According to a September 13 report, the U.S. Air Force agency that monitors seismic data world-wide for evidence of nuclear explosions believes that the August 16 "seismic event" near the Russian nuclear test site at Novaya Zemlya was probably an earthquake, as the Russians have claimed, and not a clandestine nuclear test. The report was said to be based on portions of a secret study prepared by the Air Force Technical Applications Center. The center operates a global network of seismic and other sensors. The interim report was said to have confirmed that the tremor occurred under the ocean floor and not on the island.
The August event has contributed to a partisan debate in the U.S. Some who oppose ratification of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty are continuing to gather evidence aimed at demonstrating that the event resulted from a nuclear test, or at least to argue that the uncertainty about its cause demonstrates that a test ban would be unverifiable. (AP, September 13)
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