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Title: The Importance of International Technical Nuclear Forensics to Deter Illicit Trafficking

Abstract

Illicit trafficking of nuclear materials is a transboundary problem that requires a cooperative approach involving international nuclear forensics to ensure all states understand the threat posed by nuclear smuggling as well as a means to best deter the movement of nuclear contraband. To achieve the objectives, all cases involving illicit trafficking of nuclear and radiological materials must be vigorously pursued and prosecuted when appropriate. The importance of outreach and formal government-to-government relationships with partner nations affected by nuclear trafficking cannot be under-estimated. States that are situated on smuggling routes may be well motivated to counter nuclear crimes to bolster their own border and transportation security as well as strengthen their economic and political viability. National law enforcement and atomic energy agencies in these states are aggressively pursuing a comprehensive strategy to counter nuclear smuggling through increasing reliance on technical nuclear forensics. As part of these activities, it is essential that these organizations be given adequate orientation to the best practices in this emerging discipline including the categorization of interdicted nuclear material, collection of traditional and nuclear forensic evidence, data analysis using optimized analytical protocols, and how to best fuse forensics information with reliable case input to best develop a lawmore » enforcement or national security response. The purpose of formalized USG relationship is to establish an institutional framework for collaboration in international forensics, improve standards of forensics practice, conduct joint exercises, and pursue case-work that benefits international security objectives. Just as outreach and formalized relationships are important to cultivate international nuclear forensics, linking nuclear forensics to ongoing national assistance in border and transpiration security, including port of entry of entry monitoring, nuclear safeguards, and emerging civilian nuclear power initiatives including the Global Nuclear Energy Partnership are crucial components of a successful nuclear detection and security architecture. Once illicit shipments of nuclear material are discovered at a border, the immediate next question will be the nature and the source of the material, as well as the identity of the individual(s) involved in the transfer as well as their motivations. The Nuclear Smuggling International Technical Working Group (ITWG) is a forum for the first responder, law enforcement, policy, and diplomatic community to partner with nuclear forensics experts worldwide to identify requirements and develop technical solutions in common. The ITWG was charted in 1996 and since that time approximately 30 member states and organizations have participated in 11 annual international meetings. The ITWG also works closely with the IAEA to provide countries with support for forensic analyses. Priorities include the development of common protocols for the collection of nuclear forensic evidence and laboratory investigations, organization of forensic round-robin analytical exercises and technical forensic assistance to requesting nations. To promote the science of nuclear forensics within the ITWG the Nuclear Forensics Laboratory Group was organized in 2004. A Model Action Plan for nuclear forensics was developed by the ITWG and published as an IAEA Nuclear security Series document to guide member states in their own forensics investigations. Through outreach, formalized partnerships, common approaches and security architectures, and international working groups, nuclear forensics provides an important contribution to promoting nuclear security and accountability.« less

Authors:
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
902618
Report Number(s):
UCRL-PROC-227759
TRN: US0702953
DOE Contract Number:
W-7405-ENG-48
Resource Type:
Conference
Resource Relation:
Conference: Presented at: INMM Workshop on Nuclear Security, Santa Fe, NM, United States, Mar 21 - Mar 22, 2007
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
98 NUCLEAR DISARMAMENT, SAFEGUARDS AND PHYSICAL PROTECTION; 11 NUCLEAR FUEL CYCLE AND RUEL MATERIALS; ARCHITECTURE; DATA ANALYSIS; DETECTION; ECONOMICS; ENFORCEMENT; IAEA; MEMBER STATES; MONITORING; NATIONAL SECURITY; NUCLEAR ENERGY; NUCLEAR POWER; ORIENTATION; SAFEGUARDS; SECURITY; TRANSPIRATION; VIABILITY

