How can we be sure that nuclear explosive materials arent secretly being produced or delivery systems being readied for use? We need a combination of technological devices and monitoring (and whistleblowing where necessary) by citizens.
The bulk of the technology is known. The US and Russia already have abided by agreements requiring declarations, safe storage, monitoring, and dismantling of nuclear weapons and delivery systems. To see the technology used, check the website for the Center for Cooperative Monitoring: http://www.cmc.sandia.gov
What do we need for further progress?
No backtracking! We need legally binding promises for reductions from all nuclear weapons states and the reductions must not be reversible. 187 states agreed in May 2000 that the Principle of Irreversibility should apply to nuclear disarmament, ...arms control and reduction measures.
Transparency is key - what reductions are made must be seen to be made by other states. All global citizens have their security at risk due to their weapons....
Verification is a mechanism or procedure that seeks to determine whether a party is abiding by or fulfilling its obligations under a given agreement, and verification measures are designed to detect those who violate their obligations. The essential basis of verification is a formal commitment by parties to engage, or not to engage, in certain activities.
Here are some of the terms used to describe the technical steps used by states to verify:
a) Surveillance techniques for items subject to verification can include use of fixed and mobile monitors including:
CCTV (closed circuit TV)
time lapse photography movement sensors
tamper-indicating devices and seals.
Source: Ministry of Defence (UK) Summary of AWE Study.
b) Perimeter-portal monitoring at dismantling facilities refers to the capability of verifying that weapons enter an area for dismantling and do not leave except as tagged components.
Source: Steve Fetter, Future Directions in Nuclear Arms Control and Verification,
INESAP Information Bulletin No. 15, at p. 50, at p. 52.
See further discussion in Steve Fetter, Verifying Nuclear Disarmament,
Henry L. Stimson Center Occasional Paper No. 29, October 1996, p. 11 - 13.
c) National Technical Means (NTS) - carried out without the active cooperation of the state under inspection and may include satellites, seismic sensors, radar systems, intelligence service activities and collection and processing of information via government departments.
d) Onsite Inspections - usually by international inspectors of two types:
Routine inspections - onsite inspections assume a willingness to coperate and intervene more fundamentally in the sovereignty of states. Routine inspections allow inspectors to carry out controls at predefined times and at previously agreed locations on a state territory.
e) Challenge inspections- used to look into specific indications for non-compliance. They would be more intrusive than routine controls since the state under inspection would have problems adapting to them, if it really did want to hide something.
f) Technical data analysis/ data processing
g) Whistleblowing - a person passes on information regarding banned activities to the appropriate recipient.
Source: Annette Schaper and Katja Frank, A Nuclear Weapon Free World - Can it be Verified?
Peace Research Institute Frankfurt, PRIF Report No. 53, at p.
h) Environmental monitoring technologies refers to:
continuous monitoring around sites
monitoring during on site inspections
ocating covert plants involved in the nuclear weapons cycle
provide data as part of dismantlement verification process
Source: Ministry of Defence (UK) Summary of AWE Study (pdf file). (AWE)
h) Non-destructive assessment techniques to verify dismantlement process include;
They are used to verify the existence and number of warheads, provide vital information much more quickly, cheaply and safely than through other methods. They maintain the secrecy of design information.
Source: Ministry of Defence (UK) Summary of Atomic Weapons Establishment Aldermaston (AWE) Study.