Fact Sheet

Nuclear Disarmament Russia

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Nuclear Disarmament Russia

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NPT Nuclear Weapon State

Estimated Arsenal Size

Total stockpile size is uncertain because there is no accurate count of non-strategic nuclear weapons.

  • Approximately 7,000 warheads in the total inventory [1]
  • Active and operational warheads: estimated 4,200 [2]
  • Launchers of strategic delivery system: 523 [3]
  • Operational strategic warheads: approximately 1,765 [4]
  • Non-strategic and defensive nuclear forces: estimated ~1,850 [5]
  • Non-deployed warheads (in reserve or awaiting dismantlement): 2,700 [6]

Key Weapon Systems

Strategic
  • Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs): (SS-18, SS-19, SS-25, SS-27 Mod. 1, (also referred to as Topol-M), SS-27 Mod. 2 (also referred to as RS-24 Yars)) [7]
  • Submarine Launched Ballistic Missiles (SLBMs): (SS-N-18, SS-N-23, SS-N-32 (entered service in 2014)); for delivery by six Delta IV (one of which is being overhauled) and three Delta III SSBNs (ballistic nuclear submarines). [8] The Russian navy is in the process of constructing eight Borey-class SSBNs to supplement other submarines and replace the aging Delta IIIs over the next decade. [9] Three of the submarines have entered into service, and 5 more are currently under construction. [10]
  • Bombers: (Tu-95 MS6, Tu-95 MS16, Tu-160, Tu-22 M3) [11]
Non-strategic

  • One estimate from 2012 states that Russia may have only 334 warheads for its air force, 330 for the navy, 210 for its army, and 166 for defense systems. [12] Another estimate from 2017 suggests much larger numbers. The report states that Russia has approximately 760 non-strategic warheads assigned to the Russian Navy, 570 to the Air Force, 150 to the Army, and 380 to other defense systems (air, missile, and coastal) for a total of approximately 1,850 non-strategic warheads. The available delivery systems include cruise missiles, surface-to-air missiles, torpedoes, depth bombs, air-to-surface missiles, and surface-to-surface missiles. [13]
  • Non-strategic warheads are typically kept in central storage facilities, and therefore are not actively deployed. [14]

3. Estimated Destructive Power

  • Between 607 megatons and 1,273 megatons [15]

4. Military Fissile Material Stockpile (estimated)

  • Plutonium: 128 ± 8 tons [16]
  • Highly Enriched Uranium (HEU):  679 ± 120 tons, approximately 660 tons of HEU is currently in weapons or is available for military use
    [17]

5. Disarmament and Commitments to Reduce Arsenal Size

  • Legal obligation to pursue global disarmament under Article VI of the NPT. [18]
  • Under the New START treaty that entered into force on 5 February 2011, the United States and Russia agreed to reduce their deployed strategic warheads by 2018 to no more than 1,550 each; to deploy no more than 700 ICBMs, SLBMs and heavy bombers; and to limit ICBM launchers, SLBM launchers and heavy bombers to no more than 800 (whether deployed or not). [19]
  • U.S.-Soviet INF Treaty eliminated all ground-launched intermediate and short-range ballistic missiles and their launchers. [20]
  • Reduced arsenal to less than 6,000 warheads and 1,600 delivery vehicles under START I. [21]
  • Reduced strategic nuclear warheads to between 1,700 and 2,200 (counted according to treaty guidelines) under SORT by 2012. [22]
  • The number of nonstrategic weapons is currently less than 25% of the 1991 amount. [23]
  • As of 1 January 2010, Russia had eliminated about 1,600 ICBM and SLBM launchers, 3,100 ICBMs and SLBMs, 47 nuclear submarines, and 67 heavy bombers. [24]
  • Russia currently deploys 1,765 warheads on 523 strategic delivery systems. [25]
  • At the 2015 NPT Review Conference, the Russian delegation stated that multilateral negotiations between all states possessing nuclear military capabilities are needed to advance disarmament. [26]

