Spain - Fourteenth State to
sign Facility Agreement

A Facility Agreement was signed today between the Permanent Representative of Spain, Ambassador Antonio Nu?ez Garcia Sauco, and the Executive Secretary of the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization, Wolfgang Hoffmann. The ceremony took place at the Preparatory Commission´s headquarters in Vienna. Spain is the fourteenth State to sign such an agreement.

The purpose of the Facility Agreement is to grant the necessary legal authority to the Preparatory Commission to undertake work on Spanish territory to upgrade the primary seismic station at Sonseca, and to ensure its maintenance and operation. Spain is hosting this station as part of the International Monitoring System (IMS) to verify compliance with the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT). The station is connected to the Global Communications Infrastructure (GCI) and is already contributing data to the International Data Centre (IDC) in Vienna.

The CTBT, which Spain signed on 24 September 1996 and ratified on 31 July 1998, recognizes that halting all nuclear-weapon-test explosions is an effective measure of nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation. Under the Treaty´s global verification regime, a network of 321 monitoring stations - spanning some 90 countries - will be able to register shock waves generated by nuclear explosions and other sources in the atmosphere, under water or underground.

This network includes 50 primary and 120 auxiliary seismic stations whose data can be used to help distinguish between possible nuclear explosions and the thousands of earth tremors registered annually. It also includes 80 radionuclide stations to sample radioactive material, which may have been released during a possible nuclear explosion and, in addition, 16 laboratories to assist in the analysis of samples. A further 60 infrasound and 11 hydroacoustic stations will record vibrations in the atmosphere or under water that may have come from a nuclear explosion. The monitoring stations will transmit, via satellite, in near real time, data to the IDC at the headquarters of the Preparatory Commission, where the data will be used to detect, locate and characterize events. These data and IDC products will be made available to the States Signatories for final analysis.

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