News & AnalysisARMS CONTROL

Updated Review Finds Little U.S. Military Risk in Nuclear Test Ban

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Science  06 Apr 2012:
Vol. 336, Issue 6077, pp. 23
DOI: 10.1126/science.336.6077.23

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Any move toward ratification of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty, an agreement designed to end the testing of nuclear weapons permanently, will require a lengthy debate in the U.S. Senate, which has not been scheduled and would be improbable in an election year. But according to the U.S. National Academies, there is no technical reason why the United States should not sign on the dotted line right now. In a report released last week, an expert panel said it would be possible to keep America's stockpile of nuclear weapons safe and reliable without testing, and that treaty-monitoring technologies now make it impossible for states to hide a test big enough to be useful.