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Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty

The Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) prohibits countries from conducting nuclear weapon explosions and establishes an extensive verification system through the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO). 180 countries have signed the treaty, and 148 have ratified.  A vote to ratify the treaty in the United States Senate failed in 1999.

Recently hopes for ratification have been raised.  President Barack Obama has expressed full support for the treaty, stating, “As president, I will reach out to the Senate to secure the ratification of the CTBT at the earliest practical date and will then launch a diplomatic effort to bring onboard other states whose ratifications are required for the treaty to enter into force.” There is now a larger Senate majority of CTBT supporters to work with the President.

The Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) may be voted on in the United States Senate in 2010. Our Senators Orrin Hatch and Robert Bennett hold two of seven key votes needed to secure the necessary two thirds senate majority. 

Sign our petition, and ask our Senators to act in the best interest of Utahns and national security by ratifying the CTBT.  

The CTBT Will Protect the Health of Utahns  
Our state knows, all too painfully, the dangers of testing nuclear weapons.  Between 1951 and 1962, over 100 nuclear bombs were detonated in the open air of Nevada’s desert. Utahns were never told the fallout was dangerous to their health, or to seek shelter as the radioactive clouds rained fallout over their homes, gardens and pastures. We drank milk, not knowing it was laced with strontium-90, which mimics calcium, concentrates in bones, and causes cancer.

After the cessation of open-air testing, over 900 underground tests were conducted in the years to follow.  It is estimated that half of these "underground" tests spread radioactive fallout into the environment outside of the containment area.  Baneberry (pictured) is an example of an "underground" test that went horribly awry.  Despite assurances from federal government officials, a new era of weapons testing could potentially expose civilians to radioactive fallout. The prospect of renewed weapons testing at the Nevada Test Site reared its ugly head again at several points over the last decade.  The actions of Utahns were instrumental in stopping the proposed Divine Strake Tests in 2007.  Together we can work to see that the specter of testing never again threatens the people of our state.  Ratification of the CTBT would be a concrete step in ensuring this dark legacy is never repeated.

Ratification of the CTBT will strengthen National Security and help deter Nuclear Proliferation
The CTBT will strengthen international efforts to stop nuclear proliferation and promotes global arms control objectives. Proponents of the elimination of all nuclear weapons AND advocates for the retention of an American nuclear deterrent both support the CTBT, as it helps strengthen both approaches to proliferation.  Countries on the verge of acquiring nuclear weapons will be prohibited from testing. Countries already in possession of nuclear weapons will be less able to redesign their nuclear arsenals.  The CTBTO has created and implemented an extensive verification and monitoring system to detect and deter cheating.  Whether you are a "hawk" or a "dove", the CTBT advances the objectives of peace and security across the globe.

Help create a world free from the health risks of nuclear testing!  You can help by:

Learn more about nuclear weapons testing by clicking here