Future commitments
  • Russia supports a verifiable Fissile Materials Cut-Off Treaty (FMCT), provided that it does not cover existing stockpiles. [27]
  • Russia is not ready to set a target date to start negotiations with the United States on reducing tactical nuclear weapons, while the United States is seeking negotiations within a year after the entry into force of the New START treaty. Russia has indicated that it will not negotiate further non-strategic arms reductions unless NATO withdraws its non-strategic nuclear forces from Europe (approximately 200 U.S. supplied warheads). [28]
  • Russia, along with the other NPT nuclear weapon states (NWS), is against the initiative of an open-ended working group (OEWG) adopted by the 67th United Nations General Assembly to develop proposals to take forward multilateral nuclear disarmament negotiations for a world free of nuclear weapons. [29]
  • Russia, along with several other NPT NWS, takes the stance that discussions on the humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons will divert efforts away from practical steps to create conditions for further nuclear disarmament. [30]
  • Russia has reportedly deployed a new cruise missile with a range well in excess of 500 kilometers, allegedly violating the INF Treaty, which bans land-based ballistic and cruise missiles with ranges between 500 and 5,500 kilometers. [31]
  • In June 2015 President Vladimir Putin announced that the Russian Federation would increase the size of its nuclear arsenal. Concerned over the placement of anti-missile defense systems near Russia’s border, Russia will add 40 intercontinental ballistic missiles to its nuclear arsenal. [32]

Nuclear Weapons Policy

Nuclear testing
  • Has observed nuclear testing moratorium since 1990. [33]
  • Signed and ratified the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT). [34]
  • Party to the Partial Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (PTBT), which bans nuclear tests in the atmosphere, in outer space, and underwater. [35]
Use of nuclear weapons
  • Retains first use policy. [36]
  • Negative Security Assurances to Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone (NWFZ) treaty members: committed not to use nuclear weapons against members of the Tlatelolco and Rarotonga treaties. Ratified Protocols I and II of the Pelindaba treaty in 2011. [37] Has not signed the Bangkok treaty. [38] Has completed ratification of the Central Asia Nuclear Weapon-Free Zone (CANWFZ) treaty. [39]
  • Acknowledged the commitments of the nuclear weapon states to negative security assurances in UN Security Council Resolution 984 (1995). [40]
  • In the new Military Doctrine issued in February 2010, the criteria for the use of nuclear weapons have become tighter. The doctrine allows the use of nuclear weapons when "the very existence of Russia is under threat." The 2000 Doctrine allowed the use of nuclear weapons "in situations critical for the national security." [41]
  • The new Military Doctrine signed in December 2014 continues to support the country's right to use nuclear weapons to counter aggression that "threatens the very existence of Russia. [42]

