Media Advisory – Mitigating Xenon Emissions

World Experts in Nuclear Test Monitoring & Lifesaving Medical Isotope Production Meet to Mitigate Xenon Emissions, Brussels 12-14 May 2015

available in French and Dutch

World experts in nuclear explosion monitoring and medical isotope producers are coming together in Brussels, Belgium, from 12-14 May 2015, to explore ways to mitigate the effects on nuclear explosion monitoring of emissions from facilities that produce lifesaving medical isotopes without impacting production.

Some 100 experts from every continent are expected to attend the Workshop on Signatures of Medical and Industrial Isotope Production. The manufacturing of medical isotopes produces radioxenon emissions, which are identical isotopes to those released from a nuclear explosion. It presents a challenge for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO), which monitors the planet for any sign of a nuclear explosion. The industrial emissions can interfere with the CTBTO’s monitoring work, which uses a global network of ultra-sensitive detectors to pick up the radioactive noble gas xenon. The low levels emitted from the isotope production industry are not harmful to human health or the environment but may be high enough to trigger the CTBTO’s sensitive alarms. One way of mitigating these effects is to reduce the emissions.

On the agenda of the three-day workshop is a presentation on a ground-breaking European Union funded research project to capture noble gas emissions directly at production facilities, using a small versatile system. It is being trialled at Belgium’s National Institute for Radioelements (IRE).

The meeting is co-organized by SCK-CEN Belgian Nuclear Research Centre and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) in association with the CTBTO.

Journalists are invited to the following media opportunities:

Egmont Palace, Kleine Zavel 8b, 1000 Brussels, Belgium

09.00 Photo opportunity with Belgian Minister of Energy, Environment and Sustainable Development, Marie Christine Marghem, CTBTO Executive Secretary Lassina Zerbo and Director-General Eric van Walleand, SCK-CEN Belgian Nuclear Research Centre.

09.10 Opening remarks by Minister Marghem and CTBTO Executive Secretary Zerbo.

For Further Background on Xenon Mitigation:

Video: Zeroing in on Xenon

Medical Isotope Producers and the CTBTO Join Forces to Reduce Radioxenon Emissions

Breakthrough in Mitigating Xenon Emissions

Professional B-roll is available free of rights on request.


Journalists who want to take part must send their names and affiliations to Opens window for sending, specifying which opportunity they will attend. Please send your email no later than 15:00, 11 May 2015.

Background on the CTBT

The Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) bans all nuclear explosions everywhere, by everyone. The CTBTO is building an International Monitoring System (IMS) to make sure that no nuclear explosion goes undetected. Currently, around 90% of this network has been established. CTBTO monitoring data also have non-verification uses such as earthquake monitoring, tsunami warning, and the tracking of radioactivity from nuclear accidents.

Contacts & Interviews

Kirstie Gregorich Hansen (in Brussels on 12-13 May),
CTBTO Public Information Officer
M    +43 699 1459 6540
E    Opens window for sending

Elisabeth Wächter,
Chief of Public Information

T    +43 1 26030 6375 
E    Opens window for sending emailElisabeth.WAECHTERping@CTBTOpong.ORG
M    +43 699 1459 6375