Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty training programme in Kazakhstan

Participants from Bangladesh, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kyrgyzstan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka, Syrian Arab Republic and Yemen are expected to attend the first CTBT Introductory Training Programme for the Middle East and South Asia, to be held in Kazakhstan, 21-26 September. Like the previous regional training programmes held in Argentina, Japan and South Africa, the Programme is open to signatory and non-signatory countries alike. It will focus on operation of the International Monitoring System (IMS) designed to detect nuclear explosions worldwide and track them back to source, as required in the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT). The IMS, being established by the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO PrepCom) headquartered in Vienna, will comprise 321 monitoring stations - gathering seismic, infrasound, hydroacoustic and radionuclide data across the world - supported by 16 radionuclide analytical laboratories.

The IMS facilities, designed to verify compliance, will be capable of registering shock waves underground, in the seas and in the air as well as detecting radioactive particles released into the atmosphere from a nuclear explosion. The data gathered will be relayed to the International Data Centre at Vienna, via a global communications system. They will then be analysed, combined and made available to the States Signatories for their review and consideration. Ambiguous events will be subject to consultation and clarification. On-site inspections may be requested as a final verification measure.

The six-day programme will be held at Kurchatov, the city in north-east Kazakhstan that was custom-built within the former Soviet Union´s first nuclear weapons test site known as Semipalatinsk. The programme will focus on the global verification regime and other technical aspects of the Treaty. It also includes visits, on the last two days, to the recently opened Museum of Test Site History and other parts of the 19,000 square kilometre former test site where over 450 nuclear tests were conducted between 1949 and 1989.

The participants include six who have not yet signed the Treaty (Iraq, Lebanon, Oman, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Syrian Arab Republic); though Oman, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia have agreed to operate monitoring stations as part of the global verification regime.

The Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty was adopted by the General Assembly on 10 September 1996 and opened for signature at the United Nations in New York on 24 September 1996. It forbids all nuclear explosions anywhere in the world. Currently, 150 States have signed the Treaty and 21 have ratified it.

For further information on the CTBTO, please see www.ctbto.org or contact:
Annika Thunborg, Chief, Public Information  
T    +43 1 26030-6375  
E    annika.thunborgping@ctbtopong.org
M    +43 699 1459 6375       
I    www.ctbto.org