U.S. COMMITMENT TO THE TREATY ON THE|
NON-PROLIFERATION OF NUCLEAR WEAPONS
The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) is the cornerstone of international efforts to prevent the
spread of nuclear weapons and promote arms control and disarmament, to achieve and maintain an
effective international safeguards system, and to promote peaceful cooperation in nuclear energy.
During the 1995 NPT Review and Extension Conference, NPT parties agreed to extend indefinitely the
Treaty, making it a permanent part of the global security system. NPT parties at the 1995 NPT
Conference also agreed to two other decisions: (1) "Principles and Objectives for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament," which affirmed the need to "move with determination toward the full
realization and effective implementation of the provisions of the Treaty" and (2) "Strengthening the
Review Process for the Treaty."
The United States is strongly committed to the NPT, to efforts that further strengthen the Treaty, and to
the broader international nonproliferation and arms control regime. The United States has taken
numerous practical steps -- unilateral, bilateral, and multilateral -- to affirm this commitment and to
underscore the fact that a permanent NPT is a positive force for international efforts to promote progress
in arms control, nonproliferation, and disarmament. Many of these steps have been taken since the conclusion of the 1995 NPT Conference.
Formal preparations for the 2000 NPT Review Conference began in April 1997 with the first of three
Preparatory Committee meetings. The second Preparatory Committee meeting will take place in April
1998. The United States hopes that all NPT parties will work together to ensure that the 2000 NPT
Review Conference further strengthens the NPT and reinforces global nonproliferation and disarmament
The Goal of Nuclear Disarmament
Nuclear Arms Reduction Efforts
President Clinton reaffirmed on April 17, 1996, that the United States remains committed to the
pursuit of systematic and progressive efforts to reduce nuclear weapons globally, with the
ultimate goal of eliminating those weapons.
In his September 24, 1996, speech before the United Nations General Assembly, President
Clinton expressed the hope that during the next century "the roles and risks of nuclear weapons
can be even further reduced -- and ultimately eliminated."
In an historic step, President Clinton and President Yeltsin, at their summit in March 1997,
issued a joint statement on future reductions in nuclear forces, reaffirming their shared
commitment to reduce further the nuclear danger and strengthen strategic stability and nuclear
The Department of Defense's 1994 Nuclear Posture Review (NPR), which was approved by the
President, and is still in force today, created no new missions or roles for nuclear weapons. The
basic premise of the NPR is that nuclear weapons play a smaller role in U.S. security today than
at any other time in the nuclear age. The United States favors this diminished role for nuclear
The United States played a leading role in securing a Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT),
which was opened for signature on September 24, 1996. Conclusion of a CTBT by 1996, was
specifically called for in the 1995 NPT Conference decision on "Principles and Objectives for
Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament."
On January 20, 1998, President Clinton urged the Conference on Disarmament to negotiate a
Fissile Material Cut-Off Treaty and an export ban on anti-personnel mines, and stated that doing
so would represent "important steps on the road to a world that is free of nuclear weapons and
safe for children to tread."
Unilateral Nuclear Disarmament Efforts
The United States eliminated all ground-based intermediate-range ballistic missiles by the end of
May 1991, as required by the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty.
The START I Treaty entered into force in December 1994. Implementation of the Treaty is
running well ahead of schedule. Both the United States and Russia have reduced their strategic
nuclear warheads below those limits that were required to be met by December 1997 (9,150
deployed strategic warheads), and are close to meeting all the limits that are required to take
effect by December 1999 (7,950 deployed strategic warheads). Moreover, all nuclear weapons
have been removed from the territories of the other three START Parties: Ukraine, Belarus, and
Kazakhstan, all of which have joined the NPT as non-nuclear weapon states parties to the NPT.
- As of January 1998, the United States has eliminated more than 900 heavy bombers and missile
launchers that had carried over 4,000 accountable warheads. This is about 75 percent of the U.S.
planned eliminations under START I.
The START II Treaty, signed in January 1993, is a follow-on to START I. It is designed to
achieve deeper reductions in strategic nuclear forces and enhance strategic stability by
eliminating the most destabilizing weapons systems -- that is, land-based intercontinental
ballistic missiles with multiple warheads.
