ISS Publication - Science for Security

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The Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) has a close and long-term connection to science. For over 50 years, scientists have been working together to develop and implement the most comprehensive and complex verification regime ever created. This regime is designed to monitor compliance with the CTBT by deterring and detecting any nuclear explosions conducted anywhere on Earth.


From 10 to 12 June 2009 around 600 diplomats and scientists from 99 countries gathered in Vienna, Austria, 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.

by Ola Dahlman, Chairperson of the International Scientific Studies (ISS) project.
2 [PDF]
Facts and Figures about the ISS 4 [PDF]
Seismology experts Paul Richards and Lynn Sykes from Columbia University, USA, describe the detection and location capabilities of the seismic network of the International Monitoring System based on International Scientific Studies Conference posters and presentations. The article highlights the network’s identification capabilities and how seismic data have been used to analyze events such as the nuclear explosion announced by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea in May 2009. Seismology’s role in disaster assessment, mitigation and research is also described.
5 [PDF]
Infrasound experts Elisabeth Blanc from the Commisariat à l’Energie Atomique in France and Lars Ceranna from the German Bundesanstalt für Geowissenschaften und Rohstoffe highlight the renaissance in infrasound technology. They describe different aspects of network processing as well as the International Monitoring System infrasound network’s detection and location capabilities. A number of the network’s civil and scientific applications are also mentioned including the use of data for volcanic source studies and for imaging large scale disturbances, and atmospheric data for studying volcanic unrest and dynamics in relation to climate variation.
11 [PDF]
Hydroacoustic experts Wolfgang Jans from the German Wehrtechnische Dienststelle für Schiffe und Marinewaffen, Maritime Technologie und Forschung Forschungsbereich für Wasserschall und Geophysik and Kiyoshi Suyehiro from the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program Management Office in Washington, DC, USA, provide examples for improvements of the International Monitoring System hydroacoustic network. They also stress the importance of synergies with other technologies and describe some of the potential civil and scientific applications of hydroacoustic data including for marine mammal monitoring and for tsunami warning.
17 [PDF]
Radionuclide Monitoring
Radionuclide experts Anders Ringbom from the Swedish Defence Research Agency and Harry Miley from the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in the USA describe the development and deployment of equipment for radionuclide detection over the last decade and the effectiveness of the International Monitoring System radionuclide network at detecting radioactive noble gases and aerosols. The article also mentions a number of scientific developments discussed during the International Scientific Studies Conference such as sensor technology and the development of techniques to distinguish releases from nuclear explosions from civil sources.
23 [PDF]
Atmospheric Transport Modelling
Atmospheric Transport Modelling (ATM) experts Peter Chen from the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and Richard Hogue from the Meteorological Service of Canada describe how ATM technology has been used extensively to study the background level of radionuclides detected at International Monitoring System (IMS) stations and its role in radionuclide particulate and noble gas event localization. The article includes examples of the close cooperation between the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization and WMO in the field of ATM and some of the scientific improvements to the science of ATM. The use of IMS data for a number of civil and scientific applications such as the tracking and forecasting of ash clouds in the atmosphere using ATM methods is also covered.
29 [PDF]
System Performance
Experts in the field of System Performance, Nicholas Kyriakopoulos from The George Washington University in the USA and Thierry Heritier from the Commisariat à l’Energie Atomique in France, provide examples of posters depicting the ability of the International Monitoring System (IMS) to detect, locate and identify events. The article highlights the importance of verification system sensitivity analysis, monitoring system performance, the reliability and availability of the IMS, and the availability and quality of data. The communications infrastructure of the IMS is also described.
35 [PDF]
On-site Inspection
On-site inspection (OSI) expert Zhenfu Li from the Northwest Institute of Nuclear Technology in China highlights the progress made in the build-up of the OSI verification regime over recent years, provides an overview of the 2008 Integrated Field Exercise in Kazakhstan, and examines the effectiveness and limitations of inspection techniques as addressed by several posters presented at the International Scientific Studies Conference. The article also emphasizes the importance of collaboration between the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) and the scientific community.
41 [PDF]
Data Mining
Data Mining experts Heidi Kuzma from the University of California, Berkeley, USA, and Sheila Vaidya from the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, USA, describe how up-to-date algorithms for data mining, data fusion and data management could be used to improve many aspects of the data processing pipeline at the International Data Centre. The article includes a number of areas of research which were identified at the International Scientific Studies Conference, including the establishment of a virtual Data Exploitation Centre.
47 [PDF]
Cooperation between the Scientific Community and the CTBTO
Harsh Gupta from the International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics (IUGG) provides an overview of the longstanding cooperation between the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization and the IUGG, stressing the importance of promoting future cooperation with the scientific community. The article includes a number of examples of data sharing, especially in terms of using International Monitoring System data for tsunami warning purposes.
Nuclear Renaissance and Global Security
Evgeny Avrorin from the Russian Academy of Sciences describes the nuclear renaissance and global security, including ways of improving verification mechanisms, reducing the proliferation risks of nuclear power, the role of scientists in nuclear non-proliferation, and steps towards a nuclear-weapon-free world. The article also explains how experiences of the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization and the International Atomic Energy Agency are mutually beneficial.
53 [PDF]
Conference in Pictures 60 [PDF]
Glossary 64 [PDF]
Acknowledgement 66 [PDF]