Media Advisory:
On-site inspection experiment
on noble gas detection

Click map above to see directions in Google maps.

The CTBTO offers journalists a unique opportunity to witness a key element of an on-site inspection – the noble gas detection technique. Experts from more than 15 States will participate in this experiment only an hour away from Vienna, Austria, in nearby Slovakia, in October. The field test focuses on all aspects of noble gas detection during an inspection. It will involve atmospheric gas sampling, borehole preparations for underground gas sampling as well as testing of sampling and analysis equipment.


Realistic conditions

The experiment provides an insight in how such highly specialized inspection activities are carried out under realistic field conditions. Participants in the field test will not only conduct all steps required for noble gas detection, but will also observe all prescribed precautions such as wearing contamination protection suits.


First tested at exercise in Kazakhstan

During the Comprehensive Integrated Field Exercise 2008 or IFE08, noble gas sampling and analysis were performed for the first time. The field test in Slovakia takes the development of this inspection technique a step further, taking into account the experiences made during IFE08.


Searching for the ‘smoking gun’

On-site inspections are the ultimate measure of the CTBT verification regime to establish in a suspicious case whether a nuclear explosion has taken place. Noble gas detections can provide ‘smoking gun’ evidence during such an inspection.


Unprecedented political momentum

The experiment takes place at a time of unprecedented political momentum in support of the CTBT.  At a historic Security Council summit meeting on nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament on 24 September 2009 in New York, Heads of States reiterated the CTBT’s importance for a world free of nuclear weapons and called on all remaining States to sign and ratify the Treaty.  The same call was made by a large number o Foreign Ministers at a conference to promote the CTBT’s entry into force which took place on 24 and 25 September 2009 in New York.  The statement by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton carried particular significance, as Clinton declared that her government would work on Treaty ratification by the United States and other outstanding States. 


Media Day

On 20 October 2009 at 10.30, the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) will hold a Media Day at Park Hotel, Nova 64, Stupava, Slovakia.  The programme will include background briefings, a press conference, a tour of the field laboratory and demonstration of sampling and drilling equipment. 


09.00 Departure by bus from Vienna International Centre
10.30 Welcome addresses by Slovak and CTBTO representatives
11.00 Briefing on Noble Gas Exercise by CTBT representatives
11.30 Coffee break
11.50 Press Conference
12.20 Tour or field laboratory
12.50 Demonstration of sampling and drilling equipment
13.30  Reception



Interested media representatives are requested to register in writing with Mr. Christian Evertz, at  The CTBT will provide transport. Media representatives who want to make use of the transport option are requested to register no later than 9 October 2009.

For more information on the exercise and on-site inspections, please contact:
Kirsten Haupt, Public Information Officer
T: +43 1 26030 6127
M: +43 699 1459 6127

For more information on practical matters, please contact:
Christian Evertz
T: +43 1 26030 6108

For further information on the CTBTO, please see – your resource on ending
nuclear testing, or contact:
Annika Thunborg, Spokesperson and Chief, Public Information
T: +43 1 26030-6375
M: +43 699 1459 6375

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