Dr. Robert Floyd, Executive Secretary of the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (or CTBTO PrepCom), recently visited Pacific Northwest National Laboratory where the United States demonstrated its technical capabilities supporting the CTBT and the work of the CTBTO PrepCom. U.S. support focuses on completing and strengthening all aspects of the international nuclear explosion monitoring and verification regime.

PNNL staff involved in research for radioxenon detection pose with Robert Floyd along with visitors from the Departments of Defense and State and NNSA with the Xenon International noble gas collection and analysis system.
PNNL staff involved in research for radioxenon detection pose with Robert Floyd along with visitors from the Departments of Defense and State and NNSA with the Xenon International noble gas collection and analysis system.

NNSA Administrator Jill Hruby invited Dr. Floyd to tour U.S. sites when they met in September 2021. Floyd was joined on his visit to PNNL by staff from the Department of State, Department of Defense, and NNSA.

“We are pleased to have Dr. Floyd visit Pacific Northwest National Laboratory so he can see firsthand the technical capabilities the United States provides to underpin the CTBT and the vital work of the Preparatory Commission,” Hruby said. “The United States has a proud legacy and a bright future in supporting our commitment to global nonproliferation.”

Robert Floyd, CTBTO PrepCom Executive Secretary, spoke to PNNL staff on the topic, “The Role of the CTBTO Preparatory Commission in the Global Nonproliferation Regime.”
Robert Floyd, CTBTO PrepCom Executive Secretary, spoke to PNNL staff on the topic, “The Role of the CTBTO Preparatory Commission in the Global Nonproliferation Regime.”

Floyd observed lab experts’ support of the CTBTO PrepCom, including recent improvements to the International Monitoring System and International Data Centre. Highlights included a tour of the Shallow Underground Laboratory that houses extremely sensitive instruments to detect trace levels of radioactivity, and discussions on Xenon International, a new noble gas collection and analysis system that was recently accepted for use in the IMS. Floyd received a briefing on how the Source Term Analysis of Xenon project works with fission-based medical isotope producers to improve international nuclear explosion monitoring.  

Robert Floyd and Ted Bowyer (PNNL) during a tour of PNNL’s noble gas monitoring laboratories.
Robert Floyd and Ted Bowyer (PNNL) during a tour of PNNL’s noble gas monitoring laboratories.

Floyd shared his admiration for the work he saw at PNNL, a Department of Energy National Laboratory that carries out many nonproliferation missions for NNSA.

“I appreciate the Administrator’s invitation to learn more about U.S. support for the CTBTO PrepCom,” he said. “It is especially appropriate to visit U.S. facilities as the United States recognizes the 30th anniversary of its decision to move away from nuclear explosive testing.”