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Nuclear Forensic Technology Lecture 1


Thus, nuclear forensic analysis includes the characterization of the material and correlation with its production history. – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Nuclear Forensic Technology Lecture 1

Nuclear Forensic TechnologyLecture 1
  • Terry A. Ring

What is Forensics?
  • scientific tests or techniques used in the
    investigation of crimes.
  • the use of science and technology to investigate
    and establish facts in criminal or civil courts
    of law.
  • relating to or dealing with the application of
    scientific knowledge to legal problems
  • Sherlock Holms
  • CSI

What is nuclear Forensics?
  • Nuclear forensics is the technical means by which
    nuclear materials, whether intercepted intact or
    retrieved from post-explosion debris, are
    characterized (as to composition, physical
    condition, age, provenance, history) and
    interpreted (as to provenance, industrial
    history, and implications for nuclear device
    design). This characterization and interpretation
    results from field work to obtain representative
    samples of the device materials, laboratory
    analyses, computer modeling, and comparison with
    databases that contain empirical data from
    previous analyses of materials samples or that
    may be the result of numerical simulations of
    device performance or both. AAAS Definition

What is Nuclear Forensics?
  • Nuclear forensics is the analysis of intercepted
    illicit nuclear or radioactive material and any
    associated material to provide evidence for
    nuclear attribution. The goal of nuclear analysis
    is to identify forensic indicators in interdicted
    nuclear and radiological samples or the
    surrounding environment, e.g. the container or
    transport vehicle. These indicators arise from
    known relationships between material
    characteristics and process history. Thus,
    nuclear forensic analysis includes the
    characterization of the material and correlation
    with its production history. IAEA

Do Not Confuse NF with Nuclear Safeguards
  • Nuclear safeguards are measures to verify that
    countries comply with their international
    obligations not to use nuclear materials for
    nuclear explosives. Since it is the country
    itself that is regarded as the potential diverter
    of nuclear material, confidence about the absence
    of diversion is provided by external, i.e.
    international, verification.  Global recognition
    of the need for such verification is reflected in
    the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear
    Weapons (the NPT). 180 Nations have now signed
    agreeing that the International Atomic Energy
    Agency (the IAEA) must apply safeguards on all
    their nuclear material. Only India, Israel,
    Pakistan, and North Korea have not signed the

What is missing in these definitions?
Terrorist (Nuclear) Event
Hot Zone
  • Hot Zone
  • In protective gear. Photos of evidence.
    Identify what should be sampled and preserved for
    Forensics purposes. Move them to Warm Zone for
    further analysis
  • Warm Zone
  • Samples are run through field analysis using
    instruments. Photos taken as samples are broken
    down and bagged for laboratory analysis. Chain
    of custody system established. Samples packaged
    for transportation to labs.
  • Cold Zone
  • Sample transportation to accredited FBI labs.

Tools of Nuclear Forensics
  • Hot Zone
  • Geiger Counter
  • Where is radioactive contamination?
  • Warm Zone
  • Gamma Spectrometer
  • Is sample hot and dangerous?
  • Helps establish what container is required for
    transportation to Lab.
  • Nuclear Materials Chemical Analysis at NF Lab