Verified elimination of nuclear warheads

Theodore B. Taylor, "Verified elimination of nuclear warheads," Science & Global Security, 1, no. 1-2, (1989): 1-26.
No nuclear warheads have yet been eliminated by treaty. This paper examines possibilities for verified dismantlement and elimination of nuclear warheads as called for by possible future nuclear disarmament treaties. After warheads have been removed from missiles, the INF treaty allows each country to retain them, without restrictions.1 According to present expectations similar conditions will apply to the START treaty now under negotiation to reduce numbers of Soviet and American deliverable strategic ballistic missile warheads by half. Nevertheless, given recent advances in cooperative methods verification, as well as progress in technical capabilities of detection and monitoring, it is reasonable to hope and expect that dismantlement of nuclear warheads, not just the means for their delivery, will be called for sometime in the future. This possibility has prompted a number of studies.2 The principal focus of this paper is on procedures to verify that warheads specified by treaty for elimination are, in fact, completely dismantled, their components rendered useless for construction of new warheads, and the contained fissile materials placed under international safeguards or disposed of in such a manner as to make them unusable in weapons.

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