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These signatures are validated and new signatures are discovered through research and development programs and in round-robin exercises among nuclear forensic laboratories. The recent Nuclear Smuggling International Technical Working Group Third Round Robin Exercise and an on-going program focused on attribution of uranium ore concentrate provide prime examples of the current state of nuclear forensics. These case studies will be examined and the opportunities for accelerator mass spectrometry to play a role in nuclear forensics will be discussed.

Kristo, Michael J.

What is nuclear forensics? Nuclear forensics is the investigation of nuclear materials to find evidence for example the source, the trafficking, and the enrichment of the material. The material can be recovered from various sources including dust from the vicinity of a nuclear facility, or from the radioactive debris following a nuclear explosion.

Results of nuclear forensic testing are used by different organizations to make decisions. The information is typically combined with other sources of information such as law enforcement and intelligence information. Nuclear forensics : Soil content. Nuclear Forensics is a growing field that is concerned with all stages of the process of creating and detonating a nuclear weapon. The main goal is to prevent nuclear attack by locating and securing nuclear material before it can be used in an aggressive manner.

This stage of the process is mostly paperwork; laws, regulations, treaties, and declarations made by individual countries or by the UN Security Council.


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There is some preliminary leg work done in the form of field testing detection equipment and tracking down orphan materials; however, none of these have yielded any spectacular or useful results. In the event of a nuclear attack, the first step is to analyze the post detonation debris to aid in the identification of the responsible party.

This aspect of the nuclear forensics process, while reactive in nature, is more scientific. A rock sample taken from the detonation site can be dissolved into liquid form and analyzed to determine its chemical composition. The chemical analysis of spent nuclear material can provide valuable information if properly processed and analyzed. In order to accurately evaluate the results, scientists require information on the natural occurring elements in the detonation zone.

From this information, scientists can determine what percentage of the element originated in the bomb itself rather than the environment. To this end, element concentrations in soils from sixty-nine different cities are given, along with activity concentrations for uranium, thorium, potassium, and radium in various building materials. These data are used in the analysis program Python. Nuclear forensic science seeks to identify the origin of nuclear materials found outside regulatory control.

It is increasingly recognized as an integral part of a robust nuclear security program.

Nuclear Forensics and Attribution

This review highlights areas of active, evolving research in nuclear forensics , with a focus on analytical techniques commonly employed in Earth and planetary sciences. Applications of nuclear forensics to uranium ore concentrates UOCs are discussed first. UOCs have become an attractive target for nuclear forensic researchers because of the richness in impurities compared to materials produced later in the fuel cycle.

The development of chronometric methods for age dating nuclear materials is then discussed, with an emphasis on improvements in accuracy that have been gained from measurements of multiple radioisotopic systems. Finally, papers that report on casework are reviewed, to provide a window into current scientific practice. Nuclear forensics : a comprehensive model action plan for Nuclear Forensics Laboratory in India.

Establishment of Nuclear Forensic Laboratory and development of expertise for nuclear investigation under one roof by developing the nuclear data base and laboratory network is need of the hour to ably address the problems of all the law enforcement and nuclear agencies. The present study provides insight in Nuclear Forensics and focuses on an urgent need for a comprehensive plan to set up Nuclear Forensic Laboratory across India.

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A review on nuclear forensic methodology for analysis of nuclear material of unknown origin. With the growing use of nuclear power and threat from illegal nuclear smuggling nuclear forensic provides an aid to the law enforcement to trace back modus operandi of such threats. Extensive nuclear proliferation, race among countries to acquire nuclear capability and global terrorism scenario has mandated Nuclear Forensic Science technology to tackle nuclear threats.

Gamma spectrometry, alpha spectrometry, thermal ionization mass spectrometry, inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry are employed for characterization and relative isotopic composition determinant of Nuclear material and techniques like SEM transmission electron TEM, FT-IR, GC-MS, Electrophoretic technique are used to characterize the contaminated materials in order to deceive investigative agencies. The present paper provide systematic forensic methodology for nuclear and radioactive materials encountered at any crime scene due to any accidental discharges or military activities.

Canadian national nuclear forensics capability project. Ball, J. Following the Nuclear Security Summit, Canada expanded its existing capability for nuclear forensics by establishing a national nuclear forensics laboratory network, which would include a capability to perform forensic analysis on nuclear and other radioactive material, as well as on traditional evidence contaminated with radioactive material.

