The Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) is a legally binding global ban on nuclear explosive testing and the final step in the vision laid out fifty years ago by President John F. Kennedy. The CTBT was opened for signature in 1996.
Since 1992, the United States has observed a unilateral moratorium on nuclear explosive testing. This moratorium is based on our national security assessment that the United States does not need to conduct nuclear explosive tests in order to ensure the safety, security and effectiveness of the nuclear forces we maintain to deter nuclear attacks on the United States, our allies and partners. Moreover, reinforcing the international norm against nuclear explosive testing is very much in the U.S. security interest.
As President Obama first stated in Prague in 2009, the Administration is committed both to seeking the advice and consent of the United States Senate to ratify the treaty, and to helping secure ratification by others, so that the treaty can enter into force.
Entry into force of the Comprehensive Test Ban (CTBT) would create a legally binding prohibition on nuclear explosive tests for all of its parties. The CTBT will: