Treaty banning nuclear weapon tests in the atmosphere, in outer space and under water


The treaty you are referring to is known as the “Partial Nuclear Test Ban Treaty” (PTBT), which was signed on August 5, 1963. The PTBT, also known as the Limited Test Ban Treaty, bans nuclear weapon tests in three specific environments: the atmosphere, outer space, and underwater.

The PTBT was a significant international agreement aimed at reducing the risks and environmental effects of nuclear testing. It was a response to growing concerns about the health and environmental consequences of nuclear explosions, particularly the release of radioactive materials into the atmosphere.

Under the PTBT, signatory countries agree to prohibit nuclear weapon tests or any other nuclear explosions in the atmosphere, outer space, and under water. However, underground nuclear testing was not explicitly prohibited by the treaty. Subsequently, efforts were made to negotiate a comprehensive ban on all nuclear tests, resulting in the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT).

The CTBT, which was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 1996, is a more comprehensive treaty that aims to ban all nuclear explosions, including those conducted underground. However, it has not entered into force yet, as some key countries, including the United States, China, and North Korea, have not ratified it.

It is worth noting that while the PTBT and CTBT aim to prohibit nuclear tests, they do not directly address the possession, development, or use of nuclear weapons. These issues are covered by other international agreements, such as the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT).

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