- On January 26, 1996, the United States Senate voted to give its advice and consent to ratification
of START II. We are now awaiting positive consideration by the Russian Duma and the
Federation Council so that START II can enter into force.
- Once START II has been fully implemented, the United States will have reduced its nuclear
forces by two-thirds from Cold War levels.
In a joint statement at their March 1997 summit in Helsinki, Presidents Clinton and Yeltsin
reached an understanding to begin negotiations on START III immediately after START II
enters into force.
The presidents reached an understanding that START III will establish by December 31, 2007, a
ceiling of 2,000-2,500 deployed strategic weapons for both parties. This represents a 30-45
percent reduction in the number of total deployed strategic warheads permitted under START II,
a 60-65 percent reduction in the number of total deployed strategic warheads permitted under
START I, and an 80 percent reduction below Cold War levels.
At Helsinki, the two presidents agreed that START III would be the first strategic arms control
agreement to include measures relating to the transparency of strategic nuclear warhead
inventories and the destruction of strategic nuclear warheads. They also agreed that START III
should include other measures designed to promote the irreversibility of deep reductions,
including the prevention of a rapid increase in the number of warheads.
- The United States and Russia signed agreements on September 26, 1997, that promote the
realization of these Helsinki commitments. They include a Protocol to START II extending its implementation until December 31, 2007. This extension is needed to encourage Russia's
ratification of START II, in view of its concerns over the cost of dismantling nuclear weapons
systems. The extension will apply equitably to both parties.
- On September 26, 1997, the United States and Russia also signed and exchanged letters legally
codifying the Helsinki commitment to deactivate by December 31, 2003, the U.S. and Russian
strategic nuclear delivery vehicles that will be eliminated under START II, thereby ensuring that
START II's security benefits are realized in roughly the same time frame as originally intended.
- The United States is firmly committed to the viability of the Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM)
Treaty, a cornerstone of strategic stability for over 25 years. On September 26, 1997, after four
years of negotiations, officials from the United States, Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, and Kazakhstan
signed five agreements, including the Memorandum of Understanding on succession to the ABM
Treaty and two Agreed Statements on demarcation, which will preserve and enhance the viability
of the Treaty.
- The agreements address the issue of succession to the ABM Treaty by states of the former Soviet
Union, and the demarcation between ABM systems, which are limited by the Treaty, and Theater
Missile Defense (TMD) systems, which are not limited by the Treaty. These agreements are
subject to ratification.
Comprehensive Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT)
Beyond the specific requirements of the START and INF Treaties, the United States has taken additional
steps unilaterally to reduce the roles of, and risks associated with, nuclear weapons; to modify the
nuclear force posture associated with the Cold War; and to ensure that nuclear material declared excess
to defense needs remains unavailable for weapons use.
The United States no longer targets any country with its strategic nuclear forces.
U.S. strategic bombers are no longer on alert.
In July 1997, the United States reached a milestone in a program to strengthen further its controls
against the unauthorized use of nuclear weapons by the installation of special coded control
devices on all its ballistic missile submarines. All U.S. nuclear weapons systems are now
protected by coded control devices to assure against unauthorized or accidental use.
As a result of the 1991-1992 Presidential Nuclear Initiatives, the United States canceled a
number of strategic modernization programs including the Peacekeeper rail-mobile ICBM, the
small ICBM, and the SRAM II missile, and ended or severely truncated new production of B-2
bombers, warheads for its sea-based missiles, Peacekeeper missiles, and the Advanced Cruise
Since 1988, the United States has reduced both defense expenditures for strategic nuclear
weapons and the number of personnel performing duties with strategic nuclear forces by almost
The 1991-1992 unilateral Presidential Nuclear Initiatives also took significant steps to reduce
non-strategic nuclear forces. On July 2, 1992, the U.S. Department of Defense announced the
completion of the worldwide withdrawal and retirement of the U.S. stockpile of nuclear artillery
shells, Lance missile warheads, and naval nuclear depth bombs to U.S. territory in accordance
with the Presidential Initiative. All of these weapons have now been eliminated except for a
small number of artillery shells whose elimination will be complete in 1999.
