• Radiation detectionRedesigning Radiation Monitors at U.S. Ports of Entry

    Every day at ports of entry around the country, hundreds of thousands of vehicles and containers cross into the country. Since 9/11, all incoming vehicles and containers at land crossings, rail crossings, mail facilities, and shipping terminals are scanned by Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers to detect potential threats, including radiation. The time has come to replace and upgrade the aging radiation detection systems.

  • Iran’s nukesIAEA Monitors Allowed to Service Cameras at Sensitive Nuclear Sites

    An agreement has been reached between Iran and the IAEA to allow international inspectors to service surveillance cameras at Iran’s sensitive nuclear sites and to continue filming there. The agreement, announced Sunday, averts a diplomatic showdown this week.

  • Radiation detectionGPS-Carrying Rat Snakes Monitor Radiation at Fukushima

    Scientists found a new way to keep track of radiation level at the Fukushima Exclusion Zone: rat snakes, which are common in Japan. The snakes’ limited movement and close contact with contaminated soil are key factors in their ability to reflect the varying levels of contamination in the zone.

  • Nuclear forensicsInternational Nuclear Forensics Group Examines Nuclear Security Challenges

    The Nuclear Forensics International Technical Working Group (ITWG) was established in 1995 when nuclear materials were being smuggled out of the former Soviet Union and into Europe. Last month the ITWG held its annual meeting virtually.

  • Iran’s nukesReflections on Iran’s Production of 60% Enriched Uranium

    By David Albright and Sarah Burkhard

    As of about June 14, Iran had reportedly produced 6.5 kg 60% enriched uranium (hexafluoride mass) or 4.4 kg uranium mass only. Iran has produced 60% enriched uranium at an average daily rate of 0.126 kg/day since May 22. Iran’s activity must be viewed as practicing breakout to make enriched uranium for use in nuclear weapons.

  • Radiological threatsUse of Radioactive Materials in Commercial Applications Has Increased

    The use of high-risk radioactive materials in medical, research, and commercial applications has increased by about 30 percent in the U.S. in the last 12 years, and the government should improve security, tracking, and accountability to reduce health and security risks — while also supporting the development of nonradioactive alternatives to replace them — says a new report.

  • Nuclear weaponsIAEA Warns on North Korea and Iran

    IAEA Director Rafael Grossi issued dire warnings, saying Pyongyang may be reprocessing plutonium and that Iran’s lack of compliance is hurting prospects for salvaging the JCPOA (the 2015 nuclear deal). Pyongyang has continued to pursue its nuclear ambitions since that time and detonated its last nuclear device in 2017, while working with Iran was “becoming increasingly difficult.”

  • Nuclear detectionNew Material Could Aid in Nuclear Nonproliferation

    A newly discovered quasicrystal that was created by the first nuclear explosion at Trinity Site, N.M., on July 16, 1945, could someday help scientists better understand illicit nuclear explosions and curb nuclear proliferation. The newly discovered material was formed accidentally in the blast of the first atomic bomb test, which resulted in the fusion of surrounding sand, the test tower, and copper transmission lines into a glassy material known as trinitite.

  • Iran’s nukesIran Nuclear Inspection Deal with UN Watchdog Extended by One Month

    Iran and the UN’s nuclear watchdog say they have agreed to extend by one month an agreement to monitor Tehran’s nuclear activities, a move that will give more time for ongoing diplomatic efforts to salvage the country’s tattered nuclear deal with world powers.

  • Nuclear detectionNuclear Terrorism Could Be Intercepted by Neutron-Gamma Detector

    Scanning technology aimed at detecting small amounts of nuclear materials was unveiled by scientists. The technology can be used in airports and seaports for routine inspection of passengers and goods.

  • Nuclear wasteRetaining Knowledge of Nuclear Waste Management

    Sandia National Laboratories have begun their second year of a project to capture important, hard-to-explain nuclear waste management knowledge from retirement-age employees to help new employees get up to speed faster. The project has experts share their experience with and knowledge of storage, transportation, and disposal with next generation scientists.

  • Nuclear detectionUltrasensitive Measurements Detect Nuclear Explosions

    Imagine being able to detect the faintest of radionuclide signals from hundreds of miles away. Scientists have developed a system which constantly collects and analyzes air samples for signals that would indicate a nuclear explosion, perhaps conducted secretly underground. The system can detect just a small number of atoms from nuclear activity anywhere on the planet. In terms of sensitivity, the capability – in place for decades – is analogous to the ability to detect coronavirus from a single cough anywhere on Earth.

  • Nuclear detectionCatching Nuclear Smugglers: Fast Algorithm Enable Cost-Effective Detectors at Borders

    Nations need to protect their citizens from the threat of nuclear terrorism. Nuclear security deters and detects the smuggling of special nuclear materials—highly enriched uranium, weapons-grade plutonium or materials that produce a lot of radiation—across national borders. A new algorithm could enable faster, less expensive detection of weapons-grade nuclear materials at borders, quickly differentiating between benign and illicit radiation signatures in the same cargo.

  • Iran’s nukesIran’s Nuclear “Breakout” Time Reduced to 3-4 Months

    In May 2018, when President Trump announced that the United States was withdrawing from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, Iran “breakout” time was estimated to be 12-16 months. Breakout is defined as the time Iran would need to produce 25 kilograms of weapon-grade uranium (WGU), enough for a nuclear weapon. A new report says that Iran’s breakout time now is 3.1 to 4.6 months.

  • Nuclear detectionHow Lasers Can Help with Nuclear Nonproliferation Monitoring

    Scientists developed a new method showing that measuring the light produced in plasmas made from a laser can be used to understand uranium oxidation in nuclear fireballs. This capability gives never-before-seen insight into uranium gas-phase oxidation during nuclear explosions. These insights further progress toward a reliable, non-contact method for remote detection of uranium elements and isotopes, with implications for nonproliferation safeguards, explosion monitoring and treaty verification.