Description: Nuclear forensics has become increasingly important in the fight against illicit trafficking in nuclear and other radioactive materials. The illicit trafficking of nuclear materials is, of course, an international problem; nuclear materials may be mined and milled in one country, manufactured in a second country, diverted at a third location, and detected at a fourth. There have been a number of articles in public policy journals in the past year that call for greater interaction between the U. S. and the rest of the world on the topic of nuclear forensics. Some believe that such international cooperation would help provide a more certain capability to identify the source of the nuclear material used in a terrorist event. An improved international nuclear forensics capability would also be important as part of the IAEA verification toolkit, particularly linked to increased access provided by the additional protocol. A recent study has found that, although international progress has been made in securing weapons-usable HEU and Pu, the effort is still insufficient. They found that nuclear material, located in 40 countries, could be obtained by terrorists and criminals and used for a crude nuclear weapon. Through 2006, the IAEA Illicit Trafficking Database had recorded a total of 607 confirmed events involving illegal possession, theft, or loss of nuclear and other radioactive materials. Although it is difficult to predict the future course of such illicit trafficking, increasingly such activities are viewed as significant threats that merit the development of special capabilities. As early as April, 1996, nuclear forensics was recognized at the G-8 Summit in Moscow as an important element of an illicit nuclear trafficking program. Given international events over the past several years, the value and need for nuclear forensics seems greater than ever. Determining how and where legitimate control of nuclear material was lost ...
Date: October 22, 2007
Creator: Kristo, M J
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department