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Readers' forum: Ratify nuclear treaty

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  • r_r Salt Lake City, UT
    April 16, 2012 9:17 a.m.

    Peanut gallery, respectfully, you seem to have some items confused. First, the test ban treaty has no effect on whether we're keeping our nuclear arsenal up to date and working.

    The National Academy of the Sciences, the JASON group, and D'Agostino - Undersecretary for the NNSA, have all declared that modern methods of testing the weapons with high speed computers and simulations are not only more than adequate to insure the the continued security of our nukes, but also that we now know more about the weapons than we ever did under the archaic practice of atmospheric or underground explosive testing.

    The CTBT bans only explosive testing - something the US has had a voluntary moratorium against for 20 years. The CTBT does not ban testing using computers or simulations. The modern methods of testing without the health hazards that you site, Peanut Gallery, are still allowed under the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty.

    US ratification of the CTBT would be a significant step towards creating a truly global prohibition against nuclear testing: a useful tool when dealing with North Korea in the coming months.

    The real hazard is our nation's slow movement towards ratifying the Test Ban Treaty.

  • PeanutGallery Salt Lake City, UT
    April 15, 2012 5:09 p.m.

    Signing the test ban would be a BIG mistake, and I think the day would come when we'd regret having signed it. While it sounds good on the surface, it's very unrealistic. Our signing of the treaty would have no effect in persuading rogue nations to sign (they'd see it merely as a sign of weakness), so we'd only be handicapping ourselves.

    While it sounds like a paradox, keeping our nuclear arsenal up to date and working precisely is a powerful factor in maintaining peace in the world. I realize there are still many conflicts, but it would be much worse without our nuclear weapons.

    Some say that testing is no longer necessary, but, sorry, I don't believe it. Modern methods can allow testing without the health hazard of decades past. Signing this test ban treaty would be naive and foolish indeed.

  • Eric Samuelsen Provo, UT
    April 15, 2012 10:39 a.m.

    Good letter. I'd add that international disarmament is a major focus of President Obama. And good for him.