THE FISSILE MATERIAL TRANSPARENCY TECHNOLOGY DEMONSTRATION (FMTTD)

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The United States Department of Defense, Defense Threat Reduction Agency Cooperative Threat Reduction program is supporting the construction of a fissile material storage facility at Mayak in the Russian Federation. Up to 34 tons of weapon-grade plutonium will be stored in the facility to await disposition. In order to meet arms control and nonproliferation objectives, the U.S. Congress has requested assurances that the nuclear material stored at the Mayak facility is derived from dismantled nuclear weapons. The usual approach to identify the origin or state of radioactive materials is to measure the intensity and energy of neutron and gamma radiation ... continued below

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298 Kilobytes pages

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AVENS, L. R.; DOYLE, J. E. & MULLEN, M. F. June 1, 2001.

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The United States Department of Defense, Defense Threat Reduction Agency Cooperative Threat Reduction program is supporting the construction of a fissile material storage facility at Mayak in the Russian Federation. Up to 34 tons of weapon-grade plutonium will be stored in the facility to await disposition. In order to meet arms control and nonproliferation objectives, the U.S. Congress has requested assurances that the nuclear material stored at the Mayak facility is derived from dismantled nuclear weapons. The usual approach to identify the origin or state of radioactive materials is to measure the intensity and energy of neutron and gamma radiation emitted. However, the Russian Federation considers such details as isotopic composition and mass to be classified. The solution arrived at by a DOE multilaboratory team is to place the radioactive specimen, the gamma and neutron counters, and all the computational equipment behind an information barrier. In the Fissile Materials Transparency Technology Demonstration (FMTD), this equipment was configured and programmed to measure the following six attributes: isotopic ratio, threshold mass, absence of oxide, presence of plutonium, age, and symmetry. On August 16, 2000, at Los Alamos National Laboratory, a delegation of Russian officials observed the successful demonstration of this new technology (called an Attribute Measurement System with Information Barrier, or AMS/IB). The scientists were able to demonstrate without releasing classified information that the nuclear material sample being tested (a nuclear weapon pit) had the declared weapon-grade plutonium characteristics. Once fully developed, AMS/IB technology will protect sensitive information while providing the United States increased confidence that the mandated Russian fissile materials have been stored. Attribute measurement systems can play a role in a number of U.S.-Russian nuclear security regimes such as the Trilateral Initiative, the Plutonium Production Reactor Agreement, and future strategic arms agreements. This paper discusses the details of this new inspection equipment, the August 2000 demonstration, and potential future applications.

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298 Kilobytes pages

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  • Report No.: LA-UR-01-3570
  • Grant Number: W-7405-ENG-36
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 783354
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc717287

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  • June 1, 2001

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  • Sept. 29, 2015, 5:31 a.m.

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  • March 21, 2016, 5:48 p.m.

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AVENS, L. R.; DOYLE, J. E. & MULLEN, M. F. THE FISSILE MATERIAL TRANSPARENCY TECHNOLOGY DEMONSTRATION (FMTTD), article, June 1, 2001; New Mexico. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc717287/: accessed August 16, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.