Sources:
[1] Hans M. Kristensen and Robert S. Norris, “Russian Nuclear Forces, 2017,” Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, 73.2 (March/April 2017), pp 115, www.thebulletin.org.
[2] Hans M. Kristensen and Robert S. Norris, “Russian Nuclear Forces, 2017,” Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, 73.2 (March/April 2017), pp 116, www.thebulletin.org.
[3] U.S. Department of State, “New START Treaty Aggregate Numbers of Strategic Offensive Arms,” Bureau of Arms Control, Verification and Compliance, 1 April 2017, www.state.gov.
[4] U.S. Department of State, “New START Treaty Aggregate Numbers of Strategic Offensive Arms,” Bureau of Arms Control, Verification and Compliance, 1 April 2017, www.state.gov.
[5] Hans M. Kristensen and Robert S. Norris, “Russian Nuclear Forces, 2017,” Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, 73.2 (March/April 2017), pp 116, www.thebulletin.org; see “Non-strategic” section for notes on disputing report results.
[6] Hans M. Kristensen and Robert S. Norris, “Russian Nuclear Forces, 2017,” Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, 73.2 (March/April 2017), pp 115, www.thebulletin.org.
[7] Hans M. Kristensen and Robert S. Norris, “Russian Nuclear Forces, 2017,” Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, 73.2 (March/April 2017), pp 116, www.thebulletin.org.
[8] Pavel Podvig, “Strategic fleet,” Russian Strategic Nuclear Forces, 8 April 2016, www.russianforces.org.
[9] Hans M. Kristensen and Robert S. Norris, “Russian Nuclear Forces, 2017,” Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, 73.2 (March/April 2017), pp 121, www.thebulletin.org.
[10] Pavel Podvig, “The eighth Project 955 Borey submarine laid down at Sevmash,” Russian Strategic Nuclear Forces, 23 December 2016, www.russianforces.org.
[11] Pavel Podvig, “Strategic Aviation,” Russian Strategic Nuclear Forces, updated 2 March 2017, www.russianforces.org.
[12] Igor Sutyagin, “Atomic Accounting: A New Estimate of Russia’s Non-Strategic Nuclear Forces,” RUSI Publications, 7 November 2012, pp 2, www.rusi.org.
[13] Hans M. Kristensen and Robert S. Norris, “Russian Nuclear Forces, 2017,” Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, 73.2 (March/April 2017), pp 116, www.thebulletin.org.
[14] Hans M. Kristensen and Robert S. Norris, “Russian Nuclear Forces, 2017,” Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, 73.2 (March/April 2017), pp 123, www.thebulletin.org.
[15] Eliminating Nuclear Threats, ICNND Report, www.icnnd.org; 607 megatons is an estimate based on calculations from information presented in Hans M. Kristensen and Robert S. Norris, “Russian Nuclear Forces, 2012,” Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, 5 March 2012, www.thebulletin.org.
[16] “Countries: Russia,” International Panel on Fissile Materials, 5 August 2016, www.fissilematerials.org.
[17] “Countries: Russia,” International Panel on Fissile Materials, 5 August 2016, www.fissilematerials.org.
[18] Inventory of International Nonproliferation Organizations & Regimes, James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies, www.nonproliferation.org.
[19] Inventory of International Nonproliferation Organizations & Regimes, James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies, www.nonproliferation.org.
[20] Inventory of International Nonproliferation Organizations & Regimes, INF Treaty, James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies, updated 5 August 2011, www.nonproliferation.org; Statement by the Delegation of the Russian Federation at the First Session of the Preparatory Committee for the 2015 NPT Review Conference, Cluster 1: Disarmament, 4 May 2012, www.reachingcriticalwill.org.
