Wien, 24. October 2011 Press release

Spindelegger: “Laboratory in Seibersdorf is an important contribution to nuclear disarmament”

10 years of CTBTO Monitoring Laboratory in Seibersdorf – Austrian science in the service of disarmament and non-proliferation

Vienna, 24 October 2011 – “The radionuclide laboratory in Seibersdorf is a milestone in the monitoring of adherence to the comprehensive nuclear test-ban treaty. It employs world class scientists who use high-tech to contribute an important share to nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation”, said Vice-Chancellor, Foreign Minister Michael Spindelegger praising the achievements of the CTBTO Monitoring Laboratory in Seibersdorf after the ceremony in celebration of the laboratory’s 10th anniversary under the motto “Science for Disarmament”.
Austria plays a pioneering role in the implementation of the comprehensive nuclear test-ban treaty, CTBT that was concluded in 1996. Adherence to the CTBT is monitored by an organisation established especially for this purpose, the CTBTO in Vienna. The network required to ensure monitoring and supervision spans more than 300 facilities world-wide with 85 percent already fully set up.

As the first facility of what has meanwhile become a dense, global network of radionuclide measurement stations and laboratories of CTBTO, Seibersdorf radionuclide laboratory was put into operation on 31 October 2001 and is today operated by Seibersdorf Labor GmbH. For decades, the Seibersdorf laboratory has employed Austria’s leading physicists specialised in radiation protection, whose research and measurement engineering is part of an international environmental safety and peace-keeping system. The laboratory in the Austrian Province of Lower Austria was the first of its kind worldwide to detect even minimal activities in air samples. The international radionuclide network proved its capability and efficiency already when North Korea carried out its nuclear test in 2006. In the civic sphere, the propagation of radioactivity after the nuclear accident in Fukushima in March 2011 was precisely traced. The Seibersdorf laboratory was in these instances involved in the analysis of the samples.

“Reliable monitoring of the nuclear test-ban is an essential prerequisite for global disarmament. I am proud that Austria is spearheading the international disarmament and non-proliferation effort not only through diplomacy but also with science”, Spindelegger said.

For more information please refer to the weblinks of CTBTO, (http://www.ctbto.org) and the Seibersdorf laboratories (http://www.seibersdorf-laboratories.at).


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