RESULTS OF SPECIAL PANEL MEETING ON NOVAYA ZEMLYA TEST SITE

Created: 10/28/1997

OCR scan of the original document, errors are possible

THE DIRECTOR OFTEl.UGf.NCE WASHINGTON. OC. HOffi

RELEASE

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FOR: FROM: SUBJECT:

Director of Central Intelligence

Results of Special Panel Meeting on Novaya Zemlya Test Site

As youpecial panel to provide-an independent assessment of what occurred in the Novaya Zemlya test site area last August. The panel met on Friday,ctober. Attached are their findings. There are three main pointsave drawn from their conclusions:

Theugust seismic event, which occurredilometers southeast of the test site itself, was not nuclear in nature, and was almost certainly not associated with the activities at Novaya Zemlya.

There is strong evidence lhat nuclear-weapons related experimentsThe panel noted that experiments such

as these, where the yield is below our defection threshold, have significant ramifications for CTBT compliance moruiox ing They also noted thai improved information sharing andssentialero-yield CTBT.

Review of Activity and Events Related to the Russian Nuclear Test Site on Novaya Zemlya

WHAT HAPPENED

US intelligencea high level of activity at the Novaya Zemiya (NZ) test range duringof

weapons related experiments

peffcrmec

the same lime two seismic events were observed by regional arraysAugust separated by about four hours. The second one was| with the identical signature structure indicating it to be of the same sourceof the region was located in the Kara Seam southeast of theSubsequently, available data leadsirm conclusion that the site of theis offshore and, therefore, is almost certainly not associated with the activities|

PROCESS

The Intelligence Community has had requirements to rapidly report nuclear tests to the policymakers. Timelines are relatively short (hours) and are dependent on rapid analysis procedures and pre-existing intelligence.

The seismic event onugustrocess that worked in many respects as it should within the monitoring community. Given the brief reporting times and limited data, the association of the seismic eventuclear test at NZ was sound. Until

became unambiguously centered in the Kara Sea, the

intelligence Community needed to act with the emphasis and dispatch associatedubkiloton nuclear test at the NZ site.

A problem arises when such an issue passes from monitonng to verification, that is, it enters the policy arena. This is especially true for the CTBT environment that pushes detection and identification to unprecedented levels of challenge

A.ecu. or :

IMPLICATIONS FOR TREATY

This incident demonstrates Ihe difficulty of assessing weapons expenmentsin the subkilotons range or below. It is likely that additional anomalies willof them with far less data

This problem is emphasis the importance to the US and Russians incommon understanding of the treaty terminology as.it relates to what is prohibitedis allowed

Regardless of the type ot experimentation conducted at NZ in August f

CONCLUSION

he seismic event is not nuclear

- The analysis process was sound, but policy statements need to recognize an appropnate degree ot uncertainty |^

- The importance of improved information exchange and transparency with the Russians is essentialerifiable "zero-yield" ct8t.

Review cf Activity and Events Related to the Russian Nuclear Test Site on Novaya Zemlya

WHAT HAPPENED

US intelligenceigh levol of activity

the Novaya Zemlya (NZ) test range during tne

weapons related expenments

porforrnej

|two seismic events were observed by regional arraysAugust separated' by about four hours. The second one smaller,

but with the identical signature structure indicating it to be of the same source.-The centroid of the region was located in the Kara Seam southeast of the test area. Subsequently, available data leadsirm conclusion that the site of the seismic activity is offshore and, therefore, is almost certainly not associated with the activities at

PROCESS

The Intelligence Community has had requirements to rapidly report nuclear tests to the policymakers. Timelines are relatively short (hours) and are dependent on rapid analysis procedures and pre-existing intelligence.

Tho seismic event onugustrocess that worked inas it should within the monitoring community. Given the brief reportinglimited data, the association of the seismic eventuclear test at NZunambiguously centered in the Kara Sea. the

Intelligence Community needed to act with the emphasis and dispatch associatedubkiloton nuclear tost at the NZ site.

A problem arises when such an issue passes from monitoring to verification, that is, it enters the policy arena. This is especially true for the CTBT environment that pushes detection and identification to unprecedented levels of challenge.

IMPLICATIONS FOR

This incident demonstrates the difficulty of assessing weapons experiments orhe subkikMons range or below. It is likely thai additional anomalies will occur, some of them with far less data

This problem is emphasis the importance to the US and Russians inommon understanding of the treaty terminology as it relates to what is prohibited and what is allowed.

Regardless of the type of experimentation conducted at NZ in August.

r

CONCLUSION

- The seismic event is not nuclear

- The analysis process was sound, but policy statements need to recognize an appropriate degree of uncertainty.

- The importance of improved information exchange and transparency with the Russians is essentialerifiable "zero-yield" CTBT

Original document.

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