Media Advisory – World’s largest scientific forum on nuclear explosion detection

Vienna, 10 June 2015

WHAT:       The CTBT: Science and Technology 2015 Conference will bring together key scientists, verification and nuclear arms control experts from around the world. Around 750 participants will discuss the latest scientific and technological developments to further enhance verification of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT), including spin-off benefits of CTBTO data for disaster warning and science.

WHEN:        22-26 June 2015

WHERE:     Hofburg Palace, Vienna, Austria

WHO:          Opening day (22 June) keynote speakers:

  • Naledi Pandor, Minister of Science and Technology of South Africa
  • Ahmet Üzümcü, Director-General of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons
  • Lord Desmond Browne, former Secretary of State for Defence for the United Kingdom, and Vice Chairman of the Nuclear Threat Initiative

Other high-level speakers include (see programme outline):

  • William Perry, former Secretary of Defense for the United States
  • Lassina Zerbo, Executive Secretary of the CTBTO

WHY:           This is the fifth in a series of conferences that help establish interactions and partnerships between the scientific and technological community and the CTBTO to ensure that the CTBT verification effort remains state-of-the-art. With over 750 registered participants so far and over 500 abstracts, the 2015 conference is the largest to date. See programme outline here.

The conference is open to the media. For interview requests with keynote speakers, panellists, scientists and other participants, please contact CTBTO Public Information (

Scientific Papers

Examples of verification-related issues to be discussed:

Examples of issues related to spin-off uses of CTBTO data to be discussed:

The potential to use ratios of xenon isotopes to discriminate between a nuclear explosion based on highly-enriched uranium or plutonium The use of CTBTO seismic data for earthquake prediction and early-warning in high-risk regions such as the Himalayas or Iran
The impact of gravity waves on infrasound measurements The potential of CTBTO infrasound data to help aircraft avoid hazardous volcanos
The potential of laser-based seismometers for detecting underground nuclear explosions Studies of meteor blasts using infrasound data
The increased detection capabilities for the North Korean nuclear test site How tsunami warning centres have benefitted from CTBTO data
The challenges of safely drilling into a fresh nuclear explosion cavity during an on-site inspection The detection of long-lived isotopes from the Chernobyl nuclear accident

Media Resources

Live stream on the website
Daily updated image packages on FlickR
Daily round-up videos on YouTube
CTBTO Twitterstream #SnT2015 is the hashtag for the conference
One-stop shop for all resources: Newsroom
B-Roll made available upon request: email CTBTO Public Information [email protected]
Special Events

Be a nuclear detective: Participants can try their hand at using state-of-the-art on-site inspection equipment such as ground penetrating radar, a gamma radiation scanner and a seismic aftershock monitoring tripartite array. A range of other on-site inspection equipment will also be on display.

Listen to our Earth: Recordings made by the CTBTO’s global network of monitoring stations while scanning the planet for nuclear explosions will be made available to the public for the first time. Participants are invited to listen to some of nature’s mysterious processes.

About the CTBT

The CTBT bans all nuclear explosions. The CTBTO is building a verification regime to ensure that no nuclear explosion goes undetected: around 90 percent of the facilities that monitor the world for any sign of a nuclear explosion are already in place, see interactive map.

To date 183 States have signed the Treaty and 164 have also ratified it, see interactive map. However, eight nuclear holding countries must ratify the Treaty before it can enter into force: China, Egypt, Iran, Israel and the United States, which have already signed the CTBT, and India, North Korea and Pakistan, which have yet to sign and ratify.

Accreditation & Practical Information

All conference sessions are open to the media. Filming and recording is possible: kindly inform us in advance of the equipment that you intend to bring. Wi-Fi will also be provided free-of-charge at the Hofburg. The entrance to the conference is via Josefsplatz 3, 1010 Vienna, and open from 08:00 every day. We would also like to advise you that for security reasons, media representatives will be required to present their photo ID upon arrival and should allow extra time for security checks at the entrance.

It is highly recommended to register in advance to facilitate easy access to the venue. The deadline for registration is 16 June 2015, 17:00.

Please send your name, full job title, media affiliation, and country to CTBTO Public Information ([email protected]). Upon registration, you will receive an email with a link to upload a passport picture for the accreditation badge. Please note that Vienna International Centre media accreditation badges are not valid for the conference.

For further information on the CTBT, please see - your resource on ending nuclear testing, or contact:
Elisabeth Wächter,
Chief of Public Information

T    +43 1 26030-6375
E     Opens window for sending
M    +43 699 1459 6375