CTBTO partners with the Institute of Radioelements to improve nuclear detection methods

The Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Test-Ban Treaty Organization announced on June 28 that it will be partnering with the Institute of Radioelements, a Belgian creator of nuclear medicine, to reduce radioactive noble gas emissions.

The partnership has twin goals of both reducing nuclear emissions from the creation of isotopes for nuclear medicine and better differentiating between isotope emissions and explosions from nuclear testing. Xenon is often found by the CTBTO and mistaken for nuclear explosions. Organizations are thus beginning to log their typical xenon emissions, so the CTBTO can better differentiate between nuclear isotope emissions and nuclear testing.

"If you have more emissions than you anticipate, then you have a serious problem," CTBTO Incoming Executive Secretary Lassina Zerbo said.

The IRE signed a pledge with the CTBTO to allow for mitigation of its noble gas emissions, created when the company makes products for nuclear medicine. The emissions will be mitigated for test-ban verification.

IRE's pledge represents one method of reducing nuclear emissions and making the CTBTO's detection efforts more efficient. The CTBTO hopes other organizations follow the IRE's lead.

"Our prime responsibility is verifying the Test-Ban Treaty and it is all about collaboration," Zerbo said. "The noble gas background measurement is an important factor. It is one of the important measures that give the nuclear nature of a test."