[21] Inventory of International Nonproliferation Organizations & Regimes, START I, James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies, updated 12 July 2010, www.nonproliferation.org.
[22] Statement by the Delegation of the Russian Federation, first session of the Preparatory Committee for the 2015 NPT Review Conference: Cluster 1 (Nuclear Disarmament), 4 May 2012, www.reachingcriticalwill.org.
[23] Anatoly Diakoy, Eugene Miasnikov, Timur Kadvshev, “Nuclear Reductions After New START: Obstacles and Opportunities,” Arms Control Today, Vol. 41. 4 May 2011, pp. 15-22, www.armscontrol.org.
[24] Russian Statement at Main Committee I of the 2010 NPT Review Conference, 7 May 2010, www.reachingcriticalwill.org.
[25] U.S. Department of State, “New START Treaty Aggregate Numbers of Strategic Offensive Arms,” Bureau of Arms Control, Verification and Compliance, 1 April 2017, www.state.gov.
[26] Russian Statement at Main Committee I of the 2015 NPT Review Conference, 1 May 2015, www.reachingcriticalwill.org.
[27] Ambassador Valery Loshchinin, Statement to the Conference on Disarmament, 16 May 2006, www.reachingcriticalwill.org.
[28] “Russia Rejects Immediate Talks on Tactical Nuke Cuts,” NTI Global Security Newswire, 8 February 2011, www.nti.org/gsn.
[29] Beatrice Fihn, “Disarmament Machinery,” First Committee Monitor, Reaching Critical Will, 12 November 2012, www.reachingcriticalwill.org.
[30] “P5 announcement not to attend the Oslo conference,” Oslo 2013: Humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons, Reaching Critical Will, March 2013, www.reachingcriticalwill.org; Alexander Kmentt, “The development of the international initiative on the humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons and its effect on the nuclear weapons debate,” International Review of the Red Cross 97 (2015), pp 696.
[31] Sokov, Nikolai, and Miles Pomper, “Russia’s Actions Resolve NATO Nuclear Dilemma — for Now,” September 2014, www.nonproliferation.org.
Michael R. Gordon, “Russia Deploys Missile, Violating Treaty and Challenging Trump,” New York Times, 14 February 2017, www.nytimes.com.
[32] Maria Tsvetkova, “Putin says Russia beefing up nuclear arsenal, NATO denounces ‘sabre-rattling,'” Reuters, 16 June 2015, www.reuters.com.
[33] Nuclear Testing, Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO), www.ctbto.org.
[34] Inventory of International Nonproliferation Organizations & Regimes, James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies, www.nonproliferation.org.
[35] Inventory of International Nonproliferation Organizations & Regimes, James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies, www.nonproliferation.org.
[36] Nikolai Sokov, “The New 2010 Russian Military Doctrine: The Nuclear Angle,” James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies, www.nonproliferation.org.
[37] International Organizations and Nonproliferation Program (IONP), “Nuclear-Weapon-Free-Zone (NWFZ) Clearinghouse,” James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies, www.nonproliferation.org.
[38] Mikhail I. Uliyanov, General Debate Statement at the first session of the Preparatory Committee for the 2015 NPT Review Conference, 30 April 2012, www.reachingcriticalwill.org.
[39] Russian Statement at Main Committee I of the 2015 NPT Review Conference, 1 May 2015, www.reachingcriticalwill.org.
[40] International Organizations and Nonproliferation Program (IONP), “Nuclear-Weapon-Free-Zone (NWFZ) Clearinghouse,” James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies, www.nonproliferation.org.
[41] Nikolai Sokov, “The New, 2010 Russian Military Doctrine: The Nuclear Angle,” James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies, 5 February 2010, www.nonproliferation.org.
[42] Carol J. Williams, “Russia revises military doctrine to name NATO as chief threat,” LA Times, 26 December 2014, www.latimes.com.

