Iceland ratifies Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty

Iceland deposited its instrument of ratification of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) with the Secretary-General of the United Nations on 26 June 2000. Iceland is the fifty-seventh State signatory to have ratified the Treaty. Iceland is contributing one auxiliary seismological station and one radionuclide station to the international network of monitoring stations that the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO PrepCom) is establishing or upgrading to verify compliance with the Treaty.

The auxiliary seismological station at Borgarnes, was installed by the Iceland Meteorological Office in cooperation with the Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology and the International Deployment of Accelerometers of the University of California at San Diego. Plans are now under way to install the satellite-based link to the International Data Centre in Vienna - where the data are processed - by the beginning of 2001.

The radionuclide station at Reykjavik, which has been operated by the Icelandic Radiation Protection Institute (IPRI) for some nine years, will be upgraded to an automatic station by CTBTO PrepCom in cooperation with IRPI. The automated system should be installed early next year. Under the CTBT, the network of 321 monitoring stations - known as the International Monitoring System (IMS) - will record data necessary to verify compliance with the Treaty using four complementary technologies. The stations will be capable of registering vibrations from a possible nuclear explosion underground, in the seas and in the air, as well as detecting radioactive debris released into the atmosphere. The monitoring stations will transmit, via satellite, the data to the International Data Centre (IDC) within CTBTO PrepCom in Vienna, where the data will be used to detect, locate and characterize events. These data and other IDC products will be made available to the signatory States for final analysis.

The 57 States that have ratified the Treaty are: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Belgium, Bolivia, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, El Salvador, Estonia, Fiji, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Grenada, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Lesotho, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Mali, Mexico, Micronesia (Federated States of), Monaco, Mongolia, Morocco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Panama, Peru, Poland, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Romania, Senegal, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Tajikistan, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and Uzbekistan. (To date, 155 States have signed the Treaty). Under Article XIV of the CTBT, to enter into force, the Treaty has to be ratified by the 44 States named under Article XIV that formally participated in the work of the 1996 Conference on Disarmament and that possess nuclear power or research reactors. 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.

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Annika Thunborg, Chief, Public Information   
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