Technical training for Chinese station managers

During the recent visit of Executive Secretary of the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) Lassina Zerbo to China, it was agreed to proceed with the provision of data from the Chinese monitoring stations to the International Data Centre (IDC) in Vienna. As a follow-up measure, a number of Chinese station operators have received two days of technical training at the CTBTO’s headquarters in Vienna.
  Eleven of the 337 monitoring stations that will make up the International Monitoring System (IMS) are located in China. This network is a key part of the verification regime to detect any nuclear explosion in violation of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT). Ten of the stations in China are already operational. They generate data by means of seismic, infrasound and radionuclide technologies.

The Chinese station managers and their CTBTO trainers.

Harsh climate conditions, unreliable power supplies and extreme remoteness are just some of the challenges that station managers face on a routine basis. During the training session, the Chinese experts learned how to keep the stations up and running despite these adverse conditions, and how to rectify problems when they occur. Since the CTBTO relies heavily on the station managers for the maintenance of the stations as well as the data flow, it is very important to have well-trained experts on-site.

Celebrating the installation of infrasound station IS16 at Kunming, China.

The National Data Centre provides technical support for the stations in China, thus it was important to learn how to operate and maintain those stations efficiently. We will now try our best to push our stations to the T&E level.

A large part of the training was devoted to how to conclude Testing and Evaluation (T&E) contracts. The Testing and Evaluation phase is an important step towards the formal acceptance of the stations into the network through their certification. During this phase, the stations need to send data to the IDC in Vienna in order to evaluate their performance and capabilities.

Radionuclide station RN20 in Beijing, China, is equipped with noble gas detection technology.

The training was very useful and gives us new perspectives. If possible I would like to do a workshop like this in China in order to pass on the knowledge we have gained.

Once the stations are certified, they will need to be operated and maintained to meet the stringent Treaty requirement 98 per cent of data availability. Such high levels can only be sustained through smooth cooperation between all stakeholders - Member States, the CTBTO, local communities, as well as equipment providers.

Yun LOU, manager of radionuclide station RN20, Beijing, receiving her training certificate from Jerry Carter, Officer in Charge, IDC Division.