U.S. ground forces no longer train for nuclear delivery missions and have no nuclear capability.
All non-strategic nuclear weapons, including nuclear cruise missiles, depth charges and
torpedoes have been removed from surface ships, multipurpose submarines, and land-based
naval aircraft bases. The capability to deploy such weapons on U.S. surface ships has been
Several non-strategic nuclear weapon modernization programs were terminated -- the follow-on
to the Lance missile, a new artillery-fired atomic projectile, and the Tactical Air to Surface
The air-delivered tactical bomb stockpile has been reduced by 60 percent, and all excess tactical
bombs have been eliminated.
Since 1988, the United States has reduced its overall nuclear warhead stockpile by 59 percent,
(i.e., 90 percent of the non-strategic nuclear stockpile and 47 percent of the strategic nuclear stockpile have been eliminated).
- The United States has already eliminated more than 10,000 strategic and non-strategic nuclear
Fissile Material Production
On September 24, 1996, President Clinton was the first world leader to sign the Comprehensive
Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty. The Treaty was the product of 2-1/2 years of arduous negotiations in
the Conference on Disarmament (CD), in which the United States played a leading role.
Conclusion of the CTBT by 1996 was specifically called for in the 1995 NPT Review and
Extension Conference decision on "Principles and Objectives for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and
The Treaty's preamble states that the CTBT, by banning all nuclear weapon test explosions and
all other nuclear explosions, will constrain the development and qualitative improvement of
nuclear weapons and end the development of advanced new types of nuclear weapons.
The size of the U.S. stockpile continues to decrease. The United States has not conducted a
nuclear test since September 1992, and has pledged to maintain its testing moratorium until entry
into force of the CTBT, provided that all other countries also refrain from carrying out all
- In September 1997, President Clinton transmitted the CTBT to the U.S. Senate for advice and
consent to ratification.
- The United States is committed to securing the Treaty's entry into force at the earliest possible
- Along with other signatories, the United States is working in the CTBT PrepCom to establish an
International Monitoring System, including an International Data Center, designed to monitor the
Treaty upon its entry into force.
Cessation of Plutonium Production For Nuclear Weapons
The United States strongly supports efforts to initiate negotiations on a fissile material
production cutoff treaty (FMCT), as recently affirmed in President Clinton's remarks to the
Conference on Disarmament (CD) in January 1998, and in the September 25, 1997, statement of
the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Five Permanent Members of the United Nations Security
The United States has ceased production of all fissile material for use in nuclear weapons.
A cutoff treaty based on the 1995 consensus negotiating mandate agreed to by the CD would halt
worldwide production of fissile material for nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices
and thus would be an important nuclear disarmament and nonprolifera- tion step. Such a treaty
was specifically called for in the 1995 NPT Conference decision on "Principles and Objectives."
The United States is continuing its efforts at the CD to begin FMCT negotiations. The United
States sees an FMCT as an important milestone on the road to nuclear disarmament.
The United States and Russia are continuing efforts, begun in 1994, to make permanent the
cessation of plutonium production for nuclear weapons in both countries.
On September 23, 1997, the United States and Russia signed the "U.S.-Russian Plutonium
Production Reactor Agreement," which entered into force immediately. Under this new
agreement, the United States will provide assistance to Russia to convert its three operating
plutonium-production reactors by the year 2000, so that they no longer produce weapon-grade
plutonium. Additionally, the 10 Russian plutonium-production reactors, already shut down, and
all 14 U.S. production reactors, which have been shut down since 1989, will remain closed
The September 1997 agreement marks the first time that the United States and Russia have
placed limits on the materials for nuclear warheads themselves and also marks a new stage in
U.S.-Russian cooperation to regulate and verify nuclear materials, to limit their use in weapons,
and to build mutual confidence through increased transparency.
Fissile Material Transparency
Other Cooperative Efforts
Since September 1993, the United States has unilaterally removed approximately 226 metric tons
of fissile material from its nuclear stockpile and has voluntarily pledged to make this excess
fissile material available for International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safeguards as soon as
practical. Twelve metric tons of this excess material is now under IAEA safeguards at three U.S.
