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Title: A Zero Knowledge Protocol For Nuclear Warhead Verification

The verification of nuclear warheads for arms control faces a paradox: International inspectors must gain high confidence in the authenticity of submitted items while learning nothing about them. Conventional inspection systems featuring ''information barriers'', designed to hide measurments stored in electronic systems, are at risk of tampering and snooping. Here we show the viability of fundamentally new approach to nuclear warhead verification that incorporates a zero-knowledge protocol, designed such that sensitive information is never measured so does not need to be hidden. We interrogate submitted items with energetic neutrons, making in effect, differential measurements of neutron transmission and emission. Calculations of diversion scenarios show that a high degree of discrimination can be achieved while revealing zero information. Timely demonstration of the viability of such an approach could be critical for the nexxt round of arms-control negotiations, which will likely require verification of individual warheads, rather than whole delivery systems.
Authors:
 [1] ;  [2]
  1. Princeton, Univ., NJ (United States). Program on Science and Global Security
  2. Princeton Plasma Physics Lab., Princeton, NJ (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
1127356
Report Number(s):
PPPL--5009
DOE Contract Number:
DE-ACO2-09Ch11466
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Resource Relation:
Related Information: Nature
Research Org:
Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL), Princeton, NJ (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
70 PLASMA PHYSICS AND FUSION TECHNOLOGY Arms Control