CTBTO Spectrum is the bi-annual, English language publication of the CTBTO that profiles key issues and aspects of the organization's work. In addition to spotlighting major players in the field of nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation, it also features Verification Highlights, Verification Science and Potential Civil and Scientific Applications. Readers can subscribe online or receive CTBTO Spectrum on a regular basis.
CTBTO Spectrum September 2013
This 21st issue of Spectrum features an address by the President of Burkina Faso, Blaise Compaoré, who became the first head of state to address the CTBTO Preparatory Commission at its 40th Session on 13 June 2013. Compaoré shares his vision for peace and international security in a world without nuclear weapons, calling on those remaining States that have not yet signed or ratified the CTBT to do so in order that the Treaty can become legally binding. He also describes the usefulness of CTBTO monitoring data which “are of great importance in defining effective responses to natural risks and disasters.”
As Co-Presidents of the Conference on Facilitating the Entry into Force of the CTBT at the UN Headquarters in New York on 27 September, Hungary’s Minister for Foreign Affairs, János Martonyi, and Indonesia’s Minister for Foreign Affairs, Marty M. Natalegawa, explain why the CTBT’s entry into force is of paramount importance. Outlining their priorities in promoting this objective, Martonyi calls on the remaining Annex 2 States, especially the United States, to ratify. Appealing to the United States as a NATO partner, he states that “ratification by the United States is in no way detrimental to NATO’s nuclear deterrent, but that it would, on the contrary, enhance global security.” Expressing his concern over the nuclear tests announced by North Korea in 2006, 2009 and 2013 which have exacerbated tensions in the region, Natalegawa says: “Such nuclear tests highlight the urgent need for the CTBT’s entry into force “
Iceland’s Minister for Foreign Affairs, Gunnar Bragi Sveinsson, maintains: ‘It is abundantly clear that all non-proliferation efforts are critical in tackling the threat of terrorists acquiring nuclear weapons. A fully ratified and implemented CTBT is an indispensable building block for these efforts.” He also highlights the potential use of CTBT monitoring data in helping to mitigate the effects of natural or man-made disasters, particularly in terms of monitoring volcanic eruptions, which he explains is of great interest to Iceland.
This issue also features excerpts of keynote addresses made at the CTBT: Science and Technology 2013 Conference in Vienna, Austria, in June 2013. These include: former head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Hans Blix; former U.S. Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Affairs, Ellen Tauscher; former Director of the Los Alamos National Laboratory, Siegfried Hecker; and Director for Strategic Affairs in the French Ministry of Defence, Michel Miraillet. The keynote speakers present a range of arguments as to why countries that have not yet ratified the CTBT should delay no longer.
Miaki Ishii from Harvard University describes how the CTBTO’s seismic stations “serve unexpectedly well as powerful telescopes to view inside the Earth.” Detailed knowledge of the internal structure of the Earth is essential, she explains, for unravelling its dynamics and history.
An article on ‘Joining forces to reduce radioxenon emissions’ highlights some of the recent collaboration between the CTBTO and radioisotope producers such as the Belgian-based Institute for Radioelements to achieve this goal.
With preparations for the next Integrated Field Exercise in Jordan in 2014 well underway, Spectrum 21 features a photo story depicting ‘Build-Up Exercise III’ which took place in Hungary from 26 May to 7 June 2013. This exercise will simulate an on-site inspection almost in its entirety. Also on this theme, an article by the CTBTO’s Aled Rowlands describes the role of airborne imagery in an on-site inspection.
CTBTO Spectrum July 2013
In this 20th issue, the Foreign Minister of Iraq, Hoshyar Zebari, reports on the steps taken by the Iraqi parliament towards ratification of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) and the importance Iraq attaches to promoting the Treaty’s entry into force. Ambassador Thomas Pickering, who helped the Kennedy administration draft the Partial Test Ban Treaty, describes why the case for ratification of the CTBT by the United States is stronger than ever. Zia Mian from Princeton University focuses on the role of civil society in South Asia in advocating nuclear disarmament.
