1963: Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Ratified

The Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty was a treaty signed by the U.S., the Soviet Union and the United Kingdom, which banned all tests of nuclear devices except for underground. There were no restrictions against underground testing due to the fact that the purpose of the treaty was not to limit Nuclear use as a whole, but to prevent radioactive fallout and environmental contamination. This treaty was ratified on August 5th, 1963 in Moscow USSR, although the concern surrounding radioactive usage became a public issue nearly ten years earlier. A few months later over 100 additional countries joined the U.S., the U.K, and the Soviet Union, in their attempt to better the environment and stop the testing of nuclear devices anywhere above ground. The additional 100 countries excluded two big economic factors; China and France.


Radioactive Fallout is exceptionally dangerous to our earth as a whole. The importance of this treaty is that it raised awareness to the dangers we present to our own communities environment when using nuclear weapons. Although the treaty may have been flawed, the point had still been made. Nuclear weapons were, and of course, still are dangerous.

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The image to the left is a representation of an underground nuclear test.
The image below is an image of the aftermath of nuclear underground testing.

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U.S. vs. USSR:

Over the past 70 years, the relationship between the USSR (Russia) and the United States has been a roller-coaster ride. During WWII in the 40's, we fought as allies against Hitler, Stalin, and the Nazi regime. However, even though the nations fought as an alliance, there was still high tension and once the war ended the relationship between the two nations remained strained. The nations remained separate throughout the nuclear arms missile race even though they came together for the ratification of the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (1963) during the Cold War (1947-1991). In the 1950's, paranoia from threats of a nuclear holocaust specifically from Russia became evident through the building and sale of bomb shelters to middle class Americans. In 1982 a young girl named Samantha Smith, from Manchester Maine, wrote a letter to the Soviet President Yuri Andropov, asking him if he was going to wage a nuclear war on the United States. The president replied and in return invited the young 10 year old to visit Russia, showing the attempts by Russia to create a civil relationship between the two countries. Even though these nations have had numerous ups and downs, The Nuclear Test Ban Treaty was one of many examples when the U.S and Soviet Union set aside their differences in order to benefit humanity and their nations as a whole.

Samantha Smith
Soviet Union and U.S
Nuclear Cloud image
Underground Nuclear Explosion Diagram

"Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty." Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica Online.Encyclopædia Britannica, 2011. Web. 10 Apr. 2011.<http://www.britannica.com/ EBchecked/topic/421810/Nuclear-Test-Ban-Treaty>.