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At the same time, the need for a national nuclear forensics library of signatures of nuclear and radioactive materials under Canadian regulatory control was recognized. Nuclear forensics case studies. The objective of this presentation is to share three case studies from the Institute of Transuranium Elements ITU which describe the application of nuclear forensics to events where nuclear and other radioactive material was found to be out of regulatory control. Understanding Nuclear Forensics in 5 Questions.

Forensic science, commonly referred to as forensics , is the examination of physical, biological, behavioural and documentary evidence. The goal of forensics is to discover linkages among people, places, things and events. A sub-discipline of forensic science, nuclear forensics is the analysis of intercepted illicit nuclear or radioactive material and any associated material, which can assist in law enforcement investigations as well as assessments of the potential vulnerabilities associated with the use, production and storage of these materials as part of a nuclear security infrastructure.

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The analysis of nuclear or other radioactive material seeks to identify what the materials are, how, when, and where the materials were made, and what their intended uses were. Nuclear forensics is an important tool in the fight against illicit trafficking in nuclear and radiological material. CETAMA contribution to safeguards and nuclear forensic analysis based on nuclear reference materials. Measurement quality is crucial for the safety of nuclear facilities: nuclear reference materials CRM and interlaboratory programs ILC , beyond the assessment of analytical measurement quality, play an important role.

The growing emphasis on nuclear forensic measurements will require some re-certification of old CRMs. But the future analytical challenges of meeting nuclear fuel cycle needs and of ensuring safeguard performance improvements will also concern the future CRMs.

Nuclear Forensic Analysis

Monte Carlo analysis of thermochromatography as a fast separation method for nuclear forensics. Nuclear forensic science has become increasingly important for global nuclear security, and enhancing the timeliness of forensic analysis has been established as an important objective in the field. New, faster techniques must be developed to meet this objective. Current approaches for the analysis of minor actinides, fission products, and fuel-specific materials require time-consuming chemical separation coupled with measurement through either nuclear counting or mass spectrometry.

These very sensitive measurement techniques can be hindered by impurities or incomplete separation in even the most painstaking chemical separations. High-temperature gas-phase separation or thermochromatography has been used in the past for the rapid separations in the study of newly created elements and as a basis for chemical classification of that element. This work examines the potential for rapid separation of gaseous species to be applied in nuclear forensic investigations.

Monte Carlo modeling has been used to evaluate the potential utility of the thermochromatographic separation method, albeit this assessment is necessarily limited due to the lack of available experimental data for validation. Quality assurance and reference material requirements and considerations for environmental sample analysis in nuclear forensics. Full text: High-sensitivity nuclear environmental sampling and analysis techniques have been proven in their ability to verify declared nuclear activities, as well as to assist in the detection of undeclared nuclear activities and facilities.

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Following the Gulf War, the capability and revealing power of environmental sampling and analysis techniques to support international safeguards was demonstrated and subsequently adopted by the International Atomic Energy Agency IAEA as routine safeguards measures in safeguards inspections and verifications. In addition to having been proved useful in international safeguards, environmental sampling and analysis techniques have demonstrated their utility in identifying the origins of 'orphaned' nuclear material, as well as the origin of intercepted smuggled nuclear material.

Today, environmental sampling and analysis techniques are now being applied in six broad areas to support nonproliferation, disarmament treaty verification, national and international nuclear security, and environmental stewardship of weapons production activities. Consequently, more and more laboratories around the world are establishing capabilities or expanding capabilities to meet these growing applications, and as such requirements for quality assurance and control are increasing. Application of environmental sampling and analysis techniques and resources to illicit nuclear material trafficking, while embodying the same basic techniques and resources, does have unique requirements for sample management, handling, protocols, chain of custody, archiving, and data interpretation.

These requirements are derived from needs of how data from nuclear forensics. Some interesting issues are attributed to nuclide compositions of spent fuels from thermal reactors as well as fast reactors such as a potential to reuse as recycled fuel, and a possible capability to be manage as a fuel for destructive devices. In addition, analysis on nuclear forensics which is related to spent fuel compositions becomes one of the interesting topics to evaluate the origin and the composition of spent fuels from the spent fuel foot-prints.

Spent fuel compositions of different fuel types give some typical spent fuel foot prints and can be estimated the origin of source of those spent fuel compositions. Some technics or methods have been developing based on some science and technological capability including experimental and modeling or theoretical aspects of analyses. Some foot-print of nuclear forensics will identify the typical information of spent fuel compositions such as enrichment information, burnup or irradiation time, reactor types as well as the cooling time which is related to the age of spent fuels.