The United States and Russia each implemented unilateral test moratoriums nearly three decades ago. But today, there are serious questions about whether they might choose to resume nuclear testing. To better understand the dangers of a return to nuclear testing, and opportunities for transparency and confidence-building measures to prevent this, the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies (CNS) has produced an interactive tour of Russia’s Central Testing Ground at Novaya Zemlya, an archipelago in the Arctic Ocean.
The interactive tour and accompanying article by CNS’ Jeffrey Lewis offer an unparalleled look at historical and current activities at Russia’s Central Testing Ground, with frequent reference to similar activities at the U.S. Nevada National Security Site. Comparing the U.S. and Russian test sites helps illustrate how both countries approached nuclear testing during the Cold War, how they manage their stockpiles today in an era without explosive testing, and the continuing importance of arms control to prevent a return to the shared dangers of an arms race.