Department of Energy facilities. An additional 26 metric tons of this excess material have been committed for such inspections by the end of 1999. A further 52 metric tons of this excess
material will be made available for international inspection, consistent with plans for treatment, storage, and material disposition.
In April 1996, the United States proposed to work with the IAEA to carry out a verification
experiment on the downblending of weapon-grade HEU. This HEU is a portion (13 metric tons)
of the 26 metric tons committed at the 1996 IAEA General Conference to be made available for
international inspection by September 1999. The experiment at the Portsmouth Gaseous
Diffusion Plant will help demonstrate the irreversibility of nuclear disarmament. IAEA
monitoring of downblending began on December 1, 1997, and is scheduled to conclude by July
Since October 1995, the United States has been working with the IAEA to incorporate
international safeguards features into the design of a facility planned for storage of plutonium
designated excess to defense needs. This storage location -- at the Savannah River Site -- may
become one of two principal sites in the United States for storage of excess plutonium.
After considering options for the disposition of surplus high enriched uranium (HEU), the U.S.
Department of Energy, on July 29, 1996, adopted the blending down of HEU to low enriched
uranium (LEU) as the preferred disposition alternative. This option will convert the material to a
form unusable in nuclear weapons and, where practical, allow for the reuse of the resulting LEU in peaceful, beneficial ways that recover its commercial value.
On January 14, 1997, the U.S. Department of Energy stated its decision to pursue a strategy for
plutonium disposition that allows for: a) immobilization of surplus weapon plutonium in glass or
ceramic forms and b) irradiation of surplus plutonium as mixed oxide (MOX) fuels in existing
reactors, while reserving the option to immobilize all the surplus. Both approaches would
provide physical barriers to the reuse of plutonium declared excess to U.S. national security
needs and help ensure that it is never again used for nuclear weapons or defense purposes. The
MOX and immobilization options would also preserve the long-standing U.S. policy of not
engaging in plutonium reprocessing or recycling, since spent fuel from the burning of surplus
plutonium in reactors would not subsequently be reprocessed.
To demonstrate to the international community the transparency of the downblending of
approximately 600 kilograms of HEU obtained from Kazakhstan through "Project Sapphire," the
United States made portions of the Babcock and Wilcox facility in Lynchburg, Virginia eligible
for IAEA safeguards. In August 1996, the IAEA began its initial physical inventory verification
activities on the downblending operations. To date, the IAEA has verified the downblending of
approximately 400 kilograms of that HEU. The remaining HEU is scheduled to be downblended
in 1999 under IAEA safeguards.
The United States, the Russian Federation, and the IAEA commenced a Trilateral Initiative in
September 1996, to address the unique challenges of providing assurances that fissile material
from weapon programs, once removed, remains outside of such programs. In a meeting on
September 17, 1996, the United States, Russia, and the IAEA initiated a process to consider
means for IAEA verification of weapon-origin fissile material. Subsequent trilateral activities
have addressed the scope and objective of IAEA verification, issues related to legal instruments
and financing, and the development of technical measures. These technical activities have
included workshops and joint demonstrations in the United States, Russia, and Vienna.
Significant progress has been made toward developing approaches and technologies that will
support IAEA inspection of both U.S. and Russian excess fissile materials in sensitive forms
while protecting and preventing the disclosure of classified nuclear weapon related information.
These inspections are planned to begin in a time frame consistent with the loading of the Russian
fissile material storage facility at Mayak.
Through the Cooperative Threat Reduction Program, the United States is continuing to cooperate
with the Newly Independent States of the former Soviet Union to accelerate the destruction and
dismantlement of weapons of mass destruction, ballistic missiles and their launchers, and
infrastructure, and to prevent unauthorized or accidental use or diversion of nuclear weapons or fissile material. As of March 1998, the United States has committed almost $2 billion in such
In the early 1990s, the United States established the Material Protection, Control, and
Accounting (MPC&A) Program to provide nuclear security support for 53 nuclear sites in
Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, and five other former Soviet States. The MPC&A Program is
rapidly improving the security of approximately 650 metric tons of weapons-usable nuclear
material in forms other than nuclear weapons stored and used at these nuclear sites. As of March
1998, the United States has committed $438 million in such cooperation.
