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Title: Integrated nuclear techniques to detect illicit materials

Abstract

This paper discusses the problem of detecting explosives in the context of an object being transported for illicit purposes. The author emphasizes that technologies developed for this particular application have payoffs in many related problem areas. The author discusses nuclear techniques which can be applied to this detection problem. These include: x-ray imaging; neutronic interrogation; inelastic neutron scattering; fieldable neutron generators. He discusses work which has been done on the applications of these technologies, including results for detection of narcotics. He also discusses efforts to integrate these techniques into complementary systems which offer improved performance.

Authors:
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Argonne National Lab., IL (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Assistant Secretary for Human Resources and Administration, Washington, DC (United States)
OSTI Identifier:
563817
Report Number(s):
ANL/TD/CP-94353; CONF-9708127-
ON: DE97054178; TRN: 98:000672
DOE Contract Number:
W-31-109-ENG-38
Resource Type:
Conference
Resource Relation:
Conference: Gordon research conference on illicit substance detection, London (United Kingdom), 24-28 Aug 1997; Other Information: PBD: 1997
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
45 MILITARY TECHNOLOGY, WEAPONRY, AND NATIONAL DEFENSE; 42 ENGINEERING NOT INCLUDED IN OTHER CATEGORIES; EXPLOSIVES; DETECTION; X RADIATION; NEUTRONS; INELASTIC SCATTERING; NEUTRON ACTIVATION ANALYSIS; SECURITY

Citation Formats

DeVolpi, A. Integrated nuclear techniques to detect illicit materials. United States: N. p., 1997. Web.
DeVolpi, A. Integrated nuclear techniques to detect illicit materials. United States.
DeVolpi, A. 1997. "Integrated nuclear techniques to detect illicit materials". United States. doi:. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/563817.
@article{osti_563817,
title = {Integrated nuclear techniques to detect illicit materials},
author = {DeVolpi, A.},
abstractNote = {This paper discusses the problem of detecting explosives in the context of an object being transported for illicit purposes. The author emphasizes that technologies developed for this particular application have payoffs in many related problem areas. The author discusses nuclear techniques which can be applied to this detection problem. These include: x-ray imaging; neutronic interrogation; inelastic neutron scattering; fieldable neutron generators. He discusses work which has been done on the applications of these technologies, including results for detection of narcotics. He also discusses efforts to integrate these techniques into complementary systems which offer improved performance.},
doi = {},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = 1997,
month =
}

