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Key Issues Nuclear Weapons History Presidential Policies Reagan Nuclear Events

President Ronald Reagan - Nuclear Events


Reagan resumes production of the neutron bomb and restores the triad of the B1 bomber, MX missle, and Trident sub.

Neutron Warhead capable of delivering 10 independently
targeted warheads with great accuracy.

Reagan ratifies the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Materials signed by Carter.

Reagan removes the US from the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty Talks in Geneva .

Reagan produces additional neutron bombs for the US and NATO.

Reagan gives his Strategic Defense Initiative (later dubbed "Star Wars") speech, calling for a space-based defense system capable of protecting the United States from ICBM. Audio Clip 7: Reagan Delivers the Big Vision Statement for SDI

NATO deploys US Pershing II missiles in Germany, causing the Soviets to discontinue the arms control talks in Geneva. A Pershing II missile catches fire two years later and almost detonates a nuclear warhead storage.) PBS Video Clip: Missile deployment in Europe

Reagan and Gorbachev improve their Hot Line, signing the Agreement Between the United States of America and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics to Expand the US-USSR Direct Communications Link, TIAS 11428.

US adopts the Convention on Early Notification of a Nuclear Accident and the Convention on Assistance in the Case of a Nuclear Accident or Radiological Emergency.

Reagan and Gorbachev meet at Reykjavik, Iceland to discuss the possibility of nuclear abolition. The talks fail after Reagan refuses to abandon the SDI. PBS Video Clip: Summit at Reykjavik

Meeting House in Reykjavik

US establishes the Missile Technology Control Regime.

Secretary of State George Schultz and Soviet Foreign Minister Eduard Shevardmadze sign the Agreement on Nuclear Risk Reduction Centers at the White House Rose Garden.

Reagan and Gorbachev (USSR) sign the Protocol on Procedures Governing the Elimination of Russian and American Intermediate-Range and Shorter-Range Missiles (INF Treaty) requiring states to eliminate all IRMs, SRMs, and associated equipment. INF Treaty

Reagan and Gorbachev (USSR) sign the Agreement Between the United States of America and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics on the Conduct of a Joint Verification Experiment and the Agreement Between the United States of America and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics on Notifications of Launches of Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles and Submarine-Launched Ballistic Missiles 27 I.L.M. 1200.

Reagan and Gorbachev (USSR) sign the Treaty on Elimination of Intermediate-Range and Shorter-Range Missiles Between USA and USSR.

US adopts the Joint Protocol Relating to the Application of the Vienna Convention and the Paris Convention, which would link the Convention on Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage and the Convention on Third Party Liability in the Field of Nuclear Energy.

January 1989
Reagan shuts down “unneeded” nuclear weapon plants, including Fernald (OH), Hanford (WA), Idaho National Engineering Laboratory (ID), Oak Ridge (TN), Rocky Flats (CO), Savannah River (SC)