October 15, 1997


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: (l) "Principles and Objectives for Nuclear Nonproliferation 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 objectives.

Promotion of Nuclear Non-Proliferation, Arms Control and Disarmament

  • President Clinton reaffirmed on April 17, 1996, that the United States remains committed to 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 Parameters on Future Reductions in Nuclear Forces, reaffirming their shared commitment to reduce further the nuclear danger and strengthen strategic stability and nuclear security.

  • 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 role, albeit a smaller one in U.S. security today than at any other time in the nuclear age. The United States welcomes this diminished role for nuclear weapons.

  • In 1995, the United States reaffirmed that it will not use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear weapons States Parties to the NPT, except under very limited circumstances. Along with the other NWS, the United States also strengthened its positive security assurances, as reflected in UN Security Council Resolution 984.

  • Moreover, the United States along with other nuclear weapon states have provided additional guarantees against the use of nuclear weapons for 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. If the nuclear weapon states and the ASEAN nations can resolve differences over the Southeast Asian Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone Treaty and Protocol, the number of nations receiving legally-binding assurances against the use of nuclear weapons could increase to more than 100.
Nuclear Arms Reduction Efforts

  • The United States eliminated all ground-based intermediate-range ballistic missiles in 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. As of September 1997, both the United States and Russia have reduced their strategic nuclear warheads below those limits that are required to be met by December 1997, and are close to meeting all the limits that do not take effect until December 1999. Moreover, all nuclear weapons have been removed from the territories of the other three START parties: Ukraine, Belarus, and Kazakhstan.

  • As of September 1997, 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.

  • Through the Cooperative Threat Reduction Program, the United States is continuing to provide assistance to the former Soviet Union to accelerate the destruction and dismantlement of weapons of mass destruction, their launchers, and infrastructure, and to prevent unauthorized or accidental use or diversion of nuclear weapons or fissile materials.

  • 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 the START II Treaty. We are now awaiting positive consideration by the Russian Duma so that START II can enter into force.

  • Once START II has been fully implemented, the United States will have reduced its total nuclear forces by 80 percent from Cold War levels.

  • In a Joint Statement at their March 1997 summit in Helsinki, Presidents Clinton and Yeltsin underscored the importance of prompt ratification of the START II Treaty by the State Duma of the Russian Federation and 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 and a 60-65 percent reduction in the number of total deployed strategic warheads permitted under START I.

  • 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 as soon as possible.

  • 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 the Memorandum of Understanding on Succession to the ABM Treaty and four related agreements, which are designed to preserve and enhance the viability of the Treaty.

  • The agreements resolve the questions of succession to the ABM Treaty by States of the former Soviet Union, and clarify the demarcation between anti-ballistic missile (ABM) systems, which are limited by the Treaty, and Theater Missile Defense (TMD) systems, which are not limited by the Treaty.

Unilateral Nuclear Disarmament Efforts

  • 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 on a day-to-day basis with its strategic nuclear forces.

  • United States strategic bombers are no longer on alert.

  • More ballistic missile submarines now patrol on "modified alert," than on "alert" status. The United States airborne command and control posts now operate under a reduced tempo.

  • In July 1997, the United States reached a milestone in a program to further strengthen 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 Missile.

  • 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 two-thirds.

  • The 1991 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 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.

  • United States 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 eliminated.

  • 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 Missile.

  • 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 warheads and will continue to do so at a rate which is as fast and safe as possible given the technical requirements of the elimination process.

  • Since September 1993, the United States has unilaterally removed more than 225 metric tons of fissile material from its nuclear stockpile and has voluntarily pledged to place this excess fissile material under International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safeguards as soon as practicable. Twelve metric tons of this material is now under IAEA safeguards at three U.S. Department of Energy facilities, with an additional 26 metric tons being readied for such inspections.

  • In demonstrating transparency to the international community of the downblending to low-enriched uranium (LEU) of approximately 600 kilograms of highly enriched uranium (HEU) obtained from Kazakhstan through "Project Sapphire," the United States made relevant portions of the Babcock and Wilcox storage 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.

  • In April 1996, the Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant was added to the list of facilities eligible for application of IAEA safeguards. At that time, the U.S. proposed to work with the IAEA to carry out a verification experiment with respect to the downblending of HEU formerly used in nuclear weapons at the Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant. Independent verification of the downblending of the material by the IAEA begins in November 1997, which aids in demonstrating the irreversibility of the nuclear disarmament process.

