Page 1 - History of IDC

Data are at the core of the CTBT verification efforts. Their analysis at the International Data Centre (IDC) provide the information that Member States need to establish whether an ambiguous event has taken place and whether such an event may indeed have been a nuclear explosion.

The IDC is a central element of the CTBT verification mechanism. It collects, processes and analyses monitoring data originating from the 337 facilities of the International Monitoring System (IMS). Processing and analysis results are then presented as lists of events, bulletins and reports to Member States.  Based on this information, States are enabled to make judgements about an ambiguous event. The IDC also archives all data and data bulletins in its computer centre.

As a central element of the CTBT verification mechanism, the IDC collects, processes and analyses monitoring data and presents results as lists of events and bulletins to Member States.

Treaty negotiations on the IDC

While negotiating the functions of the IDC during the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva in the mid-nineties, it was recognized that IMS monitoring data would need to be processed and analysed by specialist staff. The level of detail at which data analysis would need to be carried out was, however, a major point of debate.

On one hand, it was clear that a large number of countries would not have the capacity or technical capability to conduct routine analysis of monitoring data.