for the treaty had its focus in what was the rising concern about radioactive fallout as a result of nuclear weapons testing underwater, in the atmosphere, and on the ground's surface, on the part of the nuclear powers. These concerns became more pronounced after the United States successfully tested a hydrogen bomb and a thermonuclear device with the power of eight megatons of TNT in the early 1950s and when the USSR detonated a 50-megaton nuclear warhead
Tsar Bomba
Tsar Bomba is the nickname for the AN602 hydrogen bomb, the most powerful nuclear weapon ever detonated. It was also referred to as Kuz'kina Mat , in this usage meaning "something that has not been seen before"....

 in 1961.

Negotiations

Initially, the Soviet Union proposed a testing ban along with a disarmament agreement dealing with both conventional and nuclear weapon systems. The Western nuclear powers and the Soviet Union traded positions on this issue over the course of negotiations in the 1950s through offers and counteroffers proposed under the aegis of the U.N. Disarmament Commission. It was only later during 1959 and into the early 1960s that the United States, the United Kingdom, and the Soviet Union agreed to detach a general agreement on nuclear disarmament from a ban on nuclear weapons testing.

The Soviet Union, however, only agreed in principle to a testing ban with no verification regime or protocols. It was over what measures and the method by which they could be effectively carried out that caused much of the deadlock in the latter half of 1961 over a test ban agreement. The problem of detecting underground tests—that is, distinguishing it from an earthquake—proved to be particularly troublesome. Therefore the United States and United Kingdom insisted on intrusive, inspection-based control systems as a means to verify compliance. The Soviet Union, on the other hand, maintained the position that surveillance and seismic detection equipment operated from outside the boundaries of any signatory was adequate to verify compliance. The Western powers felt that any agreement not subject to a control system rigorous enough to verify compliance would set a bad precedent in nuclear arms control for future agreements.

Deadlock ensued until July 1963 when Premier Khrushchev signaled his willingness to give up on a ban that would include underground testing. In effect, this meant the Soviet Union would agree to a test ban in the atmosphere, outer space, and under water environments; a position the Western powers had long favored as an alternative to a more comprehensive (underground environment) ban. This opened an opportunity for a three-power meeting among the United States, the United Kingdom, and the Soviet Union on July 15, 1963 in Moscow. The Moscow negotiations, in reflecting the long deliberations that had gone on for nearly a decade, took relatively little time as the treaty was signed by representatives of the three governments only 21 days later.

Signatories


Most countries have signed and ratified the treaty. Countries known to have tested nuclear weapons but which have not signed the treaty are China, France and North Korea, although North Korean nuclear tests have not been as successful as those done by the French or Chinese.

See also

  • Air Force Technical Applications Center
    Air Force Technical Applications Center
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  • Boeing NC-135
    Boeing NC-135
    |-See also:- External links :...

  • Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty
  • High altitude nuclear explosion
    High altitude nuclear explosion
    High-altitude nuclear explosions have historically been nuclear explosions which take place above altitudes of 30 km, still inside the Earth's atmosphere. Such explosions have been tests of nuclear weapons, used to determine the effects of the blast and radiation in the exoatmospheric...

  • List of parties to the Partial Test Ban Treaty
  • Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone
    Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone
    A nuclear-weapons-free zone, or NWFZ is defined by the United Nations as an agreement which a group of states has freely established by treaty or convention, that bans the use, development, or deployment of nuclear weapons in a given area, that has mechanisms of verification and control to enforce...

  • Project Orion
    Project Orion (nuclear propulsion)
    Project Orion was a study of a spacecraft intended to be directly propelled by a series of explosions of atomic bombs behind the craft...

  • Space law
    Space law
    Space law is an area of the law that encompasses national and international law governing activities in outer space. International lawyers have been unable to agree on a uniform definition of the term "outer space," although most lawyers agree that outer space generally begins at the lowest...

  • Threshold Test Ban Treaty
    Threshold Test Ban Treaty
    The Treaty on the Limitation of Underground Nuclear Weapon Tests, also known as the Threshold Test Ban Treaty , was signed in July 1974 by the USA and the USSR...

  • Underground nuclear testing
    Underground nuclear testing
    Underground nuclear testing refers to test detonations of nuclear weapons that are performed underground. When the device being tested is buried at sufficient depth, the explosion may be contained, with no release of radioactive materials to the atmosphere....


External links

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