THE ATOM: Test Tricks

After nearly 18 months of negotiations at Geneva, the U.S.-British-Soviet delegations seemed close to a nuclear test-ban agreement: an unequivocal pledge to outlaw easily detectable above-ground or underwater explosions and a voluntary moratorium on underground tests—provided the Russians join in an earnest effort to perfect devices for detecting small underground bombs (TIME, April 11). Last week, the nation's top scientific authorities on nuclear detection were called before two subcommittees of the Joint Congressional Committee on Atomic Energy, unanimously made it plain that the black art of concealing small nuclear explosions was fast outstripping the infant science of detection.

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