Posted by: ctbtonewsroom | January 30, 2013

Reuters reports on CTBTO’s detection capabilities in case of North Korean nuclear test

The article “Monitoring agency “confident” it will detect North Korea atomic test” reports on how the CTBTO’s monitoring system works and why it is in a position to detect promptly and with a high degree of confidence signs of a nuclear test.


The international agency that monitors nuclear tests said on Wednesday it would have no trouble detecting the seismological activity around any nuclear test by North Korea “within minutes” but it could take at least several days to confirm whether it was an atomic explosion.

“The information from seismic stations reaches us within minutes,” said Annika Thunborg, a spokeswoman for the preparatory commission of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO). “We are confident that we will detect such a test.” In North Korea’s previous tests, “we were able to say within a couple of hours that it was an explosion, that it was not an earthquake,” Thunborg said. The data then had to be studied further to analyze whether it was an atomic blast.

The “seismic system is able to distinguish between a natural event, an earthquake, and a man-made event, an explosion, so we are confident in terms of the reliability of the system,” Thunborg said.

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