Australia ratifies the CTBT
Australia deposited its instrument of ratification of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) with the Secretary-General of the United Nations on 9 July 1998. Australia is the fifteenth signatory State to have ratified the Treaty and one of the 44 countries listed in the Treaty whose ratification is necessary for its entry into force. Australia is providing 21 monitoring stations to the global verification regime that the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO PrepCom) is putting in place to monitor and verify compliance with the Treaty. During 1998, work will be undertaken in Australia on two seismic stations, three infrasound stations, four radionuclide stations and one hydroacoustic station. The global verification regime consists of a total of 321 stations (170 seismic, 80 radionuclide supported by 16 laboratories, 60 infrasound and 11 hydroacoustic) that will be capable of registering shock waves underground, in the seas and in the air - as well as detecting the radioactive particles released into the atmosphere - emanating from a nuclear explosion. The stations will transmit, via satellite, the data collected from the four complementary technologies to the International Data Centre in Vienna where the data will be processed and distributed to the signatory States. The 14 other States that have ratified the Treaty are: Austria, Czech Republic, Fiji, France, Japan, Micronesia (Federated States of), Mongolia, Peru, Qatar, Slovakia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and Uzbekistan. To date, 149 States have signed the Treaty. The Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty bans any nuclear weapon test explosion or any other nuclear explosion anywhere in the world. Drafted at the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva and adopted by the General Assembly on 10 September 1996, the Treaty was opened for signature on 24 September 1996 at the United Nations in New York.