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Glossary

Tactical nuclear weapons
Short-range nuclear weapons, such as artillery shells, bombs, and short-range missiles, deployed for use in battlefield operations.
Deployment
The positioning of military forces – conventional and/or nuclear – in conjunction with military planning.
Dismantlement
Dismantlement: Taking apart a weapon, facility, or other item so that it is no longer functional.
Intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM)
Intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM): A ballistic missile with a range greater than 5,500 km. See entry for ballistic missile.
Sea-Launched Cruise Missile (SLCM)
Refers to cruise missiles with conventional or nuclear payloads that are launched from submarines.
Ballistic missile
A delivery vehicle powered by a liquid or solid fueled rocket that primarily travels in a ballistic (free-fall) trajectory.  The flight of a ballistic missile includes three phases: 1) boost phase, where the rocket generates thrust to launch the missile into flight; 2) midcourse phase, where the missile coasts in an arc under the influence of gravity; and 3) terminal phase, in which the missile descends towards its target.  Ballistic missiles can be characterized by three key parameters - range, payload, and Circular Error Probable (CEP), or targeting precision.  Ballistic missiles are primarily intended for use against ground targets.
Cruise missile
An unmanned self-propelled guided vehicle that sustains flight through aerodynamic lift for most of its flight path. There are subsonic and supersonic cruise missiles currently deployed in conventional and nuclear arsenals, while conventional hypersonic cruise missiles are currently in development. These can be launched from the air, submarines, or the ground. Although they carry smaller payloads, travel at slower speeds, and cover lesser ranges than ballistic missiles, cruise missiles can be programmed to travel along customized flight paths and to evade missile defense systems.
Megaton (MT)
Megaton (MT): The energy equivalent released by 1,000 kilotons (1,000,000 tons) of trinitrotoluene (TNT) explosive. Typically used as the unit of measurement to express the amount of energy released by a nuclear bomb.
Plutonium (Pu)
Plutonium (Pu): A transuranic element with atomic number 94, produced when uranium is irradiated in a reactor. It is used primarily in nuclear weapons and, along with uranium, in mixed-oxide (MOX) fuel. Plutonium-239, a fissile isotope, is the most suitable isotope for use in nuclear weapons.
Highly enriched uranium (HEU)
Highly enriched uranium (HEU): Refers to uranium with a concentration of more than 20% of the isotope U-235. Achieved via the process of enrichment. See entry for enriched uranium.
Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT)
The NPT: Signed in 1968, the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) is the most widely adhered-to international security agreement. The “three pillars” of the NPT are nuclear disarmament, nonproliferation, and peaceful uses of nuclear energy. Article VI of the NPT commits states possessing nuclear weapons to negotiate in good faith toward halting the arms race and the complete elimination of nuclear weapons. The Treaty stipulates that non-nuclear-weapon states will not seek to acquire nuclear weapons, and will accept International Atomic Energy Agency safeguards on their nuclear activities, while nuclear weapon states commit not to transfer nuclear weapons to other states. All states have a right to the peaceful use of nuclear energy, and should assist one another in its development. The NPT provides for conferences of member states to review treaty implementation at five-year intervals. Initially of a 25-year duration, the NPT was extended indefinitely in 1995. For additional information, see the NPT.
New START
New START: A treaty between the United States and Russia on further limitations and reductions of strategic offensive weapons, signed on 8 April 2010, which entered into force on 5 February 2011. Under the New START provisions, the two sides have to reduce the number of deployed strategic warheads and the number of deployed strategic delivery vehicles within seven years of the treaty’s entry into force. The treaty’s verification measures are based on the earlier verification system created under START I. New START supersedes the Moscow Treaty, and its duration is 10 years, with an option of extension for up to five years. See entry for Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty and Treaty of Moscow. For additional information, see New START.
Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty
A treaty between the United States and the former Soviet Union, signed on 8 December 1987, which entered into force on 1 June 1988. It aimed to eliminate and ban all ground-launched ballistic and cruise missiles with a range of between 300 and 3,400 miles (500 to 5,500 kilometers). The treaty required the United States and the Soviet Union to conduct inspections at each other's sites during the elimination of treaty-limited items (TLI). By May 1991, all intermediate-range and shorter-range missiles, launchers, related support equipment, and support structures were eliminated. For additional information, see the INF Treaty.
Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START I, II, & III)
