The Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) negotiations, whose first 1996 session started in January, are hoped to be concluded within the next six months. The chair of the talks, Ludwik Dembinski, Poland, stated the CTBT "should be completed in time for signing at the UN General Assembly in September." However, there are considerable major problems:

- although the nuclear powers USA, France, and Britain have agreed to a "zero-yield" option, the new generation of testing computerbased simulation and sub-critical testing - is so far not included. At first glance, these ways of testing might look ecologically clean, and, if you believe in official reasoning, only related to secure nuclear potential in storage. But in fact, "clean testing" is designed to research and develop new nuclear military systems - which are not tackled, if a CTBT under current conditions would be concluded

- a true CTBT appears reasonable only, if binding provisions were to agreed upon for further clearcut nuclear disarmament obligations, such as, for example, introducing the will to conduct a Cut-Off Convention, references to reduce, limit, or even abolish nuclear launching systems, etc.

- there is still broad concern over the lack of Russian and Chinese commitment to "zero-yield" tests or nuclear explosions of any size, and China's insistence on permitting nuclear explosions for peaceful engineering purposes

- the Indian position is that the nuclear powers must first give assurances on eliminating their arsenals within a specified time. India wants both the CTBT and a proposed convention on the cut-off of fissile material for weapons

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