Public Release: 

AAAS symposium to highlight potential of global nuclear test-ban monitoring system

Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear‑Test‑Ban Treaty Organization

Experts in the science behind detecting nuclear tests will be speaking at a symposium on 17 February 2013 at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in Boston, United States. The symposium will highlight the potential of the International Monitoring System of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO), built to scan the globe for signs of a nuclear explosion. The system swiftly and confidently detected both the North Korean nuclear tests in 2006 and 2009 (on 12 February 2013 monitoring stations of the CTBTO detected a seismic event with explosion-like characteristics in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) see CTBTO Newsroom).

Symposium on the potential of the global nuclear-test ban monitoring system: Sunday, 17 Feb 2013, 10.00-11.30 AM, AAAS Annual Meeting in Boston, States, Hynes Convention Center, Room 204

The symposium on the "Unreasonable Usefulness of Test-Ban Verification for Disaster Warning and Science" will be moderated by Lassina Zerbo, who currently heads the CTBTO's International Data Centre, which receives and analyses data from the CTBTO's monitoring stations. Zerbo will take over the organization's leadership from 1 August 2013. The panellists are:

  • Miaki Ishii, Associate Professor of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Harvard University
  • Raymond Jeanloz, Professor of Earth and Planetary Science and of Astronomy, University of California, Berkeley
  • David W. Strangway, Former Chief of NASA's Geophysics Branch and Founding Chancellor, Quest University

CTBTO experts ready to answer questions throughout the AAAS meeting at booth #901, Hall C


Science and Technology 2013 Conference

Science journalists are also welcome to attend the CTBTO's Science and Technology 2013 Conference from 17 to 21 June 2013 in Vienna, Austria. The conference will explore how scientific and technological innovations can further enhance nuclear test detection and how CTBTO data can in turn benefit scientific research and disaster warning.


The CTBTO's $1 billion monitoring system uses seismic, hydroacoustic, infrasound and radionuclide sensors to detect even the smallest of nuclear explosions. Over 85 percent of the 337 facilities in the International Monitoring System are already in place, see interactive map. CTBTO data (about 16GB a day) and analyses are provided in near-real time to around 1,300 institutions in 130 countries. The system also provides independent, first-hand information on a range of natural and man-made phenomena including the spread of radioactivity from nuclear accidents (e.g. Fukushima) and helps tsunami warning centres issue more timely and precise warnings.

For further information on the CTBT, please see - your resource on ending nuclear testing.

Thomas Mützelburg, Public Information Officer (at the AAAS meeting)
M +43 699 1459 6375

Connect with CTBTO on facebook, twitter, flickr and youtube.

Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system.