Security (S&B/CBRNE) Magazine

SPR 2016

Security & Border Protection and CST & CBRNE Source Book, published jointly, concentrate on WMD response, NGB training, counterterrorism, and border security

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Page 9 of 35 8 | S&BP and CST & CBRNE | Spring 2016 efforts of weapons laboratories as nonproliferation efforts are developed and implemented. The laboratory's best-known contribution to nuclear nonproliferation is in redesigning the cores of research and test reactors around the globe that use highly enriched uranium (HEU) – which is a proliferation risk in nuclear explosives – to enable them to use low-enriched uranium (LEU) fuel instead. The work is performed under the auspices of the National Nuclear Security Administration's (NNSA's) Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation Office of Material Management and Minimization (M3) Conversion Program, which has converted or verified the shutdown of more than 90 research and test reactors worldwide over the past 30 years. In some cases HEU reactor facilities have been replaced with LEU-based accelerator-driven systems to reduce proliferation threats while also meeting national goals for peaceful application of nuclear science. For example, under the M3 Nuclear Material Removal Program, Argonne developed and constructed an experimental neutron source facility for the Kharkov Institute of Physics and Technology in Ukraine to compensate for the removal of all of Ukraine's HEU. The experimental neutron source facility consists of an accelerator- driven subcritical assembly using LEU. Security through International Outreach In addition to helping reduce the availability of HEU in civilian applications, Argonne also makes major contributions in the area of technology and trade control, where the focus is on preventing diversion of increasingly commercially available materials, equipment and technology that can contribute to the development and production of nuclear explosives. Argonne works to strengthen U.S. and international efforts to control the trade in these types of technologies. The laboratory's approaches include monitoring and assessing emerging technologies of possible relevance to proliferation, analyzing diversion risk associated with U.S. exports and foreign procurements, and working with international partners to develop their capacities to implement effective strategic trade controls. Argonne also develops and maintains some of the most definitive technical resources and training materials on dual-use commodities for export control officials. The laboratory is home to several activities focused on ensuring that radiological materials (materials that are highly radioactive but cannot be used to produce nuclear explosives) cannot be misused as radiological dispersal devices, or so- called "dirty bombs." Argonne maintains a sealed-source library for the U.S. Government that catalogs the provenance and key attributes of as many sealed radiological sources as can be obtained. Such sources, typically used in medical imaging and radiotherapy devices, well-logging and other industrial purposes, have well-established handling protocols. Yet, tracking isn't perfect, and misplaced or stolen sources pose a security risk. Consequently Argonne tracks incidents worldwide involving the theft, loss or recovery of radioactive material and maintains databases documenting facilities with risk-significant quantities of radioactive material. Additionally, the laboratory performs all-source analysis of the movement of nuclear materials for numerous stakeholders to ensure the right authorities have the situational awareness they need to prevent and mitigate misuse of these materials. Threat Tracking and Response Argonne is developing a number of innovative technologies designed to deter and detect the movement of illicit radiological materials, both domestically and internationally, as well as analyzing the reliability and performance of emerging technologies for a variety of applications across the nonproliferation spectrum. Argonne is also home to members of DOE's Radiological Assistance Program. This team of experts stands ready to respond at almost a "moment's notice" if a radiological incident occurs, whether accidental or deliberate. Argonne manages a program for the U.S. State Department that provides technical experts to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). Argonne attracts talent from across the nation to ensure the U.S. government fulfills its obligations of assisting IAEA in fulfilling its many nuclear missions. Bradley said the nuclear security landscape has changed substantially over his 30 years working in the field. "In sum, I Nuclear Security Threat Mitigation Argonne researchers have helped convert or verifed shut down more than 90 research and test nuclear reactors from the use of highly enriched uranium fuel, such as the reactor pictured here at Oregon State University. (Argonne) Workers review conversion steps on a reactor in Montreal in preparation for the conversion of a reactor in Jamaica. (Argonne)

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