Refers to negotiations between the United States and the Soviet Union/Russian Federation, held between 1982 and 1993 to limit and reduce the numbers of strategic offensive nuclear weapons in each country’s nuclear arsenal. The talks culminated in the 1991 START I Treaty, which entered into force in December 1994, and the 1993 START II Treaty. Although START II was ratified by the two countries, it never entered into force. In 1997, U.S. President Bill Clinton and Russian President Boris Yeltsin discussed the possibility of a START III treaty to make further weapons reductions, but negotiations resulted in a stalemate. Following the U.S. withdrawal from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty (ABM) in 2002, Russia declared START II void. START I expired on 5 December 2009, and was followed by the New START treaty. See entries for New START and the Trilateral Statement. For additional information, see the entries for START I, START II, and New START
Strategic Offensive Reductions Treaty (SORT)
SORT: Russian President Vladimir Putin and U.S. President George W. Bush signed the Strategic Offensive Reductions Treaty, also called the Treaty of Moscow on 24 May 2002. The treaty stated that both the United States and Russia would reduce the numbers of their deployed nuclear warheads to between 1700 and 2200 within the next ten years. It established a Bilateral Implementation Commission, scheduled to meet at least twice a year, to establish procedures to verify and assist reductions. The treaty was rendered obsolete by the signing of the New START treaty in 2010. For additional information, see SORT.
Multilateral
Multilateral: Negotiations, agreements or treaties that are concluded among three or more parties, countries, etc.
Fissile material
Fissile material: A type of fissionable material capable of sustaining a chain reaction by undergoing fission upon the absorption of low-energy (or thermal) neutrons. Uranium-235, Plutonium-239, and Uranium-233 are the most prominently discussed fissile materials for peaceful and nuclear weapons purposes.
Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty (FMCT)
The Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty us currently under discussion in the Conference on Disarmament (CD) to end the production of weapons-usable fissile material (highly enriched uranium and plutonium) for nuclear weapons. For additional information, see the FMCT.
Entry into force
The moment at which all provisions of a treaty are legally binding on its parties. Every treaty specifies preconditions for its entry into force. For example, the NPT specified that it would enter into force after the United States, the United Kingdom, and the Soviet Union (the Depository governments) and 40 other countries ratified the treaty, an event that occurred on March 5, 1970. See entries for Signature, Ratification.
North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization is a military alliance that was formed in 1949 to help deter the Soviet Union from attacking Europe. The Alliance is based on the North Atlantic Treaty, which was signed in Washington on 4 April 1949. The treaty originally created an alliance of 10 European and two North American independent states, but today NATO has 28 members who have committed to maintaining and developing their defense capabilities, to consulting on issues of mutual security concern, and to the principle of collective self-defense. NATO is also engaged in out-of-area security operations, most notably in Afghanistan, where Alliance forces operate alongside other non-NATO countries as part of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF). For additional information, see NATO.
Nuclear-weapon states (NWS)
NWS: As defined by Article IX, paragraph 3 of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), the five states that detonated a nuclear device prior to 1 January 1967 (China, France, the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom, and the United States). Coincidentally, these five states are also permanent members of the UN Security Council. States that acquired and/or tested nuclear weapons subsequently are not internationally recognized as nuclear-weapon states.
United Nations General Assembly
The UN General Assembly is the largest body of the United Nations. It includes all member states, but its resolutions are not legally binding. It is responsible for much of the work of the United Nations, including controlling finances, passing resolutions, and electing non-permanent members of the Security Council. It has two subsidiary bodies dealing particularly with security and disarmament: the UN General Assembly Committee on Disarmament and International Security (First Committee); and the UN Disarmament Commission. For additional information, see the UNGA.
Multilateral
Multilateral: Negotiations, agreements or treaties that are concluded among three or more parties, countries, etc.
Disarmament
Though there is no agreed-upon legal definition of what disarmament entails within the context of international agreements, a general definition is the process of reducing the quantity and/or capabilities of military weapons and/or military forces.
Ratification
Ratification: The implementation of the formal process established by a country to legally bind its government to a treaty, such as approval by a parliament. In the United States, treaty ratification requires approval by the president after he or she has received the advice and consent of two-thirds of the Senate. Following ratification, a country submits the requisite legal instrument to the treaty’s depository governments Procedures to ratify a treaty follow its signature.

