Vienna, 9 December 2014
The most sophisticated on-site inspection exercise conducted to date by the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) formally concludes this week. The Integrated Field Exercise IFE14 in Jordan started on 3 November and involved four years of preparation, 150 tonnes of specialized equipment and over 200 international experts.
CTBTO Executive Secretary Lassina Zerbo said: “Through this exercise, we have shown the world that it is absolutely hopeless to try to hide a nuclear explosion from us. We’ve now mastered all components of the verification regime, and brought our on-site inspection capabilities to the same high level as the other two components, the 90% complete network of monitoring stations and the International Data Centre.”
During the five-week long exercise, the inspection team searched an inspection area of nearly 1,000 square kilometres using 15 of the 17 techniques permissible under the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT). Some of these state-of-the-art techniques were used for the first time in an on-site inspection context, including equipment to detect traces of relevant radioactive noble gases on and beneath the ground as well as from the air. Other techniques scanned the ground in frequencies invisible to the human eye. Key pieces of equipment were provided by CTBTO Member States as voluntary and in-kind contributions.
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