International Scientific Studies Conference 2009

The ISS09 Conference was held on 10-12 June 2009 at the Hofburg Congress Center in Vienna, Austria. 

Around 600 diplomats and scientists from 99 countries gathered in Vienna to present and discuss results from the International Scientific Studies (ISS) project that has engaged the scientific community since early 2008. The ISS Conference (ISS09) was organized by the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) in cooperation with the Austrian Federal Ministry for European and International Affairs.

International Scientific Studies Project

  • Global undertaking open to scientific experts and institutions around the world, which was launched in March 2008.
  • Involves a series of independent scientific studies and assessments to address the readiness and capability of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) to detect nuclear explosions worldwide.
  • Focuses on the detection and location capabilities of the 337 facilities making up the CTBT’s International Monitoring System  (IMS).
  • Addresses the ability of the IMS to characterize observed events.
  • Evaluates the geological and radionuclide technologies and methods used for on-site inspection  (OSI) technologies.
  • Explores the use of data, infrastructure and knowledge of the Preparatory Commission for the CTBTO in support of scientific, humanitarian and other security related applications.
  • Studies will be carried out by international scientists and institutions. The Preparatory Commission for the CTBTO will facilitate and coordinate the project.


  • Carry out scientific studies and assessments through a coordinated international effort to evaluate the readiness and capability of the CTBT verification system to detect nuclear explosions in all environments. 
  • Explore how scientific developments might further improve on these capabilities.
  • Assess the timeliness, quality and quantity of data which are produced, transmitted, processed and distributed.
  • Examine the application of data obtained from the verification technologies for civil and scientific purposes.
  • Address how to facilitate national capacity building.

The ISS Topic Areas

  • Seismology
  • Infrasound
  • Hydroacoustics
  • Radionuclide Monitoring
  • Atmospheric Transport Modelling
  • System Performance
  • On-site Inspection
  • Data Mining



ISS Scientific Panel

1.  System Performance

Prof Nicholas Kyriakopoulos
George Washington University, US

Dr Thierry Heritier 
French Atomic Energy Commission

2.  Seismology
Prof Zhongliang Wu 
China Earthquake Administration

Prof Barbara Romanowicz 
University of Berkeley, US

3.  Hydroacoustics          

Dr Wolfgang Jans
Federal Armed Forces Research Institute for Underwater Acoustics and Marine Geophysics, Germany

Prof Kiyoshi Suyehiro
Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology

4.  Infrasound
Dr Elisabeth Blanc 
French Atomic Energy Commission

Dr Lars Ceranna 
Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources, Germany

5.  Radionuclide Observations

Prof Wolfgang Weiss
Bundesamt fuer Strahlenschutz, Germany

Dr Harry Miley
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, US

6.  Atmospheric Transport Modelling
Mr Richard Hogue
Meteorological Service Canada

Dr Peter Chen
World Meteorological Organization, Switzerland

7.  On-Site Inspections

Dr Massimo Chiappini
Instituto Nazionale di Geofisica Vulcanologia, Italy

Dr Edward Ifft
Georgetown University. US

8.  Data Mining and Data Exploitation

Dr Sheila Vaidya
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, US

Prof Arno Siebes
University of Utrecht, Netherlands