Public Papers - 1990
Message to the Senate Transmitting Protocols to Soviet-United States Treaties on Underground Nuclear Testing
To the Senate of the United States:
I transmit herewith, for the advice and consent of the Senate to ratification, the Protocol to the Treaty Between the United States of America and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics on the Limitation of Underground Nuclear Weapon Tests, and the Protocol to the Treaty Between the United States of America and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics on Underground Nuclear Explosions for Peaceful Purposes (the Protocols). The Protocols were signed at Washington on June 1, 1990. I transmit also, for the information of the Senate, the Report of the Department of State on the Protocols, including section-by-section analyses of the Protocols and letters exchanged by the Heads of Delegation to the Nuclear Testing Talks, which will implement certain aspects of the Protocol to the Treaty on the Limitation of Underground Nuclear Weapon Tests.
The Protocols provide for effective verification of compliance with the Treaty on the Limitation of Underground Nuclear Weapon Tests, signed on July 3, 1974, and the Treaty on Underground Nuclear Explosions for Peaceful Purposes, signed on May 28, 1976 (the Treaties). These Treaties, which limit the yield of nuclear weapon tests and individual nuclear explosions for peaceful purposes to no more than 150 kilotons, were transmitted to the Senate for its advice and consent to ratification on July 29, 1976. The Protocols replace, and should be substituted for, the protocols that were submitted with the Treaties at that time. In addition, the Administration remains committed to the nuclear testing treaty safeguards that were submitted to the Senate in 1987, which are essential to the national security and to the maintenance of a credible nuclear deterrent.
The Protocols represent the successful culmination of several years of effort to provide for effective verification of compliance with the Treaties. Negotiations to develop new Protocols to verify compliance with limits established by the Treaties began in November 1987 and continued until May 1990, when the Protocols were completed. The Protocols provide for a variety of activities related to verification, including the use of the hydrodynamic yield measurement method. Operational changes in the U.S. nuclear test program, including changes at the Nevada Test Site, which implementation of the verification measures will entail were considered carefully and have been judged manageable and therefore acceptable in the interests of effective verification.
I believe these Treaties are in the national interest. Therefore, I urge the Senate to give early and favorable consideration to the Treaties including their Protocols and to give its advice and consent to their ratification.
The White House,
June 28, 1990.