Citation Formats

Smith, D K. The Importance of International Technical Nuclear Forensics to Deter Illicit Trafficking. United States: N. p., 2007. Web.
Smith, D K. The Importance of International Technical Nuclear Forensics to Deter Illicit Trafficking. United States.
Smith, D K. Tue . "The Importance of International Technical Nuclear Forensics to Deter Illicit Trafficking". United States. doi:. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/902618.
@article{osti_902618,
title = {The Importance of International Technical Nuclear Forensics to Deter Illicit Trafficking},
author = {Smith, D K},
abstractNote = {Illicit trafficking of nuclear materials is a transboundary problem that requires a cooperative approach involving international nuclear forensics to ensure all states understand the threat posed by nuclear smuggling as well as a means to best deter the movement of nuclear contraband. To achieve the objectives, all cases involving illicit trafficking of nuclear and radiological materials must be vigorously pursued and prosecuted when appropriate. The importance of outreach and formal government-to-government relationships with partner nations affected by nuclear trafficking cannot be under-estimated. States that are situated on smuggling routes may be well motivated to counter nuclear crimes to bolster their own border and transportation security as well as strengthen their economic and political viability. National law enforcement and atomic energy agencies in these states are aggressively pursuing a comprehensive strategy to counter nuclear smuggling through increasing reliance on technical nuclear forensics. As part of these activities, it is essential that these organizations be given adequate orientation to the best practices in this emerging discipline including the categorization of interdicted nuclear material, collection of traditional and nuclear forensic evidence, data analysis using optimized analytical protocols, and how to best fuse forensics information with reliable case input to best develop a law enforcement or national security response. The purpose of formalized USG relationship is to establish an institutional framework for collaboration in international forensics, improve standards of forensics practice, conduct joint exercises, and pursue case-work that benefits international security objectives. Just as outreach and formalized relationships are important to cultivate international nuclear forensics, linking nuclear forensics to ongoing national assistance in border and transpiration security, including port of entry of entry monitoring, nuclear safeguards, and emerging civilian nuclear power initiatives including the Global Nuclear Energy Partnership are crucial components of a successful nuclear detection and security architecture. Once illicit shipments of nuclear material are discovered at a border, the immediate next question will be the nature and the source of the material, as well as the identity of the individual(s) involved in the transfer as well as their motivations. The Nuclear Smuggling International Technical Working Group (ITWG) is a forum for the first responder, law enforcement, policy, and diplomatic community to partner with nuclear forensics experts worldwide to identify requirements and develop technical solutions in common. The ITWG was charted in 1996 and since that time approximately 30 member states and organizations have participated in 11 annual international meetings. The ITWG also works closely with the IAEA to provide countries with support for forensic analyses. Priorities include the development of common protocols for the collection of nuclear forensic evidence and laboratory investigations, organization of forensic round-robin analytical exercises and technical forensic assistance to requesting nations. To promote the science of nuclear forensics within the ITWG the Nuclear Forensics Laboratory Group was organized in 2004. A Model Action Plan for nuclear forensics was developed by the ITWG and published as an IAEA Nuclear security Series document to guide member states in their own forensics investigations. Through outreach, formalized partnerships, common approaches and security architectures, and international working groups, nuclear forensics provides an important contribution to promoting nuclear security and accountability.},
doi = {},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {Tue Jan 30 00:00:00 EST 2007},
month = {Tue Jan 30 00:00:00 EST 2007}
}

Conference:
Other availability
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  • Theft, illegal possession, smuggling, or attempted unauthorized sale of nuclear and radiological materials remains a worldwide problem. The Nuclear Smuggling International Technical Working Group (ITWG) has adopted a model action plan to guide investigation of these cases through a systematic approach to nuclear forensics. The model action plan was recently documented and provides recommendations concerning incident response, collection of evidence in conformance with required legal standards, laboratory sampling and distribution of samples, radioactive materials analysis, including categorization and characterization of samples, forensics analysis of conventional evidence, and case development including interpretation of forensic signatures.
  • 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
  • In this paper a synopsis is presented of the second ITWG (Nuclear Smuggling International Technical Working Group) meeting that was held in Obninsk, Russia, on December 2-4, 1996, at the Institute of Physics and Power Engineering.
  • The Nuclear Smuggling International Technical Working Group (ITWG) is an international body of nuclear forensic experts that cooperate to deter the illicit trafficking of nuclear materials. The objective of the ITWG is to provide a common approach and effective technical solutions to governments who request assistance in nuclear forensics. The ITWG was chartered in 1996 and since that time more than 28 nations and organizations have participated in 9 international meetings and 2 analytical round-robin trials. Soon after its founding the ITWG adopted a general framework to guide nuclear forensics investigations that includes recommendations for nuclear crime scene security andmore » analysis, the best application of radioanalytical methods, the conduct of traditional forensic analysis of contaminated materials, and effective data analysis to interpret the history of seized nuclear materials. This approach has been adopted by many nations as they respond to incidents of illicit nuclear trafficking.« less
  • Theft, illegal possession, smuggling, or attempted unathorized sale of nuclear and radiological materials remains a worldwide problem. The Nuclear Smuggling International Technical Working Group (ITWG) has adopted a model action plan to guide investigation of these cases through a systematic approach to nuclear forensics. The model action plan was recently documented and provides recommendations concerning incident response, collection of evidence in conformance with required legal standards, laboratory sampling and distribution of samples, radioactive materials analysis, including categorization and characterization of samples, forensics analysis of conventional evidence, and case development including interpretation of forensic signatures.