Sri Lanka thirteenth State
Signatory to sign Facility

A Facility Agreement was signed today between Ambassador C. S. Poolokasingham, Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka, and Wolfgang Hoffmann, Executive Secretary of the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO). The ceremony took place at the headquarters of CTBTO Preparatory Commission in Vienna. Sri Lanka is the thirteenth State Signatory, after Mongolia, to have signed such an agreement. The Facility Agreement grants legal authority to the CTBTO Preparatory Commission to undertake work on the auxiliary seismological station that Sri Lanka is hosting as part of the International Monitoring System (IMS), to verify compliance with the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT). Located in Colombo, the existing three-component station specified in the Treaty was established in the 1940s. The station is no longer operational; over the years, the growth of the capital and traffic around the station became major sources of background noise. Consequently the Provisional Technical Secretariat conducted a survey at the proposed new location near Kandy, which meets the criteria for monitoring adherence to the CTBT. The new station will be built jointly by the Incorporated Research Institution for Seismology (IRIS) and the Geological Survey and Mines Bureau of Sri Lanka. IRIS will be meeting not only the costs of installing the station but also of maintaining and operating it as part of its worldwide network of stations monitoring earthquakes. The Provisional Technical Secretariat and IRIS will jointly be providing training to local counterparts. The CTBT was signed by Sri Lanka on 24 October 1996. Under the Treaty´s global verification regime, a network of 321 monitoring stations - spanning some 90 countries - will be able to record shock waves generated by possible nuclear explosions and other sources in the atmosphere, under water or underground. The network includes 50 primary and 120 auxiliary seismic stations whose data can be used to help distinguish between possible nuclear explosions and the many thousands of earth tremors registered annually. It also includes 80 radionuclide stations to sample radioactive debris which may have been released during a possible nuclear explosion and, in addition, 16 laboratories to assist in the analysis of samples. Sixty infrasound and 11 hydroacoustic stations will be able to record acoustic signals in the atmosphere or under water that may have come from a nuclear explosion. The monitoring stations will transmit, via satellite, in near real time, data to the International Data Centre in the CTBTO Preparatory Commission in Vienna, where the data will be used to detect, locate and characterize events. These data and IDC products will be made available to the States Signatories for final analysis.

For further information on the CTBTO, please see or contact:
Annika Thunborg, Chief, Public Information  
T    +43 1 26030-6375  
E    [email protected]
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