On March 25, 1996, the United States signed the three protocols to the South Pacific Nuclear-Free
Zone (SPNFZ) Treaty, the Treaty of Rarotonga.
Under Protocol I of the SPNFZ Treaty, the United States is required to apply the basic provisions
of the Treaty to its territories in the zone (e.g., American Samoa and Jarvis Island) established by
the Treaty. Under Protocol II, the United States agreed not to use or threaten to use nuclear
explosive devices against any Party to the Treaty, Protocol I Parties, or territories located within
the zone. Under Protocol III, the United States agreed not to test nuclear explosive devices
within the zone established by the Treaty.
On April 11, 1996, the United States signed the protocols for which it was eligible to the African
Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone (ANWFZ) Treaty, the Treaty of Pelindaba.
Under Protocol I of the ANWFZ Treaty, the United States undertakes not to use or threaten to
use nuclear explosive devices against any Party to the Treaty, or the territory of any Protocol III
Party that lies within the zone established by the Treaty. Under Protocol II, the United States
undertakes not to test or assist or encourage the testing of nuclear explosive devices anywhere
within the zone established by the Treaty.
The United States continues to work with ASEAN states on the Southeast Asian Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone Treaty toward a Treaty and Protocol that conforin to longstanding U.S.
criteria for supporting NWFZs.
The United States continues to support the establishment of nuclear-weapon-free zones in other
regions, provided they meet longstanding U.S. criteria for such zones.
Universal Adherence to the NPT
In April 1995, the United States reaffirmed in a Presidential Declaration that it will not use
nuclear weapons against non-nuclear weapon states party to the NPT. The only exception to this
global negative security assurance is in the rare event a state, allied or associated with a nuclear-weapons state (and therefore benefitting from such alliance or association) engages in an armed
attack against the United States, its armed forces, or its allies. The United States joined the
United Kingdom, France, and Russia in issuing virtually identical national declarations
extending these assurances to NPT non-nuclear weapon states.
In April 1995, the United States jointly sponsored, with the other permanent members, U.N.
Security Council Resolution 984 which strengthened positive security assurances for NPT non-nuclear-weapon states threatened with nuclear aggression. Resolution 984 illustrated the ways in
which the Security Council could render assistance to such a state including "appropriate
measures ... to restore international peace and security" which are called for in Chapter VII of the
The United States along with other nuclear weapon states has provided additional guarantees
against the use of nuclear weapons to non-nuclear-weapon state parties to the Latin American
and Caribbean Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone Treaty; the South Pacific Nuclear-Free Zone Treaty;
and the African Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone Treaty. As a result, the number of non-nuclear-weapon states receiving legally-binding assurances against the use of nuclear weapons from all
five nuclear weapon states will have increased since the 1995 NPT Conference from 33 to 99
when all ratification and entry into force actions have been taken. This number could increase to
109, if the nuclear weapon states and ASEAN nations can resolve their differences over the
Southeast Asian Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone Treaty and Protocol.
Promoting Full Compliance with the NPT
Since the conclusion of the 1995 NPT Conference, the United States has continued to promote
universal adherence to the Treaty. Eight additional states have joined the NPT since May 1995:
Angola, Andorra, Chile, the Comoros, Djibouti, Oman, the United Arab Emirates, and Vanuatu.
There are now only five states worldwide outside the NPT regime, (Brazil, Cuba, India, Israel,
and Pakistan). In June 1997, Brazil announced its intention to join the Treaty.
Strengthening the NPT
The 1994 U.S.-DPRK Agreed Framework commits North Korea to remain a party to the NPT
and to keep its safeguards agreement in force. We continue actively to implement the Agreed
The United States strongly supports maintenance of United Nations sanctions on Iraq until that
country fulfills all of its UN Security Council obligations. Under UN resolutions, Iraq must
make available for elimination all weapons of mass destruction (WMD), allow monitors, and
fully disclose past WMD programs.
The UN Security Council has consistently joined with other members of the United Nations in
unanimously determining that Iraq has not complied with its obligations.
