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Letter: Time for U.S. Senate to ratify Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty

Published: Wednesday, Aug. 1 2012 12:00 a.m. MDT

In this Sept. 24, 1996 file photo, President Clinton signs the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty at the United Nations. In a ceremony full of symbolism, the White House said Clinton signed the historic treaty with the same pen President John F. Kennedy used to sign the 1963 Limited Test Ban Treaty. The treaty was never ratified by the U.S. Senate.

Charles Krupa, File, Associated Press

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Thanks to Eve Mary Verde for her reminder that the legacy of nuclear testing remains with us some 67 years later ("Trinity: The plight of 'downwinders,'" Readers' Forum, July 20).

Fortunately, this year also marks another anniversary — a more hopeful one. Twenty years ago on Sept. 13, 1992, after a sustained national grass-roots lobbying campaign led by disarmament groups, the U.S. Senate adopted a nine-month U.S. testing moratorium.

The moratorium placed strict conditions on any further U.S. testing, and required the U.S. to enter test ban negotiations. On Oct. 2, 1992, President George H.W. Bush signed the moratorium. Since our military and national security experts tell us that we have no plans nor need to restart testing in the future, it is time to make the moratorium permanent.

In 1996, President Bill Clinton signed the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, or CTBT, but in 1999 the Senate failed to ratify it. It's time for the U.S. Senate to ratify the CTBT and move us one step closer to a nuclear weapons free world.

Christine G. Meecham

Salt Lake City

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