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Geophysical Methods for CTBT Verification


Experimental Development of Geophysical Technologies of Continuation Phase of CTBT OSI with the Aim of Recording Physical Fields Anomalies Conditioned by Conduct of Underground Nuclear Explosions in Different Geological Conditions

Tech Area / Field

  • ENV-MIN/Monitoring and Instrumentation/Environment
  • PHY-OTH/Other/Physics

3 Approved without Funding

Registration date

Leading Institute
VNIITF, Russia, Chelyabinsk reg., Snezhinsk

Supporting institutes

  • National Nuclear Center of the Republic of Kazakstan / Institute of Geophysical Researches, Kazakstan, Kurchatov\nSaratov State University, Russia, Saratov reg., Saratov

Project summary

The aim of the proposed project was stated on April 5, 2000 in Attachment #4 to Minutes of a meeting between the delegations of the United States of America and the Russian Federation on the implementation of scientific and technical projects to help ensure the safety and security of their nuclear stockpiles against the backdrop of a Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT): “Objectives for CTBT on-site inspection activities include: …to generate joint proposals in order to acquire data and develop OSI continuation phase inspection technologies and research on anomalies generated by underground nuclear explosions in different geological conditions”.

According to the existing agreement with the American party the scientists and specialists of American national laboratories (LLNL, LANL and SNL) will act as collaborators in the proposed project, their role will include participation in development of the given project proposal and a plan of works, analysis of the project works results, performing joint activities and others.

The main staff of performers of works under the proposed project includes weapon scientists and engineers from the Russian Federation (RFNC-VNIITF and SSU) and weapon scientists and engineers form the Republic of Kazakhstan (IGR NNC RK).

Experimental works aimed at achieving maximum efficiency of geophysical technologies development for continuation phase of on-site inspection (OSI) will be performed mainly at the sites of underground nuclear explosions (UNE) of former USSR Semipalatinsk test site (currently Semipalatinsk test site, Republic of Kazakhstan).

These UNE were conducted in various surrounding rocks:

– sedimentary rocks (tuff-sandstone, tuff-breccia, siltstone);

– magmatic effusive rocks (tuffs);
– magmatic intrusive rocks (granites, granosyenites, andesite porphirite rocks);
– metamorphic rocks (hornfels, silicious and carbonaceous shales, scarnoids).

Besides a feasibility study of field works at UNE sites with plastic rocks, e.g. salt domes of Azgir site, will be performed within the selection process of UNE sites for field activities conduct within the current project.

Experimental works will be performed according to the projects of methodical guidelines on geophysical technologies of OSI and with the instrumentation belonging to RFNC-VNIITF. Therefore any additional charges for acquiring instrumentation through ISTC for the given project virtually are not planned.

A systems approach for solving the following interrelated problems will be used in the course works performing under the project:

– planning of experiments for selecting UNE sites and developed technologies;

– preparation of experimental works conduct;
– development of software and mathematical support for experimental data processing and the obtained results interpretation;
– performing the experimental works at the selected UNE sites;
– the experimental data processing and the obtained results interpretation;
– development of Methodical guidelines (as components of Operational Manual) regarding geophysical technologies of OSI continuation phase.

The main expected results of the works under the project are:

– receiving by the world community the unprecedented practical experience of experimental works conduct at the whole range of real UNE sites differing in geological conditions, yield and so on; this experience is aimed at research of physical fields anomalies, conditioned by conduct of UNE, and at creating geophysical technologies for OSI conduct;

– receiving the practical experience of these technologies application for CTBT OSI purposes;
– receiving the Methodical guidelines (as components Operational Manual) on geophysical technologies of OSI continuation phase;
– receiving the database of search signatures of physical fields anomalies caused by conduct of UNE in different geological conditions.

Additional expected results of works under the given project are the materials for support of activities performed in the field of CTBT OSI:

– reports for CTBT/PTS/PC OSI workshops on methodology, characteristics of anomalies, characteristics of instrumentation;

– courses of lectures for training of inspection teams, organized by CTBT/PTS/PC;
– materials for providing international tabletop exercises, field exercises and other activities on research of technologies of OSI continuation phase;
– proposals on performing international experiments for checking the application efficiency of geophysical technologies of OSI continuation phase.

The proposed Project totally complies with ISTC objectives.


The International Science and Technology Center (ISTC) is an intergovernmental organization connecting scientists from Kazakhstan, Armenia, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Georgia with their peers and research organizations in the EU, Japan, Republic of Korea, Norway and the United States.


ISTC facilitates international science projects and assists the global scientific and business community to source and engage with CIS and Georgian institutes that develop or possess an excellence of scientific know-how.

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