Argentina ratifies Comprehensive
Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty

Argentina deposited its instrument of ratification of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) with the Secretary-General of the United Nations on 4 December 1998. Argentina is the twenty-third signatory State, and the fifth in the Latin American region, to have ratified the Treaty. Argentina is also the twelfth of the 44 countries listed in the Treaty - whose ratification is necessary for its entry into force - to have done so.

Argentina is hosting three seismic, two infrasound and three radionuclide stations, as well as one radionuclide laboratory, that will be part of 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. Field investigations to determine the suitability of sites for monitoring stations have been concluded at one auxiliary seismic (Ushuaia) and two radionuclide stations (Salta and Bariloche). A field investigation is being conducted at the infrasound station at Paso Flores. Work to upgrade one seismic and one radionuclide station (Paso Flores and Buenos Aires), so that they meet the specifications of the International Monitoring System, are also being carried out. Further work on the Argentinian infrasound and two other radionuclide stations is planned for 1999.

In November 1997, Argentina hosted an introductory training programme for the Latin American and Caribbean region at the Instituto Nacional de Prevencion Sismica in San Juan. This October, Argentina provided in-depth training for radionuclide station operators at the Autoridad Regulatoria Nuclear and the radionuclide station in Buenos Aires.

The International Monitoring System will consist 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 emanating from a nuclear explosion underground, in the seas and in the air, as well as detecting radioactive particles released into the atmosphere. The stations will transmit, via satellite, the data collected from the four complementary technologies to the International Data Centre within the CTBTO PrepCom in Vienna where the data will be processed and distributed to the signatory States for final analysis.

The 22 other States that have ratified the Treaty are: Australia, Austria, Brazil, Czech Republic, El Salvador, Fiji, France, Germany, Grenada, Japan, Jordan, Micronesia (Federated States of), Mongolia, Peru, Qatar, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and Uzbekistan. To date, 151 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.

For further information on the CTBTO, please see www.ctbto.org or contact:
Annika Thunborg, Chief, Public Information  
T    +43 1 26030-6375  
E    annika.thunborgping@ctbtopong.org
M    +43 699 1459 6375       
I    www.ctbto.org