Posted by: ctbtonewsroom | June 14, 2013

Opportunities for the Media at CTBT Science and Technology 2013 conference – 17-18 June


Vienna 14 June 2013

During The CTBT Science and Technology 2013 Conference in Vienna, Austria from 17 to 21 June, will bring together world-renowned speakers on arms control, experts on North Korea’s nuclear tests and the latest research into detecting nuclear explosions. The program for the media includes:

10:00 – 13:00  Conference Opening Ceremony (Grosser Redoutensaal, Hofburg)

Keynote speeches from Hans Blix who formerly led the International Atomic Energy Agency and the UN’s Verification Commission for Iraq (UNMOVIC) during the final years of Saddam Hussein’s regime; and Ellen Tauscher, the former Under Secretary of State responsible for arms control and international security in the U.S. State Department.

13:00 – 14:00  Press Conference (Kleiner Redoutensaal, Hofburg) (Lunch available)

A question and answer session with the morning’s keynote speakers and CTBTO’s Executive Secretary, Tibor Tóth.

15:30 – 16:30  Background briefings on the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) and its verification regime (Vienna International Centre)

16:30 – 17:30  Tour of the Operations Centre at the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) and roof top radionuclide monitoring station (Vienna International Centre)

8:15 – 9:30  Off-the-record informal breakfast briefing (Gardesalon, Hofburg) (Breakfast available)

Eight countries must ratify the CTBT before the Treaty can enter into force. These countries are: China, Egypt, India, Iran, Israel, North Korea, Pakistan and the USA.  Why have these countries not ratified? How can the obstacles to ratification be overcome? Speakers include Hans Blix, Ellen Tauscher, and Pramit Pal Chaudhuri, Foreign Editor of the Hindustan Times.

11:00 – 12:30  Media briefing 1: North Korea’s announced nuclear test – Latest scientific analysis (Gardesalon, Hofburg)

Experts in nuclear physics, radionuclides and seismology provide insights into North Korea’s nuclear program and its third nuclear test in February 2013 from the evidence gathered by the CTBTO’s International Monitoring System and other sources. Speakers include the American nuclear scientist,  Siegfried Hecker, who has frequently visited North Korea’s main nuclear facilities; Mika Nikkinen, Radionuclide Specialist at the CTBTO; Paul Richards of Columbia University; Anders Ringbom, Deputy Research Director at the Swedish Defence Research Agency; and Lassina Zerbo, Director of the International Data Centre and Executive Secretary-elect, CTBTO.

13:00 – 14:00  Science Press Conference (Kleiner Redoutensaal, Hofburg) (Lunch available)

The science press conference will present a selection of new innovations that will be discussed at SnT2013 and offer potential for advancing verification of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty. These include new trends in large scale data processing and storage; new techniques to reduce the release of xenon from radio-pharmaceutical facilities; how detonating mines from World War II may improve seismic monitoring of explosions; advances in sensors and geographic information systems to aid the inspection of the ground surrounding a suspected underground nuclear explosion.

14:30 – 15:30  Media Briefing 2: Civil and scientific uses: meteors, whales and tsunamis (Gardesalon, Hofburg)

The briefing will present the detection of meteors by CTBTO’s infrasound monitoring stations and explain how infrasound data are helping researchers better understand our weather. Other research will show how the CTBTO’s hydroacoustic stations are shedding light on whale migration and the Earth’s climate. The briefing will finish by looking at recent advances in tsunami early warning.

18:30 – 22:00  ‘Screening of the play ‘Reykjavik’ by Pulitzer Prize winner Richard Rhodes (Grosser Redoutensaal, Hofburg)

‘Reykjavik’ re-enacts the Reykjavik summit in October 1986 when U.S. President Ronald Reagan and Soviet General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev came close to abolishing all nuclear weapons. It will be followed by a panel discussion on: ‘How can science help the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty enter into force?’ with Hans Blix, Pramit Pal Chaudhuri, Patricia Lewis, Research Director at Chatham House and Ellen Tauscher. A reception at 20:30 concludes the evening.

A more detailed media program can be found here.

CTBT: Science and Technology 2013 Conference is the fourth in a series of conferences that help establish interactions and partnerships between the scientific and technological community and the CTBTO to ensure that the CTBTO verification effort remains state-of-the -art. More than 350 abstracts have been received and over 80 oral presentations will be given. A book of abstracts of all the presentations is available on the CTBTO’s website.

The CTBT bans all nuclear explosions. The CTBTO is building a verification regime to ensure that no nuclear explosions will go undetected: over 85 percent of the facilities that monitor the world for any sign of a nuclear explosion are already in place.
183 States have signed the Treaty and 159 have also ratified it, see map. However, eight nuclear holding countries must ratify the Treaty before it can enter into force. They are China, Egypt, Iran, Israel and the United States, which have already signed the CTBT, and North Korea, India and Pakistan, which have yet to sign and ratify.

The conference is open to the media. Filming and recording is possible: kindly inform us in advance of the equipment that you intend to bring. Wi-Fi will also be provided free-of-charge at the Hofburg. The entrance to the conference is from Josefsplatz 3, 1010 Vienna, open from 08:00 every day. The journalists’ seminar runs from 09:30 to 17:30 on 17 June and from 08:15 to 15:30 on 18 June followed by a screening of a play about the meeting between Mikhail Gorbachev and Ronald Reagan in Reykjavik in 1986 that marked the end of the Cold War.

We would also like to advise you that for security reasons, media representatives will be required to present their photo ID upon arrival and should allow extra time for security checks at the entrance. To facilitate speedy entry to the venue, please register in advance for the conference or journalists’ seminar by sending you name, job title, media affiliation, and country to CTBTO Public Information (

The conference will be video streamed live on our website and the link will be advertised on the Conference web pages.

For media background material on the CTBTO, see:

CTBT in the News: daily selection of news & op-eds
CTBTO Image Packages: pictures from different events, at your disposal
CTBTO Video Footage: loosely-cut & ready-to-air packages, free of rights  (go here for FTP server:
Newsletters: our monthly compilation of international CTBT news
Press Releases: our latest press information
Latest tweets at #SnT2013


Content and interview requests:

Annika Thunborg, CTBTO Spokesperson,
tel: +43-1-26030-6375
mobile: +43-699-1459 6375

Information on the journalists’ seminar and science news from the conference:

Iain Stewart, SnT Communications Advisor
Tel: +43-1-26030-6271
Mobile: +43-676-83-807-433

Practical information and registration:

Pablo Mehlhorn, CTBTO Public Information
tel: +43-1-26030-6451

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