• IRAN’S NUKESAnalysis of the IAEA’s Iran NPT Safeguards Report - May 2024

    By David Albright, Sarah Burkhard, and Andrea Stricker

    For the second time in its quarterly safeguards reports on Iran’s compliance with the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has drawn attention Iran’s current ability to make nuclear weapons. Without strong and decisive action y the IAEA, Iranwill succeed in steadily augmenting its nuclear program penalty-free, enabling it to build a nuclear weapon more quickly than Western powers could detect and stop.

  • RADIATION DETECTIONA New Way to Detect Radiation Involving Cheap Ceramics

    By Elizabeth A. Thomson

    The radiation detectors used today for applications like inspecting cargo ships for smuggled nuclear materials are expensive and cannot operate in harsh environments, among other disadvantages. Work by MIT engineers could lead to plethora of new applications, including better detectors for nuclear materials at ports.

  • NUCLEAR TRAFFICKINGJapanese Yakuza Leader Charged with Trafficking Nuclear Materials

    Takeshi Ebisawa of Japan, leader within the Yakuza transnational organized crime syndicate, was charged with trafficking nuclear materials, including uranium and weapons-grade plutonium.

  • NUCLEAR PROLIFERATIONA Non-Proliferation Solution: Using Antineutrinos to Surveil Nuclear Reactors

    Antineutrinos generated in nuclear fission can be measured to remotely monitor the operation of nuclear reactors and verify that they are not being used to produce nuclear weapons, scientists report. Thanks to a newly developed method, it is now possible to estimate a reactor’s operation status, fuel burnup, and fuel composition based entirely on its antineutrino emissions. This technique could contribute massively to nuclear non-proliferation efforts and, in turn, safer nuclear energy.

  • IRAN’S NUKESIran Triples Production of Enriched Uranium

    Iran has tripled its production of uranium enriched to 60 percent, after slowing down of production earlier this year, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) reported on Tuesday. Iran, free of the restrictions it accepted as part of the 2015 deal, is now producing about 9 kg a month of uranium enriched to 60 percent.

  • RADIATION DETECTIONBioengineered Potato Plant Detects Gamma Radiation

    A researcher in the University of Tennessee Herbert College of Agriculture has developed a potato plant that can detect gamma radiation, providing reliable indications of harmful radiation levels without complex monitoring technologies. The natural radiation sensor is affordable, too.

  • RADIOLOGICAL RESPONSEPreparing U.S., Partners for Radiological Response

    By Paul Menser

    After the September 11th attacks, security professionals worried that terrorists might detonate a “dirty bomb” – an explosive device enhanced with radiological source materials. Responders for this type of event had to be trained.

  • NUCLEAR DETECTIONDetecting Nuclear Materials Using Light

    Sandia materials scientist developed the state of the art technology known as Organic Glass Scintillators for radiation detection. Organic Glass Scintillators emit light in the presence of radiation.

  • CROSS-BORDER THREATSStriving for a More Secure World

    By Allan Brettman

    PNNL experts work with international partners to tackle cross-border biological and chemical threats. PNNL’s border security focus can be traced to the breakup of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s. U.S. policy makers became concerned about the security of nuclear material in the newly independent states of the former U.S.S.R.

  • NUCLEAR PROLIFERATIONHappy 60th Birthday to Vela, Watchman for Nuclear Detonations

    By Rebecca Ullrich

    Sixty years ago last week, on Oct. 16, 1963, the United States launched a pair of satellites whose primary purpose was to determine the feasibility of using satellites to detect nuclear detonations in outer space. The satellites were part of the Vela program, initiated in 1959 to provide a nuclear detonation detection capability to verify compliance with nuclear treaties. On Sept. 27, 1984, the last of the Vela satellites were turned off.

  • NUCLEAR MATTERSUsing Artificial Mussels to Monitor Radioactivity in the Ocean

    Amid the global concern over the pollution of radioactive wastes in the ocean, researchers have conducted a study which has found that “artificial mussels” (AMs) can effectively measure low concentrations of radionuclides in the sea. It is believed that this technology can be applied as a reliable and effective solution for monitoring radioactive contamination around the world.

  • NUCLEAR PROLIFERATIONRobots Could Help Verify Compliance with Nuclear Arms Agreements

    By Raphael Rosen

    Ensuring that countries abide by future nuclear arms agreements will be a vital task. Inspectors may have to count warheads or confirm the removal of nuclear weapons from geographical areas. Those hotspots could include underground bunkers and require confirmation that no weapons exist in a location at all. Now, researchers have devised an automated way to ensure compliance.

  • NUCLEAR INCIDENTSTraining for Nuclear Incidents and Preparing WMD Responses

    By Justin S. Griffin

    “Radiological material can end up in almost any location or any place and take on almost any shape and form,” an expert told participants a few weeks ago at the first Sandia Lab’s Weapons of Mass Destruction Counterterrorism and Incident Response Showcase. Preparing for nuclear incidents is not dealing with hypotheticals. “It is not practice. It is not an exercise. It is real life stuff,” he said.

  • RADIATION DETECTIONExploring Feasibility of Using Drones to Survey Sites for Low Levels of Radiation

    By Allan Brettman

    Drones are tools for search and rescue, traffic monitoring, weather monitoring, and perhaps even package hauling. One day, they may work with humans to augment the task of conducting surveys to detect low levels of radiation—information that could contribute to the decommissioning of sites no longer needed for nuclear-related energy production or research.

  • NUCLEAR RISKSNuclear Agency Cannot Continue With “Business as Usual” in the Shifting Supercomputing Landscape: Report

    The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) needs to fundamentally rethink the strategy for its next generation of high-performance computing, says a new report from the National Academies of Sciences.