Seismology: Nuclear Listening Post

When the nuclear powers negotiated a test ban treaty in 1963, they were forced to confine their agreement to atmospheric testing. On-the-spot inspections of underground tests were politically unacceptable to the Russians, and remote monitoring by seismographs was considered unreliable. The trouble was, some explosions were likely to go un detected, and low-yield tests, when they were recorded, could not be reliably distinguished from earthquakes. But now, as negotiators are getting back to business again in Geneva, a new element has entered the argument. The U.S. is putting the finishing touches on an ultrasensitive seismic listening post that...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!