Posted by: ctbtonewsroom | February 20, 2017

Media Advisory

Vienna, 20 Feb. 2017

In response to multiple inquiries over the past 48 hours, the CTBTO reports that the radionuclide (RN) stations of the International Monitoring System (IMS) are working normally.  The radioactive isotope Iodine-131 is produced by nuclear fission in nuclear explosions, power reactors, and industrial and medical isotope facilities.  It has an half-life of 8.02 days.  It is one of the radioactive isotopes that the 80 planned stations of CTBTO’s IMS continuously monitor for indications of nuclear test explosions.  Because of its wide industrial and medical uses, the CTBTO compares I-131 measurements against local historical levels.  Although I-131 is frequently detected at trace levels by the stations of the IMS all over the world, no detections above typical local historical levels have been observed in the past several months.

If a nuclear test were to take place that releases I-131 it would also be expected to release many other radioactive isotopes.   Thus the CTBTO measures many isotopes.  No other nuclear fission isotopes have been measured at elevated levels in conjunction with I-131 in Europe so far.

Posted by: ctbtonewsroom | February 9, 2017

France24 TV interview with CTBTO Head Lassina Zerbo.

In an article for Arms Control Today, Stephen Herzog, a political science Ph.D. student at Yale University, demonstrates the advantages and opportunities that CTBT ratification would offer for the new US administration.

“It has been two decades since the nuclear Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) was opened for signature at the United Nations. So far, 183 states have signed and 166 have ratified the treaty, which U.S. President Bill Clinton called “the longest-sought, hardest-fought prize in the history of arms control.” As the Trump administration sets out policies on the CTBT regime and other nuclear arms control and nonproliferation issues, it should not overlook the opportunity to advance related scientific and technical measures to strengthen nuclear explosion monitoring worldwide. This article discusses a series of technical initiatives that would improve the already excellent global monitoring capabilities and further align the international community behind ending nuclear tests. “


Among these initiatives, Herzog names and illustrates the prospects of data collection improvement, data analysis expansion as well as the civil and scientific outreach of the CTBTO data. Prompting Trump administration to pursue CTBT ratification, Herzog says: “As the new administration considers a ratification debate, it should not forget about the complementarity of science, technology, and politics within the CTBT sphere”.

Original Article published by Arms Control Today.

Stephen Herzog is a Ph.D. student in political science at Yale University.
Previously, he directed scientific engagements supporting the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty and geophysical hazard mitigation for the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration. 

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