Nuclear Arms Control

The Nuclear Arms Control Section (NAC) in the Nuclear Chemistry Division of SPIEZ LABORATORY is concerned with nuclear disarmament and arms control measures as well as the implementation and observation of the respective multinational agreements. NAC duties include technical consultation of both Swiss delegations in international negotiations and federal agencies tasked with the implementation of these agreements. In particular their work includes expert activities relating to the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT).

The NAC participates in the negotiations of the CTBTO Working Group B and provides technical support for issues relating to on-site inspection and the compilation of the draft manual for on-site inspection operations.

The NAC is involved in practical implementation and development of the CTBTO on-site inspection regime through participation in directed exercises, cooperation in workshops for technical specialists and attendance of the second round of inspector training as member of the radionuclide expert team.

The NAC has access to the measurement data of the International Monitoring System (IMS) and follows the results of measurements made there and the data provided by the International Data Centre (IDC). In the event of a nuclear incident, the world-wide network of almost 80 radionuclide monitoring stations provides rapid and independent information.

Nuclear forensics is a further focus of the NAC. It seeks to trace the origin of radioactive samples or fissile material and find out who fabricated it. A good understanding of nuclear physics, the nuclear fuel cycle as well as knowledge of and familiarity with computation models, reference information in databases and specialist literature is the key for interpreting the measurements. The NAC supports the Physics section in its interpretation of measurements and selection of suitable measuring methods.

Dr. Christoph Wirz

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