Columbia University’s Paul Richards explains the seismic findings of the nuclear test announced by North Korea on 12 February; we also elaborate on the radionuclide findings almost two months later. Astronomer Margaret Campbell-Brown from the University of Western Ontario explains how CTBTO data have helped us understand the characteristics of the meteor over the Ural mountains on 15 February. Anders Ringbom and Anders Axelsson of the Swedish Defense Research Agency describe the key role played by noble gas detection systems in responding to the Fukushima nuclear accident in March 2011 and some of the lessons learned.
This issue also features an interview with CTBTO Executive Secretary Tibor Tóth in which he discusses a range of issues related to nuclear non-proliferation, including the main challenges and achievements during his eight years as head of the organization.
Finally, the paintings by Elin O’Hara Slavick from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill on the cover and inside Spectrum 20 illustrate the power of art in educating and communicating political messages.
CTBTO Spectrum September 2012
In this 19th issue, the Foreign Ministers of Chile and Finland, Alfredo Moreno and Erkki Toumioja, make a strong political pitch for the Treaty and also highlight the contribution of CTBT verification data for disaster mitigation. They are joined by two prominent South Asian thinkers: former UN Under-Secretary-General for Disarmament Affairs Jayantha Dhanapala, and Hindustan Times Foreign Editor Pramit Pal Chaudhuri.
Nuclear physicist Siegfried Hecker explains why nuclear armed States stand to gain more than they lose from CTBT ratification and Tatsujiro Suzuki, Vice Chairman of the Japan Atomic Energy Commission, provides an invaluable insight into the Fukushima accident. Elena Sokova from the Vienna Center for Disarmament and Non-Proliferation explains why nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation education should be sustainable and global, with the CTBTO’s Capacity Development Initiative a welcome development in this field.
Ik Bum Kang from the Korea Institute of GeoScience and Mineral Resources outlines some of the challenges of operating and maintaining primary seismic station PS31, one of the CTBTO’s closest station to the North Korean nuclear test site. Former CTBTO staff member Kirsten Haupt describes how practice makes future on-site inspection inspectors perfect, and guest writer Angela Leuker how the perception of nuclear war has changed over recent decades.
CTBTO Spectrum March 2012
In this special 15th anniversary issue of Spectrum and video, a number of former and current staff share some of their personal memories of the journey since March 1997 when the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) began its operations in Vienna. In the words of the first Executive Secretary of the CTBTO, Wolfgang Hoffmann: ‘We were a very small group of people with a huge task. Although confronted with numerous challenges, many staff refer to the enthusiasm, optimism and team spirit which have made it all worthwhile and have enabled great progress to be made.’ Reflecting on the last 15 years, the CTBTO’s Executive Secretary Tibor Tóth concludes: ‘I think we can be proud that we have managed to deliver on things that were just dreams in March 1997 and to turn them into reality by spring 2012.
CTBTO Spectrum September 2011
In the latest issue of Spectrum, the former leader of the Soviet Union, Mikhail Gorbachev, calls for a total ban on nuclear testing. In his article entitled The Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT): Helping to create a truly global community, Gorbachev states that we should not be content with the current virtual moratorium on nuclear testing “because commitments that are not legally binding can easily be violated.” He urges the nine ‘rejectionist’ countries that must still ratify the CTBT to do so in order for the Treaty to enter into force. The Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, Kamla Persad-Bissessar, states that “the CTBT stands as a beacon, lighting the path towards a peaceful world, free from nuclear explosions, whether for military or for peaceful purposes. The Dutch Foreign Minister Uri Rosenthal mentions some of the reasons that make a ban on nuclear testing more necessary than ever, such as concerns about the North Korean nuclear programme and the lack of clarity about the full extent of the Iranian nuclear programme.
CTBTO Spectrum September 2009
Reflecting the renewed political prominence of the CTBT, this issue of Spectrum has an abundance of political and scientific contributions from prominent authors. No less than four foreign ministers explain why the CTBT is important to their countries: French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner and his Moroccan counterpart, Taieb Fassi Fihri, who will be jointly presiding over the Article XIV conference; Alberto Romulo, Foreign Minister of the Philippines and Carl Bildt, Foreign Minister of Sweden, the country currently holding the Presidency of the European Union. With regard to the articles by political analysts, Chinese academic and nuclear arms control expert, Shen Dingli, explains why the CTBT should be ratified by China. James Goodby, former U.S. diplomat and specialist on nuclear non-proliferation and security issues, places the CTBT into the wider context of nuclear non-proliferation.