Media Advisory -

The CTBTO is pleased to invite members of the media to the CTBT Science & Technology 2011 Conference, a major global forum aimed at fostering a closer relationship between the scientific community and the CTBTO. It will be attended by around 500 scientists from over 70 countries, as well as diplomats, officials and NGO representatives. The gathering will discuss improvements in the verification regime's ability to detect clandestine nuclear tests and will focus on its civil and scientific applications. A special session will discuss the CTBTO's monitoring of the 11 March Japanese earthquake and the subsequent emissions from the Fukushima power plant.

Austrian Foreign Minister, Michael Spindelegger, will speak at the Conference.

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will address the Conference through a video message.

Science and Technology 2011 will look over the horizon to new scientific communities, new time frames and new applications. We want to multiply the number of scientists behind this verification system and turn an area of weapons of mass destruction into one of mass collaboration.Tibor Toth, CTBTO Executive Secretary

                                   - KEY SPEAKERS -

Dr Richard Garwin

Richard Garwin, physicist, authored the design of the first U.S. hydrogen bomb in 1952. He is one of the most widely respected scientific advisers to the United States government on a range of issues, including the safety of nuclear weapons and arms control. Dr Garwin has spent much of his career promoting nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation. Read more here.

Dr David Strangway

David Strangway, geophysicist, joined NASA in 1970 as Chief of the Geophysics Branch, where he was responsible for the geophysical aspects of the U.S. space agency's Apollo missions, including the examination of returned moon rocks that contributed to further knowledge of the solar system. He was President of the University of British Columbia from 1985 to 1997. Read more here.



Our common purpose is to have the best global network of monitoring stations in the world, with the highest reliability, the best timelines, the best availability, the best quality.Lassina Zerbo, Director International Data Centre Division

                                   - KEY ISSUES -

Click for information about the CTBTO's Fukushima-related measurements.

Scientific applications of the CTBT verification system: A special session will be dedicated to the 11 March Japanese event and its aftermath. During the catastrophic earthquake, data from the International Monitoring System (IMS) helped national authorities to issue timely tsunami warnings. The IMS subsequently detected emissions from the damaged Fukushima power plant (read more here). National experts, independent researchers and the CTBTO will give a detailed account of their analysis of the event. Other scientific applications to be discussed are the IMS's added value in studying the Earth's crust, including earthquake and volcano monitoring, or measuring concentrations of medical isotopes.

Communication nodes of a hydrophone station being deployed.

Advances in science and technology relevant to nuclear explosion detection capabilities: How can we bring the monitoring stations' capability from super-sensitive to hyper-sensitive? How can we efficiently transmit and analyze gigabytes of data per day? These are some of the issues the world's best and brightest scientists will be brainstorming on, covering all four verification technologies: seismic, hydroacoustic, infrasound and radionuclide. Scientific institutions, international organizations such as the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and national experts from countries large (Russia, USA) and smaller (Ghana, Panama) will contribute.

Participants at the International Scientific Studies Conference in June 2009.

Partnerships and the exchange of knowledge between the CTBTO and the broader scientific community: Through cross-fertilization, the CTBTO can harvest the fresh ideas it needs to constantly refine its methods to stay ahead technologically of would-be cheaters. To that end, a new platform has been created to enable researchers to access archived monitoring data and processing software - the virtual Data Exploitation Centre (vDEC). One of the panels will seek ways to foster technology support programmes and opportunities for CTBTO-external research and development.


We want to look ahead and see how technologies converge and how futures intersect. And because disasters, both manmade and natural, hit us randomly, we want to show the civil and scientific benefits of our verification system.Tibor Toth, CTBTO Executive Secretary

                                   - Background -

Science for Security - a 66 page PDF publication containing information on the eight ISS topic areas that were discussed in Vienna, Austria from 10-12 June 2009.

CTBT Science & Technology 2011 will take the CTBTO's cooperation with the international scientific community to the next level. More than 300 abstracts have been received and over 80 oral presentations will be given. Click here (PDF) for the programme and here for the list of confirmed speakers. The conference will build upon the International Scientific Studies Conference (ISS) held in Vienna from 10 to 12 June 2009.

The CTBT bans all nuclear explosions. The CTBTO has been mandated to build up a verification regime to monitor compliance with the Treaty: over 80 percent of the facilities making up the CTBT's International Monitoring System are already in place.

182 States have signed the Treaty and 153 have ratified it, see map. Nine countries have yet to ratify the Treaty for it to enter into force. They are China, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Israel and the United States, who have already signed the CTBT, and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, India and Pakistan, who have yet to sign and ratify.

                              - Practical information -

The conference will take place at the Hofburg in Vienna. Photo by Peter Gerstbach.

The conference is open to the media. Filming and recording is possible: kindly inform us in advance of the equipment that you intend to bring. Wi-Fi and a limited number of computers will also be provided free-of-charge at the Hofburg. The entrance to the conference is from Josefsplatz 3, 1010 Vienna. Opening on 8 June at 10.00.

We would also like to advise you that due to parallel events at the Hofburg, Austrian authorities will apply strict security measures at the venue. Media representatives will be required to present their photo ID upon arrival and should allow extra time for security checks at the entrance. Thank you very much for your cooperation.

The conference will be video streamed live on our website. For this and more information see the dedicated area on our website and the conference brochure (PDF). For media background material on the CTBTO, see:

  • CTBT in the News: daily selection of news & op-eds
  • CTBTO Image Packages: pictures from different events, at your disposal
  • CTBTO Video Footage: loosely-cut & ready-to-air packages, free of rights (click here for FTP server)
  • Newsletters: our monthly compilation of international CTBT news
  • Press Releases: our newest press information

                                   - Contacts -

Content and interview requests:
Annika Thunborg, CTBTO Spokesperson,
tel: +43-1-26030-6375
 mobile: +43-699-1459 6375

Practical information and registration:
Pablo Carlos Mehlhorn, CTBTO Public Information
tel: +43-1-26030-6451