Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

U.S. Pushes Campaign to Curb Nuclear Arms

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

U.S. Pushes Campaign to Curb Nuclear Arms

Article excerpt

The Clinton administration, trying to bolster its campaign to prevent the spread of nuclear arms, hopes to persuade the four other nuclear powers to halt production of nuclear fuel for bombs.

A senior administration official said Russia, Britain and France have agreed to join the United States in announcing that they will no longer make weapons-grade plutonium and uranium. The announcement is to come before the start of an international conference to renew the 25-year-old nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. The conference is set to begin April 17.

But China has not yet agreed to go along.

With the United States and Russia dismantling much of their nuclear arsenals under recently ratified arms control treaties, such an agreement would have little practical effect because there is a substantial surplus of material that can be turned into weapons fuel. But U.S. officials believe that it could have a symbolic impact.

A small but determined group of non-nuclear countries is resisting U.S. efforts to make the treaty permanent, because they say it discriminates against countries that did not possess atomic weaponry when the pact took effect in 1970. Under this treaty, nations agree not to acquire nuclear weapons or help other nations do so.

U.S. officials hope that an agreement by the nuclear powers to stop producing bomb fuel will help persuade the holdouts to go along. …

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