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Weather data to help monitoring for nuclear tests

Pakistan's nuclear-capable Hatf 4 (Shaheen-1) missile during a test launch takes off at an undisclosed location November 29, 2006. REUTERS/Stringer

GENEVA (Reuters) - Weather data will help scan for nuclear tests and explosions under a tracking system unveiled on Monday by the U.N. weather agency and the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Organisation (CTBTO).

Using a process called “atmospheric transport modeling,” meteorological data will be used to detect radioactive particles and trace them back to where they originated from.

Cross-checked with other verification tools, the technique “allows for a much more accurate location of a potential nuclear explosion,” the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) said in a statement.

“With the contribution of WMO’s high-quality global meteorological data, CTBTO will be able to considerably improve its calculations for radioactive particles,” it added.

Reporting by Laura MacInnnis