Monitoring and verification of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test‐Ban Treaty

Nicholas Kyriakopoulos (Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, The George Washington University, Washington, DC, USA)


ISSN: 0368-492X

Publication date: 1 April 1998


The Comprehensive Nuclear Test‐Ban Treaty prohibits the testing of nuclear weapons and establishes an international monitoring system to collect data for international verification of the treaty. The objective of verification is to discriminate between nuclear explosions and all other events detected by the monitoring system. Monitoring is performed through a network of seismological, radionuclide, hydroacoustic and infrasound stations. The data will be collected and analyzed at the International Data Center in Vienna, and the results of the analyses will be used to verify compliance or detect non‐compliance. For all the simplicity of the concept, there are questions about the effective operation of the international verification regime. The treaty establishes an elaborate system for collecting and processing the data from the monitoring stations, but it is ambiguous on the decision‐making process for ascertaining non‐compliance. This paper describes the objectives and architecture of the International Monitoring System and its relationship to the verification goals of the treaty.



Kyriakopoulos, N. (1998), "Monitoring and verification of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test‐Ban Treaty", Kybernetes, Vol. 27 No. 3, pp. 237-250.

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Copyright © 1998, MCB UP Limited

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