Conference:
Other availability
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  • Illicit trafficking in nuclear and radioactive materials is far from a new issue. Reports of nuclear materials offered for sale as well as mythical materials such as red mercury date back to the 1960's. While such reports were primarily scams, it illustrates the fact that from an early date there were criminal elements willing to sell nuclear materials, albeit mythical ones, to turn a quick profit. In that same time frame, information related to lost and abandoned radioactive sources began to be reported. Unlike reports on nuclear material of that era, these reports on abandoned sources were based in factmore » - occasionally associated with resulting injury and death. With the collapse of the Former Soviet Union, illicit trafficking turned from a relatively unnoticed issue to one of global concern. Reports of unsecured nuclear and radiological material in the states of the Former Soviet Union, along with actual seizures of such material in transit, gave the clear message that illicit trafficking was now a real and urgent problem. In 1995, the IAEA established an Illicit Trafficking Data Base to keep track of confirmed instances. Illicit Trafficking is deemed to include not only radioactive materials that have been offered for sale or crossed international boarders, but also such materials that are no longer under appropriate regulatory control. As an outcome of 9/11, the United States took a closer look at illicit nuclear trafficking as well as a reassessment of the safety and security of nuclear and other radioactive materials both in the United States and Globally. This reassessment launched heightened controls and security domestically and increased our efforts internationally to prevent illicit nuclear trafficking. This reassessment also brought about the Global Threat Reduction Initiative which aims to further reduce the threats of weapons usable nuclear materials as well those of radioactive sealed sources. This paper will focus on the issues related to a subset of the materials involved in illicit trafficking in nuclear and radioactive materials, that of radioactive sealed sources. The focus on radioactive sealed sources is based on our belief that insufficient attention has been paid to trafficking incidents involving such sources which constitute the majority of trafficking cases. According to the IAEA's Illicit Trafficking Data Base, as of December 31 2005 there were 827 confirmed cases reporting by the participating states, including 250 incidents (or 30%) involved nuclear and other radioactive materials and 566 (or 68%) involved other radioactive materials, mostly radioactive sources, and radioactively contaminated materials. Experts in the Lugar Survey on Proliferation Threat and Response (June 2005) agreed that an attack with a Radiological Dispersion Device (RDD) was the most probable form of nuclear terrorism the world could expect over the next decade. At the same time radiological materials are used in wide a variety of applications, located in virtually every country and in general, radiological materials are far easier to access than nuclear materials. It has become increasingly obvious that the lack of a cradle-to-grave approach for sealed radioactive sources that have reached the end of their useful life is the main reason that sources are abandoned. It appears that the questions will ultimately become whether industry will impose additional regulations upon itself and become self-regulating with respect to repatriating radioactive material at the end of service life, or whether national authorities at some point will take actions and regulate the industry. Argentina, which is one of the most advanced countries regarding control of radiological sources adopted additional measures to safeguard its radiological materials to a level comparable to that proscribed for nuclear materials. This approach, while highly successful, has led to some minor unforeseen consequences, namely insufficient funds to implement all regulations in full and a lack of inspectors and appropriate equipment to assure compliance This is not an unusual outcome. Regulations imposed by a national regulatory authority may be technically excellent, but their implementation may provide a funding challenge. A more practical approach may be to have the industry to impose regulations upon itself, which could be accomplished within the economics of the industries involved. (authors)« less
  • We present a matrix of 60 possible forensic tools. If the specifics of the types of materials and analytical techniques are included, the number becomes vastly greater. Accordingly, the prioritization and discretion is addressed that should be utilized to select the most useful tools.
  • A consensus has been emerging during the past several years that illicit trafficking of nuclear materials is a problem that needs a more focused international response. One possible component of a program to combat illicit trafficking is nuclear forensics whereby intercepted nuclear materials are analyzed to provide clues for answering attribution questions. In this report we focus on international cooperation that is specifically addressing the development of nuclear forensics. First we will describe the role of the Nuclear Smuggling International Technical Working Group (ITWG) in developing nuclear forensics, and then we will present some specific examples of cooperative work bymore » the Institute for Transuranium Elements of the European Commission with various European states. Recognizing the potential importance of a nuclear forensics capability, the P-8 countries in 1995 encouraged technical experts to evaluate the role of nuclear forensics in combating nuclear smuggling and possibly developing mechanisms for international cooperation. As a result, an International Conference on Nuclear Smuggling Forensic Analysis was held in November, 1995, at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory to investigate technical cooperation on nuclear forensics. The International Conference provided a unique mix of scientists, law enforcement, and intelligence experts from 14 countries and organizations. All participants were invited to make presentations, and the format of the Conference was designed to encourage open discussion and broad participation.« less
  • jThe interdiction of illicit special nuclear materials (SNM) causes many attribution questions to be asked, e.g. where was this material produced, where was legitimate control lost, how was it transported, etc. We have developed a general framework for evaluating forensic measurements that will be useful in answering attribution questions, and will present an initial prioritization of these measurements. Interpretation of the measurements requires the integration of inputs from a diverse set of experts who have knowledge of environmental signatures, radiochemical signatures, weapons production complex, production pathways for SNM, criminal forensics, law enforcement, and intelligence. Comparison databases and international cooperation aremore » crucial for future application of forensic measurements to the nuclear smuggling problem.« less
  • The proliferation of nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons (collectively known as weapons of mass destruction, or WMD) and the potential acquisition and use of WMD against the world by terrorists are extremely serious threats to international security. These threats are complex and interrelated. There are myriad routes to weapons of mass destruction--many different starting materials, material sources, and production processes. There are many possible proliferators--threshold countries, rogue states, state-sponsored or transnational terrorists groups, domestic terrorists, and even international crime organizations. Motives for acquiring and using WMD are similarly wide ranging--from a desire to change the regional power balance, deny accessmore » to a strategic area, or alter international policy to extortion, revenge, or hate. Because of the complexity of this threat landscape, no single program, technology, or capability--no silver bullet--can solve the WMD proliferation and terrorism problem. An integrated program is needed that addresses the WMD proliferation and terrorism problem from end to end, from prevention to detection, reversal, and response, while avoiding surprise at all stages, with different activities directed specifically at different types of WMD and proliferators. Radiation detection technologies are an important tool in the prevention of proliferation. A variety of new developments have enabled enhanced performance in terms of energy resolution, spatial resolution, predictive modeling and simulation, active interrogation, and ease of operation and deployment in the field. The radiation properties of nuclear materials, particularly highly enriched uranium (HEU), make the detection of smuggled nuclear materials technically difficult. A number of efforts are under way to devise improved detector materials and instruments and to identify novel signatures that could be detected. Key applications of this work include monitoring for radioactive materials at choke points, searching for nuclear materials, and developing instruments for response personnel.« less