Dr. Robert Floyd, Executive Secretary of the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO Preparatory Commission), recently visited three NNSA sites where the U.S. Government demonstrated both strong support for the CTBT and our resolve to maintain the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile without nuclear explosive testing.
The CTBTO Preparatory Commission, based in Vienna, Austria, is the organization responsible for preparing for the implementation of the CTBT, including establishing and operating a global network of monitoring stations and the International Data Centre (IDC), as well as developing on-site inspection capabilities. U.S. support for the organization focuses on completing and strengthening the international nuclear explosion monitoring and verification regime.
NNSA Administrator Jill Hruby invited Dr. Floyd to tour the Nuclear Security Enterprise when they met in September 2021. He visited Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), Sandia National Laboratories (SNL), and the Nevada National Security Site (NNSS). Dr. Floyd visited Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in October 2022.
“NNSA is pleased to host Dr. Floyd at our sites to show the many ways that the United States supports the technical capabilities underpinning the CTBT and the vital work of the Preparatory Commission,” said Administrator Hruby. “The NNSA sites have a proud legacy and remains committed to global nonproliferation and putting an end to nuclear explosive testing.”
Dr. Floyd appreciated the opportunity for focused engagement with U.S. officials and technical experts. He was impressed by what he saw at the NNSA sites and welcomed the reaffirmation and demonstration of the U.S. commitment to not resume nuclear explosive tests.
“I appreciate the Administrator’s invitation to tour the NNSA sites and the strong and demonstrable U.S. support for the CTBTO,” he said. “It was especially meaningful that my first visit to the Nevada National Security Site closely followed the 30th anniversary of the U.S. Government’s decision to cease nuclear explosive testing. My return to Los Alamos and Sandia as Executive Secretary gave me greater insight into their valuable contributions and rich history of support. That history, coupled with this level of transparency whereby I could experience these sites firsthand, is critical to sustaining confidence in the global nonproliferation and disarmament regime.”
Dr. Floyd was accompanied by Deepti Choubey, the CTBTO Preparatory Commission’s Director of Knowledge Management and Human Resources Services and Megan Slinkard, Chief of Software Applications for the IDC. NNSA Deputy Administrator for Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation Corey Hinderstein hosted the visit. Senior U.S. officials on the visit included Assistant Secretary of State for Arms Control, Verification, and Compliance Mallory Stewart; Ambassador Laura Holgate, U.S. Ambassador to the Vienna Office of the United Nations; Defense Threat Reduction Agency Director Rebecca Hersman; Col. James Finlayson, Commander of the Air Force Technical Applications Center; and Dr. Kevin Greenaugh, Acting Principal Assistant Deputy Administrator for Enterprise Capabilities in NNSA’s Office of Defense Programs.
At LANL, Dr. Floyd saw NNSA experts’ support to the CTBTO Preparatory Commission’s work, including improvements to the International Monitoring System (IMS) and IDC. He also visited the Bradbury Science Museum.
At SNL, Dr. Floyd toured the Facility for Acceptance, Calibration, and Testing Site, where seismic and infrasound IMS components are evaluated. He also discussed U.S. contributions to IDC Re‑engineering and other projects which enhance waveform analysis and ease IDC analyst workload.
At NNSS, Dr. Floyd was immersed in the history of U.S. nuclear explosive testing and saw firsthand the results of atmospheric and underground nuclear explosions. NNSA’s Stockpile Stewardship Program has allowed the United States to maintain its stockpile without nuclear explosive tests since 1992. NNSS, the former U.S. nuclear explosive test site, has been transformed into an experimental testing facility and training ground supporting a variety of unique nuclear nonproliferation and advanced technology missions vital to U.S. and international safety and security.
In Las Vegas, Dr. Floyd also visited the National Atomic Testing Museum, which preserves and fosters public accessibility to the history associated with the former Nevada Test Site and the nation’s nuclear weapons program.