From a certain, increasingly rare point of view, the origins of our planet’s new Cold War and nuclear arms race in 2019 may be partly traceable to a little known physics experiment called a subcritical nuclear experiment. Such experiments, which involve underground chemical explosions on weapons-grade plutonium yet fall short of triggering a runaway ‘chain reaction’ and ‘nuclear explosion' (they do produce a tiny nuclear yield), are carried out by nuclear club nations to allegedly ensure that their nuclear warheads are reliable. (Read more in The Nuclear Tests in Verbal Camoflauge (russian).)

Because these subcritical tests so nearly flirt with the conduct of a fully critical or ‘hydronuclear’ nuclear test, suspicion and mistrust naturally attach themselves to these experiments. That suspicion and mistrust, especially in a global news vacuum (censorship), gives way to accusations and disputes that when global peoples and think tanks don’t see what’s going on, national leaders are left fighting a battle as Gods in the clouds. But there are no Gods, only mortals who can destroy a planet, as they almost did many times in the last Cold War.

In February 2019, on the eve of the U.S.-DPRK summit in Hanoi, the U.S. carried out its 29th subcritical nuclear test since 1997 (named Ediza). In the wake of that test, strong condemnation by DPRK over Ediza was ignored by global media outlets (outside of Japan) and then deflected as the U.S. then began accusing another nation (Russia) of violating the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT). This style of provocation continues through the late summer of 2019 -- and beyond.

The CTBT needs to be fixed to close a loophole that allows subcritical nuclear testing. This loophole weakens the international agreement and is agitating the world into a new nuclear arms race. Unless subcrits are banned, the CTBT is not comprehensive enough to do the job.

Ban Subcritical Nuclear Tests! - Andrew Kishner (updated 9.10.2020)

'U.S. sneaks in 'Vega,' its 28th subcritical nuclear test'
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