  • 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 materials from weapon programs, once removed, remains outside of such programs. In a meeting on September 17, 1996, the U.S., Russia, and the IAEA initiated a process to consider means for IAEA verification of weapons-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.

  • Since October 1995, the United States has worked with the IAEA to incorporate international safeguards features into the design at the Savannah River Site of a planned facility for plutonium designated excess to defense needs. This storage location may become one of two principal sites in the United States for storage of excess plutonium.

  • At the October 1997 IAEA General Conference, the United States announced its intention to make an additional 52 metric tons of excess fissile material available for international inspection, consistent with material disposition plans, over the next seven years.

Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT)

  • The United States vigorously participated in the CTBT negotiations, concluded last year in the Conference on Disarmament (CD). On September 24, 1996, President Clinton was the first to sign the Treaty. The CTBT was specifically called for in the 1995 NPT Conference decision on "Principles and Objectives for Nuclear Nonproliferation and Disarmament."

  • As stated in the Treaty's preamble, the CTBT will constrain the development and qualitative improvement of nuclear weapons and end the development of advanced new types of nuclear weapons.

  • The United States is not manufacturing new nuclear weapons. The United States has not conducted a nuclear test since September 1992, and has pledged to maintain a global testing moratorium until entry into force of the CTBT.

  • On September 22, 1997, President Clinton transmitted the CTBT to the U.S. Senate for advice and consent. The United States is committed to pursuing the Treaty's entry into force at the earliest possible time.

Fissile Material Production Cutoff Treaty

  • The United States strongly supports efforts to initiate negotiations on a fissile material production cutoff treaty (FMCT), as affirmed in the September 25, 1997 statement of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Five Permanent Members of the United Nations Security Council.

  • 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 Conference on Disarmament (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 nonproliferation 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 another milestone on the road to nuclear disarmament.

Cessation of Plutonium Production for Nuclear Weapons

  • The United States and Russia continue efforts to implement their 1994 bilateral agreement to make permanent the cessation of plutonium production for nuclear weapons in both countries. On September 23, 1997, the U.S. and Russia signed the "U.S.-Russian Plutonium Production Reactor Agreement."

  • Under this new agreement, Russia's three plutonium-producing reactors will be converted by the year 2000 so that they no longer produce weapon-grade plutonium. The United States will provide assistance for the conversion. Additionally, Russian plutonium- producing reactors not currently being used will be closed permanently, while U.S. plutonium-producing reactors, which have been closed since 1989, will remain closed.

  • The September 1997 agreement marks the first time that the U.S. 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.

Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zones

  • 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 device anywhere within the zone established by the Treaty.

  • The United States continues to work with ASEAN states on the South-East Asian Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone Treaty toward a Treaty and Protocol that conform to longstanding U.S. criteria for supporting NWFZ.

  • 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, as well as the establishment of zones free of weapons of mass destruction.

Promoting Full Compliance with the NPT

  • The 1994 U.S.-DPRK Agreed Framework ensures that North Korea will remain a party to the NPT and that its safeguards agreement will be kept in force. We continue actively to implement the Agreed Framework and to ensure DPRK compliance.

  • The United States continues to lead efforts monitoring 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.

Universal Adherence to 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. Notably, in June 1997, Brazil announced its intention to join the Treaty.

Increasing Cooperation in the Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy

  • 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" arrangements with Mexico, Peru, Egypt, Morocco, Thailand, and Ghana and is continuing to pursue such arrangements with Argentina, Malaysia, and 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, an agreement with Argentina was brought into force. An agreement with South Africa has been signed, but is not yet in force. Agreements with Brazil and Switzerland have been negotiated and are awaiting Congressional approval.

  • The United States supports the continuing efforts of multilateral export control organizations to make their work as transparent as possible. Nuclear-related export controls are already highly transparent, provide nonproliferation benefits to all NPT parties, and have no ill effects on 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 internationally-recognized nuclear export control guidelines.

  • The United States also continues to support efforts related to enhancing nuclear safety. 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 standards.

  • 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.

Strengthening the NPT Safeguards System

  • 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 efficiency.

  • 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 needs complementary authority. The United States worked intensively to gain agreement in the committee to forward an effective protocol for Board approval as soon as possible.

  • 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 and activities.

  • The United States hopes all states will cooperate in the implementation of the new strengthened safeguards system and will complete and bring into force 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 and make its commitment legally binding.