Increasing Cooperation in the Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy
The United States strongly and actively supports the establishment of a strengthened and cost-effective IAEA safeguards system, including an increased capability to detect undeclared nuclear
material and activities, and the incorporation of new technologies to enhance effectiveness and
In June 1995, the United States joined other IAEA Board of Governors' members in approving a
range of IAEA safeguards strengthening measures under existing authority, which built on other
measures approved by the board, beginning in 1992, following the discovery of Iraq's
clandestine nuclear program.
The June 1996 IAEA Board of Governors' meeting established an open-ended committee to
complete a model protocol to comprehensive safeguards agreements containing measures for
which the IAEA needed complementary authority. The United States worked intensively to gain
agreement in the committee to forward an effective protocol for Board approval as soon as
In May 1997, the United States joined other IAEA Board of Governors members in approving
this Model Protocol for strengthening IAEA safeguards. The new strengthened safeguards
measures, including the Model Protocol, will strengthen the effectiveness and improve the
efficiency of safeguards and enhance the IAEA's ability to detect clandestine nuclear materials
The United States hopes all states will cooperate in the implementation of the new strengthened
safeguards system and will complete and bring into force the additional Protocols to their
safeguards agreements. The United States will accept the Protocol in its entirety and will apply
all its provisions, excluding only information and locations of direct national security
significance to the United States. The United States will treat the Protocol as an integral part of
its existing voluntary offer safeguards agreement and make its commitment legally binding.
Over the past year, the United States has continued to support peaceful nuclear cooperation
efforts through its contributions to IAEA technical cooperation programs including the
implementation of technical projects and the provision of experts, equipment, and training. The
United States is the largest contributor to the IAEA's technical cooperation efforts.
In addition to cooperation through the IAEA, the United States maintains bilateral "sister-laboratory" cooperation arrangements with Argentina, Egypt, Ghana, Mexico, Morocco, Peru,
and Thailand, and is pursuing an arrangement with Costa Rica.
In 1996, the United States brought into force agreements for peaceful nuclear cooperation with
Bulgaria and the European Atomic Energy Agency (EURATOM). The United States is also
discussing such arrangements with other countries. In 1997, agreements with Argentina and
South Africa were brought into force. Agreements with Brazil, Kazakhstan, and Switzerland
have been negotiated, signed, and submitted to Congress for the required review period. An
agreement with Ukraine was initialed on March 6, 1998.
Since 1978, the U.S. Reduced Enrichment for Research and Test Reactors (RERTR) Program has
been working to minimize and eventually eliminate the use of high enriched uranium (HEU) in
civil commerce. More than 30 research reactors in foreign countries have been converted from
HEU to low enriched uranium (LEU) fuel, and higher density LEU fuels capable of converting
all operating research reactors are being developed. Also under development are new techniques
to use LEU instead of HEU for medical isotope production. Under a May 1996 Department of
Energy (DOE) Record of Decision the United States has offered to accept the return of about 19
metric tons of spent HEU fuel of U.S. origin from research reactors in 41 foreign countries.
Several shipments from Europe and South America have already been made and DOE expects
that the great majority of the material will be returned before the acceptance program expires in
The United States supports the continuing efforts of multilateral export control organizations to
make their work as transparent as possible including the October 1997 Vienna Seminar on
Transparency in Export Controls. Nuclear-related export controls are already highly transparent,
provide nonproliferation benefits to all NPT parties, and promote nuclear cooperation with NPT
parties that behave responsibly. This transparency effort is an integral part of U.S. bilateral and
multilateral activities to promote broader understanding of and adherence to intemationally-recognized nuclear export control guidelines.
The United States also has taken the lead in supporting the establishment of international
instruments related to nuclear safety and liability. Such agreements are necessary to promote
and secure the benefits of peaceful nuclear energy for all countries.
In September 1997, the United States was the first signatory of the Joint Convention on the
Safety of Spent Fuel Management and the Safety of Radioactive Waste Management, which was
adopted in September 1997, by majority vote during a diplomatic conference in Vienna. This
"Waste Convention" expands the framework of the Convention on Nuclear Safety by calling for
national coverage for spent fuel and radioactive waste in keeping with agreed international
The United States was also the first signatory of the Convention on Supplementary
Compensation for Nuclear Damage, which was opened for signature on September 29, 1997.
The new regime addresses the treatment of legal liability resulting from a nuclear accident.