Posted by: ctbtonewsroom | November 30, 2015

Using IMS data for climate studies

Detection of an airburst over Thailand in September 2015

In the process of scanning the globe around the clock for signs of nuclear explosions in violation of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT), the stations of the CTBTO’s International Monitoring System (IMS) pick up signals from an abundance of natural events. These data are widely considered to be unique and a treasure trove of knowledge with a broad range of civil and scientific applications.

The IMS captures four types of data: seismic, hydroacoustic, infrasound, and radionuclide. The network (interactive map) is about 90 percent complete, with some 300 monitoring facilities installed and operational.

Scientists and institutions in all 183 CTBTO Member States can also use the data for disaster warning and scientific studies including in the field of climate change. The data can also be accessed via the Virtual Data Exploitation Centre. Following the devastating 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, Member States decided to make IMS data available to tsunami warning centres.


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Posted by: ctbtonewsroom | November 26, 2015

ES Lassina Zerbo visits U.S. nuclear labs and former Nevada Test Site

Executive Secretary Lassina Zerbo (right) and LLNL Director Bill Goldstein

At the invitation of the U.S. government, CTBTO Executive Lassina Zerbo is currently visiting the U.S. nuclear labs, the Nevada National Security Site (formerly Nevada Test Site) as well as Stanford University and the Monterey Institute of International Studies from 19 to 26 November 2015.

The LLNL-developed ‘smart sampler’ to extract radioactive noble gases during on-site inspections

During his visit to the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), Zerbo was welcomed by LLNL Director William H. Goldstein and viewed the laboratory’s contributions to CTBT verification, such as device for detecting radioactivity during on-site inspections and innovative seismic monitoring techniques.

With California’s Governor Jerry Brown

While in California, he met with the State’s Governor Jerry Brown to discuss cooperation on raising awareness for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT). The State of California is host to the 4 of the 38 International Monitoring System facilities hosted by the United States.

In Nevada, Zerbo visited the National Atomic Testing Museum and toured the Nevada National Security Site, where he viewed the crater from the 1962 Sedan nuclear test and the tower of the cancelled 1992 Icecap nuclear test.

At Sedan crater with NNSA Deputy Administrator Anne Harrington

At the Sedan crater with NNSA Deputy Administrator Anne Harrington

“It is a sobering thing to visit a place where so many nuclear explosions were conducted, and I appreciate this tremendous opportunity. I applaud the United States for foregoing nuclear explosive testing for over 23 years and I hope that will continue, along with the U.S. support for our efforts to make a global ban on nuclear explosions the international norm. I was greatly impressed by what I saw in Nevada, and it has given me a renewed motivation to make nuclear explosions a thing of the past for all nations.”

Executive Secretary Zerbo about the work of the U.S. labs in support of the CTBT

During his visit to the United States, Zerbo also visited Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico. In California, he met former U.S. Secretary of State George Shultz at Stanford University and former U.S. Secretary of Defense William Perry. Perry is also a member of the CTBT Group of Eminent Persons (GEM).

“It is our privilege to invite Dr Zerbo to visit the Nevada National Security Site. We thought it was important for him to visit the place where the United States did so many of its nuclear weapons explosive tests; to see not only the environment but to also feel a little bit that history and to understand why it is so important both for the CTBTO and the United States that we never test again.”

Anne Harrington, Deputy Administrator for Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation, Nionaatl Nuclear Security Administration


With former U.S. Secretary of State George Shultz.

“The CTBT is one of the most important Treaties around. The justification for a yes vote is more powerful today…You can point to a verification system & say it worksIt seems like a ‘no-brainer’ to ratify this Treaty.”
Former U.S. Secretary of State George Shultz





Terry Wallace welcoming Zerbo to Los Alamos Laboratory

“In 1996, I was the lead author on a position statement from the two largest professional societies that include seismology (AGU and SSA) on the verifiability of a CTBT. To be able to see the CTBTO stand-up in 20 years and do such a marvelous job is quite an achievement.”

Terry Wallace, Senior Manager at Los Alamos National Laboratory

See also NNSA press release of 24 November 2015.
 ES Sedan crater tweet
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Posted by: ctbtonewsroom | November 24, 2015

Australian – Japanese statement in support of the CTBT

FM Kishida & FM Bishop 22 Nov 2015

Japan’s Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida (left) and Australia’s Foreign Minister Julie Bishop. Image: Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan

On 22 November 2015, Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida and Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop issued a joint statement on on nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation issued on 22 November in Sydney when Foreign Minister Kishida visited Australia for the Sixth Japan-Australia Joint Foreign and Defense Ministerial Consultations. The statement included a call for the entry into force of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty:

“We welcome the United Nations General Assembly First Committee’s adoption of two of our resolutions this year, by an overwhelming majority, the Resolution titled “United Action with Renewed Determination towards the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons” proposed by Japan and the Resolution titled “Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty
(CTBT)” proposed by Australia. With that in mind, we hereby call once again on all states to take further practical and concrete measures, such as the early entry into force of the CTBT, which Japan and Australia jointly promote as co-Chairs of the Friends of CTBT group…”

Full statement: MFA of Japan (PDF)

See also:

Prime Minister of Japan & President of Kazakhstan adopt joint statement on the CTBT (27 October)

Foreign Ministers gather at United Nations to advance CTBT Entry into Force (29 September)

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