The Comprehensive Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) will prohibit States Parties from carrying out nuclear weapon test explosions. The Treaty was adopted by the UN General Assembly nearly 30 years ago but is not yet in force. While nuclear-armed State Signatories have put unilateral testing moratoriums in place, international confidence in those moratoriums is being shaken. Russia is withdrawing its ratification to the Treaty, and activities at nuclear weapon test sites are stirring fears of a possible return to nuclear testing in the future.
Strengthening nuclear test ban monitoring via non-governmental satellite imagery analysis and mechanisms for resolving compliance concerns
VERTIC is partnering with the Open Nuclear Network (ONN) to strengthen the monitoring of nuclear test bans and moratoriums. We are investigating how consultation and clarification mechanisms – a hitherto under-examined aspect of the CTBT – could be used to resolve questions and concerns regarding the absence of nuclear weapon test explosions. In particular, we are drawing on non-governmental imagery and analysis produced by the ONN to explore the role that satellite imagery can play in consultation and clarification. In doing so, we aim to equip the international community with new ways to build confidence in the ongoing absence of nuclear weapon test explosions.
This work is funded by the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office and One Earth Future