See entries for Entry into force and Signature.
Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT)
The CTBT: Opened for signature in 1996 at the UN General Assembly, the CTBT prohibits all nuclear testing if it enters into force. The treaty establishes the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) to ensure the implementation of its provisions and verify compliance through a global monitoring system upon entry into force. Pending the treaty’s entry into force, the Preparatory Commission of the CTBTO is charged with establishing the International Monitoring System (IMS) and promoting treaty ratifications. CTBT entry into force is contingent on ratification by 44 Annex II states. For additional information, see the CTBT.
Partial Test Ban Treaty (PTBT)
The PTBT: Also known as the Limited Test Ban Treaty (LTBT), the Treaty Banning Nuclear Weapons Tests in the Atmosphere, in Outer Space and Under Water prohibits nuclear weapons tests "or any other nuclear explosion" in the atmosphere, in outer space, and under water. While the treaty does not ban tests underground, it does prohibit nuclear explosions in this environment if they cause "radioactive debris to be present outside the territorial limits of the State under whose jurisdiction or control" the explosions were conducted. The treaty is of unlimited duration. For additional information, see the PTBT.
First-use
The introduction of nuclear weapons, or other weapons of mass destruction, into a conflict. In agreeing to a "no-first-use" policy, a country states that it will not use nuclear weapons first, but only under retaliatory circumstances. See entry for No-First-Use
Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone (NWFZ)
NWFZ: A geographical area in which nuclear weapons may not legally be built, possessed, transferred, deployed, or tested.
Treaty of Tlatelolco
The Treaty of Tlatelolco: This treaty, opened for signature in February 1967, created a nuclear-weapon-free zone in Latin America and the Caribbean. The Treaty of Tlatelolco was the first international agreement that aimed to exclude nuclear weapons from an inhabited region of the globe. The member states accept the application of International Atomic Energy Agency safeguards on all their nuclear activities. The treaty also establishes a regional organization, the Agency for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in Latin America (OPANAL), to supervise treaty implementation and ensure compliance with its provisions. For additional information, see the LANWFZ.
Treaty of Rarotonga
Treaty of Rarotonga: The Treaty on the South Pacific Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone (SPNWFZ) prohibits the testing, manufacturing, acquiring, and stationing of nuclear explosive devices on any member's territory. The treaty also prohibits the dumping of radioactive wastes into the sea. In addition, the treaty required all parties to apply International Atomic Energy Agency safeguards to all their peaceful nuclear activities. For additional information, see the SPNWFZ.
Treaty of Pelindaba
Treaty of Pelindaba: The Treaty on the African Nuclear-Weapon-Free-Zone was opened for signature in Cairo in April 1996. The treaty prohibits the research, development, manufacturing, stockpiling, acquisition, testing, possession, control, and stationing of nuclear explosive devices on any member’s territory. The treaty also prohibits the dumping of radioactive waste originating from outside the continent within the region. In addition, the treaty requires parties to apply International Atomic Energy Agency safeguards to all their peaceful nuclear activities. The treaty also provides for the establishment of the African Commission on Nuclear Energy (AFCONE), which supervises treaty implementation and ensures compliance with its provisions. For additional information, see the ANWFZ.
Treaty of Bangkok
Treaty of Bangkok: The Treaty on the Southeast Asian Nuclear-Weapon-Free-Zone prohibits the development, manufacture, acquisition, or testing of nuclear weapons anywhere within the region. It also prohibits the transport of nuclear weapons through the region, as well as the dumping at sea, discharging into the atmosphere, or burying on land of any radioactive material or waste. In addition, the treaty requires all parties to apply International Atomic Energy Agency safeguards to all their peaceful nuclear activities. For additional information, see the SEANWFZ.
Central Asia Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone (CANWFZ)
The Central Asia Nuclear-Weapons-Free-Zone (CANWFZ) includes all five Central Asian states: Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan. The foreign ministers of the five countries signed the treaty establishing the zone on 8 September 2006 at the former Soviet nuclear test site in Semipalatinsk, Kazakhstan. The treaty entered into force on 21 March 2009. For additional information, see the CANWFZ.
United Nations Security Council
United Nations Security Council: Under the United Nations Charter, the Security Council has primary responsibility for maintaining international peace and security. The Council consists of fifteen members, five of which—China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States—are permanent members. The other ten members are elected by the General Assembly for two-year terms. The five permanent members possess veto powers. For additional information, see the UNSC.
Nuclear (use) doctrine
Nuclear (use) doctrine: The fundamental principles by which a country’s political or military leaders guide their decision-making regarding the conditions for the use of nuclear weapons.

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